Spring Concert

by Richard McLendon   February 29, 2016

Music has been and will continue to be my life.  I’ve been a performer, teacher, mentor, conductor, arranger, composer, music editor, music copyist, and music consumer at various times of my life since the age of five.  I’ve seen people change because of the influences of music including myself.  Music brings us back to memories of another time in history and in our own lives, also.

Music speaks to us where stories and film are unable for various reasons. Music touches our emotions and our emotions stimulate our memories.  Combining music with film creates a unique, powerful, and at times an unforgettable experience.  I hope that you will take time to truly enjoy music and listen to some music that is new to you, but may be from an earlier century, from a few decades ago, or a new artist has a new song available. After all, variety IS the spice of life.

Leave a comment and let me know how you feel about music.

Michaelis, Small, and Marvin created the first public relations agency – the Publicity Bureau in Boston in the early years of the 20th century. Ivy Ledbetter Lee was the father of public relations and formed the nation’s third public relations firm in 1904. The rest is history.

Publicity for today’s creative artist comes in all forms and is found wherever it can be seen and/or heard. Of course, you have to have the solid knowledge of your area of expertise and be able to offer a desired service. If you are serious about your art form, let the public gain insight into who you are and what your work is about whether it is through television news, commercials, online and/or hard copy magazines, social and business Websites, blogs, and the like. I’ve done TV interviews, been a talk show guest, newspaper interviews, magazine interviews, and conducted on televised concerts in the US, Canada, and Europe.

My journey started late in terms of media composer, but it has not hindered me in the least bit. It has been a challenge at times, however, that was due in part to my speed at learning my way around and thinking more as an agent would think; in other words, putting on a different “hat” other than the “hat” of a composer. Everyone’s efforts, everyone’s journey should always be ongoing.

For those that would like to see more of my methods of gaining publicity, I’ve attached a few links. I hope that you will follow each of those links, and let me know what you think. There are many different ways to gain publicity in a positive way. Maybe you have better ideas that you would like to share. The learning should never stop. Thanks for visiting and let me know what you think are the best ways to gain increased public exposure. Get going and enjoy the journey!

My business Website

My IMDb Website

My Twitter

My Facebook business page

My LinkedIn page

The following article covering one of my former music students, Deric Dickens, that was kind enough to mention me and I was happy to do an interview. You can also visit the Website.

As a composer (including my 34 years as a band director), I know what it is like to juggle schedules, teach music, music theory, critical listening, plan yearly budgets, adjust the spending, plan various types of trips, attend regional and national conventions, plan recording sessions, plan programs for concerts, and the list goes on and on and on. Frustration and sometimes the necessary 180 degree change of plans or change in the music composition/arrangement in order to deal with the unexpected can make life seem like its overwhelming.

All this also requires juggling with personal and social commitments, as well as family commitments and priorities. As my dad would remind me from time-to-time, it’s all about doing your best. He would say, “Have you done your best? Did you make your best effort? If the answer is yes, then no one can fault you. If you didn’t do your best, figure out what you need to do to get better and do it.”

One of my college band directors taught all of his students by his words and deeds using the most calm mannerisms I’ve ever been around. His mantra was, “Be kind to each other. It’s important.” Sometimes that may be difficult for you, but try to avoid negative reactions that can wreak havoc on your health and your personal and professional relationships. You may be surprised by the unexpected results that give you more positive feelings than you could ever realize.

Music people live in a world of continual learning, risk-taking, and riding on a roller coaster of highs and lows that are amplified by their self-expectation of perfection or attainment. Always do your best and try to enjoy the smiles from friends, colleagues, and associates when the effort or a plan produces positive results. Balance that with family as a priority and you will be a success. If you did your best, no one can fault you for any outcome. Ever.

The trailer for the 20-minute documentary of the history and programs of The John Philip Sousa Foundation is finished. This trailer gives a brief look at the “National Programs & Projects of The John Philip Sousa Foundation” (2017) by looking at some of their history and programs. Premiering December 20, 2017 in Chicago, this film is not for theatrical release. The availability of viewing this film is at the discretion of The John Philip Sousa Foundation, and it will be primarily limited to state, regional, and national music education conventions.

Please visit the movie’s IMDb page. Though you may not have seen the film, please consider giving the page a “LIKE!” The button is usually located almost halfway down the right hand side of the page. Thank you!

Also, please visit my personal IMDb page and give it a “LIKE!” Thank you for your continued support and encouragement!

You know a film project is near completion when the movie’s poster makes its appearance. The film I’ve been working on for the past several weeks documents the various programs of a prestigious organization – The John Philip Sousa Foundation.
Sousa Foundation Movie Poster

My client will use this short film at state, regional, and national music educator conventions to explain their organization’s purpose. As their Website states, “Through the administration of band-related projects, the foundation seeks to uphold the standards and ideals of that icon of the American spirit, John Philip Sousa” (http://www.sousafoundation.net/).

This has been a fun project for me. I am honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to contribute to this film as the composer and as the film’s editor. I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to my friends that continue to encourage me on my composing adventures.

It is especially gratifying to know that so many friends and acquaintances support my efforts. The goal of this 20-minute film is to enhance the awareness of The John Philip Sousa Foundation among music educators, administrators, and the general public. My congratulations to them as well as my sincere gratitude for allowing me to be a part of their story.

Since 1981, the Sousa Foundation’s annual and biennial awards have touched many lives that includes music conductors, young solo artists, middle school bands, junior high school bands, high school bands, university bands, military bands, and community bands; primarily in the United States and Canada. There are good and positive actions in the world, that often go unnoticed by most people; that honor an icon of the past by honoring the musical accomplishments of today’s music ensembles and music conductors. The Sousa Foundation does this type of work.

“The March King” made his musical contributions starting over a hundred years ago. Now his ideals live on through the hard work, contributions, and dedication of The John Philip Sousa Foundation.

NAMM is not a new word that’s used after stumping your toe! NAMM is the National Association of Music Merchants and The NAMM Show is an annual event in the US that its organizers describe as “the world’s largest trade-only event for the music products industry.” A former student that works full time on the staff of NAMM asked if I would once again help to promote this fantastic show, and I happily agreed.

The NAMM Foundation will welcome Music Educators to Southern California for the world famous NAMM Show, January 25th – 28th, 2018. Having been as a retired educator and a composer, it is packed with everything imaginable for all types of musicians, music educators, and composers. I had the chance to catch with former students and colleagues in sunny Los Angeles. I hope that I will be able to attend in 2018. Maybe I’ll see you there!

Programming for Music Educators

  • Access to The NAMM Show: more than 2,000 music products exhibits featuring over 7,000 brands
  • Music Educator Product and Program Showcases
  • The Grand Rally for Music Education
  • Music Achievement Council Recruitment and Retention Session
  • Music Administrative Collaborative

Follow the link (NAMM banner below) for more details on registration, hotels, and what it’s all about.

What does an aspiring film composer do? He composes film music!

I’m thrilled to finally be able to announce that I will be scoring music for a film focusing on the various band-related projects (see the information box below) of The John Philip Sousa Foundation. A great opportunity developed with the help a good friend, Deborah Bradley, who happens to be the film’s Producer/Director. This has been on my mind since I was first contacted in late June.

Since I already spend untold hours developing and composing music ideas, experimentation through trial and error, continuous learning by reading, networking, corresponding with colleagues, critical listening, and score study in order to develop my knowledge, I’m not sure that Violet Fane’s 1892 phrase stating that “all things come to those who wait” is applicable here; however, I’ll use it because patience can be a virtue… and all that jazz.

John Philip Sousa in 1900

Of course, the film will feature some of Sousa’s music, but it is a wonderful chance for me to compose needed music for a film that will focus on the non-profit foundation that is dedicated to the promotion of international understanding through the medium of band music. The film will be used at events around the country by the Sousa Foundation.

To say that I’m excited for the opportunity to be a part of this assist this film’s realization would be a severe understatement. I am excited, humbled, and very grateful for the chance to contribute towards the success of this worthwhile project. I certainly look forward to viewing the film’s final version. And now, the work continues!

By the way, here’s some information about The John Philip Sousa Foundation from their Website:

The John Philip Sousa Foundation is a non-profit foundation dedicated to the promotion of international understanding through the medium of band music. Through the administration of band-related projects, the foundation seeks to uphold the standards and ideals of that icon of the American spirit, John Philip Sousa.

The foundation administrates band-related projects such as:

 The Sousa National High School Honors Band
 The Sousa National Community Band
 The Sudler Trophy
 The Sudler Flag
 The Sudler Cup, Shield and Scroll
 The Legion of Honor
 The Historic Roll of Honor
 The Historical Marker project
 National Young Artist Solo Competition

The Sousa Foundation seeks to uphold both the standards and the ideals of that icon of the American spirit, John Philip Sousa.

A few years ago… well, 40+ years ago, music that I arranged and composed was done by hand. I always used a ruler to make it as readable and as an attempt to remove confusion in order to save time in rehearsal. It was tedious, but it made rehearsing more efficient and more fun. Here are three examples out of MANY that I did until the early 1990s when I started using a software program called Encore on my home PC for composing and arranging. What a pain that was, but it made a decent and readable copy.

I learned much about myself and others. Of course, I learned about being a music copyist and rehearsing groups of people. If our “modern” computer technology ever ceases, I know that I can still put my thoughts on paper.

An excerpt from my 1975 arrangement of Alberto Ginastera’s 1st Piano Concerto (4th movement) for marching percussion ensemble. Dynamics were written on the individual instrument parts since the parts were written before the score.

 

An excerpt from my composition “Abstract Impressions” (1975/77) in 4 movements. It was composed for flute and percussionist using various keyboard percussion instruments that was performed on my Senior Solo Recital in 1977. Dynamics and expression were developed between the two players as rehearsals progressed.

 

An excerpt from my composition “Marche Macabre” (1977) for woodwind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn). It was performed by the newly established Student Woodwind Quintet in 1977.