Composers

 

Joseph Blaha received his doctorate in composition from the University of Oklahoma and is currently an associate professor of music and director of bands at Roanoke College.  He has studied composition with Michael Hennagin, Richard Hervig, and Gunther Schuller.

Blaha composes for a wide variety of instruments and a number of his compositions have been commissioned by universities, churches or other organizations. Several of his works have aired on public radio and his music has been performed across the United States and in Europe and South America.  Among his award-winning pieces notably The Night Watch was the grand prize winner of the 2000 Michael Hennagin Prize in Composition.  His works have been recorded on Albany and Summit labels. 

In addition to composing, teaching and directing, Blaha is an accomplished instrumentalist performing regularly on the trombone, bass trombone, euphonium and piano.  He studied trombone with John Hill, Irvin Wagner, Leon Brown, Edward Kleinhammer and Ronald Barron.  He played euphonium for Karl King for four years and served for five years as a trombonist in The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own."  He performs as a jazz pianist in various venues throughout the Roanoke Valley.    In 2002, Blaha was inducted into the Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame.

 

 

Carolyn Bremer has been dubbed a composer "driven by hobgoblins of post modernist cant." Bremer came to composition on the heels of intensive training as an orchestral bassist. Her catalogue contains works based on feminist symbolism (Athene), baseball (Early Light), and popular culture (It Makes Me Nervewracking). Recently, Bremer has incorporated her photography and music into multimedia works.

Bremer has had recent performances of her works at Carnegie Hall; in Germany, Norway, and Sweden; and for the gala 150th anniversary concert at West Point. Her commissions include the Symphony for WindBand , premiered by Ray Cramer at Indiana University; Returns of the Day , premiered by Thomas Dvorak at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Pieces of Eight premiered by the California State Honor band, Spark , premiered by Adam Brennan at Mansfield University, and Saturnalia, premiered by Calvin Hofer and the Mesa State Wind Symphony at the 2008 Best of the West Festival. Recent CDs include the El Paso Wind Symphony on Summit Records, the Heritage of American Band of the US Air Force, the Towson University Symphonic Band, and the Monarch Brass Ensemble.

Bremer studied at the Eastman School of Music, CalArts, and received the Ph.D. in composition from UCSB. She was Chair of Composition at the University of Oklahoma from 1991-2000 where she held the O'Brien Presidential Professorship. Currently, she is Professor and Area Director of Composition and Theory, and Associate Department Chair of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University Long Beach.

 

Whether performing nationally as a marimba/vibraphone soloist or a chambemusician, conducting percussion clinics, composing for a range of soloists and ensemble around the world or teaching at the university level, Nathan Daughtrey (b. 1975) is a musical chameleon who uses his wide-ranging talents to adapt comfortably to a variety of environments.

As a performing artist and clinician for Yamaha and Vic Firth, Dr. Daughtrey has performed and conducted master classes and clinics in concert halls and at universities throughout the United States and across three continents. He has two solo marimba CDs to his credit – Spiral Passages, which features premiere recordings of David Gillingham’s “Gate to Heaven” and David J. Long’s “Concerto for Marimba;” and The Yuletide Marimba, which showcases Daughtrey’s solo and marimba quartet arrangements of 13 Christmas favorites. Also active as a collaborative artist, he has performed and recorded in chamber settings with composers Michael Udow and Daniel McCarthy, saxophonists Susan Fancher and Steven Stusek, bassoonist Michael Burns, clarinetist Christina Giacona, and the Virginia Beach Percussion Quartet, Trommel Percussion Group and Philidor Percussion Group.

According to leading wind band conductors and clinicians Ray Cramer and Peter Boonshaft, Dr. Daughtrey’s compositions are “fresh, beautifully scored journeys through dramatic textures” that feature “powerful tensions, velvety textures, lamenting colors and driving vigor.” With over fifty publications for concert band, percussion ensemble, chamber ensembles, and soloists as well as an ever-growing number of commissions, his works have been performed at national and international conferences. Performance venues include Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Bands of America National Percussion Festival, Asian Symphonic Band Competition (Bangkok, Thailand), and the International Music Conference (Beijing, China). Daughtrey is the only composer in the history of the Percussive Arts Society Composition Contest to procure both 2nd and 3rd place in the same year with his percussion ensemble works “Limerick Daydreams” and “Adaptation.” Additionally, his band pieces “Downtown Dash” and “Limerick Daydreams” have been featured in two volumes of GIA Publications’ “Teaching Music Through Performance in Band.” He has received annual awards from ASCAP since 2007.

As an educator, Dr. Daughtrey served as a Visiting Lecturer of Percussion for three years at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he taught applied percussion and conducted the Percussion Ensemble. He also served as a sabbatical replacement at the University of Oklahoma, where he taught undergraduate and graduate percussion students and conducted the world-renowned OU Percussion Orchestra. Dr. Daughtrey is currently a Visiting Lecturer of Music Composition at High Point University (NC), where he teaches applied lessons and works in collaboration with the School of Communication.

 

Christopher Deane is associate professor in percussion at the University of North Texas. Prior to his appointment with UNT, he was the principal timpanist of the Greensboro Symphony for nine years and a regular performer as both percussionist and timpanist with the North Carolina Symphony for ten years. He has performed with numerous orchestras including the Cincinnati Symphony, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra.

Deane's chamber music experience includes performances with the Aeolian Chamber Players, the Percussion Group Cincinnati, the Mallarme Chamber Players, and the New Century Saxophone Quartet. He is a founding member of the Philidor Percussion Group. Recording experience includes the North Carolina Symphony, the Cincinnati Philharmonia, the Crofut Consort, Mallarme Chamber Players, and the St. Stevens Chamber Orchestra.

Deane has won both first and second prize in composition from the Percussive Arts Society. A number of his compositions are considered standard percussion repertoire and are played internationally. Deane has appeared as a performer, composer, or clinician at seven Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. Deane is an Artist/Educator clinician for Innovative Percussion Company and Sabian Cymbals.

 

Eric Ewazen was born in 1954 in Cleveland, Ohio. Receiving a B.M. at the Eastman School of Music, and M.M. and D.M.A. degrees from The Juilliard School, his teachers include Milton Babbitt, Samuel Adler, Warren Benson, Joseph Schwantner and Gunther Schuller. He is a recipient of numerous composition awards and prizes. His works have been commissioned and performed by many soloists, chamber ensembles and orchestras in the U.S. and overseas.

His works are recorded on Summit Records, d'Note Records, CRS Records, New World, Clique Track, Helicon, Hyperion, Cala, Albany and Emi Classics. Two of his solo CD's featuring his chamber music are available on Well-Tempered Productions. Three additional solo CD's, one featuring his orchestral music, another his music for low brass instruments, and a third, his music for string orchestra, are available on Albany Records. A sixth solo CD of his music for percussion is available on Resonator Records. New World Records has released his concerto for brass quintet, "Shadowcatcher" with the American Brass Quintet and The Juilliard Wind Ensemble, conducted by Mark Gould of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Individual works of Eric Ewazen have recently been released by the Ahn Trio, Julie Giacobassi of the San Francisco Symphony, Charles Vernon of the Chicago Symphony, Koichiro Yamamoto of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Ronald Barron of the Boston Symphony, Doug Yeo of the Boston Symphony, Steve Witser of the Cleveland Orchestra, Joe Alessi and Philip Smith of the New York Philharmonic, the Horn Section of the New York Philharmonic, the Summit Brass Ensemble and the American Brass Quintet.His music is published by Southern Music Company, International Trombone Association Manuscript Press, Keyboard Publications, Manduca Music, Encore Music, Triplo Music, and Brass Ring Editions. R.

He has been lecturer for the New York Philharmonic's Musical Encounters Series, Vice-President of the League of Composers--International Society of Contemporary Music, and Composer-In-Residence with the Orchestra of St. Luke's in New York City. He has been a faculty member at Juilliard since 1980.

 

Lynn Glassock is a native of Dallas, Texas and received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Percussion Performance from the University of North Texas. His teachers have included Paul Guerrero, Ron Fink, Kalman Cherry, Ed Soph and Leigh Howard Stevens. Mr. Glassock teaches Percussion, Introduction to Music Technology and conducts the UNC Percussion Ensemble. Professional experiences include performances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, principal percussionist with the Fresno Philharmonic, musical shows and commercial bands. He has written articles for the Instrumentalist and music reviews for Percussive Notes. He is currently a member of the Composition Committee, the Contest and Auditions Procedures Committee and the Board of Directors for the Percussive Arts Society.

Mr. Glassock has received several awards for his compositions including winner of the Southwestern States composition contest in l973; winner of the Festival of New American Music sponsored by California State University, Sacramento in l987; and the Percussive Arts Society first place awards in 1994 for Five Songs for Voice and Marimba; 1997 for No Exit; 1998 for Between the Lines; 2000 for Concerto for Percussion and Wind Ensemble; and in 2004 for Wired. His compositions have been performed at numerous universities in the USA while international performances include Alcoi, Spain; Prague, Czech Republic; Brussels Conservatory, Belgium; Amsterdam Conservatory, Netherlands; and Rotterdam Conservatory, Netherlands. He has also had performances at the Percussive Arts Society International Conventions including New Orleans, LA in 1992; Atlanta, Georgia in 1994 Phoenix, Arizona in 1995; Nashville, Tennessee in 1996; Anaheim, California in 1997; Orlando, Florida in 1998; Dallas, Texas in 2000; Columbus, Ohio in 2002; and Nashville, Tennessee in 2004. He received a Faculty Fellowship Award for the spring of 1992 to write a piece for solo marimba. The result was a four movement work entitled Altered Echoes which was subsequently performed in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York by concert marimbist Michael Burritt. His music is published by Southern Music Company; Meredith Music Publications; Kendor Music; C. Alan Publications, Inc.; Marimba Productions, Inc.; Innovative Percussion Publications; Permus Publications; OU Percussion Press; and Ludwig Music.

 

Raymond Helble began composing at the age of 10 and conducting at 12.  Although self-taught in composition, and never having had a private music lesson, he was accepted at Julliard, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Eastman School of Music due to his highly developed compositional technique: a technique gained by reading music theory textbooks and studying scores from the local library while a young boy.

Mr. Helble chose to do his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School. His teachers included Samuel Adler, Warren Benson, and Pulitzer Prize winner, Joseph Schwantner. His musical education also included conducting studies with Willis Page and Walter Hendl.

Mr. Helble’s music is recognized for its technical excellence, distinctive motivic material, contrapuntal dexterity, and highly polished finish, whether he writes in a tonal, modal, atonal, or serial manner. Of his 50+ published works, many have been in print for 30 years, and continue to find a market.  Due to his long association with marimba virtuoso Leigh Howard Stevens, Helble has produced a large set of works both for the marimba and the percussion ensemble that are standard repertoire.  Percussionists, chamber groups, choral groups, and orchestras perform Mr. Helble’s music all over the world.

 

MICHAEL HENNAGIN (1936-1993)

Composer of twentieth-century classical music Michael Hennagin was born in The Dalles, Oregon, on September 17, 1936. He studied at Los Angeles City College, at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, graduating with a bachelor's degree in 1963, and with Aaron Copland at Tanglewood. Hennagin also studied electronic music at Southern Illinois University in 1968. His teaching career began in public schools in the mid-1960s and continued at Kansas State Teachers College from 1966 to 1972.

He served as the University of Oklahoma's composer-in-residence and professor of music theory and composition from 1972 to 1991. His work included music for chorus, piano, chamber orchestra, and band.  He composed in a variety of modern, rather than traditional, styles which places him in the company of other Oklahoma twentieth-century composers of "new music," including Ray Luke  of Oklahoma City University and Samuel Magrill of the University of Central Oklahoma. Like them, he was rewarded by having his music performed publicly in Oklahoma and also in national venues.

Hennagin's compositions include the ballet The Barren Song (1968), the symphonic essay A Summer Overture (1963), the chamber piece Four Etudes for Clarinet Choir (1978), Dance Scene (1977), and Jubilee (1967), which remains a staple for college bands. Proud Music, a choral-orchestral work derived from a Walt Whitman poem, was composed in 1993 and performed that summer by the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute.

Ten times from 1976 through 1992 the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers accorded Hennagin its Annual Award recognizing the quality and performance record of original works by American composers. He was named Oklahoma Musician of the Year in 1975 and National Composer of the Year by the Music Teachers National Association in 1976. He also wrote scores for motion picture, television, and stage productions.

 

Marvin Lamb (1946) is Professor of Music & Head of the Music Composition Program at the University of Oklahoma, where he served as Dean of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts from 1998-2005. His music has been performed widely in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America & Japan. In addition, his orchestral works have been performed by the symphonies of Atlanta, Dallas, St. Louis, Colorado, Honolulu, the Cabrillo Festival, & recorded by the Czech Philharmonic Symphony. He has multiple awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer, the Charles Ives Center for American Music, & held a year long fellowship in orchestral composition awarded by the Tennessee Arts Commission. His publications & recordings number over forty & his principal publisher is Carl, Fischer, Inc.}

 

David Maslanka was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1943. He attended the Oberlin College Conservatory where he studied composition with Joseph Wood. He spent a year at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and did graduate work in composition at Michigan State University with H. Owen Reed.

Maslanka's works for winds and percussion have become especially well known. They include among others, "A Child's Garden of Dreams" for Symphonic Wind Ensemble, "Concerto for Piano, Winds and Percussion," the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th symphonies, "Mass" for soloists, chorus, boys chorus, wind orchestra and organ, and the two Wind Quintets. Percussion works include, "Variations of 'Lost Love'" and "My Lady White: for solo marimba, and three ensemble works: "Arcadia II: Concerto for Marimba and Percussion Ensemble," "Crown of Thorns," and "Montana Music: Three Dances for Percussion." In addition, he has written a wide variety of chamber, orchestral, and choral pieces.

David Maslanka's compositions are published by Carl Fischer, Inc., Kjos Music Company, Marimba Productions, Inc., the North American Saxophone Alliance, and OU Percussion Press, and have been recorded on Albany, Cambria, CRI, Mark, Novisse, and Klavier labels. He has served on the faculties of the State University of New York at Geneseo, Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, and Kingsborough College of the City University of New York. He now lives in Missoula, Montana. David Maslanka is a member of ASCAP.

 

Pat Muchmore was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma in 1976. He showed an early interest in music, but came to formal studies fairly late in life. He started learning the piano at the age of 11, and he quickly added the cello, trombone and guitar to the list of instruments he played. He began serious composition study under Dr. Carolyn Bremer at the University of Oklahoma in 1996, and he earned his Bachelor of Music from the same institution in 2000. Currently, Pat Muchmore resides in New York City where he is earning his PhD in Music Composition at the City University of New York Graduate Studies and University Center studying under John Corigliano, David Del Tredici, and David Olan. He lives there with his wife, Jenny, and their insane cat, Webb.

 

 

J. Westley Slater recieved a B. A. on Music Composition from the University of Oklahoma. He continued his compostion studies at Julliard where he recieved certification.  He went on to obtain his Master's in Musicology from the City University of New York.  He currently is working in New York as a new-media specialist with his own company arpamedia. Arpamedia designs and develops websites, eLearning applications, corporate presentations, and marketing campaigns for some of the most high profile companies in the business world. 

 

 

 

 

 

Ricardo A. Coelho de Souza was born in Belém, Brazil. He started his musical studies at the age of six playing the piano. In 1988, he was selected as one of nine percussionists to study in the newly founded percussion program at the Carlos Gomes Conservatory. After receiving a performer’s certificate from that institution, Ricardo was invited to pursue his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia on a full-time scholarship. His composition studies began in Missouri under the supervision of John Cheetham and Thomas McKenney. In 1999, Ricardo was one of the winners of the 47th Annual BMI Student Composer Award Competition with his piano solo Evocação. After graduating with a Master’s degree in performance, he moved to Oklahoma where he earned his D.M.A. at the University of Oklahoma in 2006. He studied percussion with Richard Gipson and composition with Kenneth Fuchs and Marvin Lamb. In Oklahoma, Ricardo was awarded the Ronald J. Dyer Award in percussion, the Michael Hennagin Memorial Scholarship in composition, the Sutton Award in chamber music, and the Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Award for meritorious scholarship and musical performance achievements. Ricardo has been featured at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Texas Christian University Latin American Arts Festival, and The International Music Festival of Pará. He has been commissioned to write works for the TCU Percussion Ensemble and the OU Percussion Orchestra. Ricardo is actively engaged in composing and playing with orchestras, bands, chamber ensembles, and popular music groups. He is a visiting instructor in world music and percussion at the University of Oklahoma.

 

 

William Steinohrt received a bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois, a master of fine arts degree in Composition from the University of Hawaii and a doctorate degree in Composition from the University of North Texas. He is a widely published composer who has been the recipient of numerous awards. He has served for 12 years as a music teacher in the Hawaii Public Schools and 25 years as Professor of Music at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. His conducting activities include working with professional orchestras, youth orchestras and college bands and orchestras.

 

 

 Gordon Stout (b.1952) is currently Professor of Percussion at the School of Music, Ithaca College, Ithaca, N.Y., where he has taught percussion since 1980. A composer as well as percussionist who specializes on marimba, he has studied composition with Joseph Schwantner, Samuel Adler and Warren Benson, and percussion with James Salmon and John Beck.

As a composer-recitalist he has premiered a number of his original compositions and works by other contemporary composers. Many of his compositions for marimba are published, and have already become standard repertoire for marimbists world-wide.  His recordings are devoted not only to his own music, but also that of the general standard repertoire by important American composers.

A frequent lecture-recitalist for the Percussive Arts Society, he has appeared at twelve International PAS Conventions to date, as featured marimbist, as well as throughout the United States and Canada, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Hungary and Mexico. In May of 1983 he performed clinics and recitals in France, Germany, Holland and Belgium with "transcendental virtuosity", being described as "the Rubinstein of all aspects of the marimba".

Gordon was on the Jury of the 1st and 2nd Leigh Howard Stevens International Marimba Competitions during the summers of 1995 and 1998. In the summer of 1998 he was a featured marimbist at the World Marimba Festival in Osaka, Japan and he was a member of the jury for the 2nd and 3rd World Marimba Competitions in Okaya, Japan and Stuttgart, Germany respectively. In the summer of 2006 he was a member of the jury at the International Marimba Competition in Linz, Austria. On new years day in 2006 he conducted a 100 person marimba orchestra in the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan as part of the Taiwan International Percussion Convention.

 

Born on April 3, 1969, George Tantchev first began studying percussion at the age of eight with Prof. Dr. Dobri Paliev and was his student until graduation from the State Music Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria.  In 1998 George completed a Master of Music Performance at Ithaca College, NY, and earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Oklahoma in 2004.  While at OU he studied conducting with Dr. William Wakefield and composition with Prof. Bentsion Eliezer and Dr. Gregory Woodward

His compositions have been performed at PENDIM International Percussion Competition, several PASIC meetings, Days of Percussion and have also been frequently reviewed in Percussive Notes.  Currently George is on the faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago, plays timpani and percussion with Chamber Opera Chicago, Northbrook Symphony, New Millenium Orchestra and serves as Director of the NSO School of Music, where he teaches Drum Set and Percussion. George is a member of the Vic Firth educational team.

 

Writing in High Fidelity in 1974, critic Royal S. Brown said "on the basis of this work (Concerto for Flute and Orchestra), I would say that Welcher is one of the most promising American composers I have ever heard". Born in Rochester, New York, in 1948, composer-conductor Dan Welcher has been fulfilling that promise ever since, gradually creating a body of compositions in almost every imaginable genre including opera, concerto, symphony, vocal literature, piano solos, and various kinds of chamber music. With over one hundred works to his credit, Welcher is one of the most-played composers of his generation.

Dan Welcher first trained as a pianist and bassoonist, earning degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. He joined the Louisville Orchestra as its Principal Bassoonist in 1972, and remained there until 1978, concurrently teaching composition and theory at the University of Louisville. He joined the Artist Faculty of the Aspen Music Festival in the summer of 1976, teaching bassoon and composition, and remained there for fourteen years. He accepted a position on the faculty at the University of Texas in 1978, creating the New Music Ensemble there and serving as Assistant Conductor of the Austin Symphony Orchestra from 1980 to 1990. It was in Texas that his career as a conductor began to flourish, and he has led the premieres of more than 120 new works since 1980. He now holds the Lee Hage Jamail Regents Professorship in Composition at the School of Music at UT/Austin, teaching Composition and serving as Director of the New Music Ensemble.

Dan Welcher has won numerous awards and prizes from institutions such as the Guggenheim Foundation (a Fellowship in 1997), National Endowment for the Arts, The Reader's Digest/Lila Wallace Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, The Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy, the Ligurian Study Center in Bogliasco, Italy, the American Music Center, and ASCAP. His orchestral music has been performed by more than fifty orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Atlanta Symphony. He lives in Bastrop, Texas, and travels widely to conduct and to teach.

 

 Having joined the University of Houston faculty in August 1997, percussionist and composer Blake Wilkins is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at the Moores School of Music. Prior to coming to UH he served as Visiting Instructor of Percussion at the University of Oklahoma. He also served as percussionist and substitute principal timpanist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic through 1993-97, and was a member of the Oklahoma Panhandlers, a professional steel drum band. In particular, Dr. Wilkins specializes in solo classical marimba performance. Additionally, he is a strong advocate for the performance of new music, and along with performing regularly with the University of Southern California's Contemporary Music Ensemble and OU's New Century Ensemble, he co-founded El Dos, an experimental improvisation duo, with bassist Michael Lee. Equally active as a composer, Mr. Wilkins has studied composition with Robert Moore, James Hopkins, and Michael Hennagin amongst others. His catalog reveals compositions of large scale for a variety of media with his primary orientation being toward chamber music for non-traditional combinations of instruments. His two works for large percussion ensemble, including a prize winner in the 1988 Percussive Arts Society International Composition Competition, are published by the OU Percussion Press and have been recorded by the University of Oklahoma Percussion Ensemble on the compact disc, Twilight Offering Music, distributed by Albany Records (Troy 214).