The halls of the Westbrook Music Building are busy with activity, but our faculty, staff, alumni and students are out in the world doing amazing things too! Read about all of their activities here.
The modern saxophonist has a wonderful new tool at their disposal,
WWW.THESAXOPHONIST.ORG was created by university professor and performer, Dr. Paul Haar. Haar is currently the Associate Professor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Noticing a void in the saxophone community, Haar created “The Saxophonist” as a resource that would serve students, performers and educators alike.
“The saxophone has blessed my life by taking me places that I used to dream of and to make music with people of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds. “The Saxophonist” is created to give back to the instrument I love!” -Paul Haar, Editor-in-Chief
The site, which launched in late August, offers informative articles, interviews with leading performers and teachers in the ﬁeld and product reviews. In less than a week of its launch the site welcomed nearly 3,000 visitors from such locations as Brazil, Peru, Vietnam, Russia, Germany, England and Iceland. The inaugural issue showcases a review of the Retro Revival saxophone mouthpiece line and a featured article with tenor saxophonist, Lew Tabackin. The site is offered as a resource and is presented in a format that anyone, from any country, can access. In addition to Dr. Haar, The Saxophonist welcomes educators from around the world as reviewers, authors and advisors, making this venture truly “global”.
Student Julie Grives presented at the International Congress of Voice Teachers in Stockholm, Sweden. Her presentation was titled, "Neuroplasticity and the Singing Brain" and she presented it to a standing room only audience. "It was a great experience, supported in part by the Hixson-Lied Student Grant program," she said.
Student Emily Freeman submitted a video of her singing a song she wrote and was selected as one of two winners by Lucas Hoge and a panel of judges from his record label in Nashville. She will perform a short set to open up for him on August 19th at Byron Bash (a small town festival in Byron, Nebraska.)
Here is a link to Hoge's announcement: https://www.facebook.com/LucasHoge/videos/10154683076781781/
Professor of Cello Karen Becker is having a piece rebroadcast today on Performance Today. The piece premiered in January 2015 in Kimball Recital Hall but the performance was recorded at the Red Lodge Music Festival -- Laurence Sherr's Sonata for cello and piano, "Mir Zaynen do!"
Assistant Professor of Composition Greg Simon is currently in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains for the 2017 season of the Brevard Music Center Summer Institute. Founded in 1936, the Brevard Music Center attracts over 400 music students from around the world for its six-week summer season. Greg serves on the composition faculty, working with student composers from as far away as China and attending schools such as Indiana University, the Boston Conservatory, and Oberlin College. This is his third consecutive year on the BMC faculty.
David von Kampen
Glenn Korff School of Music Lecturer in Theory and Literature as well as the director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Vocal Jazz Ensemble, David von Kampen, has released the first professional recording of his jazz compositions -- The Kansas-Nebraska Act: Music for Small Jazz Ensembles.
"I wrote half of these charts during graduate school at the University of Kansas, and the rest in Nebraska, where I live now. Some of the band lives in Lawrence, the rest in Lincoln. The first time we all played together was the night before this recording session."
Borrowed Time, Glenn Korff School of Music graduate student Andrew Janak’s debut album, is a project several years in the making. The album is currently available on Bandcamp and will soon be on CDBaby and iTunes.
“After leading my own band in Chicago playing my original music for one and a half years, I moved back to Lincoln to pursue my DMA,” Janak said. “I always had it in the back of my mind that I needed to record the music I was making with the group and it all came together with my first DMA composition recital. I brought in five musicians from Chicago with whom I had frequently collaborated (Adam Thornburg, Carl Kennedy, Robin Fey, Jackson Kidder, Jon Wenzel) and added University of Nebraska-Lincoln DMA student Jesse McBee to the mix to create the band for the record.”
The compositions on the album reflect the direction his music was headed back in late 2015-2016: densely orchestrated and contrapuntal jazz music with ample space for improvisation.
“All of the tunes were written during my first year of my DMA at Nebraska with this particular seven-piece band in mind. While some time has passed between the recording session in late February 2016 and the release in June 2017, I am thoroughly satisfied with the final product. All of the band members played beautifully and brought my music to life in ways I didn’t know were possible.
“I’m so excited to share this music with the public and sincerely hope people enjoy it.”
Glenn Korff School of Music Assistant Professor of Composition (Emerging Media and Digital Arts) Tom Larson served as recording engineer and also mixed the album.
Our own Jamie Reimer joined up with the I the Siren Ensemble for a performance. Read more at the link: https://unomusic.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/i-the-siren-performs-at-the-musforum-conference/
Jordan Redd, who is working on his masters in horn performance, is participating in the FOOSA (Fresno Summer Orchestra Academy) Music Festival. It's a three-week festival in Fresno, California. He is playing principal on Mahler 6, and Strauss Don Juan. They have a concerto competition every year and the winner plays on the final concert with the FOOSA Philharmonia. Anyone can audition as long as they are participating in the festival. There are contestants from all around the world between the age of 10 all the way to DMA students and professional musicians. Redd collaborated with a horn from Oklahoma State University (Scott Campbell) and performed the Haydn Double horn concerto and they have made the final round that takes place tonight!
Alum Brian Jeffers was mentioned in Opera News in a review of Cracked Orlando.
"Brian Jeffers offered a heroic, flexible tenor as Medoro."
Here is the complete review:
NEW YORK CITY
Center for Innovation in the Arts | The Juilliard School
“CRACKED TO PIECES, where is Orlando?” sings the title character in Jonathan Dawe’s Cracked Orlando, presented by Juilliard’s Center for Innovation in the Arts at the Rosemary and Meredith Willson Theater (seen March 24). The answer was everywhere, both visually and aurally. John Erickson’s projections played across jagged screens that suggested Orlando’s altered state (the result of enchantment by the sorceress Alcina) and offered hope of his restoration via Pangaea-like fusion were they to connect. The screens also played home to the rocky coastal landscape of Alcina’s island, as well as to a corps of dancers, filmed months earlier, who impersonated shipwreck victims swimming to freedom as well as cavorting statuary at Angelica and Medoro’s wedding. At one point, they stood in for Orlando himself, rushing from one screen to the next as he tried to escape Angelica’s cave. In a show of true theatrical sorcery, Alcina was an avatar vanishing and reappearing on the screens, animated by mezzo Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek’s physical movements, which were picked up by motion sensors as she sang in a room across the hall. In addition to controlling the projections, video artist Phoebe Dunn manipulated a hologram representing the torch Alcina used to bewitch Orlando, making it wax, wane and change colors with graceful hand movements.
Dawe’s score is like Handel in a blender, framing melismatic vocal lines against a dissonant, fragmented instrumental soundscape. Singing in both Italian and English, the fearless singers managed to make Dawe’s thorny score sound like their natural mode of expression, despite the paucity of pitch reference. The singers were miked in order to create echo effects and to match Kwiatek’s piped in vocal presence. This made all their voices sound edgy in the small space, but countertenor Brennan Hall, an alternately sorrowful and unhinged Orlando, found moments of sweetness, especially in his affecting final aria. (Hall is a veteran of another adventurous Orlando: R.B. Schlather’s WhiteBox Art Center exhibition of the Handel opera, in which he played Medoro as a strutting pimp.) Soprano Sharon Harms made a regal Angelica, and it was her facial expressions that set the emotional stakes. She executed the score’s most florid passages with shiny confidence and empowering chest tones. Brian Jeffers offered a heroic, flexible tenor as Medoro. With so much musical and visual cacophony, director Kerry Warren wisely kept the staging simple. Conductor Ryan McAdams brought out the lyrical moments in Dawe’s fractal score while maintaining a precise rhythmic engine. —Joanne Sydney Lessner