Northwestern to present New Sounds concert

The Northwestern College music department will present the “New Sounds” composers concert Friday, Feb. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Christ Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

The concert will feature several original music pieces. “The concert is primarily a venue to showcase new compositions by students in the composition studio at Northwestern,” says Luke Dahn, associate professor of music and director of the concert. “But it will also feature music written by faculty and off-campus composers.”

Several compositions by Andrew Currier, a sophomore from Ottawa, Kan., will be featured in the program including works for piano, strings and woodwinds. Piano music composed by Jacob Ven Huizen, a sophomore from Sheldon, Iowa, will also be performed.

In addition to the student pieces, the concert will feature “The Cruci Project.” Developed by Dahn, the project is a collaboration of six composers who were asked to create three musical pieces for flute, alto saxophone and cello. The pieces were to be based off of the same set of three prints depicting the crucifixion of Christ by artist and printmaker Eric Robinson.

The project will include pieces by off-campus composers, including “Monument II: Crucifixion” by Washington State University professor Scott Blasco, “Cruci” by Houston-based composer Ann Gebuhr, and “Three Meditations” by Jonathan Posthuma, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The concert will also feature pieces by Northwestern students and faculty, including “By His Wounds We are Healed” by Currier, “Davon kam der Tod so bald” by Dahn and “Fixus” by Heather Josselyn-Cranson, associate professor of music.

The Cruci Project will also be performed during the college’s Day of Learning in Community on Wednesday, Feb. 18. The theme of the event is “The Art of Courage” and will feature Robinson as a visiting artist.

A professor of music theory and composition at Northwestern since 2007, Dahn received the Northwestern Teaching Excellence Award in 2011. He earned a doctorate in music composition from the University of Iowa, a Master of Music degree from Western Michigan and a bachelor’s in music from Houston Baptist.

In addition to his role on Northwestern’s faculty, Dahn is co-founder and co-artistic director of Ensemble: Peripherie, a music group devoted to the promotion of emerging and underperformed composers. The ensemble performed in New York’s Carnegie Weill Hall in 2013 as part of the DCINY Distinguished Concerts Artists Series.