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.

Dedicated Song for a Friend

I started working this song in January, 2014.  After playing with some ideas, I put it aside and did not approach it again until this past Sunday (March 7th).  I keep playing with certain harmonies and rhythmic possibilities, but the attached version is getting closer.

This morning I found out that a dear friend from my childhood and high school band days is fighting leukemia. She fought cancer just a few years ago and won!  This is devastating news to find out that she is in a great Birmingham hospital fighting for her life.

I made the decision this morning to dedicate this song to her and I pray for the remission of this cancer in her body.  She is an intelligent woman of great strength, grace, and beauty.  She was 1st Runner-up in the Miss Alabama Beauty Pageant several years back. Get well, Diane.

NOTE: All music that I compose is filed with the US Copyright Office and also registered with ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) which is a performing rights organization. Copyright infringement is costly to anyone who violates any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner. READ: