UW's "New Frontiers" promises accessible contemporary music

Sep 19, 2013

Theresa Bogard

The University of Wyoming Music Department’s annual festival of new music runs September 22nd-26th, with recitals and an interactive workshop for the public.

New Frontiers: The Laramie Contemporary Music Project celebrates music by living composers. For those who worry new classical music only means atonal splats of sound, Music Department Chairwoman Theresa Bogard offers some reassurance.

“I think that there’s a swing back to melodic music that’s accessible to people. I think for a while, in the middle of the last century especially, there was a period where music was extremely cerebral, and not necessarily meant to be enjoyed; the process of the composition became more important than the aesthetic value of the composition. And I’m saying this as someone who plays a lot of 20th Century music and really likes. But there is a way that if you lose touch with the audience, you’ve lost something.”

New Frontiers begins Sunday with a concert by the Denver-based Playground Ensemble. That’s followed Monday by a recital of music by guest composer Doug Opel, whose work incorporates rock, jazz, and avante garde motifs. On Tuesday, the public is invited to bring instruments for a sound painting workshop. Wednesday offers student recitals, and the festival concludes Thursday with performances by UW’s Wind Symphony, collegiate chorale, and Symphony Orchestra.