Meet our Composers

Paul Basler

Paul Basler, 1993-94 Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Music at Kenyatta University (Nairobi, Kenya), 1995-96 University of Florida Teacher of the Year and the 2001-03 College of Fine Arts University of Florida Research Foundation Professor is currently Professor of Music at the University of Florida where he teaches horn and composition. He taught at Western Carolina University for four years and prior to coming to WCU, was the North Carolina Visiting Artist in Residence at Caldwell Community College. He received his B.M. degree magna cum laude from the Florida State University, M.M., M.A. and D.M.A. degrees from Stony Brook University and has received teaching awards and citations from the University of Florida College of Fine Arts, Stony Brook University, Western Carolina University, Kenyatta University and the Kenya Office of the President/Permanent Music Commission. Dr. Basler is widely recognized as one of the most important instructors of horn in the United States, and his published textbooks on horn pedagogy and performance etudes are used by hundreds of schools of music and conservatories across the globe. He has also served as a board member and consultant to numerous national and international arts organizations and is a frequent guest lecturer at educational conferences worldwide.

Basler was resident hornist at the annual Composers Conference in Boston from 1991-2004 and has performed as guest artist at numerous International Horn Society Workshops, the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, the Winchester International Music Festival in England, the Festival Internacional de Música de Cantonigròs in Spain and the St. Petersburg International Chamber Music Festival in Russia. Basler has been a member of the Brevard, Charleston, Valdosta, Greenville, Asheville, Tallahassee and Gainesville Symphonies, and continues to maintain a busy performing schedule throughout the United States and abroad, having premiered over 200 works written for him in the past seven years. He also has received 2 American Cultural Affairs Specialist Grants from the U.S. Department of State and serves as Visiting Professor with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Dominican Republic's Ministry of Culture and National Conservatory of Music.

One of the most performed composers of his generation, his music have been received with enthusiastic acclaim throughout the world, the New York Times describing his music as 'virtuosic and highly athletic.' The recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Composer's Fellowship and several National Endowment for the Arts Composer/Teacher grants, Basler's compositions have been performed throughout the world and recent compositions have received performances at Carnegie Hall, the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Tanglewood, the Spoleto Festival, Symphony Hall in Chicago, Kennedy Center, the National Theatres of the Dominican Republic and Kenya, Lincoln Center, the Sydney Opera House, the Aspen Music Festival, the Grand Teton Music Festival and in Shanghai by the Shanghai Philharmonic. One of the youngest persons to have ever been awarded a Senior Fulbright Lectureship, he served as the Composer in Residence and Conductor at the Sewanee Summer Music Center and Composer in Residence at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching. His music is published by Carl Fischer, Colla Voce Music, Walton Music, Hinshaw Music, Southern Music, R.M. Williams Publishing, and the IHS Press.

Basler's horn teachers have included William Purvis, William Capps and Barry Benjamin and his composition teachers have been John Boda, John Downey, Bülent Arel, John Lessard and Billy Jim Layton.

Stephen Caracciolo

Stephen Caracciolo is a choral conductor recognized for his passionate artistry, creative teaching, and is a nationally known composer and arranger whose choral works have been performed throughout the United States and Europe. In addition to serving as Artistic Director for LancasterChorale, Central Ohio's professional chamber choir, Dr. Caracciolo has conducted at the Capital University NOW Music Festival, has accepted commissions from numerous organizations, including Cantus, the Maryland State Boy Choir, Lancaster Chorale, and the Columbus Chamber Singers, and was awarded the prestigious Individual Artist's Fellowship in Composition from the Greater Columbus Arts Council. His compositions can be heard on nationally distributed recordings and have aired on the syndicated radio program With Heart and Voice and Twin Cities Public Television. They also appear on many professional, collegiate, church and cathedral choir repertoire lists. Dr. Caracciolo holds degrees from Capital University, Westminster Choir College, and Indiana University, and has studied conducting with Joseph Flummerfelt, Constantina Tsolainou, James Jordan, Paul Hillier, Jan Harrington, Peter Erdei, and John Poole, former conductor of the BBC Singers. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Maryland Baltimore County where he conducts the UMBC Camerata and teaches voice and conducting. In addition, he sings as a professional bass at Washington National Cathedral.

Daniel E. Gawthrop

Composer Daniel E. Gawthrop was born in 1949 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has been the recipient of over one hundred commissions to write original music. His works have been published by Dunstan House, Warner Brothers (now Alfred Publishing Co.), Theodore Presser, Sacred Music Press and others.

Gawthrop served for three years as Composer-in-Residence to the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (of Fairfax, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C.) and has been the recipient of four grants from The Barlow Endowment for Musical Composition. He has been commissioned by dozens of institutions including the American Choral Directors Association through their prestigious Raymond Brock Memorial series, and has had works premiere in the Concert Hall of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Salt Lake City Mormon Tabernacle, and Washington National Cathedral. His choral pieces have been performed and recorded by such eminent ensembles as The United States Air Force Singing Sergeants, the Gregg Smith Singers, the Turtle Creek Chorale, the Paul Hill Chorale, the American Boychoir, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Cathedral Choral Society (of Washington National Cathedral) and literally hundreds of other groups in the U.S. and abroad.

In addition to his work as a composer, Gawthrop has been active as a broadcaster, clinician and adjudicator, organist, conductor, teacher and writer, including a period as music critic for The Washington Post. Gawthrop is a Life Member of the American Choral Directors Association, a member of Chorus America, a member of The American Guild of Organists, and a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the music fraternity. Gawthrop currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University.

Dunstan House

Matthew Harris

Matthew Harris has had orchestral works performed by The Minnesota, Houston, Florida, Jacksonville, Chattanooga, Spokane and Modesto Symphony Orchestras; chamber works by the Lark Quartet, New York New Music Ensemble and League-ISCM; and vocal works by Sheryl Studer and Faith Esham.

The New York City Opera presented scenes from Matthew Harris's opera Tess on their American Composers Showcase series. Three Arias from Tess was premiered by The Lake George Opera Festival and Three Choruses from Tess was premiered at Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Harris's highly popular choral works have been commissioned or premiered by leading choruses such as the Dale Warland Singers, Phoenix Bach Choir, Los Angeles Chamber Singers, Western Wind, and Cantori New York, and sung by countless school and community choirs across America. His A Child's Christmas in Wales, a cantata for chorus and orchestra commissioned by Harmonium, is performed throughout the US and the UK.

Other commissions have come from the Fromm Foundation/Aspen Music Festival (where he was a Composer-in-Residence), Verdehr Trio, Modesto Symphony Orchestra, Haydn-Mozart Orchestra, American Composers Forum, Schubert Club and US-Mexico Cultural Fund.

G. Schirmer and C. F. Peters publish his music, and Chandos, Albany, Cedille and CRI Records represent him on disc. The National Endowment for the Arts twice awarded him a Composer Fellowship; other fellowships and grants have come from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Tanglewood, Meet The Composer, the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. Composition awards he has won include those from the Chautauqua Chamber Singers, Georges Enesco Foundation, Society for New Music, National Association of Composers, Musicians Accord, Taubman Institute, ASCAP and BMI.

Mr. Harris studied at The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory and Harvard University. He has taught at Fordham University and Kingsborough College (CUNY) and in 1988 founded Harris Musiciology. He lives and works in New York City.

Matthew Harris Music

Alice Parker

Alice Parker received professional training successively as a composer, conductor and teacher. Her work is founded on the interaction of these fields, and their extension into writing, theorizing and mentoring. It is founded upon the conviction that music is first and foremost sound, and that a paper diagram is a very imperfect medium for its transmission.

Vocal sound comes from human throats, and is infinitely variable. An inner vision of those sounds is necessary before one can evoke them through composing or performance. She knows that wonderfully musical sounds can come from amateur as well as professional singers, from children as well as adults, and from churches, schools and family groups.

Her over fifty years' experience in teaching has given her the ability to express her ideas in clear and memorable language. Her love of poetry and of the lyric line in both words and songs undergirds her understanding. She has identified techniques which work for composers, performers and teachers, and inspires any group which works with her into wonderfully musical, expressive and communicative singer.

As Artistic Director of Melodious Accord, Alice Parker's artistic vision and leadership is at the foundation of the organization's activities. Below is a brief statement of that vision.

"I believe that melody is the foundation of human music-making, and that song issuing from one human throat is the essential first-step to a musical life. I am fascinated with the combination of words and music, thus I have concentrated on choral and vocal works, using the very best texts that I can find. Chamber music involving small groups of voices and instruments is a favorite medium.

I am a devotee of folk songs from many cultures, as well as the rediscovery of Christian hymns from many centuries. Melodies which last teach me about the nature of melody itself, and I never tire of composing,arranging, conducting and teaching from these ever-flowing sources."

Melodious Accord

José María Vitier

José María Vitier (b. 1954) is a composer and pianist whose compositions for piano, orchestra, and chamber and jazz ensembles blend traditional and popular forms of Cuban music. His work is included in the repertoires of all major Cuban performers and musical groups; he is one of his country's best-known composers. Vitier's music bears the influence of jazz, rock, and Cuban music in general as well as the creative assimilation of the classical European tradition and the legacy of Cuban pianists and composers such as Esteban Salas, Manuel Saumel, Ignacio Cervantes, and Ernesto Lecuona. The originality of his music lies in its drawing together the various genres in which they have their roots. It represents a new form of Cuban music and has given us a composer and pianist who, like Lecuona in years past, presents us with the spectacle of a virtuosity and originality whose essence is to be found in the deep and universal roots of Cuban music throughout the ages.

He has written music for more than 50 films, with Fresa y Chocolate (Strawberry and Chocolate) and The Century of Light among the most recent. He has composed scores for television series, theater, ballet and dance productions, music for symphony orchestra, chamber music, and choral music. He has written music for children, sacred music, and songs. He has recorded 14 LPs and five CDs.

Vitier has been awarded the Cuban National Culture Award and in 1988 received the Ocella Prize for Best Film Music of the Venice International Film Festival. In 1992, he won the Coral of Music Prize at the International Festival of New Latin-American Film and also received the EGREM Prize (1993 and 1994) and the EGREM Grand Prix (1993) for the best instrumental album of the year. In 1996 he received the ACDAM Prize for the best music for a film.

José María Vitier is active on the international music scene and been resoundingly successful at festivals such as the New York Latino (1985), the Mexico Cervantino (1986, 1989, 1993), the Montreal International Festival of Jazz and the Du Maurier Ltd. Downtown Toronto Jazz Festival (1991), the Bordeaux Afro-Caribbean Festival in France, and the MIDEM 96 Festival in Cannes. He has toured Latin-America and Europe.

José María Vitier

William Hawley

American composer William Hawley's music has been heard in London, Tokyo, Paris, New York, the Netherlands, Berlin, Darmstadt, Munich, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, and other cities in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. A longtime Manhattanite, he now makes his home on the coast of Maine with his wife, Jyoti.

William Palmer Hawley was born on November 4, 1950 in Bronxville, New York into the family of an English professor and poet. He was drawn early to the arts, and, following the path of music, found his métier as a composer during his student years at the Ithaca College School of Music and the California Institute of the Arts (BFA, 1974; MFA, 1976). Although his mentors were of the avant-garde (Morton Subotnick, Harold Budd, James Tenney, Earle Brown, Morton Feldman), upon entering the professional world he felt compelled to reconsider the fundamental cultural role of music composition, with a view towards reintegrating the emotional and spiritual elements of pre-20th Century Western classical music with the technical and conceptual acquisitions of Modernism, as well as the then newly-rediscovered influences of Indian and East Asian classical forms. Beginning his creative life primarily as an instrumental composer, he gradually found his work assuming a deeper expression in the realm of vocal music, unaccompanied as well as with instruments in chamber and orchestral combinations, which, through the illustration and illumination of poetry in sound, has through the ages borne the ability to elevate and enlighten the human mind and spirit.

William Hawley