Eric Stokes Song Contest Winner Elaine Klaassen

February 18, 2014

Elaine Klaassen, a Hillsboro, Kansas native who currently lives in Minneapolis, was recently named a winner of Zeitgeist’s 19th annual Eric Stokes Song Contest. 

Elaine is originally from Hillsboro, Kansas and currently lives in Minneapolis, where she is a piano teacher and newspaper journalist. She has written experimental music for dance, theater and performance art events in addition to traditional music for churches and community theater productions.

Elaine’s winning piece, Beat No More, is a structured improvisation. “Beat No More is kind of like a parlor game for really creative musicians,” she said. “Zeitgeist is the perfect group to make such a piece work.”

The Eric Stokes Song Contest is sponsored by new music group Zeitgeist in memory of late composer Eric Stokes; the contest was designed to encourage and celebrate amateur composers throughout the Twin Cities. The winning composers have the opportunity to participate in Zeitgeist’s annual Playing it Close to Home concerts; in addition, they receive a $100 prize and a one-year membership to the American Composers Forum.

“The judges loved Elaine’s work, and we’re delighted to feature terrific local talent,” said Heather Barringer, artistic co-director and percussionist for Zeitgeist. “We always look forward to sharing the best of local music in our Playing it Close to Home concerts.”


Playing it Close to Home

Feb. 21-22, 7:30 p.m.,
Studio Z:
 275 E. 4th St., Suite 200, St. Paul

Feb. 23, 2 p.m.,
Roseville High School
: 1240 County Road B-2 West, Roseville

With winning songs from our Eric Stokes Song Contest plus music by local composers Nathan Hanson and Viv Corringham, Zeitgeist’s annual Playing it Close to Home concert celebrates the wealth of musical creativity found right here in our own backyard.




Playing it Close to Home and Zeitgeist's Eric Stokes Song Contest is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

 

Interview with Nathan Hanson

February 17, 2014

Zeitgiest’s annual Playing it Close to Home concert is a celebration of the wealth of musical creativity found right here in our own backyard. This year we’re featuring Nathan Hanson, a local saxophonist and composer who has been described as “unexpectedly tasteful and dignified” by ImproJazz-France. Over his career, he has performed with such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Cecil Taylor, Mark Dresser, Carei Thomas and Douglas Ewart, as well as with current stars Chris Potter, Tony Malaby...

Continue reading...
 

Eric Stokes Song Contest Winner Riona Ryan

February 16, 2014

Riona Ryan, a 17-year-old junior at the Perpich Center for Arts Education, has been named winner of Zeitgeist’s 19th annual Eric Stokes Song Contest in the youth category. Ryan lives in Mankato and plays flute in the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony's premier auditioned ensemble.

Ryan’s winning composition, Jackal Dance, is her first completed piece. “In the end, the personality that came out of the piece felt mischievous and scrappy, reminding me a lot of jackals,” she explained.

Rya...

Continue reading...
 

Interview with Viv Corringham

February 13, 2014

Zeitgiest’s annual Playing it Close to Home concert is a celebration of the wealth of musical creativity found right here in our own backyard. This year we’re featuring Viv Corringham, a British vocalist, composer and sound artist who has worked internationally since the early 1980s. After calling Minnesota home for many years, she has recently re-located to New York. Her work includes music performances, audio installations and soundwalks. She is interested in exploring people's special ...

Continue reading...
 

Eric Stokes Song Contest Winner Liam Smith

February 11, 2014

Liam Smith, an 18-year-old senior at the Perpich Center for Arts Education, has been named named winner of Zeitgeist’s 19th annual Eric Stokes Song Contest in the youth category. Liam is originally from Toledo, Ohio and now lives in Minneapolis, where he is a member of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies and the Minnesota Youth Symphonies.

Liam’s winning composition, Eugene Genesis, explores “the spatial relationship of the stars in the Eugene Cluster [and] represents the creation a...

Continue reading...
 

Interview with Alyssa Anderson of The Dream Songs Project

November 6, 2013

Zeitgeist's 5th Annual New Music Cabaret features an eclectic variety of new music from the top musicians in the Twin Cities, including new music advocates The Dream Songs Project (Alyssa Anderson, mezzo soprano; Joe Spoelstra, guitar). The duo has championed and expanded the repertoire for their instrumentation through commissions, premieres, and calls for scores in recent years, highlighting the music of local Minnesota composers.

TDSP has been very busy with
recording projects, commissions...
Continue reading...
 

Interview with Saxophonist Nathan Hanson

November 4, 2013

Zeitgeist's 5th Annual New Music Cabaret features an eclectic variety of new music from the top musicians in the Twin Cities, including Nathan Hanson's Saxophone Choir, a recently-formed collection of saxophonists with distinct personal voices.

Composer/saxophonist Nathan Hanson has been described as “unexpectedly tasteful and dignified” and has performed with such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Cecil Taylor, Mark Dresser, and Chris Potter. We were pleased to speak with him this week to find...

Continue reading...
 

Interview with Dean Magraw of Red Planet

November 1, 2013

Zeitgeist's 5th Annual New Music Cabaret features an eclectic variety of new music from the top musicians in the Twin Cities, including Red Planet, a group that prides itself on playing music from inner-stellar and inter-stellar space with an emphasis on re-interpreting familiar melodies and unearthed gems.

We spoke with Red Planet guitarist Dean Magraw to look back on the group's history and influences.



How did the musicians of Red Planet get together?


Red Planet is the brainchild of Jay Epst...
Continue reading...
 

Interview with Solange Guillaume of RenegadeEnsemble

October 25, 2013

Zeitgeist's 5th Annual New Music Cabaret features an eclectic variety of new music from the top musicians in the Twin Cities, including contemporary music group RenegadeEnsemble. RenegadeEnsemble performs at the Cabaret on Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m. In addition, their season opener concert, Poppies in October, is tomorrow night, October 26, at Studio Z.

We had a chance to catch up with RenegadeEnsemble Assistant Director Solange Guillaume to hear a bit more about what the group is up to.



RenegadeEnsem...
Continue reading...
 

Pat O'Keefe's New Music Harvest Concert Preview

September 25, 2013

The first concert of Zeitgeist's season is happening this weekend at Studio Z, and I'm especially excited about these concerts because we will be performing a piece that I've wanted to bring to the Twin Cities for a very long time: Apprehensions for clarinet, voice, and piano by Shulamit Ran, based on a poem Sylvia Plath. I had the great fortune to work with Shulamit some years ago, and at her composer talk she played a recording of this piece. It blew me away instantly, and I've been wanting...
Continue reading...