The mood you set with your piece greatly fits the title. It sounds really cheerful and feels like the start of a new beginning, just like you'd expect from New Year's Eve. Although the theme you set and the orchestration in general are both fine, there are a few things I'd like to point out that you could work on.
First of all, the start of the piece is a bit too unexpected and bombastic to my taste. Although this can work in some pieces, it didn't really seem fitting for this one, especially since the tone lowered quite dramatically right after it. Perhaps starting the first few bars with a crescendo and ending it with a decrescendo would be more fitting?
Furthermore, the melodies are really hard to follow. This is probably mainly due to the amount of layers playing different things at the same time. Right now there's more harmony than melody, which is a shame, as it makes the song less memorable.
The chord progressions in general are quite nice, though. However, the one chord progression that does bug me a bit, is the one from 01:37-01:47, which sounds too much like Pachelbel's Canon. Also, the part from 00:51-01:17 sounds a bit too monotonous. Furthermore, there seems to be a bit of dissonance @ ~ 01:46-01:47.
Be aware of clipping, as there's quite a lot of it throughout the piece. The moment the volume passes the 0.0 DB threshold, your signal starts to clip, which is especially noticable starting @ ~ 02:52.
Lastly, that sustained note near the end might be a bit too much for some players, so it might be worth shortening that section a bit.
I know writing music for orchestras can be quite difficult, so you definitely earn credit for that. It was a nice piece to listen to, but there are a few things you may want to keep in mind for future works. All in all, a 3.5/5!
Thank you for your review. If there are any issues with the harmony drowning out the melody or clipping, it is likely from either the site or the conversion from wav to mp3 - I listened to my own mix on several different playback devices (two laptops, one with headphones and one without; a home stereo system, and the iPhone playback), and don't hear any imbalance or clipping, and my mixing software doesn't show any clipping.
The chord progression from 1:37 to 1:47 may be similar to the progression Pachelbel's Canon, but is a common pattern throughout classical and pop/jazz music (especially from the 60s to the present) and hasn't bugged anyone else that's heard this. I agree that it sounds a little monotonous and static from 0:51 to 1:03 (not past that, though), but as I mentioned in my reply to Lethal-Input, that comes from issues in the VST library. Also, there is no dissonance at 1:46 in either the sheet music or that I can hear in my original mix (just an A9 chord - the doublings are slightly unusual but necessary for where the different parts go in the next chord).
While I respect your opinion in the last paragraph, I have been writing orchestral music for more than three years. If you check the other orchestral music on my profile or my website, you will see that I have quite a bit of experience writing for orchestra (even before being taught composition and orchestration at Westminster Choir College), although I do not claim to be an expert yet. I have had some of my works (including this one) used as composition and orchestration examples at Westminster Conservatory in theory and composition classes for their Honors Music Program and evaluated by composition faculty at Westminster Choir College and the Hartt School of Music. Some of the things you had mentioned are either things that I can't control without a live orchestra or are slightly less common but done for a very specific reason.
I know that every piece I write can't please everyone that might possible listen to it, but I hope your less than satisfactory experience with this piece won't cause you to not listen to more of my music.
Very well done! Definitely on par with a professional sounding piece. It really fits the theme you were going for too. I could easily see this playing at some kind of celebration. I can't find anything negative to say without SUPER nitpicking. The instruments sound great. The weakest part of the piece imo was probably 50-1:03. Probably because the synthiness of that sound really stands out compared to the rest of the stuff. Anyway, very good stuff! 4.5/5
Thanks. I'm glad you liked it so much. Many people that have heard my music (the few pieces on here or the many others I've written) have said that it sounds very professional, especially since I started mixing outside of Finale. That's one thing that I definitely pride myself on.
I agree that the sound around 0:50-1:03 isn't 100% the way I want it to sound (the bass clarinet and trombone project a little more than I'd like them to), but there's only so much I can do to fix it when it's caused by the Garritan instruments. A real orchestra would be much better, but I don't have one that is always available to record whenever I need it (yet).