The East Central University Music Department is presenting its 12th Annual ECU Faculty, Students and Friends Composer Concert at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 9, in the Ataloa Theatre of the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center.
The concert is free and open to the public.
W.T. Skye Garcia, instructor in the ECU Music Department, will serve as composer and concert series coordinator. ECU student Christopher L. Bragg, of Sulphur, will perform a piece he created - Mountain’s Rain - on the piano.
Thaddaeus McClain, also on the piano, will also perform of his own pieces entitled High Tide. John Emery, on the cello, and Susanne Woolley, of Ada and on the violin, will perform a duet called Green Pastures.
Shanty Sea Rag, written by J. Woodrow Clark, will be performed by ECU student Jessica Wilcox, of Oklahoma City, on the xylophone. She will be joined by Destin Rhyn, of Ardmore, and Robbie Moore, on the marimba.
Prelude in E Minor, for two Pianos, created by the late ECU instructor Paul D. Rowe, will be performed by W.T. Skye Garcia and Sarah Garcia.
Local composer Anna Tynsky will perform M12.17 on the electric guitar.
Corey Hubbard, playing the marimba, will perform Geneva. Kelby Pletcher, with voice, and Rudy Lupinski, on piano, will perform Of the Spirit, created by W.T. Skye Garcia.
Finally, Let Us Keep Christ in Christmas, written by Victoria Davison and Lupinski, will be performed by a quartet made up of the University Women’s Chorale - Emily Ross (alto), of Lawton Cassidy Malm (alto), of Noble; Kaitlyn Stevens (soprano), of Manitou, Oklahoma; and Carolynn Stephens (soprano), of Sulphur. They will be accompanied by Lupinski on the piano.
Here is a breakdown of the Composer Notes:
Christopher L. Bragg: Mountain’s Rain (2017)
This piece was written as a study in the impressionist style of writing. A rain shower inspired me one afternoon at my grandparent’s house in Estes Park, Colorado. While listening, I encourage you to close your eyes and see where you will be taken. When I listen and perform this piece, I’m whisked away into a grey, foggy day with a cup of tea in hand. The clouds are rather low and a soft gentle rain is all around me.
Thaddeus McClain: High Tide (2017)
High Tide, a piano solo, was written in the fall of 2016 for a high school English project in which students were required to depict a scene in the novel, A Separate Peace, by John Knowles. Through music, I chose to portray a scene in which two teenage boys skip school and go to a New England beach to enjoy the day on the pier.
John Emery: Green Pastures (Psalm 23) (2016)
Psalm 23, one of the most familiar passages of the Bible, is one that we each can ponder and find a meaning in that speaks to us individually. One a musical level, I thought it would be interesting to write a simple melody and then experiment with possibilities for melodic imitation between a solo violin and cello.
J. Woodrow Clark: Shanty Sea Rag
Shanty Sea Rag was composed by J. Woodrow Clark in September 2017 in fulfillment of a requirement for the class, MUS 4982 Seminar in Music: Studies in Composition. As a first compositional project, each member of this class composed an original work in ragtime compositional style. These compositions were then adjudicated in conjunction with the fall 2017 ECU Music Department centennial commemoration of the life and music of American ragtime composer Scott Joplin. Clark’s composition, scored for xylophone and marimba (with two performers on the marimba) was a recipient of an honorable mention by an independent panel of judges.
Paul Rowe: Prelude in E Minor, for two Pianos (1974)
Prelude in E minor, a piano duo by Paul Rowe, was written in May of 1974 when the composer was only 15 years old. Rowe was an adjunct member of the ECU piano faculty from 1995-2016. The composition was discovered among items Rowe’s family generously bequeathed to the university. The performance will be presented by two of Rowe’s friends and colleagues, W.T. Skye and Sarah A. Garcia, in his honor and memory.
Anna Tynsky: M12.17 (2017)
M12.17 is a song for electric guitar and soundscape effects. To create the visual image of a mirage, I am using a guitar with a floating bridge which allows the player to increase or decrease string tension via a tremolo bar. This sliding pitch shift allows me to bend sound as distant mirage seems to be bending space.
I also us echo, delay, and loop pedals which are controlled live by foot-operated stomp boxes. All effects are used in support of the mirage idea, to represent in sound the psychological state of not quite knowing whether to trust what you see. The song remains in E minor throughout. Many suspended fourths are heard rather than the dominant fifth, to keep the song mysterious and unresolved.
The lyrics were inspired by the images that popped in my head as I played the first melody on the guitar. I saw someone standing alone on a desert road. I saw a shadow of a bird and I saw the words from one of my favorite books, The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “It is only with the heart that one see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Corey Hubbard: Geneva (2017)
Geneva for solo marimba was composed the month following my 2017 summer trip to Europe with the Oklahoma Ambassadors of Music. One of our excursions included walking alongside the shore of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The lake is simply beautiful, with clear blue water and an amazing mountain backdrop. In Geneva, I attempt to capture the beauty of the lake along with the magnificence of the mountains. The piece starts in the low octave of the marimba with deep, resonant sounds, symbolizing the lake. I symbolize the mountains as the piece progresses, with the music becoming more intense and reaching higher octaves. Finally, the piece ends with a re-arrival at the lake with a familiar pattern in the lower octave.
W.T. Skye Garcia: Of the Spirit (2017)
Of the Spirit, composed by W.T. Ske Garcia in July 2017, is a sacred vocal with a lyric taken from the Bible Book of Galatians chapter 5, verses 22 and 23. The short text of just 15 words has much wisdom to offer, especially in these particularly turbulent times. The nine fruits “Of the Spirit” offer timeless personal guidance, against which…“there is no law.”
Tori Davison and Rudy Lupinski: Let Us Keep Christ in Christmas (2015)
This piece was written in 2015. During the period leading up to Christmas, people’s lives seem to be stressful and anxious from buying gifts, decorating, planning, cooking and doing other preparation activities. People are so busy in preparing for Christmas that they have little time to reflect on the season for it all. The lyrics are a reflection of the familiar saying, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” It seemed appropriate that this be an anthem for children since they seem to capture the joy and mystery of Christmas much better than adults! On this concert, the piece will be sung by the East Central University Women’s Chorale Quartet.