Music

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

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.





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. 





February 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 .





December 2019

  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari  conducted the Austin Civic Orchestra in a December performance of Vivaldi’s Winter from The Four Seasons , featuring Austin Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Jessica Mathaes. Also on the program was Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite  and other holiday favorites.





  • Professor of Music and Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts Michael Cooper published five editions of previously unpublished works by Florence B. Price (1887–1953) with G. Schirmer (New York): “Memory Mist” for piano solo; “Andante con Espressione” for violin and piano; “Judgement Day,” (based on a text by Langston Hughes) for voice and piano; and “I’m Troubled in My Mind” and “Peter, Go Ring dem Bells,” both traditional spirituals for voice and piano. Cooper’s edition of “Memory Mist” was featured by acclaimed pianist Lara Downes as the opening track of her March 2019 Holes in the Sky, an album comprising music exclusively of, by, and for women. The publications are nos. 5–9 in Cooper’s series of 64 editions of hitherto-unpublished works by Price with Schirmer.





  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari  began her 18th consecutive appointment as music director of the Austin Civic Orchestra with two concerts this past semester: Cosmos , featuring music from the science-fiction and fantasy genres, and New York, New York , a musical tribute to the Big Apple. For the latter, composer Anthony Iannaccone was on hand to present a preconcert talk regarding his piece Waiting for Sunrise on the Sound , and previous Pearl Amster winner Ben Laude flew in from New York City to perform Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody  for piano. The orchestra also performed the music of Bernstein and Rodgers, plus a suite of music from The Godfather  by Rota.