to boldly go!


I’ll go in the strength of the Lord,
In paths he has marked for my feet;
I’ll follow the light of his word,
Nor shrink from the dangers I meet,
His presence my steps shall attend,
His fullness my wants shall supply;
On him, till my journey shall end,
My unwavering faith shall rely.

So remember in the last post when I said I would be back soon? See, I wasn’t kidding! I’m back! It’s been a minute (new slang term I’ve learned, meaning it’s been quite a while) since I’ve updated (told you, I’d start saying that at the beginning of each post) and I reckon it’s time for updating:

I successfully graduated from Asbury University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Here’s proof:


My family and I after the graduation ceremony. We don’t take pictures together all that often, only on special occasions and significant milestones, so yeah that happened. It’s still bittersweet and won’t feel real until August 14th rolls around and I’m not in my first day of classes.

So, what am I doing now that I am fully gradu-ma-tated from Asbury? Well…


…I have accepted a position as a Regional Music Director for the Eastern Pennsylvania & Delaware Division. You heard right: I have moved away from the Central Territory and now reside in the Eastern Territory. In the 2016-17 season of the USA Central Territorial Youth Band, we played Peter Graham’s To Boldly Go and in a fitting manner, I boldly went!

It has been quite the adjustment period so far. I spent the majority of my time at the lovely (and huge!) Camp Ladore getting to know both my department (pictured above) and the young people in the division. Spoiler alert: THEY ARE GREAT! There is so much skill and so much potential in these young people. They are willing to learn, ready to worship the Lord, and really good at having fun. Some of the best times I had this summer was just hanging out with the youth and bonding over anime, children’s card games, etc. God definitely knows what He was doing when He sent me here. (He kinda always does.) Gavin Whitehouse (the Divisional Music Director, aka my boss) and I led the Chorus during Sr. Conservatory and I used Gungor’s Beautiful Things, Jim Curnow’s How Beautiful Upon the Mountains, and my own Anchored: complete with clapping, dancing, and choreography. It was such an encouraging summer, as a lot of the local officers and music leaders mentioned that they are excited to see what I will do in the Delaware Region. So, that’s pretty cool.

What music am I working on at the moment? There is a major work for the Western Territory Staff Band (B/M Neil Smith) coming soon in the pipelines and this piece is something I’ve been trying to do for a while. My devotional setting of In Thee O Lord is also still in progress. I am also undertaking writing a piano solo for a good friend of mine, Meghan Pierson (Deputy B/M of the Oakbrook Terrace Corps Band). Watch this space for more information on that!

If you are wondering how you can pray for me, I have one request: pray that I stay steadfast in my mission not only to help those I encounter grow musically, but more importantly spiritually. We naturally have an effect on those we encounter in this life, and I want to be a positive influence, pointing them towards Christ. In order to do that, I need to be focused on Him. There are times when that can be challenging, so I just ask that you pray that I keep my eyes on Him.

I leave you with text from one of the songs featured in Erik Leidzen’s At the Master’s Feet (ABJ #36):

O soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free:
Turn you eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.


Happy Freduary! (and a lil’ bit of Spring Break)


Disclaimer: I did not come up with the term “Freduary.” My good friend Bethany Kelly did.

Good afternoon, y’all! It has been a while since the previous post (I might as well get used to saying that every post.) For those of you keeping score at home, I am in my final semester here at Asbury University.

…yeah, I can’t believe it either. It feels like I just got here. It’s amazing how much things have changed since my arrival in the Fall of 2014.

What’s next? Well I’ll let you know when I find out, but now it’s time for a music update:


So this happened! On Monday November 21, 2016 five of my compositions/arrangements were featured in an hour-long recital, paired up with musical contributions from Christa Neal ’17 for her senior recital. I kid you not, Akers Auditorium was packed and we were blessed from all those who made it possible. We are indebted to the Salvation Army Student Fellowship Band & Songsters, Adam Schell ’18, Dr. Don Zent, Prof. Mary Ann Wilder, Caitlin Malone ’17, and many more. The five pieces of mine which were featured included the following:

  • For the World (an festival arrangement of the transMission praise & worship song “Christ for the World”)
  • Schelltic Praise! (a solo for Oboe and piano written and performed by Adam Schell ’18)
  • Anchored! (SATB written especially for the SASF Songsters)
  • Give to Jesus Glory (SATB written in the Spring semester of 2016 and now the winner of the 2017 Peniston Honors Composition Competition)
  • My Hope! (originally written as a two-verse congregational accompaniment to “The Solid Rock,” expanded to four verses for this recital)


At the tail-end of February, I co-hosted a senior recital with my good friend Andrew Wittenberg. I would love to tell you about all the great music he performed that night…but I don’t have a programme in front of me. I played the following:

  • Trumpet Concerto in Eb Major, Mvt. 1 (Joseph Haydn)
  • Concertino for Flugel Horn, Mvts. 1-3 (William Himes)
  • Song for Cornet (Richard Lane)
  • So Glad! (William Himes)

It was a great night, and more importantly, it means I’m done with another great portion of my major. Lessons with Jeff (Barrington, Trumpet Professor & SASF Songster Leader) shift to focus on preparing me to teach lessons to others as opposed to learning from lessons myself. I’m excited about the new direction these lessons will be going in.

As the school year is wrapping to a close, I bet you’re wondering (or probably not wondering, I dunno): what’s coming next compositionally? Well, I’m currently working on my very first work for orchestra (no, that “Ice Ice Baby” arrangement for the Asbury Orchestra doesn’t count) that centers around the Creation story, the Fall, and our path to redemption. It’s a rather adventurous piece of work.

In addition to that, I have one transcription project for a Singing Company that has come up on my desk.  In addition to that, I have recently begun a brass band setting of the chorus In Thee, O Lord, Do I Put My Trust.

Thanks for staying loyal to TroyFred Productions over the past eleven years! Be back soon!

Falling for Autumn!




Yo! It’s been a while since my last post. A lot has happened in the past couple of months. I recently completed a summer position at the Salvation Army’s Central Territorial Headquarters as the Music & Gospel Arts intern. That consisted of working with the Music Department in getting ready for CMI (Central Music Institute), making copies of music and filling folders, and going to different music camps and leading different groups. The final music camp I went to, Camp Mihaska (St. Louis, MO) actually is responsible for a new piece I’ve written entitled The Ramsdale Rumble, written for the 2016 Ramsdale Band, of which I was able to be the Bandmaster. It was a great summer and definitely one I will never forget.

Now I’m back at Asbury University for my senior year, and with that comes recitals. The first of which is my composition recital on November 21. The pieces that are complete that will be featured in said recital are the following:

  • Fanfare & Theme – For the World
  • Choral Selection – Anchored!
  • Oboe Solo – Schelltic Praise!
  • Choral Meditation – Give to Jesus Glory
  • Congregational Song – My Hope!

It is a joint recital with senior violist Christa Neal, so it should be a nice programme. More information and recordings will be posted at a later date.

In other news, I recently been asked to write a recessional for the wedding of two friends: Eddie George and Morgan Irish. That wedding will be this Sunday and am looking forward to the beautiful ceremony. I have also been asked to score another film. This new one is by my own roommate Donny Black, a fledgling filmmaker. I have previously scored Claire Lafferty’s In Time and Lucas Green’s Nerds, so we shall see how this goes. Donny and I have already, albeit briefly, discussed possible story ideas for his film and what direction he wants the music to go in so it will be a good challenge.

Luckily, after my recital I will be able to return to writing music of my own volition (i.e. solely for the Salvation Army) and I didn’t realize how much I missed that until I had no time to do it anymore. I have a few ideas of stuff I could do but we’ll see what actually happens. Thanks for reading this brief update! I have a French quiz in the morning so I’m going to sleep!

Keep your head on a swivel!

-Mbesi, Fred


Back to the Future!

Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly riding into 2015 in “Back to the Future II.”

Happy Belated New Year from TroyFred Productions!

Hope you all are well. Today’s post picture is provided for you by “Back to the Future II.” This is the year that Marty McFly arrived in in the second part of the trilogy, and there’s not a hoverboard or “Jaws 19” in sight.

Looking back at the year 2014, it was a very good year for us here at TF&P. Let’s look at the pieces of music that were written over the past year:

Song Setting – Peacemaker (2014)

Song Arrangement – Glad You Came (2014)

Festival March – Creed (2014)

Festival Arrangement – Greased! (2014)

Festival Prelude – The Following (2014)

Overture – Fancy Faves! (2014)

I’m also happy to reminisce on the premieres of “Glad You Came,” “The Following,” “Chronicles of Faith,” and “Fancy Faves.” That’s four premieres in a year! Holy snot, that’s great! Another amazing thing that has been happening in 2014 is the production of the next TroyFred Productions film “More than Conquerors.” Filming has been completed and editing/score-writing is underway. In addition to that, many of ya’ll will know of my relocation to Asbury University in the Fall 0f 2014. With the guidance of Professor Nathan Miller, James Curnow, and many of the music staff at the building, we can only imagine the new opportunities that will be coming. I have been asked to be the Bandmaster of the pit orchestra for the Sophomore Musical production of “Once Upon a Mattress” and I plan on working on the following projects throughout the year:

  • Score for “More than Conquerors” Film
  • Thematic Sequel to “The Following
  • SSAA Choral Work for the Asbury University Women’s Chorus (Conductor: Prof. Jill Campbell)
  • “Thrift Shop” arrangement for Asbury University SASF Band (B/M Nathan Miller)
  • “Fancy Faves Vol. 2” for the 2015 Fall Variety Show
  • A new Trombone Solo for Jake Luhn of the Oakcreek Corps Band
  • A new Overture, somewhat along the lines of “Whom Shall I Fear

I am also pleased to announce the first new piece of 2015 has been completed! It is a festival arrangement entitled “Illuminate!” and I am very pleased of how it turned out. Is it perfect? Knowing me, probably not. You can check it out at the link at the bottom of this blog post. More updates will be given soon but I am excited to fulfill this calling that God has placed upon my life. I can already tell this is going to be a great year! Did I mention that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” comes out this year?!?!?!

Until next time, stay frosty!

F. Mbesi

Festival Arrangement – Illuminate! (2015)

Chronicles of Awesome!


Hey, y’all! I reckon it’s been a while so here goes an update to share how things are going in the world of TroyFred Productions.

More Than Conquerors

A new movie poster for 2015’s More Than Conquerors, my entry into the Salvation Army’s Boundless Film Festival, will be on its way. For the few gang-related scenes I have to film, I have been able to recruit a few cast members for this expedition through film-making, in addition to a crew for the filming process. Watch this space for more information. The teaser trailer for the film can be seen on my Facebook page.

The Asburian Difference

Things are going well at Asbury. I am involved in a plethora of activities, including the Men’s Glee Club, Concert Band, Orchestra, SASF (Band & Songsters), and I also write for the Collegian, local college newspaper. In specifics, I review 2014 films and am part of the newly-formed CollegianTV team, in charge of making sweet videos about a number of events that happen around campus. New Musicology professor Nathan Miller also gave me a job as being part of his Orchestra staff. With that, I get to do the following: Filing/copying music, live-tweeting and advertising orchestra concerts/events, arranging and transposing music parts, public relations, and other tasks/duties that Prof. Miller wants me to do. There may also be a certain development in the next week or so, so I’ll let you know in due course.


Many of you are aware of my recent completion of “The Following,” a new concert opener for the African Missions event taking place at the Rockford Temple Corps in the next few weeks. My musical exploits have attracted the attention of resident Kentucky composer and friend James Curnow. Jim is interested in having me study with him so I can refine my compositional/conducting skills and improve on them, which is an opportunity I cannot (nor will I) pass up. Coincidentally, Jim (along with Chicago Staff Bandmaster Bill Himes OF) were both former soldiers at the Royal Oak Citadel Corps, and they were both taught by my grandfather Max Wood. Now I feel as though the circle is being completed as they are now teaching me what they know and what they learned from experience and study. I’m blessed by this forthcoming opportunity and hope to improve drastically so my ministry can be more effective. Jim has already helped me edit “The Following” and he is excited to help me on future pieces of music. The Rockford Temple Band has begun rehearsing for that event and “The Following” was among the pieces on the rehearsal stand this past Wednesday. I am excited to be there for its world premiere, conducting it no less.

Speaking of premieres, my father informed me earlier this week that “Chronicles of Faith,” my first extended work for brass bandhad its African premiere by the Kintambo Band. I was thrilled to have been able to listen to that performance and am excited that people are using my music to worship God in different parts of the world. While seeing something I wrote performed (very well, might I add), the coolest part was seeing people singing along with some of the songs in the piece. Of course, I didn’t understand the language they were singing in but it was a blessing nevertheless to see people united worldwide by the act of lifting up their voices to praise God.  That performance can be viewed here:

You can read more about the piece on its composition page:

Stay tuned for more updates from TroyFred Productions…and remember, EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!!


F. Mbesi