Category Archives: Orchestrations

Why There Were Notes On The Page

One of the reasons these two concerts were possible was because of the tireless efforts of Jeff Boltinghouse – a member of the orchestra and one of my mentors in music.

20150227 - Jeff Boltinghouse

A few months ago, I realized that I was quickly running out of time and would not be able to finish writing, typesetting, printing, and laying out all of the parts for the orchestra in time for them to practice. Jeff stepped up and volunteered countless hours to typsetting (creating parts and scores for each musicion) over half of the pieces in the concert.  He even helped with some re-orchestrating on The Awakening and Jesus Loves Me and did a remarkable job keeping it exactly how I would have done it.

I am so thankful to have been surrounded by such amazing people as Jeff, Lisa, Taylor, and others who have given up countless hours to invest in me and my music.  I cannot begin to thank them for what they have done!

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A Favor

Last night was truly a magical evening as I was able to see a concert that was four years in the making become a reality!

Tunes, Tales, and Truths Family Concert

I have a favor to ask of those who came to the concert:  As you can imagine, these tunes have been in my head for four years and we have been rehearsing them for months, so I have no idea what it was like for someone to experience the music for the first time.

I would love to hear from you regarding what your impression was of the concert and your experience!  Please share your comments below or feel free to email me.

Thank you!

Just Finished the Dress Rehearsal!!

Just finished a several hour dress rehearsal with the GBC orchestra and the choir!  It was so much fun to finally see everything come together – especially with the tech team in there!  I especially appreciated Lisa Hernacki’s guidance and leadership as she kept us on track.

Here’s a bird’s eye view of what the concert will look like:

Birds eye view of Dress Rehearsal

Every wonder what is going on behind the scenes?  We have an amazing tech team helping out with this concert!  Here’s a peek into the control room during The Light Princess runthrough.

Control Room During Dress Rehearsal

Now all it needs is an audience! :o)

Taking Candy from a Baby

By far, the most swinging and eclectic piece of the concert is Taking Candy from a Baby. While the title itself may give some pause, the story behind this piece is just as crazy!

I had been given an assignment to come up with a trio for Cello, Horn, and Oboe in the Lydian mode.  In true college student fashion, I waited until the last the night before it was due to begin working on it.  By 2:00am I was stumped, but kept having this melody running through my head.  In my mind, I pictured a funny cartoon of a thief stealing candy from a baby only to be nabbed by the police after a crazy chase —and thus the song was born.

A Baby and His Lollypop

The song waited until this past semester before I had a chance to work on it.  I had just been introduced to the world of Jazz music (which I fell in love with) and decided to incorporate many styles including Rag Time, Brazilian Samba, Boogie Woogie, Cool Jazz, Nursery Rhyme, and Fugue.

I hope you  will enjoy this fun piece written in true Looney Tunes style!

A Story Behind the Story

Everyone loves a good, captivating story.  Seldom, though, do we ever stop to consider that each tale has a story behind the story.  Why did the author choose to write it that way?  What were his inspirations or motivations?

In light of the coming live world premiere of The Light Princess on February 27 and again on March 6, I wanted to take a moment to share with you two behind the scenes stories:  the story behind The Light Princess and the story behind why I wanted to set this magnificent work to music.

I very much appreciate my friend Abigail Beck’s expertise in helping me put this short video together.  I have so enjoyed working on this piece and I can’t wait to share it with you all!

Please be sure to subscribe to my blog to get exclusive updates and special behind the scenes sneak peeks of coming works!

Want to be help make this premiere a success?  Help me get the word out!

Lots and Lots of Music!

My family and I stayed up until after 1:00pm last night to assemble the packets of music for the instrumentalists in the upcoming T3 Concert.  Just for fun, I thought I would share the results:

The final stack of music  was nearly 5 1/2 inches tall and used about 3 reams of paper!

The weight was over 15 pounds!

The result was nearly 5 1/2 inches tall!There were 60 total packets of music for 60 musicians!

And that’s not even all of the music!!! I have two more pieces underway that will soon be added.

Keep checking back for more info!

It’s Finished!!!!

Conductor's ScoreI’m so excited to have finished setting George MacDonald’s book The Light Princess to music!  This project has taken me just over a year to write (in the midst of my junior year of college) and is aproximately 37 minutes long.

Just for fun, I thought you might enjoy seeing just how large this project turned out to be.  The conductor’s score was a mere 79 pages Showing partslong and, when printed, one copy of the parts used up more than a ream of paper!

This has been so much fun to write and I am so excited to share it soon! Keep checking back for more information on the premier of The Light Princess!

Once Upon a Time…

I am having so much fun putting The Light Princess  to music and narration!  So much so, in fact, that I wanted to share a piece with you!

Enjoy this short excerpt from Scene 1 of the Light Princess, and don’t forget to keep checking back for more updates! :o)

The Awakening

Here’s a blast from the past.  This song is the very first song I ever put to paper and was the song that won me a composition scholarship to attend The Master’s College.  The Awakening is based on Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows – one of my favorites growing up.

Amy with James discussing vocals

Amy with James discussing vocals

The entire song was actually inspired by one short sentence in the book when the character Mole pops his head up above ground and sees the world for the very first time.  I was captivated by the idea of what it might be like to see every day things like the flowers and the trees for the first time and how magical that would be.  Originally, this song was entitled Mole Discovers the Wide World, but was later changed to The Awakening.

The recording you are listening to is by the Grace Baptist Symphony Praise Orchestra under the direction of conductor Lisa Hernacki.  The recording was done by Scott Weber and the tenor voice you hear is James Phillipps.

The Awakening was quite a journey for me and was, in a sense, the first time I felt that my eyes were really opened to the world of Read the rest of this entry

A Princess is Born!

Amy's First reaction to Light Princess PaintingAs I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been working to set George MacDonald’s The Light Princess to music with narration.  Recently, artist Jay Wegter  graciously agreed to illustrate the piece so that the pictures could be displayed while the audience was hearing the music and narration.

Yesterday, for the first time I was able to see his first completed picture of the light princess!  I was completely blown away at the detail and beauty that Jay put into this work and it was exactly what I was hoping for!Jay Wegter and Amy Mack with first Light Princess Painting

I am so excited to begin working on the next few pictures with him and I am very thankful for the friends and family who are helping me make this happen!

So enjoy a sneak peak at the first piece of artwork for The Light Princess!