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Publication Date

Winter 3-5-2010

Year of Release



Steven Hall, Conductor

Dr. Ann Bingham, clarinet

Michael Cochran, Aaron Statler, Jenna Palmer, Levi Billiter, percussion

Alanna Cushing, prepared piano

Amanda Kohl, soprano

Dr. Reed Smith, violin

Fixed Media

Justin Widget, baritone

David Patrick, piano

MU Faculty Brass Quintet

Dr. Martin Saunders, Briana Blankenship, trumpet

Dr. Stephen Lawson, horn

Dr. Michael Stroeher, trombone

Dr. George Palton, tuba

Marshall University Wind Symphony

Mr. Steve Barnett, conductor

Clint Needham, José-Luis Hurtado, Eric Nathan, 2008 SCI/ASCAP Student Composition Commission winner

SCI/ASCAP Student Commission Contest:

Since its inception in 1998, the SCI/ASCAP Student Commission Competition has awarded thirty-three commissions. Many of the commissioned works have also been published in the SCI Journal of Music Scores and the SCI CD Series. In its present form, it is hoped that the contest speaks to the heart of our profession by encouraging emerging composers to work in close conjunction with performers and performance groups all over the US. Only the generous annual support of our co-sponsor, ASCAP, makes this contest possible.

The SCI/ ASCAP Student Composition Commission evolved from the Society's long involvement with composition contests. Our first contest, open to all member composers, was jointly sponsored by the Arizona Cello Society in the 70s. In the 80s, SCI and SESAC initiated a contest exclusively for students, and, in the 90s, the contest emerged as it is today, with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers as co-sponsor. It has remained a student contest, but with the emphasis on the commissioning and performance of new pieces. In 2009, in order both to increase the prize money and the attractiveness of the contest, it was decided that two prizes should be awarded instead of three. The Society looks forward to future SCI/ASCAP contests and to the SCI national and regional conferences in which the works of young, talented composers will be presented in a nurturing and professional venue.

Composers and Program Notes:

Kyle Gullings is a versatile composer of stage, vocal, and chamber works. A 2008 ASCAP/SCI Regional Winner, he has received performances at the. College Music Society's Mid-Atlantic 2009 Regional Conference, the Kennedy Center's Page to Stage Festival and the John Duffy Composers Institute. He has been performed by the Chicago Miniaturist Ensemble and the Catholic University of America Women's Chorus. Mr. Gullings is A.B.D., pursuing his DMA in Composition at Catholic University of America, where in 2007 he was the first recipient of CUA's Stage Music Emphasis master’s degree. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife Natalie.

Written in a single six-hour session, in memoriam Hibakusha is meant to honor and remember the hundreds of thousands of victims of the first atomic bombings, released on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan at the end of World War II. Literally translated as "explosion-affected people," surviving hibakusha are victims not only of radiation-related diseases but also of discrimination in their society.

The sung text of this piece consists of excerpts from three State of the Union Addresses by Harry S. Truman, while the spoken text is taken from a U.S. government report of the effects of the atomic bombings.

José Luis Hurtado

Winner of the 2009 José Tocavén Lavin Medal in recognition of his artistic trajectory and the 2008 Rodolfo Halffter Instrumenta Ibero-American Composition Prize, José Luis Hurtado is part of a new generation of Mexican composers. His music has been performed in Asia, Europe, Canada, USA, and Latin America by ensembles and soloists such as Boston Modem Orchestra Project (BMOP), International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Juilliard Ensemble, New York Miniaturist Ensemble (NYME), Seattle Chamber Players, Callithumpian Consort; The Ikarus Chamber Players, Talea Ensemble, SEM Ensemble, The North/South Consonance Chamber Orchestra, Interensemble, Concorde Ensemble, Ensamble 3, Ensamble Onix, Orquesta Uninorte Orquesta Sinfónica de Guanajuato, Orquesta Sinfónica de San Luis Potosí, Camerata de las Américas, Quatuor Molinari, Pierrot Lunaire Ensemble Wien, Tony Arnold, Garth Knox, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne and the Arditti String Quartet among others.

He has been the recipient of Kompositionspreis der Stadt Wolkersdorf (Austria), The Harvard University Green Prize for Excellence in Composition (USA), The Adelbert W. Sprague Prize (USA), The George Arthur Knight Prize (USA), The Julián Carrillo Composition Prize (Mexico), El Premio Estatal de Composición del Festival Internacional de Música Contemporanea de Michoacán (Mexico), 2nd prize in the Troisieme Concours International de composition du Quatuor Molinari (Canada), 2nd prize in the Ariel Piano Composition Competition, Third Prize Winner of the National SCI/ASCAP Composition Competition, and finalist of The Earplay Composition Competition, The Look & Listen Festival Composition Competition and The Jeunesses International Composition Competition (Romania). Grants include those from the National Endowment for the Arts of Mexico and the American Music Center.

In addition to his compositional career, he is highly active as a pianist and music promoter. He is the pianist of Nueva Música Dúo (Contemporary Vn & Pno duo), founding member of áltaVoz (LatinAmerican composers collaborative in the U.S), artistic director of Morelia Nueva Música (Mexican cycle of concerts dedicated to the performance of contemporary music) and former director of The Harvard Group for New Music.

Hurtado holds degrees in piano performance and composition from Conservatorio de las Rosas (Morelia, Mexico), a Master of Music in Composition from Universidad Veracruzana (Xalapa, Mexico) and a Ph.D. from Harvard University where he studied under Mario Davidovsky, Harrison Birtwistle, Chaya Czernowin, Magnus Lindberg, Brian Ferneyhough and Helmut Lachenmann.

Matthew Jackfert, son of Jennifer Jackfert and the late Dr. Kent Jackfert, is currently studying undergraduate composition at West Virginia University under Dr. John Beall. Although he began his undergraduate career as a Biology major, his love and passion for music forced him to switch to study in composition. Jackfert's orchestrai work Ripples, was played by the Pittsburgh Symphony in Pittsburgh this past February. Also, Jackfert's wind sextet, Microscope, has recently been performed for a masterclass headlined by Pittsburgh Symphony Composer of the Year, Richard Danielpour.

The dark and brooding sections in Matthew Jackfert's Arise are each conquered by brightness and warmth in dramatic fashion. After the turmoil, the piece ends softly and calmly to show that the darkness hats been vanquished, never to return. Several years before Arise came to be, Jackfert wrote a triumphant melody that stuck with him this can be heard at the piece's victorious climax.

Eric Nathan (b. 1983) is currently a doctoral student in composition at Cornell University studying with Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra and Kevin Ernste. He has studied at Indiana University (M.M.), Yale College (B.A.), The Julliard School Pre-College Division, and has received fellowships to the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Wellesley Composers Conference. His works have received awards including the Aspen Music Festival and School's Jacob Druckman Prize (2010), William Schuman Prize in the B.M.I Student Composer Awards (2008), an. ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award (2008), and First Prize in the 2008 SCI/ASCAP National Student Commission Competition. His music has been performed by ensembles such as the American Composers Orchestra (in their Underwood New Music Readings), Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra of South Korea, Indiana University New Music Ensemble, SUNY Purchase Contemporary Ensemble and the Syracuse Society for New Music.

"Wing Over Wing" is a song cycle focused on a central theme of flight. I have been influenced by flight in a number of my recent works and wanted to reflect on different associations of the word, alluding not only to the physical movement of flying but also to flight as a journey through time. I was immediately attracted to the imagery and gestures in Whitman's poem, "The Dalliance of the Eagles." In searching for other texts for the piece, I had such wonderful time reading through poems by other authors that I was inspired to try my hand at poetry myself. Two of my original poems appear in the song cycle. "Wing Over Wing" was commissioned by the Society of Composers Inc. and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (AS CAP).

II. The Dalliance of the Eagles

excerpted from the following poem:

"The Dalliance of the Eagles"

from Leaves of Grass (1900) by Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

SKIRTING the river road, (my forenoon walk, my rest,)

Skyward in air a sudden muffled sound, the dalliance of the eagles,

The rushing amorous contact high in space together,

The clinching interlocking claws, a living, fierce, gyrating wheel,

Four beating wings, two beaks, a swirling mass tight grappling,

In tumbling turning clustering loops, straight downward falling,

Till o'er the river pois'd, the twain yet one, a moment's lull,

A motionless still balance in the air, then parting, talons loosing,

Upward again on slow-firm pinions slanting, their separate diverse flight,

She hers, he his, pursuing.

III. Shuddering leaves silent

"Shuddering leaves silent" (2009) by Eric Nathan (b. 1983)

The Aspens, silent shaking,

Trembling, flickering, beating in wind,

Shuddering leaves silent.

IV. Eyes tight, tales tucked

"Eyes tight, tales tucked" (2009) by Eric Nathan (b. 1983)

Eyes tight, tales tucked,

My baby

Eyes, tales, tight, tucked, thumping beats of sleep.

My baby, now old

Eyes tight, tales told

I sing to you as you fly -

Sleep and sing, sleep and sing -

Sleep, sing, fly, sleep, sing, fly and soar!

Clint Needham born in 1981 in Texarkana, Texas, is currently a Jacobs School of Music Doctoral fellow in composition at Indiana University. He received his Bachelor’s degree in composition from Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory and his Master’s degree from Indiana University. He has also studied at the Aspen Music Festival as a Susan and Ford Schumann Composition Fellow.

Recent performances of Clint's music have been given by the American Brass Quintet, American Composers Orchestra, Aspen Concert Orchestra, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Indiana University New Music Ensemble, Ithaca College's KULMUSIK, New York Youth Symphony, Quintet Attacca, Stanford Wind Quintet, and Symphony in C, among others.

Clint has been recognized with numerous awards including a 2009 National SCI/ASCAP Student Composer Commission, the 2008 Heckscher Composition Prize from Ithaca College, the 2008 Aspen Music Festival's Jacob Druckman Prize, a 2008 Lee Ettelson Composer Award, the American Composers Orchestra's Underwood New Music Commission, a New York Youth Symphony First Music Award/Commission, two ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (2007 & 2009), and the 2007 William Schuman Prize/BMI Student Composer Award.

Clint is currently an Associate Instructor for the Composition Department at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. His music is published by the Theodore Presser Company, Manhattan Beach Music, and Triplo Press. Recordings of Clint's works can be found on the Summit Records label by the American Brass Quintet and on the Mark Masters label by the University of North Texas Concert Band.

Brass Quintet No. 2 is a series of abstract vignettes based on the opening chordal statement.

These stable, yet somewhat floating chords, give way to a rhythmic, triple-meter variation. The propulsive energy of this section builds to virtuosic ensemble moments where motives are passed around though all of the instruments, creating a sonic mosaic. This mosaic idea is continued in the next section, which is much more subtle in character. Single tones creep in and out of the texture, creating a harmonic wash that is based on the opening 1st trumpet material. This textural wash eventually leads to a more exuberant variation on the same material. The arrival of this section severs as the macro arrival point for the piece, which, is highlighted by a more stable harmonic area and brighter sound from the ensemble, as all instruments are muted. Transitional material follows, marked by timbral trills in the trumpets, which sets up the two-part texture of the last section (trumpets vs. horn, trombone, & tuba). The opening harmonic material is exploited throughout this section as the two textural parts gradually merge together with a flourish of continuous sixteenth notes that propel to the end.

Gregory A. Richmond is currently in his second year of coursework in the Masters of Arts in Music Education program at Marshall University, where he holds a Graduate Teaching Assistant-ship with the Band program. He studies composition with Dr. Mark Zanter, and arranging and conducting with Mr. Steve Barnett. He received his B.A. and B.A.Ed. degrees from Glenville State College, where he studied percussion with Mr. John McKinney. A former high school teacher, Mr. Richmond has directed both instrumental and choral programs in West Virginia.

Blackwater Falls (2009)

Blackwater Falls State Park is named for the falls of the Blackwater River whose amber-colored waters plunge five stories then twist and tumble through an eight-mile long gorge. The "black" water is a result of tannic acid from fallen hemlock and red spruce needles. The falls are one of the most photographed sites in West Virginia. Blackwater Falls is a tribute to the pioneering spirit of the early settlers who tamed this wild, wonderful wilderness that we West Virginians call home.

Greg Simon

composer and jazz trumpeter, holds a B.A. from the University of Puget Sound and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He currently studies composition with Richard Toensing; he has also studied with Daniel Kellogg, Carter Pann and Robert Hutchinson, and has worked in masterclass with Alan Fletcher, Michael Daugherty, Mark Anthony Turnage, Martin Bresnick, Forrest Pierce, Marilyn Shrude, and Dana Wilson. He has also studied with Kevin Puts and Robert Aldridge at the Brevard Music Institute. His works have been commissioned and/or performed by the Adelphian Concert Choir, the Tasman String Quartet, the Fifth House Ensemble of Chicago, and others. His work Three Portraits won the 2008 Edward Levy prize in composition; the resulting commission, Piano Quintet No. 1: Scenes from Childhood, won an honorable mention in the Fifth House Ensemble's Young Composer Competition. More recently, Greg has been honored with the George Lynn Prize for his work for wind ensemble Foolish Fire, commissioned by Loveland High School. Upcoming commissions include works for Erik Steighner (professor of saxophone at Pacific Lutheran University) and Terry Sawchuck (professor of trumpet at the University of Colorado).

The 30-kilometer area immediately surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has been uninhabitable by humans due to radiation since the explosion of Reactor IV at 1:23 on April 26, 1986. This area, sometimes called the "Dead Zone," will remain dangerous for generations, with some estimating 900 years of unsafe radiation levels. In the wake of the disaster, the Dead Zone killed hundreds of firefighters sent in to extinguish the flames. Most of the thousands of evacuees experience or have experienced health problems brought on by radiation sickness. Now the only inhabitants are abandoned vehicles and wildlife also suffering radiation effects. Reactor IV has been entombed in a concrete sarcophagus in hopes of controlling the radioactive material inside. At the foot of the sarcophagus is a statue of the Greek Titan Prometheus, known for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to the humans.


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Marshall University Music Department Presents the 2010 SCI National Student Conference: Concert Three