Balee Pongklad (b.1976), a native of Thailand, earned his doctorate in music composition from the University of Alabama where he studied with C.P. First. He has received awards and recognitions from such notable organizations as Minnesota Orchestra Music Institute and the Society of Composer. His work, Ride, explains his own experience of riding a long-tail boat, known as Ruea Hang Yao in the Thai language. The composition appears to fast-forward, glide, swerve, and sometimes float freely. The composition portrays the excitement of such a ride full of the unexpected.
Tyler Entelisano (b. 1994) is currently studying composition under C. P. First, and he has also studied with Dr. Amir Zaheri. Compositionally, Entelisano is engaged in numerous collaborations with his colleagues. His music is published in the International Journal of Contemporary Composition (IJCC). Entelisano’s composition, Otherworldly Shimmer, observes the interaction between a solo violin and a dynamic electronic landscape. Throughout the piece, the solo violin and the fixed media, consisting entirely of manipulated violin samples, become increasingly interwoven as both elements are manipulated through various compositional techniques. For more information on Tyler Entelisano and his music visit www.entelisanomusic.com.
Corey Fant (b. 1989) is an Alabama-born composer and has studied at the University of Alabama and Belmont University. Of The Mind and Of The Eyes make up two-thirds of an interconnected set of pieces for solo violin. These pieces share musical material and thoughts that are transformed at the beginning of each piece. While each piece can be performed on its own, it is advised that the pieces are performed together as a unified whole.
Derek Holden (b. 1990) is an American composer living in New York City. Holden has been performed across the United States and in Europe and has collaborated with performers on four continents. Holden runs a charity concert organization, Cicada Consort. This organization hosts yearly marathons of music by living composers to benefit various charity organizations. Break Off the Aubergine Crystal Skin is a work for electric violin and stereo electronics. In a performance setting, the electronics are to be run through two guitar amps spread as far to the left and right of the violinist as is possible. The work is a prog metal solo run through a meat grinder. For more information, please visit derekholden.com.
J.M. Smith (b. 1992) holds a B.M. in Music Composition and is currently earning his M.M. in Music Composition from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL. He has studied composition with C. P. First, Peter Westergaard, Amir Zaheri, and Marvin Johnson. His composition Shroud, the Shadow makes use of the contrasting timbre and color capabilities of the violin throughout the work.
Thomas L. Wilson (b. 1992) holds the Master of Music degree from The University of Alabama and is a composer of film, game, and stage music. He has garnered several awards and prizes for his compositions, pushing the boundaries of new cutting edge technology in his work. His composition, The Reflection of My Introverted Sneakers for acoustic violin and stereo electronics, explores a repetitive pitch and rhythm. The electronic are constructed from samples of an acoustic violin. The work moves through different timbres and harmonies, but maintains the constant note. For more information about this work and others, please visit his website at thomaslwilson.com.
Tyler Jones (b. 1993) is a composer, arranger, and conductor working throughout the southeastern United States. Exploring intriguing rhythmical-metrical structures and earthy, evocative colors, his music has received enthusiastic praise from both performers and fellow composers. His piece, Solitude, for solo violin, explores the scenario of the sleepless night and the varied mental excursions that accompany it: meandering and restless thought, three chimeras (fleeting, unattainable fancies), sullen introspection, nostalgia and a sobering catharsis.
Kilian Afzalirad (b. 1994) is an undergraduate at the University of Alabama studying music composition. He regularly performs his music at various venues in the southeast. His music has been featured in the University of Alabama’s Dance Alabama. His composition, Drama of the Dirt (for violin and tape), is a musical contemplation of the existence of matter. The composer utilizes a rise-and-fall motion that intensifies through the duration of the piece to represent the never-ending creation, decay, and creation from that decay that makes up our natural world.
J. R. Speake (b. 1993) studies music composition at the University of Alabama with composer C. P. First. His composition, Caper Fair, is an active piece that demands a high level of performance technique. The composition exploits challenging intervallic leaps on the violin and complex rhythms. The music, however, is balanced with slower, lyrical, and intimate sections. The piece begins monophonically but quickly turns polyphonic through various types of compositional development.
Jared Bradley Tubbs (b. 1996) is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Music Composition at the University of Alabama. His music has been performed regularly at the University of Alabama School of Music, and has also garnered many performances across the south. Unknown Conversations, a solo piece for violin, explores differences in timbre and dynamics on the violin in a dramatic and romantic fashion. The “conversation” grows to an intense and frantic character over the course of the piece until it reaches a climax, where it then proceeds to return to its original lyrical style.
Davis Brooks comes from a diverse musical background as soloist, pedagogue, orchestral musician, studio musician, concertmaster on Broadway, conductor, and chamber musician. His teaching experience has included faculty appointments at Baylor University, Wayne State University, the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, and Bucknell University. He is currently Professor of Violin Emeritus at Butler University in Indianapolis, and the 2015-2016 University of Alabama School of Music Endowed Chair in Music Composition.
In addition to his present position as Acting Concertmaster of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Dr. Brooks was a member of the Mostly Mozart Orchestra at Lincoln Center for ten years, and for nineteen years, the New York Chamber Symphony, which produced over 20 critically-acclaimed recordings during his tenure with them. Dr. Brooks has been concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of New England, the Harrisburg Symphony, and the Waco Symphony. He performs frequently with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and is active in the many recording studios in the Indianapolis area. In November 2016, his latest recording of new music, solo music written for him by ten Alabama composers, will be released. Dr. Brooks has previously released two solo CDs, one of music for violin and electronic media entitled Violin and Electronics, and one of music by composer C.P. First. Both are available on iTunes. Other recordings include Reflection on a Hymn of Thanksgiving by Frank Felice, With Every Leaf a Miracle by Mark Schultz, and Manunya by Frank Glover.
At Yale University, where he received a master’s degree in violin performance, Dr. Brooks studied with Broadus Erle and Syoko Aki. His doctorate, also in violin performance, is from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Other important teachers with whom he has worked include Joyce Robbins, George Neikrug, Russell Hatz, and Raymond Page; he has studied chamber music with Julius Levine, Josef Gingold, Aldo Parisot, and members of the Tokyo, Alard and Guarneri Quartets.
Chamber music is his first love. He has been a member of the Indianapolis Chamber Players, the Commonwealth and Landolfi Quartets, as well as the Meridian and Essex Piano Trios. In addition, Dr. Brooks’ special interests include both the performance of music by contemporary composers and performance on original instruments, particularly the music of the Baroque period. He is a founding member of both the Chicago 21st- Century Music Ensemble and the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra. Recording for the progressive rock band The Psychedelic Ensemble has been a recent diversion, as has performing with the Indianapolis band Progressive Lenses. Davis performs on a 2006 violin made by Joseph Curtin.
More information is available at www.davisbrooksviolin.com.
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