Festival of Contemporary Art Music set for Feb. 17-21

Composer Stephen Michael Gryc has accepted an invitation to be the composer honored at the 15th annual Festival of Contemporary Art Music Feb. 17-21 at Washington State University. Compositions by Gryc will be performed by WSU faculty in a public concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, in Bryan Hall.

Faculty compositions will be presented at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, in Bryan Hall. Student work will be presented at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, in Kimbrough Concert Hall.

Called the New Music Festival since its creation by professor Charles Argersinger in 1989, the event’s name has been changed.

“Festival of Contemporary Art Music is a better representation of what the festival is and the particular kind of music we are celebrating,” said Argersinger. “Without this festival and others like it, young people might not be introduced to this music. It really is in danger of becoming extinct.”

Another change is the day of the highlighted concert. Until this year, the concert featuring works of the visiting composer was always held on Thursday night.

“Staging the concert on the weekend will simply allow greater access to contemporary art music fans who live out of the area,” said Gerald Berthiaume, director of the School of Music and Theatre Arts.

Gryc, a faculty member of the Hartt School of the University of Hartford, teaches traditional orchestration courses as well as original courses in writing for wind ensembles and voice.

His works have been commissioned by a diverse group of the world’s leading soloists including oboist Bert Lucarelli, flutist John Wion and trumpeter Philip Smith. His works for large ensembles have been performed by such groups as the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the United States Marine Band and the Minnesota Orchestra.

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