October 20, 2014

Remembering U of M School of Music Alumnus Stephen Paulus

SP_pic_medium.jpgA Message on the Passing of School of Music Alumnus Stephen Paulus from University of Minnesota School of Music Interim Director Scott Lipscomb

I am saddened to share the news of the passing of University of Minnesota School of Music alumnus Stephen Paulus. He died yesterday due to medical complications from a stroke. I will share details of his memorial service once they are made available.

Dr. Paulus received his PhD in composition from the University of Minnesota in 1978. He studied with Professors Dominick Argento and Paul Fetler. Soon after graduation, he was commissioned by the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and went on to write 10 operas with many other opera companies. With 55 orchestral works to his credit, Paulus has been distinguished to serve as a Composer in Residence with the orchestras of Atlanta, Minnesota, Tucson, and Annapolis. Conductors who have premiered his works include Osmo Vanska, Christoph van Dohnanyi, Kurt Masur, Sir Neville Marriner, and Leonard Slatkin. Recent orchestral commissions include a violin concerto for the Cleveland Orchestra and William Preucil, a "Jazz Concerto" (co-written with his son, Greg) for the Minnesota Orchestra as well as organ concertos for the Phoenix Symphony and the Portland Symphony (in Maine).

He was a prolific, internationally-acclaimed choral composer, having composed more than 150 works for this medium ranging from his Holocaust oratorio, To Be Certain of the Dawn (recorded by the Minnesota Orchestra on the BIS label) to the poignant anthem, "Pilgrims' Hymn," sung at the funerals of Presidents Reagan and Ford. His works have received thousands of performances and recordings from such groups as The New York Choral Society, L.A. Master Chorale, Robert Shaw Festival Singers, VocalEssence, Dale Warland Singers, and countless others. In 1973, Dr. Paulus was a co-founder of the American Composers Forum (then the Minnesota Composers Forum) with School of Music alumna Libby Larsen. This organization has grown from an innovative regional initiative into one of the nation's premier composer service organizations. 

In a 2002 interview in the School of Music publication "Sounding: Conversations Across 100 Years of Music," Paulus provided his thoughts on his School of Music experience. What he learned from his composition mentors was that "Music isn't just about putting black dots on a piece of paper; it is about being a good husband or father or enjoying a walk in the woods or looking at the ocean or the sunset."

Let's remember Paulus with his gorgeous choral work "The Road Home," an American hymn performed by Conspirare.

Our thoughts at present are with Paulus's friends and family during this difficult time.

October 13, 2014

Faculty News: Julia Bogorad-Kogan article featured on MPR; Maja Radovanlija and Alex Lubet to perform guitar concert; and Adriana Zabala performed premiere of Jeffrey Van's "Reaping the Whirlwind"

BogoradKoganJuliaSQ.jpgJulia Bogorad-Kogan (flute) wrote the essay, "The flutist's-eye view of the orchestra," for Classical Minnesota Public Radio. She writes, "For years now, I've been addicted to playing principal flute in an orchestra. And I contend that it's everything it's cracked up to be." Read the essay.

RadovanlijaLubet.jpgMaja Radovanlija (guitar) and Alex Lubet (theory/composition) will perform a concert of original compositions for two guitars on Friday, October 17 at 7:30 pm at Dreamland Arts in St. Paul. The program includes works from their forthcoming CD, The Enchanted Guitar Forest, and two premieres. Admission is $10. Orders will be taken for the new album, and Lubet's award-winning solo album Spectral Blues will be available for purchase. Both are on PARMA Records. More info.

ZabalaVan.jpgAdriana Zabala (voice) performed the world premiere of former School of Music faculty member Jeffrey Van's choral work, Reaping the Whirlwind, with the Susquehanna Valley Chorale at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University on Sunday, October 12. On October 18, Zabala will perform the Mozart Requiem with the Florida Bach Festival Society in Winter Park, to be followed by a studio recording for later release.

Alumni News: Robert McAllister receives the 2014 National Guild Milestone Certificate of Appreciation

RobertMcAllister.jpgRobert McAllister (BS, 1975, music education) received the 2014 National Guild Milestone Certificate of Appreciation. McAllister is dean of the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts. More info or read the press release.

Student News: Ryan LaBoy featured in "Pioneer Press" article about ComMUSICation

RyanLaBoy.jpgRyan LaBoy (choral conducting, student of Matthew Mehaffey and Kathy Saltzman Romey) is featured in The Pioneer Press article, "New choral music program targets low-income St. Paul kids." The article focuses on ComMUSICation, the organization that LaBoy directs. Also featured in the article is School of Music alumna Elizabeth Windnagel (BM, 2013, voice, student of Adriana Zabala).

October 6, 2014

Faculty News: Alex Lubet recording to be included in Ravello Records compilation; John Snow and Timothy Lovelace to perform in Minnesota Orchestra's Starry, Starry Night Chamber Music Concert

LubetAlexSQ.jpgAlex Lubet's recording of his composition Reliquary Dances IX for guitar (performed by the composer) has been selected by Ravello Records digital-only compilation album Vanguards 2, the second in a series of releases featuring Ravello artists. The recording is taken from Lubet's album Spectral Blues: New Music for Acoustic Guitar, which was named a "Best Album of 2013 (in any genre)" by noted jazz critic Ted Gioia.

SnowLovelace.jpgJohn Snow (oboe) and Timothy Lovelace (collaborative piano) will participate in the Minnesota Orchestra's Starry, Starry Night Chamber Music Concert on Thursday, October 16. Snow will perform the Mozart Oboe Quartet and Lovelace will perform the Brahms Clarinet Trio with cellist Tony Ross and clarinetist Osmo Vänskä. More information.

Alumni News: Corey Hamm's CD wins Western Canadian Music Award; Tiffany Skidmore organizes One Night Art Gallery; and Dawn Sonntag is featured in "Hiram"

CoreyHamm.jpgCorey Hamm's (MM, 2003, piano; DMA, 2005, piano, student of Lydia Artymiw) CD of Frederic Rzewski's solo piano epic "The People United Will Never Be Defeated!" (Redshift TK431) won Best Classical Recording at the Western Canadian Music Awards in Winnipeg on October 5, 2014. Hamm is a tenured associate professor of piano at the University of British Columbia.

TiffanySkidmore.jpgTiffany Skidmore (composition, student of James Dillon) organized a One Night Art Gallery event at Anwatin Middle School in Minneapolis, funded by a Jerome Fund for New Music grant. Compositions by SOM students Benjamin Klein (student of Alex Lubet) and Paul Schwartzkopf were presented, along with a piece by Tiffany Skidmore, performed by vocalist Katherine Kennedy. The work of a number of visual artists including Rachel Becquer (sculptures), Mustafa Dedeoglu (photography), Debra Fitzsimmons (paintings), and SOM student Jeffery Kyle Hutchins (performance art), as well as artwork by Anwatin Middle School students, also constituted an important component of the event. Scott D. Lipscomb (associate professor, music education) moderated a panel discussion on the topic of education in American society. On October 25, the composers and artists will take the event to the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane, WA.

DawnSonntag.jpgDawn Sonntag (DMA, 2008, composition, student of Alex Lubet) is a faculty member at Hiram College and is featured in the college's magazine, Hiram. Christina A. Russ' article, "Music Professor Showcases Versatility Through Original Opera 'Verlorene Heimat,'" discusses Sonntag's process in writing the opera. Read the article.

Music on Campus comes to Ferguson Hall

MusicOnCampus.jpgOn Friday, October 3 the School of Music welcomed 75 high school musicians from Minneapolis Southwest High School, Minneapolis South High, and Roosevelt High for a day of Music on Campus, a series of interactive workshops and performances by U of M School of Music faculty and students that encourage high school musicians to "keep playing" by continuing their music endeavors on a college campus, while offering them a glimpse of the specific opportunities available at the University of Minnesota. This event was organized by Laura Sindberg (music education), Anabel Njoes (SOM staff member), and Calvin Keasling (Minneapolis Public Schools). Photo: (left to right) Jerry Luckhardt (bands), Kendra Wheeler (saxophone/music education, student of Eugene Rousseau), Laura Sindberg (music education), and Immanuel Davis (flute)

September 29, 2014

Alumni News: Carol Barnett's album release; Christine Cangelhoff's album release; Samuel Grace founds MPLS (imPulse); and Jocelyn Hagen wins third place in the 2014 American Prize Competition

CarolBarnett2.jpgCarol Barnett's (BA, 1972 theory/composition; MA, 1976, composition) album, TREASURES FROM THE ARCHIVES, a collection of arrangements and works written for the Dale Warland Singers, the National Lutheran Choir, and the 2011-12 Minnesota All-State Women's Choir, has been released by PARMA Recordings and is available from Amazon.

MelodicConchSalad.jpgChristine Gangelhoff (DMA, 2002) recently released the album Melodic Conch Salad with ensemble MUIN242, featuring students from The College of The Bahamas. MUIN242 is a diverse group of young musicians who share a love for Bahamian culture. The group's name is taken from The College of The Bahamas curriculum (MUIN) and the Nassau area code (242). Melodic Conch Salad was recorded in Tower Heights Studio, Nassau, The Bahamas. The material was developed in The College of The Bahamas course MUIN255, led by Gangelhoff, executive producer of the recording. Watch the video.

SamuelGracecBrooksPeterson.jpgSamuel Grace (2014, choral conducting) is the founding artistic director of MPLS (imPulse), a 24-voice chamber chorus presenting its debut performances on October 12 and 17 at the Minneapolis Central Library Atrium and The American Swedish Institute. The ensemble's mission seeks to create a meaningful, community driven experience for its artists and to engage audiences in performance by expanding access to an eclectic repertory of choral music in diverse spaces. Artists in MPLS (imPulse) prepare music in advance of scheduled festival appearances where the ensemble rehearses, builds community, and presents a series of concerts throughout the region. Concert information. Follow MPLS (imPulse) on Facebook. Photo: Brooks Peterson

JocelynHagen.jpgComposer Jocelyn Hagen (MA, 2006, composition, student of Judith Lang Zaimont) achieved third place in the 2014 American Prize Competition (professional choral division), for her work Sanctus. According to their website, the American Prize in Composition "recognizes and rewards the best composers in America of new works for orchestra, chorus, concert band, chamber ensemble or theater that have been publicly performed." More info.

Faculty News: Alexander Braginsky featured on MPR and SOM faculty perform with Minnesota Orchestra

BraginskyAlexanderSQ2.jpgAlexander Braginsky (piano) was featured discussing his passion for piano etudes on MPR's Learning to Listen in a segment "Refining skills with piano etudes." Listen online.

zabalaKauffman.jpgAdriana Zabala (voice) and School of Music alumna Linh Kauffman (voice) performed with the Minnesota Orchestra as soloists in Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Resurrection at Orchestra Hall (September 26-28). Professors John Snow (oboe), Fernando Meza (percussion), and Dean Billmeyer (organ) also performed. Reviews of the program were featured in the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press.

September 22, 2014

Faculty News: Immanuel Davis to perform at Twin Cities Early Music Festival & Bach Marathon

Immanuel_Davis.jpgImmanuel Davis (flute) will perform a Baroque flute recital as part of the Twin Cities Early Music Festival & Bach Marathon on Saturday, September 27 at 1 pm. More information.

Alumni News: Jessica Park to open Twin Cities Early Music Festival & Bach Marathon

Jessica Park (DMA candidate, organ, student of Dean Billmeyer) will open the Twin Cities Early Music Festival & Bach Marathon with a recital at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church on Saturday, September 27 at 12 noon. Park's program features Bach's Trio Sonata V in C Major BWV 529 and the Passacaglia in C Minor BWV 582.

September 15, 2014

Faculty News: Alexander Fiterstein's New York Reviews

AlexanderFitersteinAug2014SQ.jpgAlexander Fiterstein (clarinet) performed works by Bernstein, Poulenc, Brahms, and Weber with pianist Michael Brown at Bargemusic in New York City last weekend. The concert was listed in the New York Times and the New Yorker Magazine and reviewed by the New York Classical Review. Read the review.

Alumni News: Sarah Porwoll-Lee's professorship and new positions

SarahPorwollLee.jpgSarah Porwoll-Lee (MM, 2013, clarinet, student of Alexander Fiterstein) was recently named Adjunct Professor of Applied Clarinet at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Porwoll-Lee also joined the Board of Directors of local new music non-profit Zeitgeist this year, and has served as Artistic Co-Director of Twin Cities chamber music organization The Antithesis Project since completing her Master's Degree in 2013.

September 8, 2014

Faculty News: Guerino Mazzola Heads MCM2015

28dab0ad-72d3-4c0f-97c6-7b2e44f09bf9.jpgGuerino Mazzola (creativity, improvisation, and mathematical music theory) is the current president of the Society for Mathematics and Computation in Music, whose official publication is the Journal of Mathematics and Music. The organization's Fifth Biennial International Conference on Mathematics and Computation in Music (MCM2015) will be held June 22-25, 2015 at Queen Mary University of London in the United Kingdom. See MCM2015 info and a call for papers.

September 2, 2014

Faculty News: Recent activities by Dean Billmeyer and Mark Russell Smith on APM's Performance Today

DeanBillmeyer3.jpgFrom July 14-18, Dean Billmeyer (organ) joined Albrecht Koch, Organist at the Freiberg Cathedral and President of the Gottfried Silbermann Society, in leading master classes in Freiberg and Zethau (Saxony) on historic organs by Gottfried Silbermann and his student Adam Gottfried Oehme. Silbermann was arguably the most important and influential builder in Saxony during the lifetime of J. S. Bach; the master classes focused on the works of Bach and his contemporaries - nine organists from six different countries participated. Billmeyer performed concerts at the Petrikirche in Freiberg (Silbermann's largest extant two-manual organ), and at the Versöhnungskirche in Leipzig.

SmithMarkRussellSQ.pngListen to Mark Russell Smith (orchestral conducting) conduct the Quad City Symphony on American Public Media's Performance Today. The program includes the world premiere of composer Jacob Banck's Iowa-inspired piece.