Program Notes

Friday, October 26, 2012, 1:30 p.m., Recital Hall


Four Grooves, a Concerto for Percussion - Elliott Miles McKinley  (b. 1969)
  1. Marimba Madness
  3. Heavy Metals
Andrew Martin, percussion
Leo Saguiguit, soprano saxophone  Paul Bro, alto saxophone
Samuel Fritz, tenor saxophone  Scotty Stepp, baritone saxophone
Martha Krasnican, piano  Beverley Simms, piano
Roby George, conductor

Trivial Pursuits for Violin and Piano - Martin Kennedy (b. 1978)
Sharilyn Spicknall, violin
Martin Kennedy, piano 

Janani for Saxophone Quartet and Piano - Asha Srinivasan (b. 1980)
Leo Saguiguit, soprano saxophone  Paul Bro, alto saxophone
Samuel Fritz, tenor saxophone  Scotty Stepp, baritone saxophone
Martha Krasnican, piano

Glass Blue Cleft for String Quartet - Max Giteck Duykers (b. 1972)
  2. Blue
ISU Faculty String Quartet
Sharilyn Spicknall, William Davis, violin
Logan Strawn, viola, Kurt Fowler, cello

American Riffs - Rich Campbell (b. 1957)
  1. Variations on a Groove
  2. Funk Fantasia
ISU Faculty Brass Quintet
Rob Waugh, trumpet  Eddie Ludema, trumpet
Brian Kilp, horn  Randy Mitchell, trombone
Glen Dimick, tuba


Four Grooves, a Concerto for Percussion
Elliott Miles McKinley  (b. 1969)

Elliott Miles McKinley’s music has been widely performed. Recent commissions include those from the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Music Society, the SOLI Chamber Music Ensemble, and the Martinů String Quartet. The Minnesota Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, and the Czech Radio Symphony have performed his orchestral works, and his music has been featured on music festivals including the Alba International Music Festival in Italy, and the Ernest Bloch Music Festival in Oregon. Grants and awards include those from BMI, ASCAP, Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, the American Composers Forum, and Indiana University. McKinley is Assistant Professor and Music Program Coordinator at Indiana University East. He holds degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music, the University of Michigan, and the University of Minnesota.
Four Grooves is a concerto for percussion with an orchestra of two pianos and saxophone quartet. In four movements, each explores a different color and dimension of the percussion oeuvre. The first for two-­‐mallet marimba, the second for African percussion set, the third for steel-­‐pan and vibraphone, and the last movement for drumming instruments. The work is dedicated to percussionist Andrew Martin.

Andrew R. Martin, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Music at Inver Hills College, Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota where he teaches courses in music history, music analysis, and directs the African music ensemble and steel drum band. A champion of new music and living composers, Dr. Martin has performed widely throughout the United States and Europe and shared the stage with such ensembles as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Prague Academy Orchestra, and the Slovak Radio Orchestra. Martin’s research areas focus on intersections between American and Caribbean music as well as popular and folk music and musicians during the cold war. Dr. Martin has published widely on the above topics and presented numerous lectures and conference papers throughout the United States, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, and China. His first book Military Might, Melodious Music: The US Navy Steel Band 1957-1999 is forthcoming in Fall 2013.

Trivial Pursuits for Violin and Piano
Martin Kennedy (b. 1978)

Martin Kennedy received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University. He earned his DMA at the Juilliard School, where he studied under Samuel Adler and Milton Babbitt. Kennedy's music has been performed by international orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and the Tuscaloosa Symphony, among others. He is the recipient of a BMI Student Composer Award, the ASCAP Rudolf Nissim Prize, five ASCAP Young Composer Awards, among other prestigious prizes. Kennedy also remains in demand as a pianist and collaborator, having toured with both violinist Lara St. John and serving as a member of both the Indiana University New Music Ensemble and the New Juilliard Ensemble. Kennedy’s music is available on the Centaur, Azica, and Riax labels. He currently serves on the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis and his works are published by the Theodore Presser Company and G. Schirmer Inc.
Trivial Pursuits was written for violinist Lara St. John, who I concertize with regularly. In addition to being a wonderful collaborator, Lara is also one of my dearest friends. We have spent many late nights conversing over the board game Trivial Pursuit (a favorite of ours) and red wine (another favorite of ours). For the uninitiated, Trivial Pursuit involves answering questions with the goal of collecting six 'pie pieces,' each one representing a different area of knowledge. In this same vein, Trivial Pursuits is composed of six unique slices, each different yet tied to a singular motive: a major scale that never resolves. This motive — the musical equivalent of a dog chasing its tail — is truly the most trivial of all pursuits. 

Janani for Saxophone Quartet and Piano
Asha Srinivasan (b. 1980)

As an Indian-American composer, Asha Srinivasan draws from her Western musical training and her Indian heritage to create her compositional language. Her music has been presented at various national and international venues including SEAMUS, ICMC, June in Buffalo, SCI, and the National Flute Convention. Recently, she won the Ruam Samai award at the 2011 Thailand International Composition Festival and she has been selected for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival with Alarm Will Sound. She has also won national commissioning competitions, including the BMI Foundation's Women's Music Commission and the Flute/Cello Commissioning Circle. Other honors include: multiple ASCAPlus Awards, Prix d'Eté prize, and Walsum prize. Graduate studies include: D.M.A. in Composition at University of Maryland, College Park; M.Mus. in Computer Music Composition and Music Theory Pedagogy at the Peabody Conservatory. Ms. Srinivasan is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Lawrence University in Wisconsin. More details at
The word Janani is traditionally used to address the Goddess figure and means life-giver, or mother. This piece is lovingly dedicated to my mother and uses two Indian ragas, or modes, that are indirectly related to her; the first is called Lalitha, her name, and the second is called Ahiri, her favorite raga. The piano opens with a drone-like gesture and the alto sax begins a quiet exploration of the first mode in the alaap-style of Indian music. As the piece progresses, new pitches enter and there is a gradual shift to the second mode with a new tonic. After a pregnant pause, the alto sax begins an exploration of the second mode, though this time with an intense rhythmic energy that is subsequently sustained by the ensemble. Soaring above the rhythmic layers, the soprano sax sings freely while continuously heightening the intensity until all instruments join together for a rousing finale. 

Glass Blue Cleft for String Quartet
Max Giteck Duykers (b. 1972)

Max Giteck Duykers is a composer whose work is dedicated to unusual beauty.  His numerous commissions and premieres include the experimental chamber opera "Apricots of Andujar" by the Jerome Foundation and Birds on a Wire, "Arborescence" by the Avian Orchestra, and “Sette Momenti” by the Le Ville Matte Residency in Sardinia, Italy.  Others include The Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, the Oakland Youth Orchestra, The Seattle Chamber Players, Anti-Social Music, Trio Tara, The Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, HERE Arts Center, PS122, La Mama ETC, and the Stony Brook Department of Theater Arts.  The 2012-13 season will bring collaborations with Fear No Music and Earplay. His "Glass Blue Cleft" was released by the Escher String Quartet on Bridge Records in 2010.  His music has been featured at music festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad, including the Seattle Chamber Players’ Icebreaker IV, curated by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross. He has also been commissioned to compose music for over 35 theatrical, dance, film, and multimedia projects in the New York City area.  He has just earned his PhD at Stony Brook University where he studied with Sheila Silver.  He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Rebecca and two sons, Quinlan and Liev.
Glass Blue Cleft was composed between 2006-2008 and was recorded and released by the Escher String Quartet on Bridge Records in 2010. The piece is in three movements, and I consider it to be a vehicle for the second movement: a long, expansive exploration of contrasts between lush harmonies and angular and emergent gestures and melodies. The piece was chosen as the winner of the Fifth Annual New York Composer’s Circle Competition, and will receive its official world premiere at Symphony Space Thalia in June 2012.

American Riffs 
Rich Campbell (b. 1957)

Rich Campbell's "Coney Island," (for choir) was the winner of awards from both the Manhattan Choral Ensemble and Octarium (of Kansas City); it has been performed by both. "Shelled & "I Know That" were chosen for Philadelphia Opera Theatre's "Art Songs Of The 21st Century" program in March. “Winter Stars” will premiere this spring by the Bismarck Women’s Chamber Ensemble. "Come On In," (brass quintet) was a winner of Washington Composers Forum competition. Recordings: "Variations On A Groove," by Brass Initiative (iTunes); “Home Again,” by Christopher Peacock. Rich is co-songwriter on a Grammy-nominated album by The Triplets; co-composer of "Puppy Love" @ NY's PS 122 & alumnus of NY's New Dramatists Composer/Lyricist Studio.
Both movements of American Riffs are inspired by popular music. "Variations On A Groove" brings the sound of a New Orleans Brass Band to a concert setting. "Funk Fantasia" is inspired by the horn sections of R&B groups in the 1970's. Both pieces manipulate short themes or riffs in various combinations.