Festival of Contemporary Art Music programs finalized

WSU’s festival consists of numerous elements beginning with a presentation of student compositions at 11:10 a.m. Feb. 9, in Kimbrough Concert Hall.

“The choral ‘Kyrie,’ set in a minimalist style by undergraduate composer Austin Schlichting, will be a delightfully fresh and rhythmic treatment of the text,” Argersinger said. Students presenting new compositions include Aleks Sternfeld-Dunn, Russ Schaff, Schlichting and Nathan Nokes.

Thursday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. in Bryan Hall Theatre, faculty composers will present their new, original works. “‘Celestial Dances’ for marimba and electronics will feature David Jarvis, the irrepressible professor of percussion at WSU,” said Argersinger, composer of the piece. “His energized approach to the piece and to the marimba is captivating!”

Also featured during the faculty concert is Argersinger’s Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, performed by assistant professor Jeffrey Savage, solo piano, and associate professor Gerald Berthiaume, orchestral piano. Argersinger’s “Please Come Quick to the Lady Love” will be conducted by associate professor Lori Wiest and performed by the WSU Concert Choir.

Meyer Distinguished Professor Greg Yasinitsky’s “Meyer’s Point” will be performed by flutist Ann Marie Yasinitsky, senior instructor, and pianist Karen Hsiao Savage, instructor. “For All That Has Been Given,” also a Yasinitsky composition, features clarinet by instructor Anthony Taylor and piano by Savage. Assistant professor Ryan Hare’s Three Short Piano Pieces (2005) will be performed by pianist Jeffrey Savage. Hare’s “Glaurung” (2006) features assistant professor Nicholas Wallin on tuba.

Friday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. in Kimbrough Concert Hall, Piano Pedagogy Lab School guest composer Victoria Sabo and her husband, Dan, will present a joint piano recital with works by Sabo, Messiaen and Scriabin.

Saturday, Feb. 11, at 11 a.m. in Kimbrough Concert Hall, students in the Piano Pedagogy Lab School will perform a recital of Victoria Sabo’s original compositions.

A clinic for WSU composition majors, student piano teachers and the community by guest composer Victoria Sabo will be held Feb. 11, at 2 p.m. in Kimbrough Hall.

“Contemporary art music is notorious for almost exclusively addressing an adult audience,” said Argersinger. “Bringing in another composer, one who specializes in new art music for children, will ensure that these young people will grow up with an understanding and genuine appreciation for art music of our time.”

A concert featuring the works of composer Ellsworth Milburn will be held in Bryan Hall Theatre Feb. 11, at 8 p.m. Milburn is professor emeritus of composition and theory in the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, and is the featured composer for the 2006 Festival of Contemporary Art Music. Milburn’s work will be performed by faculty and students from the School of Music and Theatre Arts.

“Milburn’s music ranges quite widely, from one emotional extreme to another,” Argersinger said. “His Bagatelles, for two percussion and piano, even reference jazz. For me, the crowning work of the festival will be the Milburn String Quartet No. 2. It is a brilliant piece in the manner of the Bartok string quartets, at times aggressive and almost athletic and at other times tender and sweet. I can’t wait to hear it live,” Argersinger said.

As a composer, Milburn has received four grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and commissions or performances from the Houston Symphony, the Concord and Lark string quartets and the Da Camera Society.

The 2006 Festival of Contemporary Art Music is part of the WSU College of Liberal Arts Season, which incorporates high-visibility, world-class events centered on diversity, social justice, peace and security, the arts and media. The spring CLA Season also includes presentation of the Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting to Tom Brokaw April 18. (For more information, visit http://www.wsu.edu/murrow/.)

“The festival is an essential part of our Season,” said Dean Erich Lear. “It features the creative element of the College of Liberal Arts, the University and the community. With creativity, and the performing and visual arts in particular, this college and this university remain at the cutting edge and help define where that edge will be in the future.”

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