2012: The Year of the Carlton? Not really…


For the past 2 years, I’ve consistently posted my reflection of what has occurred throughout the year. This is always a time for me to look back to see what I have and haven’t accomplished. It allows me to make goals for myself and push myself even further for the new year. This year is no different. In fact, 2012 has been my most productive year to date.

In 2012, I’ve completed 4 pieces of music. Yes, you read that correctly. FOUR! That is the most music I’ve written in a single year. To some, that may not be a big deal — especially to those of you that work for big publishing companies or receive many commissions — but to me that is quite the accomplishment. Since I began composing music at the end of my senior year of high school (that was 2008, folks), I’ve cranked out at least 2 pieces a year. The exception being 2009 when I only wrote my first band piece. My philosophy has always been, and continues to be, quality over quantity. I’m sure there are many composers who will agree with me.

I know composers who don’t write a single piece in a given year, but then crank out a damn good piece the next year. Those same composers are the ones that I greatly admire and look to for inspiration. A few of them are even younger than I am. Now, what four pieces have I completed you may be asking yourself? Well, one of those pieces is my most difficult band piece to date. Two of them are chamber works; both of them were requested by friends (by friends, I mean Facebook friends). The fourth piece is something I wrote that can be used for film and television trailers. Why is this significant? Well, I’m trying to improve my skills so that I may eventually write for film. That’s a stretch I know. I’m even starting to utilize film scoring techniques in the concert medium.

Were there any performances this year? You betcha! Two of them in fact. “Dionysian Mysteries” was premiered in May and “Sedulous” was premiered in November. “Nibiru, the Bringer of Doom” will be premiered on December 15th! Yeah, that’s next Saturday. Even though I wasn’t able to physically attend these performances, I have received pretty nice video recordings of them. Last year, I made the case that my music wasn’t performed that much. Is that still the case? Sure it is, but my music also seems to be getting exposed to more and more people. I’m very thankful to those that have performed my music, as mediocre as the music may sound. I also appreciate those that have given me both positive and negative feedback on my music.

What’s in store for next year? More exposure! JW Pepper has introduced a program called My Score that has gotten some pretty good reviews by composers I know. You can read this wonderful article by fellow composer and Facebook friend, Dr. Rob Deemer. With JW Pepper hopefully distributing my band music, perhaps I will gain more performances. Now, I understand that this will not happen instantly. It never really does…well, not for me at least. Patience is the reason why I’m able to say that I’ve written a pretty fair amount of music this year.

So, what will I be working on for next year? Well, currently, I’m finishing up a lyrical band piece that is aimed towards advanced middle school and standard high school bands. It will be the first time I’ve written a piece that is entirely lyrical. Slow usually comes to mind when I think of lyrical. I’m very excited about it. I will then move on to a euphonium and piano piece that I’ve been putting off since my Euphonium Professor at Ohio University told me I needed to write a piece for the instrument. I then plan on writing a fairly easy middle school band piece that might be published by The Devmusic Company. I’ll try to write some trailer music in between these pieces before the year winds down. You can also just check out what I have on my docket on the CURRENT PROJECTS page.

Well, that’s it. I hope you guys stick with me for another year. Maybe I’ll write 5 pieces next year. I seriously doubt it…


C.L. Winston

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