Diane Moser’s Composers Big Band features guest composer Timothy Miller and the Elizabeth High School Upper Academy Jazz Band

Timothy Lee MillerOn June 8th, 2016 at Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair, NJ, Diane Moser’s Composers Big Band welcomes back our featured guest composer Timothy Miller and the Elizabeth High School Upper Academy Big Band. Tim was a featured guest composer, along side composers from the VCFA MFA Music Composition Program (where I am on the faculty), and one of my co-faculty members Andy Jaffe, 2 years ago on July 30th, 2014. Tim is bringing in 4 charts to the band, 2 we have done before, Traffic Circle and Miles To Go Before I Sleep, and 2 new ones, Poochie’s Waltz and Bright Morning Star. About the music: “Traffic Circle”-inspiration for this piece came from a recent visit to Scotland where there are traffic circles, or turnabouts at nearly every intersection where we in the US would have traffic lights. The Scots seem to have it down, but all I could envision was the final scene of the original Pink Panther movie where all of the characters of the film are going round and round this circle in a crazy game of charades. This is an upbeat piece with a lot of energy.”Miles To Go Before I Sleep”-In 1997 my brother helped me move from Los Angeles to Nashville, which was a four day drive across the country. The trip was complicated, however, by an encounter with a massive storm front, which divereted our trek south into Texas to avoid coming face to face with a huge tornado. As we drew closer and closer to Nasvhille and my new home there, all I could think about was how tired I was, and it was just a few more miles before I could sleep again.”Bright Morning Star”-This is my newest big band piece, which features the sax section with baritone, tenor and alto solos, plus a full section soli, both improvised and written. It is inspired by and based on one of my choral works – Song On May Morning, which was commissioned by Anadarka High School in Oklahoma. “Poochie’s Waltz”-This piece was written in honor of my mother – “Poochie” – whose health has been somewhat precarious lately. The theme is a waltz I wrote in 1988 just prior to starting grad school at the University of Miami. Sitting unused in my sketch book, I dusted it off and put it to use in this new work that features the piano all the way through. The big band just lends a little support from time to time, but it’s a very soft piano spotlight that I wrote with the improvisatorial genius of Diane Moser in mind. MY mother’s nickname comes from her sisters in childhood. She was one of eight children – two boys and six girls. Marie, the oldest of the girls gave each of the others nicknames – Stellee, Oobye, Bucky Dick, Trudy Boo and Poochie.
We are very pleased to welcome back the Elizabeth High School Upper Academy Jazz Band directed by Wayne Dillon! These very talented youngsters and their super dedicated director have been very busy performing and winning awards! They recently competed in Philadelphia this past April as part of the Worldstrides Heritage Music festival. The competition took place at the University Of Pennsylvania’s Irvine auditorium, and featured twenty three ensembles from across the northeast. The Upper Academy Jazz band won 3 awards,Gold Rating – 1st place,Outstanding Band of the Festival and Adjudicator’s Award. Two students also won the Maestro Award for best solos:alto saxophonist Brandon Mercado and trumpet player Jessa St. Laurent! Both the Upper Academy Jazz and Symphonic Bands won the Sweepstakes Award with the highest combined scores. Congratulations to all of these talented students and their directors!
Our sets for June 8th are:
7PM the Elizabeth High School Upper Academy Jazz Band
8PM & 10 PM Diane Moser’s Composers Big Band featuring guest composer Timothy Miller
Looking forward to seeing you there!