2017 Showcase Participants

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SAINT PAUL, MN – ANCIA Saxophone Quartet, hailed by Eugene Rousseau, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Indiana University as an ensemble that “…performs with energy, precision, and a huge dynamic range in creating exquisite musical interpretations… four outstanding musicians whose presentations demonstrate the joy and power of music.” partners with the American Composers Forum to present three works by the winners of the 2017 ACF Showcase national competition on Friday, May 12 at the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, MN. Composers Robert Lemay (Sudbury, Ontario, Canada), Robin McLaughlin (Essex Junction, VT), and Steven Snowden (Jamaica Plain, MA) will be in residence, working with ANCIA during rehearsals May 11 and performance on May 12, 2017. ANCIA will also feature a work by ACF co-founder Libby Larsen.

Open rehearsals will take place Thursday, May 11, 2017 from 9:30 AM – 12:45 PM and 1:30 – 3:00 PM in Courtroom 326 of the Landmark Center (75 West 5th Street Saint Paul, MN 55102).

The 2017 ACF Showcase Concert will take place Friday, May 12, 2017 in the Dolly Fiterman Riverview Gallery of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum (333 East River Road Minneapolis, MN 55455). Doors open at 7:30 PM, and the concert starts at 8 PM. This concert is free and open to the public. ANCIA will perform Confluence (2014) by Libby Larsen (16 minutes), Urban Influx (Afflux urbain) (2013) by Robert Lemay (12 minutes), On this day (2016) by Robin McLaughlin (6 min 50 sec), and Speed Studies (2012) by Steven Snowden (8 minutes).  


About the winners

Robert Lemay (Sudbury, Ontario, Canada) 

Robert Lemay has composed many works and received numerous international awards. His music draws its inspiration primarily from poetry, literature, cinema, visual arts, political or social events and includes two series of tributes; one to filmmakers and another to abstract painters.

Lemay has been performed in Canada, the United States, Asia (Japan, South Korea, Thailand), Europe (France, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Poland, Austria, Switzerland & Scotland), South America

(Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela), Israel, Mexico, and Australia. Many of his pieces have been broadcast on Radio-Canada, CBC, Bavarian State Radio, European Broadcasting Union (Luxembourg), Polish National Radio, Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) in Austria and ABC Classic FM (Australia). Twenty of his pieces appear on 18 different CDs in Canada, Europe, and the USA.

Lemay holds a doctorate degree in composition from the Université de Montréal where he studied under Michel Longtin, and a master’s degree from Université Laval with François Morel. He also studied at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and has worked with David Felder and taken part in seminars with Brian Ferneyhough, Louis Andriessen, and Donald Erb. In France, he worked with François Rossé in Bordeaux and Georges Apergis in Paris.

Presently, Robert Lemay teaches at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada and is the president and co-artistic director of 5-Penny New Music Concerts.

Robin McLaughlin (Essex Junction, VT) 

Robin McLaughlin writes music that is imaginative and energetic, drawing inspiration from narratives and instrumental color. Her work has been performed throughout the United States, and has been recognized by ASCAP numerous times. A frequent collaborator, she has worked with ensembles such as the Fresno State New Music Ensemble, Present~Continuous, and the Houghton College Philharmonia.

Robin has been a fellow at the Norfolk New Music Workshop, and has also attended the Composition Intensive at St. Mary’s College. More recently, her chamber work Unbound was performed at the SCI Region IV Student Conference, and her piece On this day was performed by the Red Clay Saxophone Quartet. Upcoming performances include Two Halves of a Whole for flute, viola, and guitar at the Music by Women Festival at the Mississippi University for Women as well as at Coastal Carolina University, and the premiere of her reed quintet Germinate at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

Robin completed a dual BM in Music Composition and Education at Houghton College studying with Sarah Hutchings and David Davies, and is currently pursuing a MM in Music Composition at the University of North Carolina Greensboro in Music Composition, studying with Mark Engebretson and Alejandro Rutty. To make inquiries or to commission a work, you can contact her online at robinmclaughlincomposer.com.

Steven Snowden (Jamaica Plain, MA) 

The music of Steven Snowden has been described as “Beguiling… combining force with clarity” (San Francisco Classical Voice), “Wonderfully dynamic” (Interlude Hong Kong), “Rustic, red-blooded” (New Music Box), and “Marvelously evocative” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Writing music for dance, theater, multi-media installations, and the concert stage, his work often deals with concepts of memory, nostalgia, and the cyclic nature of historical events as they pertain to modern society. While his musical influences are deeply rooted in bluegrass, folk, and rock, he utilizes non-traditional techniques and processes to compose works that don’t squarely align with any single genre or style.

A native of the Ozarks countryside, he began studies in music composition in 2002 and received degrees from Missouri State University, University of Colorado at Boulder, and University of

Texas at Austin. In 2012-2013, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Portugal, researching the implementation of motion tracking technology as a means to facilitate collaboration between music and dance. In 2013-2014, he was a visiting professor and composer in residence at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and is the co-founder/director of the Fast Forward Austin Music Festival. He currently works as a freelance composer in Boston and is on an eternal quest to make the perfect breakfast taco.

About the ANCIA Saxophone Quartet

Celebrated for its artistry, virtuosity, and exquisitely blended sound, the ANCIA Saxophone Quartet has delighted audiences throughout North America, Europe, and Asia for more than a quarter century.  ANCIA (pronounced AHN-chee-uh) was founded in 1990, and has been joyfully transporting audiences across time and genre, performing repertoire that spans centuries and musical styles, including Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century, contemporary, jazz, popular, and music from a broad range of world cultures. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the ANCIA Saxophone Quartet is an Artist-Clinician Ensemble for Selmer Saxophones and Vandoren Woodwind Products.

Dedicated to the creation and performance of new works for saxophone quartet, ANCIA works in collaboration with composers to premiere, perform, and record the music of our time.  The group’s passion for contemporary music pervades its critically heralded CD “Short Stories,” which features the title work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon. In 2015, ANCIA commissioned and performed the world premiere of Libby Larsen’s saxophone quartet, Confluence, at the World Saxophone Congress XVII in Strasbourg, France and presented the United States premiere in the Twin Cities in May 2016. To celebrate and discuss this exciting new work and its environmental theme, ANCIA was brought in-studio at Performance Today for a special Earth Day radio and online feature, including an interview with Fred Child and live performances.

ANCIA members are: Matthew Sintchak, soprano saxophone; Joan Hutton, alto saxophone; David Milne, tenor saxophone; Angela Wyatt, baritone saxophone.

Program Funding

Funded, in part, by the Dr. Fred Noah Gordon Charitable Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation. This event is also made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota.