Monthly Presentations

Join us for a series of presentations by our members –
Free and open to the public!

 Held (unless otherwise noted) every second Monday in 
Room 219, Lincoln Hall at Portland State University. 
(1620 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97201 – 
Room 219 is just off the SW stairwell’s 2nd floor landing.) 


 Social time ~7:15 PM
First presentation 7:30 PM
Second presentation (if there are two) 8:15 PM

September 16, 2019: Special Presentation on Koto – Mitsuki Dazai-Church
 October 14, 2019 : Timothy O’Brien // Nicholas Yandell
 November 11, 2019 : Mark Vigil // Greg Steinke
December 9, 2019 : Bonnie Miksch // Matthew Andrews
January 13, 2020 : Gershon Wolfe


February 10, 2020 : Alexander LaFollett // Lisa Neher

1st: Alexander La Follett ModeHacks: Harmonic and Developmental Strategies in Heptatonic Modal Composition

At first glance, heptatonic modes, such as the diatonic “church” modes, would appear to be well-known quantities to most musicians who have taken the traditional undergraduate theory sequence. However, these seemingly familiar constructs actually yield a vast array of underexplored (and even unexplored) possibilities, ripe for further investigation.
 As a composer who has traversed this realm extensively for almost two decades—including its surprisingly bizarre outer reaches—I will outline some of my findings, and the “hacks” I’ve used to effectively handle many of the 462 heptatonic modes that can exist within 12-tone equal-temperament (12-TET). Among the topics I will discuss are modal harmonic syntax, the use of non-tertian harmony, mode sums, scale degree behavior, polymodal complexes, and solutions to the alleged “Locrian problem.”
For more information on Alexander, please check out:


2nd: Lisa Neher Social media for composers

In advance of her presentation, Lisa invites Cascadia members who are on Twitter to take part in her colleague, Portland composer Arthur Breuer’s (@arthurbreur) discussion on Sunday February 2 at 6 pm PST. This discussion, called musochat, is a great way to converse on social media with members of the new music community. To join, follow Arthur on Twitter and be on Twitter at the date and time of the chat. Arthur will post questions and you can respond and converse with others.
Social media can be a fantastic tool to communicate with and build your audience and to build connections with performers & ensembles. But it can be hard to know how to get started or what to do with your social media accounts. Lisa Neher is part of an active social media community, and her presence on these platforms has built her visibility, led to commissions and performances of existing work, and nurtured new musical friendships. In this presentation, she will share tips for upping your social media game while being your authentic self. Bring your questions!
For more information on Lisa, please check out:

March 9, 2020 : TBA // Elizabeth Blachly-Dyson
April 13, 2020 : Aszemar Glenn
May 11, 2020 : David Bernstein
June 8, 2020 : Adam Eason


For additional information, contact Liz Nedela. 


As a reminder:
Generally, the doors to Lincoln Hall will be locked EXCEPT for the Broadway Entrance.  Please use the Broadway Entrance.  (If there is another event happening in the building, other doors might be unlocked; in which case we can use any unlocked door.)


The presentations are STREAMED!!!  So, no matter where you live, you can watch! At the time of the presentation, go to the Cascadia Facebook Page: Scroll down past the “Photos,” “Recommendations,” “Videos” (these are older, saved videos), and “Upcoming Events” sections, and you should see the live video. It will say “Cascadia Composers is Live Now” and there will be a red “LIVE” icon at the top left hand corner of the video. Click on the video and it will open it up in a larger window. Be a little patient if you don’t see it right away–sometimes we are letting the presenter get set up and so the video may not begin exactly at 7:30 pm. The order of the sections like “Photos,” “Recommendations,” etc, may look slightly different depending on your computer/phone/browser.