MSU Wind Symphony reading of a work by a student composer

Every semester the composition students from MSU have the opportunity to have a work or an orchestration project read by a large ensemble from the College of Music. This recording attests to the quality of the musicians involved in the reading as well as the quality of this composition by MSU student composer Christian Kolo.




A wonderful podcast about the value of connections for musicians

From the Composer on Fire podcast, this is an episode that features Seth Goding talking to Juilliard students about the value of creating connections for today’s musician. Enjoy!

Ep 66-Seth Godin on Creating Value Through Connections


Alex Ross: 2015 Notable Performances and Recordings

“Generally, it was a formidable year for new music—so much so that my ten notable recordings are entirely contemporary, with dead composers demoted to the honorable-mention category. Many of these works have an intangible quality in common, one that’s hard to name. Sonic landscapes shimmer before one’s ears, but they are too irregular and restless to be classified as minimalist or ambient. Instead, they suggest an ominous stasis, an unstable stillness.”

Read more at The New YorkerScreen Shot 2015-12-15 at 2.06.58 PM

Butt Sticks and other awesome blogs to follow

That’s right. Butt sticks. Just one of the many posts you’ll find in the amazing blog that composer David Rakowski. Here is a link to that article, and you can find a list below of awesome blogs to follow and read about composing, your career as a composer, and new music. These are just the ones I follow, please feel free to add more!

David Rakowski’s Blog (easily my favorite)

Inklings, a Blog by Stacy Garrop (I write for this one!)

A blog by Alex Ross, Music Critic for the New Yorker

Steven Bryant

Composer Opportunities

Sometimes it can be hard to remember all of the emails you’ve gotten with composer opportunities in the coming months. These are a couple of the spots to look once a month or so for what competitions, festivals, and other opportunities are available for composers! (free!) SCION is a fantastic resource, but you must be a member of SCI to view it. Membership isn’t too expensive for students, though, and it’s worth being a part of professional organizations in the field you’re studying!

Strange Beautiful Music VIII

Always a FANTASTIC event. This year will feature Andy Akiho (listen to his music on iTunes or watch a video here, or another here–his music is sweet), Latitude 49 (great new music ensemble with roots in Michigan), and of course New Music Detroit. Tickets are pay as you can, so it’s relatively inexpensive for people like us, and it’s an 8-hour long concert devoted to new music…what more could you want?!

More information and buy tickets here

Instrument Studies for the Eyes and Ears

Hey Composers and arrangers! Here is a very helpful resource for learning how to write for the instruments of the orchestra! Although this is pretty basic material, each instrument is accompanied with a video that demonstrates the different timbers you can create using certain notations. I use this site often when writing out orchestral parts and it saves a lot of time from having to do individual research of each instrument.