MeiaMeia Makes Ballot Round for 2018 Grammys!

Arcomusical’s album, MeiaMeia, has made it to the ballot round for the 2018 Grammys! This news is so humbling; I am constantly reminded of how special Arcomusical is and how fortunate I am to be a part of this incredible project. Fingers crossed that our album makes it to the next round!

For more information about MeiaMeia and Arcomusical, click here!



“Sacred Spirits: Forces of Nature” Selected for Aries Composers Festival – Colorado State University


I am so excited to announce that “Sacred Spirits: Forces of Nature” has been selected for performance as part of the Aries Composers Festival at Colorado State University! Not only am I honored by this opportunity, but this is a very special event for me because this brings me back to my home in Colorado. I will be able to share this event with my brother, who currently attends CSU, as well as other members of my family (and my nief-norf family! Shoutout to Douglas Hertz for also being selected!) For more information about this festival, please visit their website here!

New berimbau trio, “Ondulação,” to be premiered in 2017-2018 Arcomusical season

Arcomusical is back at it for our 2017-18 season! On top of premiering commissioned works by Elliot Cole and Kyle Krause, my newest berimbau trio will be programmed. “Ondulação” (or “Ripple”) is the first berimbau-only chamber piece that I have written since the MeiaMeia album (see “Aqui no meu jardim” for a duo that I wrote for berimbau and mbira). I have always been so humbled by the opportunities that Arcomusical has allowed me to have as a composer and performer, and I look forward to another incredible season. For more information, click here!

New Composition: “Flight of a Cuckoo” premiere from the 2017 nief-norf Summer Festival

I am delighted to share the premiere performance recording of Flight of a Cuckoo from the 2017 nief-norf Summer Festival! This festival was so inspiring, and I am pleased with the work that went in to make this performance possible. Performers include Elizabeth Milligan (flute), Zoe Hartenbaum (viola), David Floyd (bass clarinet), Joe Pazanowski (percussion), conducted by Eric Retterer. For more information about this piece, please click here!

Nief-Norf Summer Festival 2017 Composer Fellow Experience

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I have just returned home after spending the last two weeks as a composer fellow at the 2017 nief-norf Summer Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee. I have known about this festival since 2014 when faculty from nief-norf were in residence at Northern Illinois University for our New Music Festival. After working with them that week, I knew that I had to find a way to attend their festival in the future. That opportunity finally happened this summer, and I am so grateful for what I experienced and learned. On top of composing a new piece that was premiered at the festival, I took lessons with faculty and residence composers, observed rehearsals, attended presentations/masterclasses/lectures, experienced 10 concerts in 14 days, and met some of the niefiest and norfiest people full of creative energy.

Here are a few major takeaways from this trip:

  1. A good improvisation is when you can hear the quietest person in the room (paraphrased from call-for-scores composer, Carolyn Chen)
  2. Rock music is an excellent form of inspiration and/or can even be used as a “backing track” when writing new thoughts (as heard from in-residence composer Nina C. Young)
  3. Music needs composers, performers, AND an audience in order to make a difference in the world (as heard from in-residence composer Marc Mellits)
  4. Wild, crazy, and incredibly inspiring things happen when you are surrounded by creative individuals for long periods of time
  5. Research should be taken as seriously for composers and performers in order for us to truly understand the work we do
  6. Music does not have to be complex for it to be important or influential
  7. Never forget about the joy and fun that music brings to people

Thank you to all the nief-norf faculty, staff, fellows, and members from the Society for Minimalist Music for a life-changing couple of weeks!

Things I Learned From #SAVVY17


Projeto Arcomusical was a finalist in the 2017 SAVVY Chamber Music Competition held in Columbia, South Carolina. We had an incredible experience sharing our music with this community as well as spending the week learning about arts entrepreneurship.

On my way from Savvy and to the 2017 nief-norf Summer Festival, I stopped for an impromptu trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It gave me personal time to reflect on the work from this past week. I created a short list of major takeaways from #savvy17 :

1. NEVER take anything personally (refer to The Four Agreements for further detail)
2. You are the average of the 5 closest people to you, so choose wisely
3. Writing or drawing something helps reinforce commitment
4. There’s a difference between working hard and working smart, as well as being busy and “smart-busy”
5. It’s ok to not be the absolute best in the world, but it is not ok to settle for mediocrity
6. You can be whoever you want to be as long as you make a positive impact with what you do
7. Don’t become mentally exhausted by always looking to the top of the mountain when you are climbing. It takes one step at a time to get there.

Thank you to all the Savvy faculty and colleagues for their mentorship, guidance, inspiration, and camaraderie. Let’s go out and change the world with our art!