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 2001 Conference
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2001 State Conference, Concert 5

Student Composer Chamber Works
Sunday, April 1, 2001
10 a.m., Morphy Recital Hall

In The Sun Michael Catania
Lindsay Richter, clarinet; Matt Beecher, horn;
Amanda Kriska, trumpet; Joseph Bernstein, timpani;
Erin Aldridge, Teresa Campbell, Jennifer Hicks,
Turi Hoiseth, Elise Meichels, Mark Schuppener, violins;
Allyson Fleck, Yu Fan Shao, violas
Jennifer Eberhardt, Andy Johnson,
Karl Knapp, Melissa Poll, cellos;
Nathan Bakkum, Ross Gilliland, basses;
Michael Alexander, conductor
(2000 - 7') In The Sun was composed in October of 2000 for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chamber String Ensemble. It is truly through-composed, with no recurring motives or themes, save the introduction's brief return in assisting to close the piece. Its orchestration employs instruments that are not frequently used together in chamber settings. The timpani part in particular is more active than most, especially with such a small number of other players.
Time and Time Again
     I Con moto
     II Andante
     III Allegretto
     IV Moderato-Allegro
Scott Gendel
Gina Rivera, violin I; Teresa Campbell, violin II;
Allyson Fleck, viola; Ryan DeYoung, cello;
Scott Gendel, conductor
(2000 - 15') Time and Time Again is a piece which plays with traditions in many ways. On one level, it is modeled after the traditional structure of the string quartet. An animated first movement is followed by a slow, melodic second movement; then a lively pizzicato movement comes third, and a virtuosic fourth movement acts as a finale. A second form of tradition is that of one motive binding together every movement. But within the movements lies a more complicated form of traditionalism. The first movement is based on Baroque styles, complete with fugues and passacaglia-like sections. The second movement is based on Classical ideas, using Haydnesque formal structures and various Classically-based textures. The third movement comes out of Romantic style, with striking shifts in key, dense counterpoint, and other late 19th century stylistic touches. The fourth movement is based on the 20th century modernist style; it was written by drawing a picture and then translating that picture into standard sheet music, using various extended playing techniques along the way. In writing a piece using these various traditions, I aim not to provide some sort of intellectual fodder on which the audience should chew while they listen. My aim is simply to give the piece a sense of trajectory from start to finish (which happens to follow the trajectory of 350 years or so of musical history). It is my hope that this piece is enjoyable to hear whether you choose to ponder these historical issues or not.
Moonlit Knight Michael Sinshack
Erin Aldridge, violin
(1998 - 4') This short violin solo, completed in 1998, was premiered on December 1, 2000 in this hall. Without any extra-musical program, the piece itself is centered around the intervals of the minor second, minor third and the augmented fourth. The work exploits the full range of the violin and attempts to reveal the virtuosity necessary on the part of the performer.
Romance No. 2, Op. 6, No. 1 Jeffrey Stanek
Erin Aldridge, violin; Jess Salek, piano

This is the winning work in the 13th Annual WAC Student Composer Composition Contest.

(1999/2000 - 15') Romance No. 2 is a concert-piece written in a very sectional, symmetric form, with a 'linking theme' which appears at the beginning, end, and between each section, each time developed more and more from its previous statement. The piece, which begins in C minor, proceeds from a lyrical theme to an ostinato section ('Scherzo') rooted on the dominant pedal-point. It swerves into a slow F minor, then B-flat minor, but when the lyrical melody returns, it's in F minor. The 'linking theme' too, is footed in F. Only going into the coda does the piece return to the key in which it began, but everything else having been fulfilled in F, Romance No. 2 ends both conclusively and questioningly.

Singers at Twilight Dan Maske
Kathy Mohs, Maureen O'Brien, Christy Palmer, sopranos;
Alayna Brown, Stacey Vicario, altos;
John Danneker, Cooper Grodin, tenors
Regis Clougherty, Grant Hendrickson, Jason Rush, basses;
Andrew Morgan, piano;
Joy Tai, conductor

(1998 - 7') At the beginning of the twenty-first century, we live in an age of environmental awareness. Endangered species are protected, and there are many efforts to save and preserve wildlife. The timber wolf is one of these threatened species. In this day, the wolf is seen by many as a creature of beauty. Wolf T-shirts are seen everywhere, along with all kinds of art work featuring the beautiful appearance of the wolf. It was not long ago that people viewed the wolf much differently. Earlier in the twentieth century it was the goal of many, including the U. S. government, to destroy wolves. These creatures were hated and feared. Feelings such as these have their roots hundreds of years ago. In Europe, in the middle ages, wolves were much more than mere animals. They were symbolic of evil and death. Instances of wolves feeding on the piles of dead outside cities during the black plague struck fear and disgust into many. Wolves were considered minions of the devil, who possessed evil powers. Childrens' stories such as Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs helped to pass down these feelings toward wolves from generation to generation. Singers at Twilight is the story of how the wolf was viewed through the medieval mind. It is a dark tale which sheds light on the reasons for the current state of this magnificent creature, a state which only in recent years has begun to change for the better. Though the wolf is coming back, the fear and hatred is still a reality today.

Vary Wild Mountain Thyme Jonathan Arnold
Michelle Rautmann, piano
(2000 - 5') Vary Wild Mountain Thyme is a series of variations on the Scottish folk song of the same name. The goal of the composer was to take fragments of the melody and piece them together using a variety of different rhythms and meters. The piece also wanders away from its original key and finally returns to it at the very end.
Soliloquy Diane Wilson
Diane Wilson, piano
(2000 - 6') Soliloquy for solo piano is composed in a single movement which explores the entire pitch range and performance dynamics of the piano. The temperament of the work moves from very dark to dynamically brilliant. The continuous rising motives and melodic statements give the piece a feeling of eternal hope.
Frost's Lodged Diane Dunnum
Rebecca Olthafer, mezzo-soprano; Susan Gaeddert, piano
(2000 - 2') This composition was written specifically to set a poem to music.
Two Songs from the Cycle "Stages"
     I Perfect Square
     II Winter Ice
Julie Brandenburg
Rebecca Olthafer, mezzo-soprano; Susan Gaeddert, piano
(2000 - 6') Perfect Square and Winter Ice are two songs from Stages, a work in progress. This song cycle portrays different points in the life cycle of a relationship. Perfect Square depicts the contentment of an established, harmonious pairing. This couple basks in the hearth of each other's company which, like an oven, provides comfort and sustenance. In contrast is Winter Ice, where the individual agonizes in the realization that her/his relationship is about to end. The singer is like the wistful figure in Schubert's Winterreise facing the biting chill of a lover that is slipping away. The texts are by the composer.
Three-Party Argument Royden Tull
Karolyn Bethke, violin I; Christine Liu, violin II;
Turi Hoiseth, violin III
(2000 - 4') Three-Party Argument is a violin trio that was conceived and written in two day's time last November to make a last-minute deadline for an upperclass composition recital. It was intended both to be fun to play, and fun to listen to. The title is only a deceptive reference to the haphazard election process we all enjoyed, although it might be interesting to think of it that way. Three-Party Argument is more a description of the manner in which the three violins interact with one another. In this particular argument, there is a tenuous team operating between the first and second violins motivically against the third, yet rhythmically they are opposed. There are two contrasting sections that alternate with each other to suggest the ebb and flow of the intensity of an argument, the first being rather harsh, dissonant, and fast, and the second being slower and more consonant. Does the argument resolve itself at the end? That's up to the performers.
     I Allegretto
     II Moderato
Bradd Yenor
The Enchanted Winds:
Keith Wilson, flute; Kellie Runt, clarinet;
Stephanie Doepker, horn; Michelle Stievo, bassoon
(2000 - 8') This piece emphasizes rhythmic drive and harmonic tension. The first movement utilizes a four-note motive as well as an eccentric thematic element. The second movement opens solemnly, compelled to resolve, yet increases in tension to a fast-paced, disjunct motive that is deveolped over ostinato figures throughout.

Composer Biographies

Jonathan Arnold (La Crosse) is a senior at the UW-La Crosse, studying composition and theory under Dr. Christopher Frye. In the spring of 2000 he studied abroad for a semester in Edinburgh, Scotland and studied Celtic folk music. Vary Wild Mountain Thyme is a piece he composed based on some of the folk songs he collected.

Julie Brandenburg (Milwaukee) has been composing and performing music in the Milwaukee area for a number of years. She has written for such diverse groups as rock bands and string quartets. In 1997, members of the Milwaukee Symphony performed her Quark Quartet at the Broadway Center for the Arts. She has composed scores for several films and a play. A feature-length film she scored, The Monkey, was shown at an independent film festival in New York. In 1994 she won an "Emerging Artist" Grant from the Milwaukee Arts Board. The MacDowell Club in Milwaukee deemed her the winner in a 1996 composition contest. Ms. Brandenburg is a piano teacher with the Milwaukee Public Schools, and works for Present Music as a composer in their "Creation Program," designed for children. She is currently studying with Yehuda Yannay at the UW-Milwaukee.

Michael Catania (Milwaukee) is a senior at the UW-Milwaukee and will be graduating in May. He has been a student of Dr. John Downey for the past four years and hopes to continue his education at Northwestern University or the University of California-San Diego in the fall.

Diane Dunnum (La Crosse) is a senior at the UW-La Crosse, working toward a Bachelor's degree in music. She has studied music theory and composition with Dr. Christopher Frye and piano with Dr. Mary Tollefson and Dr. Deborah Nemko.

Scott Gendel (Madison) is currently an MM candidate in composition at the UW-Madison, and received his BA from Bard College in Annandale, NY. His teachers have included Daron Hagen, Joan Tower, Kyle Gann, Joel Naumann, and Stephen Dembski. Last year, Scott was the winner of the UW-Madison Concerto Concert Composition Competition, and his piece Effusion was recently selected to be featured at this year's Midwest Graduate Student Music Consortium.

Dan Maske (Cottage Grove) was born in West Allis, WI in 1971. He began his musical training at age 9 by taking trumpet and piano lessons. His higher education in music began at the UW-Milwaukee where he received a BA in Music Theory and Composition in May of 1995, and an MM in Music Composition in May of 1997. He is currently in the DMA program in Music Composition at the UW-Madison, working on his dissertation. His principal composition instructors have been John Downey, Jon Welstead, Joel Naumann, and Stephen Dembski. Dan's works have been performed throughout the U.S., and in Europe, by various soloists and ensembles. He is now serving as the Vice-President of WAC and as a Co-Director of MadWAC. He is also a member of the American Composers Forum and the Society of Composers, Inc. Dan has received commissions and grants from the Skyline Brass, the Umpqua Chamber Orchestra, the St. Norbert College Wind Ensemble, the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra-Junior Wind Ensemble, and the Madison Chapter of The Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, Inc. His music is recorded on Arizona University Recodings as well as on independent releases. His works are published by Sentinel Dome Publications and Alliance Publications, Inc. He has been a finalist in the Illinois State University Composition Contest in 1996, and for three years in the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composers Awards. In 1998 he was the winner of the UW-Madison Concerto Concert Composition Contest. In 1999 he was selected as one of the winners of the "First(,) Listen!" Composition Contest, and he received first place in the "Ear & Now" Composition Contest. Besides composing, Dan is active as a teacher, conductor, and performer. He gives private lessons in composition, piano, trumpet, computer music notation, and is a Teaching Assistant at the UW-Madison in Music Theory. Dan performs regularly on trumpet and piano in ensembles and as a sloloist and accompanist. As a conductor, he enjoys working with bands and orchestras as well as with chamber ensembles.

Michael Sinshack (Evansville) was born in Chicago in 1971. He was primarily a self-taught musician until beginning formal theory classes in his second year of college. After attending DePaul University and Wright College in Chicago, Michael earned a Bachelor's Degree from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illlinois. There, he studied composition with Dr. Lawrence Sisk. In 1998, he received his Master's Degree in music composition from the UW-Milwaukee, where his primary composition instructor was Dr. John Downey. Michael has also studied and worked with electro-acoustic music under the direction of Dr. Jon Welstead. In the Fall of 1998, Michael began coursework toward a DMA at the UW-Madison, where he currently studies composition with Stephen Dembski and Joel Naumann. His master-class experiences include composers Roberto Sierra, Chen Yi, Thea Musgrave, and Robert Kyr, among others. In the Spring of 1999, Michael won the second annual Concerto Concert Composition Competition at the UW-Madison, and a work of his placed second out of 101 submitted scores in the 1998 Quinto Maganini Composition Contest in Nowalk, Connecticut. Recent commissions include those from the Madison Chapter of The Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, "First(,) Listen!," Flutes Quatre, and the Waukesha Area Symphonic Band. Michael's music was recently chosen to be recorded for a UW-Madison School of Music CD. Presently, Michael is the supervisor and care-taker of the Wisconsin Center for Music Technology at the School of Music. He also mentors young student composers through the Wisconsin School Music Association. He is a member of ASCAP, the Society for Composers, Inc., the American Composers Forum, and is Newletter Editor for The Wisconsin Alliance for Composers.

Jeffrey Stanek (Madison), 17, a junior at Madison West High School, has appeared on television (1995), has received an ASCAP Foundation Scholarship (2000), and was a winner of the Concerts On The Square "New Classics. . . from the Next Generation" Composition Contest (1997) with Sunburst!, written for the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. He has studied composition with David Drexler and currently studies with Stephen Dembski, and in addition also plays cello and piano. A piano student of Renato Premezzi, he has received recognition which has included concerto performances with the Madison Symphony Orchestra (2001), the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra (2000), of which he is a member, and the Birch Creek Symphony (1999).

Royden Tull IV (Madison) is a twenty-year old junior from Madison. He spent the first two years of his undergraduate program under the tutelage of Joel Naumann and is currently studying with Stephen Dembski. His aspirations as of now are to see the world, win the Madison city golf tournament, and maybe learn how to write some good music.

Diane Wilson (New London) is a Music Education student at the UW-Oshkosh. For the past 17 years she has maintained a private piano studio. She includes composition assignments and activities in her students' lessons on a regular basis. She lives in New London with her husband and two children. Soliloquy for piano solo was completed in her first semester of formal composition instruction.

Bradd Yenor (Oshkosh) is in his third year studying Music Education at the UW-Oshkosh. Aside from his fascination with composition, Bradd enjoys conducting and playing horn in the University Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, and student brass quintet.

2001 Conference
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Last updated 27 March 2001. Contact information.