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 1997 Conference
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1997 Conference, Concert 1

Friday, April 25, 1997, 2:30 p.m., Grace Episcopal Church, Madison.


Miraculous Legends
     St. Rosalia (September 4)
     St. Joseph of Cupertino (September 18)
     St. Catherine de Ricci (February 13)
     St. Polycarp (February 23) and St. Gennaro (September 19)
Michael G. Cunningham
David Bohn, organ
At the Crimson Tree Philip Blackburn
Philip Blackburn, khaen (Thai mouth organ) and tape
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud Philip Blackburn
Philip Blackburn, dan bau (Vietnamese monochord) and voice
Waiting In Non-compliance: If We Want It So Jon Welstead/
Steve Nelson-Raney
Steve Nelson-Raney, soprano saxophone
Jon Welstead, InterActive computer
A Whimsical Intermezzo Judith Baity
David Bohn, organ
David Bohn
David Bohn, organ

Notes on the Music and Composers

Michael G. Cunningham, Professor of theory and composition, was born in what is now Warren, Michigan in 1937. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree (1959) from Wayne State University in Detroit, a Master of Music (1961) from the University of Michigan, and a Doctor of Music (1973) from Indiana University. Between 1967 and 1973 he taught theory and composition at universities in Michigan, California, Kansas, and Indiana. Since 1973, he has been in residence at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. As a composer, he has created for nearly every medium, having composed over 175 works. Many premieres have taken place at his residential university. There are 13 works for orchestra, five operas, four other works for stage, many works for voice and chorus, as well as a number of arrangements. Performances have been reported in about 20 states, as well as in Europe, Japan, and Australia.

"Miraculous Legends was composed in 1984 and premiered in 1986 at UWEC. Ilike to think that this is not a work of art, but rather organ music for possible use in church. In considering the lives of the saints, one comes across various legends that are astonishing. Certainly the intense faith engendered by these legends is perhaps more real than the legends themselves, and it is that faith that is portrayed here. The first saint was rumored to have returned to life in search of her grave. The second was reported to have levitated. The third reportedly experienced Passiontide ecstasies, and the fourth escaped martyrdom by non-actions of flames and wild animals. The score itself allows the organist to choose the most expressive organ stops."

Philip Blackburn started out in Oxford and Cambridge, England, attending Clare College on a Choral Scholarship. He came to the U.S. to study composition with Kenneth Gaburo in Iowa City and earned a Ph.D. from the university there in 1989. He is currently Program Director at the American Composers Forum in St. Paul and has traveled extensively in Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, and Western Samoa. He has produced some CDs, sung in various professional New and Early Music ensembles, and his 12-year project concerning the Harry Partch archives (Enclosures: Harry Partch) is finally coming to fruition.

"At the Crimson Tree began as an improvisation with dancer/choreographer Marylee Hardenbergh. In order to establish common ground for a collaborative project I recorded my playing as we did contact improvisation. We then went off in our own directions to develop the dance (for three movers) and the music, and the resulting work held traces of our initial session. It is performed today without the choreography."

Without the defining tones to the Vietnamese language, each word can have about six unrelated meanings. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, in the style of traditional chanted poetry, explores what a Vietnamese native might hear if Wordsworth had been an incompetent speaker and got the tones wrong of the phrase: Toi di lang thang le loi giong cai may.

Jon Welstead is an Associate Professor of composition/theory and Director of the Electro-Acoustic Music Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His works include compositions for instrumental ensemble, electronic/computer music, music for dance, film, and over 25 theatrical presentations presented both nationally and internationally. Welstead just finished a two-year term as Vice President for Programs for the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS). He has been the recipient of National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Centre Culturel George Brassens, France, Arts Midwest and the Texas, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Maryland Arts Boards, and has been published by Rogers and Hammerstein, The Music & Computer Educator magazine, American Theatre Magazine, Computers in Entertainment and the Arts, and Samuel French Publishing. Recently he presented the computer version of Fo(u)r Percussionist(s) for computer and live MIDI percussion performers at the WAC conference at UWM. He also completed a two-year guest composer residency at Cornell University where he composed music for the U.S. premiere production of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and music for The Glass Menagerie.

Steve Nelson-Raney is a composer/performer who is active in jazz, free improvisation, and contemporary classical music. His compositions have been performed throughout the U.S. and Europe. He has ongoing collaborations with instrument maker/percussionist Hal Rammel and jazz drummer Terry Smirl, as well as performing in and composing for the eclectic jazz/world music trio Dreamtime. Steve is on the faculty of the Department of Music at UW-Milwaukee. His latest CD of solo saxophone compositions is available through CODY Recordings, 3065 N. Bartlett, Milwaukee, WI 53211.

Waiting In Non-Compliance: If We Want It So
"Music is lost (once again) at this point in history. Is it best to look forward, waiting for a better answer, that is, to wait in non-compliance, or to bask in the past, which will also lead to non-compliance? There probably is only a 'now' and it is only important, or vaguely interesting, if we want it so. Maybe more work must be musically done (uniquely with technology) in order to develop a compliant musical art-form--so we can get comfortable again."

Judith Baity has been a musician in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin community for many years, primarily serving as an organist and accompanist. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Master of Music Composition from Michigan State University.

Ms. Baity has composed three major musical works for choir and accompaniment. She has also composed several individual works for choir and solo voice that have been performed all over the United States, including "See My Babe" and "Understanding Love" published by Carl Fischer, "Make a Joyful Noise" and "Give God the Glory" published by Lawson-Gould. "Q&A" and "Toccatina," compositions for solo piano, were award winners at the 1992 National Conference of Piano Pedagogy held in Schaumburg, Illinois and are published by Alfred Publishing Company. Her composition "At Calvary" for string orchestra and solo B-flat clarinet was performed in December 1995 by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra String Ensemble. In addition to composing, Ms. Baity is currently serving as the Director of Music Ministries for the Calvary Baptist Church of Milwaukee and periodically serves as an accompanist for the Heritage Chorale, also of Milwaukee.

David Bohn was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin in 1965. He continued to live in Wisconsin until 1991, when he moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois where he has lived since. He has received degrees from the University of Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the University of Illinois; his primary composition teachers were Joel Naumann, Yehuda Yannay, and Bill Brooks. David was a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Illinois for the 1994-1995 academic year, and became Assistant Editor at Mark Foster Music Company in July of 1996. He has been organist at the Unitarian-Universalist Church in Urbana since 1991.

"Despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that I have considered the organ my primary instrument, I had a great deal of difficulty writing music for the instrument; while I began many solo organ works before 1987, without exception they were left incomplete or were withdrawn because I could inevitably find out an existing organ work that had previously accomplished what I was attempting with greater ease and polish. During this time however, I was regularly improvising on the organ, and some of my improvisations seemed to have what the compositions lacked. Late in 1987, I began another organ work; this time, however, I consciously attempted to compose the sort of music I would play on a particular instrument. This time I succeeded, and I continued to follow this model for my organ compositions since. It is only recently that I have begun to consciously model pieces on compositional archetypes from the world of organ music.

"After moving to Champaign, I mapped out an extended structure to incorporate nearly all of my existing organ works into a multi-movement work entitled Organbook. At present, the work is about 60 percent complete, though the structure still grows in spurts. The Triptyque was composed in 1988, and was directly inspired by the sound palette of the French organs of the late 19th and early 20th century. Difference was composed in March and April of 1997, and was inspired by the Spanish organs of the Renaissance and Baroque eras."

1997 Conference
[Concert 1] [Panel Discussion] [Concert 2] [Concert 3] [Concert 4]

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