UH's AURA Welcomes Contemporary Composers to 'Revolution' Concert

Composers Hee Yun Kim, Steven Snowden on Campus for Nov. 17 Performance

“Revolution” soon will be in the air at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music (MSM). Audiences, however, shouldn’t expect an uprising but rather an evening of music centered on themes of change and motion.

AURA, UH’s contemporary ensemble, will present “Revolution” at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 17 in UH’s Moores Opera House (Entrance 16 off of Cullen Boulevard). The concert will showcase six works, including pieces by Hee Yun Kim and Steven Snowden, who will both be in attendance.

Tickets for “Revolution” are $12 and $7 for seniors and students. To purchase advance tickets, visit the Moores online box office.

Selections to be performed include

  • “Memoir of Dong-Hak” by Hee Yun Kim: This composition is inspired by the late 19th century Dong-Hak movement – a reform movement focused on Confucian teachings. It incorporates traditional Korean folk music with a cacophony of sound and virtuosic instrumentation.
  • “Spin” by Rob Smith, director of AURA: Smith composed this energetic piece while in residence at the Copland House. He describes it as a musical interpretation of its title.
  • “Apparent Motion” by Huck Hodge: Hodge’s piece – featuring percussion and piano incorporates surges of musical motion.
  • “Mobbing Calls” by Steven Snowden: This composition takes inspiration from animals banding together to protect a member of the pack.
  • “Villanelle” by Garrett Byrnes: Byrnes’ piece – featuring harp and violin – alternates between energetic and lyrical movements.
  • “Requiescat” by George Tsontakis – Dedicated to a late friend of the composer, this moving arrangement showcases viola and piano.

Kim and Snowden will be on campus to rehearse with AURA. They also will deliver remarks about their respective compositions at the concert. According to Smith, the presence of these music makers offers audiences a personal connection to the works being performed.

“They will undoubtedly offer some insight on the music that can’t be found in the program notes or other sources,” he said. “Hearing from composers such as these alters the listening experience. Their presence on campus also is helpful for the musicians to deliver a more personalized performance that’s informed by the people who actually wrote the music.”

Led by Smith, UH associate professor of composition, AURA is dedicated to the performance of contemporary chamber music, with an emphasis on works that represent the trends and styles of the last two decades. Under his direction, the ensemble performs a wide variety of American and international composers’ works. Noted artists such as Samuel Adler, Richard Rodney Bennett, Stephen Montague, Joan Tower and Dan Welcher have visited campus to hear AURA’s interpretations of their compositions. The ensemble is also dedicated to collaboration with dance and has presented many concerts with the UH Dance Ensemble and the Sandra Organ Dance Company. For more details on the ensemble, visit the AURA website.

The Moores School of Music is one of the premier music schools in America. Offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, it serves approximately 600 students annually. Areas of study include composition, conducting, performance, theory and musicology. Its faculty consists of internationally recognized performers, composers and scholars. Among its ensembles are the Moores School Symphony Orchestra, Moores Jazz Ensemble, Moores Opera Center, Concert Chorale, Concert Women’s Chorus, Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band, Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble. A majority of the school’s concerts are performed in the 800-seat Moores Opera House. For more details on the Moores School of Music, visit http://www.music.uh.edu/.