The University of Scranton’s 30th Annual World Premiere Composition Series Concert, featuring guest composer/conductor Erik Saras, will be held Saturday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center. The University’s Concert Band and Concert Choir will perform with Saras. Admission is free and open to the public.
Numerous notable artists have composed and premiered original pieces through this series, including Vaclav Nelhybel, Wycliffe Gordon H’06, Lawrence Wolfe, Marcus Printup, Victor Goines and Robert Kapilow H’09, who composed his first commissioned musical work through this program in 1985.
“The University of Scranton World Premiere Composition Series is a remarkable event,” said Kapilow, now an internationally renowned composer, conductor and commentator. “Commissioning on an ongoing basis anywhere in the country is rare at best. To see this type of project at the university level, and at a school without a conservatory orientation, is truly incredible.”
The World Premiere Composition Series provides University students with opportunities to work and interact with nationally and internationally renowned composers and conductors, while also supporting rising young composers.
“The series gives student musicians the extremely unusual opportunity of working with a living composer and gives the audience the unique chance to witness firsthand the evolution of a piece of music and the interpretation by the composer of the very first performance of his work. The opportunity for dialogue between composer, performer and audience is truly great,” said Kapilow.
A full list of all the works composed for and premiered during this very special series can be found on the Performance Music website.
Saras is an active composer/arranger, and has written numerous works for various brass chamber groups, large brass ensemble and symphonic wind ensemble. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University, Evansville, Ill., and Master of Music degree from The Manhattan School of Music, New York, N.Y. Saras has performed as a base trombonist with ensembles throughout the country and in Asia, and his works have been in the United States and abroad.