The Catholic University of America

Jan. 11, 2013

New Music Festival Set For Jan. 25-26

New Voices @ CUA, a two-day, four-concert festival of new vocal music, will be presented at The Catholic University of America on Friday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Jan. 26.

The festival highlights the vocal works of 21 composers from the United States and England, including pieces by CUA student composers from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music. The works include sacred music, art and cabaret songs, and chamber music. All of the concerts take place on campus.

Sponsored by CUA’s chapter of the Society of Composers Inc., in partnership with Great Noise Ensemble, the festival is the third one since it was founded in 2010 by music school alumna Sarah Horick (D.M.A., 2012) and Brian Rice, a D.M.A. candidate. The Great Noise Ensemble is the ensemble-in-residence at CUA.

“In 2009, Sarah and I threw around some ideas of what kind of composition festival we wanted,” said Rice. “We felt that a festival of vocal music would showcase CUA's distinctive programs in composition, vocal performance, musical theatre, and sacred music.

“With Great Noise Ensemble and the resources available at CUA, we feel that we offer a unique opportunity to present new works of vocal music and bring composers from around the world to Washington, D.C.,” he said.

Rice said he is amazed at the music submitted to the festival. “The variety of new chamber pieces, and the wonderful instrumental combinations that composers are choosing, is a very exciting trend.”

He added the most intriguing trend is the use of non-traditional sources as vocal text. “For the 2010 Festival, we featured David Brown's "The Writing on the Wall," which used selected snippets of graffiti. This year, the festival features two pieces that use text pulled from the Internet — Yvonne Freckmann's "Nigerian Scam Cycle" uses text from scam e-mails, and Carlos Gamboa's "Ramblings of a Social Network" uses status updates from Facebook as text.”

Tickets are free for CUA students and faculty/staff with ID; $15 general admission; $10 seniors (60 and up) and students with ID; free admission for students 17 and under when accompanied by a ticketed adult; $50 general admission festival pass good for admission to all concerts; and $30 festival pass for seniors and students with ID. Tickets may be purchased online at, or at the door.

Additional information, including profiles of the festival composers, may be found at the above website.

Concert details:
Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m., Opening Night Concert, at Ward Recital Hall, featuring music school musicians

• Erik Abrahamson, "Red Wheelbarrow"
• David Bond, "Child and Flower"
• Megan DiGeorgio, "Three Songs of Shattering"
• Eran Lupu, "Duae Cantiones Sacrae"
• Justus Parrotta, "I Wanted Her to Talk to Me"
• Joseph Taylor, "Ode to Melancholy "
• Matthew Yost, "Corona Divinae Misericordiae"

Jan. 25, 9 p.m., Art and Cabaret Song Concert, Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, Great Room A and B, featuring music school musicians
• Melissa Dunphy, "Tesla's Pigeon"
• Luke Flynn, "Windowsill Rain"
• Yvonne Freckmann, "Nigerian Scam Cycle"
• Carlos Gamboa, "Ramblings of a Social Network"
• Cecilia Livingston, "Parting"
• Mike McFerron, "Two Songs on e.e. cummings"
• Nicolas Omiccioli, "Three Poems of Emily Dickinson"
• Dan Ruccia, Movement "O: Frog, Pond, Plop"

Jan. 26, 1:30 p.m., Sacred Music Concert, St. Vincent de Paul Chapel, featuring music school musicians
• Steven Berryman, "Versa est in luctum"
• Thomas Beverly, "I Pray for Them"
• Lon Chaffin, "Burst into Jubilant Song"
• Ryan Homsey, "Twilight"
• Grace Xu Schott, "Shoshannim"
• Margaret Stoop, "Unspoken Prayer"
• Georgiann Toole, "Advent Triptych"

Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m., Chamber Music Concert, Ward Recital Hall, featuring the Great Noise Ensemble
• Zack Browning, "Song Arirang"
• Paul A. Epstein, "Three Sonnets"
• Amit Gilutz, "The Cat Saved My Life"
• Jessica Rudman, "Pictures of the Floating World"
• Geoff Sheil, "The Enormous Room"
• Stephen Yip, "Autumn Colors"



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