CNM Concerts XVII-XX

Sixth Annual Exchange
Midwest Collegiate Composers

An annual spring festival of contemporary music
featuring new music from the composition programs of

The University of Colorado-Boulder,
The University of Missouri, Kansas City, and
The University of Iowa

Jonah Elrod, Nima Hamidi & Joshua Marquez, Student Committee

Concert III

April 18, 2015 at 1:00pm

|| download program ||



 Aurum & 5 More Irrelevant Facts    Cody KAUHL (UMKC)
  Fixed media & video projection  
 Ives in a Glass House (2015)    Joseph MATTINGLY (UI)
  Andrew Gentzsch, violin
Alice Chang, piano
 Moss, It's Cold and Snowing Outside, Bringing Daybreak    Eric MULHERN (CU-B)
   Eric Mulhern, guitar and electronics  
 Polarity (2014)    Aaron HILL (UMKC)
  Logan Jungman, tuba
Dillon Worthington, piano
 Rain Music    Nick BALDERSTON (CU-B)
  Nick Balderston, guitar and electronics  
Sizhu    Barry SHARP (UI)
  Jeiran Hasan, flute
Thiago Ancelmo de Souza, clarinet
Andrew Gentzsch, violin
Matthew Laughlin, violoncello
Christine Tithecott, piano
Wannapha Yannavut, percussion
Hisham Groover, conductor




Aurum & 5 More Irrelevant Facts

These two works are to be played attacca, and require stereo sound and video projection.

Cody Kauhl is an composer / multimedia artist that investigates the hidden musical potential of urban noise pollution while utilizing new methods of human and computer interaction. His work has been performed at international and national festivals and conferences including the International Computer Music Conference and Society of Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States. Cody graduated in 2011 with a B.M. in Music Theory/Composition at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and recently completed his M.M. thesis in Music Composition at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. For more information, please visit:


Ives in a Glass House (2015)

grew out of research into David Huron's theories of expectation and surprise undertaken for a post tonal class. Originally a three-minute work blending isometric rhythms with minimalism, the work has since evolved into a larger worker combining the original nucleus with octatonic systems and a larger “aba” formal structure.

Joseph Mattingly is a composer living and working in Iowa City. His sacred liturgical music has been played throughout the world. He has studied with David Gompper, Jon Schwabe, Alan Schmitz, and Allen Koepke.


Moss, It's Cold and Snowing Outside, Bringing Daybreak

This piece was inspired by the temperate rainforests of the Pacific northwest. These forests are permeated by a thick layer of interlaced moss, knitted together, drenching everything, saturating every corner of the forest with life. It's Cold and Snowing Outside:
This piece describes the desolate feeling of coldness and abandonment that sometimes engulfs during the depths of winter. Inspired by the imagery of looking up into constantly falling snow against a white backdrop. Bringing Daybreak:
This piece tells the story of an emotional journey, the story of an attempt to bring about personal change in the spirit of growth.

Born in Seattle, WA in 1994, Eric Mulhern is a composer and guitarist studying at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is currently exploring electro-acoustic guitar music in an attempt to reconcile elements of new styles of electronic music with traditional elements of live concert music.


Polarity (2014)

focuses on two different sound worlds: the dissonant and the consonant, the rough versus the smooth. These worlds are thinly separated by a wall of sound, the universal ether that binds us all together and makes justifiable the combination of these two contrasting entities. This piece was commissioned by Logan Jungman, a student at UMKC's Conservatory of Music.

Composer, Aaron Hill, is from Troy, Missouri. He studied at St. Charles Community College, Lindenwood University, and currently is enrolled at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, pursuing his Bachelors in both Music Education and Composition.

Mr. Hill's compositions have been regularly featured on recitals and concerts. While at SCC, his most notable compositions included: Ave Maria, Piano Prelude no. 2, Piano Rondo no 1, and his tone poem, Paintings: Three Vignettes for Orchestra. While at UMKC, his pieces receive steady performances and continuous praise. Some of these include: Adagio (for piano), Cracked! (a multi-media collaboration), and Polarity (Tuba and Piano).

Recently, Mr. Hill has turned his eyes to opera. In January 2015, SCC Opera Workshop premiered Hill's opera one-act, Conversations With A Dream, as part of their 'Sweet Slumber' production. He is currently working with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City with their inaugural Words + Music program.

Mr. Hill also has been a guest lecturer at SCC, speaking on subjects ranging from Richard Wagner to Baroque opera to the 12 tone system.

As a musician, Mr. Hill has performed at the MMEA 2013 All Collegiate Orchestra (2nd Violin), the SCC Symphony Orchestra, and Lindenwood Symphony Orchestra. As a vocalist, Mr. Hill has sung with the SCC Opera Workshop as a countertenor (Mr. Noland, Menotti's The Medium; Orfeo, Gluck's Orfeo ed Eurydice) and Tenor (Daniel, Donezetti's Betly; Spirit 3/Priest, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte; Orpheus, Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld).

Mr. Hill sits on the Board of Directors for the Gateway Festival Orchestra of St. Louis and is Chair of the Programming and Social Media Committee and is a member of the Marketing and Development Committee. Aaron is also an alumnus of Phi Mu Alpha-Pi Zeta chapter.


Rain Music

is a piece for classical guitar and live electronics. In my experience, hearing this piece is like watching the rain. For me, it provides a feeling of comfort. The music itself is also reminiscent of the rain. It builds slowly, in waves, and forms a pool of sound.

Nick Balderston currently studies music composition at the University of Colorado. His primary teachers have included Daniel Kellogg, Hunter Ewen, and John Drumheller. While he often incorporates electronics in his music to create a larger sonic environment, he avoids strong narratives in the attempt to create a contemplative sound world for the listener.

Barry SHARP (UI)


Sizhu was written for the standard Pierrot ensemble though with percussion replacing the singer. This particular ensemble is capable of producing a multitude of colors while maintaining the balance inherent to a chamber group. The Chinese name, si’zhu, is a literal and figurative metaphor for these elements of the ensemble. Literally translated “silk” and “bamboo”, the word is a generalization for Chinese classical music developed in the Jiangsu province that utilizes strings, or “silk” instruments, and flutes, or “bamboo,” instruments in combination. A typical work involves two or more players of either ilk.

In reference to the work presented here, Sizhu is a metaphor for the western instruments (flute and clarinet as “bamboo,” and violin and cello as “silk”) that are employed within the piece. It also refers to my use of a Chinese melody in the compositional process. The song, Er Quan Ying Yue (The Moon Reflected in Second Spring), was composed and performed regularly on the streets by the blind erhu player Huà Yànjūn, more commonly known as A Bing. Within this piece the aforementioned song has been fragmented, stretched, and varied to the point of near inscrutability, though it becomes more comprehensible following the mid-point. The song inspires both structural and local events. For example, the mere shape of the melodic line will serve as a contour for motivic actuation. At the closing section of the piece it is the subject of a plaintive three-voice canon. The strands are perceivable as fragments of the melody by themselves, but together the three parts create an ethereal stasis that is hardly recognizable as melodic or canonic.

Apart from the melody, the piece employs components of the spectral style. The first section is a slow distortion and transformation of the A harmonic spectrum that emulates the spectral components of the erhu. Specific partials are emphasized as the spectrum expands and contracts. Additionally, fragments of the Chinese melody appear within the confines of each specific harmonic structure. The second part completely diverges utilizing assimilated pentatonic scale permutations. Finally, the third section synthesizes these two elements of musical material within the piece as the instruments morendo into silence.

Barry Sharp is an American composer whose compositions strive to develop musical material in the most dynamic and expressive manner; often melding a variety of musical styles and genres. He received his B.M. from Murray State University where he studied composition, tuba, conducting, and music education, and is currently pursuing his M.A. in Composition at the University of Iowa. Recent performances of Barry's music include the premiere of his second string quartet, "RAW (String Quartet No.2)," by the JACK Quartet at the University of Iowa and of his work for fixed media, "Sonance and Excursus (2013)," at the 2014 National Student Electronic Music Event, 2014 New York Electroacoustic Festival, Vox Novus's 2014 Circuit Bridges Concert, the 27th Biannual International Electroacoustic Festival at Brooklyn College, and the 2nd Manchester New Music Festival. Barry’s composition teachers have included Mike D'Ambrosio, Brian Ciach, Lawrence Fritts, and David Gompper. More of his work and recordings can be found at