composer FAIL #105

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Today is the first day of classes, so while I hope all the technology in the classroom works and that it’s okay to not have hard-copies of the syllabus available to my students (the printer in my office is way low in toner), I can look at a photo of this magical flourless chocolate cake and/or this screenshot of a rejection letter. You choose.

jan 8 rejection

This one is over a year old! Am I failing at posting my rejection letters? (Probably. Time for a cocktail. 🥃)

composer FAIL #104

Some people ask me if I still receive rejection letters. I do, just not as many as I used to, mainly because I don’t apply to as many competitions nowadays.

But I think I’ve achieved a new accomplishment: receiving rejection letters from competitions I didn’t apply to.

Take this email: I don’t think I actually applied to this one, but I truly can’t tell you if I applied or not. Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t.

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Truth be told, I’d love to write for wind quintet, but I probably wouldn’t know what I’m doing. (Don’t tell my students.)

composer cocktail #3

Guys! I’m back. (Or at least I hope I’m back?) I know my infamous blog has been sadly neglected, but I’ve decided I’m going to post something once a week during the academic semester.

Therefore, you can now (hopefully) look forward to fifteen weeks of rejections, cocktails, acceptances, and cats on occasion.

[In other news: I will be with the Ohio University Wind Symphony this weekend when they record Lichtweg/Lightway. I can’t wait. Also, my short piano response to Scriabin’s Op. 8 No. 1 étude (“Recomposed Scriabin”) is now available for download and purchase. Enjoy!]


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But I like writing for the horn. 😢

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composer FAIL #103

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This rejection is from a few months ago, and ironically I kind of wonder if I should be posting it because I just submitted a new application. Oh well.

March 9 rejection

I knew I was receiving this rejection letter because they hadn’t asked me to fly out to New York City and meet them, so ultimately I decided to fly myself out to Washington D.C. instead for a performance. Totally worth it.

composer FAIL #102

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Mr. Julius, don’t be sad: rejections happen.

Greetings from Interlochen! I have just wrapped up Week 1 teaching young composers, going to fabulous concerts, and…experiencing the joys of cafeteria food when I can’t make it to Traverse City. Alas.

Now that I have some semblance of internet in my rustic cabin (oh man, should I post pictures online?), I can now post rejection letters that have been sitting in my inbox since…December 28, 2016.

december 28 rejection

But HEY, congrats to Katherine Balch for winning this residency. (Just saying, women write music too.)


In other good news, I will be recording a podcast interview this week with Anthony Joseph Lanman of the 1 Track Podcast. Should be fun!

composer cocktail #2

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Miss you Quince Ladies.

Before I revive my second composer FAIL, I’d like to share with you a podcast I recently recorded with my good friends Andrew Martin Smith and host Rob McClure on ADJ•ective New Music’s podcast Lexical Tones entitled “Over Drinks – Saariaho.”

Get it? Drinks? Cocktails? DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE???

But seriously, once upon a time I saw approximately 5-10 minutes of Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de Loin and hated it. Why? The plot was was this: boy pines girl, girl pines boy, boy gets on a boat to actually meet girl he’s pining over, HE DIES, THE END.

What can I say, the synopsis sucks.

However, I did have a change of heart and you should listen to it.

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composer FAIL #101

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If you guys ask for more composer FAILs, you will receive more composer FAILs.

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I don’t remember what I submitted, but that’s okay: I actually have a few performances this week. (If only I could chat with my twenty-year-old self and tell her that everything will work out okay, I would…)

Austin, I am coming at you!

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