The MDRS 25th Anniversary Commissioning Project
The Midwest Double Reed Society celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary year with new music for double reeds. The four chamber works we commissioned were premiered at our annual meeting on October 5 at 3:00 PM as part of the seventh annual MDRS Double Reed Festival, and we could not have been more pleased with the works. The works were subsequently performed as part of the project in lecture recitals at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh and the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point, and in a children's concert at the Lawrence Arts Center in Lawrence, KS. The final project performance took place in Birmingham, England at the 2009 International Double Reed Society conference.
Details on the composers and their works may be found below. The Society owes a deep debt of gratitude to each of the composers, to our financial contributors, and to many others who offered their time or services to the project.
The MDRS deeply appreciates the support of the following individuals
Rodney Ackmann, Andrew Brown, Bruce Gbur, Tamara Heitland (in memory of Phyllis Glass), Emily Helvering, Bonnie Krutz, Kimberly Krutz, Cynthia Green Libby, Anne Miller, Richard Ramey, Dan Ross, Laura Guyer Ross, Mark Weiger, and Kay Werth.
We would also like to extend our thanks to Ric Averill and the Lawrence Arts Center and Kimberly Skolville for their efforts on our behalf.
Performers at the premiere performance
Andrew Brown, Emily Helvering and Margaret Marco, oboe; Andrew Brown and Margaret Marco, English horn; Rodney Ackmann and Susan Lawrence McCardell, bassoon; Ellen Bottorff and Alvina Tan, piano; and Catherine Ratliff, mezzo soprano.
Swingin' the Spring
The Reed-Makin' Blues
Stacey Berk is assistant professor of oboe and music theory at the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point. Her works have been performedacross the United States, and she has received commissions from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Symphony Band, The Madera Trio, the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point Horn Choir, WiZARDS! Double Reed Consort, the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America, Lake Park High School, Illinois, Westfield Community School, Illinois, and the Point Dance Ensemble. Her compositions often have a programmatic or literary reference, and her works cover a broad spectrum of styles, including humorous ensembles, exciting fanfares, challenging contemporary works, and serene lullabies. Information about her compositions can be found at www.berkworks.com.
In addition to teaching and composing, Stacey Berk is an active performer. She currently performs as principal oboist with the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra and with Trio Canna, the UW—SP faculty reed trio. Prior to moving to Wisconsin, she performed as a member of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, Iowa, and the award-winning Polaris Wind Quintet. From 1995-1999, Ms. Berk was a member of the U.S. Air Force Band of the West, stationed in San Antonio, Texas. She performed as principal oboist and frequent soloist in the Concert Band and chamber ensembles, and composed and arranged music for many of the Air Force ensembles. (current 2009)
Desiderium and Dimentia
Available from Prairie Dawg Press
Stuart Breczinski is in his first year in the Master of Music program at The Hartt School, pursuing his performance degree with oboe professor Humbert Lucarelli. He holds Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Science in Engineering degrees from The University of Iowa, where he studied the
oboe with professor Mark Weiger. An avid chamber musician, Breczinski is a founding member of the Hartt Reed Quintet and is additionally a member of Hartt's Performance 20/20 chamber music program. He was previously a member of the Sorcerers Double Reed Quartet, with whom he performed twice at the International Double Reed Society Conference and competed in the the Plowman Chamber Music Competition semifinals. He has been a member of the Quad City, Dubuque, and Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestras, and has also performed with the Cedar Rapids and Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestras. Breczinski was the 2009 winner of the Paranov Concerto Competition, the 2007 winner of The University of Iowa’s Center for the Arts competition, and a two-time winner of the Midwest Oboe Competition.
As a composer, Breczinski has written a number of works that have been performed by such ensembles as WiZARDS! A Double Reed Consort, the Encore Wind Ensemble, and the Sorcerers Double Reed Quartet, at such venues as the International Double Reed Society Conference and the University of Iowa’s OctOBOEfest. Most recently, Breczinski completed a commission for the Midwest Double Reed Society’s 25th Anniversary. His works are published through Prairie Dawg Press. (current 2009)
R. Douglas Helvering
Available from Imagine Music Publishing
R. Douglas Helvering is a highly active composer, specializing in the choral genre. Over the past few years Dr. Helvering's music has been featured at the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association,
MENC Conferences, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, ACDA regional conventions, and at the historic Carnegie Hall in New York. Dr. Helvering has earned music composition degrees from the University of Kansas, Westminster Choir College, and the University of Nebraska. He studied composition with Dr. Z. Randall Stroope, Dr. Stefan Young (a student of Nadia Boulanger), James Barnes, and Dr. W. Kenton Bales. He also has studied with notable choral composers Morten Lauridsen and Stephen Paulus in master class settings. He currently works as a music professor at the Kansas City Metropolitan Community College's Penn Valley Campus. He previously taught music at the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City. Dr. Helvering is the director of the Chancel Choir and Bell Choir at Countryside Christian Church in Mission, KS. He is also the music director of the Sunflower Brass, a 15-member brass ensemble based in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Dr. Helvering's music has been widely acclaimed by performers, scholars, and audiences around the world for its artistry and emotional appeal. You may learn more about his works at www.rdouglashelvering.com andwww.myspace.com/rdouglashelvering. (current 2009)
Rhapsody for Bassoon
Stephen McCardell has served on the faculty of the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music as an instructor of music since 1999. He received Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in composition from Mannes College of Music, where he studied composition with David Tcimpidis and analysis with Carl Schachter. His undergraduate studies included course work at Lawrence University, where he studied composition with James Ming and Steven Stucky. Mr. McCardell’s musical background includes owning and operating a digital recording studio, with a focus on digital editing and CD mastering in classical, jazz, and rock styles. His interest in popular music extends to performing and recording on electric guitar and dobro. His most recent compositions in the classical realm include instrumental solo works and pieces for chamber music ensembles as well as electronic media and improvisational works. (current 2009)
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