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Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA)

It has been much too long since I last had a chance to really “get away” to do some serious writing! My last sabbatical from school was in 1996; I used that time to work on my opera, Lily. My more recent leave, during the spring semester of 2015 has been devoted to the business of composing; producing a professional website, and editing dozens of earlier compositions for possible publication.

But the itch is always there to write that next new work. In January, I applied to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) for a summer residency. At first, I didn’t think that I would get in, as the summer months are the best time for a lot of people to get away. But as luck with have it, my application was accepted. I will be a fellow at the VCCA from July 23 – August 3. This is my second visit to the retreat in Amherst, my first was back in 1996. I inhabited the bungalow on the far right in the picture above. A good chunk of Lily was written there. This time, I hope to work on a new song cycle, a follow-up to my earlier work, Langston’s Lot. Once again, the poetry is from the creative mind of Langston Hughes; the folks who have commissioned the work have asked that the solo voice be female this time. Look for a new piece for mezzo-soprano, alto saxophone and piano unless you hear otherwise…...


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