Sunday, July 16, 2017


Good evening everyone! I just sent out invitations to all of you to join the Composition blog for this week - if you have trouble joining, please let me know. Once you join, could you please write a short post about yourself? I asked all of you today what year in school you are, what you play, and where you're from - but I forgot to ask about your favorite music, and what you hoping to gain this week.

So please remind us all where you're from, what year in school you are, what are your instruments or voice type, and also tell us a little bit about your favorite composers or musicians, and what you're most interested in, or excited about, learning this week.

As for me - I grew up not too far from here, in Taylorville Illinois (which is no relation to my last name); I've been a professor here at Illinois since 2001. I play piano, but I also used to play bass and French horn; these days I also conduct various ensembles. Lately I've been pretty interested in sonification, or using music and sound to represent data. You can check some of this out here -

Favorite composers - I have lots! Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Georg Friedrich Haas, Charles Ives, Conlon Nancarrow, plus all the classics - especially Beethoven these days. I work quite a bit with Pink Martini and the rock singer Storm Large, doing their orchestral arrangements - they just played last month with the Chicago Symphony, which was very exciting.

Brad Mehldau, "Resignation"

From his 1999 album "Elegiac Cycle"

Shostakovich Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in C Major, Op. 87

Performed by the composer.

Chopin, Prelude in C major, op. 28 no. 1

Performed by Martha Argerich. These videos which show the score as the music plays are some of my favorites.

J. S. Bach, Prelude and Fugue in C Major, WTC I

BWV 846; performed by Sviatoslav Richter.

ISYM Composition 2017 Daily Schedule

Welcome to ISYM Composition 2017! Here is our schedule for the week - this may change depending on what you are all interested in.

Saturday: Final Concert, 12:30 pm, Smith Recital Hall

8:15 - 9:15 amComposition Studio ClassMB CAMIL I - 4033
Monday: Variations and passacaglia - Notating by hand
Tuesday: Modes - Sibelius and jazz chord notation
Wednesday: Rhythms - more Sibelius
Thursday: Popular music and arranging - Sibelius, making parts
Friday: Final proofreading - going over parts - OR student presentations

9:30 - 10:30 amIndividual Composing/Lessons
(Taylor, Smith)
MB CAMIL I - 4033
MB 3rd floor practice rooms

10:45 - 11:45 pmTechnology TopicsMB CAMIL I - 4033
Monday: Logic (or Garageband) - using built-in sounds
Tuesday: Logic - editing sound files
Wednesday: Logic - effects
Thursday: Working with microphones
Friday: Pre-Concert Preparation


1:15 - 2:15 pmIndividual Composing/Lessons
(Taylor, Shaw)
MB CAMIL I - 4033
MB 3rd floor practice rooms

2:30 - 3:30 pmPerformance/Orchestration SessionsSmith Recital Hall
Monday: Read through pieces in progress
Tuesday: Percussion Master Class with Ryan Pearson
Wednesday: Violin/Cello Master Class with Erika Zelada and Yeonwoo Seo
Thursday: Flute/Clarinet Master Class with Jenny Shin and Angela Kucharski
Friday: Rehearsal for Concert

3:45 4:45 pmMusic Technology Elective
Dr. Eli Fieldsteel
MB CAMIL II - 0324

12:30 pm Saturday, July 22Final ConcertSmith Recital Hall