April 2023 – Signs of winter are beginning to abate in Toronto as the snow melts to reveal the grey and green hues of the city. It has been another busy and productive few months with some exciting projects, performances, and news to announce.
Colorado Wind Ensemble Artist-in-Residence
I am excited to announce that I will be the Artist-in-Residence with the Colorado Wind Ensemble during their 2023 – 24 season as the winner of their Inclusive Repertoire Award 2023! I will be coaching composition students at the Metropolitan State University of Denver and be in attendance for the US premiere of Centennial Fanfare which was the awarded work.
Esprit Orchestra New Wave Festival
Having been delayed by the pandemic, Toronto’s Esprit Orchestra New Wave Festival is back and I am thrilled to be included as part of their lineup in April! The orchestra under director Alex Pauk premieres Mobilize – one of two commissioned pieces by the Esprit Orchestra supported by the Ontario Arts Council – at the newly opened TD Music Hall in downtown Toronto. The festival promises to be an exciting amalgamation of works by new and established composers – more information can be found on writeups on La Scena Musicale and Ludwig-van Toronto.
Soon after the premiere, Mobilize will receive a second performance under the direction of Gemma New and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.
Canadian Art Song Project Commission
Another exciting project is a new song cycle for bass voice and piano commissioned by the Canadian Art Song Project. Coming on the heels of Clouds are the Language of the Sky commissioned by Jialiang Zhu, I will be writing a a set of songs for resident artist at the Atelier Lyrique at l’Opéra de Montréal, Matthew Li. I am incredibly grateful for the support of Steven Philcox and Lawrence Wiliford for their encouragement and commitment to Canadian composers. Expect more updates in 2024!
Shanghai International Digital Music Festival
In November 2022, I was selected as one of the 15 composers from a global pool of over 300 to participate in the 2nd annual Shanghai International Digital Music Festival. The festival, initiated by the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, invited composers to compose music to video game excerpts. My resulting work was premiered by the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra at the Shangyin Opera House in March. Video and audio to come!
Chorus Austin Composers Competition
I am pleased to announce that my SATB choral work I Wait was awarded an honorable mention in the 2023 Chorus Austin’s Open Division Composer Competition. The piece was previously read by the Vancouver Chamber Choir and won the Cantabile Choir of Kingston’s BIPOC Song Competition in 2022.
Opera Contempo Call for Scores
Salt Lake City based Opera Contempo will take The Finding across the border for its US premiere this May. Originally written for the Vancouver International Song Institute in collaboration with poet Meharoona Ghani, the song was selected from a competitive call for scores and will be sung by soprano Julia Gershkoff at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on May 6. Tickets and info here!
In Memoriam: Jocelyn Morlock
The Canadian composition world was in shock in light of the recent news of composer Jocelyn Morlock‘s passing. She was a beacon of light in a dark world and was a friend and supporter of many. I was privileged to receive her mentorship when I was at UBC and remember fondly the kind words she offered on a piece I had recently written. After leaving UBC, she continued to reach out, sometimes with questions from other young composers that she was mentoring who were looking for advice. She was a connector of people and will be remembered as a generous spirit who never turned anyone away when help was needed. My thoughts are with her family and friends as they mourn her untimely passing.