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World Premiere Composition Series Concert April...

The University of Scranton’s 35th Annual World Premiere Composition Series Concert will feature two new works written by composer/conductor Brandon Lee. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, in the Houlihan-McLean Center. Admission is free.
March 29, 2018

On Saturday, April 14, Performance Music at The University of Scranton will welcome guest composer/conductor Brandon Lee for its 35th Annual World Premiere Composition Series Concert.

The concert, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center, Mulberry Street and Jefferson Avenue, downtown Scranton, will feature two new works written by Lee for The University of Scranton Concert Band and Concert Choir.

Admission to the concert is free, with seating on a first-come, first-seated basis.

In addition, Lee will participate in a meet the composer event for students earlier in the day. For more information, email music@scranton.edu.

Lee will conduct University student musicians from majors spanning the curriculum. The World Premiere Composition Series at Scranton is unique in that it is rare at best for programs with non-music majors to commission works for band and chorus at all, much less for this many years consecutively.

“It’s really exciting for the kids because it gives them the chance to see the process of a composer,” said Performance Music Conductor and Director Cheryl Y. Boga. “I think most of the alums who were our student musicians over the past 34 years would immediately be able to tell you who the four composers were that they worked with.”

An acclaimed jazz trumpeter, arranger, composer, teacher and bandleader, Lee has performed and taught masterclasses in some of the world’s most prestigious venues. Currently, he serves as assistant professor of jazz trumpet for the Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Boga vividly remembers Lee’s first visit to the University back in 2001.

“He was here as a first-year student in the very first class of the Juilliard Jazz Studies program. He was in the trumpet section, and he played with so much technique, musicality and style for a young man that age” Boga said. “I think what’s fascinating is that he was here in 2001 as an 18-year-old, and now he’s back all these years later working with our 18-year-olds as this seasoned, traveled, experienced, renowned composer and performer. We’re very much looking forward to performing Brandon’s pieces.”

In recent years, Lee has become an in-demand composer, making him a perfect choice for the series. He’ll spend several days at the University engaged in extensive rehearsals with the Concert Band and Concert Choir.

“Brandon has this ability to hear beyond the expected sonorities of the big band, and I always thought it would be fascinating to get him to write for concert band,” Boga said. “And also, his playing has a very vocal nature to it.”

In the fall of 2008, Lee became Juilliard’s youngest faculty member. There, he worked primarily as the assistant conductor and conductor of their jazz orchestra, showcasing it at a number of national and international venues. He also served as Juilliard’s artistic coordinator of educational outreach from 2010-2012.

Lee performs regularly with his own group and as a sideman. He has performed or recorded with a number of notable musicians, including Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Eric Reed, Vincent Herring, Kirk Whalum, Jazz Conceptions Orchestra, the Birdland Big Band, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Kenny Barron Quintet, Kurt Elling, Christian McBride Big Band, David Berger Big Band and Fat Cat Big Band.

For further information on the concert, call 570-941-7624, email music@scranton.edu or visit scranton.edu/music. For more information on Lee, visit here.

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