Dr. Darleen Mitchell
UNK Department of Music and Performing Arts, 308.865.8632

Compositions by contemporary national and international composers will be featured during the 11th annual New Music Festival Monday – Tuesday, Feb. 6 – 7, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

The New Music Festival, which is directed by Dr. Darleen Mitchell, UNK professor of music, will feature more than 20 musicians performing works by composers from 12 states, and England and Germany. Dr. Mitchell established the New Music Festival in 2002. The festival received 300 entries the first year.

“We host the New Music Festival, because it gives our students, as well as the community, an opportunity to hear music they would not hear otherwise,” Dr. Mitchell said.

Submissions are reviewed by a five-member committee of UNK music department faculty, which Dr. Mitchell chairs. UNK and regional musicians perform the selected works.

“We perform musical pieces by composers from around the country, and many of them attend the festival,” Dr. Mitchell said. “So, this gives our composition majors and other music majors a chance to meet with them and share ideas.”

Over the two days, the festival will include three concerts, a master class and a Composers Symposium. Events both days are free and open to the public.

On Monday, concerts will be held at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Recital Hall, which is located in the UNK Fine Arts Building. The final concert will be at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Fine Arts Recital Hall. In addition to the concerts, the masterclass and Composers Symposium will take place on Tuesday. The masterclass will take place at 10 a.m. in the Fine Arts Recital Hall; the Composers Symposium will be held at 11 a.m. in Room 262 of the Fine Arts Building.

Composers featured in the opening concert at 5:30 p.m. on Monday include: John Genovese of Virginia Beach, Va., with “A Circle to go into” performed by Eileen Jahn, soprano; Franziska Nabb, flute; and Dr. Jan Harriott, clarinet, all of Kearney; Virginia Samuel of Oxford, England, with “Impromptu No. 4” performed by Dr. Nathan Buckner of Kearney on the piano; David Ikard of Norman, Okla., with “Timor et Tremor” performed by Dr. Sharon Campbell, mezzo-soprano, and Todd Thalken, piano, both of Kearney; Sara Carina Graef of Pasadena, Calif., with “the every only” performed on the flute by Brooke Harris of Dickens; Robert Roth of Arcadia, with “Nebraska Thoughts” performed by Ann Bauer of Kearney, piano; Chris Gugel of Amherst, saxophone; and Dr. Andrew White of Kearney, baritone; Gary Schocker of New York City and Easton, Pa., with “Airheads” performed by Brooke Harris of Dickens, flute, and Dr. Jan Harriott of Kearney, clarinet; Osnat Netzer of Brookline, Mass., with “Obsessive Folksing” performed by Franziska Nabb, flute; and Dr. Noah Rogoff, cello, both of Kearney; and Nels Drue Daily of Lincoln, with “Toccata” performed by Janny Joo of Lincoln, violin, and April Sun of Lincoln, piano.

The 7:30 p.m. concert on Monday will include the Nebraska Chamber Players of Lincoln, featuring Joyce Besch, bassoon; Donna Carnes, violin; Sheri Ericksen, piano; Ed Love, clarinet and soprano saxophone; Tracey Sands, cello; and Becky Van de Bogart, flute.

Selected members of the Nebraska Chamber Players will perform works throughout the concert, including “My Elephant Cloud” by Oliver Caplan of Somerville Miss; “Journey Down the River Styx” by Eric Jensen of Bismarck, N.D.; “Nightfall” by Deborah Anderson of Tacoma, Wash.; “For the Time Being” by Ingrid Stolzel of Kansas City, Mo.; “About a feeling” by Martin Gendelman, an Argentine now living in Statesboro, Ga.;Mixed Pickles” and “Meadowland” by Virginia Samuel of Oxford, England.

Pieces including “Aria e danza” by Peteris Vasks of Germany, performed by Franziska Nabb, flute, and Dr. Marilyn Musick, piano, both of Kearney; “The Traveler” by Loris Chobanian of Cleveland, Ohio, performed by Dr. Andrew White, baritone, and Dr. Valerie Cisler, piano, both of Kearney; and “Duet for Flute and Piano” by Elizabeth Nonemaker of Los Angeles, performed by Franziska Nabb and Dr. Marilyn Musick; will also be performed at the concert.

On Tuesday, composers and musicians featured in the 10 a.m. master class will include: Daniel Gibbs of Kearney, with “Trains of Thought” performed by Brooke Harris of Dickens and Eric Jones of Holdrege; Sarah Slater of Lititz, Pa., with “Firebolt” performed by Casey Cobb of McCook, saxophone, and Ryne Miller of Grand Island, saxophone; and Chase Christensen of Kearney, with “Endeavor,” performed by Logan Hansen of Kearney, trumpet, and Matt Stubbs of Minden, vibraphone.

“These pieces will be performed for an audience and a panel of visiting professional composers, and they will give comments on the pieces,” Dr. Mitchell said.

The Composers Symposium will begin at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. The topic of the symposium will be “Operations in Music.” Individuals will be able to participate in discussion regarding their opinions and experiences within the topic.

Composers featured in the final concert at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday will include: Monica Houghton of Shaker Heights, Ohio, with “Five Songs of James Wright” performed by Dr. Andrew White, baritone, and Dr. Valerie Cisler, piano, both of Kearney; Dr. Darleen Mitchell of Kearney, with “Antiphonal Dreams” performed by Dr. Seth Fletcher, euphonium, and Dr. Duane Bierman, marimba, both of Kearney; Evan Bradley of Laramie, Wyo., with “Talking of Michelangelo” performed by Dr. Andrew White of Kearney and Nancy Curry of Kearney, piano; and Richard Pressley of Ashville, N.C., with “Patina” performed by Dr. Duane Bierman of Kearney, glockenspiel.

The festival is supported by the UNK Faculty Senate Artists and Lectures Committee and the Nebraska Arts Council. The Nebraska Arts Council, a state agency, has supported this program through its matching grants program funded by the Nebraska Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. For more information: