Composer/arranger Brian Belski’s transcription of “Letter from Home” by Aaron Copland was recently published by Hal Leonard Corp./Boosey & Hawkes, with the following acknowledgment at the top:
Transcription premiered by the Santa Monica High School Wind Ensemble, Kevin McKeown, Director / at the 2016 California State Music Educators’ Convention with Travis J. Cross, Guest Conductor
From SMMUSD’s Visual & Performing Arts Coordinator, Tom Whaley:
“The significance is that a new band arrangement is that the arrangement for Aaron Copland’s (one of America’s greatest composers) “Letter from Home” was premiered at the 2016 California All-State Music Education Conference and has been published by Hal Leonard/Boosey & Hawkes. The written dedication by the arranger and publishing companies is very special, as it acknowledges the Samohi Wind Ensemble’s participation in this endeavor.
Most arrangements, especially at this level of difficulty are premiered by college/university ensembles. There are only a handful of Wind ensembles in the nation that could perform this piece and perform it at such a high level. There are VERY few HIGH SCHOOL Wind Ensembles that could perform it and debut it at the Statewide Music Conference in 2016. The students and their director, Kevin McKeown were also able to provide their input to the arranger in order to make final edits to the piece. Every ensemble that orders the piece through Hal Leonard, the biggest name in educational music publishing, will read the message at the top of the piece crediting the 2016 Samohi Wind Ensemble.”