Yesterday evening, I attended a Manhattan School of Music alumni gathering at the home of its current President, Jim Gandre. In the thirty six years since I was a graduate student there, I’ve been in the building only once before – for a memorial service for one of my most influential teachers. MSM is a place which for me holds the fondest of memories. Music has always been the foundation of my sanity – and I owe to MSM that entire aspect of my internal life. The training I had there is what allowed me to become a composer. The brilliant teachers I studied with enabled me to decipher the mysterious and wonderful code that gives great music its power and meaning.