This laid-back swing tune, "Afterthought", features the drums and the beauty of the flugelhorns and trombones in combination throughout the melody. The solo sections for the trombone and trumpet give them the chance to solo on contemporary changes in two different sections and moods of the tune. The shout chorus after the solos sections showcases the brilliance of the ensemble's sound and also features some nice work for the saxes.
"Fields of Green" makes large use of slash chord harmony in this happy tune. The pianist is given a large section to solo alone in the middle of the chart before the ensemble re-enters. The melody morphs and shifts throughout this second half of the chart, not resting until the final chord is sounded.
"If I Only Had Seven Giant Brains" is an original composition by Glenn Wilson, a melding of "Giant Steps", "Seven Steps to Heaven", and "If I Only Had a Brain". Glenn commissioned this arrangement in 2009. It is performed by the University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band, featuring Glenn on baritone sax.
"Lilt" was composed in 2009 for the University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band. It uses a single pastoral theme throughout the entire work in an light-hearted attempt to mimic Irish traditional music.
"Trial Run" was composed in 2010 for the University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band. It extensively uses non-functional harmony, drawing on the harmonic techniques of early 20th-century classical music.
"Blue Peace" was inspired by the compositional style of Maria Schneider, particularly her composition "Green Piece". This straight-eighth chart provides extensive modal solo space for the soprano saxophonist while featuring the ensemble using a large palette of contemporary colors.
"Figure It Out" was composed in 2011 under commission by the New York Youth Symphony Jazz Band featuring Marcus Printup. In writing this piece for the New York Youth Symphony Jazz Band's "Basie and Beyond" concert, I strove to pay homage to the lineage of Basie writers, while still stepping a bit 'beyond' their developments. The opening section features a rubato piano intro (a different take on the standard 'Basie' intro) before the trumpet soloist enters. The piece provides ample solo space for the soloist, as well as fun tutti sections for the entire ensemble.
"Two Miniatures" was written in the spring of 2015 for chamber orchestra as part of a children's concert. The second of these movements embeds the theme from Beethoven's Fifth.
"Theme from 'The Odd Couple'" was written as an assignment for the 2013 Metropole Arrangers Workshop. During the week-long workshop, we were given a lead sheet on Sunday night and were asked to write a two-minute arrangement to be performed by the Metropole Orchestra at a recording session on Thursday morning.
Originally written for orchestra and narrator, this version of "Sylvan Spirits" for baritone vocalist and orchestra was a prize winner of the "2 Agosto" International Composing Competition. The piece captures the atmosphere of the woods by presenting settings of poems by Anne Brontë, Rudyard Kipling, and Robert Frost.