School of Music

April 14 Portland Debut of USM Composer's Ensemble

Composers EnsembleOn Sunday, April 14 at 7 p.m, the USM Composers Ensemble will make their Portland debut on the Back Cove Festival of Contemporary Music at the Portland Conservatory. The three-day festival includes five concerts featuring new music by many of the areas professional composers, including students and faculty of USM.


Also watch for the Composers Ensemble upcoming concert in Corthell Concert Concert Hall in Gorham on Friday, April 19 at 8 p.m.

The Composers Ensemble is an interesting group, directed by Daniel Sonenberg, made up of rather unique instrumentation that varies each semester depending on who signs up for the class. Each member is a performer, and about half of the members compose as well, each writing for the full ensemble, culminating in a full evening performance of new music at the end of each semester.  Gaining in popularity, these ambassadors of contemporary music are quickly becoming something to talk about.

In this performance, the ensemble will perform pieces by Bachelor of Music performance major Aaron Pettengill, The Piece that Shall Not Be Named, and Master of Music composition student Tim Burns, Music To Dance To.

Other USM-affiliated composers on the three-day festival include Mark Piszczek (MM, composition) - Friday night, Josh Newton (MM candidate, composition) - Saturday night, and Daniel Sonenberg (Associate Professor) - Saturday night. The festival also includes a host of USM-affiliated performers, including current students Nick Allen, Jacob Forbes, Eric Quinn, and graduates Nicole Rawding and Maria Wagner. The festival will also feature special guest composer John McDonald, from Tufts University, and many of Maine's leading composers of concert music, including Elliott Schwartz, Beth Wiemann, Mark Tipton, Vineet Shende, William Matthews, Gia Comolli, Peter McLaughlin, Abriel Ferreira and Gay Pearson. Members of the press, and those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program, contact Lori Arsenault, (207) 780-5142, Hearing impaired: call USM's telex / TDD number (207) 780-5646.