Jason H. Nam published in the Journal of the National Band Association

Jason H. Nam, Doctoral Wind Conducting student of Professor Stephen W. Pratt, was recently published in the Journal of the National Band Association (Vol. 54/Winter, 2014).

The publication is disseminated to band directors at all levels across the country, with a focus on current models and techniques in wind and percussion pedagogy, literature, and research. Nam’s article, entitled “The Mid-Twentieth Century Renaissance and the ‘American Symphony for Band,’” is one of the first to be published in the NBA Journal’s new section dedicated to peer reviewed research.

The article examines the implications of the American band symphonies written between the years 1949 and 1959, as well as the broader historical development of the symphony as a genre for the wind band. Additionally, the article illustrates the contrasting rationale behind composing a band symphony between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the progress of the band as a viable medium for artistic expression.

Nam is pursuing the Doctor of Music degree in Wind Conducting where he serves as an associate instructor for the Jacobs School of Music Department of Bands. He is also currently serving as Associate Conductor for the Southern Indiana Wind Ensemble based out of Bloomington.

Will Rowe honored for research and creative activity

Seated, from left: students Allison Yates, Will Rowe and Madeline Dinges; standing, from left, mentors Cesar Félix-Brasdefer, Aaron Travers and Justin Ross, and Provost Lauren Robel.

Seated, from left: students Allison Yates, Will Rowe and Madeline Dinges; standing, from left, mentors Cesar Félix-Brasdefer, Aaron Travers and Justin Ross, and Provost Lauren Robel.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Five Indiana University Bloomington students have received the Provost’s Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, recognizing exceptional and original academic work.

Recipients of the 2013-14 award are: Madeline Dinges, in the category of Professional Inquiry; Christian Hayes, Natural and Mathematical Sciences; Tom Ladendorf, Humanities; Will Rowe, Performing and Creative Arts; and Allison Yates, Social and Applied Sciences.

Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel presented the awards and recognized the students and their faculty mentors April 6 during the 2014 Student Honors Convocation at the IU Auditorium.

“These five students have achieved remarkable success, thanks to their own hard work and the guidance of dedicated faculty,” Robel said. “It was a great honor to recognize the students and their mentors on Sunday. Their accomplishments demonstrate the value of our efforts to provide all IU Bloomington undergraduates with opportunities to take part in research or other meaningful educational experiences.”

The Provost’s Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity was created in 2010 to recognize excellence and celebrate the importance of engaging undergraduates in research and creative activity.

Will Rowe

Rowe, from Oxford, Mich., is a senior composition major in the Jacobs School of Music. He was honored in particular for two compositions, “Secessionist Subjects” and “The House on the Street.” His mentor is Aaron Travers, assistant professor of music at the Jacobs School.

“The House on the Street” is a selected work for the International Society for Contemporary Music World New Music Days 2013 festival. It was performed by Camerata Silesia Katowice and Anna Szostak in November 2013 in Vienna, Austria. “Secessionist Subjects,” composed as a collaboration with pianist Clare Longendyke of Invisible Cities Opera, won the Jacobs School’s 2014 Dean’s Prize for undergraduate composition.

Rowe is also an active cellist, studying with Emilio Colon at the Jacobs School. He is head arranger of the Panache Group and, with three fellow composers, founded the publishing circle These Hands.

New jazz ensemble debuts

By Brandon Cook


Jacobs School of Music master’s student and award-nominated jazz guitarist Matt MacDougall led the debut concert of the IU All-Campus Jazz Ensemble at Rachael’s Café Monday night.

The performance featured pieces composed or arranged by Frank Mantooth, Bill Holman, Rob McConnell and Count Basie, among others.

Nearly all of the performers were students not majoring in music who joined the ensemble out of the desire to play in a big-band setting.

Trombone performers focus on their music as they play duing the IU Jazz Ensemble performance Monday night at Rachael's Cafe. The Ensemble, made up of all non-music majors, performed at Rachael's Cafe on Third Street.

Trombone performers focus on their music as they play duing the IU Jazz Ensemble performance Monday night at Rachael’s Cafe. The Ensemble, made up of all non-music majors, performed at Rachael’s Cafe on Third Street.

“It’s eclectic,” said Neil Hicks, the ensemble’s bassist. “A good group effort.”
Despite having been formally trained in music from a young age, MacDougall, who formed the 17-person ensemble with Tom Walsh, did not discover his inclinations towards jazz and classical until he began playing guitar  at the age of 13.

To date, the musician has performed at the Halifax Jazz Festival, the Ottawa Jazz Festival and the Galaxy Rising Stars Youth Summit Group, in addition to performances alongside musicians such as Jerry Bergonzi, John Abercrombie, Tim Hagans, John Surman and Mike Murley.

MacDougall currently serves as an associate instructor in the Jacobs School of Music’s jazz department, but his experiences are not strictly limited to teaching and live performances.

In September 2012, he released the album “Familiar Faces,” a collection of eight tracks that crosses multiple genres and fluctuates between loose, hip-hop beats and a firm bebop sound.

The album was released on Armored Records, a record company devoted to promoting the work of up-and-coming musicians.

“I got some mileage out of it,” he said. “All the things that built my foundation manifested themselves in that album.”

“Familiar Faces” was nominated for the 2012 East Coast Music Award for Jazz Recording of the Year.

Following the release of the album, MacDougall was able to perform at several highly renowned venues including the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage with Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead 2013 and at the 56th Annual Montery Next Generation Jazz Festival, an event that draws hundreds of artists, from high school students to icons like Herbie Hancock and The Roots.

“I was very humbled by these experiences and felt very welcomed into the jazz community,” he said in a statement on a Kickstarter page.

As of February, the guitarist has been working on his sophomore album, “Boy Goes to City,” which he said will feature a hard-driving groove laced with the influences of rock and alternative hip-hop, all within an improvisational or jazz context.

Other members of the album ensemble include the Grammy award-winning saxophonist Jeff Coffin, saxophonist Adam Carillo, pianist Alex Wignall, bassist Roy Vogt, drummer Arianna Fanning and Grammy-nominated sound engineer Denny Jiosa.

Although MacDougall’s own compositions featured stylistic influence from jazz fusion and alternative genres, Monday night’s concert was rooted in the big band artists of both early and contemporary, 20th-century composers, such as Count Basie, Frank Mantooth, Bill Holman and Burt Bacharach.

The set-list featured such famous tracks as the bossa nova tune, “Black Orpheus,” the traditional, brass-heavy “After You’ve Gone” and the jazz staple, “Watermelon Man.”

“We range from 1930s through 1940s big band sound, pushing towards a more modern big band sound,” MacDougall said.

With crowds trickling in throughout the night, the venue was packed with an enthusiastic audience.

Even when tables and chairs became crowded, people remained standing and, occasionally, swaying.

“I don’t know anything about music, but I was into it,” audience member Shalu
Mittal said at the show.


© Indiana Daily Student 2014

La Traviata comes to the MAC

By Alison Graham


Violetta, a young escort, sits in a lavender gown atop a cushioned stand. She is surrounded by other women in royal blue, joined by a large group of men.

They begin to laugh, flirt, dance and drink with one another until Alfredo Germont, a nobleman, comes in with friends. He sees Violetta and his friends tell her that he is in love with her.

The group celebrates further, until Violetta abruptly sits on the stand, coughing. A doctor comes in to give her medicine as the crowd exits. She stands up and returns to the party.

Violetta Valery, played by graduate student Lacy Sauter, has servants help her undress in "La Traviata" on Tuesday at the Musical Arts Center. The opera opens at 8 p.m. on Friday.

Violetta Valery, played by graduate student Lacy Sauter, has servants help her undress in “La Traviata” on Tuesday at the Musical Arts Center. The opera opens at 8 p.m. on Friday.

IU Opera and Ballet Theater will present La Traviata, its last season opera, at 8 p.m. Friday in the Musical Arts Center. Tickets start at $12 for students and $25 for general admission.

The performances will also be streamed live Friday and Saturday through IUMusicLive! Live performances in the MAC will continue April 18 and 19.

La Traviata is an opera written by 18th century composer Giuseppe Verdi based on the novel “The Lady of the Camellias.”

To prepare for this opera, actor Derrek Stark, an IU graduate student, read the original novel to better understand his character, Alfredo.

Although the opera is not entirely true to the original novel, reading the work helped Stark develop his character’s persona.

“You have to work to flush that character out as fully as you can,” he said. “That happens throughout the entire process. You spend time learning who that character truly is.”

The first step in preparing for the opera was learning the music, Stark said.

Stark went though the text with a diction coach to ensure that he was pronouncing each name and word correctly in his singing.

His coach had previously performed the female lead, Violetta Valery, and was able to offer a lot of advice about the part, Stark said.

After practicing diction and learning the music, Stark worked on blocking, or learning where he needs to be on stage, and creating natural movement for his character.

His character, Alfredo, falls in love with Violetta, a 19th century French escort who has moved up the ranks in her work.

Violetta has never allowed herself to fall in love because of her various relationships with men. But when she meets Alfredo, she decides to follow her feelings and falls in love, stage director Jeffrey Buchman said.

“I’m the only man who truly cares about her beyond what she can offer me,” Stark said.

However, Alfredo has a sister back home with a wealthy suitor who refuses to marry her because of her brother’s relationship with an escort.

Because of this, Alfredo’s father Giorgio comes to speak with Violetta about her relationship with Alfredo, asking her to end it in order to help his daughter and stop tainting the family name.

“She does that, which infuriates Alfredo,” Buchman said. “And in the end, she is just hoping that Alfredo and the world understand the sacrifices she made, all while she is dying.”

Violetta suffers from tuberculosis, also known as consumption. The disease typically attacks the lungs and causes victims to experience chronic cough, which can often draw blood.

Tuberculosis was usually fatal, especially in the 19th century, when the disease was more common and there were few known cures.

“In the opera, people really see the demands society places on women,” Buchman said. “It’s a woman who society never gave a chance in this world, and all she’s looking for is to be a noble creature.”

One particular scene that Stark struggled with was near the end. At one point, a large Plexiglas wall comes down between Violetta and Alfredo onstage to symbolize their separation. Alfredo sings through this wall to Violetta, but because he couldn’t hear the actress on the other side, it caused some difficulties.

“It’s all about finding that inner connection and personal point of reference that you can use to fuel the acting,” Stark said. “I’m still working toward it, but it’s a little more self-reliant because you can’t immediately interact with someone.”

He was forced to work even harder in order to make his character believable in this scene.

Stark participated in musicals his senior year of high school and worked as a pianist for a few other musicals. It wasn’t until his undergraduate work at Mansfield University that he became interested in opera from his vocal teacher.

“I always thought opera was just a bunch of fat ladies gurgling,” Stark said. “Through learning to sing and really careful guidance, I became really interested in it. Now, it’s a very large part of my life.”

From his experience with musical theater, Stark can see a few differences with opera.

“One of the most immediate differences is that the singers don’t use microphones,” he said. “It’s the singer against the orchestra.”

“La Traviata” is different from other operas.

“It’s one of those pieces that’s so immediate for the audience,” Buchman said. “It touches you very deeply. It has its own unique quality in the way it does that.”

New stage elements occur during the first few minutes of the opera. Traditionally, the set opens with a 19th century Parisian parlor with rich fabrics, a fireplace and other period décor.

“We let that go and created a world that was influenced by symbols,” Buchman said. “We created an atmosphere instead of literal structure and detail.”

The production is new because of the poetic approach the director and designers took with the original play.

“It stays true to the text, but allows us to create a world that the audience will get a new experience out of even if they’ve seen it 10 times,” Buchman said.

With a new production, it’s all about seeing the day-to-day changes and eventually seeing it all come together, Buchman said.

“Live theater is something we don’t get a lot of anymore,” Stark said. “In an opera that you’re watching live, anything can happen. I think you would get an entirely more moving experience coming to a live show than you would doing anything else.”

© Indiana Daily Student


NUVO Review: La Traviata

Indiana University Opera: La Traviata

By Rita Kohn



Brilliantly conceived, produced, and performed, IU Opera Theater’s newly-mounted La Traviata ["The Fallen Woman"] probes beyond the usual way we look at this oft-produced 161-year-old opera for a deeper view of the way people perceive their roles in a particular social order, with marriage suitability as the pivot point.

Matthew Leone, in the program notes, traces how and why censors and opera house producers have made slight changes to the opera’s original storyline to conform to community mores at each particular place and time of performance. Leone’s essay leads us to consider the choices of conductor Joseph Rescigno and stage director Jeffrey Buchman, who bring us into the world of subtext and an examination of our own thinking.

The Overture distills a father-son moment of capturing a butterfly. While the child disdains what he has just done his father praises him for his prize. We hold dominion over butterflies.

Fast-forward fifteen years: Violetta in a dress startlingly resembling that of a butterfly is gazing longingly out of a glass-encased grand salon, gaiety of a party behind her. Not a word has been uttered  -  yet musically and visually, we know.

Fast-forward three months to the Act II country villa Violetta now shares with Alfredo. The butterfly case on a table confirms the arc of connectivity. And so it goes contextually throughout three acts, with minute details recurring as echoes from past to present, reflections as refractions to the very end. It all culminates with an amazing, chillingly heartbreaking final scene with its moment of illuminated zest for life before vitality is stilled.

Throughout Violetta proves herself less shallow than those who would disdain her. Alfredo’s father is forced to change his arguments when confronting her for the sake of the happiness of his “pure and innocent daughter.” It becomes Violetta’s generosity upon which he preys, only later having to repent for his parsimonious behavior.

The cast, working within this careful reading of rationale to manipulate others towards our will, brings to light and life far more meaningful relationships than ever before witnessed during any of the other multiple “La Traviata’s” I’ve attended. None ever materialized Violetta’s perceived destiny, thoughts and fears as apparitions before our eyes. This underscored Violetta’s transformation from life as a never-ending party to one of sharing an abiding love. Circumstance may have placed her outside of ‘polite society’ yet her humanity elevates her  – with but 20 sous left in her coin box, as the merrymaking of Mardi Gras surrounds her deathbed Violetta instructs her maid to hurry out to give ten to the poor.

With splendid costumes by Linda Pisano depicting mid-19th century Paris, as Verdi intended, IU’s production goes further to skirt centuries with Cameron Anderson’s set and Patrick Mero’s lighting. The look might be 1850, yet the feel is now.

For the four performances, the lead roles alternated between two casts: For Violetta Valery, Shannon Love and Lacy Sauter; for Alfredo Germont, Andrew Maugham and Derrek Stark; for Giorgio Germont, Joshua Conyers and Daniel Narducci. They, together with the supporting cast and chorus delivered sterling acting and singing. The orchestra amazed with intuitive articulation of what it means to be human and humane, with particular notice due to the solo clarinetist.

Equally, the ten dancers at the beginning of Act III merit attention for interpreting choreographer Rosa Mercedes’ flamenco with mesmerizing precision, heightening the growing difference between Violetta’s former life as a courtesan and the new path she chose and was forced to give up.

Composer Giuseppe Verdi and librettist Franceso Maria Piave based their 1853 La Traviata on Lady of the Camellias, the 1848 novel and 1852 stage play by Alexander Dumas fils. A quarter of a century later Henrik Ibsen wrote The Doll’s House, not so much a statement for the rights of women as it was and remains as a statement for each of us to liberate ourselves  -  to strive to be who we really are. IU’s stunning “La Traviata” stunningly shows how Verdi and Piave led the way.


© NUVO 2014


New production of ‘La Traviata’ shines in musical matters

By Peter Jacobi


A couple of days before I attended last weekend’s two performances of “La Traviata” at the Indiana University Musical Arts Center, I put my DVD/VCR player to use. First, I put on “Camille,” the 1936 film version of Alexander Dumas’ story, with Greta Garbo as the doomed courtesan. I focused on the critical scene in which Camille, at the insistence of her lover Armand’s father, agrees to sacrifice love and self for the good name of his family. I then turned to the same scene from Verdi’s “La Traviata,” as sung by Teresa Stratas.

Garbo, incandescent, forfeited Camille’s future with quiet despair; Lionel Barrymore, as Armand’s father, was persuasive arguing for the breakup. Their encounter was worth seeing. As the renamed heroine in the opera, as Violetta, Stratas, with haunted look and manner, gave tragic dimension to her portrayal, while baritone Cornell MacNeil effectively made the father’s case for that breakup.

Hands down, Stratas and MacNeil won out. They had Verdi at their side. Even when realized by the famed Garbo and Barrymore, the spoken dialogue pales when pitted against so powerful a score as Verdi bequeathed to “La Traviata.” All of which is to argue that a reviewer’s reaction to a production of the opera, in my view, should be focused, first and foremost, on the music and the music drama.

And in matters musical, the current production, which also happens to boast a new physical setting, shines.  Verdi has been done proud. The reason begins with music director Joseph Rescigno, who obviously loves the opera and has expressed that love in sensitive preparation of the Concert Orchestra and all those singing on stage; the orchestra sounded velvety and voluptuous. It begins with an involved chorus, so effectively trained by chorus master Walter Huff. It begins with two casts, on the whole very well selected, that wrapped themselves in their assignments and made the most of their opportunities.  It begins also with stage director Jeffrey Buchman, who guided the singers as actors, who used the music and the dramatic content to help them find and develop meaningful stage personalities.

At the critical center of any “Traviata” performance is the soprano who portrays Violetta. As a courtesan, she needs to be attractive; Shannon Love, Friday’s Violetta, and Lacy Sauter, Saturday’s, are.  As tragic figure, Violetta must show strength and fragility, be self-motivated and yet fate-driven, reflect courage and victimization, struggle for life and accept death. Both Love and Sauter did all that in well-thought-out characterizations.

Vocally, both gave the role full dosages of drama: Love with a smaller instrument but unanticipated and fortuitous inflections along with touching subtleties, Sauter with an impressively voluminous soprano fully equipped to belt at moments of high drama but one that she occasionally sent into overdrive.

Two pretty solid lyric tenors gave their all as Violetta’s beloved Alfredo: Andrew Maughan on Friday and Derrek Stark on Saturday. The fine young baritone Joshua Conyers contributed dignity and solemnity to the role of Alfred’s perhaps justly motivated but trouble-making father. Saturday’s equivalent was IU Jacobs School of Music alum Daniel Narducci, bringing with him the welcome authority of experience.

The new sets and costumes, by Cameron Anderson and Linda Pisano, blur the story’s time and place, meaning the opera does not unfold in its usual 19th century setting, but also not today. The backdrops are either abstract washes or green suggestions of the outdoors.The props and furniture are minimal, held to the necessary.

Designer Anderson and director Buchman had in mind a production that made of Violetta a symbol for a class of women who may be adored for their beauty but are outcasts, too, pawns of a cruel and hypocritical male-dominated society.  The point is driven home (1) with a butterfly metaphor, a beautiful but fragile insect designed to be captured by Alfredo as a boy, a beautiful Violetta captured by societal injustice as she departs this Earth; (2) with four bewigged women (are they apparitions?) that often shadow Violetta; (3) with four women as human chandeliers that during the second act party scene hang precipitously and puzzlingly from the ceiling, and (4) with glass walls that separate Violetta from all who remain to love her as she dies.

Little of that particularly bothered me, and, as viewer, I benefited from a few striking images. But I question the need for an added layer of meaning in a story and opera so basic in emotional content and so highly dramatic musically.  Does Verdi really need or gain from the treatment?

A few more plaudits: to the supporting casts; to the 10 dancers and their choreographer, Rosa Mercedes, and how successfully they used a too-narrow space; to Patrick Mero for his lighting design; to Daniela Siena, the diction coach and author of supertitles.


© Herald Times 2014

The 2014-15 season announced for IU Opera and Ballet Theaters


By Peter Jacobi


We’re asked to “Go Boldly” in the brochure that trumpets the 2014-15 season of IU Opera and Ballet Theaters. “Every one of the offerings you’ll enjoy is a masterwork,” we’re told, “a bold artistic statement. All will be interpreted by world class conductors, directors, and designers.”

To that, Gwyn Richards, dean of the Jacobs School of Music and general manager of the Opera and Ballet Theaters, adds: “Our aim is to serve our students and our audience. We’ve put together a mix of works, both the operas and the ballets, that spells diversity, and we’ve worked very hard to bring in artistic teams that have the talent and the vision to make our productions successful.”

Hanna Brammer plays Musetta in the 2011 production of “La Boheme,” one of the operas planned for the IU Opera’s 2014-15 season.

Hanna Brammer plays Musetta in the 2011 production of “La Boheme,” one of the operas planned for the IU Opera’s 2014-15 season.

Two of the works on the opera schedule have never been done by IU Opera Theater: Gian-Carlo Menotti’s “The Last Savage” and George Frideric Handel’s “Alcina.” In addition, we are to get revivals of Rossini’s “The Italian Girl in Algiers,” Puccini’s “La Boheme,” Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” and Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.”

The Ballet Theater contingent, in addition to the ever-present “Nutcracker,” offers Fall and Spring Ballet programs featuring a strong lineup of choreographers: Georg Balanchine, Antony Tudor, David Parsons and Merce Cunningham.

The season opens with “The Italian Girl in Algiers,” Rossini’s first comic triumph, a delightful opera buffa filled with hijinks and bubbling melodies last staged here in 2009.

“We have an international duo to prepare our opener,” says Richards, “Marzio Conti, music director of Spain’s Oviedo Filharmonia, to conduct and Julia Pevsner from Israel to direct. We’ve heard wonderful things about Conti. As for Julia, she’s known for her innovative spirit, always welcome in Rossini stagings, the right action to go along with the music.” (September 19, 20, 26, 27)

The Fall Ballet features three pieces: “Emeralds,” choreographed to music of Gabriel Faure by George Balanchine; “Dark Elegies, Antony Tudor’s ballet, inspired by Mahler’s “Kindertoten Lieder,” and “The Envelope,” a comic escapade featuring music of Rossini. “We’re excited about this mixture,” says Richards. “It will challenge and show off our talented dancers.” (October 3, 4)

In a quick turn-around, we get Puccini’s “La Boheme,” done as recently as the fall of 2011. “For it,” says Richards, “we have David Higgins’ stunning sets. Paul Nadler, who conducted an orchestra concert here last fall and pleased our students, returns for opera, another of his specialties. He’s conducted frequently at the Metropolitan, and we’re pleased to have lured him back. Staging will be handled by Jeffrey Buchman, here right now for ‘Traviata.’ It was Jeffrey, three years ago, who took over direction of ‘Boheme’ when Tito Capobianco had to leave, and he did a wonderful job, staying faithful to Tito’s concept, while showing an ability to be his own man and get things done.” (October 17, 18, 19, 24, 25)

"The Magic Flute" is one of the opera's slated for the 2014-15 season.

“The Magic Flute” is one of the opera’s slated for the 2014-15 season.

Menotti’s “The Last Savage,” a satire on modern civilization, is not among the composer’s most popular works. “But we’re anxious to do it,” says Richards. “We received fantastic reports from Santa Fe, where a creative team revived the opera and it was very well received. In fact, it was a hit. We’ve pulled together as much of that team as possible, including stage director Ned Canty and set designer Allen Moyer. The musical elements will be handled by Constantine Kitsopoulos, whom we’re very fond of. He does such a good job with our casts and the orchestra.” (November 14, 15, 20, 21)

“The Nutcracker,” as choreographed by Michael Vernon, IU Ballet’s artistic director, fills the holiday slot in early December. “We’re still looking for a conductor,” says Richards, “but, of course, David Higgins’ familiar and well-loved sets will again grace the stage of the Musical Arts Center.” (December 4, 5, 6, 7)

Since Handel’s “Alcina” has not previously been offered by IU Opera Theater, a new production is required. Invited to provide it is Robert Perdziola, an award-winning designer who created the sets for the Opera Theater’s most recent Handel production, “Xerxes,” in 2013. IU’s Arthur Fagen will conduct, and Baroque specialist Chas Rader-Shieber directs. His website lists 92 productions in theaters all over, and many of operas from the Baroque era and earlier. Says Richards: “We’re doing ‘Alcina’ as part of a Handel project supported by the Joshi Foundation, in memory of Georgina,” one of the five Jacobs students tragically killed in an airplane crash five years ago. “Alcina” is all about sorceresses engaged in naughty tricks. The music is stunning. (February 6, 7, 13, 14)

“South Pacific” was last staged here in 1995. “We’ve been wanting to do it again and finally decided to give it another go. It’s one of the most important of American musicals, with a story and score that still resonate,” says Richards. “The production will be new, with a design by William Forrester, who did ‘Rondine’ and ‘Merry Widow’ and ‘Most Happy Fella’ for us. Linda Pisano will do the costumes, and she’s beloved by us all, and brings to each assignment amazing knowledge of styles and periods.” Constantine Kitsopoulos gets a second conducting gig of the season. The Jacobs School’s resident director, Vincent Liotta, stages. (February 27, 28, March 1, 6, 7)

Spring Ballet features three works of distinction: Act 2 of “Swan Lake,” with choreography by George Balanchine to music of Tchaikovsky; Merce Cunningham’s “Duets,” to a score by John Cage, and Balanchine’s “Rubies,” music by Stravinsky. Together, they mean variety. (March 27, 28)

C. David Higgins’ fanciful production for “The Magic Flute” winds up the season in April. IU’s David Effron conducts. Stage direction is by Helena Binder, who is both an actor and director; her directing history includes numerous productions at the New York City Opera. “We’ve been trying to get Helena and are pleased to bring her professionalism to Bloomington,” says Richards. “With David and Helena in charge, we should get a lovely season-ender.” (April 10, 11, 17, 18)

And there it is. Time to make your plans. The plans look promising.


© Herald Times 2014


Update on Jacobs alumnus James Aikman

JameAikmanJames Aikman’s Triptych: Musical Momentum was recently performed by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra on April 11th at the Schrott Center for the Arts. Aikman is the current composer-in-residence of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.

Aikman earned his Master of Music degree in 1988 and Doctor of Music degree in 1993 from the IU School of Music.

Read a review of the performance here: http://www.nuvo.net/indianapolis/butler-artsfest-indianapolis-chamber-orchestra/Content?oid=2809548#.U0xI_VehhnY

Read an interview here: http://www.tokafi.com/15questions/interview-james-aikman/

Update on alumnus Jason Wickson

Since mid-2012, tenor Jason Wickson has been on a non-stop 18 month journey, performing and debuting eight of opera’s most … Continue reading

Composition Department prizes announced

Sheets of MusicThe faculty of the Jacobs School of Music Composition Department is pleased to announce results for the following annual internal competitions.

Category A (Orchestra or Wind Ensemble, $500 prize):
Sang Mi Ahn, Valley of Dry Bones, for orchestra

Category B (Chamber/Ensemble, $1000 prize and commission for a new work to be premiered by the New Music Ensemble in 2014-15):
Jay Hurst, Grand Guignol, for sinfonietta

Category C (Undergraduate, $300 prize):
Will Rowe, Secessionist Subjects, for violin and piano

Category D (Electronic, $300 prize):
Louis Goldford, Grand Sepia Taksim

($1000 prize and commission for a new work for voice and ensemble to be premiered by the New Music Ensemble in 2014-15):
Yie-Eun Chun, Urban Polyphony & Game of Fives

The Georgina Joshi Composition Commission Award
A vision of Louise Addicott-Joshi and made possible by a gift from the Georgina Joshi Foundation, the annual Georgina Joshi Composition Commission is awarded to a student composer in support of a new work for solo voice and instrumental ensemble to be premiered and recorded by the New Music Ensemble. The award is presented in conjunction with the Composition Department’s annual “Dean’s Prizes” that celebrate the highest ranked student compositions of the year.

Georgina Joshi
Georgina Joshi received her bachelor’s degree in music (with honors) from the Royal College of Music in London and, at the time of her death, was pursuing a master’s degree in the Jacobs School of Music. While at IU, Joshi appeared as a soloist in major choral performances and IU Opera Theater productions. An enthusiastic performer, she was featured in a variety of regional ensembles and festivals, and appeared as a soloist in England, Wales, Romania, and Greece.


$500, Maya Nojiri, cello
$300, Heath White, flute
$200, Nick Morandi, clarinet

The Mrs. Hong Pham Memorial Recognition Award for New Music Performance is an annual prize awarded by the Composition Department to the performers who, through collaboration and performance, made the most significant overall contribution to the presentation of new music by student composers in the Jacobs School during the academic year.

The Composition faculty are extremely grateful for the participation of so many wonderful musicians in performances throughout the year.  It is truly remarkable to experience the dedication, commitment, and musical abilities of the student performers here at IU.

Our congratulations to all of the winners, and, indeed, to all of our student composers for an excellent year!