New Music Mosaic premieres “exhaustion in days of fury” at Out of the Blue Too Art Gallery in Boston

This last Saturday afternoon New Music Mosaic held concerts in Urbana, IL and Boston, MA. As part of this, saxophonist Wilson Poffenberger and percussionist Matt Carey premiered my “exhaustion in days of fury”–a work that I had begun a handful of years ago. I am so grateful for their effort and creativity. My piece begins at just before the 8 minute mark in this YouTube video of the livestream.

All Score Urbana: Live and In-Person Program Funded by Urbana Arts and Culture Commission

Recently All Score Urbana, an community engagement workshop program I founded in 2016, received another year of grant funding from the City of Urbana’s Arts and Culture Commission. More information about the free-to-the-public program, how to participate, and a sign-up sheet on this website are forthcoming. The program will begin in October 2022.

Teaching artists pianist/composer mezzo-soprano ShayLyssa Alexander, Dr. Michael McAndrew, jazz trombonist/composer/arranger Peter Tijerina, and I (I’ll be handling composition/theory/music technology) will be leading a series of events in the fall, beginning with a compose-a-thon event and concert in partnership with Rose Bowl Tavern. Workshops will then be offered to further build on those works, new works, or other already-in-progress works at Faith United Methodist Church, culminating in a performance and recording of all participants’ works.

This program is entirely free to the public thanks to the Urbana Arts and Culture Commission. Bring an idea or question and work with one of us on site. Bring something you’ve always hoped to have played–we’d love to help make that happen. Come try composing or songwriting for the first time with us–we purposely have teaching artists who specialize in being welcoming, kind, and genre-inclusive. For aspiring professional musicians or college students looking to strengthen portfolios, we would love to support you.

Straight Into Tangles and Second String Quartet Paper Talk at College Music Society Great Lakes Regional Conference

I am very excited to be taking part in this year’s College Music Society Great Lakes Regional Conference. I will be presenting a talk based on my dissertation “Aaron Cassidy’s Second String Quartet: Resilient Structures, Indeterminate Localities, and Performance Practice” and “Straight Into Tangles,” my orchestra work commissioned by Dr. Tiffany Chang and Oberlin Arts and Sciences Orchestra. The full dissertation is now online in a free to all space here: https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/113049

CMS Great Lakes was my first toe-dip into College Music Society several years ago. I like attending because of its presentations always reflect the organization’s inter-departmental focus.

Presenting at College Music Society Central Regional Conference

This weekend I will be presenting a talk based on my dissertation “Aaron Cassidy’s Second String Quartet: Resilient Structures, Indeterminate Localities, and Performance Practice” and my orchestra work commissioned by Dr. Tiffany Chang and Oberlin Arts and Sciences Orchestra.

This will be the first time I get to publicly share about my dissertation research. The talk overlaps with the paper in many ways, but I’ve tried to make it something that fits a 20-ish minute presentation space. The full dissertation is now online in a free to all space here: https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/113049

Guest Presenter at Heidelberg University’s Composition Studio

This Friday I had the privilege to be a guest presenter for Heidelberg University’s composition studio. I had attended their concert a few weeks before was really looking forward to talking with them. I showed some of my recent work Straight Into Tangles for live-to-Zoom Orchestra and demonstrated DuoTube. What I appreciated was that as we talked about developing opportunities and meaningful collaborations, the questions kept coming. I discussed my experiences with the Urbana Arts and Cultural Grant program in creating All Score Urbana as part of a jumping off point and Dr. Kennedy already had a grant program that is happening Tiffin, Ohio on hand. I hope Heidelberg’s composers continue to be create, dream big, and explore programs and concerts they can do in collaboration with community members and spaces.

Mike Minarcek premieres “convenient words/exactly lost” live on As if radio’s longform radio broadcast

This Saturday, November 6th, as part of As if radio’s longform radio broadcasts about COP26, Dr. Mike Minarcek will be premiering a radio work for voice and percussion (a car’s interior) called “convenient words/exactly lost.” It is my setting of one 0f a handful of texts written by Bradley Njus. It will be broadcast at the following website from Glasgow, Scotland at 2 pm Central, with a short interview with Mike and me to follow – http://acousticommons.net/listen/

All Score Urbana: Community of Song Update/Red Herring Poetry Celebration


This summer All Score Urbana began its next Urbana Arts and Culture grant-supported program–Community of Song. We are current working on over a dozen projects with composers, songwriters, performers, and singers. We will be announcing the specifics of the upcoming February concert in the next few months. I have loved seeing the collaboration, question asking, and mentorship that have been coming out of these projects. While a lot of art-making involves technical feedback, it makes me happy that people seem to get how we try to make this a warm, empathetic working space (in this case, a mostly virtual working space).

A related project finds some of the teaching artists collaborating with former Urbana Poet Laureate Will Reger’s Red Herring Poetry Celebration, another Urbana Arts and Culture-funded program. ShayLyssa Alexander and Mike McAndrew will be performing Possibility of Routine, a new song I wrote that is inspired by “Migraine,” a poem by Anne Zysman-Schulman. I have wanted to write for ShayLyssa’s amazing voice for a very long time and I am excited to hear her performance this Friday at the Channing-Murray Foundation.