|Tuesday, April 11th|
Lindsay Armstrong, Walla Walla University
9:00 AM - 9:15 AM
“A Suite of Toys” is a three-movement work for cello and piano that brings childhood toys to life. The first movement, “Soldiers,” is a playful march. Its opening theme emphasizes the instruments’ percussive qualities, using cello pizzicato and staccato in the piano. After a brief fanfare, a contrasting lyrical theme is introduced and used in counterpoint to the initial theme. “Teddy Bear,” the second movement, is a waltz whose lyrical melody soars in the cello above the piano’s jazz-inflected harmonies. Falling motifs and grace notes imitate a yawning bear as it falls asleep. The final movement, “Spinning Top,” is in a minor key and has runs and arpeggios that mimic the toy’s motion. Mixed meter and changes in tempo depict the top as it wobbles and crashes. Before this suite is performed, I will share its conception and my process of composition.
Milo Cantor, Whitman College
9:15 AM - 9:30 AM
I will perform an original composition for solo piano titled Fantasie in G minor, so named because of the sweeping gestures, arching right-hand melodies, lush harmonic language and loosely structured formal plan typical of the form. In composing the piece, I employed traditional technical devices which characterized the keyboard fantasia form of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, including episodic structure, rhythmic flexibility and focus on melodic figuration. The atmosphere of the piece is dark and romantic, dynamically augmented by passages requiring great virtuosity. The melodic gestures will be accompanied by capricious rhythmic outlays and rich harmonic structures. My composition is dedicated to Susan Pickett, chair of the Department of Music, on the occasion of her retirement from Whitman.
Thomas Meinzen, Whitman College
9:30 AM - 9:45 AM
My composition, "Boundless," is a theme and variations for cello, clarinet, and piano. The piece is structured around a two-part theme. After an introduction, the theme’s first part is reshaped into three variations and its second part into two variations, each exploring modification of rhythm, harmony and articulation. The sixth and seventh variations further modulate the original theme, building a harmonic blending of its two parts and employing a piano solo that combines their melodies in asymmetrical meter. Variation eight restates the original theme in cello and clarinet, providing a brief period of calm before the essence of each variation is layered, one upon another, to escalate the trio to a climactic finish. “Boundless” refers to the limitlessness of the imagination, which I aim to embody through the creativity and complexity of this composition. I will speak briefly before the performance about the conception and development of this work.
Calvin Brigham, Whitman College
9:45 AM - 10:00 AM
My piece is written for oboe and piano. In it, I play with traditional techniques of solo instrument and piano repertoire by incorporating the Dorian mode as well as a quickly changing metrical structure. To balance these two non-traditional techniques, my piece is arranged in a simple three-part ABA structure. The opening and closing A sections present a theme of longing in the oboe (an instrument well-suited to the expression of yearning) and play with raising and lowering the sixth degree of the key. The B section contrasts the A by demonstrating a contrapuntal interplay between oboe and piano, effectively equalizing the two instruments before returning again to the original melody. I will present brief analytical remarks about my composition before it is performed.