Composition, NACUSA, National Association of Composers, USA, Performance

NACUSA Returns to the University of Montevallo

Dr. Goldspiel Performing During NACUSA Event at the University of Montevallo

On Sunday, October 20th, 2019, the National Association of Composers, USA/Mid-South Chapter (NACUSA) returned to the University of Montevallo for a concert of new music by region composers.

Dr. Alan Goldspiel, Chair of Music at the University of Montevallo, opened the concert with a movement called Of Venus from his new piece entitled In Dreams. The piece was composed based on the works of Salvador Dali and Goldspiel had this to say about the composition:

In Dreams is a three-movement work for solo guitar based on the art work of Salvador Dali. The notion of the dream and its sometimes other-worldliness is explored visually and sonically often in works of art. The movements take their inspiration from the surrealist’s perspective of time, the absurd, and the interesting juxtapositions of characters and space. The largely tonal part of the work represents the perfectly (mostly) normal parts of the paintings/exhibitions. For example, a bee, pomegranate, rockfish, tiger, bayonet are perfectly normal things – an elephant with long flamingo legs less so. That those elements are contained and related in one dreamscape is interesting and how I subtlety relate the musical elements in time and proximity is the desired effect – without, I think, any completely jarring juxtapositions.”


Later on, Dr. Goldspiel returned to the stage to perform a piece by Ken Davies entitled Imprints. The piece is described by Ken Davies below:

“This short work was written for my friend, Dr. Alan Goldspiel, professor of guitar at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama and with whom I’ve been honored to share the stage at several composers’ concerts. As a youth, I played guitar some, though at the time I had not seen or heard classical guitar. Thus, my efforts were limited essentially to chord strumming. While these early efforts definitely left imprints on my yet unclosed fingers, it was later hearing fine classical guitar work that left imprints on my mind.”

Drs. Middaugh (piano), Ardovino (clarinet), and Patterson (flute) perform Goldspiel’s Golus I

Another piece by Dr. Goldspiel called Golus I was performed by Dr. Lori Ardovino (clarinet), Dr. Brittney Patterson (flute), and Dr. Laurie Middaugh (piano) to close the afternoon concert. When asked about the inspiration for the piece, Goldspiel stated:

“The word golus is Yiddish for exile and it refers to the diaspora of the Jewish people. Diaspora Studies, in general, reflect on overcoming tremendous hardship, the ongoing growth of the diasporic phenomenon, and the cultural, social, political, and economic contributions of such peoples to their new homeland hosts. The musical work Golus I reflects on the tragedy and courage of all exiled peoples and, in some very small way, seeks to emotionally represent that life-altering experience. It is the first in a series of works that takes the notion of exile as inspiration and commentary.”

The other pieces performed in the concert were The Nine Worlds by University of Montevallo professor, Dr. Lori Ardovino; Traveling Down a Lonely Road and When Space Comes a Callin’ by Mississippi University for Women professor, Joe L. Alexander as well as pieces by composers Biraj Adhikari, Dallin R. Peoples, William Price, Valentin Boghan, and David R. Peoples.