David Maslanka, Iconic Composer, Visits Campus
Composer David Maslanka was in residence at the College of Music Sept. 28 - Oct. 2 when he worked with four student ensembles giving performances of his music. The Wind Symphony, conducted by Dr. Kevin Sedatole, director of bands, concluded the composer's residency with a concert on Oct. 1 featuring Maslanka’s Symphony No. 4, and also marked Sedatole’s 10-year anniversary with Michigan State University.
Maslanka, an alumnus of the College of Music (1971), worked with each of the four ensembles — Concert Band, Symphony Band, Musique 21, and Wind Symphony — and gave composition master classes while he was in residence.
Wind Symphony percussionist and composition student Josh Trentadue said performing Maslanka’s music is “like entering this magnificent dreamlike state of mind — you truly feel that you're creating something awe-inspiring, unforgettable, and beautiful.” Trentadue reported that Maslanka's music inspired him to attend music school.
Although Maslanka is most recognized for his larger band pieces like Symphony No. 4, Give Us This Day, or his 9/11 tribute, Testament, Musique 21’s (contemporary music) concert featured a unique collection of players that displayed a different style of repertoire, said Sedatole. Two additional guest composers were also in attendance: Patrick Harlin with Musique 21 on Sept. 28, and Michael Markowski with Symphony Band on Sept. 29.
This collection of concerts also served to welcome five new faculty members to the College of Music –
- Assistant Director of Bands Dustin Barr conducting Musique 21
- Voice Professor Marc Embree soloing with Musique 21
- Music Theory Instructor Patrick Johnson playing organ with Musique 21
- Trumpet Professor Justin Emerich soloing with Wind Symphony
- Assistant Director of Bands David Thornton conducting Concert Band