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Wooster Symphony Orchestra Spotlights Music of Living Composers

UPublish story by John Finn

(Same as above - one caption for both photos)

WOOSTER, Ohio — Innovative composer and percussionist Adam Rudolph will join a host of talented local musicians when the Wooster Symphony Orchestra presents “Music of Living Composers” on Friday, March 1, at The College of Wooster. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in McGaw Chapel (340 E. University St.).

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in advance at The Wooster Book Company (205 W. Liberty St.), Buehler's Milltown (3540 Burbank Rd.), and Towne Market (336 N. Market St.) as well as Lowry Center’s Wilson Bookstore (1189 Beall Ave.) and at the door on the evening of the concert. College of Wooster students, faculty, and staff receive complimentary admission.

Rudolph’s Go: Organic Orchestra, featuring guest soloist Ralph M. Jones, faculty-in-residence at Oberlin College’s Afrikan Heritage House, on flute and soprano saxophone, as well as The College of Wooster’s Percussion Ensemble and the Wooster Symphony Orchestra, highlights a robust and varied program.

Go: Organic Orchestra employs a unique, improvisational conducting style, according to Rudolph, who utilizes non-linear notation in his score. “I conduct the musicians in a spontaneous way by using a variety of hand signals to cue and orchestrate the score and direct the improvisations,” he says. “I seek to generate unusual relationships of sound against sound, form against form, and rhythm against rhythm in a non-linear, ever-shifting kaleidoscope of music images: weaving an ‘audio syncretic music fabric.’”

The music is “organic” in the sense that the compositions and conducting serve as inspiration and context for the musicians to express themselves in the moment. Through listening and imagination, the conductor and performers inspire one another to create emotional tones. Rather than the score being a set of instructions, the non-linear semiotic (symbols) of the written music are an invitation to discover the potentialities of what can happen when transformed into syntax as expressed through the hands and breath of a group of virtuosic, imaginative, and soulful improvisers.

Also on the program is local composer David Westfall’s stirring Homage to the Victims of 9/11, and original works by senior music composition majors Derrick Evans and Cara Haxo. Evans’ Thanatopsis is a one-movement, six-minute piece for full orchestra and was written in partial fulfillment of his Senior I.S. (Independent Study: Wooster’s nationally acclaimed senior research project) in theory/composition. Haxo’s Unless is a one-movement piece for chamber orchestra based upon Dr. Seuss's The Lorax, written as part of her Junior I.S.

The evening will literally end with a bang as Thomas Roblee, director of the Scot Marching Band and the Percussion Ensemble, and Tyler Carpenter, adjunct music faculty member at Malone University, combine to perform Philip Glass’s Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra.

Additional information about the concert is available by phone (330-263-2419) or e-mail (

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