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CUSO Residence Week: October 3-7

I’ll be in Champaign-Urbana from Tuesday, Oct. 3rd through Saturday, Oct. 7th for several Composer-in-Residence activities! Here’s what I’m up to:

10/3: Composer activities at the University of Illinois & CUSO Requiem rehearsal.

I’ll be teaching lessons to four composition majors. Then I’ll give an 80-minute seminar for all of their student composers on the business of being a composer, as well as play some of my music.

I’ll also attend a rehearsal of Verdi’s Requiem, which CUSO and the University of Illinois Oratorio Society will be performing on Saturday, Oct. 7th at the Krannert Center. As a composer, it is very helpful to go to rehearsals and hear how the music is put together, especially when dealing with large forces as this piece requires. How will Maestros Stephen Alltop and Andrew Megill balance the orchestra with the choristers? Where are the tricky spots in the piece that will take extra rehearsal to navigate? What parts will they sail through?

10/4 and 10/5: Explore the Champaign-Urbana’s cultural scene.

I hope to get ideas of where I can hold future residence activities, as well as meet possible people & organizations who might want to collaborate with me on my Green Living Project (more to come on this in a future blog post).

10/6: Composer activities at Urbana High School.

I’ll meet with students in three choirs to share some of my music, talk about what it is like to be a composer, and coach students on repertoire that they’re preparing for their concert season. I’m particularly excited about this residence activity, as I was a junior in high school when I was first introduced to composing, and my life was changed forever. Hopefully my visit can help students explore and consider their own undiscovered potential.

I’ll also attend the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra concert that night. UI composition faculty member Stephen Taylor will have a performance of his piece Transfiguration for four singers and orchestra. I hope to attend many concerts and events throughout my residence that are outside of our CUSO concerts, to get familiar with composers and performers in the region.

10/7: Farmers Market & CUSO Requiem Concert.

I’ll explore the Urbana Farmers Market and visit a local farm or two. I’m hoping to garner interest from the farming community in collaborating with musicians for a project about sustainable living.

I’ll also attend the CUSO Concert season opener of Verdi’s Requiem in the evening. It is going to be a thrilling experience to hear this masterwork in Foellinger Great Hall in the Krannert Center, with the University of Illinois Oratorio Society.

See you around town this coming week!