"Lush Life" was arranged for my graduate recital and was the culmination of two separate projects. The first project was to write a piece for strings, rhythm section, and trombone while the second was to arrange a piece of music from the American Songbook in the style of the Cuban dance known as the Danzon. This arrangement features Lydia Umlauf and Jess MacLean (violin), Emily Wieland (viola), and Chenoa Orme-Stone (cello).
"Knecht Ruprecht" is another work that was done as part of a project for strings, rhythm section, and trombone. The story behind the title comes from the German and Austrian Christmas tradition in which the character Knecht Ruprecht acts as an assistant to Saint Nicholas. Together they go through German and Austrian villages visiting the homes of young children. The children are asked if they know how to pray (or in some stories they are asked to dance and perform for the travelers). If St. Nicholas is pleased with the children, they are rewarded with sweets and gifts; however, if the child does not live up to expectations, Knecht Ruprecht is allowed to decide the child's fate. Most commonly, Ruprecht gives the child coal or rocks. In most extreme cases, Ruprecht whisks the children away into the forest to be thrown into the river, never to be seen again. This piece features Alejandro Bernard-Papachryssanthou on piano and Lydia Umlauf and Jess MacLean on violin, Emily Wieland on viola, and Chenoa Orme-Stone on cello.
This arrangement of "Miss Otis Regrets" was written to feature voice and string quintet. The string arrangement includes many tongue-in-cheek quotes and instances of text painting. I owe a special thanks to Suli Stuelpnagel for engineering the project and setting up the studio schedule. The piece features vocalist Emily Schultheis and string players Jessica MacLean, Aaron Smith, Dominic Kenny, and Joey Frank.