Ninth Annual New Music Festival Concerts Features Original Compositions, Feb. 15-16, at UNK
Dr. Darleen Mitchell
UNK Department of Music and Performing Arts, 308.865.8632

UNK- Contemporary classical music composers and performers from across the United States and the world are being featured during the New Music Festival this week at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Directed by Dr. Darleen Mitchell, UNK associate professor of music, the New Music Festival features more than 30 student and faculty performers performing works by composers from 12 states, and Latvia.

According to Dr. Mitchell, the New Music Festival is a chance to hear what contemporary composers across the country are writing.

“The music is all written by living composers and is all very new in style,” Dr. Mitchell said. “This is a chance to discover that there is a continuing living tradition of ‘classical’ composition.”

The festival concerts are being presented in the UNK Fine Arts Recital Hall. On Monday, the concerts are taking place at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., respectively. On Tuesday, the concert will take place at 5:30 p.m. All performances are free and open to the public.

Composers featured Monday in the 5:30 p.m. concert, their compositions and the performers include DeAnn Sindt, a senior from Upland, with a composition titled, “For the Nation,” which will be performed by an ensemble including Robert Roth, an Arcadia sophomore on trumpet; Ashley Lawson, an Aurora senior on trumpet; Helen Breuer, a Blair junior on horn; Cameron Scheibe, a Newport junior on trombone; and Jody Neel, an Archer senior on tuba.

Peteris Vasks, a guest composer from Latvia, will have his composition titled, “Landscape With Birds,” performed by UNK faculty member Franziska Nabb on flute. Robert Roth, a UNK sophomore from Arcadia, wrote a piece titled, “Lament,” which will be sung by tenor Phillip Zuehlke, a Grand Island senior. Jordan Peterson, an O’Neill sophomore, will provide piano accompaniment.

Guest composer Piotr Szewczyk of Florida has a composition titled, “Lament for the Tsunami Victims,” which will be performed on violin by Dr. Ting-Lan Chen. Benjamin Williams, a guest composer from Ohio will have his composition titled, “A Girl’s Song,” sung by soprano Dana Hilde, a Lincoln sophomore, and soprano Sarah Hild, a Kearney freshman. Dr. Marilyn Musick will provide piano accompaniment. Guest composer, Stephen Weber of Oklahoma has a composition titled, “Words,” which will be sung by baritone Dr. Andrew White. Todd Thalken of Kearney will accompany Dr. White on the piano.

Featured at 7:30 p.m. on Monday will be guest composer Aaron Alon of Texas. Alon's composition titled, “Spring and Fall,” will be sung by mezzo-soprano Dr. Sharon Campbell. Dr. Noah Rogoff will provide accompaniment on cello, and Dr. Valerie Cisler will play piano.

Thomas Dempster of North Carolina will have a piece titled, “Pentes:Gammes,” performed by guest performer Dr. Allison Fletcher on the flute/piccolo. Matthew Durrant of Idaho will have a composition titled, “Sonata for Trombone,” performed by Dr. Seth Fletcher on the euphonium and Dr. Marilyn Musick on piano. Dr. Darleen Mitchell will present her composition titled, “In a Timeless Sweet Land,” which will be sung by baritone Dr. Andrew White. Dr. Noah Rogoff will provide accompaniment on cello.

Allen Shearer of California will have a composition titled, “Bagatelles,” performed by Dr. Jan Harriott on clarinet and guest performer Dr. Allison Fletcher on flute/piccolo. Guest composer Ryan Jesperson of Missouri will present a composition titled, “Farbenmusik,” which will be performed by Amanda Arrington of Missouri on piano. Timothy Kramer of Texas will have his composition titled, “Key Fragments,” performed by Dr. Jan Harriott on clarinet.

Brian Nelson of Kansas will have a composition titled, “Two Songs of Two Loves,” sung by mezzo-soprano Dr. Sharon Campbell. Dr. Valerie Cisler will provide piano accompaniment. Guest composer Kristin Shafel of Missouri will have a selection titled, “Caoineadh,”  performed on flute by Dr. Allison Fletcher. Oliver Caplan of Massachusetts will present a composition titled, “Illuminated by the Light of Two Ships Passing in the Night,” which will be performed by Dr. Ting-Lan Chen on violin and Dr. Nathan Buckner on piano.

Featured at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday will be composer John Bilotta of California with a piece titled, “Yeats Songs,” which will be sung by baritone Dr. Andrew White. Dr. Mitchell will provide piano accompaniment.

Chia-Yu Hsu, a guest composer from North Carolina, will have a composition titled, “Among Gardens,” performed on piano by Dr. Nathan Buckner. Jim Puckett of Texas wrote a composition titled, “Nocturne,” which will be performed on tenor saxophone by Anthony Ford, a Kearney junior. Ford will be accompanied on piano by Clint Dennis, a UNK freshman from Osmond. Michael Walworth, a senior from Kearney, wrote a piece titled, “Black Gloves,” which will be performed by an ensemble including Walworth on piano; Ted Fattig, a Grand Island senior, on guitar; Gustavo Rodriguez, a Grand Island junior, on guitar; and soprano Jordan Costello, a Columbus sophomore.

Chris Arrell, a guest composer from Massachusetts, will have a composition titled, “Icarus,” performed on piano by Chihiro Sugano, a UNK senior from Japan. Rich Freese, a guest composer from Missouri, will perform his composition titled, “Scattered Moments,” on guitar. Lauren Rudolph, a UNK sophomore from Ogallala, will sing a composition titled "Blazing in Gold," which was written by Deanna Tiller of Texas. Megumi Kajigaya, a UNK senior from Japan, will provide accompaniment on clarinet, and Ayae Mori, a senior from Japan, will play piano.

Nicholas Omiccioli, a guest composer from Missouri, will have a composition titled, “Trio,” performed by guest performers Shih Chieh Chen on violin; Ben Gitter on cello and Kari Johnson on piano. The three performers are all from Missouri.