These past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in the future of children’s concerts: small amateur plays mixed in with musical demonstrations. The content is entirely created from scratch, and the music selections either pulled from existing library pieces or arranged. I volunteered to arrange a number of things, from modern pop music to film scores and everything in between. Since community orchestras oft have zero budget for new music, this was basically a donation. However, between the good it did my orchestration chops and the fact that I got to work with some of my favorite music, I was happy to oblige.
The play itself was a fun examination of what constitutes “stealing” in music, and how art builds on art. So naturally there was some John Williams in there, the man being front and center of “plagiarism” criticisms worldwide. We had undead Mozart and his sister, Mozart defending his own borrowing choices when he stole from her, the Patent Troll of Nottingham who wants to sue everyone in sight for all this stealing, Robin Hood Prince of Theft, who advocates against the Troll so that as many people as possible can share in this wondrous music, and myself…I played the Notorious Neckbeard, the Patent Troll’s assistant undercover for Robin Hood. All of this parallels impassioned arguments I’ve made over the years (and are detailed in this post), so how could I refuse to help?
The whole concert was incredibly fun, but the highlight of the evening was when I, as Cap’n Neckbeard, got to conduct the orchestra in my own arrangement of one of my favorite movie themes since childhood to accompany Robin Hood’s entrance: Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. It’s not often you get the chance to arrange and conduct something like that.
Huge thanks to the Boulder Symphony for giving me so much to do, and being so adventurous with their creative drive! This whole process has been so much fun that I think I’m going to do more arranging in the future. But for now, avast ye maggots and have yerselves a Happy Halloween!