My mentor for the Emerging Artist grant is Maestro Mark Sforzini. He is the director of the St. Petersburg Opera and the Tampa Bay Symphony. I have had the privilege of working with him before, as I did a stint as the principal flute of the Tampa Bay Symphony. During this time, I also got to observe his abilities as a composer, as we played one of his pieces.
We held our lesson at the St. Pete Opera headquarters. We discussed one of the movements of my Requiem. He had a lot of good ideas about orchestration. Some of the changes he suggested included changing instruments and using different registers. He also felt that when writing vocal music, music should reflect the text.
It is very helpful to me after having written a piece to have it heard by another set of ears, especially by a trained musician who can offer feedback. A mentor can hear things you probably have not thought of and give a fresh take. I am also hoping for career advice from someone who knows this area and has a lot of wonderful ideas of what can be done, and what it takes.