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 WAC Newsletter, December 1998
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Feature: What Has Jazz to Do with Composition?
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Al Benner is a finalist in the Music for a New Millennium Commissions from the Khachaturian-Leeds Society of America. He was selected from an initial search of 392 composers to be one of five finalists, the chosen one to be notified by early 1999 to receive a commission for a large-scale symphonic work. Composers selected for consideration were not solicited, rather their music was collected and presented entirely by the K-L Society's board members and the coordinator-general. Benner also has received his fifth consecutive ASCAP Standard Award. He also founded the Wisconsin Composers' Consortium whose first concert was given in De Pere on August 8th.

Performances of his music include 14 performances the movement Jazzy from Three Preludes (string quartet) during the month of June at various libraries, schools and, parks throughout Louisiana by the Louisiana Sinfonietta's String Quartet (Kelley Smith Toney and Lauren Davis, violins; Maria Traykova, viola; Ivan Lalev, cello). Two more performances took place in Baton Rouge in August, and another performance in September, also in Baton Rouge. The entire three movements of Three Preludes was played by this same group on September 23 also in Baton Rouge. His success with his string quartet writing continued with 14 performances of Faith by the Boswell String Quartet this summer throughout Canada. Faith was also played November 13 by the Valdosta String Quartet on a Valdosta State University faculty recital, Valdosta, GA; and also by the same group on November 6 at the SCI Region IV Conference at Valdosta.

Three Little Pieces for Piano and the "Stone" Sonata were played by pianist Carson Cooman on June 10 in Binghamton, NY; Serenade for Two (trb/piano) by Richard Carrington (trb) and Cooman July 16, at the B-C Festival of New American Music, Cambridge, MA; Ephesians 5:19 (organ) by Cooman on July 26 at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Brighton, NY; Psalm 100 and In My Father's Arms (voice/piano) on August 8 at the WCC Concert #1 in De Pere by soprano Lisa Benner and Elaine Moss; and Through a Baby's Eyes (bari/piano) at the same WCC concert by Reverend Ted Tromble and Caroline Tromble. Psalm 100 was also played August 11 at Colby College, Waterville, ME, by soprano Lucy Raines and Cooman; and on November 18 along with Through a Baby's Eyes and In My Father's Arms on a Louisiana School Composers & Friends concert, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA, by Lisa Benner and Charlie Jones.

David Drexler's Devil's Lake was performed May 16 at the First Unitarian Meeting House in Madison on a MadWAC benefit concert. Black Water was performed by Lyle Anderson on the University of Wisconsin Memorial Carillon on May 31 as part of a Wisconsin Sesquicentennial program. As Incredible As Is America was played July 25 by the EmergOrchestra as part of their Sound Off! concert. All works on the program were settings of texts from the "Sound Off!" column of Madison's Capital Times newspaper, where readers submit their own editorial comments by telephone. Snowflakes and Perspectives were performed August 8 by the Musical Diversions Society in St. Louis.

David also received a Travel Fund Grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board to attend the Digital Soundscapes Computer Music Workshop on Csound July 13-17 in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Michael Edward Edgerton had a performance of A Holy Person Falls into the Nile as a Pelican by Michelle Doyle-Ronkin, clarinet, and Jeremy Ronkin, horn, and also another work (whose title cannot be reproduced here) by Greg Smith, voice, and Kristy Cheadle, percussion, August 8th on the WCC Concert #1 at the First United Presbyterian Church in De Pere.

Warren Gooch has had the following performances: February 22, Sonata for Soprano Saxophone and Piano at Truman State University (Kirksville, MO), by Randall Smith and Eun-Joo Kwak on a faculty recital, and on March 27 at the 1998 North American Saxophone Alliance conference, Northwestern University, by the same performers; Clockwork (orch) on March 31 at Truman State by the Truman State University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Nichols; April 16 Out of the Primordial Ocean (perc ens), at the an SCI conference at Indiana University by the Indiana University Percussion Ensemble, directed by Wilber England; Teach Me the Way of Thy Word (chorus) on April 24 by the Truman State University Chamber Choir, Truman State, conducted by Regina Brown; and on May 29, The View from the Tower (mezzo-sop, tuba, piano) was premiered at the 1998 Macro Analysis Creative Research Organization conference, performed by Jamie Henke (mezzo), William Carmody (tuba), and Marilyn Saker (piano).

Dan Maske had a performance of The Outing--Sonata for Cello and Pianoby Angela Schmidt, cello, and himself, August 8th on the WCC Concert #1 at the First United Presbyterian Church in De Pere.

Blanche Moerschel had a performance of Sonata in G minor by Erin Breene, cello, and herself, August 8th on the WCC Concert #1 at the First United Presbyterian Church in De Pere.

WAC Newsletter, December 1998
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