2014 has been very busy and exciting for Escape Ten! Our most recent project was a performance as guest artists at the Virginia Music Educators Association convention in Norfolk, VA in November. We had the privilege to work with the very talented Grafton High School Wind Ensemble, directed by Darren Kirsch. At VMEA, we premiered our most recent commission, a wind ensemble arrangment of Emmanuel Sejourne's Double Concerto for marimba and vibraphone (3rd Mvt.). This was such a fun experience for us, especially because we were able to work with old students and colleagues from Grafton. We hope to finish the commission for the remaining movements in the coming year.
Our new album, Colours of a Groove, was released in September. It consists of new and commissioned works for marimba duo, including compositions by Ivan Trevino, Alejandro Vinao, Steve Danyew, Stephen Ridley, and Christopher Cook. You can find the digital album on itunes, amazon, and CDBaby, as well as hard copies directly from Escape Ten and www.MostlyMarimba.com.
Our first summer endeavor was performing at the International Trombone Festival in Rochester, NY with bass trombonist Justin Clark of the Berne Symphony in Switzerland. It was a wonderful experience and we really enjoyed working with Justin - he's an amazing musician and a great person.
Following the trombone festival, we headed on our 2014 summer tour which started in New York and headed through New Jersey and Virginia. The tour was very successful and enabled us to see many old friends and students along the way! The tour included performing at the 35th Annual Leigh Howard Stevens Marimba Seminar in Asbury Park, NJ. As Rutgers alumni, it was great to be back in our own stomping grounds for a few days - including New Brunswick (you know we had to eat at Stuff Yer Face!) and the Malletech factory. Since we both used to live in the Newport News, Virginia area, it was great to see old students and friends. (Shout-out to Grafton High School!)
In addition to performing, we have done several recording projects. One included working with composer Drew Worden on a piece he wrote for us, A One-Way Ticket. Drew has a very artistic and musical vision and it was great to workshop the piece with him and make it come to life! We were also able to work out the piece so that we can play on one set-up of drums. If spending weeks at a time in a car together wasn't enough, now we get to share instruments, too!