The Grand Valley New Music Ensemble, directed by associate professor Bill Ryan, embarked on its first, week-long tour. Assistant professor Jonathan Nichol, joined the student ensemble on saxophone.
They performed a program of music with Michigan connections composed within the past 10 years, including the premiere of Grand Valley student Daniel Rhode’s work “Flickering Pixels,” for ensemble, electronics, and video projection.
The tour made stops at Shenandoah University (Winchester, Virginia), Mobtown Modern’s Music Series (Baltimore, Maryland), the Atlas Performing Arts Center (Washington, D.C.) and the Settlement School (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). The ensemble also took part in panel discussions, and lead a workshop on improvisation in 21st Century Classical Music.
“I wanted to give the students a taste of what it’s like to be on the road, performing every night in a different city,” Ryan said. “Since many of these students want to make a career out of performing, it only makes sense to give them exposure to what this kind of life is like.”