American Choir Directors Association (ACDA) Seizes the Day
"Carpe Diem," Maffe's piece for unaccompanied choir, has won the inaugural 2016 ACDA Choral Composition Competition (Biola Chapter). This is among Maffe's first accolades since he began attending Biola University in 2015.
The piece was originally commissioned by Palmer High School and was premiered under Maffe's baton on May 5, 2014.
Score to the Phantom Film Released (Legend)
There is a new soundtrack out, but it's not to a movie you have seen, because this movie doesn't exist. Legend, Maffe's third worldwide album release features 40 minutes in the style of a film score. It reaches a wide range of genres and idioms, opening with a bombastic overture along the vein of the classic western ("Into the West"), dipping into the fantastical with a musical take on the sinking of the glorious city of Atlantis ("The City is Sinking"), and even slashing some fear with downright scary horror movie music ("Spade").
There are several pieces in the compilation that were a part of Maffe's "Monday Music" campaign, a composing exercise that had Maffe start with a blank slate on Monday morning and a fully produced piece of music by midnight ("The Shattered Compass," "The Figure Skater," "A Stranger in Space," and "Fanfare for the Patriot")
The album is filled with memorable themes and lush orchestration, and will capture the imagination of the audience in a truly captivating cognitive celluloid experience.
"Fanfare for the Patriot" Premieres at 9/11 Anniversary Concert
The Southern California Brass Consortium (Hector Salazar, conductor) premiered Maffe's ode to the armed forces, "Fanfare for the Patriot," at their 9/11 anniversary concert on Sunday.
The reverent piece opens with an offstage trumpet solo, a bugle-like melody of the characteristic military fourths and fifths. The piece develops to the whole band and ends with a warm and hopeful tonality—for love of country.
"Alaska: Crest of the Hinterland" Premieres in the 49th State
The Matanuska-Susitna Concert Band (Gleo Huyck, director) and Sterling Maffe have just completed their second collaboration with the commission and premiere of Maffe's newest piece for symphonic wind band, "Alaska: The Crest of Hinterland."
The composer describes the piece, "['Alaska'] is a musical portrait inspired by the unparalleled majesty of our northernmost state. There are three principal illustrations throughout the piece, each accompanied by a theme. The first of these evokes the mystery of the land. It alludes to wondrous natural phenomena that can be experienced in the Great North such as the Aurora Borealis. The second theme celebrates the pioneering of the state. It conjures the excitement of the Gold Rush, and the race to the Last Frontier. The final subject is an admiration of beauty. Romantically, it depicts the vast terrain, grand mountains, and lush forests found only in the Land of the Midnight Sun."
The Water Phoenix Premieres in Los Angeles
Just weeks after the abridged version of Maffe's critically-acclaimed, The Water Phoenix, was performed and recorded by the Orlando Philharmonic, Dr. Dane Teter and the El Camino College Symphony premiered the full version of the work.
Maffe originally wrote the tone poem while studying music theory and composition at El Camino College in January. This is Maffe's first premiere in Los Angeles, California.
The Water Phoenix Shines at the YCC Composium
The National Young Composers Challenge Competition put on a marvelous event in their 2015 Composium. Maffe, along with six other talented young composers had their work performed and recorded by members of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Christopher Wilkins) at the Walt Disney Theater in Orlando, Florida. 'Phoenix' was abridged to a duration of five minutes because of contest guidelines but the full version will be premiered in just a few weeks.
Maffe had previously entered the competition in 2011 ("Alien Armada"), 2012 ("October's Gift"), and 2014 ("Cajolery of the Forest") before finally taking home the trophy in 2015.
The Water Phoenix Wins National Competition
Maffe's newest piece for symphony orchestra has won a national competition—the Young Composers Challenge (YCC), to be exact.
The Water Phoenix paints the picture of a mythical phoenix, which ascends from the ocean abyss, and narrates its heroic clash with a malicious tempest storm. The tone poem is full of imagination and sweeping melodies. It brings both radiant orchestration and the energy of a film score.
In addition to a $1,000 cash prize, 'Phoenix' will receive a performance and professional recording by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in October at the YCC Composium in Orlando, Florida.
Maffe to Attend Biola University for Bachelors in Composition
Sterling Maffe has been accepted into the Biola University Conservatory of Music and will begin attending this fall in pursuit of a bachelors degree in composition and a minor in biblical and theological studies.
After attending an alumni pops concert, wherein his mother was playing flute, Maffe met with Dr. Robert Denham, the chair of the composition department with the benign intentions of score study and an impromptu lesson. Two and a half hours later both parties were sold on Maffe enrolling for immediate attendance. Maffe will receive nearly a full-ride scholarship and will graduate in the Spring of 2019.
Biola (Biblical Institute of Los Angeles) is a private Christian university which aims to supply students with a foundation of theological thought and superior vocational training, equipping men and women in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Across the Ivories Released
A new album of solo piano music has just been released worldwide. Across the Ivories features 45 minutes of original compositions performed by Maffe.
There are nine different pieces included in this compilation including Maffe's first piece for solo piano (eighth composition overall), "Ivories." "Halloween Dance," one of his most popular little tunes is also included as well as "Conspiracy on the Canvas" (about a painting which comes alive to tell a dark truth about history), Maffe's first extended piano improvisation to be released.
The last track is the only piece to feature strings. "Soft Wind and Silver Mirrors" is an enduring composition which bookends the album with a conclusion as soft and satisfying as its title.