Jambalaya Stomp began to simmer in the fall of 2005 after meeting with members of the Orono (MN) All-District Bands. These students were brimming with enthusiasm and ideas. Our discussion produced concepts like “low and loud,” “slow and flowing,” “fast with a driving rhythm,” “jazzy” and having the piece tell a story about something happening in the world today, like hurricane Katrina. I kept a list of these ideas on my piano to inspire me. The students gave me the recipe for this jambalaya! The piece is about collaboration and coming together to face a challenge.