Composer excited to premiere work at UT’s Festival of New Music

March 30, 2009 | Arts
By Vicki L. Kroll



For composer Christopher Tucker, it’s all about the melody.

“Melody is what listeners attach themselves to when they experience a piece of music,” he said. “If the piece gives you a sense of longing after you’ve left a performance or a movie, it’s the melody that you’re going to continue to whistle as you leave.”

Tucker hopes there’s a lot of whistling and humming after the premiere of “A Feather in the Morning Air” during the 32nd annual Festival of New Music Thursday, April 2, at 8 p.m. in Doermann Theater on Main Campus.

“The piece was originally composed for 10 winds, inspired by the music of Percy Grainger and elements in nature,” he said. “My intention in the piece was to take my own style of composing, my own melodies and also Percy Grainger’s, not so much his original melodies but one melody in particular he loved to use was ‘Danny Boy,’ what he called an Irish tune from County Derry. That melody also takes some of his style, his techniques, and I fused it into my own.

“It will be an honor and a thrill to hear it played by the UT Symphony Orchestra with all the instruments.”

UT’s Concert Chorale, Orchestra, and Symphonic Band and Wind ensembles will perform Tucker’s “Ceremonial Fanfare,” “Twilight in the Wilderness” and “Americans Lost” during the concert.

Tucker, who lives in Rockwall, Texas, is the director of artistic administration and a founder of the Lone Star Wind Orchestra. He has received commissions from more than 30 schools and arts organizations. His music has been performed across the country and in Japan, Germany and England.

In 2006, he released Twilight in the Wilderness, a disc featuring compositions for wind ensemble. A follow-up, Spirit Legend, came out in 2008.

“Not only were these commercial CDs, but they were a means of getting my music out so interested colleagues and band directors that look to perform those kinds of works could hear them,” Tucker said.

While at UT, the 32-year-old composer will give a talk Thursday, April 2, at 1 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall on Main Campus.

The Festival of New Music will begin Tuesday, March 31, with a concert featuring percussion and electronic media compositions from the UT Electronic Music Studio and the premiere of an original song for voice and piano by UT student Sarah Modene featuring UT freshman Sam Mason, tenor and a first-prize winner at the recent Great Lakes Regional Auditions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. The event will start at 8 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Chamber music will be featured Wednesday, April 1, at 8 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall. Auditions were held mid-March and participants were chosen based on performance ability and their choice of contemporary literature. Students taking the stage will be Jane Anosike, Emily Corey, Jason Heidelberg, Hillarie Meihring, Juan Montoya and Ensemble, and Bethany Riegsecker.

For more information on these free, public events, contact the UT Music Department at 419.530.2448 or visit

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