The IU New Music Ensemble, directed by David Dzubay, will livestream its final performance at 8 p.m. May 6 via IUMusicLive!. The performance was recorded in March. Another performance recorded on the same day will be livestreamed April 29.
The ensemble, which functions as a class within the Jacobs School of Music, consists of about 25 members. Andrew Downs, assistant conductor and graduate student in conducting, said the ensemble can also be called a sinfonietta due to its small size.
Downs said the ensemble focuses on performing music composed within the last 50 years. It often performs and records pieces by student composers.
“I don't think anything in this concert is inaccessible,” Downs said. “I think it’s all very easy to listen to.”
The ensemble recorded three pieces for the performance, one composed by Shuyu Lin, composition doctoral degree candidate. Lin was commissioned by the music school to compose her piece “When the Moon Appears” after winning a Georgina Joshi Composition Commission Award. The piece will feature tenor Soloman Reynolds, graduate student in vocal performance.
Nate Troy, graduate student in percussion performance and percussionist in the ensemble, said working with the composer of a piece gives the group the chance to set the standard for the piece. Tierney McClure, graduate student in flute performance, agreed the group benefited from receiving feedback from the composer.
“There’s a lot of diverse pieces,” McClure said. “I think they did a good job of picking different types of music.”
Seare Farhat, assistant director and master’s student in composition, said the performers rotated between pieces, creating a variety of ensemble sizes for each piece. He was able to work with larger groups of people at one time this semester compared to the seven person limit of the fall semester.
“There’s something unmatched about being able to make music en masse in a large room while being safe and distant,” Farhat said.
Downs, McClure and Troy said performing in the ensemble was a distinctive experience they haven’t had with other groups. Downs said Dzubay has a style of directing that sets the group apart from other ensembles.
“I think the group is in no means pretentious,” Downs said.” I think they're extremely accepting. David makes learning new music as easy as can be. Very clear and concise.”
Downs and McClure said this group was one of the only chamber orchestras in the music school that played together in person this semester. McClure credits Dzubay and the assisting leadership for allowing playing in person to be an option.
“I’m really grateful that Dr. Dzubay and them were able to figure out a way to play and put on concerts, even if they’re livestreamed,” McClure said.
Troy said that unlike most ensembles, students have to request to join rather than be placed into it.
“I have a lot of good memories from doing this and I feel like this is definitely where I was supposed to be,” Troy said.