Friday, August 26th, 2016
SAINT PAUL, MN (August 24, 2016) – The American Composers Forum is pleased to announce the next cycle of Faith Partnerscomposers-in-residence. This nationally recognized program brings together composers and communities of multiple faith traditions for the creation of new sacred music and the reinvigoration of worship. Gary Ruschman has been selected by the consortium of Lord of Life Lutheran Church (Baxter, MN) and First Congregational United Church of Christ (Brainerd, MN); and Victor Zupanc by the consortium of B’nai Israel Synagogue and Christ United Methodist Church in Rochester, MN. Funded by the Otto Bremer Trust, these 12-18 month residencies serve communities where Bremer Banks are located. Since the program’s beginning in 1992, Faith Partners composers have worked in more than 130 diverse faith congregations across the Upper Midwest, helping to strengthen community and ecumenical goodwill.
Ruschman and Zupanc look forward to connecting with the participating communities, saying “I am most excited for the opportunity to write pieces to be shared across congregations and denominations: creating experiences that build a collaborative spirit between diverse groups, and helping us become tighter-knit communities through music.” – Gary Ruschman
This is an extremely exciting project for me because of the challenge of creating new work that will be shared by a Jewish Synagogue and a United Methodist Church. I know that both of these organizations are very progressive in pursuing socially conscious initiatives. That in itself is very important to me, especially in this time when there is so much bigotry and hatred in the world. I look forward to sharing my music and hopefully encourage us all to share our love so we can celebrate peace together.” –Victor Zupanc
Keep up to date on these Faith Partners collaborations by visiting the American Composers Forum website at https://composersforum.org/program/faith-partners
About the Selected Composers
With music described as “stirring” by Opera News and “rousing” by American Record Guide, award-winning composer/arranger Gary Ruschman recently composed and directed a children’s opera commissioned by Minnesota Opera and Nobles County Integration Collaborative, and had new works premiered by ensembles Artemis, Lumina, Dream Songs Project, and South Dakota Chorale. Well known as a stage and concert soloist and a decade-long run with the men’s vocal ensemble Cantus, Gary has performed around the globe as a tenor and instrumentalist, with credits ranging from rock bands to the Festival Musica Antica Urbino, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Portland Opera, Kennedy Center, and A Prairie Home Companion. Along with a busy composing and performing schedule, he currently serves as Director of Music at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Saint Paul.
Victor Zupanc has composed music for nearly 300 plays at some of the most prestigious theaters in America including The La Jolla Playhouse, The Guthrie, Playwrights Horizon, SITI Company, The Acting Company, New Victory Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Kennedy Center, Missouri Rep, San Diego Rep and The Berkeley Rep. Artists he has worked with include Des McAnuff, Bill Irwin, Anne Bogart, Tony Tacone, Marion McClinton, Robert Woodruff, Stephen Sondheim, Randy Newman and David Byrne. He has composed many concert pieces for various choirs, orchestras and chamber groups and has received numerous major awards and honors around the country for his work. His music has also been heard in China, Japan, Europe, South America, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. In addition, he has scored several feature films and documentaries that have been distributed worldwide including the critically acclaimed motion picture, The Operator by Jon Dichter. Mr. Zupanc’s theme music can also be heard regularly on National Public Radio. Since 1989, Mr. Zupanc has been the resident Music Director/Composer at the Tony Award winning Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis.
About the Faith Partners Program
This nationally recognized residency program brings together composers and communities of multiple faith traditions for the creation of new sacred music and the reinvigoration of worship. Now approaching its 25th anniversary, Faith Partners composers have worked in more than 130 diverse faith congregations across the Upper Midwest, helping to strengthen community and ecumenical goodwill. Funded by the Otto Bremer Trust, the program serves communities where Bremer Banks are located.
About the American Composers Forum
The American Composers Forum (ACF) is committed to supporting composers and developing new markets for their music. Through granting, commissioning, and performance programs, the Forum provides composers at all stages of their careers with valuable resources for professional and artistic development. By linking communities with composers and performers, the Forum fosters a demand for new music, enriches communities, and helps develop the next generation of composers, musicians, and music patrons. Founded in 1973 as the Minnesota Composers Forum, the organization has grown from an innovative regional initiative into one of the nation’s premier composer service organizations, including membership of over 2,000 artists, organizations and community members.
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- Gary Ruschman: http://ruschman.com
- Victor Zupanc: www.victorzupanc.com
- American Composers Forum: http://composersforum.org/
- Faith Partners Program: https://composersforum.org/program/faith-partners
- First Congregational United Church of Christ, Brainerd, MN: http://www.uccbrainerd.org/
- Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Baxter, MN: http://lolbaxter.org/
- B’nai Israel Synagogue, Rochester, MN: http://www.bnaiisraelsynagogue.org/
- Christ United Methodist Church, Rochester, MN: http://www.cumethodist.com/
- Otto Bremer Trust: http://www.ottobremer.org/