This year has been one of writing Children's Theater productions. I have written two complete shows in the past twelve months and directed four full scale Children's Theater Musicals with casts of 30 or more each. I have written at least 20 original songs and made arrangements of them and rewritten them many times in various forms to fit the layout of the shows -- dance numbers, production numbers, openers, finales, play-off and exit music, incidentals and so on. I have spent time learning to orchestrate in a simple way to fit the mood of the show but not overwhelm the small voices. I think I have kept myself busy enough and off the streets.
It is not that I have been neglecting my sacred choral music writing, exactly, it is more that I have crossed the bridge into the professional publishing world. Many of my pieces have been picked up by the LDS Publisher Jackman Music or have been Digitally Published through Sheet Music Plus. Gone are the days when I can afford to give away all of my music to get my name out there.
I am constantly amazed by the lack of compassion the users of music show to the creators of music. The USERS want the right to FREE-ly use INSTANTLY the fruits of someone's else' years of preparation and talent with no thought to how much effort and expense the CREATOR puts into it. The Church Music Submission contest winners sign a release so that their music can be offered free to the public on a massive web site. That is fine, especially for new composers who want to give their offering and get their music out to the public. But what it actually does is undercut other composers' capability of actually making a living from what they do. It promotes the idea that composers should always GIVE away their music for free to the public.
I, for one, think that composers should be able to eat just like other folks!