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I was born in Baltimore, Maryland on June 4, 1982, and my family moved to West Virginia when I was ten years old. I've been interested in music since I was very young, but I didn't make a serious attempt at learning an instrument until I was in the eighth grade, when I grabbed my older brother's baritone horn and joined the band at Berkeley Springs Junior High School. I fell in love with music, and it wasn't long before I also started playing organ at church and bass guitar in a band with my three brothers. My first experiences with composition were writing songs for us to play. While attending Berkeley Springs High School, I became interested in composing and arranging instrumental music. I wrote several pieces for marching band, and began working on my musical, Graystone. I was allowed to conduct the Graystone Overture with the concert band before I graduated.
While attending Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, I studied composition and orchestration, and participated in as many composition related activities as I could. I also began composing and arranging music for community and church music groups. In 2005, I graduated from Shepherd University with a bachelor's degree in Music Education.
Since receiving my degree, I've worked extensively with school, church, and community music ensembles. I've had works premiered by the Hedgesville High School Band, Morgan County Community Band, and Musselman Middle School Wind Ensemble. I've arranged marching band shows for many high school bands, particularly Hedgesville, Musselman, and Martinsburg. I've also arranged music for the Baltimore Ravens Marching Band. If you are interested in having me compose or arrange something for your ensemble, please contact me and I'll be happy to work with you.
About Gravel Studios
I originally began Gravel Studios as an online portfolio of my work. While music has always been my primary focus, I became interested in drawing and animation for a while. I had plans on making GravelStudios.com similar to HomestarRunner.com, using characters from my musicals as the basis for cartoons and comics. While I still enjoy drawing and creating those kinds of characters and stories (and I haven't completely ruled out a return to that kind of format), I decided that I was spreading myself too thin. Right now, I'm focused primarily on music. So I've turned Gravel Studios into a music publishing company, starting with my own works, and eventually publishing the music of others as well.
Copyright 2013 Peter J Hopkins