Category Archives: composition

BGSU College of Musical Arts to host Student National Electroacoustic Music event

BGSUElectroacoustics, in collaboration with the student new music group Praecepta, the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music, and the College of Musical Arts Composition Area, will host the 2015 National Student Electroacoustic Music Event (N_SEME) March 6-7, 2015 in the College of Musical Arts.
Over 60 student attendees from across the nation will attend to have performances of their electroacoustic and video works. Concerts are free and open to the public.
Events take place in Bryan Recital Hall and in Room 3002.
Friday 06 March:
Bryan Recital Hall Concerts at 10:30am, 2:30pm, and 8:00pm
Room 3002 concerts at 1:30, 4:00, and 5:00
Saturday 07 March:
Bryan Recital Hall Concerts at 10:30am and 4:30pm
Bryan Recital Hall keynote address and concert by featured guest Joo-Won Park at 1:30pm Room 3002 concerts at 9:30am, 12:00pm, and 3:00pm

Lillios Selected as Honored Alumna UNT

Dr. Elainie Lillios (Professor of Composition) has been selected as an Honored Alumna of the nation’s largest music school. The University of North Texas College of Music selected Lillios from among its hundreds of outstanding alumni for this honor. In addition to receiving the award, Lillios will present a lecture on her music, give a master class to composers, and lecture in a Technology in Performance class. Lillios received a DMA in Composition with emphasis in Computer Music Media from the University of North Texas in 2000.

48th Annual BGSU Competition in Music Performance Winners Announced

The 48th Annual BGSU Competitions in Music Performance were held the week of December 8, with finalists competing on Saturday, December 13, 2014 in Kobacker Hall on BGSU’s campus.

Coordinator of the competition, Dr. Nermis said “The judges were impressed with the high quality of performance. It was difficult for them to choose only two winners in each category since it was so clear there were more competitors that deserved to be commended. “

Undergraduate Division Winners included Quincheng Zeng, piano (Wuhan, China) student of Laura Melton, and Chi Him Chik, saxophone, (Hong Kong) student of John Sampen. Honorable Mention was awarded to Elizabeth Ritter, flute, (Ann Arbor, MI) student of Conor Nelson.

Chik Chi Him
Chik Chi Him
Qincheng Zeng
Qincheng Zeng


Elizabeth Catharine Ritter
Elizabeth Catharine Ritter

Graduate Division Winners included Chappy Gibb (not pictured), flute (Stillwater, MN), student of Conor Nelson, and Christopher Murphy, saxophone, student of John Sampen. Honorable Mention was awarded to Gunther own Hirthe, clarinet (Green Bay, WI), student of Kevin Schempf.

Christopher Lawrence Murphy
Christopher Lawrence Murphy
Gunnar Hirthe
Gunnar Hirthe

Composition Division winner was Thomas Beverly (San Antonio, TX)  and the Virginia Marks Collaborative Piano Award was given to Stephanie Titus, piano (Indianola, IA), student of Tom Rosenkranz.

Stephanie Titus
Stephanie Titus
Thomas Beverly
Thomas Beverly


Other graduate finalists included: Jacqueline Berndt, flute; Andrew Kier, clarinet; Danny Milan, piano; and Eun Hae Oh, flute. Undergraduate finalists included Tom Darlington, trumpet; Linda Jenkins, flute; Julia Kuhlman, saxophone; AJ Skojac, clarinet; and Malcolm Thompson, piano.

Judges for the preliminary round included James Westhoff, bassoon, Damon Coleman, cello, David Denniston, horn, Phillip Clark, piano and Carol Dusdieker, soprano. Final round judges included Ellen Breakfield, clarinet, Daniel Thomas, cello, Jonathan Ovalle, percussion, Amy Cheng, piano, Robert Peavler, baritone, and Mathew Fuerst, composer.

Winners will perform at the annual Concerto Concert with the Bowling Green Philharmonia on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. For tickets,


Higdon ’86 to receive honorary doctorate


BOWLING GREEN, O.—Two BGSU alumnae who have had influential careers will receive honorary doctorates from the University during fall commencement ceremonies. The board of trustees approved the degrees at the Dec. 5 meeting.

Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon ’86 is one of America’s most acclaimed and most frequently performed living composers. She has become a major figure in contemporary classical music, with commissions in the orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, and wind ensemble genres.

She holds doctoral and master’s degrees in music composition from the University of Pennsylvania, a bachelor’s degree in flute performance from BGSU, and an Artist Diploma in music composition from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she now holds the Milton L. Rock Chair in Composition Studies.

Her Percussion Concerto won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition in January 2010. Higdon also received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto.

She has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters (two awards), the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Meet-the-Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, and ASCAP.

Most recently, Higdon has written an opera commissioned by Santa Fe Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and Minnesota Opera, based on the National Book Award winner “Cold Mountain,” by Charles Frazier. It will be premiered in Santa Fe on August 1, 2015.

Higdon and television executive Eileen O’Neill ’90 will give the commencement addresses, Higdon on Dec. 19 and O’Neill on Dec. 20. Both were named among BGSU’s 100 most prominent alumni during the University’s 2010 centennial celebration.

Student Composers Confront “The Beast”


David Dupont of the Sentinel Tribune writes,

“Composition students at Bowling Green State University tangled with a beast last week.

At the Student Composer Reading Session, five composition students had the chance to hear their compositions played by the Toledo Symphony Orchestra.

Writing a piece for orchestra is no small task, said Chris Dietz, the composition professor who organized the event. He likened the orchestra to a “72-headed dragon.”

Composition students at Bowling Green State University tangled with a beast last week. At the Student Composer Reading Session, five composition students had the chance to hear their compositions played by the Toledo Symphony Orchestra.

Writing a piece for orchestra is no small task, said Chris Dietz, the composition professor who organized the event. He likened the orchestra to a “72-headed dragon.”

Students presenting works were: Chris Lortie, Lydia Dempsey, Alan Racadag, Brian Sears and Kyle Laporte. Their work was selected from about 20 applicants, Dietz said.

Guest composer Steven Stucky, who has worked closely with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, said the students were up to the task. “The whole thing came out very well.” He was especially impressed with the variety of the works presented. “None resembled each other.” Some had robust sections that evoked a movie soundtrack; some had passages of great tenderness.

Sears’ “Fractured Spirits” celebrated the human spirit as it confronts life’s traumas. Racadag’s “ONE” seemed to give voice to mathematical formulae. The pieces required the orchestra to articulate serpentine rhythms with the utmost precision.

A couple pieces had the musicians making up some sounds on the spot. The orchestra, conducted by Michael Lewanski, handled it all with aplomb, Stucky said.

Laporte tackled the notion the orchestra as beast head on in “Fire Breather.” He imagined, he said, the orchestra as “a humongous being” that comes to life in the course of the piece. The orchestra, despite the pieces experimental elements, brought the music to life, he said. “I was very pleased. It was quite experimental.”

To read more, click here.

Toledo Symphony Orchestra reads BGSU student composer pieces: 11/19

Next Wednesday (11/19) from 3:30-6:00pm the Toledo Symphony will read, rehearse and record BGSU student compositions in Kobacker Hall.

The orchestra will be conducted by Michael Lewanski with guest composer Steven Stucky on hand to work with our composition students.The program is as follows–

Chris Lortie                 And death i think is no parenthesis
Lydia Dempsey           Passage
Alan Racadag             Prelude and Partial Postlude
Brian Sears                  Fractured Spirits
Kyle Laporte               Fire Breather

The event is open to students, faculty and staff of the College of Musical Arts and invited guests.  If you are aware of members of the public who would like to attend, please have them email faculty liaison Christopher Dietz ( to be included on the guest list.This is a very unique opportunity for BGSU composers.  While there are some very competitive national and international competitions for readings with professional orchestras, few academic institutions can offer this kind of professional experience to their students, exclusively.

If available for some or all of the reading session, please consider attending.

Thank you,
Christopher Dietz