78 RPM is the first commissioned piece I wrote. Dr. Carol McNabb-Goodwin approached me a few months after hearing my premiere of Simple Gifts. She asked if I would want to write a piece for her for actual money. I was so excited at the opportunity to compose for a check that I agreed. She told me about the music she wanted me to arrange. The piece was to be a medley of songs from around the 1920s. (Songs like Tea for Two, for instance.) I agreed to the commission. Unfortunately, I was a very busy student preparing for my sophomore recital. I started the piece on a Friday night. The piece was due the next day. This (for once) was not because of procrastination. I just knew that in order to get this done, I had to lose sleep over it. Since it was the first weekend of Spring Break, I decided that I could make up the sleep during the week.
Naturally, I went to my (then) best friend, Iris's dorm. I knew she wouldn't let me fall asleep for long if I had a deadline and a commission. The piece was more-or-less written from 10 PM Friday night to 6 AM Saturday morning. I took a few breaks for food and a nap, but I had it more-or-less finished. At 8 AM I went to show the piece to Dr. McNabb, and she told me a few things I needed to change. (C'mon, I had never written for bassoon before.) By the end of the day, I had the piece finished for her. It was premiered at the 2012 University of Texas - Brownsville Double Reed Honor Choir concert. Dr. McNabb conducted the piece, and I played drum-set. It was the first commission I ever received. Thanks goes out to Dr. McNabb for believing in me enough to give me my first commission.
Instrumentation: 2 oboes, english horn, 3 bassoons, contrabassoon, drumset