Music

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

February 2024

  • Part-Time Assistant Professor of Applied Music and Concertmaster of the Austin Symphony Jessica Mathaes’ student Seth Sagen ’26, a violin performance major, performed in the violin section of the Austin Symphony on their Masterworks concerts February 9-10 at the Long Center.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper wrote the program note for the first performance of Florence Price’s Symphony No. 3 by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. The performance is another milestone in the ongoing Florence Price movement, as a major orchestra that, even just ten years ago, had never even considered performing any of her music finally elected to recognize her significance by granting her a place in its repertoire.





January 2024

  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper published two new volumes of previously unknown compositions by Florence Price: Seven Songs on Texts of African American Poets and 12 Pieces for Piano Solo (both Fayetteville, AK: ClarNan Editions) and released these in tandem with sixteen videos performed and produced by African American artists; four of these videos were produced with assistance from Southwestern. The volume of songs was released in both the original settings for medium voice and a separate edition for high voice (because we all want to keep the sopranos happy). Totaling about 54 minutes worth of music, the 19 pieces in these volumes reveal the breadth and richness of Price’s musical imagination and span her active composing career from 1929 to the early 1950s. Those interested in hearing the Seven Songs on Texts of African American Poets can check out this YouTube playlist, and those interested in hearing the 12 Pieces for Piano Solo can check out this YouTube playlist. Listeners should, however, be forewarned that after listening to either or both of these playlists, they might experience what one listener dubbed #ThePriceEffect: a highly emotional state that mingles joy at this music’s entry into public life with a wide range of other emotions triggered by the music itself and sorrow that such genius that the political economy of the music industry and higher education allowed these works to remain unknown for decades – depriving audiences, teachers, and (most of all) students of their beauties.





December 2023

  • In August of this year, Part-time Assistant Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello ’99 was the featured guest Resident Artist alongside Grammy-nominated pianist Austin Haller at the iconic Spiritual Retreat Center, Holden Village, located in the remote North Cascade Mountains of Washington State. Altobello and Haller led daily musical workshops, choral programs, and performed a contemporary-classical concert for voice and piano titled “Hope and Healing.” Holden Village offers visitors a unique opportunity to step into the wilderness to form and renew their relationship with God, the earth, and each other. Over the course of more than 60 years, Holden Village has been transformed from a copper mining town to a vibrant place of education, programming, and worship where everyone is welcome and embraced. For more information, visit www.holdenvillage.org.





  • Part-time Assistant Professor of Music and concert cellist Hai Zheng Olefsky has continued coaching the top high school cellists in Austin. Her cello students have won the first stand cello chairs for Texas Region 26-All Region High School Symphony Orchestra this school year, and her students also won the cello audition for All-State Orchestra sponsored by TMEA (Texas Music Educator Association) and All-State Orchestra sponsored by TPSMEA (Texas Private School Music Educator Association).





  • Part-Time Assistant Professor of Applied Music Jessica Mathaes presented a violin masterclass at Baylor University on Nov 27.





November 2023

  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper published the first monograph on Margaret Bonds and her music. Titled “Margaret Bonds: The Montgomery Variations and Du Bois Credo,” the book was published by Cambridge University Press as part of the New Cambridge Music Handbooks series. It was born during the tumultuous year 2020 and draws on dozens of previously unpublished archival documents and takes a deeply interdisciplinary dive into the complex and powerful cultural, intellectual, political, social, and musical cross-currents that produced these twin summits of Margaret Bonds’s career-long quest to put her talent and her art into the service of the quest for racial justice and global equality. It is available here.





  • Part-time Assistant Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello was a featured guest soloist at New Music On the Bayou’s International Summer Music Festival located in Monroe and Ruston, Louisiana, in June of this year. Altobello performed “Evocations” by Steven Landis alongside soprano Claire Vangelisti. “Evocations” was composed in 2021 for soprano and mezzo-soprano and is entirely acapella (unaccompanied). The work is comprised of a set of nine site-specific nocturnes in mobile form. Each song explores aspects of the night: astronomy, astrology, mythology, and some of the associations humanity makes with the night (fear of the unknown, death, and sex). The work integrates the use of space and lighting (moonlight, fire, starlight) to further enhance the atmosphere. Altobello premiered the piece “Everything is Tiny,” composed by Astrid Hubbard Flynn alongside Benjamin Cold (alto saxophone), Justin Kujawski (bass), and Diana Thacher (piano). The title is a quote from Tomoe-san Katagiri, a Japanese Zen elder living in Minneapolis. The work is about giving time and space to everything and having nothing to prove. New Music On the Bayou’s International Summer Music Festival allows composers and performers from around the world to intersect during an intense multi-day, multi-city, multi-venue series of rehearsals, presentations, and concerts to enliven the region with new ideas about music and to inspire composers with the unique landscapes and cultural offerings scattered among the cities of Monroe and Ruston, Louisiana. Learn more here.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper was interviewed by the Hong Kong-based online magazine Interlude about his forthcoming Cambridge University Press book on Margaret Bonds’s “Montgomery Variations” and “Credo” (https://tinyurl.com/y3drvdkb) and his ongoing projects concerning Bonds and Florence Price in general. The book is due out this month. Those who missed their extra hour of sleep this past weekend can quickly recapture it by reading the interview here.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper was interviewed by the Hong Kong-based online magazine Interlude about his forthcoming Cambridge University Press book on Margaret Bonds’s “Montgomery Variations” and “Credo” (https://tinyurl.com/y3drvdkb) and his ongoing projects concerning Bonds and Florence Price in general. The book is due out this month. Those who missed their extra hour of sleep this past weekend can quickly recapture it by reading the interview here: https://tinyurl.com/3w7dtb73.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper gave the keynote address “Margaret Bonds: A Life in Music” and two pre-concert lectures at the first-ever three-day Margaret Bonds symposium on November 3-5. Hosted by Queens University (Charlotte, North Carolina), the symposium included a salon recital of Bonds’s art songs, popular songs, and spirituals and a choral concert that included Bonds’s choral lullaby “Sleep Song” and a performance of her magisterial setting of W.E.B. Du Bois’s iconic civil-rights manifesto “Credo” (both works recently edited and published by Cooper as part of the Margaret Bonds Signature Series of Hildegard Publishing Company).





October 2023

  • Professor of Music Kiyoshi Tamagawa performed as harpsichord soloist on October 23 with Jessica Mathaes, Austin Symphony Orchestra concertmaster and Adjunct Instructor of Music at SU, and Rachel Lopez, ASO flutist, in J.S. Bach’s Fifth Brandenburg Concerto with the Austin Youth Orchestra. The “Bachtoberfest” concert was part of the Youth Orchestra’s 30th anniversary season.





  • Will Mallick ’24 performed the lead role of Daniel in “Once On This Island” by Lynn Arenas and Stephen Flaherty at The Georgetown Palace Theatre on May 19-June 18 in Georgetown, TX. Mallick performed the role of Kienickie in “Grease” by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey at Summer Stock Austin July 28-August 7 in Austin, TX. Cayden Couchman ’23 performed in the ensemble of “Matilda” by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin with Zilker Theatre Productions on July 7-August 12 in Austin, TX. Couchman and Mallick are currently performing in Jekyll & Hyde at The Georgetown Palace Theatre in Georgetown, TX. Couchman performs the title role of Jekyll and Mallick plays Lord Savage and Spider. The show runs October 6-November 5th. For more information:georgetownpalace.com





  • Associate Professors of Music Bruce Cain and David Asbury were invited to perform at the Just Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, August 7th-9th. A social justice and human rights festival, the Just Festival is part of Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival whose events aim to challenge perceptions, celebrate differences, and encourage dialogue on the key issues of our time. The duo was also invited to perform at the Hispanic Heritage Festival at Palm Beach Atlantic University on October 14th. The program for the concerts in Scotland featured works on environmental themes written for the duo by composers Matthew Dunne, Jason Hoogerhyde, Diego Luzuriaga, Eduardo Martin, Julio Cesar Oliva, and Diego Vega, while the concert for the HHF was comprised of works based upon Spanish texts.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper published the second, enlarged edition of his Historical Dictionary of Romantic Music Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. The first edition of this book (2013) was the most diverse and inclusive single-volume study of music of the long nineteenth century (ca. 1780-ca. 1914) to date. But the 600+ entries of the new edition double down on the challenge of dismantling the widespread and historically false portrayal of Romantic music as an imaginary museum of works by dead White folk, most of them German, French, or Italian, and most of those male. It includes more women, more Black musicians and other musicians of color, and more musicians from Central and South America as well as Central and Eastern Europe than any other single-volume study of Romantic music. It features entries on topics such as anti-Semitism, sexism and misogyny, and racism that were pervasive and defining to the worlds of musical Romanticism but are rarely addressed in general studies of that subject, as well as (another first) dedicated entries on spirituals and ragtime and genre-determinative topics such as the Haitian Revolution, the U.S. Civil War, Reconstruction, the National Peace Jubilee, the World Peace Jubilee, and the Second Great Awakening. The result is an expansive, inclusive, diverse, and more richly textured portrayal of “Romantic music” than is elsewhere available. A bonus is that a dozen or so of the book’s entries were written by SU alumna Megan Marie McCarty’10.





  • Part-Time Assistant Professor of Applied Music Julia Taylor and Part-Time Instructor of Music David Utterback were invited to perform a recital for the South Texas Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Fall Conference. The program included works by William Grant Still, H.T. Burleigh, Amy Beach, Dominick Argento, Reynaldo Hahn, and Rachmaninoff.





  • Part-time Assistant Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello ’99 performed the world premiere of Chris Prosser’s hilarious piece spoofing Facebook entitled “Meta Anthem” (an eleven-minute duet for mezzo-soprano, baritone, and piano) at Tetractys New Music’s sold out event HERE BE MONSTERS! on Saturday May 27th at The Butterfly Bar in Austin, TX. The event featured five hours of new music on two stages, was sponsored by KMFA Classical 89.5, and featured outstanding local artists such as The Kraken Quartet, Convergence, Invoke, and Graham Reynolds. You can watch the live performance of “Meta Anthem” here.





  • Three works by Margaret Bonds, discovered and edited by Professor of Music Michael Cooper, were featured on the new album “Reflections in Time” by trailblazing pianist Althea Waites. Waites – who will perform at Southwestern at 7:30 p.m. on February 24, 2024, as part of the Sarofim Music Series – made history with her first album, “Black Diamonds,” in 1993 by presenting the first commercially released album devoted exclusively to piano music by African American composers (a proposition that had previously been considered not commercially viable) – including the world-premiere recordings of Margaret Bonds’s “Troubled Water” and Florence Price’s Piano Sonata. This latest album includes the second recording of Bonds’s sensual “Tangamerican” and the world-premiere recordings of her evocative “Flamenco” and masterpiece sui generis, Fugal Dance. Cooper published the first and third of these pieces in 2021, and his edition of the “Flamenco” is to appear in 2024. He also wrote the liner notes for these works.





  • Part-time Assistant Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello’s voice student, Abigail Bensman ’25 was cast as Brenda in the National Broadway Tour of the hit musical “Hairspray”! After five grueling days of callbacks in New York City, Bensman was offered a year-long contract touring the United States and living her dream performing musical theatre. Altobello has been Bensman’s voice teacher for three years and has witnessed her incredible growth, talent, and work ethic. For more information: www.hairspraytour.com.





September 2023

  • Associate Professor of Music Jason Hoogerhyde’s student Brayden Carr ’23 was an invited participant to the Valencia International Performing Arts Festival, Valencia, Spain, this summer. While there, they participated in composition masterclasses and received a performance of their commissioned work for the Mivos String Quartet. Carr was the winner of an international call for scores from the Rock Mountain Chamber Choir. The choir’s performance of Carr’s work, The Elysian Fields, may be heard here.





  • A nonfiction book titled Funky Fungi: 30 Activities for Exploring Molds, Mushrooms, Lichens, and More was co-authored by Adjunct Professor of Music Education Alisha Gabriel. In March, the book won the 2023 AAAS/Subaru Book Prize for Excellence in Science Books in the hands-on category, and Gabriel spoke about the book at the AAAS Conference in Washington, DC.





  • A choral composition by Margaret Bonds, “Joy,” discovered and edited by Professor of Music Michael Cooper, was included on GRAMMY-winning choral ensemble Conspirare’s new album, “House of Belonging,” along with Cooper’s program note for the piece. Based on a parable-poem written by Langston Hughes after he had abandoned the racism and stifling conformism of Columbia University for a job as a “saloon messman” aboard a decommissioned freighter (where he discovered that his rough, ne’er-do-well shipmates where “the finest gentlemen [he] ever met”), the work teaches that joy is not the province of the exalted halls of universities and churches, but rather something that can be found in the humblest of human quarters and need only be embraced wherever we find it. Margaret Bonds’s musical interpretation is, aptly enough, suffused with joy as well as genius in its brief 2’14”. Those who wish to hear it can stream it on YouTube here.





August 2023

  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper discovered an art song by Margaret Bonds that was given its world premiere by acclaimed soprano Nicole Cabell and pianist Lara Downes at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago on 22 August. The song “Sunset” is Bonds’s only known setting of the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar and reflects the ideals of the mid-twentieth-century Black renaissance in its portrayal of daylight passing into the beauties of the night. Bonds’s music emphatically celebrates the rich splendors of night’s Blackness by vividly portraying twinkling stars and using exceptionally evocative harmonies during the portion of the song devoted to darkness. Cooper discovered this song quite by accident during his archival research: the manuscript for the first half of the song is in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, while that for the second half is in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York. Cooper’s edition is being published as part of the Margaret Bonds Signature Series of Hildegard Publishing Company (proofs are already awaiting his review as soon as he returns from his next appointment with his ophthalmologist).





  • Professor of Music Kiyoshi Tamagawa performed two solo recitals in July, one for the Central Presbyterian Church Noonday Concerts series in Austin and the second on the Sunday Concert Series presented by the city of Lakeway.





  • Assistant Professor of Applied Music Ruben Balboa’s research has been published by The Journal of the American Viola Society and is a featured article. The title of the publication is The Loeffler-Verlaine Connection.





July 2023

  • Part-time Instructor of Applied Music Sarah Oliver presented “Less Pain, More Gain: Looking Beyond Technique for Longevity” at American String Teachers Association’s 2023 Summit and the Greater Austin Suzuki Institute.





May 2023

  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper’s edited arrangement for piano solo of Margaret Bonds’s “Especially Do I Believe in the Negro Race” is featured on pianist Lara Downes’s new album “Love at Last,” which debuted at No. 1 in Billboard’s Traditional Classical Albums category and has held that position for two weeks (so far). In its original guise for soprano with piano or orchestra, the work is No. 2 of Bonds’ setting of W.E.B. Du Bois’s iconic civil-rights manifesto, CREDO. Cooper’s edition of this arrangement will be published later this summer as part of the Margaret Bonds Signature Series of Hildegard Publishing Company. Those interested in hearing Lara Downes’s exceedingly beautiful interpretation can find it on all major streaming platforms or on YouTube here.





  • Associate Professors of Music Bruce Cain and David Asbury were invited to perform at the College Music Society Southwest Regional Conference in March and as featured guest artists at Rollins College in April. The programs for these concerts featured works on environmental themes written for the duo by composers Susan Cohn Lackman, Daniel Crozier, Matthew Dunne, Jason Hoogerhyde, Diego Luzuriaga, Eduardo Martin, Julio Cesar Oliva, and Diego Vega.





  • Georgetown will be featured in the upcoming Amazon Prime docuseries “The Story of Art in America.” The show, created by award-winning director Christelle Bois, showcases the art scene of different cities and counties through interviews with well-known artists and historians. The docuseries aims to explore the significance of the arts in American society. Concert Cellist and Part-Time Assistant Professor of Music Hai Zheng-Olefsky was selected to be featured as one of the four artists. The filming took place on April 16th, and the episode is expected to premiere on Amazon Prime Video in early 2024.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper traveled backward nearly twenty-three years, to late May in the year 2000, when he went poking around in the Conservatorio di musica “Giuseppe Verdi” in Milan, Italy, looking for significant music manuscripts pertaining to Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. At that time, Cooper found a fascinating and beautiful manuscript that transmitted an arrangement by Giuseppe Martucci (1856-1909) of Mendelssohn’s Albumblatt (Album leaf) op. 117, originally written for piano solo, for bassoon with piano. Cooper edited it immediately upon return to these shores and even arranged for several performances (at the Juilliard School in 2002, the University of North Texas in 2003, and Southwestern University in 2007) – but he never committed it to print. Having returned to our own day, Cooper finally realized, some twenty-three years later, that this arrangement warranted publication. Martucci’s arrangement of Mendelssohn’s Albumblatt is now available through the Recital Publications imprint of Classical Vocal Reprints (Fayetteville, AR). Those interested in hearing the work can do so here.





April 2023

  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper published the entry on Florence B. Price in MGG Online (Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart Online), the leading German-language encyclopedia of music. The entry marks Price’s first appearance in German music-lexicography and will give German speakers easier access to reliable information about this extraordinary composer’s life, works, and significance than has been the case until now.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper gave a virtual lecture on the deliciously finite and focused subject of “The Piano Music of Florence Price” for California State University, Northridge. Florence Price’s complete oeuvre comprises more than 456 works, but a paltry 217 of those were written for piano solos. The presentation classified this body of works into major style periods in the fashion that scholars have long since done for virtually every canonical composer as well as many Kleinmeister whose utter insignificance is undisputed even by their advocates; it is the first attempt to come to terms with Price’s extraordinary creative imagination in this fashion. Best of all, the presentation included clips of recently unearthed Price compositions in performances by Lara Downes, Samantha Ege, Elizabeth G. Hill, Phoenix Park-Kim, and Althea Waites; and viewers who were not lost in Instagram or simply snoozing were rewarded with a video of the world premiere of Price’s final composition for piano solo, the still-unpublished Waltz Charming, discovered and edited by Cooper and recorded especially for this presentation by Prof. Kevin Wayne Bumpers.





  • Several student members of the Texas Alpha chapter of the Alpha Chi Honor Society attended the Alpha Chi National Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they presented research and creative works from several fields. Arden Neff ’25 presented a research poster titled “Using Linear Programming to Optimize Grape Harvest Timing and Yield” based on research supervised by Professor of Computer Science Dr. Barbara Anthony. Chelsey Southwell ’24 Samuel Dawson ’23 gave a presentation titled “Gold(I) Catalyzed Synthesis of Isoquinolines” based on research supervised by Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Mike Gesinski. Finally, Anna Wicker ’24 gave a piano performance of “Souvenir de Porto Rico” by L.M. Gottschalk, which she selected with the guidance of Professor of Music Kiyoshi Tamagawa. Additionally, it was announced that Marcelo Salazar-Barragan ’23 was awarded a $3,000 H. Y. Benedict Fellowship. Alpha Chi is a national honor society open to students of all academic disciplines and was founded at Southwestern University in 1922. Only the top 10% of juniors and seniors are invited to join, and our chapter currently consists of 55 student members.





  • Austin-based choral ensemble Conspirare and conductor Craig Hella Johnson, GRAMMY-Award winners both, gave posthumous premiere(s) of a composition by Margaret Bonds discovered and edited by Professor of Music Michael Cooper in a pair of performances on March 31 and April 1. A setting of Langston Hughes’s parable-poem Joy (1922), the composition was evidently one of Bonds’ favorite works: she returned to it in no fewer than six different arrangements, all performed to acclaim, over the period 1936-66 – more than any other work. It has remained unpublished, but Cooper’s edition will be published as part of Hildegard Publishing Company’s Margaret Bonds Signature Series later this year.





  • Professor of English Michael Saenger presented a paper entitled “’Oh, I smell false Latin!’: Multiple Languages in Love’s Labours Lost” at the Multilingualism in Translation Conference, Université Paris Nanterre, March 31, 2023. Saenger also served on the Advisory Board of the conference.





  • Pre-college and Southwestern students of Professor of Music Kiyoshi Tamagawa distinguished themselves in March. Eighth-grader Richard Wang won the first prize in the Steinway Piano Gallery Concerto Competition, Division II (Grades 6-8), and Lerchen Zhong, a ninth grader at Westwood HS, won both the first prize in the Senior Piano division and overall Grand Prize at the Asian American Community Partnership Music Competition. (Assistant Professor of Music Hai Zheng is the Artistic Director of the latter event.) Finally, SU piano student and Music major Anna Wicker ’24 performed at the Alpha Chi national convention in Albuquerque, NM.





March 2023

  • Professor Emerita Lois Ferrari, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities Holly Dalrymple, and Instructor of Applied Music Chaz Nailor collaborated with Austin-based soprano Natalie Joy Howard, the Southwestern University Chorale, and the Austin Civic Orchestra to give the Texas premiere of a work recovered, edited, and published by Professor of Music Michael Cooper: the choral/orchestral version of Margaret Bonds’s setting of W.E.B. Du Bois’s iconic Civil Rights Credo. Given on February 25, the performance was many students’ first time singing with an orchestra – and the opportunity to lift their voices in song to proclaim Du Bois’s magisterial text with Margaret Bonds’s music was, in the words of one student, “a life-altering experience.” Those interested in hearing or re-hearing the performance can find it here. The Chorale will perform the Credo again, now in its original version with piano accompaniment, with Professor of Music Bruce Cain (baritone), Part-Time Assistant Professor of Applied Music Julia Taylor (soprano), and Part-Time Instructor of Music Bruce Cain (piano) in another concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater on April 15.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper published the entry on composer Margaret Bonds for MGG-Online (Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart – Online), the leading German-language encyclopedia of music. It is this African American composer’s first-ever appearance in German musical lexicography and her first in German-language musicology generally. Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in German interest in Bonds and her work in Germany. This article will grant German speakers easier and more authoritative access to reliable information concerning Bonds and her music. Cooper’s entry is available here.





Feburary 2023

  • Part-time Assistant Professor of Music and concert cellist Hai Zheng Olefsky has been teaching and coaching top young talents in the greater Austin area. Three of her students won Cello Audition in the 2022–2023 Texas All-State Symphony, Philharmonic, and Sinfonietta Orchestras, sponsored by the Texas Music Educators Association; and two of her students from St. Stephen’s School won cello auditions for the Texas Private School Music Educator Association (TPSMEA) 2022–2023 All-State Orchestra.





  • Inversion Ensemble presents the world premiere of “Extinction,” a choral setting by Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis of Kim Stafford’s poem “An Extinction” for its Planet Home concert, with a soundscape by Seylon Stills. Attend the performances on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 26, 2023, at 3 p.m. The Rosette 3908 Avenue B Ste 116, Austin, TX 78751. Tickets are available here.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper was interviewed on the podcast “Her Music Academia,” founded by Lydia Bangura, a music theory Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan who is interested in “the intersection of performance and analysis, and the performance of Black feminism in American classical music.” The episode’s conversation retraces the long and winding trail of Cooper’s work on Florence Price and Margaret Bonds. The episode “get[s] into the weeds” (as Bangura puts it) about the powers, good and bad, wielded by music publishing houses, talks about Price and Bonds, and features a powerful reading by Dr. Candace Kerr Johnson (UC Berkeley) of a speech (discovered by Cooper) in which Margaret Bonds talks about her African American ancestral heritage, her experiences with racism at Northwestern University as well as Bonds’s recently discovered “Tangamerican,” which Cooper discovered in 2018 and published in 2021. The episode is on all major podcasting platforms and via Bangura’s anchor site.





January 2023

  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper published the first-ever edition of Margaret Bonds’ “Sleep Song” (text by Joyce Kilmer), written ninety-one years ago this year, as part of the Margaret Bonds Signature Series with Hildegard Publishing Co. Scored for women’s chorus and piano, it is a lullaby, likening the silver moon, watching lovingly over the sleeping earth with cloak and shoon, to the speaker as she watches her “little maid” drift off to sleep: “Your life, your love, your dreams are mine to keep / So sleep, so sleep.” Margaret Bonds gives musical voice to that protective parental devotion with delicacy, tenderness, and warmth. A plus is that this choral score was copied by Bonds’ friend and collaborator Florence B. Price – a circumstance that makes this the closest thing the modern world has to a compositional collaboration between the two great composers.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper published the world-premiere edition of Margaret Bonds’ setting of the iconic spiritual “We Shall Overcome” (for soprano solo, SATB chorus, bongo, and tambourine) as part of the Margaret Bonds Signature Series of Hildegard Publishing Co. (Worcester, Mass.). Running to a remarkable 130 measures, the setting employs a wide array of musical styles, making it the most original setting of a ubiquitous social-justice hymn ever written. It was commissioned by legendary soprano Leontyne Price, a close friend and collaborator of Bonds, in September 1969 but has had to wait nearly 54 years for publication. Now, though, it has overcome the silence forcibly imposed on it by a musical world determined to silence the voice of resistance tendered by this African American woman composer who was doubly damned by her race and her sex.





December 2022

  • In June of this year, Associate Professors of Music Bruce Cain and David Asbury made video recordings of works written for them. They are releasing them as the editing process is completed. The next video in this series, Luz, is the fourth song from the cycle Sobre La Naturaleza by Diego Luzuriaga. The composer, originating from Ecuador, has a special affinity for writing music derived from traditional sources and connects deeply with themes from the natural world. The video can be viewed here.





  • Several compositions by Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis are enjoying their premieres. “Oure Light in Oure Night” (2020) for voices and nature soundtrack gets its in-person premiere in Seattle on December 1 and 7, 2022, by the University of Washington combined choirs and in San Francisco on December 9 by the San Francisco State University choir. Portia Hansen and David Utterback recently premiered “Ma’iingan” for flute and piano at Southwestern. On January 21, Inversion Da Capo premieres “Julian’s Hazelnut” for treble choir and clarinet, using the original pronunciation of Julian of Norwich’s Middle English text. See more information here.





November 2022

  • Professor Emeritus of Music Lois Ferrari conducted the Austin Civic Orchestra in a performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and Wolf, narrated by Peter Bay, the Austin Symphony Orchestra conductor. Ferrari and Bay collaborated in the Austin Symphony Orchestra’s Pajama Party concert on November 12. Both orchestra and audience arrived in their pajamas and settled in for a unique take on the bedtime story.





    • In June of this year, Associate Professors of Music Bruce Cain and David Asbury made video recordings of works written for them. They are releasing them as the editing process is completed. The next video in this series, Atmósfera, is the first song from the cycle Sobre La Naturaleza by Diego Luzuriaga. The composer, originating from Ecuador, has a special affinity for writing music derived from traditional sources and connects deeply with themes from the natural world. The video can be viewed here.




  • Part-Time Assistant Professor of Music and concert cellist Hai Zheng Olefsky has been invited to be an adjudicator for a strings-cello audition for All-State Orchestra by TMEA (Texas Music Educator Association) on Saturday, November 12, 2022. She has continued coaching the Austin area’s top high school cellists. Two of her cello students have auditioned and won the first cello chairs for both Texas Region 26 and Region 32-All Region High School Orchestra this school year.





  • Part-time Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello ’99 was the mezzo-soprano soloist in Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “All Night Vigil” with the Texas Bach Festival, under the direction of Dr. Barry Williamson on June 23 and 26 in Georgetown and Austin. The work consists of 15 movements with a capella chorus and soloists, sung in Church Slavonic/Russian. The “All Night Vigil” is one of Rachmaninoff’s finest compositions, considered “the greatest musical achievement of the Russian Orthodox Church.” Watch the performance here





October 2022

  • In June of this year, Associate Professors of Music Bruce Cain and David Asbury made videorecordings of works written for them and are releasing them as the editing process is completed.The next video in this series is a song from the River of Words Song Cycle entitled Mariquita,featuring music by Diego Vega, and text by Yutzel Garcia.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper gave a presentation at the 25th anniversary conference of the African American Art Song Alliance at the University of California, Irvine. Titled “A Ghost No More: On a Prize-Winning Song by Margaret Bonds No Longer Lost,” Cooper’s talk centered on Bonds’s setting of Frank Dempster Sherman’s poem “A Sea Ghost,” which she composed at the age of eighteen and for which she won a prestigious prize of $250 (about $5,400 in 2022 dollars) in the national Wanamaker Competition in 1932. The song has frequently been described as lost, but Cooper discovered it in the course of his archival research. By examining it and the political campaign song “We’re All for Hoover Today” (written when Bonds was fifteen), putting those two into a focused chronology with the flowering of mature song that emerged in mid-1932, and examining the previously unknown correspondence of the composer, Cooper shed light on the nature and potency of the otherwise unseen but powerfully felt encounter that enabled Bonds to grow by a decade or more as a composer in a matter of mere months. For those who are wondering, it is totally and truthfully coincidental that Cooper, who has an aversion to cheesy promotional stunts, gave a talk about ghosts and phantom voices two weeks before Halloween.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper wrote the program notes for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s first-ever performance of the two violin concertos of Florence B. Price (1887–1953). In Prince’s life, most White stages banned Black audience members, White orchestras had no Black performers, White orchestras rarely performed classical music by Black composers, and standing Black orchestras that could handle difficult concertos, Florence Price had to know that the chances of these two powerful compositions (1931 and 1951) being performed were virtually nil – and yet she wrote them. Now, though, 67 years after their composer’s death, they have finally been performed by one of the world’s greatest orchestras. Cooper’s program notes supplement their abstruse analytical comments on Price’s violin concertos with reflections on Price’s complex and deft negotiations of White and Black performance spaces and music in these two compositions.





  • Associate Professors of Music Bruce Cain and David Asbury released a video recording of “Juntos Frente al Mar,” the third and last song from the cycle  De Amor y Desventura  by Julio César Oliva. The video is available on YouTube .





  • Associate Professors of Music David Asbury and Bruce Cain performed their program titled “Canciones por la Vida” as part of the guest artist series at Kalamazoo College on September 29. This program contains many songs commissioned by the duo in the last 11 years, primarily on environmental themes.





September 2022

  • Associate Professors of Music David Asbury and Bruce Cain have released the second in their series of video recordings made in the summer of 2022. The recording is the second movement of the song cycle  De Amor y Desventura  written for the duo in 2017 by Julio César Oliva and is titled “Un Grito de Dolor.” The video is available on YouTube .





  • Associate Professors of Music Bruce Cain and David Asbury made video recordings of works by Federico Garcia Lorca, Jason Hoogerhyde, Diego Luzuriaga, Eduardo Martin, Julio César Oliva, and Diego Vega. The first of these recordings is titled “Encuentro” and is the first movement of a song cycle entitled  De Amor y Desventura  by Julio César Oliva. The video is available on YouTube .





  • Associate Professors of Music Bruce Cain and David Asbury were invited to perform at the Cheboygan Opera House in Cheboygan, Michigan, at the Heart of the Turtle Gathering in Mackinaw City, Michigan, and as part of the guest artist series at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Charlevoix, Michigan, in May 2022. The programs for these concerts featured works on environmental themes written for the duo by composers Matthew Dunne, Jason Hoogerhyde, Diego Luzuriaga, Eduardo Martin, Julio César Oliva, and Diego Vega.





  • Part-time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis and Shana Norton, otherwise known as the flute and harp duo Chaski, will present “Most Importantly,” a recital of music that explores the things that really matter, with soprano Maureen Broy Papovich and pianist Jeanne Dayton Sasaki. The recital’s centerpiece is the premiere of the song cycle “Most Importantly, Loves” (2021) by Inglis. The performance will be October 2 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas.





August 2022

  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper wrote the program notes for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s upcoming performance of both violin concertos by Florence B. Price, scheduled to take place November 6–9 with soloist Randall Goosby under the baton of Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Price wrote both concertos in an age where most white halls barred Black audience members, most white stages banned Black performers, and no white orchestras included any Black players; she had to know there was virtually no chance of the concertos being performed with orchestra during her lifetime. And indeed they were not: the Second Concerto, written just 13 months before her death, was premiered with piano three years after her passing, performed one more time, and then forgotten, and there is no evidence that the First Concerto was ever performed. Both works were lost until their manuscripts were found in an abandoned house south of Chicago in 2009. They were first performed in 2018 and are now in the repertoire of one of the world’s greatest orchestras.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper was the first guest speaker in the 2022 University of Arizona Choral Studies Distinguished Speakers Series. Titled “The Africans, Who Are a Part of My Ancestry, Say …’: Voices of Heritage in the ‘Credo’ and Spirituals of Margaret Bonds,” Cooper’s video lecture includes a significant amount of newly discovered archival evidence as well as readings by Candace Kerr Johnson (University of California, Berkeley) and performances by Grammy-winning chorus Conspirare and acclaimed soprano Karen Slack accompanied by Michelle Cann. A previously unknown exchange of letters between Bonds, Shirley Graham Du Bois, and Sam Fox Music Publishing provides unusually direct smoking-gun evidence of the music-publishing industry using its economic leverage to ensure that Bonds’s musical affirmation of Black folk and the Black ancestral heritage would be silenced.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper published three new editions of music by Margaret Bonds as part of Hildegard Publishing Company’s Margaret Bonds Signature Series: the Afro-modernist “African Dance” for soprano, baritone, and piano (text by Langston Hughes); “Especially Do I Believe in the Negro Race” for soprano, chorus, and piano (the second movement of Bonds’s setting of the W. E. B. Du Bois prose poem “Credo”); and, most significantly, The Montgomery Variations, a 23-minute orchestral work that offers a series of snapshots of the civil rights movement from the Montgomery bus boycott to the 16th-Street Baptist Church Bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, followed by a radiant “benediction” in which, according to Bonds, “a benign God, father and mother to all people, pours forth His love on His children—the good and the bad alike.” Released on a rental basis in 2020, the variations have been recorded by the Minnesota Orchestra and were featured at this summer’s Brevard Music Center Summer Festival in North Carolina. This study score is a full scholarly edition that will make the works available to individuals and libraries as well as performing groups.





July 2022

  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper gave a virtual lecture titled “‘So Sind Wird Nun Botschafter’: Der Gemeingut Mendelssohns und Wagners als Repräsentanten Deutscher Kultur in England” (“‘So Now We Are Ambassadors’: The Common Ground between Mendelssohn and Wagner as Representatives of German Culture to England”) for a conference titled Mendelssohn und Wagner: Zwei Leitfiguren der Leipziger Musikgeschichte (Mendelssohn and Wagner: Two Leading Figures of Leipzig’s Musical History) hosted by the University of Leipzig. Cooper was one of only two U.S. scholars in the program. His paper showed that although Mendelssohn and Wagner are commonly understood as absolute antipodes in 19th century music, they followed parallel strategies in a shared mission of musical diplomacy for expanding and enriching the musical life of England via recent and historical contributions of German composers. 





  • Part-time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis participated in “I Belong to You,” a multimedia experience presented by Inversion Ensemble and featuring the world premiere of “Motherland/I Belong to You,” an oratorio blending poetry, comic book illustration, and choral music, on June 25. The autobiographical libretto by critically acclaimed comic book author Greg Pak (The Incredible Hulk, Star Wars) explores the history, culture, and natural wonders of Texas from the perspective of a native Texan during the various stages of his life. The musical adaptation of Pak’s text by Inversion’s three founding members—Inglis, Robbie LaBanca, and Trevor F. Shaw—was sung by Inversion’s flagship choral ensemble and accompanied by guest artists Invoke (string quartet) and Ethan Shaw (steel guitarist). “Motherland/I Belong to You” will also be published as an original comic book by Pak, commissioned by Inversion, with illustrations by renowned artists Ann Smith, Dustinn Craig, Ethan Young, Sean Chen, and Shing Yin Khor. A recording of the performance may be purchased via the Inversion website





May 2022

  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper gave a virtual presentation titled “Freedom, Justice, and Jazz: An American Odyssey” for the New Horizons International Music Association. The presentation began with a cursory review of Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs and proposed that the creative urges that resulted in the musical revolutions of jazz were able to achieve extraordinary prominence not only as an art form, but also as a sonorous expression of the forces that underlay and are embodied in the fifth level (self-actualization) of Maslow’s hierarchy. Using guided questions and assigned listening, the presentation applied this thesis to Langston Hughes’s iconic poem “The Weary Blues” (both in its original 1925 literary guise and in his own televised reading with a jazz ensemble in 1958), the televised performance of Max Roach’s and Abbey Lincoln’s “Triptych” from the Freedom Now Suite, and Bob Kaufman’s poem “Walking Parker Home.” The presentation was adapted from a class assignment in Cooper’s fall 2021 course, Music and Poetry from the Harlem Renaissance to #BlackLivesMatter. 





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper taught a class and delivered a public preconcert lecture at the University of Missouri–Kansas City Conservatory on the occasion of a performance of the Margaret Bonds/Du Bois Credo by the conservatory’s combined choirs (150 voices) and orchestra in the world-renowned Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Titled “FLEX: The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Margaret Bonds and Her Credo,” the class and lecture adduced unpublished correspondence between Bonds and Shirley Graham Du Bois to illustrate how the political economy of classical music and music publishing works to erase, tacitly but potently, the presence of women, Black folk, and their art in musical life and narratives of music’s history. 





  • Part-time Assistant Professor of Music and concert cellist Hai Zheng Olefsky was invited to give a live music performance and talk as the guest speaker at the May 19 installment of the Full Circle: Speaker Series for Creatives in Georgetown, Texas. She was also interviewed for a feature article in Georgetown View magazine. 





  • Part-time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis’s composition “El Mar” (2020) for mixed chorus and piano will enjoy its live premiere performance by the San Francisco State University Chamber Singers on May 6. The piece expresses the angst and tragedy in Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni’s “Frente al Mar.”





April 2022

  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari led the Austin Civic Orchestra (ACO) in the fourth concert of its “Reunited” season on April 2. The performance was the 8th Texas Rising Stars concert and featured the three winners of the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music String Concerto Competition as soloists. The program included music by Tchaikovsky, Chausson, and Brahms, along with a performance of the Ukrainian national anthem. Ferrari is currently in her 20th consecutive season with the ACO.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper was guest musicologist for a two-day Florence Price Festival at Bowling Green State University. In addition to meeting with musicology and other music students, Cooper delivered two lectures as part of his visit: “Hear Her Voice: On Knowing Florence Price, Pianist, Today” and “’With Love, Devotion to the Negro Race and Humanity …’: Margaret Bonds and the Social Work of The Montgomery Variations.” Both talks were updated versions of lectures previously given virtually, now incorporating new information and issues raised by archival sources. In addition to aspiring to keep his audiences only minimally vegetative through 45 minutes’ worth of musicological droning, Cooper strove above all in these two talks (which were addressed to audiences comprised primarily of younger individuals beginning careers that may enable them to make the world a better place) to convey a sense of the courage and hope that motivated both Price and Bonds in their work as they challenged an unjust system and used art not as entertainment, but as an agent of social change.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper  gave a presentation titled “The Prophecies Fulfilled: Margaret Bonds and the Sacred Social Work of The Montgomery Variations and the Du Bois Credo ” at Georgetown University. The presentation explored how Margaret Bonds’s work in celebrating Black vernacular music in genres traditionally reserved for Euro-American classical repertoires was a 20th-century enactment of ideas first proposed in the 19th and early 20th centuries by Frederick Douglass, James Monroe Trotter, Frédéric Louis Ritter, Antonin Dvořák, and W. E. B. Du Bois. The presentation was followed the next day by a preconcert lecture (also at Georgetown University) for the first performance since 1973 of the orchestral version of the Bonds/Du Bois Credo and Bonds’s orchestral magnum opus, The Montgomery Variations (both recently discovered and published by Cooper), along with excerpts from her recently published cantata Simon Bore the Cross. 





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper was interviewed on historian Pamela Toler’s blog, “History in the Margins,” about his work in excavating and bringing back into public life the music of Florence B. Price and Margaret Bonds, including his motives, hopes, and trepidations. As is customary on the blog, Cooper asked a question of Toler after answering her questions to him. Read the complete interview





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper helped organize the world premiere of Florence B. Price’s choral/orchestral work “Song of Hope” (1930) at Ithaca College and participated in a pre-concert panel discussion on the piece and its significance. Learn more about the event and the work on the Ithaca College website.





Feburary 2022

  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper delivered a virtual guest lecture for the John Bird lecture series at Cardiff University (Wales). Titled “‘… and God and Everything Noble’: Margaret Bonds and the Montgomery Variations,” the lecture was an updated version of a lecture given for the University of Iowa in December 2021.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper gave the keynote lecture (virtually) for the two-day Florence Price Celebration jointly hosted by the University of the Incarnate Word and Texas Lutheran University. Titled “Hear Her Voice: On the Challenges of ‘Rediscovering’ Florence B. Price,” Cooper’s talk included recordings of two of his recently published editions of previously unknown music by Price. It also included a recording of the posthumous premiere of another song that remains unpublished, “Brown Arms (To Mother),” an otherwise utterly unknown composition that contemplates what must have been one of the most painful episodes in Price’s entire life: her mixed-race mother’s abandonment of her entire Arkansas family (including Price) to live a life passing as white in Indianapolis—forever. 





  • Part-time Assistant Professor of Music and concert cellist Hai Zheng Olefsky has been teaching and coaching young talents in the greater Austin area. Two of her students won the final round of auditions as the first cellist and eighth cellist in the 2021–2022 All-State Symphony Orchestra (highest-level orchestra) sponsored by the Texas Music Educator Association, and three of her students from St. Stephen’s School won their auditions for the Texas Private School Music Educator Association (TPSMEA) 2021–2022 All-State Orchestra. 





January 2022

  • Under the direction of founding artistic director Craig Hella Johnson and with the assistance of renowned pianist Anton Nel, six-time Grammy-winning chorus Conspirare will perform a concert on February 15 featuring pieces from Margaret Bonds that Professor of Music Michael Cooper has unearthed, edited, and published. The program was designed in consultation with Cooper and consists entirely of compositions he edited. The finale will be Bonds’s inspiring and magisterial setting of the W. E. B. Du Bois’s prose poem “Credo”—a musical social-justice manifesto the likes of which the world had never seen before and has never seen since. For more information, visit the Conspirare website.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper published two short choruses by Margaret Bonds with Hildegard Publishing Company. Titled “No Man Has Seen His Face” and “Touch the Hem of His Garment,” the two works were written in the spring of 1968 and exemplify Bonds’s commitment to providing high-quality music for both amateur and professional choruses.





December 2021

  • Professor of Music Kiyoshi Tamagawa was the piano soloist in a December 2 performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Op. 80, by the Westwood High School Symphony Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Joshua Thompson. The orchestra’s past honors include being selected as an Honor Orchestra by the Texas Music Educators Association and being invited to perform at the national Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. Last month, 12 of the group’s string players were selected for the Texas All-State Orchestra. 





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper wrote the program note for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Digital Stage performance of Florence Price’s Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, airing December 8–15. Composed in 1938–1939, the work marks the beginning of a new period in Price’s creative life. She was obviously aware of its originality, trying for several years after its premiere to secure a second performance. Despite her previous successful track record as symphonist, these efforts were in vain, and her correspondence makes the reason plain: “To begin with I have two handicaps—those of sex and race. I am a woman; and I have some Negro blood in my veins.” The Philadelphia rendition marks this important composition’s first complete performance by a top five U.S. orchestra. 





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper consulted with the Boston-based Convergence Ensemble on a program titled “American Voice in Poetry in Song II,” writing the program note and offering a short virtual lecture for a virtual concert that aired on December 4. The program included works by John Wesley Work III on poems by Maria Howard Weeden and Myrtle Vorst Sheppard, works by Florence Price and Margaret Bonds on poems by Langston Hughes, and a selection of spirituals.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper gave a virtual lecture for the Musicology, Music Theory, and Ethnomusicology Colloquium of the University of Iowa titled “‘With Love, Devotion to the Negro Race and Humanity …’: Margaret Bonds and the Social Work of The Montgomery Variations.” The Montgomery Variations, a 23-minute set of programmatic variations on the spiritual “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” for large orchestra, is a work that Cooper discovered during archival research in 2018, edited that same year, and published with Hildegard Publishing Company in 2020. In October 2021, it was recorded by the award-winning Minnesota Orchestra. Margaret Bonds’s lifelong work as an advocate for racial justice and gender justice is well known, and Cooper’s paper situates The Montgomery Variationsin the context of the composer’s increasingly ambitious projects that she mounted in the service of those goals, portraying it as a series of snapshots of major events of the civil rights movement, including the Montgomery bus boycott (1955), the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing (1963), and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.





November 2021

  • Part-Time Assistant Professor of Music and concert cellist Hai Zheng Olefsky has been teaching and coaching Austin-area young talents. Her students have won auditions as the first cellist for both middle school and high school all-region orchestras in 2021. It was announced this week that two of her students won cello auditions for the 2022 All-State Symphony Orchestra (highest-level orchestra) sponsored by the Texas Music Educator Association. She is also the cello teacher for a top high school cellist, Yochen Zhong, who recently won second place for cello (age group D) in the 2021 King’s Peak International Music Competition.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper gave an invited lecture for the Juilliard School titled “‘And I must go farther …’: Margaret Bonds and the Credo of W.E.B. Du Bois.” The paper was a thoroughly overhauled version of a talk that Cooper gave earlier this year for the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the University of California, Irvine, now revised to foreground documents that reveal Bonds’s thinking about her inheritance from her family—especially her mother—and her responsibility to her heritage as an African American, an artist, and a woman.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper completed the first installment of his work as a member of the Leadership Council of the three-part festival titled “The Souls of Black Folk: Rediscovering Black Classical Music,” a historic event offered in Washington, D.C., by the PostClassical Ensemble. In addition to designing most of the program, which included three posthumous premieres of music by Margaret Bonds and Florence Price and performances of other important marginalized works by Black classical composers, Cooper helped select the performers, wrote a characteristically windy, obtuse, and vaguely sanctimonious program note, gave an on-air live interview with host David Rabin on WPFW-FM, and participated in an after-concert roundtable moderated by Jenn White, permanent host of the national 1A radio program. 





  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari led the Austin Civic Orchestra (ACO) in the second concert of its “Reunited” season on October 30. The costumed orchestra presented a Halloween-themed program titled “ACO Spooktacular!” and featured music by Moussorgsky, Berlioz, Holst, Grieg, and John Williams.





  • On November 1 at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church in Austin, part-time Assistant Professor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello ’99 was the mezzo-soprano soloist in J.S. Bach’s Cantata BWV 79 alongside soprano Jenny Ohrstrom, bass-baritone Gil Zilkha, oboist Rebecca Fairweather-Haskins, cellist Matthew Arbruster, organist Austin Haller, and the St. Martin’s Lutheran Church choir (conducted by Tim O’Brien). 





  • Part-time Assistant Professor of Applied Music and Opera Julia Taylor will be the soprano soloist in performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Austin Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Austin on December 7 at Riverbend Centre and December 11 at St. Matthew’s Episopal Church.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper has been chosen as a recipient of the Dena Epstein Award for Archival and Library Research in American Music from the Music Library Association. The award will go toward supporting Cooper’s archival research for the first book-length biography of composer Margaret Bonds.





  • Professor of Music Kiyoshi Tamagawa performed on November 7 with Suzanne Jacobson and Cory Blais, concertmaster and principal cellist, respectively, of the Temple Symphony Orchestra, as part of the symphony’s 2021–2022 season. The fall performances feature members of the orchestra and guests in chamber music concerts, with full orchestra performances set to resume in the spring. The program included trios by Mozart, Beethoven, and award-winning contemporary composer Jennifer Higdon.





  • Michael Martinez  ’15 recently earned his doctorate in trombone performance from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester and was awarded the principal trombone position at the Arizona Philharmonic Orchestra.





  • Music alumnus Jason Schayot ’97 has been nominated for the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum’s 2022 Music Educator Award.





October 2021

  • Two songs from part-time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis’s recently commissioned song cycle “Most Importantly, Loves” were premiered October 16–17 by soprano Maureen Broy Papovich and pianist Joseph Choi during Inversion Ensemble’s Through the Prismconcert. The Concordia Singers performed the live in-person premiere of her piece “La Ciudad Sumergida” on October 24 at the Concordia University Texas Chapel. Chaski will perform her pieces “Newt” and “A Noiseless Patient Spider” on November 21 at 2 p.m. at the Georgetown Public Library.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper is serving as musicological consultant for season two of the ONEcomposer initiative, focusing on Margaret Bonds (with cameos from Florence Price). The official launch features a series of scholarly commentary videos by Cooper, together with stunning performances of works by Bonds and Price given by award-winning soprano Karen Slack and pianist Michelle Cann, as well as bass-baritone Justin Hopkins and pianist Jeanne-Minette Cilliers. Cooper’s recently published and soon-to-be-published editions of these works by Bonds and Price are the source of most of the performances. Cooper’s narcolepsy-inducing commentaries can be viewed along with those beautiful performances at the ONEcomposer website.





September 2021

  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari led the Austin Civic Orchestra (ACO) in its first live concert since February 2020 on September 26, 2021. The ACO presented its program, titled “Come for the Music, Stay for the Flowers,” in a performance at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The concert featured the different, separate sections of the orchestra and included the music of Piazzolla, Newbold, Vivaldi, Balmages, Reich, R. Strauss, and Di Lorenzo.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooperwrote the program note for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance of Florence B. Price’s Symphony No. 4 in D minor, to be released on the orchestra’s Digital Stage on October 13. The symphony was composed in 1945 but only recently discovered and published; it represents a substantially different approach to the genre of the symphony compared to Price’s previous symphonies and tenders perhaps her most overt musical commentary on the war. 





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper  made his first (and probably last) foray into phrenological musicology, or perhaps musicological phrenology, with a virtual guest lecture for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro music program. Titled “Disorderly Inspiration: Hector Berlioz’s Idée Fixe, the Clash of Tradition and Modernity, and the Episode in the Life of an Artist,” the lecture showed how Berlioz, who studied medicine before his descent into music, appropriated the technique of using a specific musical theme to represent an extramusical fixation or monomania from the pseudoscientific phrenological research of F. J. Gall and J. G. Spuzheim, specifically the first two volumes of their Anatomie et Physiologie Système Nerveux en Général, et du Cerveau en Particulier.  Of this pseudopsychiatry was born great art: Berlioz used Gall’s and Spurzheim’s concept to invent the technique of the (musical) idée fixe in his Symphonie Fantastique  and other works, a technique that became foundational to later Romantic music. 





August 2021

  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari  conducted and presided over the Austin Civic Orchestra’s (ACO’s) three-part summer concert series, the final installment of its The Beat Goes On  virtual season. These concert programs were designed to provide the orchestra’s musicians with a safe environment in which to rehearse and perform during the current pandemic. ACO members were assigned to small chamber groups or chose to form their own groups, all with social distancing and aerosol management at the forefront of consideration. The members rehearsed for four to five weeks and then recorded their performances as virtual compilations or in person at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. The streamed events drew large appreciative virtual audiences on both the ACO Facebook page and YouTube channel. Ferrari and the ACO plan to return to the live stage for their 2021–2022 season, titled Reunited .





April 2021

  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music and flute instructor Adrienne Inglis’s composition “Santo” for treble chorus and folk percussion from her Latin American folk mass “Misa Trinitaria” was featured in Chorus Austin’s Southwest Voices: She Sings concert on April 24, 2021 (the recording is streaming until May 8, 2021). The world premiere of a commission by Inglis, “Shelter in Place” with poetry by Kim Stafford and a nature soundtrack, will be featured during the Lewis & Clark College Choirs spring concert on April 28, 2021. The Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College of the City University of New York will present Inglis’s “How Dare You” for mixed chorus, flute, and nature soundtrack with text by Greta Thunberg as part of its concert on May 13, 2021;  Inglis will perform with the QC Vocal Ensemble during the livestreamed event.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper participated in a virtual panel discussion titled “The Mastery of Florence Price.” Hosted by the Heritage Signature Chorale (Washington, DC) founder and director Stanley Thurston, the panel also featured pianist Karen Walwyn (Howard University), who made the world-premiere recording of Price’s First Piano Concerto  in 2011 and is known as a foremost interpreter of Price’s music.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper presented a virtual lecture for the Royal Irish Academy of Music (Dublin) titled “Black Feminism, Margaret Bonds, and the Credo of W. E. B. Du Bois.” The lecture included the first performances (via Zoom) since 1972 of three excerpts from the “Credo,” featuring Washington National Opera Cafritz fellow soprano Katerina Burton and the Grand Chorus of Georgetown University, conducted by Frederick Binkholder. Cooper published the piano/vocal and orchestral/choral versions of the “Credo” with Hildegard Publishing Company in 2020. Music-loving readers of this notable can hear Burton’s stunning rendition of “Especially Do I Believe in the Negro Race” (No. 2 of the “Credo”) here and the opening and closing choruses here.





March 2021

  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari  appeared as a special guest on KMFA’s Classical Austin  show, an hour-long broadcast which aired on March 7 and March 10, 2021. Hosted by Dianne Donovan, the show “takes you behind the curtain of greater Austin’s dynamic classical music stage [and features] in-depth interviews with conductors, composers, choreographers, instrumentalists, and more.” The interview is archived on KMFA’s website.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper , whose regular blog Journeys  has almost 600 “regular, unique readers,” contributed a guest post to the blog of the Women’s Song Forum titled “Kindred Spirits: Margaret Bonds and Edna St. Vincent Millay (Part I).” The post is available here . Cooper argues that despite the color line that separated them in their lives and contemporary and posthumous receptions, Millay and Bonds were kindred spirits—and that their staunchly feminist affinities manifested themselves in these songs, which Cooper recently published. The post includes world-premiere recordings of two of Bonds’s Millay settings.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper  published the preantepenultimate and antepenultimate editions in his series of 64 world-premiere source-critical editions of music by Florence B. Price with G. Schirmer (New York). The first edition, submitted with deliberate irony during Snowcalypse 2021, is a brilliant lyrical waltz for piano solo titled “Waltz of the Spring Maid” (because when better than during housebound Snowcalypse …?). The second, a major contribution by any measure, is Price’s only known song cycle—a set of four songs all taken from Langston Hughes’s iconic collection of poems that articulated the vision of the Harlem Renaissance, The Weary Blues . Price chose four poems centered on the subject of dreams in the sense of longings, desires, and aspirations. The four songs have been known individually before, but Cooper’s research into the manuscripts reveals their identity as a cycle; characteristically for cycles, the cycle as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts. (Another “notable”:  Cooper has never written the word preantepenultimate  in a Notable before.)





Feburary 2021

  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari  conducted and presided over the Austin Civic Orchestra’s (ACO’s) third and fourth virtual concerts of their The Beat Goes On!  season on December 12, 2020, and February 13, 2021. These concert programs were designed to provide the orchestra’s musicians with a safe environment in which to rehearse and perform during the current pandemic. ACO members were assigned to small chamber groups or chose to form their own groups, all with social distancing and aerosol management at the forefront of consideration. The members rehearsed for four to five weeks and then recorded their performances as virtual compilations or in person at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. The streamed events drew large appreciative virtual audiences on both the ACO Facebook page and YouTube channel . Ferrari and the ACO plan to present the next virtual concert on April 17, 2021.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper  published the premiere edition of Florence B. Price’s Six Pieces for Piano Solo  (1947) with G. Schirmer/Associated Music Publishers (New York), his 59th world-premiere edition of Price’s music since September 2019. This edition was  particularly challenging because the autograph is notated in pencil and severely water damaged, resembling some of the papers found at the bottom of the stacks on Cooper’s home-office desk, some of which may well date from the Carter administration. Price’s music, though, is deliciously spontaneous and veritably glistens with the wit, charm, and inventiveness for which she is rightly celebrated.





  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis’s mixed chorus version of her composition “La Ciudad Sumergida” was performed by C4 and Inversion Ensembles February 4, 2021, under the direction of Perry Townsend. The nature soundtrack combines with an excerpt of the poem “Río de La Plata en lluvia” (1938) by Alfonsina Storni. The “Where Water Meets Sky” live-streamed concert may be viewed here.





January 2021

  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper  published the world-premiere edition of Margaret Bonds’s Six Songs on Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay  as the inaugural issue of Hildegard Publishing Company’s Margaret Bonds Signature Series . Bonds, who stands as the only African-American woman ever to have had an entire day dedicated to her in a major U.S. metropolis (legendary Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley declared January 31, 1967, as that city’s official Margaret Bonds Day), was one of the 20th century’s most outspoken social-justice activists in the world of classical music. The series is currently slated to present world-premiere editions of 37 works by Bonds over the next two years; all works have been discovered and edited by Cooper over the last two years. The last two of these six songs were premiered by former SU voice instructor Dana Zenobi at Butler University in November 2018.





December 2020

  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis received an American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Plus Award for concert performances in 2020. In addition, her composition “La Ciudad Sumergida” premiered on November 2, 2020, performed by the commissioning choir, Ramona M. Wis and the North Central College Women’s Chorale of Naperville, Illinois. Under the direction of Adrienne Pedrotti Bingamon, Inversion Da Capo recorded “La Ciudad Sumergida” for a December 19, 2020, release on Inversion’s YouTube channel.





November 2020

  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis virtually rehearsed two of her recent compositions, “La ciudad sumergida” (The Submerged City; 2020) and  “Oure Light in Oure Night” (2020), which were both composed for remote online choir performance, with North Central College’s Concert Choir and Women’s Chorale. Commissioned by Ramona M. Wis and the North Central College Women’s Chorale of NapervilleIllinois, “La ciudad sumergida” for four-part treble chorus with nature soundtrack captures the mood of a river, a city, the cloudy sky, and the poet’s own profound melancholy. The text is an excerpt of “Río de La Plata en lluvia” (1938) by Alfonsina Storni. The sound of rain creates the ambiance of a misty day on the river and the sensation of cathartic crying from great sadness and pain. The city’s reflection on the river’s surface gives the illusion that the city is submerged in the water, and the reflection of the clouds hovering low over Río de La Plata looks like gray heliotrope flowers. The apocalyptic images of a submerged city and of tears overflowing from the chalice-sky eerily foreshadow rising sea levels due to anthropogenic global warming.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper published the first-ever edition of what is arguably the most important of many collaborations between Florence B. Price and Langston Hughes: “Monologue for the Working Class” (New York: G. Schirmer). Hughes wrote this poem in October 1941 or earlier to boost the morale of the “poor and unemployed” in the face of the apathy of the rich in Depression-era America, and in that guise, the poem inspired Price to write an extraordinary song, which was recently given its world premiere (in Cooper’s edition) in a music video produced by the Antwerp-based #SongsofComfort team, featuring bass-baritone Justin Hopkins and pianist Jeanne-Minette Cilliers. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the U.S.’s entry into World War II in December 1941, Hughes recast the poem as a morale booster in wartime, replacing the words “show ’em what the working class can do” with “show ’em what free men can really do” and making other similar changes. Hughes never published the “working-class” version of his poem, and Price never published her setting thereof—but now both are out. Because the full story is much richer than space permitted in the Schirmer edition, Cooper also blogged about it here to help brave and sleep-deprived readers learn more about the poem and music while also nodding off for a good night’s rest. 





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper gave a virtual masterclass for the University of Memphis titled “Paying the Price: Race and Gender, Imperatives and Opportunities for the Great White Spaces of Classical Music in the Year 2020.” The presentation integrated Cooper’s work in reviving the previously unheard music of Florence B. Price into larger issues of antiracist and inclusive pedagogies in the “last water fountain” of Western classical music, as developed in his current course on Freedom, Movement, and Migration in Music.





  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello 99 was the mezzo-soprano soloist in Howard Goodall’s Eternal Light: A Requiem  on November 1, 2020, at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas. Featured musicians included Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Jameson James  (tenor), Jeffery Jones-Ragona (tenor), Maimy Fong (piano), Elaine Martin Barber (Austin Symphony Orchestra’s principal harpist), as well as Grammy-winning musicians Austin Haller (organ), Shari Wilson (soprano), and John Proft (baritone). Tim O’Brien conducted. The service was prerecorded and is available on YouTube.





October 2020

  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper gave a virtual lecture titled “The Music of Florence B. Price” for the Music for Life  series of the New Horizons Band’s Toronto chapter. Although the title of the talk was as bland as old corrugated cardboard, the presentation itself focused on the issues and opportunities that Cooper’s ongoing series of editions of Price’s music pose for the current Price renaissance in a musical world hungry for new and socially relevant ideas and sounds in the world of music history. 





  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari conducted and presided over the Austin Civic Orchestra’s (ACO’s) second virtual concert on October 24. This concert program was designed to provide the orchestra’s musicians with a safe environment in which to rehearse and perform during the current pandemic. ACO members were assigned to small chamber groups or chose to form their own groups, all with social distancing and aerosol management at the forefront of consideration. The members rehearsed for four weeks and then recorded their performances at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. The streamed event drew a large appreciative virtual audience on both the ACO Facebook page and YouTube channel. Ferrari and the ACO plan to continue this practice through the spring semester.





September 2020

  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper published a source-critical edition of Florence B. Price’s previously unpublished and delightfully prankish “Scherzo” for piano solo (1928) with G. Schirmer/AMP (New York). This is the 56th edition of music by Price that Cooper has published with Schirmer in the last 52 weeks. In keeping with the prankish character of the “Scherzo,” Cooper prepared this walkthrough (“The Bee Gees Meet Florence Price”) of last year’s Price editions. A circumstantially unlikely but musically gratifying celebration of these works is finally seeing the light of day, nearly 70 years after Price’s death.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper published the first-ever editions of two major compositions by Margaret Bonds (1913–1972), the only female African-American composer to have a day specifically devoted to her in a major U.S. metropolis (Mayor Richard J. Daley officially proclaimed January 31 Margaret Bonds Day in Chicago in 1968). The two works are the “Montgomery Variations” for large orchestra and the “Credo” for soprano and baritone soloists with chorus and orchestra. The “Montgomery Variations,” a set of seven programmatic variations on the spiritual “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me,” is a series of musical snapshots of the civil-rights movement in Montgomery, Alabama, from the Montgomery Bus Boycotts through the aftermath of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. The “Credo” is a 23-minute cantata whose text is the iconic civil-rights prose poem “Credo” (1904, rev. 1920–1921) of W. E. B. Du Bois. Both works are musical masterpieces and are frequently mentioned, but they have remained unpublished and therefore unperformed. Cooper’s editions, based on archival sources, are published by Hildegard Publishing Company in association with Theodore Presser Co.





  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello 99 was the guest mezzo-soprano in Congregation Beth Israel’s virtual High Holy Day services, September 1828. Altobello was honored to make music alongside conductor Jeffrey Jones-Ragona, collaborative pianist Maimy Fong, and Cantorial Soloist Sarah Beth Avner. 





  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari  conducted and presided over the Austin Civic Orchestra’s (ACO’s) first virtual concert on September 26. This concert program was designed to provide the orchestra’s musicians with a safe environment in which to rehearse and perform during the current pandemic. ACO members were assigned to small chamber groups or chose to form their own groups, all with social distancing and aerosol management at the forefront of consideration. The members rehearsed for four weeks and then recorded their performances at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. The streamed event drew a large appreciative virtual audience on both the ACO Facebook page and YouTube channel. Ferrari and the ACO plan to continue this practice through the spring semester.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper hosted a virtual session titled “New Understandings” at the Southwest Chapter meeting of the American Musicological Society on September 26. The session featured papers on the symphonies of Julie Giroux, Florence B. Price, and William Grant Still.





  • Professor of Music Michael Cooper published the world-premiere edition of Florence B. Price’s concert waltz for piano “Rowing” with G. Schirmer/Associated Music Publishers (New York). This is Cooper’s 56th world-premiere edition of music by Price published by Schirmer in the last 12 months. Cooper’s mercilessly stultifying forewords to those 56 editions guarantee sleep-deprived readers a combined minimum of 448 hours of blissful slumber, and Price’s music offers radiant genius on every page. What’s not to love about it all?





  • Professor of Music Kiyoshi Tamagawa’s transcription for trombone of the Viola Concerto in G Major  by the Baroque composer George Philipp Telemann has been accepted for publication by Cimarron Music Press, a leading publisher of music for wind and brass instruments. Telemann’s work is a staple of the viola repertory, and this version will expand the available performance literature for advanced student brass players. In reworking the solo part for a very different type of instrument, Tamagawa collaborated with low brass performers and pedagogues Eileen Meyer, former SU faculty; Steven Wolfinbarger, Western Michigan University (WMU), and WMU student Adam Collela.





  • Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts and Professor of Music Michael Cooper  has been named to the leadership team of a four-day festival of Black classical music to be jointly sponsored by Howard University and the award-winning PostClassical Ensemble. Taking place in Washington, DC, in November 2021 and devoted to the “rediscovery and renewal of Black concert traditions,” the festival is part of the PostClassical Ensemble’s American Roots  series and will include concerts, discussions, film screenings, and other events. It will also yield a world-premiere album (in Oldspeak: CD) of three pieces by Florence B. Price and William Dawson on the Naxos label.





August 2020

  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis’s composition “Newt” enjoys its world première YouTube performance, with Southwestern Part-Time Assistant Professor of Applied Music Jessica Gilliam-Valls on double bass, on August 21, 2020. C4 will also present the first public performance of Inglis’s compositional setting of text by Julian of Norwich, “Oure Light in Oure Night,” for voices with a nature soundtrack of nighttime Hill Country birds and insects on its the remote livestream, titled Night/Light,on August 27, 2020. Inversion Ensemble will present “El Mar,” Inglis’s setting of poetry by Alfonsina Storni for mixed chorus and piano, as part of its Aether: Waterconcert on August 29, 2020. In July, Inversion Ensemble presented all 38 seconds of her composition “Heels,” with soprano Adrienne Pedrotti Bingamon, as part of its Quarantunes project.





  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello ’99 performed a live and sold-out solo vocal concert for the Austin Artists Project and Austin Chamber Ensemble’s Lawn Concert Series on June 6. The concert, which was televised and broadcast on August 8, included American musical theatre and cabaret songs from the early 1930s to the present.  





July 2020

  • Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts and Professor of Music Michael Cooper has collaborated with an international team to produce a series of music videos titled Songs of Comfort (#SongsofComfort). The series will feature world-premiere recordings of Cooper’s editions of 10 songs and five piano works by Florence B. Price and Margaret Bonds. The videos are being created by U.S. bass-baritone Justin Hopkins, South African–born pianist Jeanne-Minette Cilliers, and multifaceted U.S. tenor Andrew Richards (here serving as videographer and producer). The first video in the series, Price’s setting of the iconic feminist poem “The Heart of a Woman” by Georgia Douglas Johnson, is available on YouTube here. Cooper and Cilliers blogged about the venture here.





  • Cargill Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of Education Alicia Moore and Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts and Professor of Music Michael Cooper collaborated with pianist Lara Downes to produce a crowdsourced recitation of the Civil Rights “Credo” of W. E. B. Du Bois for the podcast We Need Gentle Truths for Now, hosted by Alexandra Juhasz. Seven SU faculty and staff (Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis, Associate Professor of Music Jason Hoogerhyde, Professor of Music Kiyoshi Tamagawa, Professor of Music Lois Ferrari, Sarofim School of Fine Arts Coordinator Olivia Wise, Assistant Dean for Student Multicultural Affairs Terri Johnson, and Associate Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar), three current students (Alexis Lemus ’22, Grace Sexton ’22, and Shelby Avants ’21), and six alumnae (Erin McHugh ’09, Isabel Tweraser ’19, Julia Fowler ’15, Katiebeth Brandt ’19, Kinley Johnson ’17, and Sara Watson ’13) participated in the recitation, along with 25 other participants Black and white, ages 5 to 81, from the Americas and Europe, representing four native languages. The podcast is available here. The recitation is also available as a YouTube video titled “Testimony: A #BlackLivesMatter Manifesto after the Credo of W.E.B. Du Bois,” here.





  • Margarett Root Brown Chair in Music and Professor of Music Michael Cooper  published 12 world-premiere source-critical editions of music by Florence B. Price (1887–1953) with G. Schirmer/AMP, the single largest publisher of sheet music worldwide. Price is currently experiencing the most widespread sustained revival of public and scholarly interest since the mid-20th century’s revival of interest in the music of Gustav Mahler. Cooper’s editions—all accompanied by his usual soporific forewords—include works for piano solo and voice with piano. The works for voice with piano are Two Traditional Negro Spirituals  (“I Am Bound for the Kingdom” and “I’m Workin’ on My Buildin’”) as they were sung to Price by the granddaughter of a former slave as she heard them from her grandmother. The works for piano solo include the following: Barcarolle Child Asleep , Etude in C , His Dream , On a Summer’s Eve , Scenes in Tin Can Alley , Song without Words in A Major , Ten Negro Spirituals for the Piano , Three Miniature Portraits of Uncle Ned , and Thumbnail Sketches of a Day in the Life of a Washerwoman .





  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello ’99 is a 2020 Project Live Notes grant recipient and was honored to perform a virtual solo vocal concert on July 16. Project Live Notes (PLN) is a nonprofit musical organization meant to reach individuals in dire situations. PLN provides musical gifts to people who are alone; in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice care; or dealing with other extenuating circumstances, such as fragile mental, emotional, or physical health.





June 2020

  • Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts and Professor of Music Michael Cooper  published a chapter titled “‘Inner Necessity’: Fabulation, Frame, and Musical Memory in Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang ” in Rethinking Mendelssohn  (ed. Benedict Taylor; Oxford University Press, 2020, pp. 60–90). The chapter complements Cooper’s recently published source-critical edition of the Lobgesang , proposing that the composition is not a thinly veiled knock-off of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony , as is generally argued, but rather an audacious experiment in the construction of a frame narrative in choral–orchestral music. Cooper’s prose is admittedly stultifying, but the diagrams and music examples in this chapter are enough to impress music dweebs on an intergalactic scale.





  • Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts and Professor of Music Michael Cooper  published twelve source-critical world-premiere editions of compositions by Florence B. Price (1887–1953), the first African-American woman to have her music performed by a major U.S. orchestra and the subject of the most powerful and sustained musical revival since the mid-20th-century rediscovery of Gustav Mahler. The works are the song “Don’t You Tell Me No,” which Price composed for use on the so-called Stroll in Chicago’s Black Belt in the 1930s; the spiritual “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” arranged for solo piano; the three-movement programmatic suites Snapshots  and Village Scenes  and the five-movement Preludes  for solo piano; and “Impromptu No. 1,” “Song without Words in G Major,” “Tarantella,” “To a Brown Leaf,” “To a Certain Pair of Newlyweds,” “Until We Meet,” and “Waltzing on a Sunbeam.” All were published by G. Schirmer/AMP (New York), the largest publisher of sheet music globally.





May 2020

  • Professor of Music Kiyoshi Tamagawa ’s review of the audio recording Gabriel Dupont: The Complete Piano Music  by pianist Bo Ties (MSR Classics) was published in the College Music Symposium  (vol. 60, no. 1; online edition May 1, 2020), the official journal of the College Music Society.





  • Associate Professor of Music Jason Hoogerhyde  has published a review of pianist Matthew Odell’s recording Connections: The Music of Olivier Messiaen and his Students  (Albany Records, 2019) in the scholarly journal and affiliated digital resource repository College Music Symposium  (spring 2020, vol. 60, no. 1).





April 2020

  • Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts and Professor of Music Michael Cooper published five source-critical world-premiere editions of compositions by Florence B. Price (1887–1953), the first African-American woman to have her music performed by a major U.S. orchestra and the subject of the most powerful and sustained musical revival since the mid-20th century’s rediscovery of Gustav Mahler. Published by G. Schirmer / AMP (New York), the largest publisher of sheet music globally, the works are “Some o’ These Days,” “Joshua Fit de Battle of Jericho,” “Placid Lake,” “Fantasie Nègre No. 2,” and “Whim Wham.” “Fantasie Nègre No. 2” and “Some o’ These Days” are featured tracks on acclaimed pianist Lara Downes’s genre-fluid new album, Some of These Days. Both may be heard on one of Cooper’s Price playlists on Spotify here.





March 2020

  • Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts and Professor of Music Michael Cooper published the first fully source-critical editions of the full score and piano–vocal score Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s symphony-cantata Lobgesang(Song of Praise) with Bärenreiter-Verlag. Widely hailed after its 1840 premiere as the beginning of a “completely new art-form” and performed at least 26 times in the seven years between its completion and Mendelssohn’s death, the Lobgesangwas later derided by critics such as Wagner for supposedly being unbecomingly indebted to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Cooper’s edition, in addition to drawing on previously never-before-cited correspondence and review and drawing on sources from six archives and libraries in four countries, shows that the work is not a unilinear sequence of movements, as the Ninthis, but rather an audacious experiment in musical time and narrativity, specifically in its transferal of the idea of the “frame story” (after the model of the Decameronor A Thousand and One Nights) into musical form. Cooper began work on this pair of editions (spanning 295 pages and 103 pages, respectively) in 2015 but seems to have survived. 





  • Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts and Professor of Music Michael Cooper  published six new source-critical editions of compositions by Florence B. Price with G. Schirmer, the single largest publisher of sheet music globally: “First Romance,” “In Sentimental Mood,” “Three Roses,” “Your Hands in Mine,” “Fantasy No. 2 for Violin and Piano,” and “Valsette Mignon.” The first four of these editions were released simultaneously by acclaimed pianist Lara Downes on her new EP From the Heart  and are available on one of Cooper’s Price playlists on Spotify here . The editions are nos. 19–24 in Cooper’s currently contracted set of 64 Price editions to be released in the near future. 





Feburary 2020

  • Part-Time Professor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis’s composition “Fireflies” will enjoy its world-première performance by Inversion Ensemble and Part-Time Assistant Professor of Music Matt Teodori at 7:00 p.m. on February 29, 2020, , at the Concordia University Chapel and at 3:00 p.m. on March 1, 2020, at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas. Commissioned by Inversion Ensemble, “Fireflies” (2019) for mixed chorus, piano, and percussion evokes the vivid imagery of Margaret Noodin’s bilingual poem “Fireflies,” from her 2015 book Weweni: Poems in Anishinaabemowin and English.Honoring the composer’s Ojibwe ancestors, the piece sets the poem’s English text, including the Anishinaabemowin word for fireflies (Waawaatesiwag). Moments of musical and whispered aleatory capture visions of fireflies on a summer night. Colorful augmented sixth chords and lush harmonies kindle visions of love and nature amid the dreamy mixolydian modality and lilting ¾ time.





  • Professor of Music Kiyoshi Tamagawa  participated as an invited performer in two events at the recent Texas Music Educators Association’s (TMEA’s) convention in San Antonio. On Wednesday, February 12 and Thursday, February 13, he performed Ravel’s Tzigane  with former Texas All-State Orchestra member and current Eastman School of Music student Grace Song as part of It Starts with Music , a video and performance event commemorating TMEA’s centennial. On Friday, February 14, he accompanied internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano and Texas Tech graduate Susan Graham at the session “A Conversation with Susan Graham” and during her appearance at the Past Presidents’ dinner.





  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari recently conducted the Austin Civic Orchestra in a performance of Mahler’s 4th Symphony. The concert was presented in the Alma Thomas Theater on February 8, 2020. Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello ’99 was the guest soloist. A preconcert talk was given by SU alumni Walter P. (Gus) Sterneman III ’07.





  • Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts and Professor of Music Michael Cooper published seven world-première editions of works by Florence B. Price with G. Schirmer (New York): “Remembrance,” “Sketches in Sepia,” “Clouds,” “Meditation,” “Summer Moon,” “On a Quiet Lake,” and “Down a Southern Lane.” The editions are nos. 12–18 in Cooper’s series of 67 editions of Price’s music to be published with Schirmer, and their recordings are part of a series of 17 world-première recordings of Price’s music to be released by pianist Lara Downes in the spring of 2020, all timed to coincide with the publication of Cooper’s editions. Inquisitive and courageous souls will find abridged versions of the editions’ impossibly tedious forewords at Schirmer’s homepage for Price’s piano works here; those interested in hearing Price’s lyrical and deeply original music may access Downes’s recordings for free through Spotify, YouTube, or Naxos Music Library in the SU Libraries’ collection of databases, courtesy of Naxos America (Cooper’s Price–Downes playlist on Spotify is here). 





January 2020

  • Professor of Music and Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts Michael Cooper  published two editions of previously unpublished works by Florence B. Price (1887–1953) with G. Schirmer (New York). “Night” (1945) is scored for women’s chorus with piano and was given its posthumous premiere by Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Beth Everett  and the SU Chorale in November 2018. This work is based on a poem by Bessie Mayle (1898–1959) that was first published in The Crisis  in 1930; the poem celebrates the beauty and resilience of the blackness of the nighttime sky as a metaphor for the beauty and resilience of Black experience. The second edition, Fantasie Nègre No. 4 , is a milestone in the ongoing Florence Price renaissance. Its release was timed to coincide with acclaimed pianist Lara Downes’s world-première recording of the work (available on Spotify here ). The editions are nos. 10 and 11 in Cooper’s series of 67 editions of Price’s music to be published with Schirmer, and the recording is the first in a series of 17 world-première recordings of Price’s music to be released by Downes in the spring of 2020, all timed to coincide with the release of Cooper’s editions. For more information on this project, see here .