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Jan. 28 - A website overhaul and my experience at the 2024 GMEA conference

Hello, everyone, and welcome to my blog. Today, I have the immense pleasure of sharing my experience at the 2024 GMEA In-Service Conference. I had the honor of being recognized twice, first as part of the annual Music Technology Student Showcase, and second as a winner of the Composition Competition, which saw the live premiere of a brand new piece, performed by members of the North Gwinnett High School Orchestra!

Before I speak about the event, I would like to announce a complete overhaul of the "music" tab on my website is coming very soon. As such, you will not be able to listen to music on the website for a short while. Please bear with me as I make this critical part of my website easier to navigate. Thank you for your patience.

The first part of my involvement with the conference was the 5th annual Music Technology Student Showcase. Over 100 works were submitted this year, and I'm honored that I was one of the submissions chosen this year. I'd like to thank David Dover for submitting the work on my behalf, Heath Jones (the GMEA Music Tech chair) for organizing and presenting the event, and all of the evaluators for their hard work in narrowing down 100 great submissions to only 15. The range of styles and influences was absolutely incredible as always, and my contribution to the excellent pop, hip-hop and electronica songs... a piece about whales for string orchestra :)

"Whales" can be listened to on YouTube, and will soon be back on my website. It's a slow and majestic piece, and it's been out for a while, but if you haven't listened to it, give it a try! Plans are in motion to do some wonderful things to the piece, so stay tuned...

The second part of the conference involved the first time an entirely original piece by me has been performed live by real musicians. That piece is "Stellarum," a piece for string octet that I wrote a few months ago specifically for this Composition Competition, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude now that it has won. The piece explores the relationship between humankind and the vast unknowable universe of space. Scored for string octet, the piece's title is appropriately drawn from the Latin word for "star." The piece is now on YouTube and my website. On YouTube you can read the score & program notes and listen to the MIDI demo, and on my website, you will soon be able to listen to the piece as well.

The premiere performance of "Stellarum" took place at the conference, performed by members of the North Gwinnett High School Orchestra (director David Metrio) and conducted by Gregory Gibson, one of the two director of bands at NGHS. Amazingly, the piece was put together in only one formal rehearsal, and also one quick read-through before the event. I am still in awe of the talent of these musicians, and I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to the following:


David Metrio, orchestra director

Greg Gibson, director of bands and conductor

Brandon Soloff, assistant director of bands


Hayden Yi, violin

Jeanne Yoon, violin

Sam Beasely, viola

Peter Son, viola

Josh Kim, cello

Eric Son, cello

Yeseo Han, cello

Aubrey Moore, bass

Here are some photos from the event:

The complete list of winners from the 5th annual GMEA MTSS.

The performers, directors, conductor and composer after Stellarum's premiere performance.

▲ Two certificates from the event.

Mr. Gibson conducts the octet in performance.

▼ The beautiful title card for "Whales," presented at the MTSS.

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