Autumn 2022 Faculty Notes

Publications, recordings, premieres, research highlights, and other news from the School of Music faculty.

Joël-François Durand, Composition

His work for clarinet and violin, La mesure de l'ange (2022), was recorded in Vienna, Austria in September 2022 by Austro-Italian violinist Olivia De Prato (known for her work with the Mivos Quartet) and Hungarian clarinetist Szilard Benes (Schallfeld Ensemble). The piece was written for the 70th birthday of Durand’s UW faculty colleague Jonathan Bernard, who retired from teaching in June (see story, here). The work premiered at the UW in June at a symposium in Bernard’s honor, performed by alumnus Luke Fitzpatrick (DMA, violin) and clarinetist Rachel Yoder.

Anita Kumar, Music Education

The School of Music alumna returned to the UW in Autumn 2022 as a visiting lecturer in Music Education (see story here). She joined several current Music Education doctoral students in presenting at the National Association for Music Education National Conference, November 3 through 6 in National Harbor, Maryland. Her topic: “Perceptions of Trust in Conductor-Ensemble Interactions through Rehearsal Observation.”

Ted Poor, Jazz Studies

The Jazz Studies faculty drummer performs with one of his musical heroes at The Echo in Los Angeles on Nov. 16, when he appears with the group Scary Goldings feat. John Scofield. "Scary Goldings is made up of another band called Scary Pockets, plus pianist/organist Lary Goldings,” Poor shares. "Scofield is a legend who has played with Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and many others. Also joining us is Will Lee on bass (Late Night with David Letterman). I'm really excited to play with these amazing musicians, particularly Scofield. I have admired his sound and musicianship since I first heard him on recordings when I was in high school."

David Rahbee, Orchestral Activities

David Rahbee's arrangement of the Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor (first movement) for 8 trombones was recently published by Warwick Music and is dedicated to long-time Chicago Symphony Orchestra bass trombonist Charles Vernon. 

Melia Watras, Viola

Faculty violist Melia Watras’s article Concentric and Intersecting Circles of Connection: Two Compositions for Viola Solo was published in the most recent issue of the Journal of the American Viola Society. Watras’s compositions received numerous performances over the summer, including world premieres of Blue Rose for viola solo, performed by Rose Wollman at the American Viola Society Festival, and 3 Songs for Bellows, Buttons and Keys for accordion, performed by Jeanne Velonis at the Accordion Seminars, presented by the Accordion Global Association (YouTube livestream). Both works were recorded and released; Blue Rose appears on Wollman’s album LOOP: Ligeti's Inspiration & Legacy (Acis Productions) while 3 Songs for Bellows, Buttons and Keys was released by Planet M Records. Watras recorded two albums of solo works and chamber music by Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti, Melia Watras and Frances White, with Grammy-winning producer Judith Sherman. The albums will be released at a later date. Her chamber group, Frequency, performed with Gabriel Kahane on the Seattle stop of his Magnificent Bird tour.

Bonnie Whiting, Percussion Studies

Chair of Percussion Studies/Ruth Sutton Waters Associate Professor Bonnie Whiting joined NYC's Talea Ensemble in Finland for the Time of Music Festival this summer. The group presented the world premiere of Mark Applebaum's "Venture Capital Punishment", an evening-length theatrical/multimedia work, and gave a concert of the music of Julius Eastman. Whiting subsequently  traveled to Bologna, Italy for performances in celebration of the Iannis Xenakis centennial with Bass-Baritone Nicholas Isherwood for ensemble FontanaMix's #PortraitXENAKIS festival. She also held residencies at Dartmouth College and Stanford University  for the development and first performances of "The Ritual of Breath is the Rite to Resist": a new chamber opera [] centered on the murder of Eric Garner. This project includes participatory action and community ritual, inviting audiences to rise up against the theft of Black breath, to meditate on our shared humanity, and to join in the agency of shared resistance.

Giselle Wyers, Choral Conducting

Giselle Wyers’ community chorus, Concord Chamber Choir, had its debut performance of the fall season alongside 20 other community choruses at the Seattle Sings Festival in in October to celebrate the return to communal singing. Concord Chamber Choir will also engage in an exchange with UW Chorale in the spring, as well as singing at numerous holiday events this December.

Wyers has been visiting instructor at Seattle University this year, working alongside Director of Choral Studies Leann Conley-Holcom ('17 DMA, Choral Conducting) on a “Kintsugi Choir Project," for which three Seattle University choirs are co-creating a new choral work that will premiere December 2. In this role, Wyers has been lecturing and offering workshops on choosing text for music, and writing beautiful melodies and meaningful harmonies. Wyers will compose the piano accompaniment that stitches the whole piece together.

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