Born in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan in 1986, Naoya Wada is an internationally recognized composer with numerous commissions for band, ensembles, and radio programs. He often works as a guest conductor and clinician, and is one of the few Japanese composers making significant contributions to educational band music.
His works for concert band, string orchestra, and small ensembles have been performed, published, and recorded worldwide by groups ranging from elementary to the professional level. He has also received several Bandworld Top 100 recognitions, J.W. Pepper Editor’s Choice citations as well as the 42nd Kitakyushu Cultural Award for meritorious deeds.
Naoya started as a tubist in his school band at the age of 13. He spent most of his school days self-learning composition.
“I started to try to make melodies, but I had no musical education, so I couldn’t add harmonies to them.
His interest for music and composition grew after playing ‘In All Its Glory‘ by renowned composer James Swearingen, who greatly influenced him.
“I was very impressed and interested in his music. Without him, I wouldn’t have my dream to become a band composer.”
Today, Naoya Wada is an accomplished composer with more than 100 published works for concert band, fanfare band, chamber ensemble and string orchestra.
“When I write my music, I always input my ideas into the computer. I have never made sketches or blueprints because I want to make music from what comes to my mind at that moment.”
“The most challenging aspect of composing music is to match the elements that I like with those of what the audience or performers like. I always want to write music that people like – if I can’t love the music myself, it’s pointless.”
During the COVID pandemic, many bands had to down-size their rehearsals, which in turn saw the rise of flexible and adaptable works for bands of various sizes and instrumentation, also known as ‘Flex-Band‘ music.
“It is actually more difficult to be writing music for Flex-Band as compared to formal band music as there are many things to consider such as ranges, rhythms, sound balance and more.”
Despite these difficulties, Naoya’s Flex-Band music such as ‘Flower Crown‘, ‘Wind on the Hill‘, ‘To A New Horizon‘ and ‘The Wind Blows Where It Will‘ became very popular with bands for concerts and competitions.
“I am proud that my music is played not only in Singapore, but all over the world. I would be glad if I could have the opportunity to compose a new piece for a band in Singapore in the near future.”
One of Naoya’s newest work ‘Legacy‘, will be soon published in both band and flex-band editions. He is also working on a new piece of a higher grade but he hopes many people will love it.
As the world recovers from the pandemic, Naoya Wada hopes that there will be more young composers writing music.
“I hope they have a warm heart and be a person who rejoices in the happiness of others. Music has the power to make people happy so let us continue to prove it.”