Music

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

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 2020

  • 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.)





February 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.





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.