freelance composer for hire, licensing, mp3s and music
I am a composer, arranger and transcriber of music. I have over 250 text books on music composition (theory, counterpoint, harmony, form, orchestration, style, arranging, etc.) and I have read almost all of them (and many of them several times). I study books and scores (classical and contemporary) almost every day. I am 73 and still study several hours a day (I’m hooked on it). I have been an active musician (Clarinet and Saxophone) for about 60 years and a voracious listener/lover of music since I was old enough to pay attention to it. These things probably all contribute to my passion for writing music.
I was a bandleader in California before recently moving to Texas. I formed my first band when I was about 13. Eventually, I formed and led two excellent professional bands… the “Mike Henebry Orchestra (a Swing Era Big Band)” and the “Crazy Rhythm Hot Society Orchestra (a 1920s big band),” I had both of these bands for about 25 years. Both bands were very successful and worked regularly in Southern California. We recorded several CDs, did some TV and played many great venues all over the United States. Both bands did dozens of jazz festivals as well as two international cruises. I also had a Dixieland band (the “Goodtime Dixieland Seven”), a small combo, and an all-star concert band (the “All-Southern California Concert Band”).
All of my life I wanted to be a film composer. But, with the exception of one symphony and a handful of smaller compositions, I didn’t compose much music until about 7 years ago. Before then, I used most of my music-writing time for arranging and transcribing music from recordings, mostly for my own bands. After a few decades of doing that, I realized that I could sell the transcriptions and arrangements that I had amassed (around 500 of them). I built a web site (see “links” above, if interested) to sell those transcriptions and arrangements and have been doing that since the late 1990s. Mostly because of that web site, I have been very lucky over the past few decades to have been hired to write transcriptions and arrangements for many orchestras, bands and singers all over the world.
When I sold my small business (my day job) and retired in 2010, I started composing in earnest. Since then, I have written two more symphonies and hundreds of other smaller pieces of all kinds (classical, film, jazz, world, zydeco, flamenco, western, and even some rock). Out of necessity, I’ve also gotten fairly competent with music notation software, digital audio, mixing and mastering. I have probably spent an average of about 5-10 hours a day studying and/or writing music since I was a kid. As you can tell, I’m a little obsessed with music!
But, I’m not completely one-dimensional. I’ve managed to mix it up a little over the years too. Among other things, I was in Pararescue in the Air Force (Special Forces… parachuting, scuba diving, mountain-climbing, survival and medicine). As part of Pararescue, I went to Medical School, went to 26 countries, made 72 parachute jumps, scuba dived all over the Pacific, worked on the space program (Mercury, Gemini and Apollo), and was a Vietnam veteran, (receiving an Air Medal). I, later, played semi-pro football, was an ultrarunner (distances longer than marathon) including finishing “Badwater (the world’s toughest endurance event),” a 135-mile run in Death Valley. I was an aerobatic pilot, an 18-wheeler truck driver owner/operator (logging about a million miles all over the US), and a competitive body-surfer. I played tournament chess (ranked “Expert” at my peak), organized one of the country’s largest chess clubs (which is still going strong after 42 years), and wrote and published a chess book (“Chess Words of Wisdom”). I have about 150 units of college, and I created and sold a unique and successful business after 27 very profitable years. I have been married for 45 years and have 2 great sons.
I now live in Texas and have been working occasionally with a few Dallas-area bands. I also play in three different local amateur bands and orchestras and I’m on the Board of Directors of the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra. Even though it is somewhat tempting, I doubt if I’ll form another band here in Texas. Because, without that distraction, it leaves me ample time to continue to compose music (which is my real passion).
My transcriptions and arrangements are played all over the world, but my compositions are rarely played at all. Writing music that no one ever hears is a strange experience (some would say, stupid.. and they’d have no argument from me). When I’m composing, I know full well that, more than likely, almost nobody will ever hear what I am writing. But I still happily write anyway because it is something that I thoroughly enjoy doing. But it would add a lot to my satisfaction if other people enjoyed the music too! That’s the reason I created this web site: Hopefully, some of you will like at least some of my music!.. Then, we’ll both be a little happier!