Home > Arranging

Tagged Arranging

Quest 12: Suzuki Flute Choir

Suzuki Flute Composer Quest

For the 12th Composer Quest quest, I challenge you to write a piece of music for flute choir, with parts that can be performed by beginner, intermediate, and advanced students. We'll be collaborating with the Minnesota Suzuki Flute Teachers Association, who have some fun concerts lined up to premiere these Composer Quest submissions. For the inside scoop on this challenge, take a listen to my talk with two of our collaborating teachers (and exceptional flutists), Bethany Gonella and Andrea Myers.

Read more

Quest 11: Halloween Reeds


I'm excited to announce our 11th Composer Quest Quest, brought to you by our woodwind friends, the Twin Cities Trio! You may remember them from such quests as Quest #1, in which my podcast listeners and I arranged some fun music for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon. Now, the trio is back to inspire you to write and/or arrange music for them on the theme of Halloween. You can either find an existing spooky song (Thriller, the Addams Family theme, etc.) or write one yourself. Send your oboe, clarinet, and bassoon music (PDFs and mp3 or MIDI) to twin.cities.trio@gmail.com on or before Friday, October 17th.

Read more

Behind the Curtain of Composing Wizard Tyler Tholl

Tyler Tholl Composer Quest

My talented friend Tyler Tholl evaded coming on the Composer Quest podcast for over a year, but finally my pestering paid off. I was really excited to visit Tyler in his studio and see the man behind the curtain at work. His new Maple & Beech EP Flashes & Floaters (made with drummer Pete James Johnson from episode 15) sounds amazing, and in this episode we get a thorough dissection of the composition and music production techniques Tyler used. We also talk about Tyler's producing for the new Borderline EP by Paul Spring (from episode 11). Stick around until the end, and you'll get to be a fly on the wall in Tyler's studio, as he produces the intro theme to this Composer Quest episode on the spot.

Read more

Merry Questmas!

Santa visits the Composer Quest studios to kick off this special Christmas episode. You'll get to hear music from the past three quests. First, we travel out to rural Minnesota for KMS Elementary's heartwarming performance of our collaborative Christmas musical Elfluenza. Ms. Hamann's 1st-3rd graders also give us composers some advice. Next, I reveal which orchestral carol arrangements were chosen and performed by the Amadeus Chamber Symphony. Finally, we get to experience J. Wilson's epic journey to find a fortune cookie in Taiwan for the fortune cookie songwriting quest.

Read more

Quest 5: Arrange a Carol for the Amadeus Chamber Symphony

Amadeus Orchestra Quest

I'm excited to announce a brand new Composer Quest competition! The Amadeus Chamber Symphony is in need of Christmas carol arrangements for their holiday performances with the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University choirs. The performances are attended by over 1,500 people, so it will be great exposure for the chosen composers. Eight arrangements will be performed by the orchestra and choirs, recorded, and featured on my podcast.

Read more

Composing for Youth Jazz Ensembles with Dean Sorenson

Dean Sorenson Composer Quest Interview

Student jazz players have likely come across the name Dean Sorenson - his jazz curriculum books have been published by Kjos music and played in schools across the globe. In my Composer Quest interview with Dean, I ask him about how he makes music fun and playable for younger jazz players. We also talk about the differences between improvising and composing.

Read more

Highlights from the First Composer Quest Concert

Composer Quest Podcast Guests

We recently had our first ever Composer Quest concert at Yoga Sol. The Twin Cities Trio performed some awesome listener-submitted arrangements of pop tunes and film/video game scores for bassoon, clarinet, and oboe. We also got to hear the indie pop duo Matt & Donna Schubbe, indie rocker Peter Frey of Kazyak, and indie folker Paul Spring. Here's a special Composer Quest podcast episode with highlights from the concert.

Read more

Orchestrating a Time Travel Musical with George Maurer


Jazz Pianist George Maurer has been a working composer for over twenty years. In episode 28 of Composer Quest, George imparts his words of wisdom on making a living as a composer. He also shares tips on arranging music for orchestral instruments. George's latest project, Empire Builder, is a musical set on a time-traveling train, and we get to hear George at the piano, talking through his composition process for this musical.

Read more