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Composers Cooperative was delightful

My recent attendance of the Nevada County Composers Cooperative 5th Annual Festival of New Music was a delightful surprise in many ways.

The three movement work by Jerry Grant, “Introduction, Fanfare and Hymn” for brass quintet was one of those where you just say, “I’ve got to hear that again,” and Jay Sydeman’s “Duo for Trumpet and Percussion” was “crackers in bed,” as he suggested in his introduction, keeping us on the edge of our seats!

I loved “Braided River Nights” by Howard Hersh especially enjoying Matthew Darling’s subtlety with the marimba at times merging, while at other times emerging and clarifying in its braided dance with the seductive flute of Jane Lenoir.



After intermission came the phenomenal Mark Vance’s World Premier of the eight-movement “Nevada County Epitaphs” especially commissioned for the lovely and accomplished pianist, Katarzyna Musial. She told me afterward that she had come to know all these people, and feeling their stories deeply, knew what she wanted to say. Her command and sensitivity were remarkable.

The perfect end to a most satisfying evening was with The San Francisco Brass Company performing Nancy Bloomer Deussen’s “Tribute to the Ancients” which had been written as an 100th Anniversary tribute to the Sempervirens Environmental Group and the ancient California Redwoods they nearly single-handedly saved. This brass quintet did a beautiful and breath-taking job. It is a truly triumphant work in one glorious movement.




An event to calendar every year, and the acoustical environment of the Amaral Family Festival Center is one to frequent throughout the year! There are three concerts remaining for the Summer Festival, get thee to the fairgrounds!

” Bonnie Westerlund

Browns Valley, CA


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