All posts by davemacdo

Celebrating Women Who Compose: 7 March and 17 March

Central Florida Composers Forum is celebrating Women’s History Month in 2017 with two concerts. Women are profoundly under-represented on concert programs around the country, and we’re doing our best to change that by showcasing some of the most talented composers in Central Florida!

Join us:

  • Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 7:30 p.m. at the Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts, 1905 Kentucky Avenue, Winter Park, Florida 32789 [BUY TICKETS HERE!]
  • Friday, March 17, 2017, 7:30 p.m. at Christ Church Unity, 771 West Holden Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32839

There is some truly amazing music being written in our community every day. A compilation of original musical works will be uniquely performed by a wide variety of instruments including piano, percussion, voice, violin and flute.

This concert will uplift you in heart and soul!

Come share the creative collaboration of the spirit of women!

Video: Salon 2016

Thank you to everyone who joined us in person and online for this year’s Composers Salon! 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!

Rebekah Todia: Sun Shower Fantasy

Rebekah Todia, piano; Serena Jones, Tibetan bowl

Sharon Omens: Redemption

David Suarez, flute

Chan Ji Kim: Night Colors

James Archer, saxophone

Eric Brook: Pristine Spark

Michael Brook, violin; Eric Brook, piano

Seunghee Lee: Five Short Songs for Piano

Seunghee Lee, piano

Stan Cording: Memento

Paul Harlyn Trio: Paseo and Bluer Bossa

Paul Harlyn, piano; Bobby Serkin, bass; Ian McLeod, percussion

Not included in videos: Thomas Thospecken’s film and Chan Ji Kim’s Jong for fixed media.

About the composers and compositions for Salon 2016

We’re all very excited for the concert this coming Sunday, 18 Sept, 7:30 at the Orlando white house (2000 S. Summerlin Ave.). The concert is free, but donations are accepted. And you’re encouraged to bring a bit of food or a bottle of wine to share. Here’s a little bit about the composers (listed alphabetically) and works that will be on the program:


Eric Brook is a classically trained pianist who has degrees in music composition from Oberlin Conservatory (B.M) and the University of Minnesota (M.A).  He composes music in many genres including art music, popular music, and electronic dance music. Currently, he is Course Director of “Musical Structure and Analysis” at Full Sail University in the Music Production department.

“Pristine Spark” is a violin and piano duet written and dedicated to my brother, Michael Brook, for his Master’s recital at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2013. The composition is energetic and virtuosic while utilizing minimalistic harmonic and rhythmic elements.


Orlando native Stan Cording is a long-time proponent of New Lyricism and draws upon a wide range of influences. Though he has often performed as a pianist and organist, his first love has always been composition. His works range from hymns to “I Hear America Singing” for Baritone solo, chorus and orchestra. A CD of Christmas Carols, both traditional and original, performed by string quartet, will be released later this year.

“Memento” for solo bassoon is in 3 short movements: Criolla, Interlude, and Baile.


Paul Harlyn has released 5 albums under the artist name Great Barrier whose song Cairo has achieved years of airplay on the XM Chill station. Paul writes, produces and arranges music for clients ranging from ADDY award winning radio commercials to major record label releases and remixes. These two pieces are from his upcoming 6th release. Info:

The first piece is entitled Paseo. This multifaceted concept can represent a walk, a stroll, or even a promenade. I hope the listener will take this trip with me.

My piece Bluer Bossa is a story without words. Is it possible to transmit non-verbal communication through sound? I hope this makes you want to dance.


Chan Ji Kim composes for dance, chamber ensembles, orchestra, and multimedia. Originally from Seoul, Korea, Chan Ji studied at E-wha Women’s University, New York University, and received her Ph.D. in Composition from University of Florida. Currently, she is Chair of Performing and Visual Arts Department, and Associate Professor of Music at the Eastern Florida State College. Her research and music areas of interest include collaboration between composer and choreographer, Korean folk music, and interactive electroacoustic composition.

“Jong” means bells in Korean. I wrote Jong for fixed media for the people in Nepal who lost everything from the earthquake on April 25th in 2015. I recorded my Nepalese singing bowl bell. Nepali start the day ringing bells in the morning, a very special and important everyday routine to wake up their gods. I hope the ceremony still brings them peace in the morning.

Night Colors for solo saxophone is a collection of five short movements including Maroon, Purple, Blue, Black, and White Lullaby.


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 a Visiting Professor of Music at Ave Maria University.

Written in 2002 and slightly revised in 2016, Five Short Songs is based on 12-tone technique, which forms the harmonic and melodic foundation of this music.  Due to the use of strict pitch-organization, there are certain melodic and/or harmonic patterns appear particularly often. The five-movement piece encourage listeners to bring their own unique perspective to the listening process.  Each movement has its own surprise, passion, and compelling quality that reveals my creative urges.


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.

“Redemption”, is Sharon’s newest original composition, written for solo flute.  The piece was written to honor her father’s life who was a survivor of the Holocaust. The composition describes his early years in the Warsaw ghetto, the horrific events that occurred as a result of the Holocaust and finally, his ultimate redemption and  success as he came to the United States, raised a family and built a successful business until his death in 2015.


Originally from Miami Florida, Rebekah Todia, the youngest of five children, grew up in a house full of noise, art, and a family piano. Her father, a talented wood worker was her source of inspiration; he could carve the most beautiful sculptures from a tree trunk. Rebekah studied art at Miami Dade College, and piano performance at Rollins College. She mostly performs in the comfort of her own home, where the only audience are the eyes and ears of her beloved husband and children.

Sun Shower Fantasy is written with the thought of two opposing forces: dark and light. We typically associate storms with heavy rainfall and dark clouds, but there is beauty hiding behind the clouds where the sun is still shining. In this piece, you can hear not only the thunder of the heavier notes and also the brightness of the lighter tones. The C# crystal singing bowl is used to bring oneness, and universal communion. Every time a sun shower is witnessed, it is always greeted with, “Oh my gosh, look! It’s a sun shower.”  It just goes to show that although the rain is falling, there is always a silver lining.

4th Annual Composers Salon: 18 Sept, 7:30pm

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The Central Florida Composer’s Forum is proud to present their 4th annual Composer’s Salon Concert on Sunday, September 18th 2016, 7:30 pm at the Timucua white house (2000 S. Summerlin Ave. Orlando 32806). Seven local Central Florida composers: Eric Brook, Stan Cording, Paul Harlyn, Dr. Chan Ji Kim, Dr. Seunghee Lee, Sharon Omens, and Rebekah Todia, will feature original compositions including local and world premieres in a diverse array of musical stylings. Instrumentation includes, piano, violin, flute, saxophone, bassoon, bass guitar, percussion, and electronic music.

Salon concerts originated with princes and other royalty holding music concerts in their great rooms or “salons” in their palaces. This rich cultural tradition continues in modern day Orlando with benefactors Benoit Glazer and Élaine Corriveau graciously hosting the 4th Annual Composer’s Salon at their home, the Timucua white house. The concert is free and donations are welcome. You’re also encouraged to bring a bottle of wine or a snack to share. For more information, please visit

Call for Scores or Proposals: String Orchestra

UPDATE (Feb 2017): Due to organizational changes with NSCO, this concert will feature a different ensemble. We will still be co-presenting this concert on August 20, 2017. 


In partnership with the New Score Chamber Orchestra, the Central Florida Composers Forum is looking for new works for string orchestra to perform during NSCO’s Summer 2017 season.


Works must meet the following requirements:

  • Instrumentation:
    • string orchestra, approximate personnel (players): 2–2–2–2–1
  • Duration: under 15 minutes preferred (In the event that more proposals are submitted than can be programmed, please indicate whether individual movements may be performed independently.)
  • Submitted works may have been previously performed.


Any current member of the Central Florida Composers Forum is eligible to submit a proposal.


In order for NCSO to plan and publicize their 2017 season, it is important that we have some information about the pieces early on, even if that means describing a piece that has not be completed. Works that do not have either a score or a written description will not be considered. Submissions may be made to David MacDonald (

  • 1 August – Proposal or Score/Recording:
    • Proposals for new works should include
      • title (possibly a working title)
      • instrumentation
      • duration
      • brief description of the piece (<100 words)
      • brief composer bio (<150 words)
    • Submissions for existing works should include all of the above, along with an indication that the work has been performed, and a score or recording if available.
  • 1 May – Performance materials due to NCSO
    • NCSO will schedule rehearsals and invite composers to participate in them.


The final program, presented in August 2017, can have a maximum of 60 minutes of music. This should allow the orchestra to devote an appropriate amount of preparation to each of the works. In the event that the proposed works exceed 60 minutes, some composers may be asked to abridge their proposals, excerpt movements from existing works, and it is possible that some proposals may simply not fit on the program at all. We will also consider the technical limitations of what works can be adequately prepared based on the NCSO rehearsal schedule. The performance date may be shifted slightly to account for other NCSO programming concerns.

Composers whose works and proposals are selected will be notified around 1 September 2016. Please email David MacDonald ( with any questions or concerns.

Call for Participation: Fourth Annual Composers Salon


Central Florida composers are invited to submit works for the 4th Annual Composers Salon concert held at the Orlando White House on Sunday, September 18th 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 salons are concerts that 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. Membership details are here on the site. Email David MacDonald with membership questions.

Application Deadline

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, August 14th. Please email the following information to Eric Brook (

  • Title
  • Duration
  • Instrumentation
  • Performer’s Names
  • Score/Audio Recording/Proposal

Selection Process

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.

May 7: Marathon AMF at the White House

We’re very excited about this Accidental Music Festival event, which brings together eleven ensembles from throughout central Florida for an afternoon of performance and community.

Marathon AMF banner

CF2 members Chris Belt, Benoit Glazer, Charles Griffin, David MacDonald, and Daniel Saylor will have works on the program, which includes performances from the Natalie Grata & Chris Erickson, Belt & Ramirez, Helena, New Score Chamber Orchestra, Glass Quartet, Lush Agave, Hippocrene Saxophone Ensemble, Luis Guerrero, UCF Collide Ensemble, and Ensemble AMF.

There is a $10 suggested donation.

More details from Accidental Music Festival.

Central Florida Saxophone Show on the Road

The fantastic Hippocrene Saxophone Ensemble performed three new works by CF2 members at the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference at Texas Tech University, March 10-13, in Lubbock, Texas.

David MacDonald: Ungroup

Daniel Saylor: Waves to Oceans (Organic Suite Composition #1)

Benoit Glazer: Petite Fete de Sax

Thanks to George Weremchuk for organizing the ensemble. Special thanks to Carolyn Bryan and Jeffrey Loeffert for joining the group especially for these performances.

Hippocrene Saxophone Ensemble: 15 Feb. and 1 Mar.

Hippocrene Saxophone Ensemble

Central Florida Composers Forum presents the Hippocrene Saxophone Ensemble in two upcoming performances in the Orlando area:

  • Monday, February 15 at 7:00pm at the Gallery at Avalon Island
  • Tuesday, March 1 at 8:00pm at the UCF Rehearsal Hall Auditorium

The program features pieces by CF2 members and others, including three world premieres for saxophone octet.

We look forward to see you there!

RSVP to the Avalon Event on Facebook!

Video: Salon 2015

Thank you to everyone who joined us in person and online for this year’s Composers Salon! 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!

Benoit Glazer: Fanfare 15

Benoit Glazer, trumpet; Juan Berrios, horn; Joey Fascik, bass trombone

Daniel Saylor: Character No. 1 and Eventualities

Kelli Boquet, flute; Gregory Monroe, piano

Eric Brook: Six Sketches

Eric Brook, piano

David James Nielsen: Unfolding

David Nielsen, piano

Sun Mi Ro: Three Invocations

Nora Lee Garcia, flute

Thad Anderson: Within

Christian Martin, Chris Baird, Joe Jones, and John Gavin, percussion

Keith Lay: When Leaders Stop Listening

Benoit Glazer, trumpet; Juan Berrios, horn; Joey Fascik, bass trombone; Witek Biegaj, Pawel Biegaj, and Daniel Rawe, mimes

Art by Linda Saracino throughout the concert.