Oct – Third Sunday Concert: Composers Project (2020)

The Composers Project Virtual Concert

Streamed October 18, 2020 •  view concert below

Wonderful new works by 13 young composers performed by local and regional professional musicians.

Compositions inspired by the local nonprofit organization, Sierra Harvest



Interconnected – Athena Giuliani (14)

Cloudburst – Kieran Dickson (15)

Pests by Jaxon English (12)

Insecticides – Levi Krautkramer (15)

The Life of a Raven – Nikita Khryapin (15)

Spring Time – Ian Hayes (17)

The Death of Rebirth (A Song of Spring) – Lydia Fuller-Hall (17)

Coalescence – James Thomas-Rose (16)

The Nile – Kate Thorenson Hershberger

The Life of a Strawberry Plant – Baraka Anderson (13)

The Water Cycle – Eva Floyd (16)

Invasive Species – Noah Prescott (16)

The Garden’s Lullaby – Maura Blair (17)

Sponsored by Public Education Enrichment Fund (PEEF), Robin Laverty Reves & John Reves


On Sunday, October 18, at 2pm, join InConcert Sierra to celebrate the music composed by thirteen students of the Composers Project, brought to life by eighteen local and regional professional musicians.

The 2019-20 “Composers Project with Mark Vance” class began their coursework in September 2019.  For nine months during the school-year, CP students learned about music theory, harmony, notation, music history, and writing for instrument families.  They met and worked with renowned musicians and composers who performed for the InConcert Third Sunday Series.

In February 2020, the students’ first concert, “Poetry in Song,” featured their compositions written for voice and instruments and performed by professional musicians for a live audience. This was just a mid-course taste of these students’ capabilities. The audience and musicians were astounded. “The concert was spectacular in its variety and depth. I found it very moving to hear what our young composers had to offer. So truly special,” said one composer’s parent.

In March 2020, as the pandemic shut down normal activities, ICS Education Director Mark Vance kept his class together and working, albeit virtually.  The coursework continued into June and the students persevered.

Via a collaboration with the local non-profit, Sierra Harvest, the students gained inspiration for their final compositions through field trips (prior to the COVID-19 shutdown) to Sierra Harvest farms and events. Titles such as “Interconnected,” “The Life of a Strawberry Plant,” “The Water Cycle,” and “The Garden’s Lullaby,” are just examples of the works that came out of the students​’​ experiences through Sierra Harvest.

The students’ hard work and dedication culminate in Sunday’s concert presenting their final pieces from the 2019-2020 course.

This past July, videographers Lou Douros and Larry Huntington donated their time to ensure that the students’ final works, composed for ensembles, were documented and filmed for both the students and our audience to enjoy. Musicians gathered a few at a time at the Miners Foundry and, while socially distanced, performed these new works.

One of the musicians commented, “What a treat to play such beautiful, interesting new music in person. Mark, you always inspire the kids to create fascinating pieces. Thanks to the sound and video team as well. If I didn’t remember to smile on the outside while concentrating hard on the music, I was smiling on the inside.”

At the completion of all the filming, Vance said, “This has been a tough year for all of us. We’ve dealt with power outages, the COVID-19 pandemic, home quarantine, online learning, social distancing, and mask debates. It was fun for the musicians to get together carefully and play live music after all these months of quarantine. And thirteen students were able to hear their final compositions rehearsed and then performed for the first time with real live musicians…really excellent live musicians.”

The concert may be viewed online at www.inconcertsierra.org, on the InConcert Sierra Facebook page, or the InConcert Sierra YouTube channel.  It will remain available on YouTube for two weeks.

Many thanks to videographers Lou Douros and Larry Huntington for donating their time to this final presentation, and to Miners Foundry Cultural Center for allowing us to film in the beautiful Stone Hall.

To read more about the July 2020 production of this final project, click here

Performed by these local and regional professional musicians!

Richard Altenbach, violin
Kristen Autry, violin
Kit Bailey, bongos
John Basa, percussion
Murray Campbell, oboe
Kate Canan, flute/recorders
Ken Carter, trumpet
Jia-mo Chen, cello
Michael Downing, marimba/percussion
Athena Giuliani, violin (performed on her own piece!)
Jerry Grant, tenor saxophone
Nancy Hill, viola
Elizabeth McAllister, clarinet
Angelina Mejia, French horn
Gary Regina, alto sax
Stephen Rice, bass
Dave Riddles, bassoon/bari-sax
Sage Po-Ruff, harp
Lynn Schugren, piano
David Thorp, viola

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