Announcing the Winners of the 2014 Free Commission Drawing

I got pretty lucky with this concept.

As you’re no doubt aware (since I flogged it all last month on social media), I decided to try a promotion where I’d hold a drawing for a free commission.  I thought I’d get maybe a few nibbles.

Boy was I wrong.

In fact, I had so much interest that I decided to draw for more than one winner. I’m very excited that I will have the opportunity to work with so many great performers (and to have my music heard in many more venues)!

The new interactions have really  proven to be one of the highlights of this experience.  I’ve gotten to meet lots of great performers and learned much about them.  It was hard not to be able to pick them all!

By random drawing, here are the 15 winners of free commissions. I will be developing an ambitious production schedule shortly and many more details will follow!  (Subscribe to my blog to keep up!)

Dr. Brian Kauth

Dr. Brian Kauth currently serves on the faculty of Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY in New York City, as well as maintaining an active private saxophone studio in the Hudson Valley. He has been a featured soloist with or member of many ensembles, including the City of Hattiesburg Concert Band, the USM Wind Ensemble, the Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra, the New York Wind Symphony, and the Ridgewood Concert Band, in addition to being a regular performer at conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance. A strong proponent of new music, Dr. Kauth has worked with several composers to foster the creation of new works for the saxophone, and is currently pursuing avenues to produce a recording of new works dedicated to him.

Dr. Kauth will be commissioning a suite of miniatures for sax and piano.

Mr. Brian Wilson

Mr. Brian K. Wilson is Associate Director of Bands at Oshkosh West High School. At West he works with all aspects of one of Wisconsin’s largest band programs, co-teaching four concert bands, the Summer Marching Band, pep bands, and chamber ensembles totaling nearly 300 students. Brian strongly believes in the performance of new works. He has commissioned works of Rick Kirby, Charles Rochester Young, Nicolás Gutiérrez, and Elena Avalos-Bock, in addition to arranging music published through Jalen Publishing. In his spare time, Mr. Wilson enjoys traveling, technology, attending concerts and spending time with friends and family.

Mr. Wilson will be commissioning a work to be written for his Varsity Band.

Novacane Quartet

Founded in January 2014 by Erik Franklin, the Novacane Quartet performs new music for clarinet quartet throughout the United States. A chief mission of the Novacane Quartet is to expand the repertoire for clarinet quartet through new music commissions by contemporary composers. In addition to performing new compositions, the Novacane Quartet seeks to perform classical music in a variety of ways, presenting concerts in special venues and collaborating with artists of various disciplines.   Members include Erik Franklin, Samantha Johnson, Kylie Stultz, and Keith Northover.

Novacane will be commissioning a work for clarinet quartet and orchestra.

Mr. Ken Pendergrass

Unfortunately, Mr. Pendergrass has had to withdraw from the commission project due to unforeseen changes in his circumstances.  I hope to be able to work with him in the future!

Mr. Ryan Addair

Ryan Addair is the Director of Bands at Chancellor High School in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  He is a native of Virginia and he earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from James Madison University.  His duties at Chancellor High School include directing the Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble, and overseeing the Black Thunder Indoor Drumline and Stormfront Indoor Colorguard.  Ryan is also a co-sponsor of the Tri-M National Music Honor Society and the director of the award winning Lightning Regiment Marching Band.  During his tenure, the Chancellor Band program has earned several awards including Virginia Honor Band, Grand Champion and first place awards at several competitions, and superior ratings at both VBODA marching band and concert band assessments.  In addition, Chancellor High School’s music department has been a multiple recipient of the VMEA Blue Ribbon Award.  Prior to working at Chancellor, Ryan was the Director of Bands at James Monroe High School and Walker-Grant Middle School in the City of Fredericksburg for six years.

Mr. Addair will be commissioning a piece for his symphonic band.

Mr. Kevin Norton

Kevin Norton is a saxophonist based out of Cincinnati, Ohio, and is currently a DMA Candidate at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he studies with Dr. James Bunte. In addition, he is a private saxophone instructor in the Cincinnati area (primarily at Walnut Hills High School), and, during the 2012-13 school year, he was an Adjunct Instructor at The Defiance College in Defiance, OH. Prior to CCM, Kevin earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a Master’s in Music from Morehead State University, where he studied with Dr. Nathan Nabb and Prof. Eugene Norden. Kevin has performed extensively, most notably at NASA biennials in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014, as well as regional conferences in Greensboro (NC), Chicago and Bowling Green (OH). His first album, Americano, is expected to be released in late 2014.

Mr. Norton will be commissioning a piece for soprano sax and piano.

Ms. Lisa Kachouee

Lisa Kachouee is active as a chamber, solo, and orchestral clarinetist as well as a pedagogue. Within the past year she has performed recitals at Carnegie Hall, at 10 Universities, as a soloist with the Tallahassee Composer’s Orchestra, and with symphonies throughout the Southeast. She has recorded for Vox Novus and the Naxos label. She regularly gives master classes and is currently ABD at Florida State University. With composer and percussionist, Jamie Whitmarsh, Lisa is a member of Duo Rodinia. The ensemble, active since 2012, tours with new and adapted works and is committed to education and outreach. The 2014-1015 season will include the premieres of several commissioned works.

Ms. Kachouee will be commissioning a piece for Bb clarinet and vibraphone.

Mr. Aaron Noe

Aaron Noe is the Conductor and Artistic Director of the Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony (MAWS) and serves as the Director of Bands at Riverbend High School in Fredericksburg, VA. In addition to his roles as a conductor, Aaron Noe composes and arranges for Wind Band and maintains an active performance schedule as a classical and jazz trumpet player.

The Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony (MAWS) is an invitational wind orchestra comprised of professional musicians from the mid-atlantic region volunteering their time to promote wind band literature. MAWS is dedicated to the promotion of the finest classical band music through the performance of compositions by modern composers while respecting the rich heritage of the American Wind Ensemble as established by John Philip Sousa and his contemporaries.

Mr. Noe will be commissioning a work for the MAWS in commemoration of their 5th anniversary.

Mr. Chris Nadeau (CAn-Duo)

CAn-Duo is a Dallas based percussion duo. Chris Nadeau and Anthony Jackson bring an eclectic blend of musical experiences from Orchestral Percussion, Drum Corps, Jazz, Rock, Brazilian, and Classical all together. CAn-Duo works to bring new literature to the percussion scene through original compositions, transcriptions, and commissions. As a duo, they have performed many events, including the Southern California International Marimba Competition, the North Texas Percussion Festival, and the UNT Keyboard Percussion Symposium. Individually, they have performed with many groups such as The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, Texarkana Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, South Arkansas Symphony, North-East Texas Symphony, and the Lone Star Wind Orchestra.

Mr. Nadeau will be commissioning a piece for the percussion duo.

Ms. Lisa Bartholow

Lisa Bartholow is the flute instructor and flute choir director at Georgia College and State University, Toccoa Falls College, and Clayton State University where she has also taught music appreciation, woodwind chamber literature, and music business courses. She has played flute, piccolo, and baroque flute as a recitalist and with classical and popular ensembles in St. Louis, Chicago, and Atlanta ranging from chamber music to symphonic to back-up for pop artists. A devoted chamber musician, Lisa performs with an Atlanta-based woodwind quartet and quintet, and has appeared as a guest artist with the Chester String Quartet. Lisa also enjoys several ‘accidental’ careers in addition to music including that of stage technician and stage manager for both musical and theatrical productions, arts administration, and program note annotator.

Ms. Bartholow will be commissioning a piece for woodwind quintet.

Mr. Philippe Trovão

Philippe Trovão is currently earning a Masters Degree in Education at Lisbon Music University and teaches in the Lisbon Music Conservatory. He has performed as a soloist with many ensembles and orchestras, including the Chieri Sinfonietta Orchestra, the Camerata de Sopros Silva Dionísio and the Lisbon Music University Symphony Orchestra. Despite his young age, he has been distinguished many times in competitions in Portugal and Italy.  He actively plays with big bands, contemporary ensembles, and wind bands, making him a versatile musician. He is also working with composers in order to expand the tenor saxophone repertoire.

Mr. Trovão will be commissioning a piece for tenor sax and piano.

Ms. Joelene Masone

Jolene Masone is an active and engaging bassoonist based in North Texas. A devoted contemporary artist, Jolene is committed to playing and promoting new works for the bassoon, and bringing new pieces to the repertoire. She can be heard in recordings for the Lone Star Wind Orchestra, the REvolution Contemporary Collective, and North Texas Wind Symphony. Jolene has attended the University of Northern Colorado, Peabody Conservatory, and the University of North Texas.

Ms. Masone will be commissioning a piece featuring bassoon.

Ms. Shana Norton

Shana Norton graduated with highest honors earning a Bachelor of Music Education from Abilene Christian
University and attended the Eastman School of Music, studying with Julia Hermann Edwards and Eileen Malone. She is a founding member of the acclaimed flute/harp duo, Chaski. She plays principal harp with the Mid-Texas Symphony and the Symphony of the Hills. Ms. Norton has performed with the San Antonio Symphony, the Hot Springs Music Festival Orchestra, the Victoria Bach Festival Orchestra and the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra. She is a member of the Bouldin Creek Bobkat Band; bluegrass/western swing group, Diminished 7; Beatles tribute band, #9 Orchestra; and is a frequent guest with 1,001 Nights, middle eastern ensemble.

Ms. Norton will be commissioning a piece for her flute/harp duo, Chaski.

Dr. Philip Howie

Philip is a regular percussionist based in Cambridge, UK, performing with the likes of the City of Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia of Cambridge and Cambridge Symphonic Winds among many others. He is also a conductor with a special interest in wind band music, and has been conductor of the University of Cambridge Concert Band for eight years and their Musical Director for five. In this time he has premiered a number of new works for the ensemble, including one of his own compositions. Despite all the best distractions afforded by the Cambridge musical scene, he has nonetheless managed to complete a PhD in materials science and now carries out post-doctoral research into the mechanical properties of ceramic and crystalline materials.

Dr. Howie will be commissioning a work for the University of Cambridge Concert Band, to commemorate their founding in October 1994.

Mr. Matthew Valenzuela

Matthew Valenzuela is a freelance percussionist and music educator based in the Eugene, OR, area. He is currently studying towards a Master’s degree in Percussion Performance at the University of Oregon, studying under Pius Cheung. He recently performed in solo recital at the Brookings-Harbor Friends of Music Young Artists concert, in which he was named winner of the instrumental division. He has performed in master classes with Nancy Zeltsman, Jack Van Geem, and has performed alongside master percussionists Anders Astrand and Javier Nandayapa in concert at the Zeltsman Marimba Festival. He is a proud member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity and the Percussive Arts Society.

Mr. Valenzuela will be commissioning a solo work for vibraphone.

Congratulations to all the winners and I look forward to working with you all!


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