From Sarasota Herald Tribune, June 10, 2021

The contemporary sextet yMusic will perform a concert for the New Music New College series that was delayed because of the pandemic.

After a season of mostly online and virtual programming due to the coronavirus pandemic, New Music New College is breaking up its new season into two segments.

There will be an April NMNC NewFest featuring five concerts during the month, including two focused on the work of student musicians and composers. The fall will be built around a series of salon-style programs with 30-to-40 minute concerts followed by discussions with the artists.

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“In the fall, we are featuring some really inspiring local musicians who are doing innovative things in Sarasota,” said director Mark Dancigers, a composer, electric guitarist and an Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Music at New College of Florida. “We wanted to celebrate and highlight people who are here in Sarasota and doing new things and bringing them to campus to share that with our audience.”

That salon series will begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday in Club Sudakoff with the Peter Carney Quartet. Carney is director of the jazz program at State College of Florida. “He’s someone we’re excited to welcome back for a concert of contemporary jazz and new arrangements,” Dancigers said.

Peter Carney, director of the jazz program at State College of Florida, opens the performance season for New Music New College.

Samantha Bennett and George Nickson, the married founders of ensembleNewSRQ, a contemporary music chamber group, will be featured at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 8 in Mildred Sainer Pavilion. Bennett is principal second violin for the Sarasota Orchestra and Nickson is principal percussion for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

The James Varnado Quartet will perform at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 28 in Sainer Pavilion. Varnado is a Sarasota drumset player who has built a following on improvisation sessions.

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The final salon features Natalie Helm, the principal cellist for the Sarasota Orchestra, at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 29 in Sainer Pavilion.

The organization will take a break until April, which it launches its first New Music New College NewFest, beginning at 8 p.m. April 2 with yMusic, a group that was originally scheduled to appear last season.

The festival also provides opportunities for New College music students to perform and have their compositions played in close proximity to the visiting artists.

At 2:30 p.m. April 10, student composers will have their work performed by students from the school’s chamber music class.

Percussionist Tyshawn Sorey will join with violinist Jennifer Curtis for a program of improvised music for New Music New College.

Tyshawn Sorey and Jennifer Curtis, who released “Invisible Ritual,” an album of improvisations for percussion and violin, will bring their music to the festival at 8 p.m. April 12 in Club Sudakoff.

“They’re unlike anything I’ve heard before and I’m excited to share that with everyone,” Dancigers said.

At 8 p.m. April 23 in Sainer Pavilion, the guitarist JIJI will present “Never Not Enough.” “She has been doing some incredible work commissioning for both classical and electric guitar,” Dancigers said. “She’s becoming a champion of new music for those instruments and working with a broad variety of performers.”

“We’ve had a collaboration with the Sarasota Orchestra for more than 15 years now and we’ve had our students write music that is workshopped over the course of a year with the musicians,” Dancigers said. “It’s always a highlight of my year as a teacher to see how the students grow so much as a result of that collaboration.”

Tickets are $10 each for the salon series programs and $15 for the yMusic, Sorey/Curtis and JIJI concerts. Admission is free to all student composer concerts, and all concerts are free to students in the Cross College alliance. Other student tickets are $5. Season subscriptions are $60. For more information: newmusicnewcollege.org

Follow Jay Handelman on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Contact him at jay.handelman@heraldtribune.comAnd please support local journalism by subscribing to the Herald-Tribune.


Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is a top-ranked public liberal arts college and the state’s Honors College of Florida. New College prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in arts, humanities and sciences, a master’s degree program in applied data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.

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