Archive for November, 2010

FITNESS: Holiday Sanity

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

The holidays are here and it’s time to gather together with our families and eat ourselves into a coma. Actually, I love Thanksgiving. It reminds us to stop and have gratitude for our blessings….always a positive thing to do….and it’s a day that’s all about great food. And Family.  And Football.

The trick is to be smart.  One day of over-eating is not a problem. It’s the over-eating day after day after day that gets you into trouble. So enjoy the day, feast to your heart’s delight, but then be careful with all the leftover pies for the next week!  All things in moderation.

Also, keep up your fitness regimen.  Even a short workout or a walk around the neighborhood can really elevate your mood and make you feel better.  It’s the endless sitting in front of the TV that start to take its toll.  A short game of touch football during halftime would be great to get the blood flowing and loosen up your muscles and joints.  Or make the trip to the gym.  I guarantee there will be no lines or waiting for equipment, and you’ll feel so much better!

And if you are a hard-core shopper, remember to pace yourself and take time to rest, get a snack to keep your energy up, and stay hydrated.  And if you’re wrestling with someone over a gift, maybe those workouts you’ve slaved over all year will come in handy!!

Have a great holiday, and save a piece of pumpkin pie for me!

MUSIC: Tooting my Own Horn

Monday, November 15th, 2010

This post promises to be thoroughly self-congratulatory and may teeter on the verge of being almost pompous, so all readers who usually flee from these types of blog posts should stop reading now and get back to Farmville.  I write this at the great risk of alienating my regular readers and fans, as all three of you will likely find these “pats on the back” to be terribly pretentious and self-absorbed.  Read on at your own peril!

Before I jump into the back-patting melee, I must acknowledge that it’s the fine bands I have the great fortune to work with who are making me look so good!  I am so grateful and appreciative to be associated with some of the finest band programs in the country, and I’m humbled that these directors will put their trust in me and my work to the degree that they do.

The students, directors, and staff members of these bands spend countless hours rehearsing and perfecting these shows so that they are ultimately performed in the best possible light.  Then I just get to sit back and bask in the accolades they bring to themselves….and then ultimately to me and my business.  Here are some of those amazing results!

In the South Carolina 4-A State Championship, I created the music and drill for the bands which placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  All the medalists were performing shows by Tim Hinton, Inc.!  White Knoll HS won the State Championship with “Surveillance,” a show with music by Radiohead and Shostakovich (!!).  The Silver Medal went to Rock Hill HS with “3D” and music by Dvorak, Debussy, and Daugherty.  The bronze went to the Northwestern Purple Regiment with “Tradition, Tribute, & Transcendence,” featuring music by Tchaikovsky, Rozsa and yours truly.

What I am most proud of is not the placings of these groups, any of which could have won the contest on any given day.  (It was very close!)  But my real accomplishment is the great range of these shows.  I am thankful to Mary White for pointing this out to me in her usual supportive way.  When the audience watched these three shows, they saw three productions which couldn’t have been more different.  The tone of each was unique and remarkably different from the others.  I am especially proud to have created three very successful productions which all moved audiences in very different ways.

I’m also very proud of the great success of groups like Woodruff HS, who won the SC 2-A Upper State Championship and came within a hair of winning it all…with a production so daring and risky that it gave us all heart palpitations for months. . (Their “Iditarod” show was a chilly blast of coolness that I’m happy to say kept audiences on the edge of their seats.  Actually creating a moment of complete silence during a full band flag feature may be one of my greatest accomplishments to date.)

The Frisco HS Band from Frisco, TX performed a Respighi show that greatly moved audiences with their musicality.  Just listening to the recording of their performance had tears streaming down my face.  Then you add great performances of successful shows by Chapin HS, Heritage HS, Archbishop Alter HS, Hays HS, Southside HS, Clinton HS, Chamberlain HS, Newsome HS, Lone Star HS, Gaither HS, Swansea HS, St. Augustine HS…..the list goes on and on and I am so appreciative of all of these groups for working so hard on music that I helped to create.

In my career of writing music and creating shows, it has always been my goal to continuously grow and improve.  Every year I try to do better work than the year before.  It has been an interesting balancing act, taking the best of all that I have learned and all the shows I have seen, and then meld that with the current trends and developments in the activity.

I wanted to share that this year was an unusually successful one for me and my work.  Schools that I have written for have had exceptionally terrific competitive seasons, and directors, students, and parents are all very happy with how things have gone.

I want to say “thank you” to all these groups for the opportunity to work with them and help to give these students a great musical experience for their Fall.  I am excited for this success, but even more excited that I feel I am doing my best work ever, growing with each music composition I write, and stretching in ways I never imagined.  So thanks for all the kind words and support, and I hope to keep this trend going in the future.   And thanks for reading these little blog posts.  I try to make them helpful and interesting, and I promise the “horn tooting” is all over now!

(Photos, top to bottom: Northwestern HS, Rock Hill HS, White Knoll HS)