The National Association of Composers, USA – Mid-South Chapter inaugural New Music through the South Tour took place during the week of June 18, 2018. Composers represented in this series of week-long concerts were Alan Goldspiel, Joe L. Alexander, Ken Davies, Richard Montalto, David R. Peoples, William Price, Lori Ardovino, Biraj Adhikari, Pam Asberry, and Mark Prince Lee.
The tour, arranged and promoted by Dr. Goldspiel began as a simple idea to provide fellowship for composers and performers while introducing new audiences to new music.
Tuesday, June 19th, 2018
The first stop on the five-stop NACUSA New Music through the South Tour began at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi. Alan Goldspiel performed three pieces throughout the night including two of his own compositions and one composition by his dear friend and colleague, Joe L. Alexander.
First on the evening’s program was the World Premiere of Goldspiel’s composition, Duck, Duck, Soup performed by Goldspiel and Joe L. Alexander. The piece, inspired by the works of the Marx Brothers, with movement titles taken from their films Monkey Business, Night at the Opera, The Cocoanuts, and Animal Crackers is composed for the unlikely duo of guitar and tuba. Goldspiel stated,
Duck, Duck, Soup for guitar and tuba finds its inspiration in the zany antics of the Marx Brothers and their wonderful films. In this setting, the unusual pairing of instruments is no more unlikely than the archetypical characters created by Groucho, Harpo, and Chico who come together on stage and screen to tell a story. Each movement, given a title from one of their films, represents some of my favorite moments from those brilliant shows. The films often juxtapose narrative exposition (mayhem) with complete and utter comic diversion (more mayhem) followed by entirely welcome musical interludes. Here, is music that, at once, is playful, wise-cracking, mischievous, earnest, obtuse, suspicious, but always, in the end, warm-hearted – all like the brothers who endeared themselves to generations of viewers.
Later in the program, Goldspiel returned to the stage with Alexander to perform the World Premiere of Alexander’s three-movement composition, Dialog #6 for Guitar and Tuba.
Towards the end of the program, Goldspiel took to the stage one last time for the evening to perform three meditations from his composition, Five Meditations. The movements performed were The Hand I Hold, Sunset, and Now Until The End.
Thursday, June 21st, 2018
The second stop on the five-stop tour continued at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Music’s Hulsey Recital Hall.
In addition to the second performance of his new piece, Duck, Duck, Soup, the program again saw Alan Goldspiel performing alongside Joe L. Alexander for Alexander’s composition, Dialog #6 for Guitar and Tuba.
To finish off the evening’s program, Goldspiel was joined on stage by Lori Ardovino, clarinet, where they performed Goldspiel’s three-movement composition entitled, Day at the Beach. The movements of the piece are I. Sand Crab, II. Clouds and Driftwood, and III. Umbrella Tales.
Other composers’ pieces that were presented at the concert were Lori Ardonvino’s Bed Riddance (2010) and Drinking with the Moon Alone (2017); William Price’s Triptych: Three Studies in Gesture and Noise for fixed media; David R. Peoples’ Nightscapes for Villains – Songs Without Films; Biraj Adhikari’s Tuba Solo; and Joe L. Alexander’s Salonika Fantasy.
In addition to the composers themselves, other musicians helping to bring these pieces to life were Melanie Williams (soprano), Lori Ardovino (soprano saxophone), Laurie Middaugh (piano), and Diana Peoples (piano).
Friday, June 22nd, 2018
The third stop on the five-stop NACUSA New Music through the South Tour continued on Dr. Goldspiel’s home turf, The University of Montevallo Department of Music’s LeBaron Hall. Goldspiel is not only a professor here but also the Chair of the Music Department, as such, he opened the program.
The recital began with Goldspiel’s composition, Day at the Beach for guitar and clarinet, a work that evokes the beauty of nature and a reminiscence of some encounters at the shore. He was accompanied by fellow University of Montevallo professor Dr. Lori Ardovino.
Later Goldspiel returned to the stage to perform two movements from his solo guitar composition entitled Five Meditations. The movements presented were Seasons Change and With Hope.
Other compositions performed during the program were William Price’s Triptych: Three Studies in Gesture and Noise for fixed media; David R. Peoples’ Nightscapes for Villains – Songs Without Films; Joe L. Alexander’s Marumsco and Salonika Fantasy; Lori Ardovino’s Eloquence IV (2017) and From a Crack in the Wall; Ken Davies’ Brain Fantasies for horn and fixed audio and Nocturne September 2017.
Saturday, June 23rd, 2018
The fourth stop on the five-stop NACUSA tour brought the composers and performers to Pianoworks of Duluth, Georgia for a 3 p.m. concert.
For this performance, Goldspiel played two of his own compositions for solo guitar. For the first piece, he played 3 preludes from his 2012 composition, Five Preludes. The preludes were written in homage to the great Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Later in the program, Goldspiel returned to the stage to perform two meditations from his composition titled, Five Meditations. The meditations performed were Seasons Change and With Hope.
Other compositions that were performed during the program were Pam Asberry’s Love of Thousands and Nocturne in B flat minor, Joe L. Alexander’s Salonika Fantasy, David R. Peoples’ Space Ballerina and Nightscapes for Villains – Songs Without Films, and Mark Prince Lee’s IO/F-4.
Later that evening, for their fifth and final stop of the tour, the composers converged upon the University of North Georgia’s Oakwood Campus for a 7:30 p.m. performance.
Goldspiel again performed the three preludes from Five Preludes. However, for the evening concert he played four of the Five Meditations. The meditations played were Seasons Change, With Hope, The Hand I Hold, and Sunset.
The remaining program was an encore performance of the early afternoon program.
The National Association of Composers, USA Mid-South Chapter is one of the oldest organizations devoted to the promotion and performance of American concert hall music.