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A Composer's Insight, Vol. 1: Thoughts, Analysis and Commentary on Contemporary Masterpieces for Wind Band

by Timothy Salzman


This book published by Meredith Music features a chapter specifically on my wind ensemble works. An excellent resource full of information and commentary about the work of 12 composers.





"His works display both excellent craftsmanship and creative inspiration.I find that his music is sophisticated, fresh and vital.”

~ Frank Battisti, Conductor, Retired

   New England Conservatory



"His orchestral work entitled 'Gearbox' is a brilliant showpiece that surges with energy from beginning to end. Throughout the piece, his gift of lyricism within a dramatic framework is apparent to all who listen." 

~ Craig Doolin

   San Antonio Symphony Program Notes



"The most important factor is his gift, which impressed me immediately upon viewing his scores.  He writes with heart and has the musical and technical ability to realize his conceptions.  He is one of the few young composers whose music has moved me.”     

~ Michael Colgrass, Composer



"One thing that is particularly effective about the work 'Minton's Playhouse' is that one feels it is a piece for jazz ensemble, 'framed' by the colors and textures of the full wind ensemble."

~ Fanfare Magazine

   July/August 2002


“James Syler is one of the most talented and dedicated people I know.  His musical and organizational skills are among the best.   

~ Gary Green, Conductor

   University of Miami Frost School of Music



“I listened to your work and I like it!  I think it’s imaginative and evocative and hope it receives many performances.” 

~ Morton Gould, Composer



“I consider James Syler to be a most significant compositional talent, whose work certainly merits the most careful consideration by conductors searching for serious concert literature.”

~ Alfred Reed, Composer



“... James Syler’s ‘Symphony No. 1’ ... is a major addition to the wind ensemble repertoire. What immediately strikes the listener about this composition with a title ‘Blue’ is the depth of the text and music and the absence of all of the possible stereotypes that could be associated with such a title.”

~ Leon Bly

World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles Newsletter, Vol. XV: No.1 



"The world premiere of 'Gearbox' for orchestra was a pleasant surprise ... Syler's composition thrilled the audience with a brassy ride in a well-tuned machine."

~ David Hendricks

   San Antonio Express News, 3/20/09  



“What a romp! Any serious conductor who’s also a true lover of bebop should know about ‘Minton’s Playhouse’.  It’s eclectic, but great fun - artistically conceived and skillfully orchestrated.”

~ Stephen Squires, Conductor

   Chicago College of the Performing Arts



"Among others, we are going to do your tremendously powerful work 'Dear Sarah'. You have set Major Sullivan's words with incredible grace and a deep sensitivity. Thank you so much for the gift of this piece."

~ Mark Boyle, Choral Conductor

   Rutgers University



“The San Antonio Choral Society closed its season with a compelling agenda ... Hands-down highlight was the Texas premiere of James Syler’s ‘O Magnum Mysterium’.”

~ San Antonio Express-News, 5/22/96



“The Hound of Heaven” is a masterfully crafted work by the gifted young composer, James Syler. It is a challenging composition destined to enrich the contemporary repertoire with its imaginative and innovative effects."    

~ Arnald Gabriel, Conductor Emeritus

  United States Air Force Band