Festival of Contemporary Music

featuring works by students from

The University of Missouri at Kansas City
The University of Iowa


Saturday, March 27, 2010, 2:00 pm
UCC Recital Hall


action/reaction (2009)   Derek M. JENKINS (1986)
  Michael Shults, alto saxophone  
Five Turn (2010)   Aaron PERRINE (1979)
  Fixed Electronic Media  
Fractal Excursions (2009)   Peiying YUAN (1984)
  Brad Baumgardner, bass clarinet  
Not you, Failure (2010)   Jason GREGORY (1976)
  Fixed Electronic Media  
  — Intermission —  
At the Hour of Our Death (2007)
        an elegy for solo piano
  Caroline MILLER (1988)
  Sunghee Hinners, piano  
Inner Dialogue (2009)   Christopher SHORTWAY (1979)
  Ryan Smith, alto saxophone  
Onward (2010)   Daniel HOUGLUM (1983)
  Daniel Houglum, piano  
Agni Sakshi (2009)   Andrew Seager COLE (1980)
  Sharra Wagner, clarinet  


Notes & Bios



is the second in a series for saxophone (or multiple saxophones) that take their names from the Newtonian Laws of Motion. The first being a quartet entitled inertia. The name action/reaction is derived from the third of these laws which basically states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Derek M. Jenkins (b. 1986) was born in Frankfurt, Germany and is a native of Dubuque, IA. He is currently pursuing Bachelor of Music degrees in composition and theory from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Conservatory of Music and Dance. At UMKC, he has studied with James Mobberley, Paul Rudy, Chen Yi, Zhou Long and Reynold Simpson. During the Spring 2009 term, Jenkins was in Klagenfurt, Austria, where he studied German Language at the Alpen-Adria Universitaet Klagenfurt and Music Composition at the Kaerntner Landeskonservatorium with Alfred Stingl. His music has been performed throughout the US, and is slated an upcoming performance in Austria with the Carinthia Saxophonquartett.

Active as a bassoonist and contrabassoonist, Jenkins has studied with Marita Abner at UMKC and has performed in the University's Wind Symphony, Wind Ensemble and Orchestra. Fluent on other instruments as well, he has played saxophone, clarinet, euphonium, and piano in various performance ensembles and has also participated in the UMKC Gamelan Ensemble, Gamelan Genta Kasturi. Jenkins is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the Society of Composers, Inc., and ASCAP (self-publishing under the name Mühltal Musikpresse).


Five Turn

is a work for fixed electronics. With the exception of a brief introduction, the composition was essentially composed and thought of in five distinct sections. Each section slowly unfolds into the next, likes pages being turned in a book. While each section has a certain character of its own, there are also common motives that give the work both unity and momentum as they evolve and transform throughout the composition.

Born in McGregor, Minnesota, Aaron Perrine earned his Bachelor's Degree in trombone performance with high distinction from the University of Minnesota, Morris, in 2002. In 2006, Aaron received his Master's Degree from the University of Minnesota in music education while studying composition with Judith Zaimont and jazz arranging with Dean Sorenson. Recently one of his compositions was a finalist in the Frank Ticheli Composition Contest. His music is published with C. Alan Publications.

Peiying YUAN

Fractal Excursions

Fractal Excursions was commissioned by the Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance (KcEMA Newbie Commission) and written for composer-bass clarinetist Brad Baumgardner. The initial inspiration and construction of the piece was based on the idea of fractals, in which smaller parts reflect a larger whole, and where I would create layers upon layers of micro-macro structure. As I continued writing the piece, this formal rigidity eventually gave way to a freer compositional approach. Despite so, I decided to retain the title "Fractal Excursions" as a reference to my approach toward building sounds, and (I hope) the intricacy and detail of the piece's sound world. I approached the piece imagining the tape and bass clarinet lying on opposing ends of a mechanical-expressive continuum. Their polarities and relationships are explored in the piece, each challenging what the other can and cannot do.

Peiying Yuan is currently a Masters student in music composition at the Conservatory of Music and Dance, University of Missouri - Kansas City. Her teachers include Chen Yi, Paul Rudy, James Mobberley, Zhou Long, and Kohei Mukai. She received her Bachelors degree from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore in 2007 as part of the inaugural batch of conservatory graduates, studying with Kawai Shiu and Chee-Kong Ho. Recent awards include the 2009 Beethoven Club of Memphis/Luna Nova Composition Competition, 2009 SCI/ASCAP Composition Commission award, First Annual newEar Composers Competition, and 2010 Missouri and Kansas Music Teachers Association Commissioned Composer award. She currently serves as president of the UMKC Composers' Guild.


Not you, Failure

The subject of Not You, Failure is failure. Failure wants to take my name and give it lots of hugs and kisses, but I must not give in! As it pertains to the materials used in the work, I have used various transformations of orchestral instrument sounds.

Jason Gregory received his BM in Music Composition from Northern Illinois University. Currently, he is pursuing his Master's degree at The University of Iowa, where he studies with Lawrence Fritts. He has taught violin to hundreds of students in Virginia Beach, VA and in Elisabeth City, North Carolina. He and his wife, who were born and raised in Waterloo, IA, live in Mount Vernon.

Caroline MILLER

At the Hour of Our Death

This piece is dedicated to Derald A. Kirklin (1945-2007). It is the product of thirty-some old clocks, five rainy days, and three long conversations.

Caroline Louise Miller is now in her senior year at the Conservatory at the University of Missouri Kansas City. She has studied composition with James Mobberly, Chen Yi, Paul Rudy, Zhou Long and Joao Pedro Oliveira, and has a newfound and avid interest in electronics. She has had a multitude of performances in various venues, and recently enjoyed an excellent performance of her first commission. As well as composing, C.L.M. regularly engages in creative writing, exploration of the natural world, and ping-pong with her roommates.

Christopher SHORTWAY

Inner Dialogue

is a piece for alto saxophone and interactive electronics using Max/MSP. The saxophone part began with randomly generated combinations of melodic ideas. The results were then manipulated through various algorithmic transformations as well as intuitive composition. Max/MSP is used to give the saxophone an ever-shifting timbre. The live saxophone is processed using various effects, and through pitch tracking, the settings of these effects are altered with every note.

Chris Shortway is a third year Ph.D. student in composition, specializing in electronic music at the University of Iowa, studying with Lawrence Fritts. He completed his B.A. at the University of Virginia and his M.M. at the University of Northern Iowa, where he studied composition with Jonathan Schwabe, Alan Schmitz, and Kui-Im Lee. Chris has also studied under John Eaton and is currently focusing on live instruments with interactive electronics using Max/MSP software. This year Chris is working as the composer and sound editor for the University of Iowa Dance Department.



was composed for pianist Mabel Kwan at the end of 2009. Ms. Kwan gave the World Premiere performance at the Boston New Music Initiative Inagural Concert, February 4, 2010. Though not originally intended to be programmatic, Onward refers to the concept of acceleration after a period of rest, a fall, or a pause... In this work, musical acceleration results from the compression of time and space. A variety of musical elements on the surface and in the structure of the work exhibit the effects of compression and expansion. For example, harmonic and melodic structures of three semitones contrast motivic material of three ascending whole tones. This recurring whole-tone melody echoes J.S. Bach's Chorale, Es ist Genug (It is enough), which was quoted by Alban Berg in the second movement of his Violin Concerto. The title for Onward was taken from the valediction to an email from University of Iowa Creative Writers' Workshop poet and translator Michael Schorsch, December 2009.

Daniel Houglum, from Soldotna, Alaska, is currently in the Ph.D. in Music Composition program at the University of Iowa. He received his B.A. degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington and his M.Mus. degree from Northern Illinois University. Houglum has served as an instructor for Kishwaukee College in Malta, Illinois. His composition teachers include Kevin Waters (S.J.), Robert Fleisher, David Maki, John Eaton and David Gompper. His chamber work, Pieta(s), was premiered at the Midwest Composers Symposium at the University of Michigan (February 2009). Intercessions II, for soprano saxophone and tape, was premiered by Stephen Page at the Society of Composers Region V Conference (November 2009). Houglum currently teaches at the Preucil School of Music as theory instructor for the Certificate Program. For more information please visit Daniel Houglum's website.

Andrew Seager COLE

Agni Sakshi

translating as "fire witness," is one of the central ritual acts in Hindu weddings. Agni, the god of fire, acts as a divine witness to the marriage and as such he receives sacrifice and, in turn, purifies and blesses the union. He is also the god of light, smoke, the fire of the sun, and even the flame of the human spirit. This life-giver and destroyer is the discerner of truth, the mundane and unique, and the cycles of life that occur every day, every generation, every eon. This piece is a dedication to Agni, this witness of life. While I'm not particularly religious, I've always found the idea of a witness watching our life and our personal evolution to be fascinating and somehow touching. Seeing the good and the bad, the beauty of life that we all share, Agni is an impartial witness, an unmoved mover.

Andrew Seager Cole is a composer and media artist. His works have been performed at numerous festivals, including June in Buffalo, Music X, SEAMUS, NACUSA, The National Flute Association, The North American Saxophone Alliance, Connecticut College's Symposium on Art and Technology, the Mehr!klang Festival Freiberg, FEMF, EMM, and EAJJ. He is a founding member of the After Now Ensemble and has collaborated extensively with artist, filmmakers, choreographers, and directors. Awards include the 2008 NACUSA Young Composer's Competition, the 2006 Prix d'Ete, and the Robert Hall Lewis and Otto Ortman Awards. He holds degrees from Goucher College, Peabody Conservatory, and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.