Three Composer Residency with Sparr, Puckett, & Pieslak

The Department of Music is pleased to host three nationally recognized composers D.J. Sparr, Joel Puckett, and Jonathan Pieslak for a two day residency that will include meetings and rehearsals with students, as well as a lecture and concert featuring the visiting composers.

Events on Friday, May 18, will include a lecture at 6:30 p.m. presented by Pieslak entitled "Sound Targets: Music and the War in Iraq." The lecture is free and open to public. At 7:30 p.m. works by each composer will be featured by the Stanislaus Wind Ensemble and presented by the composers fro the stage. The performance will include Sparr's "General Electric", a concerto grosso for electric guitar, electric bass, synthesizer, percussion, and large chamber ensemble, Puckett's "Blink!" and "severed" by Pieslak. Tickets for the concert will be available at the door; $8 general admission, $6 students, staff & seniors.

D. J. Sparr is one of the few composers of his generation who successfully combines vernacular American music with current practices and art-concert composition. For the performance of Sparr's BMI/Boudleax Bryant Fund Commisstion for Eighth Blackbird, the Albequerqui Tribune wrote: "...in the sextet's piece 'The Glam Seduction', the 1980s rock music of Eddie Van Halen meets the instrumentation of Niccolo Paganini... The result - Paganini on coke." Sparr attended the Eastman School of Music where he completed his Bachelor of Music degree, and then attended the University of Michigan where he held a Regents Fellowship and completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree.

Joel Puckett recently completed his D.M.A. in composition from the University of Michigan. The Washington Post has hailed Puckett as both "a visionary" and "gifted". His music has been heard and recognized throughout the US and in Europe. Notably, The Washington Chorus, recipient of the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance, commissioned and premiered Joel's new work This Mourning, for chorus, orchestra, 40 wine glasses and tenor soloist, to rave reviews at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Since 2004, Joel has served on the faculty of Towson University and has previously served on the graduate faculty at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA.

Jonathan Pieslak, Ph.D., graduated from the University of Michigan in 2003 where he also received Master of Music degrees in Music Theory (1999) and Composition (2002). His music has been performed and broadcast throughout the United States and internationally. Born in 1974, Jonathan has studied composition with Michael Daugherty, Susan Botti, Andrew Mead, Erik Santos, Kevin Korsyn, and also studied piano with Douglas Humphreys, Sean Duggan, O.S.B., and Sergio De Los Cobos. He currently teaches music at The City College, CUNY.

The lecture and performance will be held on the California State University, Stanislaus campus in the Bernell and Flora Snider Music Recital Hall located at 80l W. Monte Vista Avenue, in Turlock, CA. Proceeds benefit the Department of Music Scholarship Fund. More information is available by contacting the College of the Arts at (209) 667-3959.