The next Composer Spotlight for the Biennial 2020 NASA conference at Arizona State University features MCI composer Kevin Day! Day will be having TWO premieres of new works at this weekend's conference, both of which will be taking place on Sunday, March 8.
The first of these premieres is a new work titled More than words..., composed for saxophone octet, double bass, piano, and narrator. The piece was commissioned by Dr. Connie Frigo, Associate Professor of Saxophone at the University of Georgia-Athens for the UGA Saxophone Studio. This group will premiere the piece at 3:20pm in Katzin Concert Hall - Day will be performing with them on piano for this event.
The composer writes the following: "These are my observations as a young American, and as a young citizen of the world."
The second premiere is for the first movement of a new sonata for alto saxophone and piano titled Unquiet Waters. The piece was commissioned by Dr. Jordan VanHemert, Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Hope College, who will give the world premiere of the entire work later this year. The first movement, fast, turbulent, was selected as the winner of the 2020 NASA Composition Competition and will be premiered by Dr. Nicki Roman (Assistant Professor of Saxophone, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and Casey Dierlam Tse at 7:30pm in Katzin Concert Hall.
Be sure to attend both of these events if you will be at the conference!!
The next Composer Spotlight for the upcoming Biennial 2020 NASA Conference at Arizona State University features the music of MCI composer Josh Trentadue. Last year, Trentadue was commissioned to write a new work for tenor saxophone and piano that would be meant to showcase a variety of the instrument's capabilities. Trentadue writes the following program notes about his new piece titled Excursions:
"Excursions is a fun and mostly light-hearted work which showcases the idiomatic, technical, and lyrical capabilities of the tenor saxophone. The piece is inspired by the variety of different landscapes that comprise the geography of the United States. Embarking on a musical road trip of sorts, each of the relatively short four movements (all of which are played without pause) conjures up imagery of a particular geographical landscape. The tenor saxophone begins predominantly within a state of introversion while the piano starts to lead this journey. However, throughout the piece, the tenor saxophone continues to emerge in a necessary and important role equal to the piano as the piano gradually transitions to a more accompanimental role.
The four movements which comprise this work are as follows:
I. Twilit Woods - a beautiful setting of a forest at night bathed in moonlight. There is a sense of magic and mystery ever present.
II. Jagged Peaks - roads that twist and turn in every direction through sharp mountains and steep canyons. Unpredictable rhythms and tall harmonies give way to lyrical passages that search for the route leading away from this chaos.
III. Verdant Meadows - a majestic view of the mountains and canyons left behind leads into a pastoral depicting the peace, tranquility, and celebration of rural fields and green pastures.
IV. Ocean Coastlines - an adventurous trip on the shores of the ocean at its stormiest times. The vibrant thrills of the sea are matched with unpredictable and dangerous hazards of weather and nature at full force.
My sincerest thanks and appreciation to Ben MacDonald and Matthew Hartson for commissioning this piece and granting me the opportunity to write this music for them."
Excursions will be available for purchase after its world premiere by Ben MacDonald (tenor saxophone) and Casey Dierlam Tse (piano) on Monday, March 9 at 10:20am in Katzin Concert Hall. You can hear a preview of the piece below.
EVENT INFO: https://www.saxophonealliance.org/conference-presenters.asp?action=view&ProposalID=1
PIECE INFO: https://www.joshtrentadue.com/excursions-2020-tenor-saxpno.html
Our next Composer Spotlight for the upcoming Biennial 2020 NASA Conference features the music of MCI composer Harrison J. Collins. Last year, Collins composed a new work for saxophone ensemble that is inspired by the nighttime wonders of the cities he has lived in and visited. The composer writes the following program notes about Electric City:
"Electric City is, first and foremost, inspired by the colorful, glowing, metropolitan beauty of the big city at night. For me, this city is Dallas, Texas, a place that is quite close to my hometown and that I have seen and been to frequently. I am always in awe of both the visually pleasing colors of the night city as well as the powerful sense of vitality and life, and as I am frequently in Dallas to hear concerts performed by the Dallas Winds, I have grown to have a strong musical association with this night-life aesthetic. When Dr. Paul Nolen, the saxophone professor at Illinois State University, asked me to compose a work for the ISU Saxophone Studio, I had been particularly missing my home, and so I chose to act on my yearning and write Electric City as an ode to the beauty of Dallas at night.
Musically, the work is informed by both classical and non-classical music that I listen to, and particularly by one of my favorite songs, M83’s “Midnight City”. Inspired by the vividly descriptive lyrics of that song, Electric City can be heard as joyride through a big city that passes through sparkling lights and reflective skyscrapers in the dark of night, accelerating until a final gear shift sends us blazing into the darkness with the glow of the city behind us."
Electric City is now available to purchase through Murphy Music Press and will receive its world premiere during this year's NASA conference by the Illinois State University Saxophone Ensemble on Saturday, March 7th at 10:40am in Nelson Fine Arts Center Plaza. You can hear a preview audio realization of the piece below.
EVENT INFO: https://www.saxophonealliance.org/conference-presenters.asp?action=view&ProposalID=529
PIECE INFO: https://harrisonjcollins.squarespace.com/electric-city
From March 6-9, the Biennial NASA 2020 Conference will be taking place at Arizona State University. We are excited to begin sharing with you the Composer Spotlights for our MCI members who will be represented during this conference.
Learn more about Conner Leigh Shaw's piece "ExoResonant" for alto saxophone and electronics below! This piece will be premiered by Daniel Phipps on Sunday, March 8 at 10:20am in Ravenscroft.
EVENT INFO: https://www.saxophonealliance.org/conference-presenters.asp?action=view&ProposalID=424