This evening, the Ball State University New Music Festival begins! I'm proud of my Viola Choir, which is ending tonight's concert with a performance of the Festival Overture by Michael Kimber. It's an exciting and melodious work, and features Nataliya Nizhalova in a small cadenza. I'm so proud of my students for all of the hard work they've put in, getting this piece ready for tonight's concert. I'm also especially grateful to Michael Lund Ziegler, who is conducting the ensemble. He's actually a conductor, whereas I barely manage to wave my arms in the right beat patterns! The group sounds so much better since Mike joined us. I just got home from the dress rehearsal, and I'm sure that this piece will be a great end to the concert.
Before that, though, Mary Kothman and I will be premiering a work that was composed for us by Benjamin Fuhrman. He'll be there, working the electronics. It's an incredibly moving work, which in an email he described as "a response to a number of deaths of family and friends in the year leading up to composing it." I've really enjoyed working with Mary on this piece, and with Keith Kothman, who worked the electronics in rehearsals (as Ben is not local). I hope the audience enjoys it as much as Mary and I have. It's really quite lyrical and expressive, and I hope the piece gets the recognition I think it deserves. New music often gets a bad rap for being inaccessible and too weird, but this work is definitely accessible and wonderful. I hope Mary will be up for performing it again soon!
So, if you're in the area, come on out to Sursa Hall tonight at 7:30. The concert is free and open to the public. There are also a lot of other works on the concert, and I'm looking forward to it!