Composition Info for Freshmen

by Joanne Metcalf on August 29, 2015

in Current students, News

Welcome classes of 2019 and 2020! The Composition Academic Information Meeting will take place on Thursday, September 10 at 1:10 p.m. in Music-Drama 259. All freshmen interested in studying music composition at Lawrence are encouraged to attend. Information on enrolling in composition courses will be given. See our list of guests for fall 2015 at our Composition Studio Events page.

Welcome Freshmen! – Composition Meeting

by Joanne Metcalf on September 9, 2014

in Uncategorized

Welcome to Lawrence! All freshmen interested in the B.Mus. in Music Theory/Composition or in composition classes are asked to attend the Academic Information Meeting (AIM) for Music Theory/Composition on Thursday, September 11 at 1:30 p.m. in Music-Drama 259.

Freshmen – Academic Information Meeting

by Joanne Metcalf on September 11, 2013

in Uncategorized

All freshmen interested in the B.Mus. in Music Theory/Composition or in composition classes are invited to attend the Academic Information Meeting (AIM) for Music Theory/Composition on Thursday, September 12 at 1:30 p.m. in Music-Drama 259.

Welcome Week – Academic Information Meeting

by Joanne Metcalf on September 10, 2013

in News

The Academic Information Meeting (AIM) for Music Theory/Composition will take place Thursday, September 12 at 1:30 p.m. in Shattuck 259. All freshmen interested in the B.Mus. in Music Theory/Composition or in composition classes are invited to attend. Information about enrollment in composition courses will be discussed.

Very exciting news for acoustic/electronic composer and senior composition major, Daniel Miller. Click here for more details!


The January 25 Lawrence Symphony Orchestra concert will feature an unprecedented TWO world premieres by Lawrence student (and former student) composers! The orchestra will perform “All But Inescapable” by Nolan Veldey ’13 and “LUX: Fanfare for Brass” by Evan Williams ’11. At Maestro Más-Arocas’s initiative, there will now be an annual performance of an orchestral composition by a Lawrence student composer on one of the LSO’s regular concerts.

Join us for the video webcast Friday, January 25 at 8:00p.m. (CST).

Douglas Detrick ’06 and NOW Ensemble

by Joanne Metcalf on November 5, 2012

in Performance, Recent graduates

One of our biggest events this year is the residency of the NOW Ensemble, who will be teaching and performing at Lawrence Nov. 13-15, with a concert on Thursday, November 15 in Harper Hall. The concert will include a performance of Memorial by composer/trumpeter Douglas Detrick, one of our star alums. We’ve invited Doug to write about his piece and how his career as a professional musician developed after graduating from Lawrence.

Guest post by Douglas Detrick ’06
Douglas Detrick is a composer and trumpeter whose work straddles the worlds of jazz and contemporary classical music. He is the leader of AnyWhen Ensemble, a chamber-jazz quintet that will release its third album in 2013 entitled “The Bright and Rushing World,” a 10-movement suite commissioned by Chamber Music America. He graduated with a B.Mus. in Trumpet Performance from Lawrence University in 2006. Learn more at

About Memorial
The wonderful NOW Ensemble will perform a work I composed for them in 2010 called Memorial, written in honor of the late Jeffrey Cumpston, my high school band teacher and a close friend. Jeff was living in Zimbabwe with his family, teaching at an international school in Harare when he was killed in a bicycle accident in 2009. He was an incredible man, and had a profound influence on me when I was growing up. Though he was primarily a jazz drummer, he exposed me to jazz, classical music, folk music from around the world, and more, all with the same sense of wonder at the diversity of human expression.

Memorial is an attempt to honor Jeff’s influence in my life by creating a piece that I thought he would have liked. Jeff had the rare ability to listen to his students to understand their lives, but also listen to the potential that each of us had and to push us to achieve it. All music requires listening, but this piece is written so that all the musicians must listen to each other in order to perform it. The music is written in “spatial” notation where each note is played in time based on its position on the page in relation to all the others, not with traditional meter. All the musicians read from a score with all the parts, and so they must always be listening to their ensemble partners to know when to play their parts. Like in a living ecosystem, everyone must lead and react to their neighbors while working towards a common goal. It is a reflective tribute to a musician, father, and teacher who cared enough to really listen.

Life after Lawrence
After I graduated in 2006 I went to the University of Oregon to do a Master’s in Jazz Composition. I was a Graduate Teaching Fellow and had the wonderful opportunity to teach undergraduates while I was pursuing my own goals, which included getting better on my instrument, and to continue to write music that integrated my diverse musical interests into a cohesive statement. After I finished my degree and spent two more years in Eugene, Oregon, I moved to New York where I live still. As I try to continue achieving my musical goals it has been a big challenge to “pay the bills” both musically and financially at the same time, but I can say that this struggle has pushed me to learn many new things and to expect more of myself than I ever had before. Life as a musician can be challenging, but the struggle has made all the great experiences I’ve had with friends in music that much sweeter.

We’re fortunate to have great artistic partnerships at Lawrence: here’s a recording of Maestro David Becker and our good friends in the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra playing Spiral by senior James Fabry ’12. Jim wrote a fantastic piece for the orchestra, and their excellent recording, done in last evening’s rehearsal, is a composer’s dream. Every year one of our advanced composition students is selected for this incredible opportunity. Last year the LSO read Baguettelle by Diana Sussman ’12, and Nolan Veldey ’13 has already finished the short score and begun orchestrating his composition for next year’s LSO reading/recording session.

Listen to Maestro David Becker and the LSO playing James Fabry’s Spiral:

Alex Johnson ’12 – A Composer Transformed

by Joanne Metcalf

Student blogger: Alex Johnson, class of 2012 The saying “be careful what you wish for” has been a big factor in my senior year of college. Film composing was always something that I wanted to experiment with while at Lawrence, and this year I went from wanting to dabble in film composing to being offered […]

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LSO Webcast – Alex Johnson ’12

by Joanne Metcalf

Our good friends in the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra will play the music of student composer Alexander Johnson ’12 in their February 3 LSO Goes to the Movies concert. The orchestra will perform Alex’s film score  A Place Transformed live to picture at 8:00 p.m. in Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Alex has promised to write a blog […]

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Deep Listening Band and IGLU Collaboration

by Matthew Turner

It was an honor for IGLU (Improvisation Group of Lawrence University) to perform with Pauline Oliveros and Stuart Dempster on the Deep Listening Band concert this past Saturday evening. IGLU performed Oliveros’s One Hundred Meeting Places, and Dempster’s Milandra Embracing. One Hundred Meeting Places was a challenge because it required all performers to improvise using […]

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The Deep Listening Band at Lawrence

by Joanne Metcalf

We’re happy to welcome the Deep Listening Band to Lawrence this week. It will be great to have Stuart Dempster back for a return visit, and we’re excited to meet Pauline Oliveros this time around. Stuart and Pauline will be working with IGLU (Improvisation Group of Lawrence University), and Pauline will meet with composition students […]

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