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Fair Trade String Trio Premieres Field Guide

Fair Trade String Trio Premieres Field Guide

The Fair Trade String Trio (Ashley Windle, Hannah Levinson, and Jeanette Stenson) will be premiering my newest piece, Field Guide, on July 20 through 26 on their second Pacific Northwest tour, with concerts in Vancouver BC, Victoria BC, Bellingham WA, and Portland OR. More details of the concerts can be found on their websiteField Guide is based on the songs of three birds which can be found in the Western US, the horned lark, the greater sage grouse, and the Western meadowlark. Though these birds aren’t currently endangered, they depend on the wild land of the US National Parks and Forests — and are one of the many, many reasons why we all need to be working to preserve these lands.

Composer in the Tabloids

Composer in the Tabloids

The Sunday Mail/Daily Record did a story about my research on seal vocalizations! Thank you Sunday Mail and Heather Greenaway for the lovely coverage of my work!

My piece Seal Songs, based on the Selkie legend, was originally written for the Voice Factory Youth Choir and the Paragon Ensemble, conducted by Mark Evans, and premiered in Glasgow and Skye in 2011. Seal Songs received its US premiere by the San Francisco Girls Chorus and Trinity Youth Chorus in June, 2017. I’m currently conducting research on seal vocalizations with Prof Vincent Janik and Alex Carroll at St Andrews University, and will be writing a new piece based on my research, to be performed by the St Andrews New Music Ensemble, conducted by Bede Williams, in February 2018.

San Francisco Girls Chorus Performs US Premiere of Seal Songs

San Francisco Girls Chorus Performs US Premiere of Seal Songs

The San Francisco Girls Chorus and Trinity Youth Chorus are performing the US premiere of Seal Songs on June 4 at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. This is really exciting for me, not only because they are fantastic choirs, but because I sang in SFGC for a year when I was 13 (my family was on sabbatical in Palo Alto), and it was such a wonderful and formative musical experience for me. It’s always been a dream of mine to have something performed by them! Here’s a little letter I wrote to the choristers, as part of their ongoing Postcards series.

The Beaverton Symphony plays green/blue

The Beaverton Symphony plays green/blue

I’m looking forward to the Beaverton Symphony Orchestra‘s performance of green/blue on May 19 and 21 at the Village Baptist Church in Beaverton, OR. Also on the program are Robert Schumann’s Symphony #1, and the winners of the Young Artist Concerto Competition, Kaylee Jeong, Alison Mills, and Rachel Oh. I wish I could be there to hear the concert in person!

Carissa Klopoushak performs Sapling with the Saskatoon Symphony

Carissa Klopoushak performs Sapling with the Saskatoon Symphony

One of the happiest moments as a composer is discovering an orchestral piece is going to have a new performance. I was thrilled to learn that Carissa Klopoushak, who I first met at Scotia Festival of Music in 2005, is going to be performing Sapling with the Saskatoon Symphony, conducted by Eric Petkau, on March 25 at the Sid Buckwold Theatre in Saskatoon, SK. Sapling was commissioned by Calvin Dyck and the Vancouver Island Symphony in 2014, and has also been performed in an arrangement for solo violin and seven strings by Annette-Barbara Vogel and Magisterra. It’s such a delight to hear different musicians’ interpretations, and I’m really looking forward to hearing Carissa’s performance in March.

Recording of falling still with Harriet Mackenzie and the English Symphony Orchestra

Recording of falling still with Harriet Mackenzie and the English Symphony Orchestra

I’m just back from a recording session at Wyastone Hall in Monmouth, Wales, where violinist Harriet Mackenzie and the English Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ken Woods, recorded my piece for violin and string orchestra, falling still. They sound fantastic! Other pieces on the CD include violin concertos by Paul Patterson, David Matthews, Deborah Pritchard, and Robert Fokkens. This is my first orchestral recording, and my first time being included on a CD of British composers, so I’m extra excited about this, and really looking forward to hearing the whole thing, when it is released on Nimbus Records in April!

Three Summer Pieces for the Cherry Street Duo

Three Summer Pieces for the Cherry Street Duo

I just finished Three Summer Pieces for the Cherry Street flute duo, commissioned by Sophia Tegart (with funding from the Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation James and Lola Faust Chamber Music Grant). They’ll be recording it for CD in March, and performing it later this year. I’m really looking forward to hearing them!

Jan Tait and the Bear Premiere

Jan Tait and the Bear Premiere

An enormous thanks to Ensemble Thing, conducted by Tom Butler, with Alan McHugh, Catherine Backhouse, and Brian McBride, directed by Stasi Schaeffer, for a fantastic premiere of the fully-staged version of Jan Tait and the Bear on October 6 and 8 at the CCA in Glasgow. We received some lovely reviews from The Tempohouse, The Cusp, and Opera Scotland. We’re hoping to take it on tour next year. In the meantime, here’s a photo of Catherine Backhouse as Jan Tait and Brian MacBride as the bear, with costumes by Vicki Brown!

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Jan Tait and the Bear at the CCA

Jan Tait and the Bear at the CCA

I’m so thrilled that Ensemble Thing, conducted by Tom Butler, will be premiering the fully staged version of Jan Tait and the Bear at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow on Oct. 6 (8 PM) and Oct. 8 (1 PM). This performance stars Alan McHugh, Catherine Backhouse, and Brian McBride, and is directed by Stasi Schaeffer, with costumes by Vicki Brown.

For a little preview, here is a trailer, with beautiful illustrations by Meilo So and animations by Jason Brown of Greenlight Creative.

Tickets are available from the CCA, in advance or at the door. I hope to see you there!

An enormous thanks to Opera America, the Hinrichsen Foundation, and the Canada Council for the Arts for making these performances possible!

 

Fair Trade Chamber Music Society

Fair Trade Chamber Music Society

I’m really looking forward to writing a new piece for the Fair Trade String Trio (Ashley Windle, Kallie Ciechomski and Jeanette Stenson), commissioned by the Fair Trade Chamber Society. The piece will be premiered on their summer 2017 tour of the Pacific Northwest, and in New York in fall 2017.

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