Maine composers to present new music at Bates


William Matthews, Alice Swanson Esty Professor of Music at Bates, is among Maine composers presenting new music in a Jan. 31 concert. (Doug Hubley/Bates College)

Prominent composers living in Maine present new music at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, in the Olin Concert Hall at Bates College, 75 Russell St.

This event is open to the public at no cost, but tickets are required, available at For more information, please contact 207-786-6135.

The Maine composers featured are Bates faculty members William Matthews and Scott Ordway, as well as Vineet Shende, Joshua DeScherer, Beth Wiemann, and Phillip Carlsen.

Ordway has composed three symphonies, of which the third was premiered by the Bates College Orchestra last fall; two full settings of the Mass; and numerous other works, many of which have been performed throughout the United States and Europe. He is a visiting assistant professor of music and acting orchestral conductor at Bates.

Matthews, Alice Swanson Esty Professor of Music, has received several national awards and commissions. His works include music for the inaugurations of Bates presidents Clayton Spencer and Elaine Hansen. He is interested in electronic and computer-generated music, and in American music of all types.

Matthews teaches composition along with courses in jazz and popular music. A Book of Hours, a recording on the Albany Records, is a compilation of Matthews compositions featuring the Capital Trio, whose pianist is Duncan Cumming ’93.

Scott Ordway is shown conducting the University of Puget Sound Chamber Orchestra, Tacoma, Wash.

Scott Ordway is shown conducting the University of Puget Sound Chamber Orchestra, Tacoma, Wash.

Shende is an associate professor of music at Bowdoin College. His music incorporates a wide variety of styles, including North Indian classical music, rock music and a harmonic language described as “hard to characterize, dissonant in some places and with celestial harmonies in others, but unusually accessible” (Maine Sunday Telegram). Recent premieres include “Three Longfellow Poems,” commissioned by the Portland Symphony Orchestra.

DeScherer has performed extensively with professional and amateur ensembles throughout the northeastern United States. As a performer, he focuses on music written after the 1950s. Many of his pieces draw their inspiration from the New England wilderness. With few exceptions, his pieces are for small ensembles. Among his works are numerous settings of poetry from the Beat Generation, particularly the work of Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Wiemann studied composition and clarinet at Oberlin College and received her doctorate in theory and composition from Princeton University. She teaches orchestration, tonal counterpoint, 20th-century musical techniques and other topics at the University of Maine. A CD of Wiemann’s music, Why Performers Wear Black, was released on Albany Records in 2004. Her music also appears on the Capstone, Innova and Americus labels.

Carlsen is a professor of music at the University of Maine at Farmington, where he conducted the orchestra for 20 years and has taught since 1982. In addition to numerous performances at UMF and elsewhere in Maine by such organizations as the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Sebago-Long Lakes Region Chamber Music Festival, his music has been played at New York’s Town Hall and the Museum of Modern Art Sculpture Garden, at the Kennedy Center and other locations.

As a visiting assistant professor of music, Carlsen taught and conducted the orchestra at Bates during the 2000s.

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