Connecticut Composers Inc.

Member News
CCI Welcomes new member Peter McKenzie Armstrong! (10/1/2013)

Find out more at Peter's IMSLP Page,,_Peter_McKenzie.

CCI Salon scheduled for Dec. 7th (11/10/2013)

CCI will be holding a salon at the James Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford, CT on Dec. 78th in the afternoon. More details to follow. Those interested in presenting works should email Frank Vasi or Meg Stoop.

CCI Welcomes new member Ted Hine! (10/1/2013)

Find out more at Ted's website,

CCI Annual Meeting on August 10th (6/15/2013)

CCI's annual meeting will take place on August 10th, 2013 at 1pm in the home of Vice President Allen Brings in Wilton. For a specific address or more information click "Contact Us" on the left panel.

CCI Welcomes new member Jessica Rudman! (8/1/2013)

Find out more at Jessica's website,

CCI Welcomes new member Daniel Morel! (8/1/2013)

Find out more at Daniel's website,

Elisabeth R. Austin's "Rose Sonata" to be performed in Wisconsin (6/15/2013)

Of the performnace, Elisabeth writes, "I have rarely been so touched by the announcement (see below) of Kathleen Dale's recital this coming Sunday in Wisconsin, which will include my Rose Sonata, a lengthy and definitive work for me. Kathleen Dale, a distinguished poet in her own right, has fashioned a recital program that is exactly and perfectly balanced between the classics of the past and new musical offerings. It is always one continous stream, one line informing and redolent of the line to come."

CCI Welcomes new member Dan Lis! (3/25/2013)

Dan Lis is a composer, guitarist, and teacher based out of Hartford, CT USA. He graduated summa cum laude from The Hartt School, where he studied composition with David Macbride, Robert Carl, Ken Steen, and Tawnie Olson, and jazz guitar with Rich Goldstein. His music is heavily influenced by a duality of classical and popular styles, and can be best described as "borderline" between tonal and atonal, classical and rock, free and strict, consonant and dissonant. Find out more at

CCI Welcomes new member Juliana Hall! (3/13/2013)

Juliana is a composer primarily of classical art songs, has had her music performed in at least 24 countries, and has recordings released on the Vienna Modern Masters label and Albany Records. To read more about Juliana, visit her website

Steve Gryc retires after 32 years at Hartt, two concerts to celebrate

Steve Gryc is retiring (albeit gradually) from the Hartt School.  For the next three years Steve will teach a quarter-time load before completely stepping down in 2015.  This fall Hartt is producing two concerts in recognition of his 32 years of service to the school and his accomplishments as a composer.

On Saturday, October 13 the Symphony Band and Wind Ensemble will perform three of Gryc’s works, including the premiere of his Concerto for Winds and Percussion.  The string section of the Hartt Symphony Orchestra will perform Gryc’s Fantasy Variations on a Theme of Bela Bartok with faculty saxophonist Carrie Koffman as soloist.  In addition the orchestra will perform Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra.

The performance on Sunday, October 14 will feature three soloists of international stature who will perform works they commissioned from Steve.  Philip Smith, principal trumpeter of the New York Philharmonic, will perform Evensong with the Hartt Orchestra, and Leonid Sigal, concertmaster of the Hartford Symphony, will perform Harmonia Mundi: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra which he premiered with the Hartford Symphony in 2011.  Joseph Alessi, principal trombonist of the New York Philharmonic, will perform Passaggi: Concerto for Trombone and Wind Ensemble and Smith and Alessi will also be featured in two works by Joseph Turin, a colleague of Steve’s at the Hartt School.  The Hartt Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Edward Cumming, and the Hartt Wind Ensemble will be conducted by Glen Adsit.

Annual Meeting

CCI's annual meeting was held on Friday, August 24. During a vibrant and productive meeting, attendees voted unanimously in favor of CCI fiscal sponsorship to members for projects in keeping with the mission of our organization.

New release on Parma Recordings and a Capstone CD include works by Allen Brings

Parma Recordings has just announced the recording on its Navona label of Allen Brings’ Short Symphony No. 1 for string orchestra performed by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Petr Vronsky. Called “Fire & Time,” the CD includes orchestral works by six American composers whose works are united by an expansive musical vision with programmatic influences ranging from Jungian philosophy to musings on ancient Korean arts to descriptions of contrasting mountain vistas.

On June 11 Allen Brings performed his Duette for flute and piano with flutist Lisa Hansen on a program of music by members of the National Association of Composers/USA in New York City. A recording of the work by Hansen and Brings can be found on a Capstone Records CD entitled "Duos, Duologues and a Duette by Allen Brings." On November 15 the Elysian Trombone Ensemble will perform his Three Movements for trombone quartet at the national conference of The College Music Society.

New music ensemble performs a program of music by CCI composers

The 016 New Music Ensemble presented an exciting concert of recent music by members of Connecticut Composers Inc. on Sunday, May 27 in the recently renovated Berkman Recital Hall at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School.  The 016 ensemble is a Hartford-based group of young professional musicians, most of whom are recent graduates of Hartt graduate performance programs.  The group is led by the husband and wife team of trombonist Jordan and violinist Janet Jacobson.

Strings and piano were featured in works by Larry Alan Smith, Allen Brings, Stephen Gryc, Elizabeth Austin and Ken Steen.  The concert began and ended with works that included trombone: David Macbride’s Lullaby for Imogen for violin, trombone and percussion and Ryan Jesperson’s Fragments and Memories for trombone and piano.  Macbride’s piece was written for Jordan and Janet’s infant daughter who was in attendance though behind the scenes.

The composers (who were all in attendance) were delighted by the quality of the performances, and the concert was enthusiastically received by the audience.  The concert included CCI debuts of our two newest members: Larry Allen Smith and Ryan Jesperson.

Please welcome our newest member,

Ryan Jesperson

Ryan Jesperson (1981) is a composer whose music is steeped in the modern practice of blurring genres and skewing expectations.  Ryan holds degrees from Washington State University and The Hartt School, and earned his doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he was a Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellow and recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Dissertation Award.  A winner of multiple awards and prizes, most recently the 2011 Gerald Kemner Prize for Orchestral Composition, the 2010 Beethoven Club/Belvedere Festival Composition Contest, the 2009 British Trombone Society Composition Contest and the 2009 KC Chorale Composition Competition, Ryan’s compositions have been performed across North America and Europe, with recent performances in Hartford, Baltimore, Memphis, Boston, New York, Kansas City, Montreal, Sweden, Romania and the UK.  Ryan is published through Sound Music Publications, Warwick Music, and his own imprint, Jazzperson Music.  For more information please visit

CCI performs to packed house in Wilton, CT

Playing before a full audience in the Brubeck Room of the Wilton Library, CCI presented a wonderful concert on April 15, 2012.

Elizabeth Lauer performed her delightful set of piano variations on the lullaby, "All the Pretty Little Horses," accompanied by Allen Brings on the last variation.

Frank Vasi 's wonderful Music for Sax, Flute and Piano came to life with Frank on the sax, Margaret Collins Stoop on the flute, and Allen on the piano.

John Alan Rose accompanied his wife, Sing Rose, as she sang Johnny's work, "Ticket to the Theater," depicting all of the characters one might find in a musical theater production. Johnny and Sing make quite a formidable duo! The program concluded with a string trio performing

The audience thoroughly enjoyed Eugenie Rocherolle's "Century Music," a piece which captures the essence of various musical styles of the 20C. It was performed by KAthleen theisen, Nicola Gruen and Melissa Westgate.

Thank you to all who were a part of this wonderful afternoon: composers, performers and audience members!

CCI welcomes new members, Becroft and Rose

Welcome to Stephen Becroft and John Alan Rose.  Stephen is a Ridgefield resident and his work, Breezes, for solo flute, was performed by CCI president Meg Collins Stoop at an Adesso concert on May 1, 2011.  John Rose just returned from Lugansk Ukraine, where he gave the world premiere performance of his piano concerto, with Miran Vaupotich conducting.

Collaboration between CCI and LICA; Adesso to sing new works in Georgetown, CT

On May 1, 2011 the Adesso Choral Society will perform works by composers from both CCI and the Long Island Composers Alliance at a concert at the G&B Cultural Community Center in Georgetown, CT (see concert calendar).  This concert is a special collaboration with composers writing works specifically for the forces of Adesso, a tight blend of eight women choristers.  Adesso is a select vocal ensemble founded and directed by CCI president, Margaret Collins Stoop. The group places special emphasis on performing music by living composers. CCI composers include John Mucci, Eugenie Rocherolle, Frank Vasi and Margaret Collins Stoop.

Fairfield County Chorale performs work by woman composer

When on March 12, 7:30, Margaret Collins Stoop steps onto the stage to conduct the Fairfield County Chorale performing her work, Gnosis, it will be the first time the group has performed a work by a woman composer.   The 120 voice chorus is now in its 48th season. Gnosis, an eight minute work for mixed chorus, vibraphone and marimba, will be part of a program which includes Durufle's Requiem.  Concerts are Saturday, March 12, 7:30 at St. John's Episcopal Church in Stamford, CT and Sunday March 13, 3 p.m. at First Congregational Church of Fairfield, CT.

Connecticut Composer's work performed in Brazil

Thom McFaul had a Brazilian premiere of his string quartet--st qt-- on Jan. 14, 2011 at Festival Internacional de Musica de Curitiba, in Curitiba, Brazil. It was performed by The Fry Street Quartet as part of a series of concerts sponsored by The American Consulate.

Brings's performances

Allen Brings’s Concertino in D was performed by the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra under Donald Portnoy at the national conference of the Society of Composers in Columbia, SC, on November 12.  On November 14 the Shoreline Community Chorale under Noah Glynn sang Brings’s Getting Around, a set of four rounds for chorus with piano accompaniment, in Clinton, CT.  The same work had been performed without piano in May, 2010, in Ridgefield, CT, by the Adesso Choral Society under the direction of Margaret Collins Stoop. Mountain Song, set to a text by Leonard Cochran, was sung on February 11 in Melville, NY, on a program entitled “Love of the Art Song; Art of the Love Song” presented by the Long Island Composers Alliance.

CCI's Michael Slayton has edited a book about women in music, in which he profiles CCI composer Elizabeth Austin

Taken from the Scarecrow Press website:


In Women of Influence in Contemporary Music: Nine American Composers, Michael K. Slayton has collected essays, which focus on women who have made significant contributions to American music: Elizabeth Austin, Susan Botti, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jennifer Higdon, Libby Larsen, Tania León, Cindy McTee, Marga Richter, and Judith Shatin. While these composers have much in common, not least of all dedication to their art, their individual stories reveal different impulses in American music. Their works reflect the shifting societal landscapes in the United States over the last seven decades, as well as different stylistic approaches to writing music.

Each chapter includes a biography of the composer, an interview, and a detailed analysis of one major composition. The composers openly reflect on their individual journeys, in which they have discovered respective musical languages and have found success during different times in history. Because few music books focus solely on female composers, Women of Influence in Contemporary Music offers a rare glimpse into the styles and attitudes of gifted women and their work.

ABOUT THE EDITOR Michael K. Slayton is associate professor and chair of the Department of Music Composition and Theory at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music.

Michael Slayton has also an article about Elizabeth Austin published in this quarter's Scope Magazine.  See, p.22 for the article.

Turner Movies to celebrate Dave Brubeck's 90th birthday with Dec. 6 premiere of "In His Own Sweet Way"

On Monday, Dec. 6, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will celebrate Brubeck's 90th birthday with the premiere of Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way, a new documentary executive-produced by Clint Eastwood. The documentary takes its name from one of Brubeck's most famous tunes, "In Your Own Sweet Way." Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way was produced and directed by filmmaker and longtime Eastwood collaborator Bruce Ricker. The documentary tells Brubeck's personal story, including his early musical training; studies with Darius Milhaud, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, featuring Paul Desmond; and the musical revolution caused by his introduction of new time signatures in jazz, such as in the jazz standard Take Five.

CCI now has a Facebook page

CCI can now be found on Facebook!  Members can easily let fans of CCI know of their concert schedules via this page.

News from Allen Brings

Since the beginning of the 2010-2011 season Allen Brings has seen the release on the Navona Records label of a recording of his Quintet for clarinet and strings. The recording, entitled “harmonious dissonance,” is shared with three other composers and consists of an enhanced disc that also includes the complete score of the quintet. Although just released it has already been performed on a German FM radio station. At a conference organized by region V of the Society of Composers at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, he heard the first performance on October 1 of his To an Unborn Pauper Child for men’s chorus and piano, four-hands, setting a poem by Thomas Hardy. His Digressions for guitar quartet was performed at the Warebrook Contemporary Music Festival in Vermont in July, his setting of the Lord’s Prayer for chorus conducted by Leonard Lehrman was sung at a concert presented by the Long Island Composers Alliance in Huntington, LI, on June 13, and he and soprano Jennifer Foster performed his Five Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins at a concert presented by the National Association of Composers/USA in New York City on June 7. On May 23 in Ridgefield the Adesso Choral Society under the direction of CCI president Margaret Collins Stoop gave the first known complete performance of the suite of rounds he calls Getting Around. To his surprise the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers reported that his five-part madrigal The Apparition, setting a poem by John Donne, had been performed in South Korea between January, 2008, and October, 2009.

Gryc's String Quartet on recently released CD

The Avalon String Quartet has released a recording of four twenty-first century works that feature Connecticut composers Stephen Gryc and David Macbride. The CD, Albany Records' Troy1160, is titled Avalon String Quartet. Gryc's work is simply titled String Quartet, and Macbride's piece is titled A Muse. Other works on the recording are by Hayes Biggs and Ethan Wickman. Look for a review of the CD in the July issue of The American Record Guide.

Steen's music in Dublin, Ireland, and New Haven, CT

This winter and spring Ken Steen has been composer-in-residence at the Education Center for Arts in New Haven.  On April 7 students will premiere two works of his: Silent Moona choral work, and soundsaround. Soundsaround is a work in two complementary components: a sound installation, in the front gallery, and an electroacoustic concert performance piece. Each part informs the other through shared materials presented in distinct ways that are idiomatic to each medium. The entire work was composed as a collaboration between the students and Steen. It features melodic fragments composed by the students along with sounds and noises that they collected from around the ECA building and neighborhood that were edited and digitally processed by Steen.
In addition to having an active concert calendar in Connecticut, Steen's work, Driving Me Crazy, will be performed by pianist Isabelle O'Connell on April 20 at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland, as part of a program of American piano music including works by Henry cowell, George Crumb, James Mobberley and Terry Winter Owens.

Lauer's piano work wins first prize

Elizabeth Lauer's Carousel:  Dance-Variations on All the Pretty Little Horses, for solo piano has won first prize in the PenWomen Biennial Composition Competition.  The piece was composed in 2002, on commission from the Connecticut Music Teachers Association; she received the commission after a competition that the organization held.

Additionally, Lauer presented a lecture/recital entitled A Century of Waltzes for the local branch of PenWomen (called the Yucca Branch; yucca is the NM state flower) on Friday, March 19, 2010.

Rocherolle featured onpublisher's showcase

Eugenie Rocherolle was featured on the Hal Leonard Publishers Showcase at the MTNA Convention in Albuquerque on March 23 where she will present her latest publications for piano: original solo collection, On the Jazzy Side; arrangements of Rodgers & Hammerstein: Selected Favorites; original duets, Two's Company and two pieces in a compilation entitled Romantic Inspirations featuring the works of four Hal Leonard composers.

Provincetown, MA radio station airs works by Slayton and Brings

Canary Burton of WOMR in Provincetown, Ma.  played Michael Stayton's Le soir tombe  and Allen Brings Three Sonnets after the Portugese on February 23, 2010.

Hot Off the Press: A new Spectra CD

A new CD, the fifth in a series, has been released. The Spectra CD is a collection of vocal music by CCI composers Michael Slayton, Howard Rovics, Allen Brings, Dave Brubeck and Elizabeth R. Austin. 

Brubeck Honored at the Kennedy Center

By now our country and possibly the world knows that Dave Brubeck was honored on December 5, 2009, with a Kennedy Center Award for “exemplary lifetime achievement in the performing arts.” What they may not know is that Dave has for many years been a member of Connecticut Composers and that several of his songs have been included in the just-released CD, “A Concert of Vocal Music by Connecticut Composers, Inc.,” volume 5 of Spectra, the compact disc series that CCI has been releasing since 1997.

Three Brass Quintets by Lew Buckley on a new holiday CD

The brass quintet known as Mainstreet Brass released a new CD, Christmas Spirit, in December 2009.  Mainstreet Brass commissioned three of the works on the CD written by CCI's Lewis Buckley.

CCI Composer takes first place in a competition for symphonic works

Albert Hurwit was awarded first place out of 124 entrants in the 2009 American Composer Competition sponsored by the Columbia (MD) Orchestra and the symphony has been performed by philharmonic orchestras in Connecticut, Maryland and Texas.
The symphony, based on the composer's family history of persecution and immigration, has been recorded by the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra (with Klezmer Band) conducted by Michael Lankester.


Copyright 2013 Connecticut Composers Inc.

Copyright 2013 Connecticut Composers Inc.