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Nilles, OCU Brass Ensemble Present World Premiere
The Oklahoma City University Brass Ensemble will present the world premiere of "A Picture of Time," by Trevor Palen, a senior composition major at the Bass School of Music, 2 p.m. Sunday, April 11, in Petree Recital Hall. Also on the program: music of Richard Strauss, Hector Berlioz, and Igor Stravinsky, as well as Eric Whitacre's "Sleep," featuring members of OCU’s Ad Astra and University Men’s Choruses. Admission is free and open to the public. Palen's brass and percussion work was commissioned by Benjamin Nilles, conductor of the Brass Ensemble. Nilles said the large-scale work “makes great use of antiphonal effects from the brass and percussion. It’s filled with memorable melodies, and the listener will be surrounded by highly diverse, rhythmically alive music in the concert hall.” An advocate of new music, Nilles has conducted 28 premieres of works by the composers of Project 21, OCU's new music consortium, and premiered several new works at the 2009 Society of Composers, Inc. Regional Conference. "We record the student composers' work, which creates an invaluable learning experience for the instrumentalists and allows the composers to expand their portfolios and submit their work to competitions, festivals, and graduate schools,” Nilles said. “It’s a win-win." Nilles also has conducted the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra, Oklahoma Youth Philharmonic, and a studio orchestra for "Dustbowl Dreams,” the title track on country singer Bryan White's current album. He was appointed assistant conductor for the OCU Symphony Orchestra in August 2006 and has served as associate conductor since August 2009. For its April 11 performance, the OCU Brass Ensemble will feature horn players Cameron Bell, James Doss, Whitney Lee, Kate Jewett-Williams, Joanna Marzec; and Samantha Spear; trumpeters Ryan Beach, Cotey Bowman, Tomasz Dabrowski, Steven Del Ross, Michael Ferrara, and Tim James; trombonists Ailon Heitner and Justin Sechrist, with Sun He on bass trombone; Uzziel Fierro and Sam Winters, euphonium; Bill Bohn and Aaron Campbell, tuba; and percussionists David Calhoun, Brennan Connolly, Joseph Craven, Colton Hines, and Eddy Streck.