Meet the Composers for Celebrating Women Who Compose 2018

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.

Celebrating Women Who Compose 2018

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
8pm
Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts

Tickets are $10.

For more information, please visit cfcomposers.org or email: <octavemaker@gmail.com>.

Video: January 2018 Salon

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

Video: Time Lapse with Alterity Wind Quintet

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!

Program

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

New Woodwind Quintet Music This Sunday

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.

Call for Participation: Fifth Annual Composers Salon

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.

Purpose

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.

Eligibility

Members of CFCF will receive priority for programming. Annual dues are $45 and can be paid on our site.

Application Deadline

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, August 13th. Please email the following information to ericjbrook@gmail.com.

  • 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.

Call for Scores or Scores: Wind Quintet

Overview

The Central Florida Composers Forum is looking for new works for wind quintet to present at the Timucua Arts Foundation white house 15 October 2017.

Specifications

Works must meet the following requirements:

  • Standard wind quintet: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn
  • 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.

Eligibility

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

Deadline: 15 July

Submissions must be made to David MacDonald via email: davidjohnmacdonald@gmail.com. In addition to score and parts (PDF format only), please include the following in the body of your email:

  • title
  • duration
  • brief description of the work (under 150 words)
  • brief composer bio (under 150 words)

Selection

The final program will include around 60 minutes of music. In the event that the submitted 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 rehearsal schedule.

Composers whose works and proposals are selected will be notified as soon after the deadline as possible. Hard copies of the score and parts may be requested by the end of July 2017.

Please email David MacDonald (davidjohnmacdonald@gmail.com) with any questions or concerns.