2017 was the wildest travel year of my life — I just completed my last travels of the year a few days ago! Since January, I’ve been on 25 trips to 18 different cities, including two trips that were seven cities back-to-back each(!!) I never imagined the scope of travel that being a composer would entail, but I have loved meeting and working with so many of you this year!

I just returned from a residency at Kansas State University. It was three action-packed days of guest lectures, rehearsals, and a culminating concert of my music by the incredible KState music faculty. A big thank you to Craig Parker who has been a champion of my music of years, and brought me out for this residency, and to all the faculty and students who made the trip so incredible!

Kansas State University Faculty: Karen McLaughlin Large, Jim Johnson, Amanda Arrington, Patricia Thompson, Paul Hunt, Craig Parker,David Littrell, Jacqueline Fassler-Kerstetter, Janie Brokenicky, Cora Cooper, Alyssa Morris (not pictured: Steve Maxwell)

I am excited to start working on my third collaboration with Kronos Quartet, and this time with tabla legend Zakir Hussain. Zakir-ji is the most prominent Hindustani musician working today, and I am beyond honored to have the opportunity to work on his new piece for Kronos with him. The new work will premier in April.

This coming Friday, December 8th, we will be holding Street Symphony’s 3rd Annual Messsiah Project at the Midnight Mission in downtown Los Angeles. This is a huge concert involving an orchestra of Los Angeles Philharmonic members, a choir from the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Urban Voices Project, Skid Row’s community choir. As Street Symphony’s Composer-in-Residence, I have been working with our Composer Fellow, Benjamin Shirley (both a conservatory-trained composer and a member of the Skid Row community himself) on his monumental new work “We Need Darkness to See the Stars”, which will officially premier at this event. I am so incredibly heartened by the deep relationships we have built with the Skid Row community through music, and I’m so proud of everyone from both these communities who will be part of the event. The Kennedy Center will be livestreaming the entire event from their Facebook page at 2PM Pacific time here. Please tune in!

I hope you all have a lovely holiday season! This is the first year in awhile I’ve been home and able to enjoy this season — and I’m enjoying every second of it!