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Alex Shapiro, composer email
Alex loves writing for band!

Quick links on this page

 
 
 

A bald eagle enjoying the wind

 

"One of the most noteworthy composers for the 21st century wind band"

--Carthage College and Dr. James Ripley, upon the premiere of LIQUID COMPASS, May 2014.

Alex Shapiro at HLC booth 2014 TMEA

Alex, grinning with some of her wind band scores at the Hal Leonard booth;
2014 Texas Music Educators Association convention.

 

Alex Shapiro broadens the concept of what wind band music can be! Whether groove-based, atmospheric, or 12-tone, her genre-blind electroacoustic works seamlessly meld live and digital sound, transforming a few minutes in a concert hall into a cinematic experience.


Alex encourages ensembles to add visual and physical elements to their performances, augmenting the impact of pieces like MOMENT and ROCK MUSIC that carry an important message, as well as the drama of purely fun works like LIGHTS OUT and her best-seller, PAPER CUT.


Shapiro's use of technology isn't only for composing, but for connecting with the human beings on both sides of the stage from her home on Washington's remote San Juan Island. Through Skypehearsals, Alex regularly interacts with thousands of musicians around the world as they prepare her works, and shares her enthusiasm in real time with audiences.


Scroll down for an overview of each of Alex's wind band pieces.
What do YOU experience?

 
     
 

Commissioning:

Ms. Shapiro is equally comfortable creating new works for an individual client, or for a large consortium of participants. For wind band and orchestra commission inquiries, please contact Activist Music.

 

 

 

 
 

Licensing:

ALL licensing inquiries, including recording, broadcast, synchronization to video or dance, marching band or other arrangements, etc., are handled directly by Ms. Shapiro and Activist Music. Please send an email the details of your request by clicking here. Licensing

 

 

 

 
 

Listening:

Interested in a CD sampler of Alex's works for wind band? Click the CD to send her an email.
Even better: for immediate gratification, each piece is streamed in its entirety on this page.

 

 

Band Chick CD
 

Skypehearsals:

Alex loves to interact with ensembles, coach rehearsals, and give a detailed tour of her state-of-the-art project studio on San Juan Island. Click here for more information, to see a video, and to book a session. Licensing

 

 

 

How did this mostly-chamber music composer get into writing for symphonic band? Listen to Alex describe how it happened, in this two-minute excerpt from an interview she gave to Carey Nadeau from the American Composers Forum in June 2010.

(Quick! Click, if only to release Alex's otherwise normal-looking face from this silly still from the video):

 

 

 

Alex's band music
 

IMMERSION

(wind band and audio track;
2011; 23:00; Grade 4-5)

TIGHT SQUEEZE

(wind band, audio track;
2013; 3:15; Grade 4)

LIQUID COMPASS

(wind band, audio track;
2014; 9:00; Grade 5)

DEPTH
(from Immersion)

(wind band and audio track;
2011; 7:30; Grade 4)

LIGHTS OUT

(wind band, audio track;
2015; 4:30; Grade 4)

PAPER CUT

(wind band, printer paper, audio track;
2010; 5:00; Grade 3 and above)

SURFACE
(from Immersion)

(wind band, audio track;
2011; 4:00; Grade 5)

MOMENT

(wind band, audio track;
2016; 5:45; Grade 4)

ROCK MUSIC

(wind band, rocks, audio track;
2016; 4:15; Grade 2.5 and above)

BENEATH
(from Immersion)

(wind band, audio track;
2011; 10:30; Grade 4-5)

COMING SOON:
**TRAINS OF THOUGHT

(wind band and audio track;
2017; 8:30; Grade 4)

HOMECOMING

(wind band;
2008; 7:30; Grade 4-5)

 

Listed by difficulty level:
 
ROCK MUSIC Grade 2.5 and above * includes small rocks as instruments
PAPER CUT Grade 3 and above * includes printer paper as instruments
DEPTH Grade 4 an anthemic underworld
MOMENT Grade 4 * includes chanting
TIGHT SQUEEZE Grade 4 encourages party dancing
BENEATH Grade 4 * includes whale song and jazz improvisation
LIGHTS OUT Grade 4 * encourages LOTS of lighting & visual effects
**TRAINS OF THOUGHT Grade 4 includes train effects in track & parts
HOMECOMING Grade 4 + all-acoustic; includes singing
LIQUID COMPASS Grade 5 * includes water in metal bowls as instruments
SURFACE Grade 5 + features percussion section

 

* ANY of these works may be enhanced with multimedia, but an asterisk denotes a piece that is especially well suited to additions such as lighting design, a photo slide show, a video, physical movement, or anything the band members might come up with.

** If you are interested in being a part of the commissioning consortia on this piece, email Alex!

 


Alex at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2014
Happily surrounded by brass, at NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art, June 2014.


   
shore

 

IMMERSION
 

IMMERSION

for symphonic wind band,
and prerecorded audio track.

Composed by Alex Shapiro.
2011; Total duration: 23:00.
Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).

Grade 4 and beyond (DEPTH and BENEATH) and Grade 5 (SURFACE).

Each movement can also be programmed separately:

DEPTH (7:49)
SURFACE
(4:07)
BENEATH
(10:11)

 

Click here for complete information
about this piece more!

Click here to order purchase IMMERSION

score cover

Program Note:

IMMERSION brings listeners on a sonic journey into a private, aquatic realm. Beneath the surface of the ocean is a world of liquid beauty and grace hidden from our eyes and from our imagination. Even in this habitat of life and hope, exquisite creatures remain vulnerable to events triggered from beyond their fragile sanctuary. Follow your ears and your heart to the depths of a place we sometimes forget to look.

 
Listen to excerpts from IMMERSION:
 
 

DEPTH (2:36)

listen to Depth
 

SURFACE (1:45)

listen to Surface
 

BENEATH (earlier; 2:30)

listen to Beneath
 

BENEATH (later; 2:58)

listen to Beneath
 

Premiere performance, recorded live at Ted Mann Hall in Minneapolis, MN., February 16, 2011 by Minnesota Public Radio, performed by the University of Minnesota Symphonic Band, Jerry Luckhardt, conductor.

 

Email Alex for a PDF perusal score:

perusal score
IMMERSION instrumentation

Shapiro and LuckhardtAlex on the field with U of M conductor Jerry Luckhardt, October 2010.

On the heels of Alex's 2010 electroacoustic wind band piece, PAPER CUT, the University of Minnesota was the lead organization in a newly formed consortium of U.S. schools that commissioned Alex to compose a three-movement multi-movement electroacoustic symphonic band work titled IMMERSION, that premiered in February 2011. The Feb. 16 Minnesota premiere conducted by Jerry Luckhardt, had a multimedia aspect as well, with video and lighting designed by Jay'd Hagberg. The next consortium premiere took place the following week on Feb. 23rd by the symphonic band at The Ohio State University, conducted by Milton Allen.

Other commissioning institutions include Yale University, The Ohio State University, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, University of British Columbia, Rosemount High School, and Encore Wind Ensemble.

IMMERSION is one of the most significant works in Alex's catalog, and represents her unique voice in seamlessly melding the acoustic and digital worlds.

Enjoy this video of Lt. Col. Don Schofield USAF
conducting DEPTH at Armstrong State University,
with the 2015 - 2016 GMEA District 1 - 11-12 Honor Band,
on February 6, 2016 (music begins at 2:10):

 

UofM Immersion premiere
The premiere of "Immersion" at University of Minnesota, Jerry Luckhardt, conducting.


 

For complete info about this piece, visit Immersion more

 
   
kingfisher and lunch

 

TIGHT SQUEEZE
 

TIGHT SQUEEZE

for concert wind band
and prerecorded audio track.


Composed by Alex Shapiro.
2013; Duration 3:15.
Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).

Grade 4 and beyond.

 

Click here for complete information
about this piece
(the program note alone is worth reading) more!

Click here to order purchase TIGHT SQUEEZE

score cover
Listen to TIGHT SQUEEZE (3:15):
hear

Live premiere by the VanderCook College of Music Symphonic Band
at the 2013 Midwest Clinic, conducted by Charlie Menghini.

 

Email Alex for a PDF perusal score:

perusal score

gull and flounder
"NOW what?"

 

TIGHT SQUEEZE was premiered February 13, 2013, in Brevard, North Carolina at Brevard College, Miller Asbill conducting. Subsequent regional premieres have occurred across the U.S. by the commissioning partners.

If the photo above made you laugh, you can enjoy witnessing the entire dining sequence by clicking over to Alex's blog, here blog post

 

Program Note:

TIGHT SQUEEZE might best be described by the following suggestion: imagine Arnold Schoenberg, Henry Mancini, and Charlie Parker walking into a techno rave club in Havana. And, staying for at least three minutes.

On the heels of composing PAPER CUT, which pairs a wind band with not only an electronic track but a ream of printer paper, I knew I wanted to create another even more uptempo, groove-oriented piece that would be fun for fidgety teenagers with the attention spans of diabetic gnats. Okay, even fun for calmer musicians. Unexpectedly, that turned out to feature a twelve-tone row theme-- possibly the world's first for high school band, at least this far west of Vienna.

Initially the melody only had eight notes. When I noticed that none repeated themselves, I decided to go for broke, in a tip of the hat to my beloved 90-year old German composition teacher Ursula Mamlok, who was a renowned serialist during the earlier years of her career. The only serialism I've ever been interested in is granola, but I had a good time with this little tone row, which I paired with a techno-rock-infused percussion groove and electric bass line (yeah, I know, Schoenberg did that first), plus a few Latin rhythms and a hint of jazz. Voila: Electroacoustic Twelve-tone Techno Latin Bebop.

Here's a 2:22 excerpt from an interview CSIC did with Alex
in Friday Harbor, WA, during a rehearsal of TIGHT SQUEEZE,
in which she describes how the unusual mix of genres
in the piece came about:


TIGHT SQUEEZE instrumentation

The Garner Magnet High School Wind Ensemble
in Garner, North Carolina, conducted by Andrew Kier:


Click to watch a very fun ending to TIGHT SQUEEZE,
as conductor Brett Richardson gets not only
the University of the Incarnate Word Wind Ensemble,
but the San Antonio, Texas audience, up and dancing!

Get up and dance!

 

For complete info about this piece, visit Tight Squeeze more

 
   
Sailing in the San Juans

 

LIQUID COMPASS
 

LIQUID COMPASS

for symphonic wind band and prerecorded track.


Composed by Alex Shapiro.
2014; Duration 9:00.
Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).

Grade 5 and beyond.

 

Click here for complete information
about this piece more!

Click here to order purchase LIQUID COMPASS

score cover
Listen to LIQUID COMPASS (9:00):
hear

Live premiere by the Carthage College Band,
conducted by James Ripley.

 

Email Alex for a PDF perusal score:

perusal score
Alex Shapiro at the Hal Leonard Booth at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, December 2014.

Program Note:

LIQUID COMPASS is a tone poem that takes the musicians and the audience on a watery journey spanning the mystical and the triumphant. Commemorating the 140th anniversary of Carthage College's wind band, the piece migrates to different places, but never loses its bearings in pursuit of a musical true north. The spiritual power of the sea is ever-present, in layers of unique sounds heard in the audio track, and duplicated by the musicians. The effect is a physical surround-sound of texture, as metal bowls capture slow, resonant drips of water, and flutists breathe other-worldly intonations. The piece, like the school that commissioned it, continues to push forward while observing that which has come before. Because one can't celebrate history, without reflecting on the waters over which time and experience have passed.

Bemidji High School Band
Conductor Derek Wickham leading the Bemidji High Band in Minnesota
during a 2015 performance of LIQUID COMPASS.

LIQUID COMPASS instrumentation

The Florida Atlantic University Wind Ensemble in Boca Raton, FL, conducted by Kyle Prescott:

 

For complete info about this piece, visit Liquid Compass more

 
   
The sun sets on the San Juan Islands

 

LIGHTS OUT
 

LIGHTS OUT

for concert wind band and prerecorded track. Plus, lighting and physical effects, for bands seeking adventure!


Composed by Alex Shapiro.
2015; Duration 4:30.
Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).

Grade 4 and beyond.

 

Click here for complete information
about this piece more!

Click here to order purchase LIGHTS OUT

score cover

Listen to LIGHTS OUT (4:30):
hear

Live premiere by the University of Memphis Symphonic Band
conducted by Armand Hall.

 

Email Alex for a PDF perusal score:

perusal score

LIGHTS OUT instrumentation

 

Here's a fun video from the University of Memphis Symphonic Band
conducted by Armand Hall, performing the April 29, 2015 premiere
of LIGHTS OUT:

 

Note about the piece:

I suppose you could call LIGHTS OUT an "opto-electro-acoustic" work for wind band, because it was conceived from the onset as a visual media piece. While it can be performed in any normal concert setting, it's most compelling when presented in the dark, slightly disorienting the audience and dazzling them with the beautiful colored aura from glowsticks, smart phones, and small LEDs placed inside the instruments and on the musicians' mallets and fingers. Mesmerizing!

Composing this piece, I treated the visuals and movement the same way I treat the audio track— as an equal and additional "section" in the band, organically incorporated into the piece just like the woodwinds, brass and percussion.

The indications for movement and lighting that found their way into the score due to this wonderful initial collaboration are a jumping off point for many other ideas, and I'm excited to discover what each band is going to do for their performance. I encourage every band to post their performance on YouTube, because each concert will be unique!

Wade Presley and the Nevada High School Band.

The view from the audience during Nevada High School's 5/1/15 premiere,
led by Wade Presley.

 

For complete info about this piece, visit Lights Out more

 
   
An Orca whale photobombs a gull.

 

MOMENT
 

MOMENT

for concert wind band and prerecorded track.



Composed by Alex Shapiro.
2016; Duration 5:45.
Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).

Grade 4 and beyond.

 

Click here for complete information
about this piece more!

Click here to order purchase MOMENT

score cover

Listen to MOMENT (5:45):
hear

Live premiere by the University of Memphis Symphonic Band
conducted by Armand Hall.

 

Email Alex for a PDF perusal score:

perusal score

MOMENT instrumentation

A different kind of music:

Pensive and emotional, the unusual, textural music of MOMENT offers reflection and stillness in an often frenetic world. Repeating notes and haunting, lyrical lines give musicians the opportunity to explore expression through subtlety. Evocative sounds conjure fleeting, contrasting images, as the wind band creates a seamless fabric woven from the union of their instruments, their chant-like voices, and the ghostly echoes of a wistful accompaniment soundtrack.

Our hearts are equally shaken by moments excruciatingly painful, and transcendentally beautiful. In a world in which emotions are often blunted by the assault of overload, we cannot allow ourselves to ignore profound, inner responses evoked in an instant. Awestruck. Hopeful. Grieving. Longing. Shocked. Weeping. Thinking. Amazed. Waiting. Stunned. Heartbroken. Transported. Hurting. Dreaming. Startled. Dismayed. Delighted. Caring. What are the moments that have moved you?

Enjoy this February 2017 performance of MOMENT,
performed by the University of Hawaii Wind Ensemble,
conducted Jeffrey Boeckman:

 

For complete info about this piece, visit Moment more

 
   
Rocks at the San Juan Island shoreline.

 

ROCK MUSIC
 

ROCK MUSIC

a geo-electroacoustic piece

For concert wind band and prerecorded track.
And... rocks.


Composed by Alex Shapiro.

2016; Duration 4:15.
Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).

Grade 2.5 and beyond.
Way, way beyond!

 

Click here for complete information
about this piece more!

Click here to order purchase ROCK MUSIC

score cover
Listen to ROCK MUSIC (4:15):
hear

Live premiere by the Patrick Marsh Middle School 7th Grade Band
conducted by Chris Gleason.

 

Email Alex for a PDF perusal score:

perusal score


ROCK MUSIC instrumentation

Program Note:

Music doesn't have to be experienced as an element separate from the rest of our daily lives. It's as much part of our world as the ground on which we walk, and composing ROCK MUSIC was the perfect opportunity to make this point.

I asked the students of Patrick Marsh Middle School to venture out into their neighborhoods, find a pair of rocks, discover sounds that can be coaxed from them, and record the results. My inbox was soon filled with nearly 100 mp3s sporting a stunning variety of geological sonic creativity, and many of those sounds are the basis of the accompaniment audio track over which ROCK MUSIC is composed.

In parallel to this holistic vision, band director Chris Gleason invited a a geologist from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey to give a talk to the band students. Brandishing a 3D map of Wisconsin that displayed the state's varying terrain, she spoke of the glaciers that transformed the landscapes of Sun Prairie, WI— and, San Juan Island, WA— 15,000 years ago. The students then made video reports that paired their newfound knowledge of local geology with their individual recipes for eliciting sounds from rocks.

In this geo-electroacoustic piece, the music slowly crawls, melts, and scrapes over a sonic landscape in random, irregular ways: much as the glaciers carved the world we know.

Who says 13 year olds can't sit still?
You'll be touched by the ending of this video of
the Patrick Marsh Middle School 7th Grade Band
in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin conducted by Chris Gleason,
performing the May 10, 2016 premiere of ROCK MUSIC:

 

For complete info about this piece, visit Rock Music more

 
   
Bald Eagle

 

TRAINS OF THOUGHT
 

TRAINS OF THOUGHT

For concert wind band and prerecorded track.
Literally... railroad tracks!


Composed by Alex Shapiro.

2017; Duration 8:30.
Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).

Grade 4 and beyond.

This title is currently being completed for fall 2017 delivery to its multiple commissioners, and will be available to the public Spring 2018.

Alex, near a Vermont train...

 

If you're interested in being a part of the commissioning consortia on this piece, or would like to be notified when this title is ready to be shared with the public, please drop an email to Alex more

 

 
   
Bald Eagle

 

HOMECOMING
 

HOMECOMING

for concert wind band.


Composed by Alex Shapiro.
2008; Duration ca. 7:30.
Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).

Grade 4 and beyond.

 

Click here for complete information
about this piece more!

Click here to order purchase HOMECOMING

score cover

Program Note:

HOMECOMING is a distinctly American piece of music which ventures emotionally from doubt, to hope, and finally to celebration. Written for the soldiers of the U.S. Army TRADOC Band, the piece reflects upon wishes for the safe return of those who serve their country. Beginning with shades of concern and resolving with great joy, HOMECOMING seamlessly flows between traditional styles that originated in the U.S., from post-minimalist concert music to jazz. As the music grows into a waltz rhythm, welcoming smiles dance with it to the end as loved ones are reunited. In this piece, the most simple wind instrument of all, the human voice, echoes meaningful homecomings, wherever home may be and from whatever circumstance one returns.

Listen to HOMECOMING (7:22):
hear

Live outdoor performance by the U.S. Army TRADOC Band,
Maj Tod A. Addison conducting; May 2008.

 

Email Alex for a PDF perusal score:

perusal score

TRADOC Band
Alex addresses the audience at the premiere of Homecoming, with Maj. Tod Addison.

HOMECOMING, Alex's first work for concert wind band, was commissioned in 2008 by the United States Army for its acclaimed TRADOC Band of Fort Monroe, VA., led at the time by Commander and conductor, Major Tod A. Addison, now with The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own."

HOMECOMING premiered March 30, 2008, in Newport News, Virginia. The concert wind band work has since been performed by numerous university bands including Yale University, conducted by Tom Duffy, University of Minnesota, conducted by Jerry Luckhardt, Cal State University San Bernadino, conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Boeckman, University of Puget Sound, conducted by Robert Taylor, Capital University, conducted by Tony Zilincik, and The Ohio State University, with Dr. Milton Allen conducting.


Want to hear all about a composer's process of becoming a contractor with the U.S. Department of Defense, and writing a concert wind band piece for the U.S. Army? To read Alex's amusing July 2008 Sounding Board cover article about her experience, click here Sounding Board article Sounding Board
HOMECOMING instrumentation

Enjoy this February 2017 performance of HOMECOMING,
performed by the University of Hawaii Wind Ensemble,
conducted Jeffrey Boeckman:

 

For complete info about this piece, visit Homecoming more

 
   
Paper Cut in black light performance.

 

PAPER CUT
 

PAPER CUT

for wind band,
recycled printer paper,
and prerecorded audio track.

Composed by Alex Shapiro (ASCAP).
2010; Duration 5:00.
Published by The American Composers Forum/Hal Leonard.

Grade 3 and beyond.



Click here for complete information
about this piece, including many videos more

Click here to order purchase PAPER CUT

score cover

Hal Leonard

Program Note:

What do teenagers like? Video games, TV, and movies.
What do all these media have in common? Music!
I was thrilled to have a chance to add to the educational band music repertoire, thanks to the American Composers Forum's terrific BandQuest series. In my desire to compose something relevant to younger players, I decided to create a piece that sounds somewhat like a movie soundtrack, to which the musicians can imagine their own dramatic scene. I also thought it would be fun to make the kids themselves part of the action, and so PAPER CUT has the band doing choreographed maneuvers that look as compelling as they sound. In fact, the band members don't even play their instruments until halfway into the piece.

Listen to a recording of PAPER CUT,
without the drum set part that Alex added for the 2nd edition
(5:00):

hear

Performed the University of Minnesota Symphonic Band,
Craig Kirchhoff conducting; October 2010.

 
PAPER CUT instrumentation

Kirchhoff and Shapiro
Paper Cut conductor Craig Kirchhoff and Alex, crumpled ball of paper in hand, at recording session, October 2010.

Alex is proud to be the 2010 commissioned composer for the longstanding American Composers Forum BandQuest series made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. PAPER CUT, Alex's ground-breaking electroacoustic work for middle school band, sounds like an action film and has students performing on printer paper as well as on their instruments. The piece was premiered May 25th 2010 by the Friday Harbor High School Concert Band on San Juan Island, WA, with Janet Olsen, director.

Launched into its second printing in less than a year, PAPER CUT rapidly became one of the top selling pieces in BandQuest's distinctive 18 year history, and has been performed countless times all over the world.

Read the entertaining article Alex wrote about the experience for the Sounding Board magazine, titled Shredding With the 7th Grade: the Making of Paper Cut, here Sounding Board article Sounding Board BandQuest
VanderCook performance at Midwest

The VanderCook College of Music Symphonic Band, conducted by Charles Menghini, performed PAPER CUT on December 16, 2011 at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic held at McCormick Place West in Chicago, Illinois. Conductor Charlie Menghini writes:

"Paper Cut is a must for any director wanting to expand the musical horizons of their ensembles. A crowd pleasing work, every young band needs to add this to their repertoire as soon as possible. Your crowds will LOVE it...and so will your students. Enjoy and BRAVO to Alex Shapiro for this great addition to the educational band repertoire."

Listen to an excerpt of PAPER CUT, with drum set (1:31):

hear

Performed by the VanderCook College of Music Symphonic Band,
Charles Menghini conducting; live at the Midwest Clinic,
Chicago IL, December 2011.

 

 

Band Director Peter Guenther and the Owatonna 9th Grade Band
gave the world's first black light performance of PAPER CUT
on February 18, 2011 at the Minnesota Music Educators Association
Mid-Winter Clinic at the Minneapolis Convention Center—
inspiring a global trend for how the piece is often performed!


If you'd like to see PAPER CUT in a little more light,
here's band director Kelly Watkins leading
The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Symphonic Band
at Symphony Space, NYC on April 11, 2015:

 

For complete info about this piece, including many videos, visit Paper Cut more

 
     

 

To see and hear Alex's entire catalog, visit Works more

     


Alex responds to the question, "What kind of composer are you?" in this 50-second excerpt from an interview she gave to Carey Nadeau from the American Composers Forum in June 2010:

 

 

Alex loves coaching and teaching...
 

Skypehearsals:

Alex really enjoys interacting with students and faculty during residencies, in which she spends a few days at a university and gives master classes, private composition lessons, and lectures on the changing paradigm of the music business, and attends rehearsals and performances of her music. But when budgets and schedules don't allow for travel, Skype (or a Google Hangout!) has become the next best thing.

Whether for a rehearsal of a concert wind band piece or chamber work, or to bring Alex right into your lecture hall for an interactive discussion about the music business, Skype is a great tool. Alex's live feedback is valuable, and musicians love it when Alex turns her camera around to show them a source of her inspiration: the sea at her feet, with the occasional Bald Eagle or Orca whale gliding past. The technology brings a unique dimension into the art of collaborative music-making, and connects students to the person-- and sometimes to the very funny stories-- behind the notes on the music stands.

Skypehearsal
A Jan. 2012 Skypehearsal with Alex in her studio on San Juan Island, and guest conductor Jerry Luckhardt on the podium at Oregon State University, rehearsing BENEATH.


A Dec. 2012 Skypehearsal with percussionist David Jarvis.


A March 2013 Skypehearsal with Alex in her studio on San Juan Island, and band director Brad Schneider wtih Middleton High School, rehearsing PAPER CUT.

Skypehearsal
A December 2012 Skypehearsal with Alex in her studio on San Juan Island, and band director Mary Bauer and Mt. Mansfield Union High School, rehearsing PAPER CUT.

Watch a Skypehearsal!
Alex doing a Skypehearsal in her San Juan Island studio, February 2016.
CLICK
to watch what it's like!

 

 

To learn more about Skypehearsalss click here Email Alex


 

 

To schedule a Skypehearsal with Alex, click here Email Alex

     
The view from Alex's desk- with Bald Egle and rainbow!

 

Alex loves speaking and writing...
 
The Midwest Clinic

Clinician:

Alex was a guest clinician at the 2013 Midwest Clinic in Chicago, presenting a workshop titled, The e-Frontier: Music, Multimedia, Education, and Audiences in the Digital World. Intended for educators, conductors and composers, the discussion addressed electroacoustic band music and new digital technologies in the classroom and concert venue, and was presented to a standing-room only crowd of 600 attendees!

Alex was the lead clinician, and was thrilled to be joined by five distinguished panelists: conductors Craig Kirchhoff, Jerry Luckhardt, Miller Asbill, and Peter Guenther, and composer Steven Bryant.

 

 

 

 
The Midwest Clinic

On the heels of the Midwest Clinic, Alex was delighted to also be a clinician at the 2014 Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) in San Antonio, Texas. Joined by band directors Miller Asbill and Robert Sloan, as well as composer Steven Bryant, the discussion, titled, The e-Frontier: Using New Media in Education and Performance, discussed electroacoustic band music, as well as the myriad uses of intermedia and social networks for engaging students and audiences.

 

 

 

 
UBC Wind Conducting Symposium

In July 2016, Alex was the guest composer at the 4th Annual UBC Wind Conducting Symposium, held at The University of British Columbia School of Music. Conductor and host Rob Taylor chose electroacoustic wind band music as the focus for the Symposium, and Alex gave an in-depth presentation on conducting and producing electroacoustic music and multimedia concerts. To top it off, Rob set up an "electroacoustic petting zoo," which allowed many of the 45 conductors in attendance to come up to the podium, don a set of headphones, get comfortable with a click track, and conduct one of Alex's wind band pieces.

 

 

 

 

2013 Midwest Clinic panel
The e-Frontier panel at the 2013 Midwest Clinic. L-R:
Peter Guenther, Jerry Luckhardt, Craig Kirchhoff, Mark Walker,
Miller Asbill, Steven Bryant, and Alex Shapiro.

     
GIA Publications

Books:

Alex gets excited about educating the musicians and listeners of the future, through her music and her writings. Two of her electroacoustic wind band pieces for high school musicians, TIGHT SQUEEZE, and PAPER CUT, are featured in the book/CD series, Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Volume 10, edited by Eugene Migliaro Corporon and released by GIA Publications December 2014.

Alex is the author of a chapter in the 2013 GIA Publications book titled, Musicianship: Composing in Band and Orchestra, edited by Clint Randles and David Stringham. Her offering is called Releasing a Student's Inner Composer, and explores myriad ways to encourage young creativity-- by sharing the same methods she uses in her own work.

Click on Alex, below, to watch a short, 1:40 video about her chapter in the book:

Teaching Music Through Performance

Alex Shapiro describes her chapter

WASBE World

Essayist:

Alex has written an extensive two-part article on the subject of her clinic presentations on new media in the band world. The essay, titled The e-Frontier: Music, Multimedia, Education, and Audiences in the Digital World, appears in the June and September 2014 issues of the magazine of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, WASBE World.

CLICK HERE to read the full pdf of the article, offered with the kind permission of WASBE.

WASBE World
     

Alex Shapiro and Bruce Bush at NYSSMA 2014
Alex and Hal Leonard's Bruce Bush kid around at NYSSMA in Rochester, NY,
in front of the poster announcing Alex as the conference's 2014 Composer-in-Residence.

 

Alex is highly interactive...
 

If it hadn't been for MySpace back in 2008, Alex might still have yet to compose a single note for concert wind band. But thanks to Lieutenant Colonel Tod Addison stumbling upon Alex's MySpace page via composer Anne McGinty's page, Alex's sonic world exploded. One click can change everything-- for the better!

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  In January 2006, Alex began Notes from the Kelp, her personal commentary from the beach. She regularly posts new insights to a large international following of "Kelphistos." Pairing her photos and her music in what she calls a "pixelsonic" experience, Alex invites readers to share the beauty of the environment which inspires her. Visit and drop her a note! blog link
     
The San Juan Islands

 

 

Alex loves fun projects...
 
Clemson University Memorial Stadium
Alex got into the team spirit with the Clemson University Tiger Band! She was commissioned by band director Mark Spede to create the audio track to which Clemson University edited a video for the Jumbotron screens in its 85,000 seat Memorial stadium. The video-- which you can see below-- has played during every home football game since September 2015, as the 290 musicians of the Tiger Marching Band pour out on to the field to perform. Go Tigers-- the 2016 National Champions!

Here's what it looked and sounded like on January 9, 2017, as the Clemson University Tiger Band entered the field at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida for the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship:

 

     

 

 

Alex writes tunes beyond the concert music world...
 

Prior to delving entirely into concert music and composing over 100 chamber and large ensemble pieces, Alex worked steadily for fifteen years in the commercial music field. Experience as a scoring composer, producer and engineer broadens her approach to band writing. Here are a few examples from music outside her concert catalog:

Alex Shapiro
Film: End title from "The Last Job" MP3 
Indie Pop: excerpt from "Falling in You" MP3 
Jazz: excerpt from "Hot Mud" MP3
Country Pop: excerpt from "On Thanksgiving" MP3

 

 

For full info and many audio clips, visit Film/TV/Jazz more

     

THE CONTACT INFO

The VERY best way to reach Alex is through email,
by clicking here
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You can also leave a voice message or a fax at:
(270) 916-0093, and she'll return your call.

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