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Source: Craig Weston, 785-532-5788,
Web site:

Friday, March 19, 2010


MANHATTAN -- The Kansas State University department of music is host to the Society of Composers Inc. Region VI Conference, March 25–27.

The conference will present 70 pieces of music by 66 composers in 11 concerts, which are all open to the public. Participating composers were selected in a national, competitive call for works that received more than 300 entries.

Craig Weston, composer and associate professor of music at K-State, is the conference host.

"This is one of those cultural benefits that comes with being in a university town," Weston said. There will be some amazing music by living, breathing composers, presented at these concerts: some by composers you may have heard of, and some by composers you probably haven heard of. But it's not the sort of thing that would happen in a town the size of Manhattan, Kan., if it weren't for Kansas State University. Plus, if you like the music, you can talk to the composers about it."

A large number of K-State music faculty and students, as well as other guest musicians from around the country, will be among the concert performers. In addition, special guests The Thelema Trio, from Belgium, will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 25, in K-State's All-Faiths Chapel Auditorium.

The Thelma Trio includes Marco Antonio Mazzini, clarinet; Peter Verdonck, saxophone; and Ward De Vleeschhouwer, piano. The ensemble believes in music without boundaries ad promote and perform new music from the 21st century. The group has released two CDs and has appeared at major music festivals and events around the world.

"If you attend any of these concerts, expect to hear a very broad variety of different musical styles," Weston said. "That's one of the very exciting things about composition in the concert-music tradition in 2010: it is very pluralistic and inclusive. You might hear one piece with explicit jazz or rock influences, and the next might be completely electronic, or reference music from India or West Africa, and so on.

"You might not love every single piece, but I guarantee you can find some music that you love and that is new to you at an event like this," he said. "This isn't the 1950s; if your stereotype of new concert music is random-sounding blips and blops, rest assured that's notwhat you'll hear at these concerts."

All concerts will be in the All Faiths Chapel auditorium. The schedule includes:

* Thursday, March 25 -- Concert 1, 9:45 a.m.; Concert 2, featuring Slawomir Dobrzanski, piano; Concert 3, 3:30 p.m., featuring electro-acoustic music; and Concert 4, 7:30 p.m., featuring The Thelema Trio.

* Friday, March 26 -- Concert 5, 10:30 a.m.; Concert 6, 1:30 p.m.; Concert 7, 3:30 p.m., featuring the K-State Bands and Brass Choir; and Concert 8, 7:30 p.m.

* Saturday, March 27 -- Concert 9, 11 a.m.; Concert 10, 3 p.m., featuring the K-State Percussion Ensemble; and Concert 11, 7:30 p.m.