Melos Music News – February 2012

Our shutters have been closed since the extremely successful August recital, as Melos is growing and restructuring behind the scenes. But our members have been hard at work on their own projects, artistic and otherwise. Here are some highlights from some of Melos’ current members:

Greg Simon

Greg is currently applying to doctoral programs for admission in fall 2012; more news about his decision will be posted here as it arrives. In the meantime, he is enjoying performances of his wind ensemble piece (now distributed by Shattinger Music) all around the country, including Temple University; Liberty University; and the CBDNA Conferences in Kennesaw, GA and Reno, NV; and the Iowa BandMasters Conference in May. In December, Greg presented the premiere of Of Stellar Waters for orchestra by the Corvallis Youth Symphony in Corvallis, OR, which commissioned the piece. His Piano Quintet No. 1, “Scenes from Childhood,” will receive its second complete performance this May from the Playground Ensemble of Denver, as part of their “Emerging Voices” concert. Greg is teaching at the Metropolitan State College of Denver and busily working as a freelance jazz/funk trumpeter in Denver.

Jason Thorpe Buchanan

Jason is currently a doctoral student at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Among the upcoming performances of his work are:

  • The premiere of “First study for Alto Saxophone: doublethink” at the North American Saxophone Alliance Convention in Tempe, AZ. Friend of Melos Music, Michael Torres, will be performing the premiere.
  • A new work for piano and electronics in collaboration with Macarthur Award-winning artist Anna Schuleit and pianist Daniel Pesca. More information about this exciting new project can be found at Anna’s website. 
  • The premiere of the chamber orchestra version of Jason’s piece “The Gods of Pegana,” a collaboration with the University of Rochester’s Dance Department and the SoundExChange Orchestra.

Brian Penkrot

Brian is working toward his Ph.D at the University of Iowa, and currently curating the University of Iowa Composer’s Workshop Concert. After his presentation of Shooting Snowburst Spectacular Silhouette on our San Francisco concert, he presented  his String Quartet No. 1 at the Midwest Composers’ Symposium at Indiana University. Brian’s piece Angelus Novus was recently awarded an Honorable Mention in the 7th Annual Sun River Prize from the Sichuan Conservatory in China.

David Carpenter

David’s work for baritone and magnetic resonator piano, Job (text from the Book of Job), was premiered this past December in concerts at Drexel University and Temple University in Philadelphia, with baritone Lawrence Indik and pianist Feifei Zhang. The MRP was invented by composer Andrew McPherson, who took a conventional piano and made its strings vibrate with the use of electro-magnets—more information about this instrument may be found at

Tonia Ko 

Tonia is applying for doctoral programs. Prior to our San Francisco recital, Tonia was a fellow at the Wellesley Composers Conference. Immediately after, Wanderer Moon was performance at the International Alliance for Women in Music Congress in Flagstaff, AZ. Her upcoming performances include Moon Lullaby, to be performed at the Chicago Arts Institute by the Chinese Fine Arts Society; and the premiere of Many Splendid Forgettings, commissioned by Indiana University, by the IU New Music Ensemble.

Daniel Temkin

Dan is currently studying toward an Artist Diploma at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He’s recently presented his Brass Quintet at the University of Alabama, Hunstville’s New Music Festival. Coming up will be the premiere of Flourish for alto saxophone by Michael Torres at the NASA Convention, where Michael is also presenting Jason’s piece. Dan was recently featured on Richard Zarou’s popular “No Extra Notes” podcast; the feature can be found here.

Patrick Chan

Patrick studies at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He’s recently presented his Duo for Two Flutists at the UAHuntsville New Music Festival. The Caprice for string quartet was named a finalist in UMKC’s 2012 Chamber Music Composition Competition and will be performed on February 29 by Musica Nova at UMKC. In just a few weeks, Katachi II will be presented at the Ammerman Center’s Arts and Technology Symposium at Connecticut College; the same piece will be presented at New Music Everywhere’s Muse Fest 2012 in May.

Ryan Olivier

Ryan is working on his DMA at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he recently presented the recently completed Magis cycle and will present the orchestral version of As Kingfishers Catch Fire in May. He will present Colorful Movements at the SCI Region III Conference in Newport News, VA this March. Ryan recently celebrated a New York performance as well, presenting Distance at the HiArt! Gallery in Chelsea.

In addition to writing music, we’re all working hard on improving Melos Music, and laying the ground work for our 2012 Recital in Philadelphia. There’s a lot of news to come for everyone this year, so check back here often! You can keep track of all the Melos composers by subscribing to this blog, checking the Melos website, or following the composers individually at their own websites (to the right on this page!).

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