The sixth annual ECU Faculty, Students and Friends Composer Concert on Tuesday [FEB. 21] promises to be a musical collage of inspiration, imagination, dance, drama, espionage, humor and love.
Twelve original compositions by faculty, students and friends of East Central University will be premiered in a concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Ataloa Theatre in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. The concert is free and open to the public.
Students in last fall’s Studies in Composition class will present six new compositions, including original film scores for two short films. “Pepper” features the music of Tommy Long whose score supports the mysterious and secret agent feel of the film which was created by the ECU video production team of Andrew Brady, Corey Dozier, Tanya Steidley and Kimberly Wren. Two crocheted dolls provide the inspiration for Angela Marshall’s animated film “Spark,” a love story.
Marshall, a 2011 ECU graduate, said of her inspiration, “They seemed to love each other and have a story to tell. Because my actors did not have faces or say anything, all the emotion in this film had to come from the musical score.”
As a special introduction to the concert, Marshall and Nick Geisler created a video presentation, “Philosophies of Composition,” which includes a brief sampling of the works composed by various members of the Studies in Composition class.
Two dances by ECU choreographers Natalie Isaacs and Heath Holt will add variety to the concert. Student composers Justin Cody, Nathan Steinman and John Stone wrote original music to accompany the dances to be performed by the ECU Dance Ensemble of Nikki Hayes, Heath Holt, Natalie Isaacs, Kaitlin Moore, Chris Scoles and Natalie Shackelford.
Other student compositions to be premiered include “The Daydream,” written for violin, cello and piano by Claire Marquardt, a sophomore ECU piano major, and “Immovable,” written for cello and piano by senior percussion major Jesse Milam. Milam’s composition was written in honor of his mother and her “immovable courage” in dealing with cancer.
Four ECU faculty members will premiere works at the concert. W.T. Skye Garcia’s vocal composition “Personal,” a setting of a poem from the “Salt-Water Ballads” collection (1902) by John Masefield, will be performed by Dr. Alan Marshall.
Marshall also will direct a “collaborative improvisation” featuring performers in the evening’s concert. Marshall said the fun and challenge of this piece is for both performers and the audience to experience the creative fun of musical composition as it is happening.
Dr. Mark Hollingsworth, an award-winning composer to be featured in an upcoming issue of the international journal “The Clarinet,” will premiere a new piece for soprano saxophone and piano. Also, Rudy Lupinski has teamed up again with ECU artist-in-residence Victoria Davison to create two new choral pieces, “Open Your Heart to the Poor and Needy,” based on Deuteronomy 15:10-11, and “The Lord is My Shepherd,” based on Psalm 23. Both pieces will be performed by the ECU Chorale under the direction of Dr. Steve Walker with flute accompaniment by Lauren Webb.
New to the Composer Concert this year is local composer and dancer Anna Tynsky. She describes a spider moving through its life as her inspiration for her colorful guitar solo “Spider Dance,” in which the left hand “walks along the fretboard like a spider.”
Other performers include Dr. Melody Baggech, John Emery, Dr. Benjamin Finley, Darren Heath, Dr. Starla Hibler and Susanne Woolley.