Friday, May 23, 2014

Wesleyan Alumni Concert tomorrow

Last fall I was invited by the Hartford New Music Festival to be one of two composers-in-residence, along with Michael Schelle. It was a blast getting to know Michael, and the festival was in all other ways a success as well.

There were two enormous perks of this festival. One was a commission to write a new orchestra piece, for the combined forces of the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra and The Generous Ensemble. (I write about this piece in one of my blog posts last October.) The other was to curate a concert of chamber works by Wesleyan alumni who had worked with me in one way or another — most of them were my composition students at one time, but I advised or read the masters theses of others, and we all made music together back in the day.

The concert was a terrific success, and I resolved to repeat the event at Wesleyan when Alumni Weekend rolled around this year. The time has come, and tomorrow, Saturday 24 May at 4:00 in Crowell Concert Hall at Wesleyan, the concert will be repeated. For the most part it is the same program, performed by the same musicians.

Wesleyan is well-known for having produced some important composers who work in electric media and computer music. But because of logistical considerations, it was decided that the concert last fall, in the Chapel at Trinity College, would be an all-acoustic event, no electronics. And that's the way the concert is tomorrow.

The result is an amazing variety of sounds and shapes. Virtually all of the composers involved also write for electronic resources as well as acoustic ones, so it offers a glimpse into another aspect of his or her work. The concert has a whimsical title, derived from the names of pieces on the program. Here's a list of performers, followed by the pieces and their composers. I'll write more after the event. If you're in the area, just slip into Crowell on Saturday afternoon and pretend you're a Wesleyan alum!

Aurora Borealis meets Hiatus Pitch meets 
L’orgueilleux — In the Garden
compositions by Wesleyan alumni

Crowell Concert Hall at Wesleyan University
Saturday 24 May at 4:00 p.m.

Performed by Megan Natoli, flute; Ling-Fei Kang, oboe;
Geoffrey Landman, saxophone; 
Elisabeth Tomczyk and Brian Parks, piano;
Janet Simone Parks, dancer; and the West End String Quartet

“Gathering Light” for violin solo
Benjamin Broening 
“Companion” for two speaking pianists at two toy pianos, 
violin and cello
Edward Jessen 
Theme and Mutations for oboe and piano
Brett Terry 
“The Lonely Chant,” for string quartet
Walter Frank 
“hiatus pitch” for saxophone solo
Keith Moore
“Aurora Borealis” for violin, viola, cello and piano
Liang Liang
“The Sound of Skin,” for any number of performers, 
balloons and water
Judy Dunaway
"mensural canon for tri-partitioned body" 
for solo dancer and three singers
Brian Parks
“Frolic,” for oboe and cello
Anne Lemos Edgerton
“L’orgueilleux,” for flute, viola and piano
Chris McDonald
Two movements from “Garden” — a string quartet
Chris Jonas

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