Music student composers premiere their works at annual concert Dec. 16

Eighteen student composers will premiere and perform their new and varied electronic and acoustic works at the annual Charles Shackford Memorial Student Composers Concert on Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. in Evans Hall.

Student composers include Drew Andre '16, Jack Beal '18, Enzo Cerrutti '18, Joseph Donohue '16, John Driscoll '16, Aidan Gorrell '18, Bladimir Hernandez '17, Chazz Higginbotham '16, Jeffrey Iyalekhue '18, Cem Barbaros Manisali '17, Hans Olrik '18, (Paul PT) Prigoda '19, Jake Summers '16, Henry Van Vuuren '16, Luke Walker '16, Anna Westbrook '16, Tiana Yang '18, and Christine Yi '17.

The student composers’ genres and choice of instruments differ widely. Some examples:

  • “Op. 3 for Digitally Affected Piano and Electronic Sound - New Spaces” by Jack Beal was written for digitally affected live piano and electronic sound.
  • Joseph Donohue and Drew Andre’s piece “Cumulus” was conceived as a jazz-rock fusion for a small ensemble comprising piano, guitar, drums, vibraphone, saxophone, trumpet and electric bass.
  • Stimulated by her dream about a little boy named Gordon, Christine Yi's “Gordon Walks into the Forest” is a three-movement ensemble for violin and piano.
  • Hans Olrik’s “Pensive” features the electric guitar, and an organ makes a brief cameo appearance.
  • New London native Anna Westbrook ‘16, a prolific composer, premieres two works: “Particularly Stupid People” and “Itsy Bitsy in Love,” the latter a composition inspired by the popular childhood ditty recreated for two singers and eight woodwinds (which represent the spiders) and piano, “because the piano is the spider’s favorite instrument,” she explains.
  • First-year student PT Prigoda's composition, "369," combines the sounds of synthesizers and natural sounds in different chord progressions, with a piano breakdown towards the middle of the piece. 
  • In "River Song," philosophy major and songwriter Luke Walker sings and plays the 12-string electric guitar in a composition that also includes banjo, bass and drums.
  • With her first-ever composition for piano and viola, "When the Time Comes," Tiana Yang hopes the audience will experience her dreams through her music.
  • "Remember December - Themes of the Electronic Winter," Henry Van Vuuren's work, seeks to combine the classical elements of music with a modern day, electronic sound.

The pieces were developed under the mentorship of Art Kreiger, the Sylvia Pasternack Marx Professor of Music, a celebrated composer who has performed worldwide. Kreiger is director of the Cummings Electronic and Digital Sound Studio located in Cummings Arts Center, available to all students who choose to study music. The CEDS is a production quality computer music studio wired to the adjacent Elizabeth GIlbert Fortune Recording Studio. The CEDS serves as the classroom and workspace for electronic and computer music courses, as well as composition classes.

Connecticut College offers the major or minor in music or music and technology, with a concentration in performance, theory, ethnomusicology, music education, history or composition.

December 14, 2015