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"When music speaks and moves:
An interdisciplinary concert"

February 24, 2022

6:00pm Mead Witter Concert Hall


Reciter: Sahada Buckley

The school of Dreams by AE Stallings

PIPER OF DREAMS (oboe solo)

Dancer: Chloe Elizabeth Druckery

Musician: Connor Feyen


Coherence in Consequence by Claudia Rankine


Dancer: Chloe Elizabeth Druckery

Musicians: Jyothsna Musunur, Lina Yoo Min Lee



Eden by David Woo

PATHS (Mishi)

Dancer: Katie Soldatke

Musician: Nick Hill


Your Village by Elana Bell


Dancer: Cecilia Meg Monroy

Musicians: Gretchen Hill, Will Preston


Won't You Be My Sister by Amanda Gorman


Dancer: Maya Topin

Musician: Maddie Leischner


Poem: Human Family by Maya Angelou (final)


Dancer: Caitriona Louise Quirk

Musician: Alice Alford, Changyue Liu

Ruth Gipps




Florence Price


Toru Takemitsu




James Lee III

Adolphus Hailstork


Valerie Coleman

Anchor 1
Anchor 2

About Composers

Performance Order

Ruth Gipps

Ruth Gipps (1921-1999) is one of Britain’s best composers, and in recognition of her work as a composer, conductor, pianist, oboist, orchestra founder and teacher. She was awarded an MBE in 1999. 

When faced with Ruth Gipps as a student, Sir Hugh Allen, the director of the Royal College of Music, declared that she ‘will go far because she is obstinate. She is damned obstinate!’ Allen’s assessment proved correct. She was indeed an ambitious, determined and uncompromising woman. Those who knew her found her difficult and stubborn, yet without these personality traits Gipps might never have become the figure she did, with multiple successful careers as a composer, conductor, pianist and oboist. 


Florence Price

Florence Beatrice (Smith) Price (1887-1953) became the first black female composer to have a symphony performed by a major American orchestra when Music Director Frederick Stock and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra played the world premiere of her Symphony No. 1 in E minor on June 15, 1933, on one of four concerts presented at The Auditorium Theatre from June 14 through June 17 during Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition. The historic June 15th concert entitled “The Negro in Music” also included works by Harry T. Burleigh, Roland Hayes, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and John Alden Carpenter performed by Margaret A. Bonds, pianist and tenor Roland Hayes with the orchestra. Florence Price’s symphony had come to the attention of Stock when it won first prize in the prestigious Wanamaker Competition held the previous year. 


Toru Takemitsu

Toru Takemitsu (1931-1996) was a self-taught Japanese composer who combined elements of Eastern and Western music and philosophy to create a unique sound world. Some of his early influences were the sonorities of Debussy, and Messiaen's use of nature imagery and modal scales. There is a certain influence of Webern in Takemitsu's use of silence, and Cage in his compositional philosophy, but his overall style is uniquely his own. Takemitsu believed in music as a means of ordering or contextualizing everyday sound in order to make it meaningful or comprehensible. His philosophy of "sound as life" lay behind his incorporation of natural sounds, as well as his desire to juxtapose and reconcile opposing elements such as Orient and Occident, sound and silence, and tradition and innovation. From the beginning, Takemitsu wrote highly experimental music involving improvisation, graphic notation, unusual combinations of instruments and recorded sounds. The result is music of great beauty and originality. It is usually slowly paced and quiet, but also capable of great intensity. The variety, quantity and consistency of Takemitsu's output are remarkable considering that he never worked within any kind of conventional framework or genre.  


James Lee III

James Lee III, born 1975 in St. Joseph, Michigan cites as his major composition teachers Michael Daugherty, William Bolcom, Bright Sheng, Betsy Jolas, Susan Botti, Erik Santos and James Aikman. He graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan in 2005. As a composition fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in the summer of 2002, he added Osvaldo Golijov, Michael Gandolfi, Steven Mackey and Kaija Saariaho to his roster of teachers, and studied conducting with Stefan Asbury. 


Adolphus Hailstork

Adolphus Hailstork (b.1941) is an American composer and educator from upstate New York. He earned his PhD in composition from Michigan State University, where he later taught before teaching at Youngstown State University. He was the composer-inresidence at Norfolk State University before becoming a professor of music and composer-in-residence at Old Dominion University, a position he holds today. In his compositions, he frequently blends African American and European musical traditions.

Valerie Coleman

Valerie Coleman (b.1970) is an American composer and flutist as well as the creator of the wind quintet, Imani Winds. She was named Performance Today's 2020 Classical Woman of the year and was listed as one of the “Top 35 female composers in classical music” in the Washington Post. Coleman is committed to arts education, and chamber music advocacy. She recently joined the Mannes School of Music Flute and Composition faculty in Fall 2021. Prior to that she served on the faculty at The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. Coleman’s music infuses Contemporary orchestration, with jazz and Afro-Cuban traditions. 

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