From June 20 – 27, 2010, Dawn Sonntag, assistant professor of music, attended the American Composers’ Forum/American Choral Directors’ Association Choral Composers Forum at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. Within the space of five days, 17 composer-fellows from across the United States composed new choral works that were performed at the forum’s final concert by the Princeton Singers, a professional chamber choir conducted by composer Steven Sametz. Internationally acclaimed Chinese composer Chen Yi was the guest mentor, providing both feedback and fascinating stories of her life as a musician in China and the United States. Sonntag’s composition was a choral/piano setting of Sara Teasdale’s “There will come soft rains,” a poem expressing nature’s reaction to war. She also concurrently began a second piece, “Peace Be With You.” Over the summer, Sonntag arranged both of these pieces for chorus and wind ensemble. They will be performed at our November 11th concert in Hayden Auditorium.
J. Paul Louth attended the 8th biennial symposium of the International Society for Philosophy in Music Education, which was held in Helsinki, Finland during the first week of June. He was invited there to present a paper on the subject of applying critical theory to music education. The paper will be published as an article in an upcoming edition of the Philosophy of Music Education Review. Louth also used the time to finish composing and arranging some music that will be performed by the Hiram College Jazz Ensemble on their upcoming fall concert, which will be held in the Kennedy Center on November 17.
Associate Professor Tina Dreisbach studied Irish concertina with virtuoso Caitlin Nic Gabhann at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, W.V. In September she will present a paper “Help From My Friends: Seven Interdisciplinary Projects in a Small Music Department” at the 53rd National Conference of the College Music Society in Minneapolis. Dreisbach also has been invited to contribute two articles on women in jazz to the forthcoming revised edition of the New Grove Dictionary of American Music.
Professor Randall Fusco spent seven weeks at the State University of New York in Fredonia working as one of several staff pianists at The Quartet Program, an intensive summer program focusing on string quartet playing and solo literature. Fusco accompanied several exceptionally talented string players (ages 14-22) from across the United States and Norway in works by Bruch, Shostakovich, Schubert, Janacek, Piazzolla and Brahms. Fusco also has numerous concerts scheduled for the 2010-2011 academic year including a solo program of French music in December at the Cleveland Skating Club, a recital with Hiram voice instructor Rachel Pavloski in October at Hayden Auditorium and a piano duet recital with Dawn Sonntag in December at Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown.
Harpist Morgan Minch ’11 worked as an intern at Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Inc. in New York City. She worked in the publicity and promotion departments, and observed the company for communication research. The internship enabled her to work with world-class musicians (Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Edmar Castaneda and Elliott Carter), and frequently attend performances of music published by Boosey & Hawkes. The experience also helped her to focus on arts administration, particularly synchronization, which involves taking the music Boosey & Hawkes publishes and pitching it to ad agencies and movie companies. All the music for the hit series “Mad Men” was synchronized by Boosey & Hawkes. This experience opened Morgan’s eyes to how the music world works, and has given her experiences she never thought possible.
Submitted by Professor of Music Randall Fusco.