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Stacy Garrop’s Composer Blog

Music Alive Composers Institute, Day 1

Today was Day 1 of our 2-day Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra Music Alive Composers Institute! I gave three presentations today for our twelve student composers (who came from 8 different universities) on strategies for composing, building an online presence, and music business basics. These presentations occurred over the course of the afternoon at the iHotel in Champaign. [...]


As part of my residence with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, I’ve been giving presentations at several organizations in the Champaign-Urbana region. On Wednesday, I gave my “How does a composer compose instrumental music?” lecture/demonstration at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI for short), which aims to demystify the composing process for general audiences. I took the attendees through [...]

I’m back in Champaign this week for more residence activities with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, and I am looking forward to an EXPLOSIVE concert this Saturday night at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts! Why EXPLOSIVE, you ask? Because Maestro Stephen Alltop is welcoming violist Carol Cook to Foellinger Great Hall’s stage to perform [...]

A Concert within the Danville Correctional Center

One of the activities I’m doing in the final year of my Composer-in-Residence position with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra is a series of two outreach programs at the Danville Correctional Center, a medium-security prison for men that’s about forty miles east of Urbana. This past June, I made a trip to the Danville Correctional Center [...]

On Sunday, Sept. 23rd, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra and Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery co-sponsored a Gelato Social. It was, quite literally, picture perfect! We had blue skies above us, a modestly warm temperature with a gentle breeze… with homemade gelato, live music, and cute goats, who could ask for more? Our event got underway [...]

Champaign-Urbana Seen though a Composer’s Eyes

I’ve finally had enough “down time” while on my trips to Champaign-Urbana to stop and ponder the rapturous charm of the region. As a composer, I’m interested in seeing everything… the vastness of the prairie from afar, half-eaten ears of corn still nestled in their dried-out stalks, an old wood and wire fence in a [...]

Gelato, new music, and goats, oh my!

Want to listen to some of my earth-themed chamber music performed by CUSO musicians, meet some cute goats, and eat delicious gelato? Then come spend two hours with us at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery! This Sunday (Sept. 23), 2-4 PM, we will present a free event featuring my Phoenix Rising for solo flute, performed [...]

The News-Gazette's music critic John Frayne attended our "Messages to Gaia" Chamber Concert, and had very nice things to say about the event! My favorite part of his review is at the end, where Mr. Frayne identified my tastes in poetry in the upcoming performance of Terra Nostra, my oratorio about the planet: "From the [...]

A Successful “Messages from Gaia” Chamber Concert!

On Wednesday, Sept. 5th, the 2nd and final year of my Composer-in-Residence position with CUSO began with a fantastic chamber music concert! Titled "Messages from Gaia," maestro Stephen Alltop, members of the Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra, soprano Josefien Stoppelenburg, and baritone Ryan de Ryke all gave wonderful performances of several of my earth-themed chamber works. [...]

“Are you anxious?” asked one of the participants during a break in our 2-hour session. It was an understandable question – I was sitting in a classroom at the Danville Correctional Center in Danville, Illinois, giving a workshop on creativity to seven incarcerated men. I was there under the auspices of the University of Illinois’ [...]