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2015 Composition Contest Winners

Nick Norton


1st Prize
Nick Norton (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Quiet Harbor - flute, clarinet (doubling bass), violin, cello

Nick Norton is a composer and guitarist from Los Angeles. He is interested in the colorful grey areas between genres, and in creating new experiences for listeners. The LA Times describes his music as crazy, and NewMusicBox referred to his pieces as “visceral sonic haiku.” Recent projects include pieces for Gnarwhallaby, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, The Mustang Symphony, and numerous soloists, and music with his bands, Better Looking People With Superior Ideas and Honest Iago. Nick is a co-artistic director of Equal Sound, executive director of Music to Heal, founder and editor of New Classic LA, and a member of Synchromy. He really enjoys craft beer, sci fi, and being near or in the ocean, and holds degrees from UC San Diego and King’s College London. He is currently pursuing his PhD in composition from UC Santa Barbara. (nickwritesmusic.com)

Alexandra Bryant

2nd Prize
Alexandra Bryant (University of Maryland)
Two Ghost Stations - flute and piano

Hailed as a “promising composer” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Dr. Alexandra T Bryant has been lauded for her “ability to convey myriad moods through clear thematic materials and coloristic contrasts.”  The 2008 world premiere of her piece Apostrophe was presented by the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra in Severance Hall.  In addition to COYO, she has received commissions from the Kronos Quartet, William Preucil, the Santa Fe Youth Symphony, the Tacoma Youth Symphony, the Aeolus Quartet in collaboration with the Friends of Chamber Music of Reading and through a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, Capital City Symphony, and the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre.  She has participated in the Cabrillo Festival, has been a Composition Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and School, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and served on faculty of the Luzerne Music Center.  She is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and the University of Maryland. www.alexandratbryant.com

Keane Southard

3rd Prize
Keane Southard
(University of Colorado-Boulder)
The Dove in the Ash Grove: A Fantasy on Two Welsh Folk Songs - cello and piano

Keane Southard (b. 1987) writes music that is an amalgamation of his many diverse musical influences, from medieval chant to 70's rock, Bach to the Blues, and German romanticism to Latin dance forms. His compositions have been performed by ensembles such as the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Longfellow Chorus and Orchestra, Juventas New Music Ensemble, Tesla Quartet, Playground Ensemble, Encore Wind Ensemble, and Ars Nova Singers. His music has been described as “highly-professional and well-orchestrated” (Portland Press Herald). He has been a recipient of many awards including the Lee Goldstein Composition Award from Baldwin-Wallace College, the Cecil Effinger Composition Award and George Lynn Prize from The University of Colorado-Boulder, First Prize in the Longfellow Chorus International Composers Cantata Competition, and the Charles B. Olson Young Composer Award. He has been awarded residency fellowships at Playa and the Kimmel-Harding-Nelson Center. Keane earned his M.M. in composition at the University of Colorado-Boulder where he served as a graduate assistant in music theory. His composition teachers include Kenneth Girard, Loris Chobanian, Daniel Kellogg, Jeffrey Nytch, Carter Pann, and Richard Toensing. Keane spent 2013 in Brazil as a Fulbright scholar doing research on music education. keanesouthard.instantencore.com

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