Performance January 29th, 2013

For this program, nu tackles the newest repertoire possible: music by UNCSA composition students. All of the slots works on this concert were completed in the last few months of 2012; they reflect the diverse interests and influences of the current generation of creative artists.

January 29th, 7:30pm, Watson Hall
Phone: (336) 721-1945


Enemy Wind by Will Dixon b. 1995)

String Quartet in D by Derek Arnold (b. 1983)

Return to Me by Cheyne Runnells (b. 1994)

Sleeping City Sidewalk by Clayton Davidson (b. 1972)

From Afar by Dak van Vranken (b. 1992)

ÉPOPTEIA by Quinn Dougherty by (b. 1992)


Whirlwind by Bruce W. Tippette (b. 1985)

Pop Mutations by Nicholas Rich (b. 1984)

Students of UNCSA composition faculty Lawrence Dillon, Kenneth Frazelle and Michael Rothkopf.

Program Notes
Of Enemy Wind, the composer writes: “I began this piece with two ideas in mind. The first was a slow theme that echoes how a zephyr or chill might blow softly through the woods at night. The second idea was sort of a rhythmic dance, very dissonant in nature, raucously transferring from instrument to instrument, much like how a storm knocks around what is in its path. The title comes from a place name in the most recent National Book Award winning novel by Louise Erdich. The place is on an Indian reservation in the West, and I imagined that my two winds might find their place there.”

Now a senior in high school, Will Dixon has been a student at School of the Arts since his freshman year, beginning his studies as a cello major with Brooks Whitehouse. After three years, Will now studies composition with Lawrence Dillon.

Derek Arnold’s String Quartet in D (of which you will hear the first movement) is written in the style of the Classical Period, a style Derek is very passionate about. In the words of the composer, “This way of writing offers the composer the opportunity to suggest a wide range of human emotion without sacrificing the pleasurable listening experience. It is my goal to compose music that a person can listen to and hum later, and in this sense I feel my audiences will get double their money’s worth.”

Derek Wesley Arnold was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on February 24th, 1983. He began learning music at the age of 4 with the help of his father (Harvey Dalton Arnold: bassist for The Outlaws) and an old upright piano. In 1990 his family moved to Clayton, North Carolina. At the age of 10 he began playing drums. In middle school he played clarinet and bass clarinet in band, studying the theories of Pete Fountain and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart alike.

In high school he started the group Blue Dust Box with 3 of his classmates. This band charted at number 8 for two weeks on the Australian un-signed charts. Derek was the primary songwriter for the group. At age 19, he moved to Raleigh and learned to play guitar and bass. He was often referred to as the “best bassist in Raleigh” while he was living there.

While based out of Raleigh, Derek Wesley Arnold played with Ivan Hampden (Luther Vandross/Chaka Khan), John Custer (Columbia/Sony Records), Kenny Soule (Nantucket/DAG), Daniel “Slick” Ballinger (Oh Boy Records), Nathan Davis (Custer Studios), world renowned blues legend Skeeter Brandon, Iggy Cosky (The Lollipops), Josh Preslar (Diunna Greenleaf), world renowned blues legend John Dee Holeman, Wade 3 (Wade Durham), Nick Hagelin (Interscope Records/Carolina Ballet), and lots more.

Derek now lives in Winston-Salem and is earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition.

Return to Me is a piece written to emulate the contemporary acoustic band, while combining it with chamber music instrumentation. It combines writing influenced by both American and Japanese contemporary music. The piece focuses on the theme of unfulfilled yearning over distance and time, with optimism crushed by reality.

Cheyne Runnells has lived almost his entire life in Kill Devil Hills, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, with his mother and younger sister. His interest in music sparked in eighth grade, when he began learning to play electric guitar. He joined the marching/symphonic band when he started high school, playing the alto saxophone. After taking a music theory class his sophomore year, Cheyne began writing music of his own and decided to pursue a career in composition. For hobbies, Cheyne reads and writes, watches television and movies, plays video games and snowboards when possible. Although a fan of a wide variety of genres, his music is influenced by composers such as Eric Whitacre, Yoko Kanno and Nobuo Uematsu; and contemporary progressive rock artists Fall of Troy, Protest the Hero and Nightwish.

Sleeping City Sidewalk is scored for oboe, english horn, electric guitar, viola, cello and musique concrete. This piece is an attempt to translate a specific moment: the last few minutes of sleep, when outside sounds begin to intrude upon your consciousness and worm their way into your dream landscape. Those sounds change and transform, molding themselves into the architecture of the sleeping mind. The title comes from a line in the Kris Kristofferson song Sunday Morning Coming Down.

Composer and guitarist Clay Davidson grew up in North Carolina. Early musical influences include organ and choir music, folk music, and the far-flung explorations of the electric guitar in contemporary music. He has been a part of different musical projects as a composer, guitarist, songwriter, arranger, and recording engineer. He is currently a part of the electric guitar and kit drums duo Hi-Rollers. Hi-Rollers have released one CD, Hear B Monsters, and are in the process of recording their second. In the summer of 2012 he composed the incidental music for the play The 27 Club by Thomas Trull, which was performed at the Kraine Theatre for the New York International Fringe Festival. He is currently studying composition under Dr. Michael Rothkopf at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Of From Afar, the composer writes, “Everyone has wanted something—needed something—and come away empty-handed. From Afar is about desire; it’s about surrendering to the hunger for something that is just out of reach, and learning to find happiness in deprivation.

Dak Van Vranken has been writing music for seven years. Several of his compositions accompanied his high school’s drama productions, including Trojan Women, for an adaptation of Euripides’ “The Trojan Women,” and La Familia, for Scott McPherson’s “Marvin’s Room.” Dak has collaborated with students in Los Angeles and scored two student films, “Blue” and “No. 5.” In 2009, Dak’s composition Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity: A Centennial Tribute to the FBI was the featured musical theme for the FBI Centennial Celebration at the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington D.C.; the Society of Former Special Agents Centennial Gala at the Newseum in Washington D.C.; and the FBI Academy Centennial Celebration. Dak attended the Berklee College of Music in the Fall of 2011 and continued his studies at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in the Fall of 2012.

Of ÉPOPTEIA, the composer writes: “this doesn’t really contribute much beyond just imitation Messiaen. texts stolen from byron emerson and arrabal. melodies stolen from robins wood thrushes mourning doves meadowlarks and bluebirds. “i call architecture frozen music” said goethe to schiller, he makes it sound like the ‘freezing’ is an abstraction, a cheap imitation, or even a violent appropriation. consider, though, that composers are undisciplined astrophysicists and music is an abstraction imitation and appropriation of the actual depth of the sphere(s). gk chesterton said “the poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. it is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.” the secret is that emerson understood stardust theory ON BEING ASKED WHENCE IS THE FLOWER

Quinn Dougherty is a college freshman studying composition with Lawrence Dillon. He provides the following biographical information: “the language for describing the Fire of Everything doesn’t exist. and i’m going to find it. This is the Being of the Storm. i am into films theatre spaces and concert halls. i am documented on vimeo and soundcloud (.com/quinndougherty)”

Of Whirlwind, the composer writes, “When I was a member of the “Cirkus Theatre Project” sponsored by Cirque du Soleil in the summer of 2012, our process of creating began with a central idea or title and then we worked outward. Before this project, my compositional process did not typically happen in this way. For Whirlwind, I began with the title and worked outward, creating motivic development, rhythmic passages, and fast repeating patterns that resemble a whirlwind in my mind.”

Bruce W. Tippette is an active composer, performer, and educator. He has composed a large volume of works in various styles, instrumentation, and difficulty. He actively receives commissions, including Christmas Night by the Raleigh Boychoir in 2008. His work Unconquered for orchestra won the “2012 Mary Starling Composition Competition” and received four subsequent performances by the Winston-Salem Symphony. Alfred Publishing, BRS Music, and Brass Chamber Music Press currently publish Tippette’s compositions.

Tippette is currently studying to earn his Master’s degree in Music Composition from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the direction of composer Lawrence Dillon. He earned his Bachelor’s of Music in both Music Composition/Theory and Music Education from Appalachian State University in 2007, graduating Magna Cum Laude. As an educator, he gives weekly piano and voice lessons to a growing studio. He is the pianist for Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, NC.

Bruce Tippette was born in Garner, North Carolina and currently lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with his wife, Elizabeth, and son, Liam.

Pop Mutations is a planned three-movement concerto for piano and chamber orchestra (the first movement is still under construction). Each movement examines and caricatures an interesting phenomenon found in popular music.

The middle movement, Cool Clear Water, takes as its source material a Western song that has been covered almost continually since its first recording in 1936. The song has been covered by such a diverse array of artists (including Johnny Cash, Odetta, Fleetwood Mac, Willie Nelson, Joni Mitchell, Leo Kottke, and the Muppets) for such a long period of time that it has transformed from a singular musical performance to a cultural archetype. “Cool Clear Water” is my “cover” of the song. In it I use the techniques most characteristic of my recent elecro-acoustic work. The ensemble acts like a live looping unit and effects processor for the piano, supplying echo and reverberation to the piano’s gestures, and occasionally feeding back uncontrollably.

The final movement, Chaconne: 1984, addresses the harmonic language of pop music in the 1980s. In the music I like most from this period (Tears for Fears, Phil Collins, Huey Lewis, Howard Jones, UB40), the chord progressions are incredibly colorful and often cycle endlessly without identifiable regions of tension or arrival. In Chaconne: 1984, I took this phenomenon literally by constructing the movement around a repeating chord progression. Another indispensable feature of 80s pop music is its rhythm. Many of these songs have rather sophisticated interlocking patterns, composite 16th-note rhythms spread across the band in a jagged, hypnotic groove. My chaconne gradually transforms into a nameless 1980s pop song, complete with that unmistakable New Wave dance beat.

Nicholas Rich is a composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music that examines the intersections of music, memory, language, culture, and nature. His work spans multiple genres and media, from traditional large ensembles and chamber music to laptop orchestras and music for dance. Born into a family of musicians who played Country-Western, Americana, and Rock, his music frequently carries strong associations with American popular music. Rich has a specialty in computer music, with many pieces for solo instrument and computer, solo laptop, and laptop orchestras. He is a founding member of GLOrk (Greensboro Laptop Orchestra), the first ensemble of its kind in the state. His music has been presented at numerous new music festivals around the country and internationally, including the American Dance Festival, the Hey, Mozart! festival in Bogota, Colombia, and the Society of Composers National Convention. Rich earned a B.M. at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where his principle teachers were Mark Engebretson and Alejandro Rutty. Currently he is pursuing an M.M. at UNCSA, studying with Lawrence Dillon.

Kailey Miller is a second-year piano major, and this is her second semester at UNCSA after transferring in from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been studying piano for fourteen years and is currently a student of Dr. Dmitri Shteinberg.
Kailey received an honorable mention at the Music Teachers National Association’s state competition in Virginia in 2010. She placed third in the Richmond Music Teachers Association’s Bach Competition that same year. She has served as pianist in numerous churches and currently holds a position at Wallburg Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. Her other interests include songwriting, arranging, and accompanying.