Joyland: A night of intimate storytelling and original music – January 29 at The Abbey

Wednesday, January 29.
The Abbey – 100 S. Eola Drive, Suite 100, Orlando FL
Show starts at 7:30pm, doors open at 7:00pm
$15 in advance, $20 at the door

What happens when six composers from the Central Florida Composers Forum collaborate with six storytellers from the Orlando Weekly “Best of 2019” Orlando Story Club on a predetermined theme? The result is “Joyland,” a one-of-a-kind and first-of-its kind event in Central Florida, produced by the Downtown Arts District. Storytellers will perform compelling personal experiences accompanied by original scores by local composers. The stories and styles are as diverse as our city.

The pairs are as follows: Bobby Wesley with Mark Piszczek; Jesse James with Charlie Griffin; Logan Anderson with Erik Branch; Madeline Potts with Paul Austin Sanders; Daniele Ziss with Alex Burtzos; and Aquanza Cadogan with Holly Cordero.

The storytellers will perform with live music by players drawn from the local Alterity Chamber Orchestra, a group known for its dedication to performing contemporary music at the highest levels: Tina Edelstein, flute; Beatriz Ramirez, oboe; Jessica Speak, clarinet; Kathy Thomas, horn; and Christian Eberle, bassoon.

Premiere of Fanfare on a Tetrachord by CF2’s Jeremy Umlauf at Cathedral of St. Luke on January 26

The Central Florida Composers Forum (CF2) partners with The Cathedral Church of St. Luke for their 27th annual Horns & Pipes Concert. CF2’s very own Jeremy Umlauf will have his Fanfare on a Tetrachord premiered. Come join St. Luke’s renowned orchestra of brass, percussion, and pipe organ in a marvelous acoustic. This is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Admission is free. Donations encouraged.
Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 3 PM – 4:30 PM
Cathedral Church of St Luke
130 N Magnolia Ave, Orlando, FL 32801

Transcend: Movement Meets Music – CF2 and Emotions Dance at Timucua Arts Foundation, October 27

Sunday, October 27 at the Timucua White House
2000 South Summerlin, Orlando, FL 32806.
Doors: 7pm. Concert: 7:30.
VIP Tickets are $30, other seating by donation.

The Central Florida Composers Forum (CF2) is excited to present its first collaborative event with Emotions Dance. The performance will feature music by local composers Daniel Crozier (Symphony No. 1, Fairytale), Troy Gifford (Milonga Abandonada), Charlie Griffin (Between Islands), ChanJi Kim (Jong; Ta), Christopher Marshall (Hikurangi Sunrise; Transcending), and Bob Walker (Silent Scream; Music on the Water). Bob Walker and Benoit Glazer will perform live.

Emotions Dance are: Amparo Padilla, Chloe Haslett, CJ Sheffield, Veronica Ramirez, Katie Masterson, Brooke Shoultz, Autumn Goetting, Raleigh Shelton, Emily Nunez, Jacquelyn Cheffer, Lauren Theriault, and Larissa Humiston.

Emotions Dance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2007 by Artistic Director and Choreographer Larissa Humiston. Emotions Dance consists of a professional contemporary dance company that focuses on social and environmental awareness through the art of dance, dance education training at the organization’s state of the art dance studio, and programs that enrich the local community. The organization emphasizes strong technical training and education combined with passionate artistry. Through inspiring performances, arts-education programs, and active community outreach the company touches thousands of people of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds.

Wind Talkers: Music for Woodwinds by Mark Piszczek at Timucua Arts Foundation, October 12

Central Florida Composers Forum is proud to support a concert featuring music by one of Orlando’s musical treasures, Mark Piszczek, performed by some of Orlando’s best musicians: flutist Nora Lee Garcia, pianist Richard Drexler, and Alterity Chamber Orchestra founders Beatriz Ramirez-Belt and Natalie Grata, along with other members of Alterity.

Sunday, October 12 at the Timucua White House
2000 South Summerlin, Orlando, FL 32806.
Doors: 2pm. Concert: 2:30pm.

“This concert features four world premieres! The compositions include a trio, quartet, two quintets and a sonata for flute and piano.
It’s a sort of musical travelogue depicting many of the beautiful and historic locations that I was privileged to call home over the last twenty five years, including Seattle, Southwest Wisconsin, Maine, Peterborough NH, Columbus OH Winston Salem NC and Winter Park FL. Two of these compositions includes movements dedicated to the late, Sam Rivers and composer Elliott Schwartz who was a dear friend and mentor.” – Mark Piszczek

Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras announce Composer-in-residence partnership with CF2

ORLANDO, FL – In partnership with Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras (FSYO), the Central Florida Composers Forum invited current members to apply for one of five composer residencies with ensembles within the FSYO organization. Residencies will take place during FSYOs 63rd concert season with the unifying theme for all residences being PULSE. Each composer was left to interpret that theme in any meaningful and appropriate way.

Overture Strings will premiere a commissioned piece by composer Ryan McQuinn during the POPs in the Garden concert on Sunday, February 9, 2020, at The Grove at Mead Botanical Garden. “My piece for the young children in Overture Strings embraces unity while celebrating diversity,” says McQuinn. “It’s wonderful to witness the youngest musicians learning to walk. I hope that my piece helps them feel more sure-footed and inspires confidence that bolsters their journey.”

The Prelude Orchestra will premiere a commissioned piece by Timothy Stulman during the Spring Classics concert on Sunday, March 8, 2020 at Edgewater High School. “It’s an honor to have the chance to work with such talented young musicians,” says Stulman. “Young players are often times even more creative and receptive than seasoned professionals, since the world is newer for them.” Also premiering a piece during the Spring Classics alongside the Philharmonia Orchestra is composer Alex Burtzos. Burtzos notes, “My piece for the Philharmonia Orchestra addresses the word PULSE according to its musical, biological, and historical meanings; it’s an emotional work that will demand a virtuosic response from these talented young performers.”

The Jazz 1 Orchestra will premiere a commissioned piece by composer Scott Dickinson during the Jazz at Blue Bamboo concert on Sunday, April 19, 2020 at Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts. “I’m thrilled to get the chance to compose for the gifted young musicians that comprise the FSYO Jazz Orchestra,” says Dicksinon. “There are few experiences that can invigorate a future composer like performing a new piece written specifically for you! I’ll be creating a piece that’s both tailored to the strengths of the musicians, and also inspired by our shared theme of PULSE.”

The Symphonic Orchestra, led by Music Director Hanrich Claassen, will premiere a commissioned piece by composer Brandon Martin during FSYO’s 63rd Season Finale concert on Sunday, May 3, 2020 at Calvary Orlando. “I seek to write a piece that addresses the Pulse Shooting: not only exploring the grief and sadness in its aftermath, but also the healing, the affirmation of self, and the celebration of being alive,” says Martin. “I am excited to work with an organization such as FSYO that is passionate about educating the next generation of musicians.”

Tickets for each of the concerts may be purchased online at www.fsyo.org with special pricing for children, student, senior, and military. Florida academic and private teachers receive free admission to all FSYO season subscription concerts with proof of I.D.

About the Composers:

  • Ryan McQuinn – Ryan has worked on various video games and podcasts such as Interstellar Space: Genesis, Lotia, Dungeons & Doritos, Call of Cthulu Mystery Program, Liberty: Vigilance, and Dark Dice. He is currently creating sfx for Axe Cop, scoring and doing sound design for the Lightning Dogs short film, and writing orchestral versions of Johnny Cash music for Cash & Friends.
  • Timothy Stulmam – Timothy has received numerous honors and awards at both national and international levels. As the winner of the First Music Commission, he was commissioned to compose an orchestral piece for the New York Youth Symphony that was premiered in Carnegie Hall on March 7, 2010. His music has been selected for performance by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Toledo Youth Orchestra, the International Tribuna Sax-Ensemble in Madrid, and the BGSU Philharmonia. He was a featured composer at University of Central Missouri’s New Music Festival, Electronic Music Midwest, the 1st Annual Huntsville New Music Festival, and Juventas New Music Ensemble’s Murmurs from Limbo concert series.
  • Alex Burtzos – Alex is an American composer and conductor based in New York City and Orlando, FL. His work has been performed across four continents, and released on New Amsterdam and Sono Luminus record labels. Alex has collaborated with some of the world’s foremost contemporary musicians and ensembles, including JACK Quartet, Yarn/Wire, Contemporaneous, ETHEL, loadbang, Jenny Lin, RighteousGIRLS, and many others. He is the founder and artistic director of ICEBERG New Music, a New York-based composers’ collective, and the conductor of the hip-hop/classical chamber orchestra ShoutHouse.
  • Scott Dickinson – Scott has won multiple awards for big band arrangement and professional and collegiate jazz ensembles across the country have played his compositions and arrangements. He was recognized as the honorable mention in the Doc Severinsen International Orchestral Composition Contest. He has been commissioned to write for jazz ensembles, choir, and orchestra. Scott is the Course Director for Musical Arrangement in the Music Production Department at Full Sail University and is a member of the Dr. Phillips Jazz Orchestra.
  • Brandon Martin – Brandon is a performer/vocalist, choral clinician/conductor, composer, and former music educator. He currently sings with The Voices of Liberty at Walt Disney World Resort. He also sings with the Tampa Spiritual Ensemble and serves on the Board of Directors for the Orlando Gay Chorus. He was commissioned by the Association of Anglican Musicians for their 2015 Annual Conference, and has written orchestrations for St. Pete Opera.

About FSYO: Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras exists to encourage children and young adults, through the practice and performance of orchestral music, to become passionate leaders, thinkers, and contributors in their local community and beyond. In its 63rd Concert Season. Today, FSYO serves almost 300 students and is comprised of seven ensembles – three symphony orchestras, one string-training orchestra, a chamber orchestra, two jazz orchestras – and two supplementary programs – Stringmania Summer Camp and Sing-Song, String-Along.

FSYO programs are carefully structured to encourage student growth with FSYO throughout their primary and secondary years. Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras full range of ensembles gives each student a place to excel with peers at a similar level, and an opportunity to collaborate with seasoned music professionals on local, national, and international levels. During summers, Symphonic Orchestra students participate in life-changing experiences of organized tours, alternating between international & national travel every other year.

Programs are sponsored in part by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs; the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Orlando Utilities Commission; The City of Orlando, Mayor’s Matching Grant; and United Arts of Central Florida. We thank these groups for their generous support.

7th Annual Composer DIY Salon Concert

Central Florida Composers Forum – 7th Annual Composers DIY Salon Concert
Sunday, September 29 at the Timucua White House
2000 South Summerlin, Orlando, FL 32806.
Doors: 7pm. Concert: 7:30.
VIP Tickets are $30, other seating by donation.

For seven years, Central Florida Composers Forum (CF2) has been offering its members a first-come, first-on, get-er-done yerself opportunity to present work to the Orlando/Central Florida public. The composers themselves perform or arrange for the performers. That always means a wider variety of sonic possibilities than a more typical, curated CF2 concert featuring a unified instrumentation.

This program features Rebekah Todia’s Crossing The Bar, for piano and voice; Melody Cook’s For Two Voices, No. 2, for clarinet and piano; Holly Cordero’s Personified Bliss, for string quartet, Bob Jr.’s Conjure the Storm, for piano, guitar, bass, and drums; Paul Austin Sanders’ electronic compositions Danze Africanne, Spirit of the East, and Bop Latinesque; ChanJi Kim’s Imaginary Lines for clarinet and audio; and premieres of Alex Burtzos’ X Codes, for violin, clarinet, and piano, and also his Perforation, for solo piano.

Venus & the Radio – August 8 @ Timucua

Venus & the Radio
Thursday, August 8 at the Timucua White House
2000 South Summerlin, Orlando, FL 32806.
Doors: 7pm. Concert: 7:30.
Tickets are $10.

While Orlando has begun to gain recognition for its arts community, not much has been said about the lines and boundaries drawn between artistic disciplines. When it comes to music and literature, The Central Florida Composers Forum, in collaboration with local literary publisher Burrow Press, aim to blur those boundaries and inspire future collaborations with their upcoming event, “Venus & the Radio.”

This one-of-a-kind event will feature two prominent Florida authors reading excerpts from their newest books (published by Burrow Press) in collaboration with four Orlando-based members of the Central Florida Composers Forum.

Orlando Poet Laureate Susan Lilley will perform Florida-inspired work from her collection Venus in Retrograde with accompaniment from composers Mark Piszczek and Timothy Stulman. Piszczek’s interactive approach will incorporate Lilley reading live with Piszczek on soprano saxophone and pre-recorded audio electronically manipulated by sound artist Jared Silvia. Stulman will do real-time audio processing of Lilley’s performance, combined with a pre-recorded audioscape.

Shane Hinton will perform excerpts from Radio Dark, a surreal post-apocalyptic novel set in Florida. Composers Holly Cordero and Charlie Griffin will provide an underscore in the manner of classic radio plays.

“This event is a great opportunity to not only illustrate the variety of talent in Orlando,” says Burrow Press publisher Ryan Rivas, “but also to acknowledge that art isn’t created in a vacuum. And especially to show how one art form can and does inspire others.”

A Q&A and book signing will follow the performance.  

5 composers to be selected for residencies with the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras in 2019-20 – June 30 application deadline

Call for Applications

Overview

In partnership with Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras (FSYO), Central Florida Composers Forum invites current composer members (if you would like to join CF2, please indicate so at the end of the form you will fill out, linked below) to apply for one of five possible composer residencies with ensembles within the FSYO organization.

Residencies will take place during 2019-2020 concert season. Composers may apply for more than one residency, but will not be granted more than one. Each applicant composer agrees to at least three interactions with their ensemble (two preliminary sessions and one rehearsal) in addition to attending the premiere of the work they write. Rehearsals take place on Sundays, starting August 18th. Each composer will receive a small stipend for their residency, and each residency will have its own timeline.

Theme

The unifying theme for all the residencies is PULSE. We leave it to the composer to interpret that theme in any meaningful and appropriate way (musically, biologically, culturally, etc.).

Ensemble information

1. Symphonic Orchestra – (A new work 9-12+ minutes duration) $500 stipend. Season Finale Concert premiere on May 3rd, 2020; final parts and score deadline March 11th. This is their premiere orchestra. They play difficult music at a high level.

2. Philharmonia Orchestra – (A new work 4-10+ minutes duration) $500 stipend. Spring Concert premiere on March 8th, 2020; final parts and score deadline January 8th. This group is comprised of younger, less experienced players than the Symphonic Orchestra, but is still capable of rendering complex repertoire.

3. Jazz 1 Orchestra (17-20 players) – (A new work 4-6+ minutes duration) $500 stipend. Premiere TBD. Highly capable jazz band.

4. Prelude Orchestra – (A new work 4-6 minutes duration) $400 stipend. Spring Concert premiere on March 8th, 2020; final parts and score deadline January 8th. This is a beginner full orchestra (light on brass) that typically plays early classical repertoire, for example.

5. Overture Strings –  (A new work 3-4 minutes duration) $300 stipend. Season Opener Concert premiere on October 20th, 2019; final parts and score deadline September 13th. This is their entry level string group. Think of Suzuki book 2. You may consider a story telling component or involving one or two professional level adult musicians.

For more information on the ensembles, please visit: https://www.fsyo.org/programs/orchestras.html

Application Process

The entire application can be accomplished by following this link.

There, you will be asked the following questions:

  • Which ensemble are you applying to work with (First, Second, Third Choice)?
  • What does the residency ideally look like to you, and what role will you as the composer ideally play? If you have more than one choice for ensemble, would your answer change for each ensemble? If so, how?
  • How do you envision incorporating the theme of PULSE into the residency? If you have more than one choice for ensemble, would your answer change for each ensemble? If so, how?
  • If you envision involving a third-party local artist or organization, who would it be and why? (leave blank if N/A)

You will also be asked to supply a single MP3 (can be excerpts, up to 10MB*), a single PDF of a score sample, and a 100-200 word biography.

The deadline for the application to be submitted is June 30, 2019.

If you have any questions, please email cfcomposers@gmail.com or text me at 407.619.6715.

Incomplete submissions will be rejected. *If the file size of the submission exceeds 10MB, please email a Dropbox/Google Drive or equivalent link.

Guitarist Robert Phillips commissioned, recorded, and now presents 3 CF2 composers on May 17, 2019

Internationally noted classical guitarist Robert Phillips will be giving a concert of new music at the Timucua Arts Foundation White House on May 17 at 7:30 PM. The centerpiece of the concert will be a set of six dances written for Robert by Central Florida based composers. Those composers include Jorge Morel, CF2 members Benoit Glazer, Charles Griffin, and Troy Gifford, as well as Howard Buss, and Rex Willis. In addition, Phillips will play a set of Nocturnes composed for him by British composer John W. Powell.

Phillips recently recorded the pieces that comprise this program. The works are in dance rhythms ranging from waltzes to rumbas and incorporating elements of Afro-Cuban music, Flamenco, and Brazilian dance rhythms. They are to be performed as a set along with a prelude by Robert under the title of The Orange Blossom Dances. These important new works will be released by MSR Classics.

Robert has brought his brilliant interpretations to a diverse range of venues – from traditional concert halls including New York’s prestigious Town Hall, and Lincoln Center to jazz nightclubs. His performance at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall was sold out. In addition to the standard repertory, Robert performs his own compositions, and has premiered works by three-time Pulitzer nominee, Frank Brazinski, Eric Ross, Alfred Giusto, and Meyer Kupferman, as well as a concerto written for him by three-time Grammy winner, Michael Colina. The works by Kupferman and Colina were written for him.

Robert’s recordings include Guitarre Nouveau on TPL records and Lo Mestre, the Music of Miguel Llobet on Centaur records, as well as his self-re-released two volume set, Great Themes and Variations for Classic Guitar (originally released by Mel Bay as a companion to his anthology.) Robert also recently recorded several Spanish songs with Chinese coloratura soprano Shudong Braamse on her Global Music Awards Gold Medal winning album, Sueños De España (Navona Records).

Robert spent the summer of 2017 in Spain participating as a teacher, ensemble coach, and performer in the Chamber Art Madrid music festival. Phillips performed some of the newly commissioned works at this festival. He will be at the festival again in the summer of 2019.
The Timucua Arts Foundation is located at 2000 S Summerlin Ave. Orlando, Florida 32806. The concert begins at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online here.

ReBlog: Orlando Philharmonic string quartet performs at Timucua White House

ESTEBAN MENESES, www.examiner.com

The best of Central Florida’s contemporary classical music was highlighted on Sunday evening with passion and style. The location: Benoit Glazer’s downtown Orlando home, also known as ‘Timucua White House,’ where leading avant-garde, jazz and contemporary classical music acts from around the country perform almost every weekend to small, though dedicated circles of followers who have helped turned the Glazer home auditorium into a shrine of sorts for this rather esoteric kind of performing arts scene.

But it need not always be that way, since the audience for new classical music in Orlando is on the rise — virtually every seat in the house was taken — and organizations that promote and foster this kind of music in the area certainly exist. The concert was presented by the Central Florida Composers Forum, and performed by the string quartet from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. With a program made solely of pieces by eight local composers, all in attendance, and the talented quartet from Orlando’s premier orchestra, this was truly a celebration of local talent unlike anything else done before.

Glazer’s piece The Eve of Evil — a dark, yet deeply touching foreboding of the war with the Middle East that followed the September 11 attacks — had the Cirque du Soleil musician join the quartet on trumpet. The augmented ensemble also featured his children Camille and Jean-Marie, on cello and viola, respectively, and wife Élaine Corriveau on piano. The composition includes dissonant passages intermingled with touching triadic bliss. The structure consists of repetition of the main segments, underlining the contrast between them. The composer employs jazz elements, fugal passages and a clear homage to Le Sacre du printemps, toward the end.

“There’s a bit of rock and roll, a bit of Bartók and a lot of chickens,” said Danny McIntyre of his Dance of the Fearless Chickens. The piece was an inviting change of mood, with clucking and rolling from a quartet that seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as the audience.

Full Sail’s Keith Lay presented the still unborn about the dead, for soprano, piano and quartet. Lay’s composition finds beauty in a somber mood and succeeds exceedingly at that. Soprano Julie Batman helped to beat the time while carefully belting the words by Nichita Stanescu, with piano accompaniment by Jamila Tekalli.

Also from Full Sail, composer Tim Stulman introduced his piece Two Tigers, Two Mice and a Strawberry, a saxophone arrangement of which was performed a week prior by the all-saxophone h2 quartet. With his programmatic Tracks of the North Woods, Eric Brook sought to paint a musical picture of an outdoor scene, with thrills along the way.

One of the best pieces featured was Karen Van Duyne’s For Four Strings. The functional simplicity of the title belies the scope of the music and imagination of the lone female composer of the event. The exciting piece, influence by Elliot Carter, strays from conventional harmony and finds peace, order and beauty in an unusual sound world. Each of the four strings has a clearly defined line and plays a role along the piece, with the viola representing a kind of longing or searching for something elusive. It is frequently interrupted by the other instruments, though, and struggles to find serenity until the composition comes to a close.

Thad Anderson’s piece for quartet and electronics Through-Line provided another interesting change of pace. Anderson, from the University of Central Florida, started the pre-recorded track, to which the strings played for the duration of the piece. Flutist Nora Lee Garcia had a difficult part to fulfill, playing over the often loud and dense atmosphere of unison strings and the electronics track. The composer succeeds with this piece in coordinating dynamics and phrasing, to create a flowing soundscape between the acoustic instruments and the waxing and waning track that pulsates beneath them.

The closing piece, titled set fire to have light, brought out the naked acoustic force of the string quartet. As with most of the pieces of the evening, first violinist Rimma Bergeron-Langlois played the main melody line, supported by second violinist Alexander Stevens. Furtive glances from Stevens at the Orlando Philharmonic concertmaster kept the group in sync and tight throughout. On the low register, viola player Mauricio Céspedes and cellist David Bjella rounded off this excellent ensemble. Charles Griffin’s closing piece had them play forte unisons toward the end, closing the concert with an air of triumph.

The Timucua White House is a place like no other in the Central Florida area, and for local aficionados of contemporary art music, it is the place to be. The last few concerts have been captured on video, along with post-event interviews, for an upcoming documentary on Benoit Glazer’s legacy to the music community of Orlando, made possible by dedicated organizations like the Central Florida Composers Forum, The Civic Minded Five and the Accidental Music Festival.

It is unfortunate that this could only be a one-off event, given the potential that this amazing program had and the evident success, at least in terms of attendance and support for local talent. My hope is that this event will not go unnoticed by the well-established classical music organizations in Orlando, as well as by emerging ones; the way to the future is in the music of the present.