Cascadia Composers Hosts First Ever Virtual NACUSA Conference!
April 17 — May 2, 2021
Cascadia Composers, the Northwest chapter of the National Association of Composers USA (NACUSA), in partnership with Lewis & Clark College, will host NACUSA’s biennial conference as a virtual experience with all events held online for the very first time in the organization’s 87 year history. The conference is open to the public and offers abundant opportunities to experience the hottest trends and most captivating techniques in modern classical music through six days of concerts and presentations.
All events are free (donations encouraged) and available in the links below.
The conference features performances from a host of local ensembles including Friends of Rain, The Evergreen Experimental Music Ensemble, Pacific University Chamber Singers, and members of the Portland Percussion Group, in addition to renowned music organizations from across the country, including Duo Stephanie and Saar, The Crossing, American Wild Ensemble, Sam Houston State University Symphony Orchestra, Texas Christian University Concert Chorale, and members of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and members of Ensemble Dal Niente. Performances showcase the music of over a dozen local composers, plus over two dozen more composers from around the country. The variety of programs, ensembles and composers provides an engaging cross-section of relevant thematic content, appealing to both avid new music fans and occasional concert-goers.
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2021 NACUSA Conference Schedule: April 17 — May 2, 2021
All concerts will be livestreamed and viewable afterwards on the Cascadia Composers Youtube Channel. Click on individual concerts below to see the concert programs and to watch the livestreams.
Cutting-edge works by student composers from Lewis & Clark College, Portland State University and The Evergreen State College, culminating in a performance of Violin Sonata No. 1 by 2019 NACUSA Young Composers’ Competition winner Zach Gulaboff Davis. Featuring local musicians including The Evergreen Experimental Music Ensemble.
Chamber music by members of Cascadia Composers up and down the West Coast, from Bellingham, WA to the Los Angeles area, including composers in Portland, Forest Grove, Lake Oswego, Vancouver and Eugene. The concert features performances from Friends of Rain, Lewis & Clark College’s new music ensemble, with varying subgroups of the college’s music faculty.
Last December 17th was the 250th anniversary of the birth of über-classic composer Ludwig van Beethoven, an occasion for celebration around the world wherever European classical music is enjoyed. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cascadia Composers was unable to present its planned celebratory concert live in March of 2020, so we’re doing the next best thing, a year later. Along the way we’ve added two works, including a World Premiere, from the festspiel March Music Moderne VII: BTHVN 2020 which was also postponed. Featuring the incredible Duo Stephanie and Saar performing Beethoven’s own four-hand arrangement of his Große Fuge, and more!
Spring is a time of mercurial moods and itchy feet. NACUSA celebrates with this collection of members’ music composed, performed and recorded all around the USA. Featuring The Crossing, Sam Houston State University Symphony Orchestra, Texas Christian University Concert Chorale, Pacific University Chamber Singers, American Wild Ensemble, and members of the Portland Percussion Group and members of Ensemble Dal Niente.
A one-hour, high-voltage concert of electronic, electroacoustic and media-only music from NACUSA members all across the USA. Features three delightfully absorbing videos, colorful and mesmerizing by turns.
A celebration of acoustic chamber music from NACUSA members all across the USA, performed by Friends of Rain, members of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and local musicians.
All presentations are via Zoom at the designated date and time, 90 minutes before the concerts, and will be followed by live Q&A with the presenter. Click on the Zoom link at the time of the presentation to watch.
Zoom Meeting ID: 541 418 1182
Saturday, April 17th at 3:30 PM PDT
Dr. Greg A Steinke: Music and the Poetry of Austin Kleon
A presentation on musical compositions that utilize the “blackout” poetry of Austin Kleon and reflect the poet’s (and the composer’s) perceptions of the current world milieu. Presenter will share thoughts and ideas about working/interacting with the poetry with short excerpts from several works.
Sunday, April 18th at 3:30 PM PDT
Dr. Lisa Neher: Effective Text Setting = Happy Singers!
Effective vocal writing requires attention to text setting. Learn tools to make your vocal music sing beautifully, rehearse easily, and be understood by listeners. Bring your questions!
Saturday, April 24th at 3:30 PM PDT
Dr. Greg A Steinke: Music and the Poetry of Lawson Fusao Inada
A presentation on an array of musical compositions that utilize the poetry of Lawson Fusao Inada [fifth poet laureate of the state of Oregon], and reflect the poet’s (and the composer’s) perceptions of the Japanese Internment Camp experience. Presenter will share thoughts and ideas about working/interacting with the poetry, with short excerpts from several works.
Sunday, April 25th at 3:30 PM PDT
Jeff Morris: Songs and Sandwiches – Student Vocabulary Reveals How Everyday Tools Manipulate Artistic Thought
An opportunity to reflect on how modern culture has significantly limited our default exposure to the world of music’s potential, how music can and does fit into our culture, and how general-purpose [software] tools can shape culture significantly, even if unintentionally. “I tell students: A song isn’t the only kind of music, just like a sandwich isn’t the only kind of food.”
Saturday, May 1st at 3:30 PM PDT
Nicholas Yandell: Composing Trauma
Yandell explores how art can help individuals express, comprehend, and confront trauma, whether as composers, performers, or listeners.
Sunday, May 2nd at 3:30 PM PDT
Ben Kapp: Acoustic Ideas and the Development of Musical Structure
Kapp offers an analysis of his compositional process for the piece Chromatic Limb, written, and rewritten, for various groups of ever changing instrumentation, and ultimately two acoustic guitars… What is of compositional interest in a process such as this? What structures result? Is it music?
There’s no charge to view concerts or presentations, but your donation helps us create events like this.