I had the privilege of spending an hour and a half today, one-on-one, with Ronald Staheli, the famous choral conductor who has conducted all over the country and the world, and made several recordings with the Brigham Young choirs. He gave me some really good ideas for small improvements here and there on all 5 movements of Words From Paradise. He especially liked Hallelujah and Hosanna (which is surprising- most people love the slow movements more). Then again, this is a guy who’s been everywhere and seen it all, and has commissioned Eric Whitacre!

In the end, he asked if he could “be so bold” as to take the copy of Words From Paradise with him, and asked for my contact information “in case he ended up performing any of the movements before they were in print.” He also took copies of A Basque Lullaby as well as several of my church anthems; and before I left, he held up the folder of music that I gave him, and said “This is a RICH folder of music. Thank you! And please, put me on your list of people that you make aware when you’ve written a new work and want people to find out about it.” (To which I responded…..”Ok!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”)
Composers need conductors/performers, as we always say. But often times, we have to “take what we can get”. (Although I’ve been blessed to have stunning performances recently by the BJU Chorale!) But for someone of Staheli’s stature to be interested in one’s music, is very exciting and motivating, to say the least. Once again, the Lord has richly blessed me in ways I don’t deserve.