Samba Variations at Stetson University, September 17 @ 3pm

Clarinetist Jessica Speak and guitarist Troy Gifford will reprise their premiere performance from last year of my Samba Variations, this time on September 17 at 3 p.m. at Stetson University’s Lee Chapel / Elizabeth Hall. This is part of a larger program of music that includes pianist Hannah Sun.

3:00 p.m., Lee Chapel, Elizabeth Hall
421 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand, FL 32723
(386)-822-8950
Admission is free.

Thresholds: Choral Doorways Into Hope, Loss and Spirit at Harriet’s Orlando Ballet on September 16

The 16-voice ensemble VoxO, directed by Claire Hodge and joined by pianist Libby Chippeaux, violinist Julia Gessinger, cellist Jamie Clark, and harpist Haley Rhodeside, presents a first-of-its-kind program ever heard in Orlando: regional or world premieres of choral works written entirely by living Central Florida composers.

The works in this program explore the depths of the emotional and spiritual human experience, from the Korean lullaby Jajang-ga by ChanJiKim to Alex Burtzos’s setting of Shakespeare’s Come Away, Death. New spiritual works set in Latin, like Brandon Martin’s Ave Maris Stella, Stan Cording’s Exaudi Me, and Alan Gerber’s Ubi Caritas, complement the secular deeply poetic expression found in works like Troy Gifford’s Like Water, Chaz Underriner’s Forget Sleep, and Charlie Griffin’s In After Time.

The singers of VoxO are:

Sopranos: Pam Armitage, Jenni Ayers, Brittany Payne, Stephanie Rosario

Altos: Ashley Duvé, Alice Fortunato, Jennifer Hunt, Corrie Shaw

Tenors: William Ayers, Michael Clossey, Larry Fortunato, Enrique Ynaty

Basses: Michael Andrew Creighton, Jason Ernst, Linden Gould, Andrew V Smith

Saturday, September 16 · 7pm EDT
Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre
600 North Lake Formosa Drive Orlando, FL 32803

Many, many thanks to The Awesome Foundation for their support of this project, along with Full Sail University, University of Central Florida, Valencia College, Track Shack, and Tom Dyer.

who knows if the moon’s a balloon will receive a local premiere – VoxO at DPAC on September 9

Experience the adventurous spirit and wide-eyed wonder of childhood through music as Orlando Contemporary Chamber Orchestra partners with 16-voice sensation VoxO for “Through a Child’s Eyes.” This exciting concert features five world premieres that contemplate life’s joys and sorrows from a youthful perspective.

Let William Blake’s poetic ode “A Cradle Song” transport you to a place of innocence shielded from life’s harshness. Feel the liminal space between dreaming and waking in Ella Higginson’s mystical “Dawn.” Learn music’s magic alongside Robert Louis Stevenson’s whimsical verses. Marvel at the child-like visual poetry of e.e. cummings’ imaginary world where effortless love reigns in Charlie Griffin’s setting of who knows if the moon’s a balloon, rearranged specifically for VoxO at the request of their director, Claire Hodge. Grieve a child taken too soon yet find resilience in his spirit with Abby Henkel’s setting of Mary Craig’s elegiac “Perigee.” Dance with shorebirds on sandy shores through the playful lens of “Gymnopedie.” And wander in awe through a meadow’s symphony of shimmering lights. 

Under the direction of Todd Craven (OCCO) and Claire Hodge (VoxO), this imaginative program will be performed on September 9 at 8pm at the Alexis and Jim Pugh Theater of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Experience choral music anew as “Through a Child’s Eyes” offers a kaleidoscope of perspectives, allowing you to reconnect to life’s beauty. 

OCCO-Deconstructed: LANDSCAPES OF SHADOW AND LIGHT at Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts, August 19 at 8 pm

Blue Bamboo Center For The Arts — 1905 Kentucky Ave, Winter Park, FL. Saturday, August 19, 2023 @ 8PM. Tickets are $25.

Experience contemporary chamber music at its finest when Performing Arts Matter presents the Orlando Contemporary Chamber Orchestra and Central Florida Composer Forum in “OCCO Deconstructed: Landscapes of Shadow and Light.” Hear music by award-winning composers performed by small ensembles of OCCO’s outstanding musicians.

The program includes Alex Burtzos’ “King | Cawdor,” depicting the emotional turmoil of political power; Sharon Omens’ “Thoroughfare,” contrasting urban loneliness and natural connectedness; Troy Gifford’s energetic string quartet works “Lumina” and “Lacerta”; Dan Crozier’s haunting “Nocturne” for cello and piano; and Christian Yom’s “Sansori,” merging traditional Korean music and lush strings. The evening concludes with Charlie Griffin’s “Cambiando Paisajes,” a piano trio work inspired by Latin rhythms.

With passionate performances and thought-provoking new music, this evening of shadow and light is not to be missed. Experience contemporary music as it was meant to be heard – live on stage.

The performers for this event are:
Jamie Clark – Cello
Nora Lee Garcia – Flute
Julia Gessinger – Violin
Elliot May – Bass
Haley Rhodeside – Harp
Jazmin Skipper – Bassoon
Jessica Speak – Clarinet
Hannah Sun – Piano
Anabel Tejada – Viola
Andreas Volmer – Violin

Samba Variations

Duo for Clarinet and Guitar, 2022, ca. 7 minutes.

Sheet music is available for purchase at Sheet Music Plus

Clarinetists and guitarists seeking a sophisticated chamber work will delight in Charles Griffin’s Samba Variations. This lively 7-minute duo treats a traditional Brazilian samba theme to a series of brilliant variations ranging from toe-tapping minimalism to dream-like to sensual.

The samba theme appears in diverse guises, like a fashion show where the model sports different stunning costumes. Clarinetists will relish the opportunity to showcase technical flair and musicality through the work’s driving rhythms, syncopations, modulations, and range of articulations and dynamics.

Guitarists, too, are given plenty of chances to shine with jazz-inspired comping and improvisatory passages.

A superb selection for recitals or competitions, Samba Variations allows both instruments to fully demonstrate classical virtuosity and vibrant Brazilian spirit. Order your edition today for a dazzling showpiece duo!

Orlando Contemporary Chamber Orchestra premieres Charlie Griffin’s Looking Up in Perfect Silence at the Stars at Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre – June 18, 2022

The Orlando Contemporary Chamber Orchestra launches its 2022 summer concert season in partnership with the Central Florida Composers Forum, (CF2) with each concert featuring a premiere by a local composer member of CF2. The first concert of the series is called To There From Here, and features my Looking Up in Perfect Silence at the Stars, an 18-minute work for 18-piece chamber orchestra, along with David Wilborn‘s Rhapsody for Bass Trombone and Chamber Orchestra (featuring the composer on bass trombone), and Kyle Throw‘s Myth and Dreams.

The concert will take place at Harriet’s Orlando Ballet Centre (600 N Lake Formosa Drive in Orlando) on June 18 at 7pm. Tickets are $25 and are available here.

New Treble Choir 21V names Charlie Griffin for inaugural commission with April 1 & 2 premiere

From 21v’s Facebook page:

𝗦𝗔𝗩𝗘 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗗𝗔𝗧𝗘! After many months of planning and preparation, we are beyond excited to be announcing 21V’s inaugural program, 𝘽𝙚𝙮𝙤𝙣𝙙 𝘽𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙧𝙮, 𝗼𝗻 𝗔𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗹 𝟭, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮 at the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center and 𝗔𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗹 𝟮, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮 at the African American Museum & Library in Oakland. These performances explore and challenge the myth of “us vs. them”, and will feature the world premiere of 21V’s first commission, “Praise Song for Tulsa.” 

Sign up for 21V’s e-newsletter and get an insider view of their inaugural program!

Praise Song for Tulsa is a newly-composed work for the voices of 21V and audio that includes improvisation, solos, and a speaking Pastoral role, with text by my poet friend and Orisha Priest, Christina Springer.  

Will Daniels premieres Phase Variations at Timucua Arts Foundation in back-to-back October 1, 2021 concerts

PRELUDES AND SERENADES — New Music for Piano 

Friday, October 1, 2021 – Timucua Arts Foundation
2000 South Summerlin, Orlando, FL 32806.
at 7:00 PM and 8:30 PM
Tickets $20/$10 students, veterans, Timucua & CFCF members

Pianists Will Daniels, Rose Grace, and Barry Snyder perform a striking and stimulating program of new music by local composers.
Join us for the Central Florida Composers’ Forum’s fall concert, which will present new music for piano by local composers. Pianists Will Daniels, Rose Grace, and Barry Snyder perform a striking and stimulating program of music by ChanJi Kim, Keith Lay, Troy Gifford, Stan Cording, Charlie Griffin, Jamie Wehr, Erik Branch, and Alex Burtzos.

There are two performances of this program, one at 7 PM and one at 8:30 PM.

Tickets available at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/preludes-and-serenades-new-music-for-piano-in-person-tickets-166806656199 (to attend in person)

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/preludes-and-serenades-new-music-for-piano-live-stream-tickets-169003145959 (for the livestream)

Phase Variations is a five-movement set of variations for solo piano that uses as its theme Steve Reich’s classic and seminal 1967 minimalist masterpiece for two pianos, Piano Phase. This was Reich’s experiment with replicating a bug/feature of tape recorders whereby slight differences in the play speed mechanisms between two machines would incrementally create phasing between them over time. The germinal material of Reich’s Piano Phase is a stark twelve-note motive that, in the original, is played in unison rhythm by two pianists that are then asked to phase apart just like two tape recorders would do. This is “process” music at its finest. 

In Phase Variations, the Reich theme emerges by the end of the first variation. Each subsequent variation dresses the theme in different ways, as variations do, and ends with a process-derived variation of my own. The finale, which follows the fourth variation without break, is a toccata whose rhythmic patterning is based on the famous Fibonacci sequence. This is a growth pattern seen in nature based on a series in which each number is the sum of the previous two numbers.


Steven Siegel releases a new album with my Between Islands as its title track. CD and streaming on all platforms March 30, 2021

Between Islands – for trumpet and audio is an expression of the experience of separation from loved ones long gone.  The experience of losing a truly loved person is profoundly sad at the beginning and for a long time. But the quality of that loss gradually transforms. It becomes part of who we are. And with that realization comes a sense of serenity because the people we loved and lost are clearly residing within us.

Fernwood String Quartet premieres Billings Portraits at the Dr. Phillips Center January 23, 2021 at 7 and 8:30pm

The international musicians of the Fernwood String Quartet perform a program of world-premieres by acclaimed composers working in Central Florida. The program promises to be a buffet of styles and moods from some of the best known composers living and working in the Orlando area. Alex Burtzos’s OMAHA (all the things you could be you are you were) is a piece about memories – their creation, retention, and ultimate dissolution. Troy Gifford’s Lumina is a lyrical and gorgeous serenade. Charlie Griffin’s Billing’s Portrait pays tribute to the father of the American choral tradition in a set that reimagines three of William Billings’ best known pieces, including the fiery Let Tyrants Shake. These and other new and refreshing works will be brought to perfect life in a way that only the masterful Fernwood Quartet can.

Personnel:

Julia Gessinger, violin
Andreas Volmer, violin
Daniel Cortes, viola
Hanrich Claassen, cello

Program:

Five Miniatures, Austin Ashe
OMAHA, Alex Burtzos
Gigue, Stan Cording
Shock of Waking, Jim Croson
Lumina, Troy Gifford
Minimalist Madness, Joseph Gray
Billings Portrait, Charlie Griffin
Unfortunately Not A Samba, Jamie Wehr

There will be two performances on that day: One at 7pm, and one at 9pm.

cf2concert.JPG

The concerts will take place at the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater. Designed to seat 300, the Pugh will be rearranged with just 82 seats in a cabaret-style setup, with tables in the front and additional seating in the back. This socially distanced seating and the rest of the Dr. Phillips Center’s extensive COVID protocol offer you the safest indoor arts experience possible.