New Music New College Announces 10th Season

(July 31, 2008) New College of Florida’s acclaimed contemporary music series, New Music New College (NMNC), celebrates its 10th anniversary season in 2008-09. Under the direction of music professor Stephen Miles, NMNC provides educational opportunities for New College students while bringing leading local and national recording artists to the Sarasota area.
“For the past ten years, New Music New College has been an evolving experiment, in which unconventional notions of music have been put to the test in the laboratory of performance,” states Miles. “Together, we’ve challenged the boundaries that separate music and speech, music and theater, and performer and audience, and we’ve found new ways to experience music—in galleries, in outdoor spaces, and even in our very own improvised cabaret space, Club Sudakoff. All along the way, the Sarasota community has joined New College students, faculty, and staff to share the thrill of discovery—collectively auditioning new sounds, new music, and new forms of communication.”
The five-concert season opens September 6 when pianist Kathleen Supové returns for her third NMNC appearance, this time with composer/performer Corey Dargel to perform Removable Parts, Dargel’s critically acclaimed theater piece dealing with voluntary amputation and, more deeply, with disconnection and empathy. The season ends on April 25, when the internationally renowned composer/performer Pamela Z will appear with full electronic support for an evening of original works that display the astonishing potential of the human voice.
On January 30, Tampa-based cellist Scott Kluksdahl and pianist Noreen Cassidy-Polera will present a recital entitled “Radical Tradition” that juxtaposes the music of Beethoven with that of contemporary composers Richard Wernick and Lowell Liebermann. Kluksdahl, who is the Theodore and Vennette Askounes-Ashford Distinguished Scholar at the University of South Florida, says that he and Cassidy-Polera are “really excited to be included in New Music New College, because the series has a track record of presenting cutting-edge modernism, and because its audiences have come to expect it. We feel that New College is the perfect setting for our program.”
New College students will be featured in two productions: Playspace, an evening of experimental compositions that function as games, thereby challenging convention notions of composition, performance and social interaction (Nov 8); and Crossroads, a celebration of musical pluralism at which New College student bands and Florida West Coast Symphony musicians join together in unexpected ways for a festive evening of performances utilizing all of the spaces in the Caples Fine Arts Complex (Feb 27).
The “Crossroads Project” collaboration continues on February 28, when Florida West Coast Symphony conductors Leif Bjaland and Dirk Meyer lead the orchestra in a concert entitled “Crossroads: New Music Live,” at Holley Hall at 8 pm. It will feature a world premiere by New College alumnus Silas Durocher –an incredible privilege for the 22 year-old composer and performer, and a reflection of the artistic and intellectual freedom he experienced as a music major at New College.
“Silas is part of a new generation of composers that draw on Bartok, the Beatles, ethnic music, rock and Ravel in equal measure,” says FWCS Artistic Director Leif Bjaland. “His music is kaleidoscopic and tremendously exciting.”
Durocher believes that to compose for an orchestra as talented as the Florida West Coast Symphony and a conductor as accomplished as Leif Bjaland is truly an honor. “I know that Maestro Bjaland and the FWCS will bring life and passion to my composition, and that is a profoundly exciting feeling for any composer,” he says. (Note: the Symphony concert is not part of the New College series; more information is available at (941) 953-3434.)
Tickets to New Music New College events are available by subscription ($45) or per event ($12). Events are free for New College students, faculty and staff. For more information or brochure, call (941) 487-4155, email or visit
The media sponsors for New Music New College are the Herald-Tribune Media Group “Ticket”, WUSF Public Broadcasting and ABC 7.
For more information contact Aimee Chouinard, Media Relations Coordinator, (941) 487-4152 or