October

PLEASE NOTE: all my publications with Frederick Harris Music (i.e. Legends & Lore, Comics & Card Tricks, Jumping in the Mud, Imprints, Sunny Days, Groovin' Through Christmas, Costume Party, Fall Fair, and Get Fiddlin') are being transferred to digital publication. Until they are available in digital form, books can be ordered directly from me. Please contact me for details.

First of all, a bit of pedagogical news: my new reading comprehension series, called Daily Reading, is now available from the Leading Note music store. It consists of six large volumes of reading exercises for piano students in conservatory grades 1 through 6 (each volume contains enough for one academic year of lessons: 35 weeks of exercises, 6 days per week). The series begins by developing the fundamental skill of recognizing and executing written pitches and rhythms; once the fundamentals are in place, the focus gradually evolves to the more complex challenge of transforming a visual representation into a musical experience. Take a look at the Daily Reading page on this site for more information. 

Here are the performances that I've heard about this month:

7th: In Paradisum will be performed at Lawrence University in Appleton WI

21st: A new short piece called Lullaby (for violin and piano) will be premiered by members of the Ottawa Chamber Players (in this case, my sister Catherine Donkin on piano with violinist Sophia Hsiao-Fei Pan) here in Ottawa.

28th: A new choral piece called The Grail Bird will be premiered in Ithaca NY by the Cornell Chorus (commissioned as part of their No Whining, No Flowers project). The text for this composition was constructed from the field notes of ornithologist Melinda LaBranche on the day (back in April 2004) when she saw an ivory-billed woodpecker (which many people had believed was extinct). This piece is scored for on-stage choir, off-stage choir, and speaker. 

And: My choral piece Autumn Colours in the Canal, commissioned and premiered a couple of years ago by the Cantabile Choirs of Kingston ON, is now available from Graphite Publishing