March 12, 2014

Student Composers Vie For Concert Spotlight

The SSU Jazz Orchestra will premiere Doug Leibinger's Conflagración on April 11 at the Faculty & Student Composer concert.


Original compositions by five Sonoma State students have been selected for the annual Faculty Composer Concert, according to concert coordinator and jazz program director Doug Leibinger. The April 11 performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall at the Green Music Center.

This annual collaborative event brings together faculty, guest musicians and students for the shared purpose of creating live performances of original works in all styles, from avant-garde to jazz.

Student composers whose works have been chosen for participation include Lauren Estes (trio for clarinet, cello and piano); Shawn Kelley (guitar solo); Ian Andrew (string quartet); Alison Poteracke (jazz big band); and Albert Wollmer (rock band).

Along with jazz pieces by Leibinger, Dave Scott, George Marsh and Brian S. Wilson – featuring both the SSU Jazz Orchestra and Faculty Jazz Ensemble – there will be chamber works by composition instructors Marcia Bauman and Will Johnson.

Admission is $15 with discounts for seniors and students. SSU students with ID are admitted free. Print your tickets online or reserve them through the university box office (707) 664-4246. The ticket price includes parking.

Weill Hall at the Green Music Center is located at the north campus entrance at Rohnert Park Expressway near Petaluma Hill Road. Parking is available in Lots O and L.  

SSU Faculty & Student Composers Concert
Friday, April 11, 2014 – 7:30 PM
Green Music Center, Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall


Nocturne (premiere)                                                Brian S. Wilson (b. 1962)
Nick Xenelis, alto saxophone; Marilyn Thompson, piano 

Embrace the Darkness                                             Shawn Kelley (b. )
Shawn Kelley, acoustic guitar

Drought                                                                      Ian Andrew (b. 1988)
Keri Bailey, violin; Luis Perez, violin; Jahrell Almani, viola; Nazan Aktas, cello

Trees                                                                          Lauren Estes (b. 1994)
Carol McGonnell, clarinet; Daniel Chang, cello; Jessica Lawrence, piano

Three Transcendental Songs on Poems of Walt Whitman        Gerry Pimental (b. 1952)
Daniella Caveney, vocal; Marilyn Thompson, piano

Crossing Over                                                           Marcia Bauman (b. 1949)
Kathleen Reynolds & Alexa Tsarnas, flutes;  Judiyaba & Gweneth Davis, cellos; Dan Celidore & Claire Engan, oboes; Richard Riccardi piano; Will Johnson, piano assistant; Brian S. Wilson, conductor

(When) will they we ever learn                              Will Johnson (b. 1942)
Will Johnson, keyboard and electronics




Kaz (premiere)                                                         George Marsh (b. 1941)
Dedicated to the memory of my friend Fred Kaz, a great pianist and composer

Trash Can                                                                  Brian WilsonDave Scott, trumpet; Doug Leibinger, trombone; Randy Vincent, guitar; Ken Cook, piano; Ciff Hugo, bass; George Marsh, drums; Will Johnson, prepared piano & electronics

Fourth of Julie                                                           Albert Wollmer (b. 1982)
Lewis Ames, guitar and vocals; Curus McGuire, bass guitar; Albert Wollmer, electric piano and vocals; Ian Sutherland, drums

Bro Joe                                                                     Dave Scott (b. 1964)

Fruit for Thought (premiere)                                  Alison Poteracke (b. 1993)

Conflagración (premiere)                                        Doug Leibinger (b. 1968)

SSU Jazz Orchestra – Doug Leibinger, director; Trevor Acebo, Roxanne Hopkins, Megan Rice, Lucas Bebervanzo, Angelina Gomez, Alison Poteracke – saxophones; David Teel, Danielle Felker, Jacob Boulais, Mitchell Jensen, Elizabeth Northrup – trumpets; K Trekkor Wills, John Wiggins, Alexa Tsarnas, Robbie Henderson – trombones; Ian Andrew – guitar; Nate Dittle – piano; Joel Renteria – bass; Jonathan Duff, Emily Studden – drums




Embrace the Darkness
Shawn Kelley:             This song started out as a single melody in my head, but I knew it had the potential to be much more. Half way into writing this song I hit a wall. For weeks I tried to make this song sound happier, but I was trying to change it into something that it wasn’t. I had many ideas running around in my head about what I could do with the melody but none of which sounded the way I liked.  Not until I embraced the songs true feeling was I able to finish writing this piece, which led to the name. This song represents the internal conflict that we all will have from time to time, but not until we embrace the problem can we solve it.

Ian Andrew: My first attempt at a string quartet; influenced by 20th century composers, techniques and a focus on sonority rather than functional harmony.       

Three Transcendental Songs
on poems of Walt Whitman
Gerry Pimental: In these three poems Walt Whitman speculates on the great mystery. I simply try to stand aside and let the poet speak.

I. As If A Phantom Caress'd Me
AS if a phantom caress'd me,
I thought I was not alone, walking here by the shore;
But the one I thought was with me, as now I walk by the shore--the
one I loved, that caress'd me,
As I lean and look through the glimmering light--that one has utterly
And those appear that are hateful to me, and mock me. 

II. O Living Always--Always Dying
O LIVING always--always dying!
O the burials of me, past and present!
O me, while I stride ahead, material, visible, imperious as ever!
O me, what I was for years, now dead, (I lament not--I am content;)
O to disengage myself from those corpses of me, which I turn and look
at, where I cast them!
To pass on, (O living! always living!) and leave the corpses behind! 

III. Pensive And Faltering
PENSIVE and faltering,
The words, the dead, I write;
For living are the Dead;
(Haply the only living, only real,
And I the apparition--I the spectre.) 

Lauren Estes: Trees was inspired by the piece "Fraxinus (Ash)" by Bartholomäus Traubeck, which uses a record player modified with a scanner connected to a computer program to analyze the rings of the cross-section of an Ash tree to generate musical notes. Although simple in terms of notes, it was powerful, dynamic, and full of longing; I used that sound as the inspiration for my composition. I hope you enjoy it!

Crossing Over - 1983; revised, 2014
Marcia Bauman: Technically speaking, Crossing Over has to do with an exploration of "crossing over,"  in terms of physical space. Players of paired instruments (flutes, oboes and 'celli), sitting opposite each other, make use of sustained tones to create the perception of sound moving across space. As one player becomes louder, the other becomes softer, with the illusion that the tone is moving toward the player whose dynamic is becoming louder. The use of these sustained tones is also a reflection of my interest, at the time, in minimalism and trance music.
            On a more personal level, the music represents "border crossings" between various states of consciousness and major life changes occurring during the creation of this piece. That these personal aspects form the creative foundation for the piece is something I realized only in retrospect. 

(When) will they we ever learn
Will Johnson: ...peace on firm a foundation...

Fruit for Thought
Alison Poteracke: This tune is dedicated to my sonoma brother, Kevin Hayes. It's about all that he's taught me inside and out of the music department and a thank you for being there for me through the past three years.

University Box Office (707) 664-4246

Join Our Mailing List

Media Contact

Ruth Wilson
Lecturer in Horn
Music Department Publicity
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928