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.
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).
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 douglasdetrick.com.
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:
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 an opportunity to compose an original film score for the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, which they were to perform on a major concert that Maestro David Becker would conduct live to picture. Despite my lack of experience in composing for film, I said—exclaimed—“YES!”
I knew from the beginning that many challenges would present themselves. Luckily, I had a six-week winter break during which I could compose the score to filmmaker Rachel Crowl’s portrait of Lawrence, A Place Transformed. I saw this opportunity not only as an exercise in artistic discipline, but as a peek into the life of a professional composer. I established a daily composing routine and finished a draft score early enough to receive feedback from Professors Sturm, Metcalf and Becker. I returned to campus in January with a completed score. Attending the orchestral rehearsals was unbelievable; for a composer, there is no greater feeling than hearing your music played for the first time by eighty expert musicians. At the concert, anticipation and excitement overflowed as the LSO captured the audience’s attention with their expressive playing to the film.
I learned many different things from this experience, but the most important was just how much I love to compose music. It strengthened my already strong passion for composing and gave me the confidence that I could become a professional composer. So, be careful what you wish for, because if you get it, it may end up being one of the greatest experiences of your life.
Listen to the music for the film A Place Transformed:
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 post for us after the event about the process of composing the music and collaborating with filmmaker Rachel Crowl. In the meantime, you can join us on Friday night for the live webcast—or if you can’t make it then, a stream of the concert will be posted on the webcast page shortly thereafter.
We have great collaborative partnerships with our large ensembles, including Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Wind Ensemble and the Lawrence Choirs.