Gracelyn Jack (born 2002) is a composer and clarinetist from Goshen, Kentucky. An avid enthusiast of the outdoors, her compositions often draw inspiration from natural and cosmic themes. Her works were performed at the Brevard Music Center during its 2023 season, and she frequently plays the clarinet with her college's music improvisation group. She is currently studying composition at The College of Wooster under the guidance of Dylan Findley.
Program note from the composer:
"The inspiration for this piece came from a conversation with my biologist friend, Joe, regarding moths. He explained to me, offhandedly, that luna moths emerge from their cocoons without mouths; they spend so little time as a moth that there would be no point in finding food. In their short life, they hatch; they reproduce; they die; and yet, they live. They flutter around street lights and porch lights, travel long distances to find mates, and, although it seems improbable because of their lifespan, their species has existed on Earth for thousands of years. This concept has stuck with me: the idea of so much life condensed into ten days or fewer. With this piece, I wanted to reflect both the fleeting nature and the timelessness of this creature’s existence. An individual moth may only live for less than ten days, but I will be thinking about them for the rest of my significantly longer life."
Tristan Wilson is a composer and violist from Detroit, Michigan. Following the premiere of his Sinfonietta for string orchestra in 2014, his works have been performed regularly around the Detroit and Cleveland areas, at Interlochen during the 2019 Summer Arts Camp season and featured on Petrichor Records’ series New Music by Living Composers (2021). His primary composition instructors have included Jon Anderson, James Hartway, and Sara Corry. He is currently pursuing studies in viola performance and composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music in the studios of Mark Jackobs and Keith Fitch, respectively.
Five Songs are settings of five poems by Djuna Barnes (1892–1982), an American writer, journalist and artist best known for her 1936 novel Nightwood and her final work, a verse play entitled The Antiphon,
As the winning piece of this season's Collegiate Composition Contest, Five Songs will be performed at our Vocal Chamber Music: Singers and Instrumentalists Play Nicely Together! concert on Sunday, January 29, 2023, 3:00 pm at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church 20401 Hilliard Blvd., Rocky River, OH 44116,
Gabriel Stossel (b.2001) is a young composer currently attending the Cleveland Institute of Music studying under Keith Fitch. As a composer, Gabriel likes to explore the relationship between board overarching musical shapes and musical structure. Gabriel has previously studied with Nicholas Landrum, Jennifer Merkowitz, and Paul Coleman. Gabriel is the first prize winner of the 2020 Cleveland Composer’s Guild Collegiate Composition Contest. He is a recipient of the 2020 John Phillip Sousa award.
Four Fractals is divided into four movements, each movement derived from a mathematical fractal. The first movement, Apollonian Net, portrays a concept of concentric circles ad infinitum. The second, Sierpinski Triangle, plays around with rapid overarching sequences while implying a sense of falling. The third movement, Koch Snowflake, uses several triangular gestures to depict a solitude snowflake gently falling. The last movement, Mandelbrot Set, uses an escalating set of arpeggios to depict the Mandelbrot set.
Listen to Gabriel Stossel's Four Fractals here:
The Cleveland Composers Guild 8th Cleveland Composers Guild Composition Contest results are in. We received submissions from 22 talented composers representing 7 colleges, conservatories, and universities throughout Northeast Ohio, the largest number this contest has ever attracted.
Our three winning pieces are:
First Prize: "Four Fractals" for solo violin, by Gabriel Stossel (Cleveland Institute of Music)
Second Prize: "The Night of the Souls" for solo harp, by Yoav Sadeh (Cleveland Institute of Music)
Third Prize: "Miniatures from Phoenicia" for solo flute, by Sami Seif (Cleveland Institute of Music)
All three winners are students of Keith Fitch at CIM, so congratulations, Keith! All three winners will receive cash prizes, and the 1st prize winner will receive a performance on our March concert.
The panel this year consisted of the following judges:
Dr. Elainie Lillios, Professor of Composition, Bowling Green State University, Dr. James Romig, Professor of Theory and Composition, Western Illinois University, and Dr. Matthew Saunders (chair), Professor of Music, Lakeland Community College
Thank you to our non-member judges for giving their time and expertise over the holidays to this project.
Almost every 4-year music program in Northeast Ohio was represented this year, and that is a testament to Guild members promoting this contest to their students. Please continue to encourage undergraduate students to submit--competition for the top slots was tight. Stay tuned for more information!
Maxwell Lowery is a versatile musician equally interested in music composition, theory, performance, administration, and production. As an undergraduate student and employee of the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), he actively participates in all five fields. His goal as a composer is to use performance experience and academic study to inform and enhance his music. As a violist, he prefers composing for ensembles that include the viola. Maxwell is the first prize winner of the 2020 Cleveland Composer’s Guild Collegiate Composition Contest, the second prize winner of the 2020 American Viola Society Maurice Gardner Composition Competition, and the recipient of CIM’s 2019 Beth Pearce Nelson Award for Music Theory.
Scored for a favorite ensemble of the last 100 years, Moonlit Seascape takes its listeners to the quiet coastline of a nighttime ocean whose calm waters reflect the light of a full moon. Although it does not reference a specific work of visual art, it is inspired by the tradition of landscape painting. The six-minute piece opens with a slow introduction that features meandering viola and flute solos before the tempo quickens toward a flowing central section. Churning cross rhythms in the harp give a sense of the constant but irregular motion of ocean currents, while rising and falling gestures in the flute and viola depict gently lapping waves. After a climax, the flowing music gradually relaxes back to the tempo and mood of the introduction. In this final section, a peaceful flute melody leads to a subdued end.
The Cleveland Composers Guild is delighted to announce Natsumi Osborn as the winner of our Sixth Annual Collegiate Composition Contest for her piece Autumn Reflections for unaccompanied SATB chorus.
Autumn Reflections will be performed as part of the Cleveland Composers Guild collaborative concert with the Cleveland Chamber Choir, The Personal Muse: Music of Cleveland Composers Guild and Women Composers on Saturday, May 18 at 7:30pm at Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Hts., Ohio, and Sunday, May 19 at 3:00pm at First Congregational Church in Akron, Ohio. Tickets for both concerts are available at the door and in advance from clevelandchamberchoir.org. For further program information, please visit clevelandcomposers.com and clevelandchamberchoir.org
About the composer
Natsumi Osborn (b.1999) is a Japanese-American composer currently studying music composition at Oberlin Conservatory under Stephen Hartke, Jesse Jones, and Elizabeth Ogonek. Her music has been performed throughout the USA and Canada and has received awards from the American Composer’s Forum NextNotes Awards, ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Awards, Carson Thomas Miller Texas Emerging Composers Competition, and the WCSMS 2017 Promising Young Composers Competition. She has also collaborated on projects with groups such as the Awea Duo and the Houston Ballet Academy.
Natsumi previously studied under Daniel Knaggs in Houston, TX. Alongside her musical studies, Natsumi is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Economics at Oberlin College.
About Autumn Reflections (notes from the composer)
"In an effort to understand the craftwork behind writing poetry, I reached out to a friend who shared some of her own experiences as a writer. One of her texts she referenced, “October Danger”, caught my attention because of the fascinating dichotomy the she creates between innocent desire and weakness. Through imagery of beautiful autumn scenery, the poem brings about several underlying concepts that are uncomfortable to face: realizing the ease with which we are distracted by desire, being conflicted between what we love and what is ultimately right, and losing ourselves while pursuing a romanticized reality. These hidden sentiments spoke to me strongly, and my personal understanding of the poem’s context drew me to set it to music."
Natsumi Osborn, Winner of the Cleveland Composers Guild Sixth Annual Collegiate Composition Contest