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MSBOA / Jazz Commission Project

Composer's First Thoughts

Vince Corozine, Composer

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Max Colley, Jr, Max is a friendly, astute, and is an experienced music educator who understands what is involved in producing excellent musical organizations.

We discussed the commissioned piece and I explained that an up-tempo jazz waltz called SUPERNOVA is what I had in mind. He approved and said that a jazz waltz would fit right into his program.

My first question to Max was for me to understand the ranges and technical proficiency of the players, particularly the lead trumpet and lead bone players. We next discussed what the jazz solo chairs might be, and how many of each instrument would in the band. Max thought that the level of difficulty for the new composition should be at grade level 4 or 5.

Max asked if I could come to Michigan a few days prior to the Arts Festival to work with his high school jazz band, and then perhaps conduct a number with the All-State Jazz Band at the Arts Festival. This sounded exciting to me and in return I offered to present a workshop “Jazz Improvisation, You Can Do It” for the band directors and students at the festival. For this I would need five horns and four rhythm players. This ensemble would perform during the workshop and that I would provide the charts. Print outs for all attending the workshop would be provided.

Max and I discussed the value of my creating six; 5-minute videos entitled THE CREATIVE PROCESS. wil update the site about every two weeks or so. The central idea is to show how a composer works and thinks as a new composition unfolds.

The videos would bring forth the musical themes, how they can be developed and so on. Each video would approach a different aspect of musical composition and arranging, while the final video would be a live performance of the completed composition. Viewers will be able to follow the on-screen scores as each segment of the music is presented.

I also discussed with Max that I would like to involve him in all aspects of the composition and elicit his ideas as the composition moves towards completion. Max responded affirmatively and asked, “How do you begin a composition. Do you think of a theme, a rhythmic feel, or an overall sound?” Realizing that all composers work differently, I will present my own views and approach through these videos.

To present Max with a sample of my writing I offered to send my new blues chart, DOWNHOME BLUES (a grade 3-4 chart in the Count Basie groove style), to use with his high school jazz band. He agreed and the chart is on its way to Max!

To recap; the objective of this project is to provide band directors with an inside look at the creative process of the composer as well as communication between the composer and the band director/conductor performing the work and the educational thoughts and concerns regarding commissioned works from MSBOA.

Vince was music arranger for the West Point Jazz Knights for 10 years. He is the author of the highly successful book, “Arranging Music for the Real World” published by Mel Bay, and he teaches 12 music arranging courses on line…  

Vince Corozine Music , Author of "Arranging Music for the Real World" by Mel Bay Publications

(845) 208-3381
10 Veschi Lane North
Mahopac, NY 10541

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