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Shut Out Release! 5/31/2023

Read on to learn about history behind the piece and its message!

If you want the purchase and listening information HERE...or scroll all the way down...up to you. Your choice, you own it.

Shut Out cover


Today is a special day. A meaningful work of mine, Shut Out, has been released to the public after a 9-month exclusivity period for its 26 commissioners. In that time, the piece had been performed around 9 times by various ensembles such as The Crane Wind Ensemble, Illinois Wind Orchestra, Yale Concert Band, and even University of South Carolina's University Bands! To catch you up if you're not aware- Shut Out is my piece about disability justice. It encompasses three distinct sections, each detailing how disabled people feel on a day-to-day basis when we face ableism and inaccessibility in a world not built for us. Ponderous music starts the piece and this is where I explore the dichotomy between society and disabled people, which leads into a faster section of music about the charades that have to be played in order for us to fit in. Finally a dream of what it would be like to live in an equitable world is ushered in with soaring woodwind lines and harmonies that melt into each other.


The Shut Out consortium consisted of twenty-six commissioners with various backgrounds. Some were high school bands, some college, two community bands, and even Alex Shapiro joined in! Most importantly the consortium was led by Stephen Meyer and Amy Bovin, both of whom I cannot thank enough for their support of the piece and my message. They were truly ambassadors helping to get this out there so that the consortium gained so many members. I mentioned a few above but some other members included Arizona State University, Cincinatti Conservatory, Tempe Winds, and even the school I go to- Michigan State University! The folks that I worked with have been absolutely amazing and I would do collaborations with them again. I truly treasure the multiple Zoom visits such as those with Crane Wind Ensemble, Yale Concert Band, Nebraska Wesleyan University, and even the in-person visit I did to Northern Arizona University for Stephen's premiere of the work. All the people I interacted with on this first batch of performances bring wonderful memories to me. I'll treasure them forever.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs have been gaining huge ground in the music and band worlds lately. It is so important that people of underrepresented populations are finally gaining a voice and platform to perform and compose music about their own experiences. Women, gender non-conforming folks, people of color, various ethnicities, and disabled people have always existed but it is really nice to see these voices that have always existed get lifted up into a spotlight. We're now learning and hearing different musics as a result such as DOPE, Home Away from Home, Song for Mother Gaia, Come Sunday, among many other new classics in the band repertoire that you should go check out. This, along with initiatives like ...And We Were Heard, is helping A LOT of people realize they have voices and presences. With all of these unique experiences documented, I could not help but notice that disability is missing. I have not seen or heard of band music that talks specifically about disability (correct me if I'm wrong!). So I decided that I would pitch this idea to the world, and Stephen and Amy were the ones that reached out and started this whole thing. More than a year later, I could not be prouder of the fact that this piece has gotten performed nine times this year. The message got out. I'm hoping that it brings forth to the table discussions on disability on the world stage especially when it comes to DEI programs!



NOW we're getting to the GOOD STUFF! It's available...NOW!

Here is the recording of the Yale Concert Band playing (other recordings by Crane and Illinois can be found on my YouTube)! They are directed by Thomas C. Duffy, and guest conducted by Brian Coffill in this video.

I hope you enjoyed that!

Now for purchase's available as a score+parts in PDF and Print (through JWPepper), and a study score alone! Click the buttons below to purchase the appropriate thing!

Whew, you made it to the end of this post! Thank you for reading and supporting the music in some way by listening, reading about it, or purchasing it. I hope to hear about more performances of the work now that it's a public work! Conductors/musicians, feel free to contact me...I can do commissions! And residencies! And Zoom visits!

Or you can just start up a conversation with me. I'm totally cool with that too and am always open to creating new relationships in this world!




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