This year on 6 March 2018, Central Florida Composers Forum will be presenting a concert showcasing some of the talented women in our organization and beyond. The show starts at 8pm on Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts. Tickets are only $10 and can be purchased here. Read on to learn about the composers and works on the program.
Bethany Borden is a composer and music educator living in Central Florida and teaching elementary music in Osceola County. She is a UCF alum and taught for a decade in Orange County before diving into a new hobby composing music for video games,Virtual Reality experiences, YouTube channels, and podcasts. The hobby turned into a true passion, and Bethany has enjoyed using technology to bring creative ideas to life.
Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep (Text by Mary Elizabeth Frye) was inspired during the summer of 2016 by a local female singing group Helena, which included a few friends of Ms. Borden’s from college. She thought, how cool would it be to write a piece of music for 6 separate female parts that could be sung by 6 strong singers? Ms. Borden decided to look up a poem for text and found Mary Elizabeth Frye’s beautiful and visual poem. She spent two years working on this piece on and off, and is proud to be premiering it at this event and having it performed by strong, talented women!
Nicole Gutman has worked with leading ensembles including Ensemble New SRQ, Yarn/Wire, SŌ Percussion and the JACK Quartet. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and studied with Lewis Nielson and Josh Levine.
Ms. Gutman’s four premiered songs are part of a collection of songs meant to be performed a cappella any time, any place, with no need for an accompanist.
The Thing About Cats is a setting of a poem by John L’Heureux, suspecting that cats have some unknown ulterior motive. Witness was inspired by the first page of the comic Watchmen by Allen Moore and David Gibbons, showing a dire situation that could have been stopped if the people did something about it. Mowing is a setting from a Robert Frost poem describing the soft swishing sound from a winging scythe cutting grass. Talk is a setting of a poem by D. H. Lawrence about the agonies of society’s expectations to socialize with everyone you sit next to.
Jessica Klee holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the UCF. She is currently a public school music teacher and private instructor of voice, piano, acting and dance and has been teaching for over 15 years. Aside from performing, producing and writing children’s books, Jessica has composed a few holiday songs, arias, and her most recent composition is a 25 minute Contemporary Ballet titled Carolina.
Good Morning was inspired by a poem written by a dear friend as a teen. A sad soul living in a difficult world, he was desperately trying to find the positive and good within his surroundings.
Penka Kouneva is a leading composer for film and video games based in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Bulgaria before her immigration to U.S. at age 23, Penka has been fascinated by minimalism since her student years. Penka was trained as a pianist and a chamber musician since early childhood. Her most favorite instruments are the cello and violin, so she relishes any chance she has to compose chamber music. Penka’s Hollywood studio credits include composing for the video games Prince of Persia, Transformers, The Mummy VR game, a permanent NASA exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center (Orlando, FL) about the American astronauts, and many independent drama and genre features, television films and mobile games. Her two orchestral albums, “The Woman Astronaut” and “Rebirth of Id” were released by the top soundtrack label, Varese Sarabande / Universal Music to 5-star press and universal acclaim. Check them out!
“Cassandra’s Rockaby” is fusing minimalism (particularly by the Bang on a Can aesthetics of the early 90’s) with gypsy influences of her native Bulgaria.
Sharon Omens is a composer, performer and music educator who has a deep passion for music. After receiving her Bachelors of Music and Certificate of Music Therapy, she devoted more than 30 years training young musicians and using music as a source of healing with those in need. She has been a spiritual performer of both piano and voice and has produced 6 albums with her original compositions. Currently, she is a member of the Central Florida Composers Forum and has featured her original compositions at the Timucua White House, The Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts and Christ Church Unity Orlando.
Landscapes has several sections with contrasting moods. You will often hear the use of chromatics, triplets against straight time and the interval of a fourth occurring frequently throughout the piece. To me, Landscapes has a jazz feel to it.
Passages is a musical composition written for woodwinds. Its musical structure is similar to a Theme and Variations since there is a recurring melody that journeys through various melodic, harmonic and rhythmic environments and creates contrasting moods; from happy and peaceful to comical to sad and troubled and perhaps other moods that the listener might have. I called this music “Passages” because the melody symbolically weaves into a tapestry of sound.
While writing Dance of the Angels, Ms. Omens wanted to create a lovely scene of beauty, hope and joy and pictured many angels dancing and rejoicing in the heavens. This composition has 3 sections with an A B A for and the melody is written primarily using dorian and lydian modes.
Hailing from the city of “Brotherly Love,” Kathy Sakson received her classical undergraduate music education at Temple University in Philadelphia, and studied jazz piano with Jimmy Amadie after graduating. Upon transplanting to Central Florida, she earned her Master’sDegree from the University of Central Florida, and studied jazz piano, arranging and composing with Per Danielsson. She is currently the Course Director for the Musicianship Course at Full Sail University, teaching within the Music Production degree program.
Fergie and Buzz were spiders…extremely small, dust-speck-like spiders requiring magnification to confirm their arachnid identity. Their short life cycle, reflective of many settings presented by Mother Nature, displayed periods of minimal activity alternating with bursts of charged, and seemingly erratic movement. In this easy-going Latin piece, the composer reflects these cycles of peaceful repose and high activity seen in the natural world – to which we, too, can surely relate.
Margaret Allison Bonds (March 3, 1913 –April 26, 1972) was an American composer and pianist. One of the first black composers and performers to gain recognition in the United States.
Juliette Nadia Boulanger September 16, 1887 –October 22, 1979) was a French composer, conductor, and teacher. She is notable for having taught many of the leading composers and musicians of the 20th century.
Anne Marie Cotter David is an American composer of multiple piano scores for religious presses including Augsburg Fortress Publishers and Abingdon Press of Berklee College of Music.
Pauline Viardot (18 July 1821 – 18 May 1910) was a leading nineteenth-century French mezzo-soprano, pedagogue, and composer of Spanish descent.
The Central Florida Composer’s Forum is proud to present our 2nd annual “Celebrating Women Who Compose” during Women’s History Month this coming March. We are so proud of the women—past and present—who find inspiration and turn it into music! We’d like to highlight some pieces by our local female composers as well as feature classic and modern music created by women. Please join us for a beautiful night of music!
Tuesday, 6 March 2018
Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts
Tickets are $10.
For more information, please visit cfcomposers.org or email: <email@example.com>.
Thank you to everyone who joined us in person and online for our Salon concert, especially for your patience as we rescheduled from last September due to the hurricane! Below are videos of each piece on the program. If you like these pieces, let us know in the comments. Or better yet, tell your friends! Check back soon for information about future performances!
David James Nielsen: Welcome to Nantucket and Annabelle Hooper Finale
Members of the Orlando Youth Orchestra
Nicole Gutman: A Capella Arias
Nicole Gutman, soprano
Sharon Omens: Landscapes
Sharon Omens and Eric Brook, piano
Brandon Martin: Devotion and L’Éternité
Brandon Martin, baritone and Sharon Omens, piano
Damien Simon: Bailey’s Nails and False Narratives
Miguel Cardenas, guitar and Daniel Cortes, viola
Seunghee Lee: Flying Kite
EunMi Ko, piano
The 2017 composer’s salon has been rescheduled to Sunday January 7th, 2018 at the Orlando White House (2000 South Summerlin, Orlando FL 32806). Below are a list of featured composers sorted alphabetically. We hope that you join us for an enjoyable evening of new music written by central Florida composers.
Music by Daniel Crozier has been performed or recorded by the Fort Worth Opera, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the New York City Opera, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. The composer writes: “I have always loved yet resisted setting the poetry of Emily Dickinson, the austerity of whose verse seemed to make the idea of adding music somehow intrusive. These four settings were completed in 2014 at the special request of Julia Foster Rottmayer. They were dedicated to her, and to Christopher Rottmayer, on the occasion of their wedding.”
Nicole Gutman is a composer and singer most known for incorporating interdisciplinary medium into her music. Almost all her music tells a story or conveys a physical or emotional setting through onomatopoeia and theatrics from the musicians. Nicole’s worked with leading ensembles including EnsembleNewSRQ, Yarn/Wire, SŌ Percussion and the JACK Quartet. Her current project is a book of songs sung unaccompanied called the A Cappe a Arias. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition from Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with Lewis Nielson and Josh Levine.
The Thing About Cats – Based on a poem by John L’Heureux, this song explores the reason why cats always stare at us. I wrote the music in the point of view of a person who’s had many experiences with these staring cats and and how the act of staring ruining the person’s pleasures in everyday life. The person is using this song to give a warning to everyone listening.
Witness – I wrote the poem in response to the first page of Watchmen by Alan Moore, depicting a New York City street after a murder. The narrator says that this started with something very minor and is now growing into a catastrophe that no one can stop now, but they could have stopped it when it was a minor problem. I wanted to use the build up of a sentence to showcase something starting small and spreading until it creates a huge problem. When setting the poem to music, I applied the same concept to a melody.
Mowing – This song occasionally inserts a whoosh sound effect, reflecting the sound of the scythe described the poem by Robert Frost. The feel of the scythe moving back and forth along the lawn continues its presence in the melody’s slow and steady pulse.
Paul Harlyn has released 7 Chill albums under the artist name Great Barrier whose song “Cairo” was released on Buddha Bar Vol. II that has had sales of over a half a million units. He also has tracks on many chill-out compilations; Search Paul Harlyn in Spotify or paulharlyn.com
Three Views of Japan
- The Question of Rain – A Hakone Ryokan 2:44
- Phases of the Moon – A Kyoto Maiko-San 2:51
- Nothing Stays the Same – Tokyo at Night 3:38
Each of these short piano pieces were composed while viewing the pictures I took of the culture I experienced during my recent visit to Japan.
Seunghee Lee (b. 1980), a composer and a pianist, was born and raised in South Korea, where she studied composition and piano at Seoul Arts High School and Ewha Womans University. Prior to moving to Southwest Florida in 2015, Lee received a master’s degree in composition from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Ph.D. in music composition and theory from Brandeis University. Lee is an Assistant Professor of Music at Ave Maria University.
Flying Kite (2017) – After launching a kite into the air, a kite flies in many different patterns depending on its shape, size, direction of wind, and technique of the person who is flying the kite. Kites maybe be flown for recreation and other practical uses. During the First Full Moon Day (Daeboreum, the 15th of January by the lunar calendar) in Korea, some write a phrase like “Bad luck be gone, good luck stay” and let their kites fly away, hoping to have good luck in the coming year.
‘Flying Kite’ for Piano Solo consists of five movements, and each movement describes different patterns and ways of kite flying. The music is focused on genuinely portraying the movement of the kite, sometimes calmly and other times lively or a bit chaotic, rather than relating music to a particular purpose of flying a kite.
As the piece progresses, I also invite the audience to imagine and experience the spiritual aspect of kite flying, such as sending a message up to God or letting go of hassles and troubles by flying a kite away.
I currently perform at Disney with the Voices of Liberty a cappella vocal ensemble, with whom I have performed for two years. I have earned music degrees from FSU and USF. I write mostly choral/vocal music, but I am venturing into instrumental music more and am writing my first musical.
Danses antiques was inspired by the Swingle Singers performing Bach, but also by the French Baroque style—a modern tribute akin to Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin. I try to give a nod to the Baroque without rigidly adhering to the style.
“Welcome to Nantucket” was composed for the “Annabelle Hooper and the Ghosts of Nantucket” feature film, and is heard in the opening credits of the film showing Annabelle Hooper and her family driving through Nantucket to a house they will be staying at for a vacation on the island. The music has a uplifting feel and features strings, piano, celeste, and solos for flute, oboe, clarinet,and bassoon.
“Annabelle Finale and End Credits” was composed for the “Annabelle Hooper and the Ghosts of Nantucket” feature film, and is heard as Annabelle Hooper is leaving Nantucket island on a fairy boat. The music incorporates the love them between the characters Annabelle and Billy, and features piano, strings, french horn, and solos for clarinet, flute and oboe.
After receiving her Bachelors of Music and Certificate of Music Therapy, Sharon devoted more than 30 years training young musicians and using music as a source of healing. She has been a spiritual performer of both piano and voice and has produced 6 albums with her original compositions. Currently, she is a member of the Central Florida Composers Forum and has featured her original compositions at the Timacua White House, The Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts and Christ Church Unity Orlando.
Damien Simon is an internationally known music composer for Ballet/Contemporary Dance Companies, TV/Film, Orchestras and Ensembles around the world. Damien has written dozens of scores for multiple genres and sizes of groups, depending on the goals of the project.
Educated at the Purchase Conservatory (NY) and University College of Dublin (IRELAND) Website: https://damiensimon.net
These 2 scores: “Bailey’s Nails” and “False Narratives”, scores for Guitar and Viola/Guitar, were commissioned for performers in Salzburg, Austria at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg. and this will be their US premiere.
Last week, we hear the wonderful Alterity Wind Quintet perform new works by forum members at Timucua. Here’s a YouTube playlist of the whole concert. If you like what you hear, you’re going to love hearing the full Alterity Chamber Orchestra in their debut program next Thursday, 26 October at Factur. Get your tickets quick!
David MacDonald: Stumpery
Chan Ji Kim: Time Lapse Intersection
James Croson: Four Pieces for Wind Quintet
Sharon Omens: Post-Election Epilogue
Keith Lay: Woodwind Quintet No. 2
Alterity Wind Quintet
Carrie Wiesinger, flute
Beatriz Ramirez-Belt, oboe
Natalie Grata, clarinet
Kat Sleeper, bassoon
Kathy Thomas, horn
Benoit Glazer, conductor
Our mission is to present central Florida with exciting new music written by people who live right here in the community. That’s why we are so proud to present a new collaboration with Alterity Wind Quintet this week at Timucua! Alterity is a new chamber music collective in Orlando presenting contemporary music. Come hear brand new wind quintet music by forum members Keith Lay, Chan Ji Kim, David MacDonald, Sharon Omens, and James Croson. Alterity Wind Quintet is Carrie Wiesinger, flute; Beatriz Ramirez-Belt, oboe; Natalie Grata, clarinet; Kat Sleeper, bassoon; Kathy Thomas, horn
The concert begins at 7:30p, 15 October at Timucua (2000 S. Summerlin Ave.). The event is free, with a suggested donation of $10-20. Please bring food and or wine to share.
If you’ve never heard a work for solo tuba and piano, you’ve had a tuba-sized hole in your life. (That’s a big hole.) Check out the latest by composer and forum-member Benoit Glazer, performed here by Robert Carpenter, tuba and Jamila Tekalli, piano.
Central Florida composers are invited to submit works for the 5th Annual Composer’s Salon concert held at the Orlando White House on Sunday, September 10th at 7:30PM. All styles of art music, acoustic and electronic, are welcome for consideration. The composers must provide their own performers. The concert will be presented to an audience of new music fans in Orlando and live-streamed on the Web. Participants will receive a complimentary audio and video recording.
The annual composer’s salon concerts celebrate new music written by local composers in the central Florida area. They are an opportunity for composers to share new music with the central Florida community. The concerts are free (donations welcome) and all ears are welcome.
Members of CFCF will receive priority for programming. Annual dues are $45 and can be paid on our site.
The deadline for submissions is Sunday, August 13th. Please email the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Performer’s Names
- Score/Audio Recording/Proposal
Approximately 60-75 minutes of music will be scheduled. In the event that more than 75 minutes of music is submitted, scheduling priority will be on a first come first served basis. CFCF would like to thank the Timucua Arts Foundation for administrative assistance and use of the concert space.
Thanks to everyone who came to hear either of these concerts! In particular, I want to thank CF2 composers Sharon Omens and Bethany Borden for all their hard work organizing these events. Feel free to share these far and wide, and check back for information about future events.