Contemporary music festival to host Theofanidis

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Sam Houston State University’s School of Music will present the 2016 Contemporary Music Festival from April 7 until the 9.

The featured guest composer will be Christopher Theofanidis.

Theofanidis, a Dallas native, has worked all around the world with symphonies such has the London Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, the Moscow Soloists and many others. Theofanidis attained his degree from Yale University in the Eastham School of Music.

Coordinator of composition studies Kyle Kindred said the SHSU music programs will perform Theofanidis’s works throughout the weekend.

“We are doing some of his pieces in our programs,” Kindred said. “Our students and faculty and our large ensembles are doing programs Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”

On Thursday, there will be an Ars Perpetua New Music Recital in the Gaertner Performing Arts Recital Hall at 5:00 p.m.

From 8:00 a.m. until the last show at 5:00 p.m., the recital hall will have a plethora of recitals, rehearsals and workshops to attend. All of the concerts will contain Theofanidis’s work and the workshop will be orchestrated by the guest musician himself.

“The Thursday afternoon concert will be pieces done by our own student composers that will be performed by our own students and faculty here,” Kindred said. “The Friday evening concert will be faculty composers and faculty performers as well as will be performing a piece of Theofanidis.”

Saturday is the closing day of the festivities and will contain lectures and composition master classes, and the Sam Houston State University Symphony Orchestra, opera workshop and Wind Ensemble will perform.

“The pieces vary in length,” Kindred said. “The Opera Workshop are doing a couple of five minute pieces and the Symphony Orchestra is doing a piece called ‘Rainbow Body’ and that piece is kind of a crowd pleaser piece done by Theofanidis.”

Kindred said Theofanidis grew up in and even attended the SHSU band camp when he was younger.

“Funny story, he grew up in Houston and as a kid he went to band camp here at Sam Houston State University many, many years ago.” Kindred said. “This will however be Theofanidis’s first time having his music played on campus and his first time performing as a well-known composer.”

A new music concert typically does not get a large attendance because of the strange or boring reputation it has had from past experiences, but Kindred said this isn’t the case.

“There is a stigma about new music,” Kindred said. “Most people do not want to go to a concert if it is called contemporary music or new music because they think it is going to be weird or not very exciting. New music does not have to be that way. Our guest composer is a great example of how someone writes music and is really fresh and relevant but it is something that anyone, whether you are a musician or not, can really enjoy and get something out of it.”

The festival is a celebration that hopes to bring faculty, students, soloists, ensembles and guest performers together to share the passion of music.

“Hopefully the audience will leave energized about new music and want to come back to listen to more new music concerts.” Kindred said.

Admission into the Thursday, Friday and Saturday concerts are free.

For more information on the festivities contact the School of Music Box Office.