COMPOSERS HUB COHORT 2018
Grace Hale is a composer from Lake Bluff, Illinois. Since twelve years old, Hale has attended many esteemed programs at Interlochen, Oberlin, Boston Conservtory, NYU/ASCAP, California Summer Music, Curtis, Snow Pond, and most recently in Ochsenhausen, Germany, where she joined her professor Ofer Ben-Amots at the International Sommerakademie. Brimming with a strong musical appetite, Hale finds herself constantly searching for answers about how she can elevate her art. Where talented peers to her left scribble intellectual and mathematical formulas onto a staff, Hale feels comfortable exploring a more emotionally-based dynamic. Hale’s music vacillates between both the emotional and intellectual, which is seen on the micro and macro levels. In a single piece, she may traverse both realms. In her life, she literally does. Hale is a composer of concert music and film music. Currently studying under the Isreali composer Ofer Ben-Amots, she is working to expand her compositional outlook in the concert music scene. In the film industry, she works as a free-lance composer on productions from California to Philadelphia. In her free time, Hale teaches piano lessons and mentors music students at Colorado College.
Donna Howard is an adjunct college professor at Brigham Young University – Idaho, teaching Elementary Music Methods. She loves to have her students join with her as she demonstrates fun ways to share music in their elementary education classrooms. Donna is the owner and repairman of her own band instrument rental and repair shop. She is an accomplished musician, using her talents in church, community orchestras, and pit orchestras for musicals. Sometimes she is playing the clarinet and sax or doing percussion, and sometimes she is conducting. One of her most fulfilling accomplishments is as the mother of ten children, along with being a foster mom to others. She also writes a column of parenting ideas that appears semi-weekly in the Zenith. After years of raising her family, Donna was finally able to finish her bachelor's degree in clarinet performance and composition in 2008, and she is now working on her master's degree in music composition, something that has always been a dream of hers. For many years, Donna and her husband, Daris, along with their children, ran a community theater. For part of her thesis, she is writing the music for a musical her husband wrote.
Meg Huskin is a composer, vocalist and writer currently based in Chicago. Her work frequently combines composition, vocalism and poetry to explore sacred or mythological subjects and the role of women in storytelling. In 2017, she completed the libretto for her first opera, Fayaway, which is currently being written. In 2016, her choral work They Tore Down the Church won UW-Madison’s Mullins Sacred Music Prize. Last summer, Meg was one of the first to be invited to participate in New Amsterdam Records’ Composer’s Workshop, a seminar led by composer William Brittelle exploring the topic of post-genre music. Meg has studied with composers Laura Schwendinger, Stephen Dembski, Les Thimmig; she currently studies with Gilda Lyons. As a singer, Meg is active in Chicago’s storefront opera community and will appear in Petite Opera’s production of Don Giovanni this Fall. In school, Meg studied voice with Mimmi Fulmer and took a special interest in new music, especially the works of Libby Larsen, John Cage, Benjamin Britten and others. Since graduating in 2017, Meg has taken on artistic administration roles at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera. Her column, Modern Match, will appear in Lyric’s program book throughout the 2018-19 opera season.
Seolhee(Snow) Kim finished her undergraduate program both in composition and art history at Ewha Womans University in Korea. Her music was selected to perform in 2005’ Spring Concert and 2006’ Fall Concert in the composition department at Ewha Womans University. After finishing her master’s degree in library science, she worked as an art librarian at art museums and university libraries for a couple of years. Missing the times when she devoted herself more fully to music composition, she decided to rebuild her career in composition. Currently, Seolhee Kim is pursuing her master’s degree in composition at SUNY Binghamton under the guidance of Dr. Daniel Thomas Davis. Her music has been performed professionally by artists including Contemporaneous, Finger Lake Chamber Ensemble, the Momenta Quartet, ModernMedieval, and Mezzo-soprano Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek. Seolhee Kim has exposed herself to various artistic experiences, and she loves to collaborate with other artists not only in the musical fields but also in different artistic fields. Her music is focused on representing the inspiration she finds in arts, nature, and human life. She learned to play piano and violin when she was young; now she plays the second violin in Binghamton University Symphony Orchestra.
Alissa Stolt is from San Antonio, Texas. She attends the University of Texas at San Antonio where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music with a concentration in composition and a minor in music technology. During her time at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Alissa has participated in a master class with Dr. John Seesholtz and performed with the San Antonio Symphony in various combined choirs for the Home Alone In Concert event in December of 2016 and the Look At The World concert featuring UTSA alum David Portillo in 2017. Alissa studies composition under Professor James Syler. She is a soprano and studies voice as her primary instrument under Professor John Nix. She is an active member of and treasurer for the Theta Gamma chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Women’s Music Fraternity. After completing her degree, Alissa hopes to compose for multimedia including television and film.
Showing an aptitude for composition as a young girl, up-and-coming composer Amy Thomas is now studying composition at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. She started taking piano lessons at age six but she rather prefered making up her own tunes over practicing scales and arpeggios. Two of her childhood compositions were featured in the Hey Mozart! New Mexico competition where they were arranged by professional musicians and performed by the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. Now entering her third year of collegiate music study, she aims to experiment with a wide variety of sounds and styles in hopes of finding her niche in the music industry. More than anything she wants to inspire young people to create music in a world that often stifles creativity. Dance To Youth for string quartet is her first complete score for a chamber ensemble. She thanks LunART festival for giving her an opportunity to learn from other composers and share a bit of her own creative spirit.