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UNK New Music Festival promises something for everyone | KTIC Radio

UNK New Music Festival promises something for everyone

UNK New Music Festival promises something for everyone
Nois, a Chicago-based saxophone quartet, is performing 7:30 p.m. March 14 as part of the UNK New Music Festival. The festival features four concerts in UNK’s Fine Arts Recital Hall, all of which are free and open to the public. (Courtesy photo)

Click here for UNK New Music Festival Flyer!


KEARNEY – There’s something for everyone at this year’s UNK New Music Festival.

That’s how organizer Anthony Donofrio is describing the event scheduled for March 13-14 in the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Fine Arts Recital Hall.

“Festivalgoers will hear a huge range of styles over the four concerts,” said Donofrio, an associate professor of music composition and theory at UNK.

The festival, which is free and open to the public, features music from more than 25 composers from around the globe, including UNK students Terran Homburg and Samuel Rosenau, 2019 Pulitzer Prize finalist James Romig and Iranian Female Composers Association founder Niloufar Nourbakhsh.

“Many of these composers were chosen from our annual call for scores,” Donofrio said. “We received approximately 230 submissions this year, our largest amount in the 19-year history of the festival.”

Courtesy/ University of Nebraska-Kearney.
Anthony Donofrio, associate professor of music composition and theory at UNK.


Among the selected entries are pieces that celebrate the poetry of Walt Whitman (Jonathan McNair’s “Nocturnal Songs”) and the late musician Prince (Alan Shockley’s “If you know what I’m singing about up here”), as well as numerous other compositions.

UNK faculty and students, along with several guests, will perform these works during concerts 7:30 p.m. March 13, 1 p.m. March 14 and 4 p.m. March 14.

The festival concludes 7:30 p.m. March 14 with a concert by featured performer ~Nois, a Chicago-based saxophone quartet that “defies categorization by working between the boundary of contemporary classical music and experimental improvisation.”

Founded in 2016, ~Nois is one of the premier young ensembles in the United States, receiving awards at the M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and other prestigious events. The group actively tours across the country, with appearances at festivals such as Big Ears, the Continuum Music Festival, Re:Sound, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and Omaha Under the Radar.

“I first learned of ~Nois when they performed at the 2018 Omaha Under the Radar Festival,” Donofrio said. “Their set was talked about for weeks by our students who attended, so I jumped at the chance when ~Nois contacted me about performing at UNK.

“Like our festival in general, listeners can expect an extremely different and innovative set from ~Nois, one I’m very excited to witness.”

~Nois, which consists of members Hunter Bockes, Janos Csontos, Jordan Lulloff and Brandon Quarles, has performed with the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Claire Chase, Eighth Blackbird and indie rock band My Brightest Diamond.

The UNK New Music Festival is supported by UNK’s College of Arts and Sciences and Faculty Senate Artists and Lecturers Committee, along with the University of Nebraska Foundation New Music Fund.



Fine Arts Recital Hall

All concerts are free and open to the public

7:30 p.m. March 13


UNK faculty/staff performers

David Nabb, saxophone

Beth Mattingly, piano

UNK student performers (listed by hometown)

Blair – Grace Lueders, soprano

Grand Island – Aaron Borer, clarinet

Minden – Sydney Wilson, flute

Pella, Iowa – Erin Van Hal, flute

Guest performers

BrassWood Duo – Abigail Lyon, trombone; Richard Puzzo, marimba

Brendan Jacklin, piano

Guest composers

Jonas Regnier

Robert Gross

Michael Stephens

Eric Delgado

Daniel DeTegoni

Leah Reid

Niloufar Nourbakhsh

Emily McPherson

1 p.m. March 14


UNK faculty/staff performers

Andrew White, baritone

Nathan Buckner, piano

Sharon O’Connell Campbell, mezzo-soprano

Steven Larson, piano

UNK faculty composer

Steven Larson

UNK student performers

Blair – Samuel Rosenau, percussion

North Platte – Jacob Cahill, saxophone

North Platte – Dakota Empfield, piano

UNK student composers

Blair – Samuel Rosenau

Marion, Kansas – Terran Homburg

Guest composers

Seth Shafer

James Sproul

Jonathan McNair

Ingrid Stözel

Robert McClure

4 p.m. March 14


UNK faculty/staff performers

Anthony Donofrio, percussion

Duane Bierman, percussion

Melissa King, flute

Steven Larson, piano

UNK student performers

Blair – Grace Lueders, soprano

Blair – Samuel Rosenau, percussion

Grand Island – Aaron Borer, clarinet

Marion, Kansas – Terran Homburg, soprano

Minden – Sydney Wilson, flute

North Platte – Dakota Empfield, piano

North Platte – Greg Stoner, trumpet

Pella, Iowa – Erin Van Hal, flute

Guest performers

Hunter Prueger, saxophone

Scott Shinbara, percussion

Mnemosyne Quartet – Michael Miller, Eli Hougland, Ted King-Smith, Russell Thorpe

Guest composers

Alan Shockley

Hunter Prueger

Serin Oh

Jon Fielder

James Romig

Stephen Downing

Cecilia Livingston

Ted King-Smith

Joshua Hey

Gu Wei

7:30 p.m. March 14

Special guest performance by ~Nois

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