PULLMAN, Wash.–Composer Martin Rokeach, son of the late renowned WSU sociologist Milton Rokeach, is guest composer for Washington State University’s New Music Festival set for Feb. 3-5 on campus.
“I am enjoying the idea of coming to Pullman,” Rokeach said from his office at St. Mary’s College of California. “I visited the area many times during my father’s tenure at WSU and have warm feelings for the community and university.”
Works by Rokeach, a member of the St. Mary’s of California faculty, will be featured in a Feb. 5 concert highlighting the annual music event. Programs on Tuesday, Feb. 3, will introduce a number of new student and faculty pieces.
Rokeach has earned honors in seven national composition competitions, including grand prize in the Delius Composition Contest. He has received commissions from the California Association of Professional Music Teachers, the Northeastern University Band and numerous small ensembles. In 1993, a national jury of the Society of Composers selected his “Sonata for Violin and Piano” to be included in a compact disc series.
He is currently one of the artistic directors of San Francisco’s contemporary music concert series. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from San Francisco State University, and his doctorate from Michigan State University. His music has appeared on programs of Romania’s Constanta Symphony, the Berkeley Symphony, the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra, the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, New York’s North/South Consonance, the Chicago Ensemble and others.
According the organizer Charles Argersinger, a student recital planned for 11 a.m. Feb. 3 in Bryan Hall Auditorium will feature works by student composers Paul Henning, Jesse Allison and Izaak Wierman. The Solstice Woodwind Quintet will perform Henning’s piece for woodwind quintet. Michelle Mielke will perform Allison’s work for solo piano, while Wierman will perform his work for solo guitar.
An 8 p.m. concert, also in Bryan Hall’s auditorium, will feature works by a number of WSU faculty members.
Two pieces by Argersinger are on the program. “Dream Sequence,” for solo piano will be performed by faculty member Gerald Berthiaume. “Miniatures for Brass Quartet,” which won a 1995 United Nations prize as a fanfare to celebrate the U.N.’s 50th anniversary. Performing the piece will be David Turnbull, piccolo-trumpet; Jim Phillips, trumpet; Roger Logan, french horn; and Don Hower, trombone.
Faculty member Gregory Yasinitsky will have three pieces in the program. “Saxophone Quartet” will be performed by Yasinitsky, Jeremy Wilson, Steve Blake and Steve Erwin. His piece, “Nocturne and Steam Train” for saxophone and piano, will be performed by Yasinitsky and Berthiaume, while the piece “Flute Duets” will be performed by Ann Yasinitsky and Franji Holland.
David Jarvis and Bryan Dockter will present Jarvis’ piece for multiple percussion, “Digga digga Digga digga Digga digga Digga digga Deegot!’
Paul Ely Smith will present two excerpts from his work “Gravity’s Ample Rain” during the concert with choreography by Thomas Arthur.
Rokeach’s compositions for the 8 p.m. program Feb. 5 at Bryan Hall auditorium will include six compositions.
“North Beach Rhapsody” for clarinet and piano will be performed by James Schoepflin and Berthiaume. A piece for chorus, “The Word is Inside You,” will be presented by the WSU Concert Choir under the direction of Lori Wiest.
Rokeach’s “Variations for Flute and Piano” and “Nocturne” for piccolo and piano will be performed by Ann Yasinitski, flute, and Susan Chan, piano. The work “Violin Sonata” will be performed by Meredith Arksey and Chan, piano.
The final piece, “A Hotel Room,” will be sung by Julie Wieck, soprano, with accompanists James Reid, guitar; and Schoepflin, clarinet.