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OCU Hosts Composers, Does 72 New Works in 3 Days
Eleven concerts featuring 72 new works from 58 composers will be performed Feb. 26-28 at the Society of Composers, Inc. regional conference at Oklahoma City University. All performances are free and open to the public. The music was chosen from more than 300 scores submitted by 160 composers from 36 states and Canada. OCU students will perform as individuals and in groups including the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Philharmonic and choir and chamber ensembles. Faculty members and guest artists will also perform Cindy McTee, regents professor of music at the University of North Texas, is featured composer and keynote speaker. Edward Knight, OCU’s composer-in-residence and director of music composition, is conference host. "Hosting the composers of SCI is the culmination of 12 years of building our program into a national powerhouse," Knight said. "Our composition graduates are working in the field, from television and film to Disney and opera. My colleagues' enthusiasm for performing these 21st century works will benefit the composers, the audiences and the student musicians who become more familiar with the music of our time." The three-day event kicks off Feb. 26 with an opening dinner and remarks from McTee. She has produced a large, eclectic catalogue of music including works for orchestra, concert band, chamber ensemble, chorus and electro-acoustic ensembles. Honors include two American Academy of Arts and Letters awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Composers Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. The conference’s music begins with an electro-acoustic concert 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26. McTee gives her keynote address 9 a.m. Friday, followed by a performance of scenes from a new opera (10 a.m.), new music for brass and percussion (2 p.m.), woodwinds (3 p.m.), and strings (5 p.m.). At 8 p.m., the Wind Philharmonic under the baton of Matthew Mailman will feature the works of McTee and several other contemporary composers. On Saturday, Mailman will preset a 9 a.m. seminar on conducting, followed by a 10 a.m. program of works by the student composers of OCU’s Project 21: Music for the 21st Century. Additional opera work will be performed at 11 a.m., followed by new music for string (2 p.m.), piano (3 p.m.), chamber ensemble (4 p.m.), and chamber choir (5 p.m.) The finale is an 8 p.m. performance of contemporary works by the OCU Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mark Parker and Benjamin Nilles. “The Bass School is honored to host SCI and its members,” said Parker, Ann Hundley Hoover Chair and dean of the Bass School of Music. “As an institution, we are committed to educating musicians for careers in all fields of music composition. Over the past 11 years, OCU’s Project 21: Music for the 21st Century group has premiered more than 600 works created by student composers from five continents.” For more information on the SCI Region VI Conference or the music composition program at Oklahoma City University, visit http://www.project21composers.com/ or contact Edward Knight at eknight@okcu.edu; (405) 208-5274.