Three big things!
(1) Starting July 1, 2023, I will be serving as Chair of the Division of the Humanities here at UMN Morris. I am humbled and honored that my colleagues selected me. I will be keeping the Assessment portfolio for one more year (at least), so one result of this is that next year I will likely not be teaching at all. This does sadden me a little; I’ve been doing this for a quarter-century, and as much as I enjoy and am pretty good at the research/creative activity and service side of things, the classroom is my natural home and why I started doing this in the first place. But I willingly put in for consideration for the new gig, and I am looking forward to the challenges and possibilities.
(2) I will be writing a new piece for band in honor of Lawrence County, Indiana’s own Virgil Ivan “Gus” Grissom. The Gus Grissom Boyhood Home has commissioned the work, which will get its title from an interview Grissom gave to CBS News a few weeks before the Apollo 1 disaster. The work will be called …and you go fly, and will be scored for band. This will be played by a large band consisting of members of the bands from Mitchell High School, Bedford-North Lawrence High School (my high school, back in the day), Orleans High School, and possibly others in the region. I look forward to working with the Boyhood Home and the band directors (Zachary Tibbs, Jim Jones, and Terry Burton, who is an old college buddy). I am making no money on this – this is a gift from one Lawrence Countian to another. The premiere is tentatively set for Summer 2024 at the Galactic Gathering, the annual big show put on by the Boyhood Home.
(3) I have finished The Why and How of Music Theory, my textbook for MUS 1151 and 1152 here at UMN Morris. It’s bare-bones, but if anyone wants a look-see you are welcome to it. Free of charge, of course, but if you do use anything from it, drop me a note.
And if you’re wondering, I’m getting closer to finishing the opera. Once Act II is done, I’ll post it.
Now if it would just stop snowing…