Mr. West became a band, orchestra, and chamber ensemble composer and arranger out of necessity. In 2000, a composer he had commissioned to write a special piece for his high school concert band dropped the ball and didn't get the work done on schedule. In order to fulfill the promises that were made to the community, Tom wrote his own concert band piece. This led to a series of custom concert band works for middle school and high school bands, as well as custom pieces for the small ensemble and chamber ensemble programs that have always been a part of the curriculum at every school Mr. West has worked for.
Mr. West has studied band arranging with Quincy Hilliard, jazz improvisation with Dennis DiBlasio, and jazz harmony and arranging with Jimie Amadie.
Mr. West has written for a wide variety of instrumental ensembles and continues to develop his individual style and voice as a composer for the student ensembles he creates music for. In his current teaching position at Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School's Center for Performing and Fine Arts, Mr. West regularly adapts string ensemble music to include concert band instrumentation in order to have students in both the wind and bowed string families perform together. He also is pioneering a unique hybrid version of the Modern Band ensemble that combines the pedagogy approach of Modern Band with a horn section from concert band and jazz band. He also is coaching and mentoring students to write their own works for the school's ensembles, including scoring for jazz ensemble and modern band.
Mr. West's instrumental arrangements and original works are now published on Sheet Music Plus, with new titles being added regularly.
A Note About Copyright
All of the original compositions below are (c) Thomas J. West and are fully protected under US Copyright Title 17, all rights reserved.
Commissioning Original Instrumental Ensemble Music
Mr. West is available on commission to compose an original piece for live performance by your instrumental music ensemble. Mr. West writes for all sizes and instrumentations for concert band, jazz band, marching band, string orchestra, full orchestra, and chamber ensembles. His current rate for original works is $80/hr. and the current work time for original works is 1-2 hours a day. The length of the piece and the size of the ensemble will affect the total time needed to create the piece. A fully orchestrated concert band for full orchestra piece typically takes about 20 hours to complete. The piece you commission will bear your ensemble's name on the score and all parts, and the piece will be copyrighted and published either on Sheet Music Plus or with other band and orchestral music publishing companies.
For any questions or to start the process of commissioning music, please use the Contact form.
Custom Arrangements of Already Existing Musical Works
Mr. West is also available as an arranger-for-hire for custom arrangements for instrumental ensembles of already existing musical works. His current rate for custom arrangements is $80/hr. Please note that all arrangements created for-hire are the intellectual property of each song's publishers. If the song being arranged has been licensed by Sheet Music Plus, the arrangement will be created for your group and then published online. This saves your group money, but it also means that your commissioned arrangement will be published and available to the public.
If the song that you are requesting is not in the SMP licensing library, Mr. West must apply to the publishers for a Work-For-Hire License before the arrangement can be created. You are hiring Mr. West strictly on a for-hire basis to create an arrangement that has received proper licensing prior to beginning work on the arrangement.
Mr. West can apply for a license on your behalf if you live in the United States, Canada, or the UK, or you can pursue a license yourself in your geographic region (Australia, for example). A typical license can take from 1 to 2 weeks to acquire, and may incur additional fees from the publisher ranging from $0 to as much as $400. Most pieces license for $75-$100. Please allow as much lead time before you need to begin to rehearse the piece with your ensemble. Mr. West can not, under any circumstances, send you a full copy of an arrangement to begin rehearsing until the adaptation license has been granted and all fees paid in full. Mr. West will provide a copy of the arrangement to the rights holders as requested.
Once all licenses have been acquired and fees have been paid, Mr. West will craft your custom arrangement in two to four weeks depending on the size of the ensemble and will deliver it to you electronically. Your license will legally allow you to create a fixed number of copies of that arrangement for the use of your vocal ensemble and can not be transferred to any other ensemble without further authorization. Your arrangement will remain unpublished and will not be made available to the public.
For any questions or to start the process of custom arranging, please use the Contact form.