C4 November 2013 Newsletter
Part 2: "Heritage" Edition
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This Week in NYC: C4 Presents "Heritage"


Please join us for "Heritage," a program in which we ask such questions as: what do we inherit from our families and our cultures, and how does this play out in our music? What stories can we tell in our songs?

On this program, we'll explore the many answers offered to these questions by our own C4 composers (
Jonathan David, Joe Rubinstein, Bettina Sheppard, and Karen Siegel) along with works by Judith Bingham, Brent Michael Davids, Steven Stucky, and more:

Thursday, November 21st at 8:00 PM
Church of the Transfiguration
1 East 29th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues)

Saturday, November 23rd at 8:00 PM
Duffy Performance Space at Mark Morris Dance Center
3 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit

See you at this week's concerts!


C4 Welcomes Our Newest Members!


You will see several new faces at this week’s “Heritage” concerts – we have four people making their C4 debuts with this cycle.  Please join C4 in welcoming Natalie Chamat, Liz Hanna, Susanna Su, and Perry Townsend:

Natalie Chamat (top left) was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, where she was involved in the arts and theatrics starting at a young age.  She is a national winner of the AuditionPlus Competition of 2013, and  possesses a BM in Voice Performance from Iowa State University, where she graduated cum laude, and an MM in Voice Performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Liz Hanna (top right) graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2011 with a degree in Music Therapy.  In addition to her clinical work, she serves as administrative assistant to the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble.  A multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and choral composer, Liz also sings with Choral Chameleon and the choir at the Church of the Heavenly Rest.

Susanna Su (bottom left) is dedicated to performing new, challenging, and unusual music.  She most recently studied with new music champion Lisa Saffer at the New England Conservatory, which first sparked her curiosity.  Her fascination grew through performing/premiering music by NEC student composers, and her collaborations with Ms. Saffer, John Heiss, and Stephen Drury.  Susanna holds a BM from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and an MM from the New England Conservatory.

Perry Townsend’s (bottom right) music can be heard on American Modern Recordings and Ravello Records.  He conducts the Angelic Voices Youth Choir, has sung at Church of St. Mary the Virgin, and holds degrees from Copland School of Music and North Carolina School of the Arts.  Currently, Perry is working with acclaimed mezzo Tichina Vaughn to create an opera about Christine Miller, the lone dissenter at Jim Jones’ Guyana commune in 1978.

More from Friend of C4, Byron Gibbs

We're pleased to continue featuring the art of Friend of C4 Byron Gibbs with the image pictured above, which adorns our publicity and concert materials for the season-opening concerts.

Tim Brown recently paid a visit to Byron's upper west side home studio to get acquainted with his work.  Upon arriving, he noticed this image, which was unceremoniously posted on Byron’s work wall alongside many others he's created in series. 

Tim reports: “Its small size and position amidst works which more immediately caught my attention could have kept me from discovering it… but soon enough the bold strike of red drew my eye.

“Byron doesn't name his works, and in conversation it became clear he doesn't think of the image — created in oil stick and pencil — necessarily as a flower.  But I immediately did, and we at C4 have taken to affectionately calling it ‘Rose.’

“This distinctive piece spoke to me of the way simple, unassuming things can mean so much to us, can have a staying power similar to the way melodies from our youth and family connections remain with us.  Melodies of this kind are the focus of our "
Heritage" concerts which include pieces utilizing folk tunes and melodies from composers' ancestry.”

It seems appropriate, then, that this little gem won the majority of votes (C4 does everything collectively!) to represent our
"Heritage" concerts, coming up on November 21st and 23rd.

A print of this work — along with the
Innovate | Elevate season image and those that will represent C4's winter and spring sets — will be available for sale by auction late in the season to benefit C4.  Stay tuned to learn how you can own one (or all of them!).

Many thanks to Byron for the use of his beautiful work!


C4's Weekend at Tufts University

Earlier this month, 16 current and former C4 members gathered at Tufts University for C4’s first-ever academic mini-residency.  For a whirlwind 2-day visit, C4 worked with Tufts faculty members John McDonald (Music Department Chair and Professor of Music) and Jamie Kirsch (Lecturer of Music/Director of Choral Activities), the Tufts Concert Choir, and several Tufts composition students. 

Packed into our Tufts weekend were an evening of in-depth readings of works by Tufts student composers, a choral master class led by conductors
Fahad Siadat and C4 alums Hannah Carr and David Harris, and a concert of Stories From Lives, a program presenting music reflecting personal experiences or relating to the composer's heritage.

We began the weekend on Friday, November 8th with an evening of readings of choral works by several Tufts composition students.  With John McDonald at the piano and C4 members on the podium, we sang through six brand-new works and offered detailed feedback to the students on engraving, voice leading, structure, and many other musical elements.  This was a particularly rewarding experience for the Tufts students and C4 members alike.

Saturday morning saw C4 leading a choral conducting master class with the Tufts Concert Choir, with C4 members on the podium and embedded in the Choir among the Tufts students.  Highlights of the morning included a demonstration of overtone singing by
Fahad Siadat and Martha Sullivan, which had the Tufts students mesmerized!

We rounded out our Tufts Weekend with our Stories From Lives  concert, featuring the world premieres of Caerphilly by
Bettina Sheppard and Shirei Shira by Karen Siegel, the quartet Child by Tufts performance faculty member Thomas Stumpf, and works by C4 member composers Jonathan David, and Joe Rubinstein.

Special thanks to the students and faculty of Tufts University for their warm hospitality and excellent musicianship!

Pictured at Tufts University above: (L to R) David Harris, John McDonald, Jamie Kirsch, Hannah Carr, and Fahad Siadat.
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