Music is a moral law.
It gives soul to the universe,
wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination,
a charm to gaiety, and
fire to everything.
It is the essence of order and leads
to all that is just and beautiful.
- Plato

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Composition Contests

Contest Name Title Status Publisher Publication Code(s) Writer(s) Octaves Difficulty Year Duration Required Instruments Optional Instruments Description Contest Description
1987 National Composition Contest Esprit de Corps out-of-print AGEHR AG 35041 by Paul A. McKlveen 3-5 Medium-difficult 1988 2" 20' n/a n/a This work was written for the 1987 National Composition Contest. The original idea was to write a theme and variations; however, one particular variation was more interesting than the theme, and the work was developed around the variation (which is the main melody introduced at the beginning of the piece)  It won the contest. My original purpose was to write a theme and variations piece; however, once the first variation was written I realized that the variation was a lot more interesting and versatile than the original theme.  I dumped my original idea and based the work solely on the variation.
1989 Area XI Composition Contest (original composition division) Fanfare and Ostinato published Jeffers Handbell Supply, Inc. JH S8915 by Paul A. McKlveen 3-5 Medium 1989 4" 54' n/a n/a This work won the 1989 Area XI contest. This a fun piece which utilizes many different handbell techniques.  Both ringers and audiences enjoy it.
1994 Area II Composition Contest (original composition division) Toccata in C Minor published AGEHR AG 35092 by Paul A. McKlveen 3-5 Medium-difficult 1995 3" 32' trumpet organ or brass ensemble This composition, the third rewrite of a composition written years ago, won the 1994 Area II Composition Contest and was premiered at the 1995 Area II Festival Conference this summer. In addition, it is one of the massed ringing works that was used at the two 1996 Eastern National Festival Conferences. Finally, after the second resurrection of this work, the composition made it to print!  Written for handbells and trumpet (or organ or brass ensemble).  Note: this work was used as one of the Massed ringing selections for the 1996 Eastern National Festival Conferences.
2003 Bells of the Sound Composition Contest Journey Home, The published GIA Publications G-6623,
G-6623INST
by Paul A. McKlveen 3-7 Easy-medium 2005 4" 35' n/a flute or clarinet, cymbal, triangle This original composition won second place in the 2003 Bells of the Sound "Roadtrip" composition contest. The contest was looking for works that evoke the character and spirit of regions of America. Almost two years ago I had the pleasure of riding through the Shenandoah valley in Virginia for the first time. I was traveling to a handbell festival, and one of the organizers of the event had graciously picked me up at the airport. After a time, we drove into the Shenandoah valley. Having grown up in a valley, I immediately felt as if I was home. It was autumn, and the day was warm and sunny. The beauty of the valley stretched before our eyes. After the day's events were over, we stepped out into the night. The air had become much cooler as a blanket of stars emerged and smothered away the remaining cares of the day. I felt at peace. Sometime after I arrived home I wanted to compose a work in memory of my experience there. I knew I wanted the work to capture the spirit of the Shenandoah valley, and decided that it had to have a melody reminiscent of an American folk tune, so I studied the tune Shenandoah to give me insight. I imagined what it would be like to come back home to the valley. Perhaps I have been gone a long time, or maybe just for the day. Perhaps I am walking, or maybe I'm driving. As I cross over a ridge and into the valley, the cares and urgencies of the day relinquish their grip on me, and the peace of the valley beckons me to slow my pace. I amble onward. I'm going home. This work was submitted for the Roadtrip contest sponsored by Bells of the Sound.  The contest was looking for works that evoke the character and spirit of regions of America.  This is what Bells of the Sound published on their web site about my work:

Second Place was given to accomplished handbell composer, Paul McKlveen of Overland Park, KS for "The Journey Home".  Inspired by a trip to Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, "The Journey Home" perfectly captures the spirit of coming home.  Paul wanted the piece to have a melody reminiscent of an American folk tune, and studied "Shenandoah" for inspiration.  "I imagined what it would be like to come back home to the valley", he writes. "As I cross over a ridge and into the valley, the cares and urgencies of the day relinquish their grip on me, and the peace of the valley beckons me to slow my pace.  I amble onward.  I'm going home."
2013 Area 2 Composition Contest With a Joyful Spirit published AGEHR AG35319 Paul A. McKlveen 3-5 Level 3 2013 3" 20' n/a Handchimes This original work, subtitled Toccata Brillante, is fast and lively.  Ringers will enjoy ringing it as it has multiple techniques, such as suspended bells with mallets, echo, LV, thumb damps, martellatos, and plucks. This original work, subtitled Toccata Brillante, is fast and lively.  Ringers will enjoy ringing it as it has multiple techniques, such as suspended bells with mallets, echo, LV, thumb damps, martellatos, and plucks.

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