This Thursday, February 7th, I will present my newest trio for hammered dulcimer, guitar, and cello at the Yale School of Music. “Kenai” is inspired by and dedicated to my Uncle Dave, who gifted me his hammered dulcimer about four years ago. I will be performing with Nicoletta Todesco on guitar and Tanner Porter on cello. Looking forward to my first premiere at Yale!
Program Notes for Kenai:
This piece is dedicated to my Uncle, Dave, for being the first person to introduce me to the hammered dulcimer. When my uncle gifted me his hammered dulcimer a few years ago, I knew I wanted to honor this gift with an unique composition. My goal for this piece was to playfully highlight the slight differences between duple and triple rhythmic patterns, as well as explore the combined wide range and nuanced sounds of the cello, guitar, and hammered dulcimer. Uncle Dave, I hope someday you are able to move up to the Kenai Peninsula, your dream home.
It was such an honor to present this year about equitable representation of women and nonwhite composers in K-12 band and orchestra repertoire at the Illinois Music Education Conference! Our session was well-attended and received lots of positive feedback, but it was also such a treat to spend time with my dear Illinois music education friends and colleagues! Huge thanks to Dr. Mary Lynn Doherty and Dr. Chrissie D’Alexander for believing in this project and presenting with me.
Here is the list of programming resources we offered during our presentation. This is not an exhaustive list, but these resources will certainly help anyone who is looking to make their concert programming more representative of the students in their community and classroom:
The International Alliance for Women in Music (iawm.org)
It was an absolute dream on December 12th to be honored with the Morton Gould Young Composer Award and asked to perform at the ASCAP Foundation Honors at Jazz at Lincoln Center! There was so much talent and pure joy at the event, and it is certainly a night that I will never forget. I am truly humbled with the recognition from ASCAP Foundation.
The piece that earned the award was Meia: A Song Cycle for Berimbau. This song cycle includes six pieces ranging from solo through sextet and can be found on the Innova Recordings album, MeiaMeia. Individual pieces in the song cycle, Meia, include:
um só (performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center for this event)
The video for my drum set and electronics piece, “Post-Lightened,” is now up on the Vic Firth YouTube page!!!! Thank you so much to Evan Chapman for commissioning this piece, trusting me with one of my first big electronics projects, and putting together this INCREDIBLE video!
Also, if you’re at PASIC this week, you can also come say hello at the Living Room Music booth in the expo hall and take a look at this score as well as many others if you’re interested in performing it!
This evening, Minnesota-based quartet Zeitgeist will premiere “The North Star,” for clarinet/bass clarinet, piano, and 2 percussion. It is such an honor to be working with an ensemble that has built a legacy of over 40 years of performing, commissioning, outreach, and advocacy for new music. They will also perform “The North Star on October 13-14 as a continuation of the Here and There: Zeitgeist and No Exit Ensemble series, as well as another performance in Duluth, MN as part of the Greenlight New Music Festival. More information about GNMF can be found here.
Program Notes for “The North Star:”
“The North Star” serves as a historical and cultural tour of Minnesota’s main industries: logging, mining/shipping, agriculture, and manufacturing/technology. Inspired by traditional folk music, cultural records, state anthems, and binary computer and Morse codes, this work celebrates Minnesota and its important contributions to the United States, past and present. “The North Star” was composed for Zeitgeist, a Minnesota-based, musical icon.
Movement 1 quotes the melody from Minnesota logger Michael Cassius Dean’s, “The Falling of the Pine.” Movement 3 quotes the state song, “Hail! Minnesota,” composed by Truman E. Rickard and Arthur E. Upson. Both pieces are in public domain. Access to the sheet music was available through the Minnesota Folksong Collection and Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State (accessed in summer 2018 online).
Percussionist Alex Richard will premiere “Graphic Content No. 3” this Friday on her senior recital at University of Tennessee-Knoxville. This is the third graphic score I have created as part of the ongoing “Graphic Content Series.” Alex commissioned this piece from me earlier this year, and I cannot wait to hear her interpretation of the score! She even used the score as her poster art for the recital! Live webcast streaming services are available through the University of Tennessee-Knoxville School of Music website on the day of the performance.
This fall I have the amazing opportunity to work with Minnesota-based ensemble Zeitgeist to write them a new piece for the inaugural year of the Greenlight New Music Festival. The new work will be inspired by the various industries and cultures found in Minnesota, including mining, maritime work, agriculture, and logging. It certainly won’t be as comprehensive as one of my favorite albums by Sufjan Stevens as far as state culture (Illinois, 2005), but I will certainly take influence from that album! Zeitgeist is also hosting a Lowertown Listening Session before GNMF featuring my music!
This upcoming March, I am so fortunate to be working with the Arizona State University Symphony Orchestra to premiere my first orchestra piece as well as a new concerto for Projeto Arcomusical and orchestra composed by the incredible Elliot Cole! I am constantly grateful for the opportunities I have received through Arcomusical, and I very much look forward to this project in the spring!