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Jenni Brandon And The Heartland Marimba Quartet Present an Online Composition Festival

September 25, 2020 - October 17, 2020

Online Composition Festival: Writing for the Marimba

Online Composition Festival: Writing for the Marimba

Award-winning composer Jenni Brandon joins the acclaimed Heartland Marimba Quartet (Ujjal Bhattacharyya, Christina Cheon, Matthew Coley, and Joe Millea), from September 25 to October 17, 2020, to offer a unique online 3-week composition  festival. Through a comprehensive plan, and an approachable and collaborative setting with other composers, each participant will focus on writing a new work for marimba (solo, duo, trio, or quartet).

Participants will have their works performed and recorded by the members of the Heartland Marimba Quartet at the end of the workshop. Additionally, as a bonus portion of this workshop, the composers will have the opportunity to write two 30-second etudes in a style highlighting a technique unique to the marimba. Heartland Marimba will potentially publish these examples through HMPublications in a brand-new exercise book for the marimba.

Now is an exciting time for composers to take a deep dive into learning about writing for an instrument. Solo and small ensemble repertoire is always in demand. During these unique times creating this type of repertoire becomes more important and needed, as so many of us are finding new ways to make music.

Dedicated to advancing the classical marimba art form, the members of the Heartland Marimba Quartet will break down the questions surrounding the mysteries of composing for the marimba. The sessions (see schedule below) will include classes on fundamentals about the instrument, the do’s, and don’ts of writing for the marimba, to career topics and repertoire reviews.

Along with these group sessions, there will be private composition lessons with Jenni Brandon to help guide the composers to writing an engaging new work for marimba. This workshop is the fourth in a series of writing for a specific instrument offered by Jenni Brandon during the COVID-19 shutdowns. A deep component of each one is to foster an environment that allows for the composers to explore and to learn in a supportive and collaborative way.

Features of the festival

  • 3 Weeks in September & October
  • Public Forum October 17
  • Final Concert November 14
  • 6 days of group instruction
  • 3 days of read-throughs
  • 2 published 30-second etudes
  • A new work premiered and recorded by members of the Heartland Marimba Quartet
  • private lessons
  • in-depth class sessions on the business of music

The festival is open to all composers and performers who have previous experience writing music and are interested in furthering their skills with marimba composition.

Weekend classes [Sept. 25-27, Oct. 2-4, & Oct. 9-11] – Saturdays and Sundays include morning and afternoon sessions.

Weekdays [Sept. 28-Oct. 16] – private composition lessons, write 30-second etudes and new work for Heartland Marimba, check-in with instructors

Public Forum on Collaboration – Saturday, October 17, 5pm central

Final concert – Saturday, November 14, 7pm central

All sessions take place on Zoom or Facebook Live

For more information go to Online Composition Festival for Marimba, September through October 2020; http://heartlandmarimba.com/composition-festival-2020 


Online Zoom or Facebook