Over a span of three or four years, I remember getting about five or six music books for piano that would he mee become an avid follower of music. One book
I remember Christmas in 2002 when I was still in high school and music interest was becoming very evident it would be something of interest in the long run. I remember getting a gift that at first, I was not sure how I would react at first. Today, it not only was a great gift, but it was the reason I would look to emulate in the footsteps of this great American composer.
Late in 2002, I had not known too much about American music in the late 19th and early 20th century. Most of my interest had been studying main composers of each era of music: Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary. Most of these composers came from Europe, but I rarely had studied American Music (except for maybe MacDowell). But in 2003, I played Elite Syncopations and The Sycamore and were the first two rags I can remember playing for the first time.
Little did I know then that come four years later, that book would be the basis for why I would have an interest in writing rags, primarily the structure and the format of what makes the rags so special and timeless.
It was all thanks to a Christmas gift in 2002.