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Once On This Island - An Exploration of Nontraditional Casting

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Only in the world of acting can an individual be denied a job simply on the basis of their appearance, and in my thesis, I sought to explore alternatives to this through the concept of nontraditional casting and casting against

Only in the world of acting can an individual be denied a job simply on the basis of their appearance, and in my thesis, I sought to explore alternatives to this through the concept of nontraditional casting and casting against "type", which included the presentation of a full-length production of the musical "Once on this Island" which I attempted to cast based on vocal quality and skill alone rather than taking physical characteristics into account. I researched the history and implementation of nontraditional casting, both in regards to race and other factors such as gender, socio-economic status, and disability. I also considered the legal and intellectual property challenges that nontraditional casting can pose. I concluded from this research that while nontraditional casting is only one solution to the problem, it still has a great deal of potential to create diversity in theater. For my own show, I held the initial auditions via audio recording, though the callback auditions were held in person so that I and my crew could appraise dance and acting ability. Though there were many challenges with our cast after this initial round of auditions, we were able to solidify our cast and continue through the rehearsal process. All things said, the show was very successful. It is my hope that those who were a part of the show, either as part of the production or the audience, are inspired to challenge the concept of typecasting in contemporary theater.

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2014-12

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The compositional styles of Alfredo Casella: an examination of four vocal works

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This paper and its accompanying recital examine three solo vocal works by Italian composer Alfredo Casella (1883-1947): "Larmes" from Cinq Mélodies (Op. 2); "Mort, ta servante est à ma porte" from L'adieu à la vie: Quatre lyriques funèbres extraites du

This paper and its accompanying recital examine three solo vocal works by Italian composer Alfredo Casella (1883-1947): "Larmes" from Cinq Mélodies (Op. 2); "Mort, ta servante est à ma porte" from L'adieu à la vie: Quatre lyriques funèbres extraites du "Gitanjali" de Rabindranath Tagore (Op. 26); and "Amante sono, vaghiccia, di voi" from Tre canzoni trecentesche (Op. 36). Each of these songs is discussed as representative of Casella's three compositional periods. A fourth song, "Ecce odor filii mei" from Tre canti sacri per baritono et organo (Op. 66), is also examined, as an end-of-life composition. Some of the more important solo vocal works composed in each period are mentioned to show where the four selected songs fit into Casella's compositional output and to suggest music for further study or repertoire.

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2014

A performer's guide to the solo flute works of Kaija Saariaho: Laconisme de l'aile and NoaNoa

Description

The works of premier Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho demonstrate a fascination with the exploration and expansion of timbral possibilities. This project explores Laconisme de l'aile and NoaNoa, the only two of her works written for solo C-flute. Saariaho has developed

The works of premier Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho demonstrate a fascination with the exploration and expansion of timbral possibilities. This project explores Laconisme de l'aile and NoaNoa, the only two of her works written for solo C-flute. Saariaho has developed a unique compositional style for the flute, characterized by extremes of color which are expressed through extended techniques such as the integration of the voice, with and without text, into the music, the exploration of "noise," the transformation between different timbres, and the use of electronic effects. Laconisme de l'aile (1982) is a dramatic and passionate work filled with lyrical gestures and intriguing timbres with optional electronic effects, and is an excellent introduction to the composer's writing for the flute. NoaNoa (1992) is characteristic of her mature compositional style. Like many of her later works, the electronic aspect of the work is integral to the piece. Saariaho's exploration of the timbral spectrum of the flute has resulted in a complex and unusual style of notation, making these works somewhat inaccessible for performers. Additionally, the technological requirements for NoaNoa make the work both intimidating and impossible to perform without either extensive technical knowledge or consultation with someone who has the necessary technical expertise. Through a detailed performance guide and reference recordings of both works, this project aims to make these two works accessible. All technical specifications are explained and the performance instructions address notation as well execution of all designated effects. Additionally, instructions for the electronic portion of NoaNoa allow flutists to perform the work with minimal assistance.

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2013

Innovation: Chinese folk music influence in contemporary clarinet repertoire

Description

Several contemporary clarinet works use Chinese folk music elements from different regions in new compositions to entice listener's and performer's appreciation of Chinese culture. However, to date, limited academic research on this topic exists. This research paper introduces six contemporary

Several contemporary clarinet works use Chinese folk music elements from different regions in new compositions to entice listener's and performer's appreciation of Chinese culture. However, to date, limited academic research on this topic exists. This research paper introduces six contemporary clarinet works by six Chinese composers: Qigang Chen's Morning Song, Yan Wang's Mu ma zhi ge (The Song of Grazing Horses), An-lun Huang's Capriccio for Clarinet and Strings Op. 41, Bijing Hu's The Sound of Pamir Clarinet Concerto, Mei-Mi Lan's Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra with Harp and Percussion, and Yu-Hui Chang's Three Fantasias for Solo Clarinet in B-flat. They are examined from different perspectives, including general structure, style, and rejuvenated folk music use. The focus of this research paper is to investigate the use of Chinese folk music in several works in collaboration with the composers. The author found that although contemporary composers use Chinese folk music differently in their works (i.e., some use melodies, others use harmony, while others use modes), each work celebrates the music and culture of the folk music on which the pieces are based. It is the author's hope to stimulate people's interest in music using Chinese folk music elements, and bring these lesser known works into the common clarinet repertoire.

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Date Created
2013

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The collegiate vocal jazz ensemble: an historical and current perspective on the development, current state, and future direction of the genre

Description

The Vocal Jazz ensemble, a uniquely American choral form, has grown and flourished in the past half century largely through the efforts of professionals and educators throughout the collegiate music community. This document provides historical data as presented through live

The Vocal Jazz ensemble, a uniquely American choral form, has grown and flourished in the past half century largely through the efforts of professionals and educators throughout the collegiate music community. This document provides historical data as presented through live and published interviews with key individuals involved in the early development of collegiate Vocal Jazz, as well as those who continue this effort currently. It also offers a study of the most influential creative forces that provided the spark for everyone else's fire. A frank discussion on the obstacles encountered and overcome is central to the overall theme of this research into a genre that has moved from a marginalized afterthought to a legitimate, more widely accepted art form. In addition to the perspective provided to future generations of educators in this field, this document also discusses the role of collegiate music academia in preserving and promoting the Vocal Jazz ensemble. The discussion relies on recent data showing the benefits of Vocal Jazz training and the need for authenticity towards its universal integration into college and university vocal performance and music education training.

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2013

A study of selected clarinet works by Christopher Caliendo

Description

Christopher Caliendo is a guitarist/composer who has written for a variety of performance mediums. His works been performed on international concert stages and recorded for film and television media. His compositions have garnered him the Henry Mancini Award for Film

Christopher Caliendo is a guitarist/composer who has written for a variety of performance mediums. His works been performed on international concert stages and recorded for film and television media. His compositions have garnered him the Henry Mancini Award for Film Composition, the Artin Arslanian Scholarship for Humanities, and the Peabody Grant for Scholarship. He has also received two commissions from the Vatican in 1992 and 1995. In 1988, he received an Emmy nomination for his work with the television series Paradise. The purpose of this project is to present a study of selected clarinet works by Christopher Caliendo: The Tango Concerto No. 1 is a three-movement work that Caliendo arranged for clarinet and piano in 2010, The Little Gypsy was written for solo clarinet, and Jal, Ven a mis Brazos, Amanacer, La Milonga, Acariciame, Amor Perdido, Caliente, Impulso, and Passione comprise a series of nine guitar/clarinet duos that were composed or arranged between 2009 and 2010. The document is comprised of a brief description of the career and compositions of Christopher Caliendo, a performer's guide to the selected works, a track listing for the performance recording, and a list of Caliendo's other clarinet and chamber music compositions that are intended for the concert stage. It is the hope of the author that this project can generate more interest in Christopher Caliendo's clarinet repertoire throughout the clarinet community.

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2013

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Community-based chamber ensembles: how to build a career that infuses performance with public service

Description

In order to cope with the decreasing availability of symphony jobs and collegiate faculty positions, many musicians are starting to pursue less traditional career paths. Also, to combat declining audiences, musicians are exploring ways to cultivate new and enthusiastic listeners

In order to cope with the decreasing availability of symphony jobs and collegiate faculty positions, many musicians are starting to pursue less traditional career paths. Also, to combat declining audiences, musicians are exploring ways to cultivate new and enthusiastic listeners through relevant and engaging performances. Due to these challenges, many community-based chamber music ensembles have been formed throughout the United States. These groups not only focus on performing classical music, but serve the needs of their communities as well. The problem, however, is that many musicians have not learned the business skills necessary to create these career opportunities. In this document I discuss the steps ensembles must take to develop sustainable careers. I first analyze how groups build a strong foundation through getting to know their communities and creating core values. I then discuss branding and marketing so ensembles can develop a public image and learn how to publicize themselves. This is followed by an investigation of how ensembles make and organize their money. I then examine the ways groups ensure long-lasting relationships with their communities and within the ensemble. I end by presenting three case studies of professional ensembles to show how groups create and maintain successful careers. Ensembles must develop entrepreneurship skills in addition to cultivating their artistry. These business concepts are crucial to the longevity of chamber groups. Through interviews of successful ensemble members and my own personal experiences in the Tetra String Quartet, I provide a guide for musicians to use when creating a community-based ensemble.

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2013

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Benjamin Britten: composer as conductor and the art of self interpretation

Description

In the triumvirate of composer-performer-listener, while the listener always wins, the performer is the interpreter through which the listener experiences the writings of the composer. When the composer and performer are combined, however, a unique situation arises: the link from

In the triumvirate of composer-performer-listener, while the listener always wins, the performer is the interpreter through which the listener experiences the writings of the composer. When the composer and performer are combined, however, a unique situation arises: the link from the composer to the listener becomes a direct line and the composer becomes his/her own interpreter. Such is the case with Benjamin Britten. Britten conducted almost his entire repertoire in recordings for Decca (the exceptions being Paul Bunyan, Owen Wingrave, and Death in Venice). A comparative analysis of the recordings of four of Britten's works, the Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, Op. 31; Albert Herring, Op. 39; Spring Symphony, Op. 44; and the Nocturne, Op. 60, shows that despite his complaints about performers not following his tempo markings, Britten often deviated from them himself, tending slower. Britten also occasionally added additional rubato, ritardandi, and accelerandi to his works. Additionally, a discrepancy regarding a pitch in the "Prelude" of the Serenade comes to light. Video of Britten conducting the Nocturne in rehearsal with the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) Vancouver provides additional insight into his methodology. Benjamin Britten succeeded as a composer-conductor, and his catalogue of recordings provides essential primary reference material when studying his works.

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2014

The Preparation, Rehearsal, and Performance of "Recombobulation" By Theresa Martin: One Conductor’s Perspective

Description

The original scope of this project was to have several conducting experiences and written records about the conductor’s experiences. Due to COVID-19, the focus of the paper has shifted to documenting the preparation, rehearsal, and performance "Recombobulation" (2016) by Theresa

The original scope of this project was to have several conducting experiences and written records about the conductor’s experiences. Due to COVID-19, the focus of the paper has shifted to documenting the preparation, rehearsal, and performance "Recombobulation" (2016) by Theresa Martin. Using the templates found in the "Teaching Music Through Performance in Band" book series as a model, combined with the author’s personal narrative of their experience, this paper aims to serve as a resource for both people considering programming this piece of music as well as early career conductors who strive to improve their craft.

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2020-12

Three Arrangements for Clarinet Choir

Description

This creative project documents the methods and challenges of writing three clarinet choir arrangements of different musical genres, and culminates into three clarinet choir scores with an upcoming performance date. The three pieces that were arranged are “Dinah” by Sam

This creative project documents the methods and challenges of writing three clarinet choir arrangements of different musical genres, and culminates into three clarinet choir scores with an upcoming performance date. The three pieces that were arranged are “Dinah” by Sam Lewis and Joe Young, “Laud ye the Name of the Lord” from Vespers by Sergei Rachmaninoff, and “Peace” by Jeremy Zuckerman. The goal of the project was to arrange these pieces for clarinet choir without making any major changes to the form or style of the original works. Scores to the final three arrangements are included within this document, as well as a brief description of the processes involved in writing them. While the pieces were being arranged, the techniques of arranging were studied concurrently by reviewing a text on arranging, other successful clarinet choir arrangements, fixing the challenges that were presented by the pieces to be arranged. Each piece required a few drafts: after being written to near-completion, they were played by live clarinet groups and recorded to hear how they sounded. After these recording sessions, the pieces would be further edited for readability, suitability for the instrument, and overall sound and effect. Major difficulties are also covered within the following paper, including why those issues arose and what methods were used to solve them. Each of the pieces helped to explore different aspects of arranging for clarinet choir, and each piece has turned into a pleasing arrangement that may be performed by a live ensemble. This creative project greatly improved the skills of the author and serves to stoke interest in arranging and composition.

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2019-05