This past month has been a whirlwind! So much has happened, and I'd like to share with you all some of the highlights.
For New Years, my friend – an incredible singer/songwriter and producer – and I decided to do a 24-hour songwriting challenge. Starting on December 31st at 11:00AM, and working nonstop until the next morning, we wrote a complete four-track EP, a fully finished single, and a couple other songs, which we didn't quite finish within the 24-hour period. The EP was released to all music listening platforms on January 9th, which was so exciting. Click here listen to Fall in Pennsylvania by Boy Gorgeous and Timothy Cunningham on Spotify. It was such a fulfilling experience, putting together a complete set of songs in such a short amount of time. I also had a lot of fun experimenting with genres I don't usually write for – pop-folk, R&B, punk – throughout the 24 hours. As someone who has struggled in the past to write lyrics, I also found such a strict time restraint actually aided in my creative process lyrically. In the words of Stravinsky, "The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one's self of the chains that shackle the spirit."
I was commissioned by Nicholle Andrews, the Director of Choirs at the University of Redlands, to write two a cappella arrangements – Lean on Me and Stand by Me. The latter will be virtually performed by Chapel Singers, the choir I'm in at Redlands, as part of our Spring Concert. Lean on Me is going to be performed as part of a virtual high school choir festival. Over 250 high school students will be recording the arrangement, which is certainly the largest ensemble to ever perform one of my pieces, so I am very excited! I'll be updating with more information about the performances as they approach.
The Redlands ACDA Student Chapter had its first board meeting, where we started
solidifying all of the amazing events we have planned this semester. To say I am excited would be an understatement! I'd like to highlight here one of our events which are open to the public: our Choral Education Series. We are having a wide variety of Choral Professionals giving presentations to both of our choirs, along with anyone who is interested in attending. Our first guest, Morna Edmundson, is visiting this Friday, January 29th at 11:50AM PST. If you're interested in attending, fill out this form. For more information about who will be presenting throughout the upcoming semester, you can visit our brand new ACDA Student Chapter website at www.redlands.edu/acda!
I forgot just how busy online school is. Ever since school started on the 19th, it almost feels like I've been working nonstop! Fortunately, I've been able to spend time away from my computer, but when you have classes as interesting as mine, sometimes it's hard to step away. I am so grateful to have teachers who have seamlessly integrated their classes with the technology. The 19th was also the first read through of the play I am the sound designer for. While it was on Zoom, it was an absolutely incredible experience getting to see how powerful the story is already! I can't wait to see what the final product is going to be like in just over a month.