Music Student Wins Composition Contest

Master of Music student Jared Aragón recently won first place in the 2014 Santa Fe Community Orchestra Composition Competition

Friday, December 12, 2014

Master of Music student Jared Aragón recently won first place in the 2014 Santa Fe Community Orchestra Composition Competition, which included a cash award of $4,000. His composition, entitled “Chaco Variations” was one of two pieces that were selected by judges from all of the submissions. The Santa Fe Orchestra sight read both selected pieces for the public and the orchestra voted to determine which piece was the best in regards to sound and overall playability. In June, the Santa Fe Orchestra will perform the work again in a regular subscription concert. Jared’s composition depicts the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in Northwestern New Mexico. Mr. Aragón, a native of New Mexico, is pursuing a master of music degree in music composition under the direction of UA professor Dr. Robert Mueller.

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Lisa Margulis wins Wallace Berry Award

Lisa Margulis’s book, On Repetition, won the Wallace Berry Award. This award is the highest honor given in music theory, and is for a distinguished book by an author of any age or career staHow Music Plays the Mindge. Other books that have garnered this prize are among the most important and influential in the Music Theory field. This is a tremendous and well-deserved accomplishment.

The Society for Music Theory has awarded its highest honor, the Wallace Berry Award, to Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis for her book, On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind. Margulis is director of the University of Arkansas Music Cognition Lab and a professor in the Department of Music. In On Repeat, she explored the psychology of repetition in music, across time, style and cultures. Hers is the first in-depth study of repetitiveness in music.

In the award citation, the society called Margulis’ book “a foundational study of the phenomenon of musical repetition” and “a volume of overwhelming significance, originality, and rigor.” They noted her “profound and subtle arguments to help us understand the nature of how repetition is perceived.”

Named for one of the founders of the society, the Wallace Berry Award is granted annually for a book making a significant contribution to music theory, analysis or history of theory. It is widely considered the highest award for scholarship in the field of music theory.

The initial impetus for On Repeat came in 2009 from an invitation to present a Distinguished Lecture on the Science and Technology of Music at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music, Media, and Technology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

In subsequent research, Margulis drew on a range of disciplines, including music theory, psycholinguistics, neuroscience and cognitive psychology, to examine how listeners perceive and respond to repetition. She worked with ethnomusicologists to understand the place of music and its repetitive features in cultures around the world.

Margulis’ research was supported by the music and psychology departments at the University of Arkansas. In 2011-2012, the Fulbright College made it possible for her to spend a year at Wolfson College and the Centre for Music and Science at the University of Cambridge. During the summer of 2011, she was a Fellow at the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute on Ethnomusicology and Global Culture at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

On Repeat was released by Oxford University Press in 2013. Since that time, Margulis has been featured in media outlets such as The Atlantic and Psychology Today; “All Things Considered” and “Science Friday” on NPR; and BBC World Service “The Forum” and BBC Radio “Today.” Her Ted Ed presentation is titled “Why We Love Repetition in Music.” Her work was featured in the fall/winter 2013 issue of Research Frontiers.  Her website links to articles and audio files of interviews about the book.

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Dr. Park Travels the World

Dr. Moon-Sook Park

Dr. Moon-Sook Park

Dr. Moon-Sook Park will represent the University of Arkansas at three exceptional venues this upcoming week.

Dr. Ronda Mains and Dr. Park will perform a Special Concert at the 57th College Music Society’s National Conference in St. Louis on October 30th. Since its premiere in 2013, the piece “Little Sketches for Soprano and Flute,” written by Ivan Elezovic, has been highly acclaimed for an innovative style and extraordinary quality.

Dr. Park will then fly to Dublin, Ireland, on November 1st, 2014, to perform at a gala event by the Korean-Irish Society and at a benefit concert. She will perform various Korean songs, an opera aria, as well as an Irish melody for both performances. All the proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Korean-Irish Youth Group in Dublin.

Next on her whirl-wind tour, Park will perform with James Fiste, ‘Cello Professor at Central Michigan University (CMU), and give a presentation at the CMU Voice Master Class the week of November 4th. She will perform Élegié by Massenet, Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 by Villalobos, and Vocalise for Soprano, Cello and Piano by Previn.

Finally, Park was selected to perform two Korean songs on November 13th at the Member Artist Recital,  39th Southern Region NATS Conference in Hattiesburg, MS. During the event, she will also serve as an adjudicator. Three of her voice students will participate in the student audition.

Moon-Sook Park began her professional career in Europe and has numerous performances as a soloist to her credit. She has presented solo concerts, chamber music, and operatic works in the U.S., Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, and Korea, in addition to various group performances of avant-garde music. She also was a stipend recipient of K.A.A.D. in Germany and won the coveted Bayreuth Stipend Award for extraordinary young artists.

Besides her début solo recitals in Puebla, Mexico, in Cambridge, England, and in Madrid, Spain in 2013, Park has received acclaim for her artistic interpretation of the songs. She successfully performed and presented a solo recital along with the voice master class at Ball State University in September 2014.

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Brent Miller co-founds Center for New Music

Check out what alumnus Brent Miller (class of 2001) has been doing since moving to San Francisco in 2010.

Miller is the co-founder and Managing Director of the Center for New Music. He started the Center to serve the practitioners of creative, non-commercial music by providing the resources they need, including space to work, rehearse, and perform, access to a like-minded community, and access to media resources.

The Center’s doors opened in 2013. Miller and his support team have produced 175+ shows while creating a platform for communication, collaboration, outreach, program development, incubation of new artists, engagement of new listeners, and increased activity for the business of new music.

You can read more about the Center for New Music here: http://centerfornewmusic.com/

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U of A alumnus at Julliard

Arkansan Barrett Hipes recently celebrated his seventh year at Juilliard and his third in Career Services, where he provides career consulting for students and alums, manages off-campus concerts and performances, does public speaking and job-prep coaching, and oversees and promotes the private teacher directory along with numerous other chores. A percussionist, he got his bachelor’s from the University of Arkansas, his master’s from Rutgers, and is working on his D.M.A. at CUNY.

To learn more, visit his staff profile at the Julliard Journal.

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Valencia works to encourage bilingual literacy

Fernando Valencia is hard at work in North West Arkansas attempting to fill the gap between Spanish at home and formal academic study giving Latino students a better shot at attending collage.  Valencia, an  Instructor with the Department of Music at the University of Arkansas, was featured in an article by The Arkansas Traveler.  To see more information on this program please follow THIS LINK to read the full article.

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Ben Rector makes good!

Former U of A student, Ben Rector was recently featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live performing a song from his new album “The Walking In Between”.

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He was also recently featured in an article by the Walton Business School that I highly recommend reading.  Lets all show some Woo Pig Sooie pride and support for Mr Rector!!

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And the Emmy Goes To….

Greeson with EmmyYou heard right, AN EMMY!  We at the University of Arkansas Department of Music are very proud to announce that Dr. James Greeson has received an Emmy.  Nominated for not one but two of his compositions, Dr. Greeson left the stage with the statuette for Musical Composition/Arrangement for the documentary Up Among the Hills by Writer and Producer Larry Foley, narrated by former President Bill Clinton.  This was Dr. Greeson’s second Emmy, the first being for his music in the film soundtrack,  The Buffalo Flows in 2009.

When asked about Dr. Greeson’s contribution to the film, Mr. Foley said, “Jim’s music for Up Among the Hills was brilliant –

among the hills

some of his best ever work.  I’m so happy he received an Emmy for this musical score, and I’m not one bit surprised.  Jim is like a fine wine – he gets better with time.  And I’m proud to call on him whenever I have a project worthy of his immense talent.”

An Emmy Award is given to recognize excellence in the television industry.  The Emmy Awards were begun in Los Angeles by the Academy of Television Arts & Science in 1949.  The statuette, depicting a winged woman holding an atom, weighs six pounds and is made of copper, nickel, silver and gold.  A little known fact is that the Emmy Statuette must always appear facing left when presented or photographed.

We are very happy to give our congratulations to Dr. James Greeson for being recognized once again for his musical contributions!

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Caldwell to Present at NCCO Conference

caldwell_rdax_145x178 Stephen Caldwell, Director of Choral Activities in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, has been invited to present research to the National Collegiate Choral Organization at their Biennial conference in Charleston, SC. Dr. Caldwell’s lecture, “Music, Art, Poetry, and Absinthe in the choral works of Ernest Chausson,” will be on Thursday Oct 31, and is one of the headlining events of the conference.

Caldwell will explore five of Chausson’s great choral works, from small part songs set to Dante’s verse, to massive choral/orchestral works with texts from the darkest pages of the Rig Veda.

Caldwell is an experienced conductor who has rehearsed and conducted all of Chausson’s choral music. He has extensively researched each piece, and he has edited his own scholarly performing editions of Chausson’s works from the manuscripts held in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, France. His editions have of Chausson’s music have been featured at concerts at Temple University, Lehigh University, Rutgers University, Florida State University, Millersville University, Wellesley College, and the University of Miami.

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Educators from Arkansas and surrounding states come to U of A for Orff Workshop

Orff Workshop Graduates

Dr. Dale Misenhelter, associate professor of music and coordinator of the music education program is hosting educators from fives states for a two-week Orff Training Workshop.

What is Orff? Orff’s approach, developed for children but latterly used also with adults, was based on his belief that the easiest method of teaching music is to draw out the student’s inherent affinities for rhythm and melody and allow these to develop in natural ways,leading the child by his or her intuition from primitive to more sophisticated expression through stages parallel to western music’s evolution. Orff accomplishes this by means of a carefully planned program, beginning with speech patterns, rhythmic movement, and two-note tunes, then moving logically into pentatonic melody. Adult pressure and mechanical drill are discouraged. Improvisation is encouraged. Major and minor melody are introduced as the final stage of the program.

Orff singing

Orff workshop participants involved in a creative movement exercise.

Orff designed a special group of instruments, including glockenspiels, xylophones, metallophones, drums, and other percussion instruments to fulfill the requirements of the Schulwerk courses.

Check out this link to our University of Arkansas Newswire for more on this wonderful program.

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