Young Area Composer Liza White Chosen for Mizzou New Music Summer Festival Gets National Media Coverage
THE REPUBLICAN- Exclusively on MassLive.com
Published: Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 8:00 AM
By Kathryn Roy
A 2002 Longmeadow High School graduate is making a name for herself in the music world.
Liza White, who plans to complete her doctorate studies in music composition at Northwestern University in the fall, has been selected as one of eight resident composers for the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival, put on by the University of Missouri School of Music and the Mizzou New Music Initiative, in July.
White, along with the other resident composers, will travel to Columbia for the festival, which runs July 11 through July 16. There, she’ll take part in a series of public concerts featuring her own music being performed, as well as music from other contemporary creators.
She will also have the opportunity to participate in workshops, master classes and other events.
Resident composers will be able to work with guest composers Roger Reynolds, winner of the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for music composition, and Anna Clyne, who serves as the Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
White’s music will be performed by the music group, Alarm Will Sound.
White said she is thrilled she was selected for the festival. “It’s a really fantastic group, and I’m excited to get to work with them,” she said. “It’s what young composers do to try to get out there and get their work performed,” she said of applying for such opportunities.
Under the application guidelines, White wrote a musical piece involving all of the 16 members of the ensemble.
The piece had to be less than eight minutes long.
White said she was also given information about where percussion instruments would be placed on the stage, so that one musician wasn’t expected to be running from one side of the stage to the other.
“I definitely took into account what I know about them (Alarm Will Sound),” she said. “I listened to their past performances and watched videos on YouTube. They’re really good about putting on a good show.” White said the ensemble also does some choreography in their performances, so she wrote some into her piece.
Alarm Will Sound plays arrangements of popular music, which is something White enjoys writing. “My music is very much influenced by pop music, and this piece is no exception,” she said.
A former trombonist who dabbles in voice and guitar, White focuses on composing these days, and hopes to eventually land a professorship in music composition.
“For me, the main reason to do things like this is to meet musicians and to work with people on a really personal level,” she said.
She said the musicians in Alarm Will Sound are extremely talented, and it’s a wonderful opportunity for up and coming young composers to work with them. “
They have played together for so long that they’re able to play very complex new music,” Sinquefield said. “
What we offer (the resident composers) is to come for a week and actually work with the group, work with other composers and master composers and you get a recording. It’s a lot of fun.”
Sinquefield said the Initiative is one way to bring about new music, while many people are convinced that older pieces are the only thing worth listening to.
“Since our program started, there have been 100 pieces written for our program,” she said.
White said she is indebted to the music department at Longmeadow High School for giving her her start. “I was very lucky to have that,” she said.
“While I was a good student, it was music that kept me wanting to go to school. I hope they can keep the program as excellent as it’s been.”
For more information on White, visit www.lizawhitemusic.com.
A related link you can also visit is The Republican’s 2011 Talented Teens’ blog http://blog.masslive.com/talentedteens
In print and online at: http://www.masslive.com/living/index.ssf/2011/06/area_composer_chosen_for_festival.html
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