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The “I’ve Been Super Busy” Update

Here are some things that have been going on in my world.

– I’m currently working at a great school in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – teaching general music in grades 3 through 8, directing the beginning, and intermediate concert bands, a modern rock band, co-directing the 5th grade musical, and assisting in chorus.

– I’ve attained tenure, and my professional music teacher certification.

– I’m playing in a new punk band called The Orgonauts.

– I’ve composed a piece titled “A Folk Dance” for my intermediate band that will be premiered in two weeks at our spring concert.

-I’ve also composed a trio for Flute, Clarinet, and French Horn (or Alto Saxophone), which I may post for analysis.

– I’ve had a percussion ensemble piece titled “Perk Cushion On Sam Bull” published by HaMaR Percussion Publications.

Life is great, and I’m still in business, if any of you need my services.

End of Summer 2015 Update

I haven’t updated in a while.  I was working long and hard on an opera by J. Mark Scearce called Falling Angel.  I was fortunate enough to attend a reading session, and I was blown away.

I would like to start doing more writing, so stay tuned for some music reviews, and analysis on newer music, shows, and classical music.

End-of Summer Update

I am proud to announce that I will be engraving the score and parts for a new opera, “Falling Angel” for the Center For Contemporary Opera – music written by J. Mark Scearce, and the libretto by Lucy Thurber.

Mid-Summer Updates

I hope you’re all doing well.  I have some new things in the works for the coming school year as well as the rest of the summer.

1.  I will once again be doing musical examples for Philip Ewell on an article he is writing.  If you haven’t seen his previous articles that I did musical examples for, please visit the Work Samples section of my website, where you will find two articles written by Mr. Ewell.

2.  I just took a course, Composing & Arranging for School Bands with Scott Watson, who is a contracted composer with Alfred Music, does a podcast “What Music Means To Me,” teaches for the Parkland School District in Pennsylvania, as well as various summer college programs.  The course was very interesting, so you can expect to see more band music coming out of this website.  Anyone who wishes to commission me for a band project, will get a major deal (free).  Just email me at jmlicari@gmail.com for more information.

3.  I will be using both Sibelius 7, and Finale 2014 in my studio.  The fighting has stopped, and we’ve shaken hands, and decided to work together.  It’s like In Karate Kid, Part II when Miyagi, and his old friend Sato made amends after the hurricane, when Miyagi saved his life.  It’s exactly the same situation…

4.  On the lighter side of things, I saw a Yankees game, Mets game, The Bouncing Souls, and Huey Lewis & The News so far this summer, and before the summer ends, I will see Bad Religion, Pennywise, The Offspring, and The Vandals in Boston.  I might go see Propagandhi, but I’m not sure yet.

I’ll keep you all abreast of any other musical endeavors.

As you all may or may not know, I am trying to get funding to start an elementary school band in my school.  We’ve had an overwhelming amount of support.  You can see the latest projects.  The experience inspired me to write a composition for the occasion, and give my students an opportunity to really interpret music, and not just listen to a recording and mimic it.

The working title is An Epic Journey (I’m so bad at titles).  The first section of the piece is an uptempo, two-beat number featuring the low brass later in the piece.  The first melody is featured in the flutes, French Horn, Oboe, and the glockenspiel.

Here is the main theme for measures 1-10.  Take notice that the phrasing in the melody is asymmetrical (four measure antecedent, six measure consequent).  In a previous version, the melody was harmonized with a drop 2 voicing, and ends with a drop 2 and 4 voicing.  As you can see, I’ve changed that to make it a little thinner in harmony, and texture.  As noted before, the melody is in the flutes, oboes, and French horn.

The accompaniment is in the saxophones, playing a staccato-eighth note figure, and spread out in mostly sixths.  This accompaniment keeps the piece moving forward.  The snare drum and bass drum compliments this figure.  The two-beat feel is in the low brass, bassoon, and bass clarinet.  I tried to vary the bottom-end by mixing in thick and thin textures.

An Epic Journey - condensed score, highlighting the melody in blue.

An Epic Journey, mm. 1-10 , highlighting the melody in blue. (Condensed Score)

Stay tuned for another analysis of a different section.