Lawrence hosts composer recital and residency

Reid Stratton

Why did the college student cross the road? To go to the Student Composers Recital.That’s right; it’s time for another display of the Lawrence composers, but this time with a twist. This recital will feature “Project One: Saxophone and Voices,” a first-time endeavor led by Joanne Metcalf.

Project One is a composition project for which several student composers were asked after auditioning,to write a piece for saxophone quartet and singer. The only stipulations were that the piece be three to four minutes long.

So why use this odd combination of sounds?

Metcalf began working on Project One as a means to create a collaboration between faculty and students. She wanted to use instruments that would be exciting to both groups of people, and so she immediately thought, “Saxophones! Saxophones will excite everybody!”

To spice things up she added the element of voice, and recruited the help of professors Stephen Jordheim and Patrice Michaels to bring the whole project together.

In its finality, Project One consists of four student compositions, a work by Metcalf, and a piece by guest composer Christopher Adler. The four students are Devin Burke, Joshua Hintze, Jonathon Roberts, and Ben Klein.

The most convincing reason to attend this is recital is to hear the different approaches each composer used, from extended techniques to Biblical text settings and even sign language.

Adding a bit of excitement to the evening will be guest composer Christopher Adler’s piece, “Song for a Glacial Boulder,” which is a setting of a text by John Muir.

Adler is an assistant professor of music at the University of San Diego, and composes in a style that utilizes improvisation and the traditional music of Thailand and Laos.

He is the only person in the world with an extensive background of composing for and performing on the khaen, a mouth organ from Laos and Northeast Thailand.

The Student Composers Recital is Sunday, April 13 in Harper Hall at 8:00 p.m. Learn more about Christopher Adler at