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Faculty Notes: Winter 2019

Submitted by Joanne De Pue on January 22, 2019 - 11:21am

Awards, honors, appointments, residencies and new creative projects are among recent news reported by School of Music faculty in Winter 2019.

Geoffrey Boers, Choral Conducting

Geoffrey Boers and the UW Chamber Singers CD …behold again, the stars, was officially released last summer by Centaur Records and is available on iTunes, Spotify, and other outlets. A recent review exclaimed, “these people can sing!” He continues to work with the Boards of National Association of Music Educators and Washington Music Educators as he rolls out his three-year project of developing a rubric for choral literacy the Choral Literacy and Standards. This level-based performance rubric and its associated tools for ensemble assessment and adjudication, is the first of its kind in the United States. Boers will be lecturing at the NAfME Northwest Convention in February, and the American Choral Directors Association National Convention in March. 

Patricia Campbell, Music Education, Ethnomusicology

Patricia Shehan Campbell was invited to give the keynote speech in November 2018 on education and preservation at the National Institute of Education in Seoul, Korea.  Her book, Music, Education, and Diversity: Bridging Cultures and Communities (2018), is receiving a warm reception by educators and ethnomusicologists, in reviews and blogs.  She is on demand as a speaker at international conferences and university residencies, on musical and cultural diversity in K-16 music education, including talks and workshops at Laval University (Quebec City), Sao Paolo’s Campinas Universidad (Brazil), and McGill University (Montreal), and at various national and international conferences. 

A chapter on “Teachers as Agents of the Repatriation of Music and Cultural Heritage” appears in the new Oxford Handbook of Musical Repatriation (2019), written by co-authors Patricia Shehan Campbell and UW colleague J. Christopher Roberts, on teachers as agents of music transmission, preservation, repatriation, and sustainability.

Huck Hodge, Composition

The UW Composition professor recently received a significant commission from the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, one of the most important commissions available to composers internationally. The foundation, named for the Russian-born composer and long-time former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, has supported most of the leading composers of the 20th/21st centuries, including Bartok, Copland, Messiaen, Saariaho, Schoenberg, Stockhausen, Xenakis, and many others.  The commission, a collaboration with Hodge’s UW colleagues and alumni, will support Hodge’s creation of a percussion concerto for UW faculty percussionist Bonnie Whiting and the Seattle Modern Orchestra (led by UW Music alumni Julia Tai and Jérémy Jolley).  

Hodge also was recently appointed composer-in-residence at two institutions: the Yaddo Corporation and the Aaron Copland House. Yaddo, an artist colony in upstate New York, claims illustrious alumni including James Baldwin, Truman Capote, Langston Hughes, Jacob Lawrence, Sylvia Plath, Leonard Bernstein, David Foster Wallace, Philip Guston, and others.

The Aaron Copland Residency Awards, based at Copland House in Cortlandt Manor, New York, are inspired by Copland's legacy of support for his fellow composers. Copland House’s support for composers includes all-expenses-paid residencies; post-residency awards, and performances that further advance their work; fiscal sponsorships; and composer commissions. The awards are typically extended annually to six to nine emerging or mid-career American composers, who are invited to reside, one at a time, at Rock Hill, Aaron Copland’s longtime New York home. As guests of Copland House for three to eight weeks, their meals, transportation, housekeeping and other needs are provided for, freeing composers to focus on their creative work.

Robin McCabe, Piano

Professor McCabe has been elected to the UW’s College Council. In this capacity, she will serve in an advisory capacity to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for a term of four years.  In October, Prof. McCabe and her sister, pianist Rachelle McCabe, performed recitals and delivered masterclasses at the China Conservatory, Remnin University, Central Conservatory, and Tsinghau University in Beijing, China.


David Alexander Rahbee, Orchestral Conducting

The UW’s director of Orchestral Activities appeared as a guest conductor with the Guernsey Symphony Orchestra in November in a program of music by Grieg and Mendelssohn featuring pianist Ana-Marija Markovina. His recent article “Karl Goldmark and Gustav Mahler: Connections and Influences” has been published in the fall edition of the music journal Sonus (Volume 39, No. 1). The article highlights several distinct musical influences from the works of Goldmark on the works of Mahler by tracing the relationship of these two composers from days when Mahler was a student (where Goldmark was faculty), to the days Mahler was pursuing conducting posts (where and when Goldmark had apparent societal and political influence), to the days after Mahler's death, when Goldmark was an elderly composer whose works were falling out of fashion. In September, Dr. Rahbee named a finalist for the third consecutive year for the American Prize Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming, which recognizes and rewards orchestra music directors in America who, in the opinion of the judges, have created the best season of orchestral concerts during the past year in the United States; this award was for the 2015-2016 season of both the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra and the Campus Philharmonia Orchestras. Also, for the first time, the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra was named a finalist the category of orchestral performance, based on recordings of performances made between 2014 and 2016. 

Tim Salzman, Wind Conducting

The UW’s director of band activities has been appointed for the third consecutive year an Overseas Visiting Meritorious Scholar by Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. This past December, Prof. Salzman conducted a concert with Tsinghua University Symphonic Band and presented five days of masterclasses for 32 wind band conductors from various schools in Beijing.  He also served as adjudicator for The Lord Mayor’s London New Year’s Day parade and ‘Cracker’ concert series in London.

Melia Watras, Viola

The UW’s Professor of Viola and Chair of Strings served on the faculty of the 2018 Icicle Creek Chamber Music Institute, where she performed and taught. This past fall she served as guest viola professor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she spent one week teaching viola lessons, delivering a master class, performing, and recording a video with violist Atar Arad of her composition Viola for narrator and viola. Her compositions were performed recently at Indiana University, and by her chamber group Frequency at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington and at Seattle’s Royal Room.

Bonnie Whiting, Percussion Studies

In conjunction with the U.S. Embassy and American Voices (an organization dedicated to providing cultural exchange through the performing arts and education in nations emerging from conflict and isolation), Chair of Percussion Studies Bonnie Whiting returned to Ashgabat and Dasoguz, Turkmenistan for solo performances with the State Symphony Orchestra and work with the National Music Boarding School. Much of the focus of this year's project was musical and cultural exchange via a  the commission and premiere of a new percussion concerto  on Turkmen melodies, composed and arranged by UW School of Music composer/percussionist Aidan Gold. Other fall highlights include a solo performance at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and travel to California with ensemble dal niente for performances at the Festival of New American Music.