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An Ada Area Composers Concert on Thursday [JAN. 24] will include several premiere performances of original compositions by East Central University faculty, students and friends. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Ada Arts and Heritage Center, 14th and Rennie.

The composers are ECU faculty members Dr. Benjamin Finley, Dr. Mark Hollingsworth, Dr. Alan Marshall, Dr. Stuart Deaver, W.T. Skye Garcia and Rudy Lupinski; ECU students Jaime Jones and Jenni Whitley; and ECU friends Jason Oss, Lucille Cate Dillon and Victoria Davison.

"Camel Ride," composed for a young piano student by Jaime Jones as a class assignment, went on to win her a $1,500 prize as a division winner in the 2007 Lynn Freeman Olson Composition Competition. It was performed at the 2007 National Federation of Music Clubs' Biennial Convention and was mentioned in the Autumn 2007 issue of the NFMC Music Clubs Magazine.

"I was inspired to write "Camel Ride" mainly because it was an assignment, but soon discovered that I was more interested in the composition process than just my grade.  The award was an added bonus," she said, "further persuading me to continue composing."

Jenni Whitley first began composing "Conquistador" in 2002 at the age of 12. In 2004 it won both the regional and state levels of the National Federation of Music Clubs’ composers contest and earned third place in the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association’s composers contest. In 2005, it won the intermediate category of the Lynn Freeman Olsen Composition Contest, and she received a $500 prize.

"A few months later, I was offered a publication contract, and before I knew it, my piece was published," Whitley said.

The song, which will be performed by Ashlyn Angel, also was added recently to the National Federation of Music Clubs contest list.

Alan Marshall wrote three songs for a 2006 production of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," "Oh, Mistress Mine," "Come Away, Death" and "The Wind and the Rain."

"They were written specifically as pop songs rather than as art songs," he said. "This is evidenced by the fact that the tunes and accompaniment have never been notated, but were learned by ear from chord charts. The melodic and rhythmic style of the songs is inspired by pop music in general and by contemporary bluegrass in particular."

Performers include Marshall, guitar and vocals; Melody Baggech, vocals and percussion; Jesse Cohen, guitar; and Neal Clark, percussion.

Dr. Starla Hibler, professor of music, will perform the premiere of W.T. Skye Garcia's "A Centennial Rag," a piece written last June as Garcia's entry in the centennial rag competition of the Ragtime for Tulsa Foundation.

Garcia's first attempt at serious composition, "The End of the Trail, Op. 1," written in 1981 with original text by Sara A. Garcia, commemorates the forced relocation of the Creek Nation from Georgia to Oklahoma Territory in 1832. Sarah Garcia is a great-great-great-granddaughter of the Creek Indian chief William McIntosh.

Melody Baggech will narrate the piece.

"The Big Bad Saxophone Rag" by Dr. Mark Hollingsworth is reminiscent of early 20th century jazz and ragtime compositions written for saxophone ensembles of six or more players and soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxes. These types of groups were very popular acts found in vaudeville and burlesque acts or on cruise ships, he said.

The premiere performance will include Kevin Wilkins and Josh Cotts, soprano saxophone; Jordan Stanfill, Travis O'Loughlin and Jason Carnahan, alto saxophone; Lindsay Pringle and Sam Crosby, tenor saxophone; and Hollingsworth, baritone saxophone.

Dr. Stuart Deaver wrote "Curious About You" as a college student who became familiar with the faces of the people he saw regularly when going to his classes.

"Though I came to know these faces, I did not meet and speak. Therefore, I became increasingly curious about them," he said.

"Actus Trinitas" by Jason Oss is comprised of a set of prayers in the Catholic Liturgy which are the acts of faith, hope and love. "Actur Spei" (Act of Hope) will have it premiere performance.

"Open the Door" by Lucille Cate Dillon originated in 2004. Dillon, the mother of composer Tori Davison, was inspired to write it after hearing the performance of her daughter's first three sacred choral works by the East Central University Chorale.

It was completed last summer with an a cappella verse and descant by Davison and an arrangement of the entire work by Rudy Lupinski. "Open the Door" portrays a picture of a sinner being received by the Lord into Heaven.

Two works by Davison and Lupinski also will have their premieres. "Peace I Leave With You" is an adaptation of the parting words of Jesus Christ in John 14:27.

"Risen Lord Be Known To Us" came to Davison during a church service when the service read, "Risen Lord be known to us in the breaking of the bread." She later recalled the words to the hymn "Come Risen Lord" which also inspired the work.

Dr. Benjamin Finley recently completed his marimba piece, "Mary," which will be premiered at the concert.

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