Third Annual Composition Festival

Exchange of MidWestern Collegiate Composers (EMCC)
Universities of Missouri-Kansas City, Colorado-Boulder and Iowa


Friday, April 13, 2012, 7:30 pm
Riverside Recital Hall (map)


Extrication and Transcendence (2010)   Brian PADAVIC (1982)
  Nora Epping, flute
Marjorie Shearer, clarinet
Megan Karls, violin
Eunkyung Son, violoncello
Grethe Nothling, piano
Andrew Thierauf, percussion
As We Continue Across the Country (2011)   Zach ZUBOW (1984)
  Janet Ziegler, soprano
Aaron Ziegler, percussion
Fire Dance (2010)
        Movement I
        Movement II
        Movement III
  Jing ZHOU (1981)
  Nora Epping, flute/piccolo
Marjorie Shearer, clarinet
Eunkyung Son, violoncello
Grethe Nothling, piano
Chun-Ming Chen, conductor
String Quintet (2012)
        I. Invincibly
       II. Desolate
      III. Quarter = 186
  Daniel BRANDT (1988)
  Megan Karls and Andrew Uhe, violins
Manuel Tabora, viola
Eunkyung Son and Yoo-Jung Chang, violoncelli
  — Intermission —  
Falling Through Infinity (2011)   Nick OMICCIOLI (1982)
  Rebecca Ashe, flute
Yoo-Jung Chang, violoncello
SooMin Lee, piano
Piecemeal (2011)
        for string quartet
  Will HUFF (1986)
  Megan Karls and Andrew Uhe, violins
Manuel Tabora, viola
Eunkyung Son, violoncello
Shooting Snowburst Silhouette Spectacular (2011)   Brian PENKROT (1978)
  Jacqueline Lang, soprano
Marjorie Shearer, clarinet
Eunkyung Son, violoncello
Grethe Nothling, piano
Andrew Thierauf, percussion
Sounds of Night (2011)
        for string quartet
  Leonid IOGANSEN (1981)
  Leonid Iogensen and Andrew Uhe, violins
Miranda Blakeslee, viola
Yoo-Jung Chang, violoncello
Chun-Ming Chen, conductor


Program Notes


Extrication and Transcendence

The title "Extrication and Transcendence" refers to removing one's self from a difficult situation in order to gain a new perspective and, as a result, turn a negative into something that offers positive growth and a worthwhile experience. Musically, the work begins as a single melodic line that is passed around between the six instruments. The melody struggles to settle, constantly surrounded by fragments of itself. The line eventually morphs from it's original horizontal state into a vertical chord sounded simultaneously by the entire ensemble. On a personal note, this piece represents a situation of my own in which I had to remove myself from my own thoughts and opinions to force myself to see somebody else's point-of-view. As students, we sometimes reject our instructor's methods, considering them too traditional and out dated. However, if we can realize that we are simply being stubborn, we might be able to see through our own pretensions and allow ourselves to absorb the knowledge that our professors have to offer.

Brian Padavic will be completing his Master's Degree in Music Composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in May 2012, and has studied with James Mobberley, Bobby Watson, Zhou Long, Paul Rudy, and Reynold Simpson. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Composition from Berklee College of Music in 2007 under the instruction of Andrew List, John Bavicci, Vuk Kulenovic, and Armand Qualliotine. Mr. Padavic performs professionally on electric and upright bass around the Kansas City Metropolitan area, and has recently been involved with Black House Improvisers' Collective as well as the Kansas City Repertoire Theater. The composer/performer teaches MIDI Music Composition, Introduction to Digital Audio, and Songwriting at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, KS.


As We Continue Across the Country

The purpose of a vacation is to experience something different from the daily normalcy of life. This may be investigating and seeing new attractions, going on an adventure or just relaxing with a good book on beautiful shores. During our experience of living outside our normal life even just for a brief time, we may encounter unexpected events. While these unexpected happenings occur, we may find ourselves attaching to the one thing we know best, the person we are vacationing with. As We Continue Across the Country is one of these experiences of traveling with a loving partner, whose features sometimes become refreshed in new surroundings, causing us to find warmth and fulfillment. As We Continue Across the Country was commissioned by Janet and Aaron Zeigler and was a collaboration between the composer and Thea Brown, a graduate student in the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop.

Zach Zubow's music has been featured on many new music conferences and festivals throughout the United States and abroad. Zach was named regional winner in the 2011 SCI/ASCAP Student Composition Commission Award for his string quartet, Sundown, which also received the 2012 College Music Society Mid-Atlantic Composition Award. He has also received awards from the 2011 Five College Composition Competition and the 2012 College Music Society Southern Region's Composition Competition. Zach has received degrees from Luther College, Illinois State University and is now pursuing a PhD in music composition at The University of Iowa. For more information please visit

Jing Zhou

Fire Dance

is a work in three movements. Each movement uses an instrument from the flute family (I. Piccolo, II. Alto flute, III. Flute.) The first movement starts with notes in the high register of the piano, along with quick notes in the cello played in groups of 8. Glissandos played by the clarinet and cello play a very important role throughout the first movement. In the second movement, the cello plays pizzicato as accompaniment for a Chinese melody played in the alto flute and bass clarinet. The whole second movement is in low registers, as if it emphasize the ancient and earthy origins of its folk material. The third movement draws from, and was inspired by, Chinese rhythms in Beijing (or Peking) opera.

Jing Zhou is a composer, pianist, and guzheng performer. She fuses new and bold musical ideas with her traditional Chinese musical heritage to create a distinct compositional style. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in composition at the University of Missouri Kansas City – Music and Dance of Conservatory, where she studies with Zhou Long James Mobberley and Chen Yi. Previously, Zhou completed her Master's in composition at the New England Conservatory of Music (under John Mallia and Michael Gandolfi) and her Bachelor's in composition at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing (under Tan Jianping and Xu Changjun.)

As both composer and performer, Zhou is a fixture in events around the world. Recently, the group Music from China performed Zhou's piece Stuck in the Middle at Symphony Space in New York. A re-scored version was performed in NEC's Jordan Hall later that month. The new piece inslk was performed at LPR in New York. As a performer she has also performed in various venues worldwide, including in America and China.

In addition to being a composer and instrumentalist, Zhou has experience as a composition, piano, and guzheng teacher. She also enjoys watching films and reading.


String Quintet

Written during the winter of 2011-12, the Quintet is exceedingly diverse piece between its movements. The first is a capricious scherzo with numerous themes in juxtaposition, while the second is a slow, ponderous dirge. The final movement is rhythmically driven, with sections shifting between counterpoint and homophony. Although the piece as a whole has no programmatic intent, piece's movements imbue resolve, utter despair, and vivaciousness, respectively.

Daniel Brandt is a graduate student in composition at the University of Colorado Boulder. He received a B.M. at Youngstown State University's Dana School of Music in composition where he studied under Till Meyn and Robert Rollin. Brandt has won numerous composition awards, most notably the Pennsylvania Federation of Music Club's Harvey Gaul Memorial Award for his Tuba Sonatina. He has won the National Federation of Music Club's Hatz Special Recognition Award in 2009 (Tuba Sonatina) and 2010 (Sonata for Trumpet and Piano). Brandt also worked with composer David Robidoux as a composition intern at NFL Films during the summer of 2009.


Falling Through Infinity

for flute, violoncello, & piano was commissioned by Trio Kinsella and received its premiere at the St. Louis New Music Circle in May 2011. As infinity exists in space, there is no up, down, left, or right. The idea of "falling" through infinity can interpreted as multi-directional and dimensional. The work was inspired by perspective in relation to art, which includes points at infinity or vanishing points. Instrumental textures are purposefully emerging and disappearing from one one another through the use of similar gestures and imperceptible entrances and exits creating timbral relationships.

Nicholas S. Omiccioli is currently a Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) Fellow at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. His works have been performed throughout the United States, Italy, Thailand, and China by ensembles such as the Jasper Quartet, Society for New Music, and Brave New Works. Mr. Omiccioli has been commissioned by the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Wellesley Composers Conference, and the Missouri National Teachers Association and has received many awards including two nominations by the American Academy of Arts & Letters.



was written for a residency by the JACK Quartet in the Fall of 2011 at University of Iowa. The piece dwells in a thin, strung-out, anemic world that is answered by the mechanical. This opposing duality creates a need for repose.

Will Huff received his Bachelor of Music summa cum laude at the University of Arkansas under Dr. Robert Mueller and a Masters of Music from Butler University under Drs. Frank Felice and Michael Schelle. At Butler University he participated in the JCFA Composer's Orchestra and a student-run ensemble, The Outside Orchestra. He is pursuing his doctorate at the University of Iowa, studying with Dr. Fritts.


Shooting Snowburst Silhouette Spectacular

is a cycle based on a series of poems by Thea Brown, each poem named after a type of wholesale Christmas light style. I was drawn to Ms. Brown's work because it is at once both direct and abstract: through conversational writing reminiscent of dialogue, sensations akin to color and scent become apparent. These particular poems deal with winter imagery, especially the sensation of watching the reflection of fireworks in a frozen lake. The formal layout of this cycle is theatrically inspired, with an Intermezzo between poems 1&2 and 3&4. Ms. Brown's poetry has a complex structure of its own, so the goal in setting the text was to facilitate the steadily changing imagery and mood: crisp and sparse, aggressive, ecstatic, frantic, seductive and nostalgic, and of course, cold.

Thea Brown is one of the founders of Monsters of Poetry and holds an MFA from the Writer's Workshop.

There cracks the frozen creek, a street
Light, something drifting to and from
The crowtrees, not crow lighting then lifting.
Why keep a copse unbroken, a sightline?

Counting for listless, there is no listing past
Fallback, nothing to counter a keel, ruptured
Voyage meant rupture, something unlike a consummate
Marmalade (shipmate) marmalade? Keep cabin-stored, make main
Street, sung not songlike past winter banners.

I can't help it; this makes me want to dance.
Every snowflake eyelash, killjoy breakfasttime
With care, root out rot from toothbreaks, no,
When the pattern breaks, cargo fails, filaments
Whose fingers follow substance, who's helped
Shore counting and less noise now.

Please shove off the dock already or learn
How to tie a proper knot. Less a manifesto than
A constitution, I will never read rot from that
Shore, but for all shine and snowfall, below's
A bed, full of blue-green lights.

Brian Penkrot is an American composer of concert, film, and stage music. Brian is originally from Chicago but has lived and worked in cities across the US. He is a guitarist and conductor with additional studies in violin, piano, drum set, vocal performance, improvisation, film, and dance. He received is MM from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and his BM from Columbia College Chicago. For a full listing of news and upcoming performances, please visit his website at


Sounds of Night

Originally Inspired by the nightlife of Iowa City, the piece strives to describe an array of sounds and impressions that a night can offer, from the sounds of popular tunes coming from the local bars to the sounds of wind. The work calls for the violins to be retuned to microtonal tunings, to add an air of exoticism to the piece.

Born in St. Petersburg Russia in 1981, Leonid Iogansen started playing violin at the age of seven. As a violinist, he has won a number of competitions and has performed at numerous venues in the United States (where he moved seventeen years ago), as well as abroad. As a composer, Leonid has received a number of commissions, most notably from Shuang Yin International Arts Festival in Taiwan, where served as a composer-in-residence in 2006. He has written much solo, chamber and orchestral music. Leonid holds a Summa cum laude Bachelors of Music in violin performance and composition from Boston University, where he was a Trustee Scholar in 2001-2003, and a Masters degree with the same majors from Peabody Conservatory.