Concert 1 – May 5 at 4:00 – TO BE A PEOPLE
Concert 2 – May 6 at 7:00 – IN MEDIA RES
Concert 3 – May 7 at 7:00 – SOUNDSCAPES
Concert 4 – May 10 at 7:30 – AROUND STRAVINSKY
Concert 5 – May 11 at 2:00 – AU NATUREL
Concert 6 – May 11 at 5:00 – THE NEXT MOMENT
Concert 7 – May 13 at 7:00 – ESTHER & HOLLAND



Concert 1: TO BE A PEOPLE

The Music of Ed Robertson

Sunday, May 5, 4:00 PM

Birmingham First United Methodist Church, 518 19th Street North

The opening concert is dedicated to the music of Ed Robertson, one of BAMA's founding members who served the organization as president and in other leadership roles.


Saints Fantasy … Ed Robertson

Daniel Szasz, violin • Eun-Hee Park, piano


Changing Landscapes … Ed Roberston

Adam Bowles, piano


Night Scenes … Ed Robertson

Craig Hultgren, scordatura cello


Two Songs on Poems of Conrad Aiken … Ed Robertson

Heaven, You say, Will Be a Field in April (1995)
Music I Heard With You (2006)

Patrick Evans, baritone • Laurie Middaugh, piano


To Be A People … Ed Robertson

Patrick Evans, conductor • Laurie Middaugh, piano


Click here for more information about the composers, performers, and music.



Concert 2: IN MEDIA RES

a concert of acoustic chamber music

Vuorovesi Trio / BAMA Players
Hulsey Recital Hall, University of Alabama at Birmingham Monday, May 6, 7:00 PM


Piano Quartet No. 3 … Tom Reiner

Movements 3 and 4

BAMA Players: Sarah Norlund Dennis, violin • Meridith Treaster, viola • Samuel Norlund, cello • Ken Watson, piano


In Medias Res … William Price

Interlude I (We Sense the Shape)


Movement II: Rather Fast; unexpected

BAMA Players


String Trio No. 1 … Michael Coleman

I. Fanfare, II. Rumination, III. Step

BAMA Players


Six Pieces for Flute, Oboe, and Clarinet … Joseph Landers

Vuorovesi Trio: Diane Boyd Schultz, Flute • Mary Lindsey Bailey, Oboe • Osiris J. Molina, Clarinet


La Chose Verte … Brian C. Moon

BAMA Players


The Sundials: VI. Sic Praeterit Aetas … Matthew Scott Phillips

BAMA Players


Tree … Charles Norman Mason

BAMA Players


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Electroacoustic Music

Hulsey Recital Hall, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Tuesday, May 7, 7:00 PM

This concert is dedicated to the memory of Joe L. Alexander, an active BAMA member during the first decade of the organization before securing teaching positions in Louisiana and Mississippi.


Ce cE CE ceLLo … Joe L. Alexander

Craig Hultgren, cello


Pinhoti … Monroe Golden

Craig Hultgren, cello


Nattmara … Lori Ardovino

Lori Ardovino, clarinet

Soundscapes … Joe L. Alexander

Alan Goldspiel, guitar


A Play on Words … William Price

Melanie Williams, soprano, with Iron Giant: Sam Herman, Brett Huffman, Seth Noble, Justin Wallace


A Word with Narcissus … Mark Lackey

Craig Hultgren, e-cello


un_Learn … Brian C. Moon

Craig Hultgren, e-cello


Snakeskin (Verso)… Holland Hopson

Craig Hultgren, e-cello


Click here for more information about the composers, performers, and music.




BAMA Players

Brock Recital Hall, Samford University

Friday, May 10, 7:30 PM

This concert centers on Igor Stravinsky's Septet – a landmark composition that reflects the shift in his music from neoclassic to serialist. The other works are inspired by Stravinsky's pivotal work.

The BAMA Players

Brad Whitfield, clarinet

Cameron Bonner, bassoon

Valerie Sly, horn

Sarah Norlund Dennis, violin

Chris Lowry, viola

Peter Garrett, cello

Eun-Hee Park, piano


Septet … Igor Stravinsky


Extras … Holland Hopson


Un-Suite-ened Sevens … Wesley Johnson

1. Igor and Don Ellis Sing the Blues, 2. Tango Haywire,
3. The Jig is Down / Unreel


Pool of God … Matthew Scott Phillips


… Also Around Stravinsky … Joseph Landers


The Exile … Mark Lackey


Click here for more information about the composers, performers, and music.



Concert 5: AU NATUREL

Solo Pianists / LeBaron Trio

Hulsey Recital Hall, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Saturday, May 11, 2:00 PM


Overture to The Revelation of Nature … Kenneth A. Kuhn

Kenneth A. Kuhn, piano


poco più di niente #1 and #2 … Michael Coleman

Michael Coleman, piano


Persistence of Melancholy … Robert Voisey

Michael Coleman, piano


Alla … Kadisha Onalbayev

Michael Coleman, piano


A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky … Ed Puddick

LeBaron Trio: Melanie Williams, soprano • Lori Ardovino, clarinet • Laurie Middaugh, piano


Jabberwocky … Ed Puddick

LeBaron Trio


Adventures in Wonderland … Lori Ardovino

Mock Turtle Soup, How Doth the Little Crocodile, The Lobster Quadrille

LeBaron Trio


Pothos Variations … Kyle McGucken

Adam Bowles, piano


Portrait … Isaac Charliemagne Griffin-Layne

i. Night in St. Cloud, ii. Sunset Over the Adriatic

Adam Bowles, piano


The Arctic Snow (Prelude and Fugue in B minor) … Joshua David Davis

Adam Bowles, piano


Click here for more information about the composers, performers, and music.




Mostly Improv

East Village Arts, 7611 1st Ave. North

Saturday, May 11, 5:00 PM

This is an event featuring free improvisation and compositions with improvisatory elements. Performing are Birmingham's leading improvisor Ladonna Smith, cellist Craig Hultgren, pianists Michael Coleman and Joshua David Davis, banjoist Holland Hopson, and guest composer/vocalist Robert Voisey. Voisey is based in NYC and is the founder of 60X60 and Fifteen Minutes of Fame, two projects that have given voice to composers around the world for decades.


IVR … Holland Hopson

Holland Hopson, banjo


Harmonic Explorations … Robert Voisey

Craig Hultgren, cello


as safe as if it were in the fire … Holland Hopson

Craig Hultgren, cello


Sliding Interest #1, #2, and #3 … Michael Coleman

Craig Hultgren, cello


Improvisation … Joshua David Davis

Joshua David Davis, piano


Improvisation … Ladonna Smith

Ladonna Smith, viola, etc.


Group Improvisations with Michael Coleman, Joshua David Davis, Holland Hopson, Craig Hultgren, Ladonna Smith, and Robert Voisey


Click here for more information about the composers, performers, and music.




New Old-Time Music

East Village Arts, 7611 1st Ave. North

Monday, May 13, 7:00 PM

Fiddler Esther Morgan-Ellis and banjoist Holland Hopson present original tunes that push the boundaries of old-time music. Georgia-based Morgan-Ellis and Hopson embrace the tradition of ‘crooked’ tunes with a set of their own works that stretch the soundworld of southern Appalachian music.


Click here for more information about the composers, performers, and music.



Composer and Performer Biographies and Program Notes

Program notes follow composer biographies.


A–G  H–L  M–P  Q–Z




Joe L. Alexander – Composer of Ce cE CE cello, and Soundscapes

Composer, theorist, and tuba player Joe L. Alexander taught at Mississippi University for Women’s Department of Music. He was previously on the faculties of Louisiana Tech University, Birmingham-Southern College, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Samford University, Judson College, the University of Montevallo, Lamar University, East Central University (Ada, Oklahoma) and James Madison University. He earned degrees from East Carolina University (B.M. in Music Education), James Madison University (M.M. in Theory/Composition), and the University of North Texas (D.M.A. in Composition, with extensive theory minor). He studied composition with Newel Kay Brown, Douglas Knehans, Martin Mailman, Cindy McTee, and James Riley; and tuba with Bruce Mosier, Ken Meisinger and James Michael Dunn. He was a member of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance in the early years of the organization’s existence. He passed away in the summer of 2023.

Program Notes: Ce cE CE ceLLo was commissioned by Craig Hultgren, and premiered on November 14, 2000, at the Birmingham Art Music Alliance’s Electroacoustic concert held at Birmingham-Southern College. The electronic part consists of prerecorded cello sounds which were manipulated using the Sound Forge software program. The composition was made possible through a generous Technical Assistance Grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

Program notes: Soundscapes, for Guitar and Soundfile, was composed for my friend and colleague, Alan Goldspiel, in 2005 and revised in March of 2009. Sketches of the piece were premiered at the Louisiana Tech University’s Liberal Arts Research Symposium on April 21, 2005. The soundfile was created by manipulating sounds using the Sound Forge and Vegas digital editing programs. The original guitar sounds were created by Alan Goldspiel playing various extended guitar techniques.


Lori Ardovino – Clarinet and composer of Nattmara and Adventures in Wonderland

Lori Ardovino is Professor of clarinet and saxophone at the University of Montevallo, where she has taught for 28 years. She received the DMA in clarinet from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, MM in clarinet/woodwind specialist from Michigan State University and the BME and BM degrees from the University of Minnesota, Moorhead, MN. 


Cameron Bonner – Bassoon

Originally from McKinney, Texas, Cameron Bonner is the assistant principal bassoonist of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Prior to his appointment with the ASO, he served as second bassoonist of the Akron Symphony Orchestra. Cameron holds a Bachelor’s of Music Performance from the University of Houston where he studied with Elise Wagner. He pursued graduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University where he studied with Nancy Goeres.


Adam Bowles – Piano

Pianist Adam Bowles is a dedicated performer of newly composed art music who also remains an active and passionate interpreter of established solo piano, chamber music, and vocal repertoire from the twentieth century and earlier. Dr. Bowles frequently performs throughout the country with the Luna Nova ensemble – of which he is a founding member – participating in formal concerts, master classes, and a variety of education outreach activities. He has served as Treasurer and Vice President of Membership for the Birmingham Art Music Alliance, as grant-writer for the Alabama Music Teachers Association, and as an adjudicator for competitions such as the Lois Pickard Piano Competition and the NFMC Young Artists Competition. He holds degrees from Eastman School of Music (BM) and New England Conservatory (MM), and received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is recorded on the Living Artists label and is featured on a CD of music by Argentinian composer Valdo Sciammarella, Rosas de Pulpa Rosas de Cal


Michael Coleman – Composer of String Trio No. 1, poco più di niente #1 and #2, and Sliding Interest

Michael Coleman has participated as composer and pianist in numerous new music programs and festivals in the U.S and Russia and has also had works performed in Europe and Eurasia. Recent awards include being named Winner of the III Leopold Auer International Composition Competition (2023). He received his doctorate from the University of Maryland and holds degrees from the University of New Orleans and the University of South Alabama, studying with Lawrence Moss, Jerry Sieg, and Carl Alette. He is on the faculties of Pensacola State College and the University of West Florida, and is the organist/music director at Zion Lutheran Church in Silverhill, Alabama.

Program notes: String Trio No. 1 (2023) is written in three short movements titled Fanfare, Rumination, and Step. It is dedicated to The BAMA Players (violinist Sarah Nordlund Dennis, violist Meredith Treaster, cellist Samuel Nordlund).

Program notes: poco più di niente #1 (2021) and #2 (2024) are part of a continuing series (hopefully) of short works for solo piano. #1 was mostly written on the birthday of the composer’s mother (Sept. 25 – Dorothy C. Coleman) and is dedicated to her. #2 is dedicated to the Birmingham New Music Festival and features an original effect by the composer, the “Coleman effect.”

Program notes: Sliding Interest is a set of three pieces for solo cello or solo e- cello which are dedicated to cellist Craig Hultgren. They are based on graphs of three interest rate indices which the performer interprets as a continuous glissando or portamento. The cellist will have a wide range of freedom to interpret dynamics, tone color, and special effects in each of these pieces. These works can be played as a set or as individual pieces.

Graph sources:

#1 Mortgage Credit Availability Index from 3-1-11 through 4-1-23

#2 Real Interest Rates in Thailand from 1976 to 2020

#3 Federal Funds Rate from 1-1-00 to 7-1-23


Joshua David Davis – Composer of The Arctic Snow

Joshua David Davis is a classical composer and pianist based in Birmingham, AL. He took piano lessons at Birmingham-Southern College Conservatory from age five to age ten and has played in the church his entire life. He accredits his ability to improvise on the piano from there. He formally began his classical composing career at Samford University as an undergraduate student and has written multiple chamber and piano works. As a freelance musician, he continues to perform classical piano repertoire and write piano music with inspiration from his favorite piano composers, which are J. S. Bach, Frédéric Chopin, and Maurice Ravel. He released “Sleep Songs,” his first solo piano album of original works, on August 3, 2023.


Sarah Nordlund Dennis – Violin

Violinist Sarah Nordlund Dennis joined the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in 2007, following two years with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and a year performing and teaching in New York City. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with honors from the University of Alabama at age nineteen, and earned a Master's Degree in Violin Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music.


Patrick Evans – Baritone

Patrick Evans is a native of Birmingham who returned home after 27 years away to join the UAB Department of Music Faculty as Professor and Chair in July of 2015. He was Associate Professor in the Practice of Sacred Music at the Yale University Institute of Sacred Music and was Director of Music for the daily ecumenical worship in Marquand Chapel at Yale Divinity School. He was chair of the voice area and director of the opera program at the University of Delaware, where he was a tenured Associate Professor from 1994-2004. As an administrator, he served as Director of Admission for the School of Music at DePaul University, and as Interim Executive Director for More Light Presbyterians, a national non-profit working for justice for LGBTQ people in the Presbyterian Church (USA). As a baritone, Dr. Evans has performed in opera, oratorio, and recital performances throughout the United States and abroad, including the Tanglewood Festival, Cleveland Art Song Festival, and the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. In demand as a lecturer, practitioner, and clinician in the field of sacred music, he was Artist in Residence/Visiting Artist at Broadway Presbyterian Church in New York City for 15 years. Since 2016 he has served as Choir Director at First United Methodist Church, Birmingham. He has served as Artist-in-Residence at Union Theological Seminar in New York City, and is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy. 


Peter Garrett – Cello

Peter Garrett joined the cello section of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in September of 2015. He teaches cello and has served on faculty at the Suzuki Talent Education Program since 2017. From Bloomington Illinois, he began playing cello at age 6 after hearing music by the Beatles and deciding that cello was “close enough.” After learning to play guitar and bass at age 12, Peter decided he liked cello the most and pursued classical music as his primary interest. Until college, his teachers included Janice Wilkinson, Nina Gordon, and Brandon Vamos. At the University of Michigan, Peter studied with Anthony Elliott, followed by Brinton Smith at Rice University. Additionally, summer lessons with Amir Eldan and Richard Hirschl were important steps in his musical training.


Monroe Golden – Composer of Pinhoti

Monroe Golden propagates and plants trees in the wilds of St Clair County, Alabama, with occasional forays into music composition and concert production. His overtone-informed music has been called “delightfully disorienting,” “lovely, sumptuous, yet arcane,” and “irresistible…, full of wit and beauty.” He has received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the AMTA/MTNA Commissioning Award, and commissions from solo performers and groups. His Incongruity for piano and fixed media was the first prize entry in the Chicago-based UnTwelve Competition. Beyond his own artistry, Golden has actively promoted the innovative arts. A founding member and three-term President of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance, he also led the Birmingham Art Association, Birmingham Improv, the Artburst performance series, and the New Arts Stage at City Stages. He implemented the inaugural Birmingham New Music Festival in 2014. He graduated from the University of Montevallo and earned a doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Illinois, studying primarily with Ed Robertson, Ben Johnston, Sever Tipei, Herbert Brün, and Aurel Stroé. In addition to three complete audio releases — A Still Subtler Spirit (Living Artist Recordings), Alabama Places (Innova Recordings), and Incongruity (self-published) — his compositions are included on recent albums by the Amernet String Quartet, keyboardist Aron Kallay, and violin duo Miolina.

Program notes: Pinhoti, for cello and sound file, was written for Craig Hultgren. The title is a Muskogee word meaning “home of turkeys” and also the name of a hiking trail that traverses northeastern Alabama and northwestern Georgia. Structurally, the piece tracks an elevation profile of the trail from Flagg Mountain near Sylacauga to the Georgia state line, from data points compiled by Chris Johnson. Sound sources are cello open string samples performed by Hultgren, and turkey calls provided by Glenn Howard. Cello sounds are detuned to a pitch collection representing the 6th through 27th partials of the overtone series. Turkey sounds (putt, cutt, cackle, kee-kee, purr, yelp, rattle, gobble, scratch, hush, and drum) are only transformed temporally, if at all.

Alan Goldspiel – Guitar

An international solo/chamber music performer, composer/guitarist Alan Goldspiel has performed world premieres at NY’s Carnegie/CAMI Halls, been featured on NPR radio stations from coast to coast, and has recorded and performed in the critically acclaimed Goldspiel/Provost Duo. Dr. Goldspiel received the 2023 and 2014 AMTA Composition Commission and was selected to be a Visiting Artist at the 2019 Convivio Conference in Postigliano, Italy, a 2018 honoree as “Friend of the Arts” from the SAI International Music Fraternity, and he was designated as a 2018 CMS GenNext Fellow by the NAMM Foundation. He is the recipient of the Alabama State Council on the Arts Artist Fellowship Award for artistic excellence as well as professional commitment and maturity and the Louisiana State Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award for artistic excellence. His music has been performed at international/national events, including the conferences of the International Low Flutes Festival, Research on Contemporary Composition, the College Music Society, National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, North American Saxophone Alliance, International Clarinet Association, New Music on the Bayou, and National Association of Composers/USA. Dr. Goldspiel is Professor of Music and Head of Music Technology at the University of Montevallo. More information, including news, events, and catalog can be discovered at the website




Holland Hopson – Composer of Extras, As safe as if it were in the fire, Snakeskin (Verso), and IVR

Holland Hopson is a sound and media artist, composer and improviser. A multi- instrumentalist, he usually performs on clawhammer banjo and electronics. Holland often augments his instruments with custom-designed sensor interfaces and performs with his own highly responsive, interactive computer programs. Holland has performed in Australia, Europe and North America along with notable experimental and outsider musicians such as Macarthur Genius Award winners Anthony Braxton and George Lewis, live electronics pioneer David Behrman, sonic meditator Pauline Oliveros, and others.

Recent collaborations include Tracing Thin Air with Karen Brummund and Allison Grant, Half Premonitions of the Moon with book artist Sarah Bryant, music for the violin duo Miolina, and field recordings of mind in morning with poet Hank Lazer. Holland has held residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Avaloch Farm Music Institute, The Hambidge Center, LEMURPlex, and Harvestworks Digital Media Arts. His work has been supported by grants from the Verdant Fund, Meet the Composer, and others.

Holland's music has been released by Composer's Concordance, Grab Rare Arts, MSR Classics, Sweet Wreath, and Tape Drift Records. His most recent solo recording is Sky Sparrow Snow, a collection of songs for banjo, voice and live electronics. His visual art is in the collections of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Rollins College, Tufts University and the University of Washington.

Holland is Assistant Professor of Arts Entrepreneurship in New College at the University of Alabama where he served as a Fellow of the Collaborative Arts Research Initiative (CARI). 

Program notes: Extras is inspired by the last few bars of the last movement of Igor Stravinsky’s Septet (1953). The wind and string players choose the phrases they play in each section as the music unfolds. Every performance is unique. The title comes from an analysis of Stravinsky’s score which declared certain notes “extra.” Extras creates a kind of foster home for Stravinsky’s orphans.

Program notes: As Safe As If It Were In The Fire is informed by the bowing patterns typical of southern Appalachian fiddle music. The computer transforms the live instrument input based on the rhythm and tempo of the performer’s playing. The title is a line of found poetry resulting from inaccurate closed captioning on TV.

Program notes: Snakeskin (Verso) is inspired by a visit to the Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, Illinois, once home to the largest native civilization north of Mexico. In the piece the performer chooses phrases from groups of simple gestures. These phrases influence the shape and progression of the electronic sounds. The cello and electronics together accumulate and erode in processes reminiscent of the construction and eventual abandonment of the Cahokia mounds. Snakeskin (Verso) was written for cellist Craig Hultgren.

Program notes: IVR is a structured improvisation for extended banjo and electronics. The piece uses samples from automated telephone menus. We are currently experiencing higher than normal call volume. Please continue to hold. 


Craig Hultgren – Cello

Cellist Craig Hultgren has had more than 300 solo compositions created for him. He now resides outside of Decorah, Iowa as the farmer-cellist. The New York Classical Review commented that he, “…played with impressive poise and sensitivity…” for Dorothy Hindman's 2016 chamber music retrospective at Carnegie Hall. Hultgren recently received a 2022 Performance Award from the Doug Davis Endowment for the video of his performance of Lukas Foss’s Capriccio at the Belvedere Chamber Music Festival in Memphis. A recipient of two Artist Fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, he was a member for many years of Thámyris, a contemporary chamber music ensemble in Atlanta. He is a founding member of Luna Nova, a new music ensemble with a large repertoire of performances available on iTunes. Hultgren is featured in four solo CD recordings including UK composer Craig Vear’s hyper-media concerto Black Cats and Blues on Métier Recordings. Hultgren has also entered the realm of digital online releases with four Songs for Cello and Piano by Ben Hippen available on Spotify. For ten years, he produced the Hultgren Solo Cello Works Biennial, an international competition that highlighted the best new compositions for the instrument. He is a founding member and former President of both the Birmingham Art Music Alliance and the Metropolitan Youth Orchestras of Birmingham and its Scrollworks program. Currently, he is President of the Oneota Valley Community Orchestra Board of Directors in Decorah and also serves as Secretary for the Iowa Composers Forum after recently completing three years as Chair.


IRON GIANT is a music collective based in Birmingham, AL. It was a percussion ensemble, but now it is something else. IRON GIANT is Sam Herman, Brett Huffman, Seth Noble, and Justin Wallace. Established in 2011, the ensemble has performed alongside artists such as Sō Percussion, Glenn Kotche of Wilco, Norman Westberg of SWANS, and Third Coast Percussion, and has collaborated with many Alabama music and arts mainstays including Birmingham Art Music Alliance, Sanspointe Dance Company, John Scalici, and the UAB Percussion Ensemble. Their eclectic vocabulary of chamber music, ambient, noise, and post rock, combined with meditative improvisatory sensibilities makes for a listening experience both cerebral and visceral.


Wesley Johnson – Composer of Un-Suite-ened Sevens

Wesley Johnson is a composer and arranger based in Birmingham. His alter ego “jimlapbap” has been making quasi-educational, quasi-entertaining arrangements of popular songs in less popular styles on the internet for 16 years. He has a PhD in Music Composition from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and has taught at UH Mānoa, UAB, and Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris in Malaysia.


Kenneth Kuhn – Composer of Overture to The Revelation of Nature

Kenneth A. Kuhn (Ken) is a retired electrical engineer specializing in electronic circuit design who had the privilege of growing up with a great appreciation of classical music. His favorite composers include Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler. Over the years classical music enhanced mental skills valuable for his engineering career. Composing music and designing electronic circuits are very interrelated as each enhances the other.

He began composing music in his youth in the 1960s and learned how to compose by carefully listening to the many classical composers. Ken composes because, “There is music I want to hear but since no one has written it then I must write it myself.” His compositions are of the neo-romantic genre where the music conveys grand concepts that transcend spoken language through rich melody and texture. His music has been released on two CDs and more are in development.

His retirement plans are to complete many drafts of piano and orchestral works he has accumulated over a lifetime. Ken resides in Vestavia, Alabama and shares his house with a number of mischievous but lovable cats who otherwise would not have homes.

Program notes: The Revelation of Nature is an epic orchestral tone poem with overture and four half-hour movements chronicling a year-long trek through the seasons of the wilderness from summer to spring by an individual disillusioned with man-made religions who is seeking true understanding of the world.

Throughout the journey there is an unseen guide pointing out the way and important observations to make. Near the conclusion of the fourth movement the guide is revealed, thus the title of the work. The protagonist, having completed the journey and now understanding many things, vows to teach humanity to work with Nature rather than against it. The work concludes with an awe-inspiring grand orchestral celebration as Nature rejoices that at least one human now understands.

The overture is based on melodious woodland themes from the first, second, and fourth movements. The music opens with a yearning and contemplative theme and softly builds to a very dramatic recapitulation before concluding in serenity with the revelation music. This adaptation for piano strives to capture as much of the tonality of the orchestra as practical.


Mark Lackey – Composer of A Word with Narcissus and The Exile

Composer, performer, educator Mark Lackey works in a range of genres to reach listeners who might not otherwise encounter newly composed art music. Mark Lackey has garnered premieres from gifted artists including Orquestra Sinfônica do Teatro Nacional Claudio Santoro (Brasília), the Idaho Falls Symphony, Rhymes With Opera, and the Eastman Wind Orchestra. His music was recognized with a 2024 Artist Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and is available on the Centaur, Potenza, Composers Concordance, and MSR Classics labels. Mark Lackey's current project, TOGETHER, blends musical styles as a metaphor and an opportunity for bringing people together with a message of renewal and hope. As a performer, Mark Lackey has given lecture recitals on piano music by the remarkable but little-known composer Sophie Maria Westenholz and performances of original works in the United States and in Rīga, Latvia. Mark Lackey is also an energetic educator, teaching music composition and theory as Professor of Music at Samford University. He earned the degrees Doctor of Musical Arts in composition, Master of Music in theory pedagogy, and Master of Music in composition from The Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University where his teachers included Christopher Theofanidis, Bruno Amato, and Nicholas Maw, and earned the Bachelor of Science degree from David Lipscomb College where he studied piano with Jerome Reed.

Program notes: A Word with Narcissus. Narcissus, of course, can only love himself. Echo sees Narcissus and falls in love with him. She follows him. Narcissus, hearing footsteps, calls out, “Is anyone there?”

Echo responds, “Is anyone there?”

“Come here.”

“Come here.”

“This way! We must come together.”

Thinking he reciprocates her love, Echo repeats, “We must come together” and runs toward him. When they finally meet, Narcissus spurns Echo’s love. Echo prays to Nemesis for justice, and Nemesis curses Narcissus so that he falls in love with his own reflection in a pool. They both waste away, Echo leaving nothing but her voice, and Narcissus only a pretty flower beside the pool.

Program notes: The Exile. Creating a new work that can stand up alongside Stravinsky’s work is a daunting task. I have sought to capture something of the spirit of the three movements of Stravinsky’s Septet, using similar techniques and materials, while at the same time composing in my own voice. Since the first movement of Stravinsky’s Septet seems rooted in neoclassicism, my first movement echoes sonata form. My middle slow movement, like Stravinsky’s, is a passacaglia or work built in a repeating bass melody. Finally, where Stravinsky exploits a Gigue dance rhythm in his fully serial third movement, I chose to work from a funk dance rhythm, also using serial techniques but taking an occasional liberty with the system. Like the Stravinsky Septet, this work is in three movements:

1 Allegretto; Vivace

2 Larghetto e molto espressivo

3 Moderato


Joseph Landers – Composer of … Also Around Stravinsky and Six Pieces

Joseph Landers studied with Frederic Goossen at the University of Alabama, Lothar Klein at the University of Toronto, and Alexander Goehr at Cambridge.

The composer has been awarded fellowships by the Fulbright Foundation, The Tanglewood Music Center, the American Music Center, and the MacDowell Colony, where he was selected as the Margaret Lee Crofts Fellow in Composition for 1995-96. In 2008, he was awarded an individual artist fellowship by the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

The compositions of Joseph Landers have been featured on concert series and festivals across the U.S. and abroad. In 1997 his orchestral work Nine forty-eight was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Gaudeamus Prize of Holland. In 2019, in celebration of the bicentennial of the State of Alabama, the composer’s opera Let Us Now Praise Famous Men was premiered by the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra and The Alabama Opera Theatre. The opera is an adaptation of James Agee’s seminal work about sharecroppers in Hale County, Alabama in the 1930s. The premiere was recorded by Alabama Public television for rebroadcast and is currently available for streaming on their website. 

Program notes: “… Also Around Stravinsky” was composed in 2023 for the BAMA Players. The work was inspired directly from Stravinsky’s landmark Septet of 1954, borrowing intervallic motifs and textural gestures to reimagine Stravinsky’s work. The title is also borrowed, coming from Alexander Goehr’s “…Around Stravinsky” a work for solo violin and winds that reimagines Stravinsky’s Pastorale.

Program notes: Six Pieces was written in 2019 for the Vuorovesi Trio. Each of the movements is a self-contained vignette, designed to explore various melodic and textural ideas. The three instruments offer the maximum contrast of timbre, and although covering very similar acoustical ranges, an exciting variety in texture possible. The work is inspired by and loosely modelled on Elliot Carter’s Eight Etudes and a Fantasy, where a series of short movements precedes a longer last movement that offers both summary and load-bearing support for the complete collection.


Issac Charliemagne Griffin-Layne – Composer of Portrait

Isaac writes music for the moment after waking and before sleep. He is currently a student at UAB, studying formalist poetry under Adam Vines and composition under William Price. He has previously studied with Hyesook Jung, Mark Lackey, Adam Bowles, & Michael Hersch. Isaac has written for Drew Hosler, Tim Fain, Trio de Bois, and Brad Balliett among others.

Program Notes: Portrait was written during the pandemic, is in many ways a response to its moments of loneliness and of strange tranquility. An ekphrastic piece, the first two movements respond to paintings by Edvard Munch and Bohumil Kubišta, respectively.


Chris Lowry – Viola

A two-time prizewinner in the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, Grand Prize winner in the Lewisville Lake Symphony International String Competition, winner of the Sousa/ABA/Ostwald Composition Award, and winner of Cuarteto Jose White’s “Nuestra America” Composition Award, Dr. Christopher Lowry is emerging as one of the leading violists and composers of his generation. In September 2022, Dr. Lowry joined the Alabama Symphony Orchestra as their new principal violist after serving three years as principal viola with the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra and nearly a decade as principal viola for both the Baton Rouge and Acadiana Symphony Orchestras. He is currently the violist of Lagniappe Trio and the Constantinides String Quartet, with whom he performed in Carnegie Hall in October 2022; formerly, he was the founding violist of the Ars Nova String Quartet and a frequent guest violist with the Mexico City-based Carlos Chavez String Quartet. Over the summers, Dr. Lowry serves on the faculty at the Festival Internacional de Música Naolinco in Mexico. Lowry holds both doctorate and master’s degrees from Louisiana State University, where he studied viola with Elias Goldstein and composition with the late Dinos Constantinides, and a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, where he studied viola with Kathryn Plummer and John Kochanowski and composition with Michael Alec Rose, Michael Slayton, Michael Kurek, and Stan Link.



Charles Norman Mason – Composer of Tree

Rome Prize winning composer Charles Norman Mason chairs the Department of Composition and Theory at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music. His website is

Program notes: Tree was influenced by the reading of Richard Powers’ Pulitzer Prize novel, The Overstory.


Kyle McGucken – Composer of Pothos Variations

Kyle McGucken is an aspiring composer and musicologist, whose works touch on themes of Post-Structuralism, Lacanian Psychoanalysis, and Deconstruction. Utilizing ultraminimal material, extended techniques, and long durations, Kyle McGucken's compositions attempt to embody a compositional spirit similar to Morton Feldman, and the Mass composers of the Renaissance. Kyle McGucken studied under Dr. Mark Lackey, and has had pieces performed by Sybarite5, the New York Composers Circle, and self-formed Iris Ensemble. His violin duo, Recitative and Aria for Jean Baudrillard, has been performed widely by NYC-based Miolina and is included on their 2021 album à la BAMA.


Laurie Middaugh – Piano

Laurie Middaugh received both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance from the University of Montevallo studying piano with Joan Cowan and Anthony Pattin, and the Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Alabama studying piano with Amanda Penick. Dr. Middaugh has served as staff accompanist at the University of Montevallo for the past fifteen years.


Brian C. Moon – Composer of La Chose Verte and un_Learn

Brian C. Moon received his Master of Music in Composition from Birmingham- Southern College and his Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His composition instructors include Ron Clemmons, Jan Vicar, Traci Mendel, Charles Mason, and Dorothy Hindman. For over two decades, Brian has been an active composer, as well as an adjunct music instructor at Birmingham-Southern and UAB, where he has taught Ear Training, Music Technology, Computer Music, Multimedia Productions, and the Computer Music Ensemble. Brian currently works full-time at UAB as the Communications Director at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science. As for the local Birmingham music scene, Brian is the singer/songwriter for the Maisleys, often playing guitar and bass in several local rock bands (Ferocious Bubbles, Delicate Cutters), as well as a long-time member of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance.

Program notes: La Chose Verte was written in 2007 while studying composition at Birmingham-Southern College with Charles Mason. The piece opens with the piano playing slow, thickly textured chords but is soon joined by the violin. As the piece progresses, the violin slowly transforms the piece into a dark, slightly macabre dance-eventually returning to the beginning chords from the beginning.

Program notes: When learning something new and unfamiliar, sometimes it is necessary to “unlearn” something else that we may have held as the steadfast truth. un_Learn was written for cellist Craig Hultgren to be performed on his electric cello, or e-cello. The piece is meant to represent a duel, of sorts, between two seemingly opposing ideas (i.e. electric versus acoustic, new versus old, familiar versus unknown). We will hear these two ideas challenging one another, sometimes giving in and other times fighting fiercely to remain true to its own beliefs. Throughout this “battle of opposites” you will hear Morse Code and digital satellite transmissions, along with human voices and the grinding gears of older non-electric machines in the sound file. This duel ends with a weeping e-cello slowly fading to an abrupt stop.


Esther Morgan-Ellis – Fiddler

Esther Morgan-Ellis is an associate professor at the University of North Georgia, where she teaches music history and old-time string band. As fiddler for the Licklog String Band, she records albums and plays contra dances and stage shows, and she tours internationally as a band member with the clogging group American Racket. She has taught fiddle at the Alabama Folk School and the John C. Campbell Folk School. She is also President of the Georgia Pick & Bow Traditional Music School, which offers after-school classes to children in 3rd through 12th grade. She runs the Kennedy Creek Old-Time Music Festival in Suches, GA, and organizes workshops for the Bear on the Square Mountain Music Festival in Dahlonega, GA. 


Samuel Norlund – Cello

Samuel Nordlund is an instructor of cello and chamber music coordinator at Samford University in Birmingham, AL, where he is also a cellist in the Samford Quartet. He frequently performs with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and String Theory Birmingham and has been a member of the Huntsville Symphony (AL), Kalamazoo Symphony (MI), and Illinois Philharmonic, among others. Samuel is Immediate Past-President of the Alabama Orchestra Association, teaches cello and orchestra at STEP (Suzuki) Birmingham, the Alabama School of Fine Arts, Samford Academy of the Arts, and the Samford Piano and Chamber Music Institute. He earned his DMA from The University of Alabama, MM from Northwestern University, and is in demand as a clinician, adjudicator, and performer.


Kadisha Onalbayeva – Composer of Alla

Kadisha Onalbayeva is the first pianist from Kazakhstan to be named a Steinway Artist. She attended the Zhubanov Special School for Children at age five in Almaty, Kazakhstan and continued her studies at the Kurmangazy National Conservatory of Music. She later earned two MM degrees in both composition and piano performance at the University of New Orleans and then received her DMA in piano performance at Louisiana State University. Recent awards include being inducted into the Steinway & Sons Teacher Hall of Fame at the Steinway Factory (New York) and being named a Nappie Award winner for “Best Local Classical Musician” in Mobile, Alabama (2022). Dr. Onalbayeva is currently Director of Piano Studies and Professor of Music at the University of Mobile and she has also continued to be an active recitalist, chamber musician, composer, and orchestral soloist. A strong supporter of new music, she has been particularly interested in introducing the music of Kazakhstan to audiences in the United States.

Program Notes: Kadisha Onalbayeva composed Alla (2019) for the new film documentary, Muse of Dior, which is about Alla Ilchun, the world’s first supermodel from Kazakhstan. The documentary explores the life of Ilchun, who was considered the inspiration for French fashion designer Christian Dior. Illchun and Onalbayeva are both of Kazakh origin. “I was excited to get to be a part of this documentary because of my connection with the fashion industry and the fact that Alla made the move to Paris as an immigrant with a dream. I came to America with the dream to be a musician – I feel connected to Alla and her story,” says Onalbayeva. She was also connected to the producer and director of Muse of Dior, Berlin Irisheff, and offered to produce an original composition that is used throughout the film.


Eun-Hee Park – Piano

Praised by The New York Concert Review for “a solid foundation of fluent pianism” after her debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Korean pianist Eun-Hee Park enjoys a diverse career as soloist, chamber musician, and educator. She has given numerous concerts throughout the United States, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Brazil, and Costa Rica appearing in various prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Seoul Arts Center in South Korea, and Izumi Hall in Japan. Park has been a recipient of many awards including the Special Prize for the Performance of Contemporary Music at the Competition Internationale in Santa Fe, New Mexico, first prize at the Oklahoma’s Young Artists Competition, and first prize at the Concerto Competition at Colorado Mesa University. She has received numerous grants such as Music Fellowship Grant by Alabama Arts Council, Teaching & Scholarship Project Grant, Research & Creative Projects Grant, Concert & Lecture Grant, Graduate Student Academic Conference Grant, University Musical Associates Grant, and the James and Lola Faust Chamber Music Scholarship of the Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation.

As a founding member of enhakē (, the prize-winning clarinet-violin-cello-piano quartet, Park has received many awards and grants, including Global Music Award’s Silver Medal in Chamber Music Category, First Prize at the Yellow Springs International Competition, Gold Medal at the International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition, the Judges Special Recognition Prize at the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, and an Encore Grant from the American Composers Forum. The group has released albums on the Naxos, Emeritus, MSR Classics, and Capstone labels, some of which were featured on NPR stations and the Korean Broadcasting System. The Naxos album Gulfstream was selected as BBC Music Magazine’s Music US Choice, MusicWeb International's “CD of the Month,” and Naxos Critics’ Choice. Concerning this particular album, Gramophone stated, “[p]ianist Eun-Hee Park's fast, light- fingered touch…provides numerous moments of purely physical delight.”

A dedicated teacher, Park has held educational residencies at Escape2Create at the Seaside Institute in Florida and with Albany Symphony Orchestra, Tallahassee Youth Orchestras, and the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center. She has given masterclasses at numerous universities and high schools in the United States, South Korea, Costa Rica, and Brazil as well as frequently invited as adjudicator and judge for competitions and auditions national wide.

Dr. Park is the newly appointed pianist of the Rawlins Piano Trio ( and Assistant Professor of Music (Collaborative Piano/Piano) at the University of South Dakota starting from the Fall of 2024. Previously, Dr. Park served as an Associate Professor of Music and Head of the Keyboard Area at the University of Montevallo from 2017-2024. Park received degrees from the Florida State University (D.M.), Oklahoma City University (M.M.), and Colorado Mesa University (B.A.). Her teachers include Carolyn Bridger, Amy I-Lin Cheng, Ernestine Scott, Michael Baron, Timothy Olsen (Organ), and Karyl Louwenaar (Harpsichord).

Matthew Scott Phillips – Composer of Pool of God and The Sundials: VI. Sic Praeterit Aetas

Matthew Scott Phillips has written for orchestra, chamber groups, independent film, live theatre productions, and multimedia presentations, and his music has been played from Brazil to the United States, to Germany and the Czech Republic. The content of Matthew’s compositions are centered around expressions of emotional states, the struggle to understand intellectual and philosophical concepts, the contrast between musical elements symbolic of individualism and those symbolic of social imperative, and of the conflicts between various aspects of the human psyche.


William Price – Composer of In Medias Res and A Play on Words

William Price’s music has been performed throughout the United States and Europe. An award-winning composer, Price’s music has received accolades and commissions from numerous organizations, including ASCAP, the Percussive Arts Society, and the Music Teachers National Association. Dr. Price currently serves as Professor of Music and Coordinator of Theory and Composition at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Program notes: Composed in 2023, In Medias Res focuses on traditional motivic development via symmetrical harmonic collections. “Interlude 1 (We Sense the Shape)” and “Movement II: Rather fast; unexpected” are both pitch-centric and highly chromatic yet provide different musical experiences. Whereas “Variation 1” is soft, intimate, and very brief, “Movement II” is much longer, rhythmically austere, and direct in its lyricism and mode of expression.


Program Notes: A Play on Words (1997) is scored for a singer and four vocalists. Influenced by electronic waveforms, graphic notation, and experimental vocal music, the piece explores semantic depth, or “meaning” through the dissection of syllables, words, and phrases within a given text. The singer and vocalists’ text is adapted from the 1963 translation of Kuo Mo-Jo’s poem “Impressions of Shanghai.” However, in the second half of the piece, the vocalists' texts are of their own choosing (Biblical excerpts, newspaper articles, telephone numbers, etc.) and are superimposed to create a “non-contextual” accompaniment for the soloist's “aria.” Pitch is relative and dependent on the range of each vocalist.

Impressions of Shanghai

I was shocked out of my dream!

Ah, the sorrow of disillusion!

Idle bodies,

Sensual and noisy flesh,

Men wearing long robes,

Women, short sleeves,

Everywhere I see skeletons,

And everywhere, coffins

Madly rushing,

Madly pushing.

Tears well up in my eyes,

And nausea, in my heart.

I was shocked out of my dream!

Ah, the sorrow of disillusion.

– Kuo Mo-Jo
– trans. by Kai-yu Hsu


Ed Puddick – Composer of A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky and Jabberwocky

Ed Puddick is an award-winning jazz arranger and composer who has been part of the UK jazz scene since graduating from the Birmingham Conservatoire in 2004. His Ed Puddick Big Band was formed in 2002 and its debut album Guys & Dolls was released in 2010 on Diving Duck Records. Ed is committed to jazz education, leading workshops and ensembles for a wide variety of educational organisations, and teaching jazz composition and arranging at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London) and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.




Tom Reiner – Composer of Piano Quartet No. 3

Tom Reiner is a professor of psychology at Troy University. He has been a member of BAMA since 2015. In 2016 he was named Commissioned Composer of the Year by the Alabama Music Teachers Association.


Ed Robertson – Composer of Saints Fantasy, Changing Landscapes, Night Scenes, and Two Songs on Poems of Conrad Aiken

Ed Robertson retired from the University of Montevallo where he was Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition. He earned his Doctor of Music degree at Florida State University, where he was a student of John Boda. He has also studied with Thea Musgrave. A winner of multiple ASCAP awards, he has been recognized by the University of Richmond for “outstanding achievement in the arts.” He was the CASE/Carnegie Foundation Alabama Professor of the Year in 2004. His works have been performed on five continents and in venues such as the Metropolitan Opera House, Carnegie Hall, and Symphony Hall in Atlanta. He is a winner of multiple ASCAP awards, and his compositions have received positive reviews in Fanfare magazine, the Oxford American, and numerous other publications. His instrumental, vocal, and choral compositions are available on compact disc, and he has been the recipient of a number of commissions. He served as president of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance.

Known and loved for his extraordinary musical gifts and his gentle good humor, Edwin C. Robertson died on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at the age of 84, in Alpharetta, Georgia. In his music and his approach to others, Ed combined a warmth and humility with a deep intelligence and instilled a love of music among generations of his students at the University of Montevallo. He was born in Richmond, Virginia, and showed his musical talent early on, singing in a pop group and playing bluegrass mandolin. But it was at the University of Richmond, singing Bach in the choir, where Ed discovered his deep love of serious music. He spent two years in the military, working in the Pentagon by day and by night going to a studio on a nearby college campus to play piano and compose.

Ed studied music at the University of Virginia and at Southern Baptist Seminary, where he met Ruth, the love of his life and his spouse for 46 years until her death in 2015. After earning his doctorate at Florida State, Ed began teaching composition and music theory at Montevallo, where he established a music technology lab and became a beloved member of the faculty. His students called him “Dr. Rob”—though he was just fine being called “Mr. Ed” – and many said his teaching changed their lives. They spoke of how he listened with an uncommon empathy and was generous with praise and encouragement. In his 34 years of teaching and well into his retirement, he never stopped composing, writing works – for choir, solo voice, piano, cello and more – that have been performed around the world, including at Carnegie Hall. He composed musicals and an opera; set the poetry of Conrad Aiken, Sidney Lanier and Sara Teasdale to music; wrote experimental works inspired by John Cage and choral music that has been sung by countless school choirs in multiple countries. Ed could be just as excited discussing Igor Stravinsky or Stephen Sondheim, and he loved playing jazz standards on the piano, whether onstage in concert or at home, with Ruth singing along from the kitchen. He wrote numerous pieces for his children, Renee Corley and Cam, and flew kites with his grandchildren, Finley, Campbell, Henry, Ruth and Susannah.

Program Notes: Night Scenes was composed for Hultgren. The work employs scordatura, a technique which changes the usual tuning of the instrument. In this work, the cello’s lowest pitched string C is tuned down to a Bb. The result is a darkening of the cello’s overall timbre and a heaviness not characteristic with the traditional tuning. The begins with a brief introduction after which the materials are then manifested in several different settings or scenes as the piece progresses. The piece won the 2001 Hultgren Solo Cello Works Biennial Birmingham Prize.

Program notes: Saints Fantasy was commissioned by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in 2008 to celebrate the rich contribution that African Americans have made to the nation's musical heritage. Following a performance in 2012, Michael Huebner of wrote: Each variation had a different take on the familiar “When Saints Come Marching In” tune – a bluesy baseline, a little Gershwin, a little Bach, a little Bartok, some jazzy riffs, and a lot of nostalgia.

Program notes: Changing Landscapes was composed in 2011 for Anthony Pattin. The materials in the work are drawn from the basic thematic ideas that serve to provide unity as they manifest themselves throughout the piece. The changing textures and contours are similar to the way in which visual landscapes change as viewpoints vary.


Valerie Sly – Horn

Valerie Sly currently serves as principal horn of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. She previously held positions as principal horn of the West Virginia and Adrian (Michigan) Symphony Orchestras, and in summer 2021, joined the Des Moines Opera Orchestra as third horn. Valerie has appeared twice as a featured soloist for the Vermont Mozart Festival, performing Mozart’s second and fourth concertos with the festival’s chamber orchestra. She has also frequently performed with the Colorado, Virginia, Richmond, and Memphis Symphonies, as well as the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra. In summer 2022 she performed as guest principal horn with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in Auckland, New Zealand. In addition, Valerie has performed in several other countries including Switzerland, Germany, Italy, China, and Singapore.


Ladonna Smith – Viola

LaDonna Smith (born 1951) is an American avant-garde musician from Alabama. She is a violinist, violist, and pianist. Since 1974 she has been performing free improvisational music with musicians such as Davey Williams, Gunther Christmann, Anne Lebaron, Derek Bailey, Eugene Chadbourne, Misha Feigin, Michael Evans, David Sait, Jack Wright, John Russell, Sergey Letov, Toshi Makihara, Andrew Dewar and many other of the world's major improvisers. As a performer, she has toured the US, Canada, Europe, including Russia and Siberia, China and Japan. Her music is documented on dozens of CD and LP recordings, including Say Daybew Records – of Fred Lane & the Debonaires. She produced concerts in Alabama and the Southeast, including the Birmingham Improv Festival. She serves on the Board of Directors of I.S.I.M., the International Society of Improvised Music. In 1976, LaDonna Smith co-founded TransMuseq Records with Davey Williams. In 1980, The Improvisor magazine began as an extension of I.N.: The Improvisor's Network, a grass-roots organization in New York City that attempted to connect improvising musicians across the U.S. LaDonna is editor-in-chief and publisher of The improvisor.


Daniel Szasz – Violin

Active as a concert soloist, chamber musician, and recitalist, Daniel Szasz has been the concertmaster of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra since 1997. A versatile musician, interested in performing both standard and less familiar repertoire, Mr. Szasz has been consistently praised for his “expressive, rich and warm sound” as well as for his “strong, confident, and assertive playing.” His performances have been described as “breathtaking” and “exquisite” and have generated great enthusiasm among his audiences and in the press.


Meredith Treaster – Violin


Robert Voisey – Composer of Harmonic Explorations and Persistence of Melancholy

Robert Voisey has had a little music played in a bunch of places. Most known for producing, he is based in Manhattan running Vox Novus which has created Composer’s Voice, Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame, 60×60, and a couple of other projects promoting new music. @Vox_Novus –

Program Notes: Harmonic Explorations is a graphic score utilizing harmonics on the A string up to the 13th partial. The work focuses on reaching these partials in different node locations throughout the string. The score is divided into 3 staffs. The top staff is a graphic representation of the A-string from the nut to bridge. The staff is divided proportionally where the harmonic nodes activate to the 13th partial. Notations on the staff indicate where the left hand should be placed on the string. The middle staff represents the actual pitches to be sounded much like traditional harmonic notation. The lower staff is a traditional staff indicating the left-hand position on the string. While familiar, this lower staff is only an approximation of position due to limitations of the staff representing harmonic positions between semitones on the staff. The graphic notation is therefore a more accurate representation of left-hand position on the string and greater facilitates the exploration of the harmonic partials on different parts of the string. This work was written for and dedicated to Craig Hultgren. The goal is to bring out and explore the harmonic partials seldom used on the cello.

Program Notes: Persistence of Melancholy

per·sist·ence (noun) 1. firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. 2. the continued or prolonged existence of something.

mel·an·chol·y (noun) – a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.


Vuorovesi Trio

Formed in 2018, the Vuorovesi Trio (Finnish for “tide”) has quickly become one of the leading woodwind trios of the combination of flute, oboe and clarinet. Comprised of University of Alabama School of Music faculty members Diane Boyd Schultz, Mary Lindsey Bailey, Osiris J. Molina, the trio specializes in the unique repertoire for that combination, and has already garnered significant critical acclaim. Their recent performances include a special concert at the historic Cervantes Hall in Havana, Cuba, and as featured performers at the most recent International Double Reed Society Conference, National Flute Association Convention, and the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest.

Flutist and piccoloist Diane Boyd Schultz has established her career through solo and chamber performances in the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Romania, and Austria. She has performed as flutist and piccoloist of the Dallas Bach Society, Alabama Symphony, Terre Haute Symphony, Tuscaloosa Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, and Richardson Symphony Orchestras. She is a prizewinner of several national and international competitions, including the Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition and the National Federation of Music Clubs Orchestral Winds Competition. Her festival appearances include Interlochen and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camps, the British Flute Society, National Flute Association, Mid-South Flute Festival, Florida Flute Association, and the Flute Society of St. Louis, and performances have been broadcast on Red River Radio and Blue Lake Public Radio. She has also recorded for the Emmy award-winning documentary Weathered Secrets and for incidental music to the playDeath of A Salesman. She has presented masterclasses and clinics in England, Québec, the Bahamas, Cuba, Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arizona, Texas, Ohio, Colorado, New York, Oklahoma, and Florida. A Rotary International Scholar, she studied at McGill University in Montréal, and she has received grants to pursue her interest in studying and commissioning new works for flute and piccolo by American composers. She performed for the world premieres of Chris Brubeck’sHermitage Cats Save the Dayat the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C. Her articles have appeared in Flute Talk,Pan, and Instrumentalist.

Schultz is professor of flute of the School of Music at The University of Alabama, where she is also a member of the Capstone Wind Quintet. Previously she was on the faculties of Stephen F. Austin and Eastern Illinois Universities. She is a Yamaha Performing Artist. Mary Lindsey Bailey is the Assistant Professor of Oboe at the University of Alabama. She held the position of Principal Oboe of the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra in Shenzhen, China, served as Principal Oboe of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with many other orchestras in the United States. She currently holds the position of Principal Oboe with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra.

Internationally, Dr. Bailey has performed in London, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, and Turin. She has performed on multiple occasions as a featured performer at the Festival Internacional de Sopros in Rio de Janeiro. In 2015, she served as Second Oboe in the 24/04 World Orchestra in Yerevan, Armenia in commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide. Dr. Bailey is a frequent performer at conferences of the International Double Reed Society and has presented sessions on starting students on oboe at conferences of the Colorado Music Educators Association.

Dr. Bailey holds a Bachelor of Music in education and a performance certificate from the University of South Carolina, and both a Masters of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in oboe from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. In addition to her degree studies, she spent a semester abroad at King’s College London. Formerly, she served as Assistant Professor of Oboe at Morehead State University and as Instructor of Oboe at Colorado Mesa University. Her principal teachers are Mark Ostoich, Rebecca Schalk Nagel, and Tess Miller.

Osiris J. Molina is Professor of Clarinet and Woodwind Area Coordinator at the University of Alabama. A native of Elizabeth, New Jersey, he has extensive experience as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician. Dr. Molina is currently Principal Clarinet of the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Principal Clarinet with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the Alabama, Mobile, Mississippi, Meridian, and Chattanooga symphony clarinet sections, in addition to work with the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Greater Lansing, and West Michigan symphony orchestras.

Dr. Molina’s chamber work includes his membership in the Vuorovesi Trio, a UA faculty trio consisting of the flute, oboe, and clarinet. Vuorovesi has performed at many ICA and IDRS conferences and have been invited to perform at the 2024 IDRS conference in Flagstaff, AZ and the 2024 ICA ClarinetFest in Dublin, Ireland. In 2024 the trio will release their first album. In addition to Vuorovesi, he is also a member of the Cavell Trio, a reed trio dedicated to established and emerging works for this unique combination. Dr. Molina is also a member of the Capstone Wind Quintet, the faculty quintet at the University of Alabama. In addition to his Alabama teaching duties, Dr. Molina will enter his eleventh season as Clarinet Mentor at the Hot Springs Music Festival, Hot Springs, Arkansas in 2024.

As a solo instrumentalist, Dr. Molina celebrated the 2022 release of Cuba, Alabama, an album consisting of music for clarinet by Cuban composers Andres Alén, Javier Zalba, Paquito D’Rivera, Ernesto Lecuona, and Leo Brouwer on Blue Griffin Records, and in February 2023, Dr. Molina was featured soloist on John Mackey’s new Clarinet Concerto Divine Mischief with the University of Alabama Wind Ensemble at the College Band Directors National Association National Conference at the University of Georgia. He is currently in the final stages of recording an album of works for clarinet and string quartet by Alabama composers due out in late 2024.

Dr. Molina holds degrees from Michigan State University (DMA), Yale School of Music (MM), and Rutgers University (BM), where he studied with Dr. Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, David Shifrin, Charles Neidich, Ayako Oshima and Dr. William Berz. Osiris has been active in music education at all levels. He teaches applied clarinet, chamber music and clarinet methods in the Music Education curriculum. Dr. Molina is an endorsing artist for Selmer Paris, Silverstein, Gonzalez and D’Addario and performs on the Recital clarinet and the Privilege Bass Clarinet.


Brad Whitfield – Clarinet

Brad Whitfield, native of Birmingham, Alabama, is currently the Assistant Principal/second clarinet of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Prior to joining the orchestra, he was a clarinet fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, under the musical direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. During this time, he performed chamber music with artists such as Garrick Olhsson and toured with the orchestra to Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and Harris Theater. Brad received his Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University and his Master of Music from the University of Southern California. His primary teachers include Yehuda Gilad, Steve Cohen, and the late Daniel Granados.


Melanie Williams – Soprano

Melanie Williams enjoys an active career performing song, chamber, operatic, and choral repertoire. The soprano holds the Masters and Doctoral degrees in Vocal Performance from Louisiana State University, where she studied with former Metropolitan Opera soprano Martina Arroyo and former New York City Opera tenor Robert Grayson.Her opera credits include Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Olympia in Le Contes d’Hoffman, Monica in The Medium, Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief, Valerie in the American premiere of Amy Beach’s The Cabildo, and the title roles in Gustav Holst’s Savitri and the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Iolanthe. Concert solo engagements include appearances performing major works with music festivals in England, symphony orchestras across the south, and several collegiate ensembles. She is a founding member of the LeBaron Trio, performing and recording traditional and contemporary art music for voice, clarinet/saxophone, and piano with emphasis on music by women composers. The trio has performed extensively throughout North America for over a decade. She is also a founding member of The Meàllo Trio, who seek to promote contemporary chamber music for voice, clarinet/saxophone, and guitar. A proponent of contemporary music, Williams has sung premiere performances of contemporary solo vocal works at new music festivals and in solo recitals alongside traditional repertoire. Dr. Williams is a member of the voice faculty at the University of Montevallo, where she teaches applied voice, vocal pedagogy, and diction courses.