Composers Workshop I

Sunday, Oct 29, 2023 at 7:30p in the Concert Hall



A Sarabande


Alex Lenears, violin

Piano Selections

Matthew LEVIN

9a - Lavender
6 - January
3 - July
9b - Sage
Craig Jordan, piano

Excerpts from an Imaginary Symphony

Jason WISE

Ty Waters, trombone
Brady Gell, trombone
Xiaoyu Liu, Bass trombone
John Reyna, tuba

Playing orchestral excerpts with a low brass section is a long-standing pastime for trombone players. It is a great experience for players to learn orchestral repertoire, develop a fuller sound, and above all it is pure fun! As a composer, I thought it would be fun to develop my own excerpts based on ideas which I find to be the most rewarding for low brass players. These excerpts come from a symphony which does not exist, leaving the rest of the orchestra's sound to the listeners and players' imagination. This format allows for pauses and silence which in most scenarios would come across as awkward - here it is welcomed and even comforting in-between the loud impacts.


m denney

Alex Lenears , violin
Brynn Garner-Prouty, viola
Caleb Estrada-Valentin - flute
Charlotte Leung - saxophone
Craig Jordan - piano
Hanna Rumora - violoncello
Joshua Paul Stine - flute
Lucy Chirley - toy piano
m denney - guitar
Maria Torres - saxophone
Xiaowen Tang - bass

     forgiveness has been the hardest part of the “healing” i’ve been trying to do lately. if you’ve seen my work from the last year (Lethe, No Scars, Gone Before.) you know that i’ve been thinking a lot about the pain i caused myself, or felt like i had to carry with me. those works have a fixation on cutting something whole or recognizable as my present self from a cloudy, harsh past. i’m not "there" yet on forgiveness, but i think i’m starting to see what “there” might look like. i’ve been encouraged to write about it more, to see if i can find “glimmers” of something better in what i’m writing; to find "small, good things." in bloodletting, i think i've found something of a way to be present in performance again, instead of stuck trying to remember a fog. thank you to the other performers, who are taking the beautiful risk of breathing together in this. i really, truly love you.
     bloodletting takes the form of 6 harmonic loops, which the ensemble slowly moves between, adding interventions and variations of their own based on a few rules. performers can also choose to sing or read fragments of the poems that inspired the piece. if you would like, you may join the performance yourself, simply find a few notes you would like to sing, or hum, or some things you would like to say, or whisper, or cry. please help however you can in the fight against Iowa's violent anti-trans laws