WOOSTER, Ohio — Cara Haxo, a recent graduate of The College of Wooster where she earned a degree in music composition, has been awarded the 2013 International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM) Ellen Taaffe Zwilich Composition Prize. Her award-winning composition, titled “UNLESS,” is an eight-minute orchestral work that was premiered in March by the Wooster Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jeffrey Lindberg. The IAWM prize follows closely on the heels of Haxo’s winning of the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Composers Award last month for her “Sonata for the Fall,” for cello and piano.
A resident of Haydenville, Mass., Haxo composed “UNLESS” as one of three works submitted for her Junior Independent Study (Wooster’s nationally acclaimed undergraduate research experience in which a student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor throughout the academic year to produce a thesis, performance, or work of art) in composition. “Sonata for the Fall” also was composed for Haxo’s Junior I.S. portfolio.
“UNLESS” was inspired, in part, by “The Lorax,” an environmental cautionary tale by Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss). Haxo’s advisor, Jack Gallagher, described “UNLESS” as “a dark, introspective narrative combining the instruments of the orchestra in resourceful, evocative, and ruminative ways.”
Gallagher, who advised Haxo’s Junior and Senior I.S. portfolios, added “Cara’s winning of the 2013 IAWM Zwilich Prize is an extraordinary and distinguished achievement. Her continued success and recognition in state, regional and national competition speaks eloquently to the striking maturity, imagination, and emerging professionalism exhibited by her works. Cara has been a wonderful presence throughout her four years at Wooster and in the Department of Music, and we are going to miss her greatly.”
At Wooster, Haxo studied acoustic composition, orchestration, and counterpoint with Gallagher; electronic composition with Peter Mowrey, professor of music at Wooster; and piano with Laura Silverman, an adjunct member of Wooster’s music faculty. She also was a four-year member of The Wooster Chorus and a two-year member of The Wooster Singers. In addition, she participated in performances with the Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus at Severance Hall, and performed with Wooster Fragments — a select, early-music ensemble — at Oxford, England. Also a French minor, she studied film, literature, and archeology at The Institute for American Universities, Aix-en-Provence, France, during the summer of 2011.
Elected by the Music faculty to Pi Kappa Lambda, a national music honor society, and a summa cum laude graduate of the College, Haxo will begin master’s degree studies in composition next month at Butler University in Indianapolis, where she has been awarded a graduate teaching assistantship. She plans to continue composition studies at the doctoral level and, ultimately, to teach at a college or university.
Recordings of Haxo’s works can be heard on her website at http://chaxomusic.weebly.com/biography.html
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