September 19, 2017

UMW Student Composers Perform Works at UMW and UVA

UMW student and alumni composers had performances of their music at the Hurley Convergence Center on Friday, Feb. 19, and at Open Grounds on the campus of the University of Virginia on Feb. 20 as part of a composer exchange with UVA coordinated by Assistant Professor of Music Mark Snyder.

The program Friday night consisted of Powers for banjo, harp, electric guitar, electric bass, euphonium and timpani, Psychotropic for fixed media and Con todo mi corazón  for soprano, banjo, keyboard and electronics by Mary Paige Rodgers ’16, Invocation for banjo, harp, electric guitar, electric bass, euphonium and timpani by Michael Prime ’17, Hazel Colored Nebula  for piano, harp, electronics, electric bass and  bass drum, Gridlife for fixed media and Cloud for soprano, piano and electronics by Austin O’Rourke ’17, Fortune for banjo, harp, electric guitar, electric bass, euphonium and bass drum by Justin Carrico ’15, Sorrows Weep Not for oboe, guitar and electronics by Stephen Hennessey ’15 and Tarragon for fixed media by Becky Brown ’15. Performing in the concert were Becky Brown: harp, Justin Carrico: electric bass, Stephen Hennessey: electric guitar & classical guitar, Mary Paige Rodgers: banjo: electric guitar, Austin O’Rourke: timpani, bass drum, electronics, synth and piano, Margeaux Ducoing: soprano, Gracie Hardy: clarinet, Danny Arslan: piano, Michael Prime: euphonium, Michael Morley: oboe.

The program at UVA included the same personnel, but added Becky Brown’s Hold Still for live art and electronics and Stephen Hennessey’s Ausgang for processed guitar & electronics. It was held at Open Grounds, a modern manifestation of Jefferson’s founding principles, as it encourages collaborative, cross-disciplinary work across the University. OpenGrounds connects scholars, researchers, artists and external partners in ways that will generate innovative results.

Mary Paige Rodgers is a graduating senior at UMW. She will earn a BA in Music with a minor in Business Spanish. She is primarily a steel string guitarist, but enjoys playing banjo and writing electronic music on the side. Powers is a tribute to Mary Paige’s great-grandmother, who passed away. The piece evokes an emotion of life and magic, because Mary Paige always imagined her Grandmother Powers that way. Con todo mi corazón is Mary Paige’s most recent piece that processes vocals and banjo through Ableton Live. This piece has phrases repeated in both English and Spanish, and tells a story about life and love. Psychotropic is a piece Mary Paige wrote using lines from the 1985 documentary Children of Darkness, which focused on the controversial treatment of young patients with mental illnesses.

Michael Prime has been studying music for 8 years, his instruments including euphonium and harp. He is currently a junior at the University of Mary Washington, double majoring in Music and Computer Science, and studies composition with Dr. Mark Snyder. Invocation was largely influenced by the 5th movement of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, “Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath.” Invocation tells a story of witches during a ritual, beginning with the initial gathering and moves on toward the beginning of the rite itself. The piece then moves to a calmer section as the witches see their spell starting to take, and culminates with the completion of the ritual and the ancient spirits freed.

Austin O’Rourke (b. 1995) is a composer, producer, songwriter and performer studying music composition with Mark Snyder at the University of Mary Washington. Austin’s compositions have been described as “organic,” “touching” and “incredibly emotional.” His works have been presented at the EABD, Root Signals, N_SEME, the West Fork New Music Festival and his piece “Hazel Colored Nebula” has been awarded 2015’s ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. After his studies, he aspires to focus his work on video game music composition and sound design. Hazel Colored Nebula is a piece dedicated to the aesthetic similarities between irises (avg. 12mm in diameter) and the star-forming gas clouds called nebulae (avg. 8,000 light years in diameter). Gridlife is a piece composed exclusively of iPhone recorded sounds and processing. It is dedicated to transforming a tangible place into a stress dream. Cloud is the three-dimensional object formed from the water-colored brush strokes of a cloud being painted in our sky.

Justin Carrico recently received his Post Baccalaureate degree in music from the University of Mary Washington. He plans to begin graduate studies for composition in the fall of 2016. The late romantic composers as well as modern electronic musicians influence Justin’s compositions. Fortune is a word with a somewhat ambiguous meaning. Semantically it can mean good, bad, wealth or merely the future. The title, much like the piece, can be interpreted differently depending on context. This work was originally composed for concert band, and its realization as a nontraditional ensemble is a testament to Fortune’s malleability.

Becky Brown is a 2015 Music and Computer Science graduate of the University of Mary Washington, studying electro-acoustic composition with Mark Snyder, and harp performance with Grace Bauson. She has been a performer of Dr. Snyder’s music at festivals including SCI National and Regional Conferences, Ball State New Music Festival, Third Practice and Electronic Music Midwest, as well as in his guest artist appearances at numerous universities. Her own works have been performed at Root Signals, the Electroacoustic Barn Dance, and West Fork New Music Festival. In addition, Brown has engineered or assisted on recordings in a wide range of genres, and composed music for theatre and dance. She is the tech director of the Electroacoustic Barn Dance at UMW. Artemisia dracunculus is my favorite spice; it adds an un-sugared sweetness to savory foods that I have come to depend on. Specifically, a combination of mushrooms/balsamic vinegar/garlic/tarragon is more ubiquitous in my diet than almost anything else I can cook in a pan. I have come to accept this as a natural extension of my tendency to over-listen to songs I like, making Tarragon a piece about mashing the repeat button of food. Hold StillA multimedia self-portrait, 2015. Pencil, copper, and Arduino on paper, poetry and video in Max/MSP/Jitter. Drawings anchor my memories far better than photographs; poetry tells my stories better than prose. This piece is more true to me than I am to myself.

Stephen Hennessey earned his B.A. in Music from the University of Mary Washington in 2014 where he studied composition with Mark Snyder. He resides in Central Virginia, pursuing an oneiric aesthetic that confuses the boundary of human and computer/raw audio and synthesis, while serving The Electroacoustic Barn Dance as Programming Director since 2014. Sorrows Weep Not is an abstract song: a sentimental statement for severe want of words. Its binary form is modeled after the track “Vowels” off the 2003 EP “A Quick Fix of Melancholy” by Norwegian avant-garde group Ulver. All electronic sounds are produced through the live performance, and are realized within Ableton Live/Max4Live using both native and community-produced patches. Ausgang is a sentimental  work  structured  around  the  development  of  a  simple  melody through  episodic  processing.  Source  material  for  the  electronic component  is  generated  entirely through the live performance, and is realized within Ableton Live, using both standard devices and community-produced Max4Live patches.

Gracie Hardy is a freshman studying Music and Historic Preservation at the University of Mary Washington. She grew up in a small town in Eastern Oregon, where she began her music studies. For six years Gracie was member of the Eastern Oregon University/Community Band, where she enjoyed studying under Teun Fetz. In high school Gracie placed first in the District Solo Competition on clarinet in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and competed at the Annual Oregon State Solo Competition twice. She also competed with her high school band at the Annual State Band Festival twice. Gracie has been fortunate to study under Sharon Sanders, Jeff Sizer, Teun Fetz and Katie Fetz. She is involved in the University of Mary Washington’s Small Instrumental Ensemble, the Concert Band, and takes private lessons from Doug Gately. Gracie plans to pursue her passion in music performance on clarinet.

Danny Arslan is a third-year music student at the University of Mary Washington. At 20 years of age, Danny enjoys performing many different genres of music, but is primarily focused on his classical studies.

 

Singer, illustrator and competitive dancer Margeaux Ducoing currently lives in Fredericksburg, Va. Born in California and raised in Louisiana, Margeaux is a fifth-year senior at the University of Mary Washington where she double majors in Music and Studio Art and minors in Museum Studies. Her main instrument is voice, as a soprano, while also trying her hand at piano and ukulele. She has performed in different UMW ensembles such as the UMW Choir, UMW Chamber Choir, Philharmonic, and the all-girl a cappella group BellACappella; and has worked with composers Austin O’Rourke and Mary Paige Rodgers on collaborative pieces. Outside of school, Margeaux also performs in the rock cover band Satie Quintuplets.

 

 

UMW Music Well Represented at Root Signals Electronic Music Festival

Facets of Love JUThe University of Mary Washington was represented by Department of Music faculty, students and alumni at the 2015 Root Signals Electronic Music Festival at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville Florida. Root Signals is sponsored by the Division of Music at Jacksonville University, and the Department of Music at Georgia Southern University and featured guest percussionist Tony Steve for the three-day festival of electronic music and media art.

Mark Snyder, Assistant Professor of Music, performed his song cycle Facets of Love to close the festival on Saturday, September 12th. The performance featured Paige Naylor ’14: soprano, Becky Brown ’15: harp, Mark Snyder ’97: guitar, piano, synthesizer & electronics. The poems for Facets of Love were penned by Jeanine Casler, a faculty fellow at Hobart, Northwestern’s Women’s Residential College and the video was created by Anna Weisling, the Music Technology Specialist at The Juilliard School in New York. The first movement can be viewed below:

Junior Music major Austin O’Rourke performed his composition Hazel Colored Nebula during the Emerging Composers Concert on Thursday night, September 10th. His performance of this piece on UMW’s 2015 Undergraduate Research and Creativity Day can be viewed below:

 

Becky Brown (UMW Music graduate 2015) performed her multimedia self-portrait composed during her spring 2015 independent study, Hold Still for pencil, copper, and Arduino on paper, poetry and video in Max/MSP/Jitter on the Saturday September 12th afternoon concert. Her performance of this piece on UMW’s 2015 Undergraduate Research and Creativity Day can be viewed below:

Stephen Hennessey (UMW Music graduate 2014) performed his work for processed guitar and electronics composed during his spring 2014 independent study, Ausgang during the Emerging Composers Concert. His performance of this piece on September 9,2014 can be heard below:

WRIR’s Time is Tight to Feature Mark Snyder Retrospective

 

Mark Snyder

Mark Snyder

Mark Snyder, Assistant Professor of Music, will have a retrospective of some of his music featured on Paul Ivey’s radio show, Time is Tight, this Friday Dec. 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. on WRIR 97.3 in Richmond, Virginia. Mark’s band Nature Boy Explorer that includes students Austin O’Rourke and Becky Brown plus Alums John White and Katherine Presseren will be performing live in the studio. The show will also feature tracks of Mark’s music and/or performances from Easy Chair, Dirt Ball, Grief BirdsIntrepid Trio, One Ring Zero, Malhombre and his electroacoustic music too!

 

Greenan Lectures at University of Virginia

April Greenan, Assistant Professor of Music, recently lectured on music and medicine in the University of Virginia School of Nursing. She reported on controlled studies of the application of music in combating certain cancers, dyslexia, and Alzheimer’s Disease and identified specific musical properties that the studies indicate are effective in treatment and that produce statistically significant results.

UMW Presents Fall Concert, Nov. 7

The University of Mary Washington Concert Band will present its fall concert on Friday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. The concert will include a performance of UMW’s new fight song “Soar, Eagle Nation Soar!” The piece, written last spring, already is a valuable addition to UMW’s spirit and community. The concert is free and open to the public. UMW Concert Band The UMW Concert Band, conducted by Kevin Bartram, is comprised of both UMW students and community musicians who present two concerts a year. Membership is open to all UMW students regardless of major. Also on the program are Gustav Holst’s “Second Suite in F, La belle Hélène” by Jacques Offenbach, “Salvation” by Robert W. Smith, and “Where Never Lark or Eagle Flew” by James Curnow. In addition, Bartram included a piece entitled “Wearing of the Green,” referencing the upcoming March tour of Ireland that will include several members of the band along with the Philharmonic Orchestra and the President’s Tour Club. For more information, call the Department of Music at (540) 654-1012.

UMW Theatre Continues Season with “Sunday in the Park with George”

The University of Mary Washington Theatre will continue its 2014-15 season beginning Nov. 6 with the Tony Award-winning musical “Sunday in the Park with George,” featuring music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and based on the book by James Lapine. Performances will take place Nov. 6-8, Nov. 13-15, and Nov. 20-22 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 9, 15, 16, 22, and 23 at 2 p.m. in Klein Theatre, located in duPont Hall on the Fredericksburg campus. Tickets are $24 for standard admission and $20 for students, senior citizens and military. “Sunday in the Park with George”is inspired by the Georges Seurat painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” The first act is set in 1884 and focuses on the artist and the time leading up to the completion of his masterpiece as he struggles with himself and his relationship with his lover, Dot. The second act continues a century later with Seurat’s great-grandson George, who also is an artist. George, seeking new inspirations, returns to the island where the painting was created to discover the deeper meanings behind his and his ancestor’s art. Sunday in the Park with George  Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim  Book by James Lapine “Sunday in the Park with George”originally opened in 1983 at Playwrights Horizons in New York where it ran for 25 performances, with the second act premiering during the last three performances. The following year, the show transferred to the Booth Theatre on Broadway where it ran for 604 performances. Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin starred in both the off-Broadway and Broadway productions, playing Dot and George respectively. The show is one of eight to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and also was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning two for scenic and lighting design. The show also proceeded to win eight Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical. The university’s performance of “Sunday in the Park with George” is directed by Gregg Stull, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance and Department of Music, with musical direction by Christopher Wingert. Scenic design is by associate professor Julie Hodge and costume design is by associate professor Kevin McCluskey. Lighting and projection designs are by guest designers Jason Arnold and Clint Allen, respectively. Sound design is by student designer Reid Moffatt. For further information and to purchase tickets, contact the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111 or visit umw.tix.com.

UMW Presents Harp Concert

The University of Mary Washington will present “Around the World in 80 Minutes,” a music concert featuring harpist Grace Bauson on Friday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in Pollard Recital Hall.   Grace Bauson Bauson will guide the audience on a journey of harp music from around the world, including works inspired by Spanish guitars, Asian poetry, the vistas of Antarctica and more. The concert is free and open to the public. A harp professor in UMW’s Department of Music, Bauson has performed with the American Youth Harp Ensemble in venues including Carnegie Hall, the White House, and the Kennedy Center. She also has been a featured soloist in concerto performances at the Chautauqua Music Festival and with the Kokomo and Ball State symphony orchestras. Her students have performed in numerous national and international tours with the American Youth Harp Ensemble. Bauson’s instructors have included Elizabeth Richter, Judy Loman, Adelheid Blovsky-Miller and Lucile Lawrence. She holds a doctorate in music from Ball State University. For more information, call (540) 654-1012 or visit cas.umw.edu/music.

Mark Snyder’s Composition Performed at Electronic Music Midwest

Mark-Snyder Mark Snyder, Assistant Professor of Music, performed his multimedia composition, Qwee for processed harp, accordion, electronics and video performed on Oct. 25 at Electronic Music Midwest in Kansas City, Kansas with UMW student harpist, Becky Brown.

Electronic Music Midwest is dedicated to programming of a wide variety of electroacoustic music and providing the highest quality performance of electronic media. This annual festival consists of approximately nine short concerts (about one hour in length) over the course of a weekend in autumn. Our goal is to bring together vibrant and interesting artists of all forms, give them a vehicle for their expressions, and a place for them to share ideas with others.

EMM has always featured an eight-speaker surround diffusion system under the guidance of Ian Corbett. The core of the system are eight Mackie 1521 bi-amped speakers, an EAW/QSC subwoofer system, and a Soundcraft MH3, 32+4 Channel mixer (named “Emily”). Due to Ian’s expertise, many visiting composers comment that EMM is one of smoothest run festivals they have ever attended.

Since its beginning, EMM has programmed over 500 new electroacoustic compositions. Composers have traveled from around the world to graciously share their music with audiences in the Midwest. However, EMM is about more than just playing new music. We strive to create an environment conducive to building community interaction. Most concerts are approximately one hour long, and composers have plenty of time to “talk shop” with each other as well as interact socially with students and audience members.

 

Mark Snyder’s Composition Featured at Arts Now

563956_10151286562520832_1157819989_nMark Snyder, Assistant Professor of Music, had his multimedia work, Messy for processed clarinet, electronics and video performed at North Carolina State University’s Arts Now Series on Oct. 15 by clarinetist Andrea Cheeseman.

The Arts NOW Series at North Carolina State University presents concerts, lectures, and other performing arts events for the University community and the general public. The Arts NOW Series programs feature contemporary work in the arts: new works, new techniques, new interpretations and contexts, and new connections to older work.

Previous presentations have included everything from opera premieres to events based on video works to piano lecture-recitals on mathematics and music to a special event related to global climate change. The presentations make connections and serve such courses at North Carolina State University as those dealing with video/intermedia/film, the arts and technology, the arts and politics, 20th-century music, American music, the arts in various cultures, the arts and the physical sciences, and many other topics of general interest.

Featured artists have come from as far away as Canada, Argentina, Italy, Brazil, England, Germany, Switzerland, and from throughout the United States and have included Robert Ashley, Larry Austin, Steve Duke, Beth Griffith, Jaqueline Humbert, Michael Matthews, Stuart Saunders Smith, Sylvia Smith, the Bremen Clarinet Quartet, the Balkan String Quartet, and many others.

Dr. Andrea Cheeseman is Associate Professor of Clarinet at Appalachian State University. An active and engaging performer, she has received invitations to perform at colleges and universities throughout the country as a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed for diverse festivals such as College Music Society Annual Meetings, the Montana/Idaho Clarinet Festival, the Michigan Contemporary Clarinet Festival and the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium. She has been a regular performer at the Delta State University Electroacoustic Juke Joint Festival, and in the summer of 2003, Cheeseman was named first runner-up in the Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition.

Mark Snyder Interviewed on Patch In TV

563956_10151286562520832_1157819989_nAssistant Professor of Music Mark Snyder was interviewed on patch in tv about his many festivals, some of his students’ projects, and much much more!

Patch In is a music technology show where hosts Ben Fuhrman and Nate Bliton get together each month to talk about the latest in electronic music. Digital, analog, fixed media, interactive, they’ve got it all. They interview composers, performers, coders, hackers, programmers, and scholars. They’ll even show you some of their own work. And don’t forget the two-minute challenge, in which one of them explains a particular technical aspect of electronic music in just 120 seconds.

Check out the video here: