Saturday, November 2, 2013


Alas, finally an update! It has been some time since my last blog post, but in my defense, I have been very busy.

Two BIG pieces of information I must share with you all:

  1. I was recently commissioned to arrange a piece for the Cadillac Symphony Orchestra from Cadillac, MI. A big thank you to Gabe Filkins, his dad, Mike Filkins, and the Cadillac Symphony Orchestra for giving me this awesome opportunity. The piece will be premiered on November 24, 2013 and will feature Soprano Nicole Philibosian Gentry.
  2. My new website is finally up and mostly operational. I have not added any audio engineering samples yet, and I have a small collection of wind ensemble and jazz ensemble pieces up and ready to be listened to. Another shout-out to AJ Rasure of White Umbrella Photography for the help designing the website and images. 

Other than those things:

  • I've arranged about two dozen holiday tunes for woodwind quintet, saxophone quartet, and clarinet choir.
  • My sound crew has completed the stressful Band of the Year recordings.
  • Still working on my tunes for my compositions lessons.
  • School is going well - it's a lot of work, but I'm learning a lot.
  • I'm also going to get into the weeds with conducting again - I really miss being in front of a band and the rush it gives me!

I will try to update more often! Adieu!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Time warp.

So it's been about two months since I've updated my blog. I don't know where the time went.

Here's why I've been so busy: recordings! I've been driving pretty hard on mixing down recordings of my unit at work for various competitions that happen every year between Marine Corps Bands. It's been fun getting into the weeds with my sound gear and training my sound crew. I forgot how much I love audio engineering. I've probably mixed 50 recordings in the last couple months (that may be an exaggeration, but only slightly). 

I've definitely been neglecting my writing chops. I've been slowly combing through old big band tunes and trying to give them a fresh spin. I have three I'm currently revamping and should have them completed this weekend. I'm also working on some holiday music for woodwind quintet and some new music for brass quintet. Also, showband and party band I'm going to start focusing on now.

I've been doing some rough analyzation of Eternal Father, Strong to Save today while the wife and kid have been asleep. It's been very nice to focus on this so I can get myself into gear and go down the arranging rabbit hole. 

I'm also back into college to finally finish my Music degree. First up: Music History. In my 15+ years as a musician and attending college off and on for a decade, how do I NOT have music history credits? 

I've also been getting a new website layout to work with. Very minimalistic, but it will allow easier access to all of my compositions in one place rather than 10. It will be the hub finally after 7 years having my .com.

Take care and keep an eye out for some new(ish) jazz tunes and a new website!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Some realizations.

It has been fun this last week having the Quantico Marine Corps Band Brass Quintet read down four of my compositions (another BIG shout out to them!) but I have made some realizations about my compositions: some work better as brass quintets and some work better as full concert band pieces. I further have decided to take down a couple of my concert band pieces because they sound incomplete, at least to me, and I'm no longer happy with them. Likewise, I've made a lot of good improvements to several of my pieces (most of which have been re-posted or will be in the week).

I figured it was foolhardy to become so used to writing a little everyday because now we have a concert coming up at work and I suddenly have found a lot of work to be done! Enter: Public Affairs, something I never thought I'd be doing (thanks AJ) AND getting some quality time with my sound board. Needless to say, I have to put some of my extra curriculars on the back burner...for now. 

Still aiming to get some brass band transcriptions ready to play in the near future (those are at least limited to a couple different keys!)

As always, if you like my music, please share with friends! Until next time, adieu. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Summer leave productivity.

Well, I feel like I've been busy, but as I  make modifications and give the final touches to my compositions, the more I realize I have to do. So, even though I've combed through four of my compositions for concert band (and, additionally, created brass quintet and saxophone quartet reductions), I've still got eight or so more concert band pieces as well as probably 20 or so jazz tunes. It's gonna be a long process, but the product will be better in the end. And theoretically, I won't really touch them again (maybe aside from minor editing), because the content will be, at long last, set for good. Speaking of which, if you all didn't listen to my new renditions of my old work within the last couple weeks check out my Facebook Page or my SoundCloud page for the newest information and midi mock ups of my compositions.

In other news, I've just started to peruse the scores for Claude T. Smith's "Eternal Father Strong to Save" as well as Gustav Holst's "First Suite in Eb." I kind of don't know what I'm looking for, but just trying to see the pictures (because I love pictures!) that are being created as a whole is enlightening.

So, that being said, I am plugging away at revamping these compositions. I am also trying to get my website to be the centralized hub of all my stuff to include purchasing the compositions through my website or if that doesn't work, Score Exchange will remain the purchasing tool. We'll see what wizardry I can cook up.

PS, does anyone know how to accurately sync up Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr? I'm having major issues and like triple posts and junk. Weird.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

ASCAP and other stuff.

Hello, all. In recent news, I'm now registered with the American Society of Composers, Artists, and Publishers (ASCAP) as a publisher under the name Michael Andrew Newell Productions. Now I'm awaiting ASCAP to approve my membership under the composer name Michael Andrew Newell. It's pretty original, I know, but at this point in the game, I might as well be known by my name and my music than anything else. On another note, I'm looking into doing my LLC paperwork in the near future to bring some continuity to my business.

I'm still getting back into the swing of things at work, but I am definitely making progress on revamping my compositions. I actually printed out the scores and took a red pen to five of my compositions just like I were grading myself. Especially with the knowledge I've gained from my friend and mentor, Ian Charleton. It is a slow process but my compositions will be better. My next task in orchestration is looking at Claude T. Smith's "Eternal Fath, Strong to Save" for wind ensemble. Definitely my assignment for leave.

I will be updating my website with the new content (media and documents) over the next week, so stay tuned for that. 

Until next time, adieu. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013


So here's what's been going on this last week:

- changed my website design to a brighter, more inviting layout. And the reflect my business cards as well.
- updated information on Facebook and the website splash page to give a more succinct impression of myself.
- Registered with ASCAP as a composer AND publisher! Still waiting on verification of my composer name...(turns out MY name is pretty common. Yes, that was sarcastic; I used to be in a Facebook group called "Mike Newell"). However, my publishing company, Michael Andrew Newell Productions is a go! I'm hoping I can create a better name in the future though.
- Started dissecting my a couple concert band compositions by, with pen and paper. Haven't done that since...a couple months ago for Arranging class.
- Registered a couple of my concert band works with the U.S. Copyright Office online. What a relief!

This is what I'm going to attempt to accomplish in the next week:

- get my social media talking better to each other, and in stead of Facebook be the hub, perhaps LinkedIn, which would be ideal.
- Get some more info on my info pages of my website...more background and such. This will also include more thorough write ups of my compositions.
- Hopefully I'll be registering for college next week at Thomas Edison State College!
- Finish a handful of of concert band scores and have them be the "final" edition (if there is such a thing).
- Studying a couple works for my composition lesson in orchestration.

I feel really productive as of the last week or so because I haven't neglected my business or social media, but it's really just me catching up from 8 months of not touching anything having to do with my websites. It's all part of the illusion really. I just gotta keep the steam going, especially as I go back to work next week.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hiatus: Done!

Greetings, everyone! I know it has been quite a while since I've updated ANYTHING on any of my social media, but alas, I am back. And I am renewed. As per my last post in September last year, I attended the Unit Leaders Course at the Navy School Of Music. I thought I'd be label to maintain my social media while I was here...boy, was I wrong. That being said, after a long 8-month course, my hiatus has ended. With my new, renewed, and rejuvenated grasp of music, I'm ready to dissect all of my work and get it out there for the masses.

Here are a couple things to expect in the next few months as I get my routine back on track:

- I've used the term 'revamp' for my  compositions and arrangements in the past, but NOW I will really be revamping because of knowledges gained from my time at school, and with Mr. Ian Charleton. 
- update all social media with new information about myself, my experiences, and helpful information for composers/arrangers. 
- more consistent updates to my blog, and perhaps an experiment with a video blog (or vlog, I guess).
- in looking at my social media sites, it all seems pretty sterile in appearance, so I will investigate a more exciting layout expense.

I'm sure I will think of more things that need fixing as I go, but look out for all the new stuff as it happens. And, as always, tell your friends about!