(click the date above to view this concert on YouTube)
Program selected and performed by Dawn Padula (mezzo-soprano) and Jessica Hall (piano):
Moon, Dog, Heart by Jonathan Newmark
Moon, Water, Sun by Victoria Malawey
Program selected and performed by Isaac Bray (baritone) and Laura Artesani (piano):
Everything the Power of the World Does Is Done in a Circle by Jonathan Newmark
Curling Water by Sierra Wojtczack
So Many Battles Are Accidental by Evgeniya Kozhenikova
Primer by Nathan Froebe
Program selected by the 2023 SCI Online National Conference Adjudication Committee
(Melissa D’Albora, Han Hitchen, Joshua Mallard, Robert McClure, TJ Milne, Selena Ryan, and Andrew Martin Smith):
Life consists of boredom interrupted Occasionally by panic by Amelia S. Kaplan
Taxonomies of Pulse by Benjamin Krause
Freestyle Battle by Jiyoun Chung
Guest Performer Bios:
Mezzo-soprano DAWN PADULA is a versatile performer of opera, oratorio, art song, jazz, and musical theatre. Principal opera roles include Carmen in Carmen (Kitsap Opera, Bremerton, WA), the Witch in Hansel and Gretel (The Living Opera, Dallas, TX), Loma Williams in Cold Sassy Tree, Maddalena in Rigoletto (Amarillo Opera, Concert Opera of Seattle, Lyric Opera Northwest), Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Meg in Falstaff, Mercedes in Carmen, Dangeville in Adriana Lecouvreur, and The Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte (Opera in the Heights, Houston, TX), Vera in Gene Murray’s The Wage of Sin (Amarillo Opera—recorded for educational television), Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, Erika in Vanessa,and Marchesa Melibea in Il Viaggio a Reims (Moores Opera Center), Ragonde in Le Comte Ory (Manhattan School of Music Opera Theatre), and the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas (Ars Lyrica Houston/Houston Chamber Choir). The Newport Classics label has released her performance as Bellino in Dominick Argento’s Casanova’s Homecoming with the Moores Opera Center. Dr. Padula also created the role of Hagga for the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ The Thirteen Clocks for the Moores Opera Center (also recorded for commercial release). For the Houston Grand Opera, Dr. Padula sang the role of Sappho in a reading and recording session of Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata, as well as participating in a recording of scenes from Daniel Catan’s Salsipuedes, for their New Music Week. In the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Padula has performed the role of Ruth in Tacoma Opera’s The Pirates of Penzance (she was also cast to portray the Queen of the Fairies in their 2020 cancelled production of Iolanthe), the role of Martha in Opera Pacifica’s Faust, Maddalena in Rigoletto with the Concert Opera of Seattle and Lyric Opera Northwest, and title role of Carmen in Kitsap Opera’s 2015 production. She made her debut with Puget Sound Concert Opera as Azucena in Il Trovatore in 2018, and will perform the role of Dame Quickly in Falstaff with the company in 2022. With the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society, she has performed the roles of Lady Jane in Patience (2018 Gregory Award People’s Choice Nominee), Lady Blanche in Princess Ida, and the Usher in Trial By Jury. She is a Supplementary Chorister with Seattle Opera, and has also been on their Teaching Artist roster.
Her concert repertoire includes solo work in Durufle’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Israel in Egypt, and Judas Maccabeus, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem, Solemn Vespers, Mass in C-Minor, and Coronation Mass, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Pergolesi’s
Stabat Mater, Debussy’s La Damoiselle Elue, Bernstein’s Chicester Psalms, Copland’s In the Beginning, and Haydn’s Mass in the Time of War. She has appeared as a soloist with several leading performance organizations, including the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Masterworks Chorus, the Oregon Symphony, the Seattle Bach Choir, the Houston Chamber Choir, the Alamo City Men’s Chorale, the Sons of Orpheus Men’s Ensemble, CANTARE Houston, Mercury Baroque, the Woodlands Symphony Orchestra, the Men’s Consort of Houston, the Symphony North of Houston, the Black Note Ensemble, the Bay Area Chorus, and the Foundation for Modern Music. With Ars Lyrica Houston, she portrayed the roles of both Tempo and Disinganno in the American premiere of the 1737 version of Handel’s oratorio, Il Trionfo del Tempo é delle Veritá, the role of Phoebus in Bach’s BWV 201, a soloist in Jacquet de la Guerre’s Jepthe, as well as the title role of Cain in Alessandro Scarlatti’s Il Primo Omicidio Overo. She performed as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Penderecki’s Credo with the Houston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Jahja Ling of the San Diego Symphony. In the spring of 2010, she performed as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem in Cleveland’s famed Severance Hall to commemorate Kent State University’s Centennial Celebration. In the Pacific Northwest, she has given solo performances for the Classical Tuesdays of Old Town organization, as well as for the Second City Chamber Series. She has also recently performed with Gonzaga University Choruses, the Tacoma Concert Band, and is a current performing member of the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle. In summer 2017, she appeared with members of the Puget Sound School of Music Adelphian Concert Choir, the Portland Symphonic Choir, the Tuscon Masterworks Chorale, the West Liberty University Singers, the West Liberty College Community Chorus, and the Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem in both Varna and Sofia, Bulgaria. Her debut album, Gracious Moonlight, was released in August 2017 on iTunes, Amazon Music, CD Baby and Spotify, among others, and features From the Diary of Virginia Woolf by Dominick Argento and two song-cycles by Robert Hutchinson: The House of Life and Two Songs From the Poetry of H.D.
As a jazz soloist, she has performed at Pacific Lutheran University’s Jazz Under the Stars summer series, and the Puget Sound School of Music Jacobsen series. Musical theatre roles include portraying several characters in Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits (Lakewood Playhouse), Domina in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Lakewood Playhouse), Jack’s Mother in Into the Woods (Trinity University), woman 3 in ‘And the World Goes ‘Round (Manhattan School of Music Musical Theatre), and Amalia Balash in She Loves Me (Trinity University).
Dr. Padula joined the University of Puget Sound School of Music faculty in 2009 as Director of Vocal Studies after having taught at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. She completed both a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication at Trinity University, a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Houston Moores School of Music, where she focused in her dissertation on teaching tenor and baritone voices, particularly regarding instruction in registration negotiation and passaggio. She has presented her dissertation research in lecture, workshop, and poster format at The Voice Foundation (Philadelphia, PA), The Art & Science of the Performing Voice Symposium (Seattle, WA), and at the National Association of Teachers of Singing conference (Nashville, TN).
ISAAC BRAY has performed with musical organizations throughout the United States. Recent performances include the bass soloist for the Mozart Mass in C Minor with the Abilene Christian University A Cappella Chorus, the role of Marcello in La Bohème with the Bar Harbor Music Festival, and the role of Uncle Henry in a studio recording of The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County with Boston Modern Orchestra Project. In the past few seasons, he has performed the role of Jesus in Bach’s Matthäus-Passion with the Bagaduce Chorale, as the bass soloist in the Bach Magnificat with the Acadia Choral Society, as the baritone soloist in the Rutter Gloria with The Bagaduce Chorale, the bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the University of Maine Singers, the baritone soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs with the University of Maine Orchestra, and as the baritone soloist in Belshazzar’s Feast with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.
On the opera stage, Bray has performed the roles of roles of Dancairo in Carmen with Opera San Antonio, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Grand Rapids, Will Parker in Oklahoma with Charlottesville Opera, Morales/Dancairo in Carmen with Venture Opera, and Gregorio in Romèo et Juliette with Opera Grand Rapids. For the 2014/15 season, Bray was a member of the Florida Grand Opera Young Artist Studio where he performed the roles of Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Assan in The Consul, and The Official Registrar in Madama Butterfly.
Mr. Bray is a graduate of the prestigious Boston University Opera Institute. Roles performed with B.U. include the title role in Don Giovanni, Riolobo in Florencia en el Amazonas, the title role in Owen Wingrave, Barone Douphol in La Traviata and Des Grieux in Le portrait de Manon. For consecutive summers in 2013 and 2014, Bray was a Bonfils-Stanton apprentice artist with Central City Opera where he sang the role of Sam in Trouble in Tahiti and Sam in Ned Rorem’s Our Town, as well as covering the roles of Joseph De Rocher in Dead Man Walking, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Ravenal in Show Boat. In 2013, Mr. Bray made his Boston Lyric Opera debut singing the roles of the 2nd Priest and 2nd Man in Armor in a new English translation of The Magic Flute. Mr. Bray received his Masters’ degree from The Boston Conservatory where he sang the title role in Don Giovanni, Ramiro in L’heure espagnole, L’horloge comtoise in L’enfant et les sortilèges, the Father in Hansel and Gretel, and Ko-Ko in The Mikado. He received his Bachelors’ degree in Music Education from Abilene Christian University. While at A.C.U., he performed the roles of Pandolfe in Cendrillon, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, and Betto in Gianni Schicchi.
In 2011, Bray was chosen to help represent The Boston Conservatory in a new opera works sampler performance at the National Opera America Conference, and in the summer of 2011 he performed the role of Rambaldo in La Rondine for the Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance Program in New York City. Bray was also an apprentice artist at the Natchez Festival of Music in 2010. Professional awards include the McGlone Opera Guild Award, and the Central City Opera Young Artist overall award. In addition to his performing schedule, Mr. Bray is on the music faculty at the University of Maine, where he teaches voice. He also serves as the treasurer for the Maine Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Composer Bios and Program Notes:
Composer Jonathan Newmark, born New York City in 1953, pianist, violist, and conductor, received his MM in composition from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2015. His teachers have included Joel Hoffman, Douglas Knehans, and Michael Fiday, at CCM, as well as Jonathan Kolm, Gloria Wilson Swisher, and James McVoy. He has participated at the Chamber Music Conference at Bennington, VT since 1981 and worked there with composers Allen Shawn, Martin Bresnick, Daniel Strong Godfrey, Kurt Rohde, Paul Moravec, Chen Yi, Pierre Jalbert, Jesse Jones, and Ted Hearne. His works have premiered at the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, Charlotte New Music Festival, Connecticut Summerfest, nief-norf summer festival, and Walden School’s Creative Musiciansâ€™ Retreat. His bass clarinet trio Secret Atop the Bluff won the Juventas New Music score competition at the Boston New Music Festival in 2017. A CD of four chamber works was released in 2009 on the Music Unlimited label. His string quartet appears on a 2019 CD by the Altius Quartet; his piano sonata appears on a 2019 CD by British pianist Martin Jones. His chamber opera Haber’s Law received its workshop premiere at the Operation Opera festival in Spokane, Washington in 2022. His works are published by TrevCo Varner and WaveFront Music.
A 1974 graduate of Harvard College, he earned his MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1978. He is a board-certified neurologist, staff neurologist at the Washington DC VA Medical Center, full professor of neurology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, retired Colonel, US Army Medical Corps, former Chemical Casualty Care Consultant to the Army Surgeon General, consultant to the National Institutes of Health, and one of the nation’s leading authorities on medical response to chemical warfare and terrorism. In 2022 he was appointed by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin to a second four-year term on the Secure and Resilient Commonwealth Panel of Virginia. He lives in Burke, Virginia.
Moon, Dog, Heart is a setting of a text by the Minnesota poet Athena Kildegaard. We were paired at the (Art) Song Lab festival in 2019 at Vancouver, British Columbia. Since we discovered that we both spent much time on rivers – Athena grew up on the Minnesota River, while I’m an oarsman – crossing a river became the theme of the text. It was my suggestion to repeat one of the verses in a language other than English. The piece was premiered at (Art) Song Lab by contralto Lynne McMurtry and pianist Alison D’Amato.
Everything the Power of the World Does Is Done in a Circle, a setting of a passage from the writings of the Lakota Sioux wise man, Black Elk, was written in 1999. At the Bennington Chamber Music Conference, composer Allen Shawn challenged me to write something, with a 24 hour deadline, for my own vocal range; “if you write something you can sing, I’ll accompany you.” I attempted to replicate some of Black Elk’s words with musical devices, always coming back to rest on the second scale degree. I’m a far better pianist than singer, so the piano part, which I’ve subsequently performed, is much more interesting and difficult than the vocal line. The piece received its premiere around 2001 on a concert of the Baltimore Composers Forum, sung by tenor Daniel Snyder of the US Army Chorus, with me accompanying.
Victoria Malawey is a composer, singer-songwriter, and scholar based in the Twin Cities and Professor of Music at Macalester College. Driven by the belief that art makes the world a better place, Malawey strives to create music that soothes and heals, provides catharsis from pain, and articulates the ineffable aspects of the human condition. Malawey’s choral piece On Dark Earth won the Uncommon Music Festival 2020 Composer Competition and was named top finalist for the 2019 Voices 21C Call-for-Scores, and her song cycle Chansons Innocentes won the 2017 International Alliance of Women in Music Patsy Lu Prize. Recent commissions include pieces for MPLS (imPulse), the Thirsty Ears Audio Tour, the Sound of Silent Film, the William Ferris Chorale, Open House Chicago, the Black Cedar Trio, and the ARK Trio. Malawey has completed artist residencies at Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, and Willapa Bay AiR. Malawey has published scholarly essays on song analysis, voice, and popular music. Her monograph titled A Blaze of Light in Every Word: Analyzing the Popular Singing Voice won the Outstanding Publication Award given by the Society for Music Theory’s Popular Music Interest Group in 2021. More at victoriamalawey.com.
I wrote this song cycle, a setting of poems by Emily Dickinson, while participating in a monthlong artist residency in the Pacific Northwest, on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington state.
My setting of poem 737, which I have titled “Moon,” has Dickinson’s customary regular rhyme scheme and length, which I decided simply to lean into, and thus the setting hearkens back to some aspects of Romantic lieder, including use of strophic form for the first four stanzas, and traces of chromatic tonality.
The setting of poem 135, titled “Water,” was the first piece I wrote during my residency. Bodies of water were frontmost in my mind, as I spent time by the sea, the ocean’s waves a constant aural and visual force. With this in mind, the poem caught my eye, as it begins with the word “water,” and its simple yet elegant sentiment making the observation that we do not appreciate what we have until we experience its opposite drew me in. The musical setting itself is likewise rather simple, with textural consistency, mimicking the steady waves of the Pacific Ocean, and directness in melodic and rhythmic construction, reflecting the straightforwardness of the poem’s message.
I was drawn to the colorful, evocative imagery of poem 469, which traces the course of the sun. My setting of the poem, titled “Sun,” is through-composed, reflecting one cycle of the earth’s rotation, and uses harmonies that to me reflect the colors in Dickinson’s poem and changing states of the earth in relation to the sun.
Sierra Wojtczack (pronounced Voy-check) is a composer from Long Island, New York. Her music is often described as playful, inquisitive, and whimsical. She has worked with musicians including the Splice Ensemble, the Mivos Quartet, Nia Franklin, and Holly Mulcahy. Her acoustic and electronic works have been performed at a variety of festivals and conferences including SPLICE Institute, Tennessee Valley Music Festival, She Scores Concert Series, Art Song Lab, and the Society of Composers Inc. Region II Conference. In the summer of 2023, she is looking forward to a performance of her video game-themed micro-opera “Hero’s Awakening” with the Four Corners Ensemble.
Sierra holds degrees in music composition from Bowling Green State University and SUNY Fredonia. Primary teachers include Elainie Lillios, Christopher Dietz, Marilyn Shrude, Jamie Leigh Sampson, Andrew Martin Smith, and Paul Coleman. She will begin doctoral studies in composition starting in the summer of 2023.
Curling Water was written for (Art) Song Lab 2020. The program pairs composers and poets to collaborate with each other to create a new art song. I was paired with Canadian poet T.W. Evans, whose poems are witty and vivid in imagery. We bonded over our interest in nature, in particular, the presence of water in our lives. The resulting text depicts images of bodies of water and their surroundings.
Nathan Froebe (b.1983) is a composer, conductor, and music educator. Having written for band, chorus, orchestra, chamber settings, and electronic media, his works have been performed both nationally and internationally, and frequently appear as favorites in the Midwest. Additionally, his works have been featured at a number of festivals and conferences, including the North American Saxophone Alliance, the International Tuba-Euphonium Association, the National Flute Association, the International Trombone Festival, and the Society of Composers, Inc. Froebe’s works often focus on narrative design and gestural presentation, utilizing a harmonic palette that ranges from thorny chromaticism to exuberant lyricism. A proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, he recently collaborated with saxophonist Nick May to create Array, a work for soprano saxophone that artistically depicts the colors and concepts of the Progress Pride Flag. His works have also been featured in Brazil at the Sao Paulo Contemporary Composers Festival (Feverish), as well as with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra (South Bend, IN) where his orchestral work Renascent was chosen for the Crossroads of America competition. Froebe received his DMA in Composition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Mead Witter School of Music with a minor in Wind Conducting, and he is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Indiana University East where he teaches theory, composition, aural skill, piano, band, and more. He holds memberships in ASCAP, SCI, CMS, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Kappa Kappa Psi (honorary), and publishes under his own imprint, Sonority Music Press, at nathanfroebe.com.
“Primer” wrestles with the idea of cherishing moments that are intimately impactful while also grappling with those moments immediately passing in time. To musically represent this, the vocal lines are very straightforward, rocking back-and-forth frequently on minor seconds to create a close and wistful atmosphere. Harmonically, the work is built entirely from a pre-determined series of different-flavored seventh chords, cycling continuously.
The text for this work uses the poem “Primer” by Brian Brodeur; this text has been used with the author’s permission. The voice setting is open for any and all gender expressions.
Amelia Kaplan is a composer whose music reflects the riotous mix of sounds and cultures cohabiting in an increasingly fragmented world. She creates meaning by juxtaposing, filtering, and recontextualizing gestures both ordinary and extraordinary. In recent years her music has mostly responded to the ecological and political crises besetting our warming planet, which we, as humans, seem to have no will to prevent.
A recent recipient of a Copland House residency, Ms. Kaplan’s works have been performed around the world, including at Mise-En, Thailand New Music Festival, SCI, SICPP, IAWM, Wellesley Composers Conference, Gaudeamus, Darmstadt, and others. Recordings are available on Albany, Ablaze, Centaur, and Navona Records, and several compositions are published by TrevCo Music.
Ms. Kaplan holds a PhD from the University of Chicago and an AB from Princeton University. She heads the Theory & Composition Area at Ball State University where she also directs the New Music Ensemble.
The history of life on planet earth can be divided into epochs that are delineated by mass extinction events, where a mass extinction is defined as a sudden and massive loss of life on a global scale. There were five extinction events over the past 550 million years (the duration of life on the planet so far), and we are currently in the middle of a sixth. In discussing the concept of mass extinctions from the perspective of the victims, paleontologist David Raup has said “Species are at low risk of extinction most of the time. But this condition of relative safety is punctuated at rare intervals by a vastly higher risk.” We can thus characterize the history of life as consisting of “long periods of boredom interrupted occasionally by panic.”* This work is one of a series based on each of the six epochs delineated by mass extinction events. This particular one is based on the Silurian and Devonian periods, which ended with the Permian extinction.
*Kolbert, Elizabeth. The Sixth Extinction: an unnatural history. Picador, 2014.
Composer and pianist Benjamin Krause is a recipient of a Copland House Residency Award, the Houston Symphony Emerging Composer Award, and a Presser Foundation Award, among other honors. His music has been performed by the Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Atlanta Chamber Players. As a pianist, he performs music ranging from the traditional classical repertoire to contemporary art music and jazz, appearing frequently with Christina Giuca Krause as the piano duo 4×5. He currently resides in Holland, Michigan and is on the music faculty of Hope College.
Taxonomies of Pulse explores various pulse and metric levels while treating the two pianos as interlocking percussion instruments. It is an energetic, pulsating work that cycles through a variety of lively textures, always with an emphasis on groove. The middle section of the piece becomes a bit more lighthearted, featuring call-and-response interplay between the two players as they navigate an array of changing time signatures, syncopated pulses, and dense, cluster-like sonorities. The driving energy of the piece gradually reaches a boiling point, finally bubbling over and then subsiding into an ending of repose. In keeping with the percussive nature of the music, the players are often asked to play inside the piano—to mute, pluck, or even strum the strings—providing additional layers of timbre and color.
The work of composer and pianist Jiyoun Chung (b. 1982, South Korea) has received many distinctions and awards and is often heard in festivals and concerts in Asia, Europe, and the United States. Her current interest in composition lies in encompassing various cultural influences into her works. Her own identity as a Korean immigrant plays a big factor in her music making. Having two different cultural perspectives as she has enculturated into the United States allows her to see one culture as an abundant source of creations from the point of view of the other. Thus, embracing both in the compositional process comes naturally to her, however,Chung’s works are not limited to the fusion of Korean and concert music. While the wealth ofinspiration derives from the East Asian culture, other inspiration comes from various musical portraits and genres such as contemporary concert music, K-pop, jazz, musical theater, hip-hop,street music, and world traditional music. Languages, structures, timbres, and vocabularies from those different musical arts have expanded her musical palette, which helps to speak to a broad range of audiences.
Jiyoun Chung received her BM in Composition from Hanyang University in South Korea. She earned her MM in Composition and in Piano Performance from Illinois State University, studying with Carl Schimmel and Martha Horst. She received her DMA in composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she studied with Chen Yi, Zhou Long, and James Mobberley. Currently she is an Assistant Professor of Music at Central Washington University.
I wrote Freestyle Battle for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano, after I watched a B-boy dance battle in 2021. I found what b-boys do is very similar to what we do in chamber music, which fascinated me. They play with different textures like unison, solo, homophony, and polyphony, they have a canon, improvisation, cadenza, techniques, and artistry. Everything seen and heard in chamber music was there. So, I studied their movements a little deeper, then started writing this piece, musically depicting and re-interpreting their movements such as toprock, downrock, power moves, and freeze. Throughout the piece, the listeners will hear the musical reinterpretation and reimagination of the movements of breakdancing.