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 2001 Conference
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2001 State Conference, Concert 2

Chamber Works
Saturday, March 31, 2001
10 a.m., Morphy Recital Hall

Echoes David Drexler
Justin Richardson, euphonium I; Clay Wachholz, euphonium II;
Sean Greene, tuba I; Jamie Mitchell, tuba II
(1989 - 6') Echoes was inspired by the image of large horns signalling to each other across great distances, and so the performers are asked to perform the piece while spread out as far as the performance space (and the requirements of ensemble playing!) will allow. The piece includes some 'typical' loud and deep tuba parts, but also requires a great deal of soft and agile playing. The opening and closing sections use two players for each note, one to begin the note with a short burst, the other to echo the first by sustaining the pitch quietly. These sustained notes accumulate into a cloud of gradually shifting harmonies. The middle of the piece juxtaposes the sustained notes of the opening against a more active rhythmic background of gradually increasing speed.
Four Breaks from 'Dierdre': A Soap Opera Jim Schwall
Cindy Terhune, Patrick Coughlin,
Scott McGuigan, Neeraj Mehta, percussion;
Anthony Di Sanza, conductor
(1990/91 - 14') Dierdre: A Soap Opera is an opera patterned after a TV soaper. The 'program segments' are sung and the libretto involves love, adultery, amnesia, rape, and all the other usual soaper stuff. The six 'breaks,' TV lingo for the non-program time, are danced, two to electronic music and four to the percussion quartet music on this program.
Party David Bohn
Dawn Weithe, flute; Jennifer Loomis, bass clarinet;
Ryan Meisel, soprano saxophone; Erin Hanrahan, alto saxophone;
Ryan DeYoung, cello; Andrew Bates, percussion;
Les Thimmig, conductor
(2000 - 8') Although it rarely makes an overt appearance in his music, the composer has a strong admiration for jazz musicians such as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor, and Charles Mingus. In 1999 he began a series of pieces that represent, on some level, an exploration of this fascination, although as is typical of many of his compositions, many other things influence the compositional process such that at least some of the 'jazz' influences are obscured. Party is the fifth in this series of works, and is probably the most overt in its 'jazziness' as well as its references to the jazz recording that served as the point of departure for the piece.
Notturno William Heinrichs
Les Thimmig, alto saxophone; Anthony DiSanza, percussion
(1997 - 6') Traditionally, a nocturne is a simple composition of accompanied melody. Notturno is a basic exploration of the melody/accompaniment relationship. For example, the entire first part of the work consists of the alto saxophone accompaning itself. The sax plays with a mute throughout. To me, it evokes the image of a giggling saxophonist warming up and playing a few licks in his room late at night. . . quietly and with a mute so as not to disturb anyone. . . playing just for himself.
Aurorus Christopher Frye
James Wheat, trombone; Christopher Frye, electronics
(1999 - 10') Aurorus utilizes an array of light sensors (Cds) that respond to changes in light intensity. The performer's trombone slide is fitted with a small halogen light that is directed toward the bell of the instrument. The reflective light (Auroras) shine upon the light sensors in relation to the direction of the bell and the slide position of the trombone. The sensors are attached to a voltage-to-MIDI convertor which drives software (developed in MAX) triggering events and sounds, many of which are derived from trombone samples. There are six different written sections in the piece. The performer triggers the change from section to section in a semi-random way with the light sensors. The computer screen displays which section is currently active. The trombonist chooses events within each section and can repeat events as he so chooses. The piece always begins and ends with the 'A' section and can be of any duration between five and ten minutes long.
Nightwood James Chaudoir
James Chaudoir, soprano recorder
(2000 - 9') Nightwood for soprano recorder solo was composed in the summer of 2000 while the composer was enjoying a writing residency in the north woods of Wisconsin. The work evokes the mystery and magic that befalls the nocturnal inhabitants of the deep woods. Chaudoir employs numerous extended techniques throughout the composition, creating provocative and frenetic sounds, while at times calling for the performer to sing into the instrument while playing. These new sounds for the recorder are particularly curious as they are far removed from the traditional sounds so easily associated with the instrument. Though there is not a programmatic design to the work, when considering the environment in which it was written, one should not be too startled but rather intrigued to imagine the likelihood of similar sounds drifting through the window during the hours of darkness with only the light of a partial moon, the stars, and the Milky Way.
The Irish Sonata
     I Irish Mist
     II Night Moon in Galway
     III Celtic Sun Dance
John Downey
Erin Aldridge, violin; Avedis Manoogian, piano
(1999 - 20') The composer states: "I grew up in an old Irish neighborhood on Chicago's south side, imbued with Irish sounds, music, customs, traditions, and beliefs, where next to God, Mayor Richard Daley reigned supreme. Subsequently, my life's path took me across many countries and cultures with strong impact on shaping my creative endeavors. But my Irish beginnings have retained a special significance in the tapestry of my memories." The Irish Sonata, for violin and piano, dates from 1999. Its three movements make certain references to the composer's own lineage. The opening movement, Irish Mist, with its overall coloration, is permeated by allusions to Irish dance rhythms. Its unusual structure, A-B-C-D, is nonetheless unified by recurring Irish dance rhythmic cells. Night Moon in Galway is rhapsodic, and reflects some rather unpredictable effects on the human mind attributable to full lunar exposure. Celtic Sun Dance depicts a driving propulsion of energy and physical robustness caught in the pounding rhythms of unfiltered Irish sunlight.

Composer Biographies

David Bohn (West Allis) holds degrees in music from the UW-Madison, the UW-Milwaukee, and the University of Illinois. His primary composition teachers were Joel Naumann, Yehuda Yannay, and William Brooks. He is currently the organist at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Waukesha, and is teaching part-time at the UW-Milwaukee for the Spring of 2001. He was the recipient of a commission for the 2000 "First(,) Listen!" concert, and was quite surprised to discover that one of his pieces was played in France last year.

James Chaudoir (Oshkosh) (b. 1946, Baton Rouge, LA) is John McN Rosebush Professor of Music Composition and Theory at the UW-Oshkosh and has written a wide range of works for vocal and instrumental ensembles, from solo performer to choir and orchestra, as well as many pieces incorporating dance and the electronic medium. A highly published and commissioned composer, his works have been performed in Europe, Canada, the Far East, and major cities in the United States. In addition to composing, he is an active performer, conductor and supporter of new music. A charter member of WAC, Chaudoir is a member of the Board of Directors and has served three terms as President of The Wisconsin Alliance for Composers.

John Downey (Shorewood) has had his music performed by major musical groups, orchestras and prominent soloists throughout the world, and he has won numerous prizes and awards during his distinguished career. He has been recorded on the Chandos, Cala, Orion, Gasparo, MMC, and AVI labels. His music is published by Theodore Presser and Co. and Peters Editions in the U.S., and by Billaudot in France. He holds a bachelors degree from DePaul University, an MM from Chicago Musical College and a Docteur de Lettres from the University of Paris--Sorbonne and was awarded a Prix de Composition by the Paris Conservatory. He has been named Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. At present, he holds the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

David Drexler (Madison) received the Bachelor of Music in Composition from the UW-Madison in 1990, where he studied with Joel Naumann, Stephen Dembski, Les Thimmig, and Joan Wildman. David's music has been performed across North America and in Europe and Australia by Synchronia, Sound - the Alarm!, The Dutch Tuba Quartet, the May in Miami Festival, the Winona State University New Music Festival, the EmergOrchestra, and many other performers, and has been broadcast on Wisconsin Public Radio and many new-music radio shows around the country. He has fulfilled commissions from the Oakwood Chamber Players, Music St. Croix, the Madison Chapter of WAC, and others. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Wisconsin Alliance for Composers and WAC's Madison Chapter, and is editor of The Society of Composers, Inc. Online News.

Christopher Frye (La Crosse) is currently Associate Professor of Theory and Composition at the UW-La Crosse. He received degrees in composition from Capitol University and The College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where his principal teachers were Scott Huston and Jonathan Kramer. His music has been performed throughout the United States by ensembles such as the Milwaukee Symphony, and The Cincinnati Choral Society, and at national and regional festivals sponsored by organizations such as The Society of Composers, Inc., the American Composers Forum, the Cincinnati Composer's Guild, The Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, Inc., the Cleveland Composer's Guild, Memphis State University New Music Festival, and the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association. He has been awarded prizes by the ARTAMA agency of the Czech Republic, the University of Maryland, and the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs, and has been commissioned to write music for the La Crosse Chamber Chorale, the Music Fix chamber ensemble of Madison, and the UW-La Crosse Symphony. Mr. Frye was a founding member of the Cincinnati Composer's Guild and is currently President of The Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, Inc.

William Heinrichs (Milwaukee) teaches composition and directs the undergraduate theory core program at the UW-Milwaukee. His compositions include works for chamber ensembles, orchestra, choir, and solo voice. Various awards, grants, commissions, and performances include: National Endowment for the Arts, State Arts Council of Oklahoma, Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, Harwelden Institute, Concertime, Tulsa Philharmonic, Garrison/Scott Duo, Cimarron Trio, Broadcast Music Incorporated, Percussive Arts Society, North American Saxophone Alliance, National Flute Association, Society of Composers, Inc., and the College Music Society. He has held residencies at the Center for Computer Music-Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Atlantic Center for the Arts, June in Buffalo, and May in Miami. Two orchestral works, Juggernaut and Dream Sequence, have been premiered by the Tulsa Philharmonic. Dream Sequence has been recorded by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Vladimir Valek.

Jim Schwall (Madison) has a collection of college degrees, including a doctorate in composition from the UW-Madison. He lives in Madison and dabbles in music, theater, visual arts, teaching and social service work while campaigning for Mayor. He hopes all of you relocate to Madison before the February 2003 primary. No, he's dead serious.

2001 Conference
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