Brian Balmages's Comments

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At 11:05am on October 9, 2010, Russ Weaver said…
Performed Reverberations last night. Big auditorium, great acoustical space and the students really enjoyed the piece. Really makes them count, and is a great piece to begin the year with because of this. I truly feel that pieces in this style allow young professionals to enjoy a composition with the safety of appropriate-range section security, while making each section listen across the band (at times across their section) and "Count" their parts to become part of larger line, phrase or musical sentence. Thanks for this composition, the students do not wish to have it picked up, but rather to leave in the books for future performances.

thanks Brian!
At 8:34am on June 23, 2010, Sharon L. Posey said…
Dear Brian:
My students love your pieces. Hope JR & I can get you to come back to H'burg for another "Day with the Composer". Have a great summer.

At 9:09pm on April 27, 2010, Russ Weaver said…
We are performing your African Journey tomorrow for recital with the developing band. Thanks for the forgiving scoring, the students really enjoy this piece because it was well thought through and well crafted.
At 3:05pm on December 25, 2009, Alex Shapiro said…
Hi Brian,

Thanks for your kind words about my work-- and back at ya! I listened to recordings of several of your pieces on the FJH website, and you absolutely walk the talk: you offer students real inspiration and beauty with your music! Bravo!
At 10:58pm on December 18, 2009, Ed Nagel said…
Great to meet you at Midwest. I'm looking forward to working on "Fusion" after the break. Btw, I forgot to mention I guest conducted the Indiana Middle Achool Honor Band last month, and had "Rain" on the program. It was a big hit. I drop you an mp3 when I get a copy of the reference recording. Thanks for the great music. Wishing you the best for a happy holiday season.

At 12:20am on October 5, 2009, Russ Weaver said…
We will be performing Rain this year! Thanks for writing this piece.
At 9:59pm on June 2, 2009, Alan Nowell said…
Hi Brian! Didn't you do the SC All State Band in March at Furman in Greenville?
At 9:01pm on April 17, 2009, Russ Weaver said…
Amazing! I will add these to the list and remember that you can change your lists at any time. As they are placed into the master lists, you have currently:
2 on the 3 list
5 on the 2 list
3 on the 1 list

thanks for the submission and I look forward to discussing these pieces and choices of your "Top 10" list.
At 1:01pm on April 17, 2009, Brian Balmages said…
First of all, none of this "Mr. Balmages" stuff. I go by Brian unless you are a middle or high school student! Next up, while it is very difficult, I am posting some of my favorite pieces for MS band. Keep in mind that these range in difficulty from a 1.5 to a 3 and are not based on sales at all...

1. Rain (Gr. 2.5)
2. Midnight Sky (actually a 0.5, but musically a 3!)
3. Starscapes (Gr. 2)
4. Chant and Savage Dance (Gr. 2.5)
5. Through Courageous Eyes (Gr. 2.5)
6. Rhythms and Riffs (Gr. 2.5 - 3)
7. Etowah (Gr. 1.5)
8. Scenes from an Ocean Voyage (coming this summer) (Gr. 1.5)
9. Reverberations (Gr. 3) (coming this summer)
10. ...Not Afraid to Dream (Gr. 3)

Now, ask me in another month and this list may change. But I like all these pieces because they defy the stereotype of what "educational music" should sound like. They are not formula pieces and all come from true inspiration. A lot of middle school literature is not inspired when it is written - thus it is impossible to inspire your students without creating something beyond what the composer intended - essentially, "making things up." Truly inspired music has a much more profound effect on conductors (yes, many directors forget about themselves!) and students... Pieces like "Through Courageous Eyes" remind us that middle school students have the capability to "feel emotion" and realize that in music... Hope this helps you all!
At 9:34pm on April 14, 2009, Eric Berger said…
Welcome to the site Brian. We just love your work. One of my middle school bands is playing Incantation and Ritual. It is that group's favorite piece.
At 5:01pm on April 11, 2009, John C. Davis said…
Welcome Brian!
At 9:09pm on April 6, 2009, Joe Meshach said…
Hey Brian. Good to see you here. Cathy says hi too.
At 8:21pm on April 6, 2009, Bill Wilkening said…
Welcome Brian!
At 6:45pm on April 6, 2009, Erik Morales said…
At 6:27pm on April 6, 2009, Russ Weaver said…
Welcome! For those of you that do not know Brian's work as a composer, you need to. He, along with other networked composers, is helping to redefine the standards for middle school composition. You owe it to your students to check out this page often and to consider purchasing Brian's work.

Open armed welcome,

Russ WEaver


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