Stephen F. Austin State University

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Composer conference at SFA includes four free concerts

February 11, 2009 - Sylvia Bierschenk

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - While composers from across the state are meeting at Stephen F. Austin State University Friday, Feb. 20, and Saturday, Feb. 21, for the 2009 Conference of the Texas Chapter of The National Association of Composers, USA, East Texans can attend any of the four concerts included on the conference program.

"This is an opportunity for our local audience to hear world premieres by the state's top composers," said Stephen Lias, SFA associate professor of composition and director of the conference.

The 7 p.m. concert on Friday, Feb. 20, is devoted to chamber works. Among the three world premieres on the program is "Velocipedes" by Russell Cannon, SFA composition student. "3NF," a work for flute and marimba by Alan Scott, Webmaster for the SFA College of Fine Arts and candidate for a doctoral degree in composition from the University of Texas, is also included.

SFA musicians performing on the program include faculty members Christina Guenther, flute; Brian Utley, saxophone; Scott Harris, percussion; and Mary Cooper, piano. Eight female vocal majors from SFA will also perform. The concert will be held in the Music Recital Hall, Room 160 of the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building.

The second concert, "60x60 Evolution Mix," at 11 a.m. Saturday will also be held in the Music Recital Hall. The "concert" is actually a recording of 60 one-minute compositions that is being presented in venues across the country, Lias explained. The performance is played while a large synchronized analog clock is displayed on stage, and at the top of each minute, a new composition is begun.

Works by two SFA composition students, Cannon and Garry Wickliffe, are included in the mix.

Another concert of chamber works will be presented at 2 p.m. Saturday in Cole Concert Hall of the Wright Music Building. Included on the program are three world premieres and Alan Scott's "Currents."

SFA performers include faculty members Guenther; Harris; Gary Wurtz, trumpet; Charles Gavin, horn; J.D. Salas, tuba, Evgeni Raychev, cello; and Ron Petti and Tracy Ward, piano. Student performers include Russell Cannon, clarinet; Christ Eaton, trombone; Becky Martin, flute; Garrett Martin, trumpet; and Mike Craft, Jason Morgan and Chris Vasque, percussion.

The seven works included on the Band Works concert at 7 p.m. Saturday will be performed by the SFA Wind Symphony and the SFA Wind Ensemble, directed by David W. Campo and Fred J. Allen, respectively. The closing number will be "Tarantella" by Lias.

Admission to all of the concerts is free. The Wright Music Building is located at 2210 Alumni Dr. For more information, please call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.