If you would have asked me about 20 years ago if I was going to be a published composer, I would have thought you were crazy. I had the opportunity to study with a well known marching band arranger/composer Dale F. Hopper, at Western Illinois University. Then, I studied concert and marching band arranging with Kelly Love and Michael Katterjohn at Vandercook College of Music. Yet, I would have never thought I'd be writing music professionally.
When I moved to Laredo Texas in the summer of 1988, I had the opportunity to do some editing to Jay Bocook's arrangement of "Firebird Suite" for the United High School Band. I mean "a little" editing. Thanks to my supervisor, friend, and mentor Javier R. Vera, I was eventually given the opportunity to do more and more arranging. It wasn't until about 2001 that I finally did my first concert band selection, "Stillmeadow Overture". I wrote it for the Washington Middle School Band, where I was Director of Bands. I took this selection to Mr. Carlos Gil, Director of Bands at United South High School. Mr. Gil took the time to record it for me. With encouragement from Robert Geisler, who was a composer and worked at Southern Music Company, I submitted it to the CL Barnhouse Company. With the help of Andrew Glover and Andy Clark, we made necessary changes and this work was published. I owe a lot to the people at Barnhouse for giving me my first opportunity. I will always be thankful to them for this.
Many people have been encouraging to me including: Javier Vera, Carlos Gil, the late Victor Zajec, Dale Hopper, Dennis Johnson, Bryan Herring, my wonderful wife Felisa, and several others. http://denniseveland.com/images/stillmeadowoverture.mp3.mp3