2017: Year in Review

 

2017 is wrapping up, and, like everyone else, I've been thinking a lot about how I spent it.

For a composer, it can be a little hard to look back on a year and measure the amount of work that was done, because projects frequently take at least a year to complete (from composition, through rehearsal or production, to performance). 

OH MY GOD NOT THIS YEAR

Back in February, I produced my senior recital, which was easily the most intense and exhausting (and rewarding!) thing I've ever done. Yeah, that's right, my senior recital was less than a year ago, which is honestly kinda mind-boggling. The performance featured

Three Concerti with Chamber Orchestra

Concerto for Flute, featuring Mindi Acosta

Concerto for Flute, featuring Mindi Acosta

Concerto for Bassoon, featuring Ben Paley

Concerto for Bassoon, featuring Ben Paley

...and Concerto for Alto Saxophone, featuring Zachary Brennan.

...and Concerto for Alto Saxophone, featuring Zachary Brennan.

and

Five Character Pieces for Reed Quintet and Dance

Poseidon

Poseidon

Jigsaw

Jigsaw

Of Knights and Kings

Of Knights and Kings

Moonlit Meeting

Moonlit Meeting

...and Scenes from the Big Top (I don't have a picture of the performance of "Scenes," so here's a neat behind the scenes picture. Lol. I'm funny.)

...and Scenes from the Big Top (I don't have a picture of the performance of "Scenes," so here's a neat behind the scenes picture. Lol. I'm funny.)

...And it was honestly just superb. Could I nitpick about the performance outcomes? Yes. Could I nitpick about the rehearsal process? Yes. Am I still proud of myself for pushing myself as far as I could? Also yes. 

In March, I represented the University of Arizona at Arts Congress at the Arizona State Capitol, advocating for the impact of higher education in the arts at our public universities in Arizona. I learned SO MUCH for this experience; for example, did you know that Arizona is a tourism economy and that for every local $1 spent on the arts, tourists spent $1.80 to $3.20? Why are more people not taking advantage of something like that?! 

I met a ton of awesome people doing great things for the arts at Arts Congress, and I'm super excited for Arts Congress 2018 (more information can be found here).

Yeah, I know I make goofy faces when I'm SUPER EXCITED ABOUT FUNDING THE ARIZONA COMMISSION ON THE ARTS FOR THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR. 

Yeah, I know I make goofy faces when I'm SUPER EXCITED ABOUT FUNDING THE ARIZONA COMMISSION ON THE ARTS FOR THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR

In May, I graduated from my undergrad degree in composition at the University of Arizona. I graduated cum laude, which was a big deal for me because my one big resolve for my undergrad degree was to do better than I did in high school (3.2 overall, hardly matters now, so whatever). I remember when I was about to walk across the stage and I basically started hyperventilating because it all just hit me, and friends around me just hugged me tightly and then... it was over. I'd graduated. It was awesome. 

Yeah, I wore that many cords. I did a lot of extracirricular things, okay?

Yeah, I wore that many cords. I did a lot of extracirricular things, okay?

In June, I became a vegan. Some of you are probably saying (or, at least, I like to imagine that some of you reading this are saying), "Hey, veganism is not an achievement." Yes, it definitely is. I'm not saying that eating vegan is for everyone, but I did lose 30 pounds since become a vegan, my skin cleared up, I feel so much more energized, and I'm infinitely happier knowing that I'm healthier. 

June also gave me another performance of Piper's March, performed in Sierra Vista in a joint performance between the Santa Cruz Summer Winds and the Sierra Vista Concert Band. 2018 goal: get more people to play that piece. It's just damn fun. 

In July, I visited Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, which inspired Destinations: Snowbird, a solo piano piece written for my friend Jared Immerman. instead of keeping a travel journal, I chose to write a short piano piece for each day of travel, capturing a vignette of the place in each movement. Here are some pictures that inspired some of those vignettes: 

Inspiration for "Chauner's Loop."

Inspiration for "Chauner's Loop."

Inspiration for "Oolong at 11000."

Inspiration for "Oolong at 11000."

Inspiration for "Creek Road."

Inspiration for "Creek Road."

From August through October, I brainstormed ideas about the next year as a composer and began to prepare to apply for graduate school. I started to look back and realize how proud I am of everything I did as an undergrad to set myself apart from my peers. I also started to rebrand and plan for the upcoming year, and you can really see (just by taking a look around this site) how the advertising for my senior recital informed my new brand.

I have some awesome new projects for 2018, and I'm pleased to give you all a couple previews about them! I can't really give a lot of details about what I have upcoming in 2018, but here's just a couple hints about future projects I'll be working on in the new year. 

One of my most ambitious projects. This is the one I really shouldn't announce, but I've definitely made social media references about working on it.

One of my most ambitious projects. This is the one I really shouldn't announce, but I've definitely made social media references about working on it.

Yes, this is crystal meth. No, you need not be worried about me. 

Yes, this is crystal meth. No, you need not be worried about me. 

I said I was going to take a break from writing for reed quintet. I lied. 

I said I was going to take a break from writing for reed quintet. I lied. 

What's this? Another concerto? For what?!

What's this? Another concerto? For what?!

In November, Paradise Winds released their first album, "Journey on a Comet's Tail," which included "Scenes from the Big Top!" For any composer, an album credit is always huge, but as this is the first thing to go into my official discography, I'm super excited about it. It also means that I'm an artist on Spotify and Apple Music now, which is just cool!! 

 

You can buy "Journey on a Comet's Tail" here. And here. AND here. 

You can buy "Journey on a Comet's Tail" here. And here. AND here

In December, I catalogued all my works and discovered that I'm doing well in chamber works and large ensemble works, but extremely lacking in solo pieces! My New Year's resolutions are to write more solo works, expand my chamber music offerings beyond reed quintet music (lol), and figure out ways to involve more artists in my music. 
Also if anyone wants to commission solo pieces from me, please contact me now-ish. 

Overall, I had an outstanding year. I had a lot of successes, and if 2018 can only be better! Stay tuned for lots of great announcements about cool stuff I'm doing! 

Happy New Year! 

 
Kincaid Rabb