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Meeting old friends at Fisk University

With Organist Tony Williams, after the concert

My association with the Southeastern Composers Forum goes back to 1990, when I was a new arrival at Mississippi State University. I have always appreciated this regional organization’s commitment to new music and its acceptance of many different compositional styles. One of my special memoires was helping to sponsor the group’s annual conference at MSU, back in 1999.

Once a member, always a member; over the years, I have taken time to return to the annual conference and renew old friendships, as my schedule allowed. In March, 1999, I travelled to Fisk University, in Nashville where I had a performance of The Light of Light Descending, a work for solo organ, based on the Picardy hymn tune. Another reunion awaited, as my piece was performed by Anthony Williams, a member of the music faculty at Fisk.

Tony, Joan and I were graduate students together back in the 80s. Several years ago, we invited him to Heidelberg for a Guest Artist program; the Fisk conference was our latest change to collaborate. Joan has played this piece before (it was written for her,) so it was interesting to have someone else work with my music.


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