Welcome to my Masters in Music Composition Recital page.

The program and program notes are listed below.  The title of each piece is a link to the beginning of that piece in the recital; note however that for each piece the video does not stop at the end of that piece but continues through to the end of the recital.

The entire recital may be viewed here.



1. Eleven Month String Quartet

Violin one    Marianna Wolpert
Violin two    Akanksha Padheriya
Viola           Max Laraia
Violoncello   Mira Eisenhauer

I call this piece “A reflection on sheltering in place”. The gently
pulsing rhythm represents the way I felt walking around and around the
same block. The repetitive pattern reflects the gentle repetition of being in
the same place and doing the same things every day. When the piece
becomes chaotic, it is a response to the events in the news. After the
chaos, my life continued in the rocking rhythm of not going anywhere or
doing anything different.

2. Ripples on the Water

Piano          Yingfei Li

Every breeze or insect creates ripples on water. These eventually
intersect and create new patterns. This piece is a fugue for four voices that
combine and change and evolve until they return to stillness.

3. Second Avenue wind trio

Flute           Eduardo Fajardo
Clarinet       Benjamin Lopez
Bassoon      Andrew Bell

There are two different Second Avenues that inspired this fugue
for wind trio. Second Avenue in New York City is a long North-South
Street that is alternately full of cars, full of pedestrians and just a quiet
swath of pavement. Second Avenue in Pittsburgh is an East-West Street
that runs parallel to the Monongahela River and has alternately busy and
quiet times, as well. I attempted to channel the feeling of walking along
either of those Avenues and enjoying the varying moments of quiet and
bustling energy

4. Fugue for Dodecahedron

Piano          Yingfei Li

For a puzzle-lover like me it is a fun challenge to compose a fugue
and fulfill the requirements of fuguing. Adding twelve-tone compositional
technique makes it simultaneously more challenging and easier.

5. A Warm Evening Etude

Piano          Willie Greer

I wrote this for a piano student who loved computer game music.
The asymmetrical rhythm of this etude encourages students to practice

6. Thinking of Water

Soprano      Madeline Manaker
Piano          Yingfei Li

The poem, In the Bulrush, by Rita Dove has a rhythm that fits
beautifully into music. I have done two settings for it and love the sense it
gives me of longing for something that once was close and now is

In the Bulrush
         By Rita Dove

Cut a cane that once
grew in the river.
Lean on it. Weigh

a stone in your hands
and put it down again.
Watch it moss over.

Strike the stone
to see if it’s thinking
of water.

7. At Home Piano Sonata

1. Growing Season
2. Crowded Emptiness
3. Around the Block

Piano          Megan Slay

This three-movement piece expresses three different aspects of
having time at home to witness the things that always occur right under
our noses. The first movement, Growing Season, conveys my joy in seeing
life resurging after a confined and gloomy winter. I share Scott Joplin’s
love for growing and blooming things, so it seemed natural to compose
this movement in ragtime rhythm. Crowded Emptiness is a musical
response to spending 24 hours a day with another human being. Around
the Block is an expression of the joy of moving and being out, even just
around the block near home. I used an Eastern European rhythm of
3+2+2+2 which moves forward in a happy dancing way.

8. Wild Nettle

Trumpet      Grace Jane White
Guitar         Michael Edelman

I composed this tune originally as a lead sheet designed to
emulate a jazz standard; then I turned that into an arrangement using
trumpet and guitar.

9. Travel Delays

Violin           An Tran
Viola           Telah Harper
Violoncello   Megan Shin

I began writing this fugue in the airport at Colorado Springs after
a flight home was delayed. The flight was so late that I missed my
connection in Dallas and ended up spending a night there.

My overnight in Dallas rewarded me with the opportunity to see an
old friend. I originally met this friend many years ago at the school bus
stop on the first day of school when I was in ninth grade. It was too late in
Dallas when we got together to go anywhere but we sat in her car and
talked for two hours, and it made the entire delay worthwhile. This double
fugue begins with a frustration theme and then adds in the theme of
friendship. Unfortunately, my rescheduled flight was not able to land in
Washington. It was diverted to refuel, and my journey home ended up
taking thirty-six hours!