ASU Music Dept. seeks patrons for SLV Cultural Commissions

(11-30-2016)

The Adams State University Music Department is seeing patrons to support the commissioning of three original works that will celebrate the culture and soundscape of the San Luis Valley.

"We will commission some high-profile composers, such as Jack Stamp, David Pierce, and Jennifer Bellow, as well as one of our music composition students, to create pieces that will be accessible and benefit underserved students and smaller music programs," said department chair Dr. Beth Robison, professor and director of choral activities. Each commission is $2,500; interested donors may contact Lori Laske, Executive Director of Alumni & Donor Relations, at 719-587-7609.

Robison said the project will serve multiple purposes:

  • Create unique educational and service/integrated learning experiences.
  • Provide professional development and diversity awareness for students and faculty.
  • Promote and recruit students while celebrating and educating others about the diversity and culture of the San Luis Valley through music.

The San Luis Valley Cultural Commission Project grew out of the university's Unidos Equity Retreat, which stimulated music faculty to develop ETHOS, an overarching, multi-year program to address equity and diversity issues in music ensemble programming and curricula development.

Robison explained ETHOS is a Greek word meaning "character" used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology. The Greeks also used this word to refer to the power of music to influence its listener's emotions, behaviors, and even morals. "Music has always been a reflection of society and culture, both the positive and negative aspects," she added. "It may reflect the biases or norms of certain groups, or be a call for action against social injustices perpetrated by others."

Plans call for the pieces to be performed and recorded at the Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA) in January, at the Top of the Nation Honor Band festival on campus in February, and in outreach performances with regional and national ensembles, as well as by ASU faculty in regional high schools for recruiting and educational purposes. Recordings will be available for purchase, and an article on the project will be published in professional music journals.