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March 18, 2003

STEPPIN' OUT

[Commissioned]

Steve Heitzeg and Amy Scurria's "We Are Met at Gettysburg" by the Minnesota Orchestra, performed on March 18 and March 23. The song is 18 minutes long and is about the First Minnesota Regiment in the battle of Gettysburg. Check out www. amyscurria.com for more info.

William D. Pardus' Suite for Brass Choir by the New Hampshire Band Directors Association for its Chamber Music Festival. His work is published by Creation Station.

Augusta Read Thomas' concerto, Canticle Weaving, by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.


[Featured]

Carver and Vazquez

Akiko Carver and Rop Vazquez's score for the independent film Better Luck Tomorrow. Their band Semi-automatic wrote songs for the film, including "Eat With Your Eyes," "World Down," "Crabnebula" and "Ice Cream Truck." This is the first score for the Brooklyn-based duo. They also recently finished recording their latest album, Wolfcentric, which will be released on 5 Rue Christine Records this fall.

The Artt Frank Jazz Ensemble's In the Moment, featuring seven original bop songs. Co-composers Artt Frank (drums) and Graham Bruce (trumpet/ flugelhorn) tried to capture an intimacy to the music by recording in a small recording space. Frank, a well-known bop drummer, has worked with jazz greats like Chet Baker and Charlie Parker. Bruce is also an accomplished trumpeter who has several acclaimed albums to his credit.

W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues," in the musical, Cookin' at the Cookery, about the life of extraordinary blues singer Alberta Hunter. The show featuring two actresses and a four-man band and presented at the Melting Pot Theater in New York City, celebrates Hunter's quirky path as a singer and features other great songs like Eubie Blake and Andy Razaf's "My Handy Man" and Hunter's "Rough and Ready Man."

Marina V's music from her album Something of My Own on MTV's "The Real World." Marina V has also had her songs featured in independent films and other TV shows. For tour dates and more info on Marina, visit www.MarinaV.com.

John Primerano's "Philadelphia" as the theme of The Don Giovanni Show on radio station WPHT in Philadelphia. The show is broadcast in 38 states every Saturday night from 6 to 7 p.m. EST.


[Honored]

Several ASCAP members were winners in the 2002 USA Songwriting Competition. Folk singer/songwriter David LaMotte won first prize for his song "S.S. Bathtub" in the Children's category, and his song "Lens Cap" was a runner-up. Dan Pelletier won first prize and overall third prize for his song "Baddest of All" in the Lyrics category. Also, Ellen Vanderslice won first prize for her song "Moonshadow Dance" in the Jazz category.

Composers Mason Bates and Jefferson Friedman for winning honors in the annual Rome Prizes, which is given out by the American Academy in Rome. The prize honors American artists and scholars with six-month to two-year fellowships at the Academy in Rome. Bates won the ASCAP Leo Kaplan Award in 1999; the next year Friedman won the award. Friedman also won a 2001 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award.

Ervin Drake with a Friar's Club tribute. Performers such as Dominic Chianese and Ann Hampton Callaway gathered to honor legendary songwriter Drake. Drake penned many well-known songs, including "It Was a Very Good Year" and "Good Morning Heartache."

William Duckworth, Michael Gordon, and David Lang for winning the John Cage Awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts. Grant recipients are chosen by directors and members of the arts community from nominations submitted by noted artists and arts professionals.

Kyler England for being named North Carolina Songwriter of the Year at the Carrboro Arts Center in Carrboro, North Carolina. Kyler performed "Higher Ground" and "Dead End," two songs that placed her in one of the top finalist spots. In the past, Kyler also earned an honorable mention in the 2001 John Lennon Songwriting Contest for her song "Save Me."

Ryan Shore for winning the Elmer Bernstein Scoring Award from the Woodstock Film Festival for his score of Cadaverous. It was the award's first year and was judged by Academy Award-winning composer Elmer Bernstein. Check Shore's website at www.ryanshore.com for more information on his film scores.

Dr. Donald Stauffer for receiving an Honorary Resolution from the Jefferson County Commission. Stauffer, who retired as Commander of the United States Navy Band, served 30 years of public service. He founded and directed the Birmingham Community Concert Band for 23 years and was also an associate professor at Birmingham Southern College and Samford University.

John White for being appointed to the Fulbright-University of Vienna Distinguished Chair in Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Vienna in Austria. White will lend his expertise in Nordic music to the University's Scandinavian Studies department. White also received Top Honors in the "Waging Peace Through Singing" program at the University of Oregon for his chorus and orchestra work, Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight.


[Performed]

Composer Michael Ching's Corps of Discovery at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, and during the Opera America Convention in St. Louis. Corps of Discovery is an opera-cum-musical about Lewis and Clark's journey into the unmapped western region of the United States. Ching, general and artistic director of Opera Memphis, has had his compositions performed across the country from Anchorage to New Orleans.

Gerald Fried's music from the ABC mini-series, The Mystic Warrior, by the Los Alamos Choral Society at its winter concert. Fried, a composer, conductor and arranger, scored the eight-hour mini-series in 1987, combining chorus and orchestra. He is well known for his Emmy-winning score for another hit mini-series, Roots.

Ginetta's Vendetta's "Can Our Tears Put Out the Fire" at New York's Oro Blu Restaurant Bar and Lounge. Singer and trumpet player Ginetta and her band, who have a residency at the Manhattan nightspot, put a modern spin on jazz classics as well as her original material. For more information on Ginetta's Vendetta, check out www.nightcastrecords.com.

Michael Barry Greer's lyrics in a musical reading of L.E. McCullough's book Orphan Train at New York City's York Theatre.

Jin Hi Kim's Eternal Rock for Korean Komungo and Orchestra by the Key West Symphony Orchestra at the Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Theatre in Key West, Florida, and the Korean Broadcasting System Philharmonic at the Seoul Arts Center in Seoul, Korea. Kim performed as a komungo soloist for both performances. The KBS Philharmonic performance was part of the International Festival of Women in Music Today in Korea.

Bill Mayer's music for A.A. Milne's fantasy "Good King Wenceslas" by radio personality Robert Sherman and the Bronx Arts Ensemble at the Bronx Botanical Gardens. It was scored for the narrator using seven wind instruments and a piano.

Michele Rosewoman and her Quintessence ensemble's commissioned work, "Advance Dance," at the Chamber Music America Conference on January 19th. Rosewoman and Quintessence were the recipients of the 2002-03 Chamber Music America "New Works: Creation and Presentation" Grant, a component of the Doris Duke Jazz Ensembles Project. The performance at the CMA Conference was webcast from March 15 to April 15 at the American Music Center's web magazine site www.newmusicbox.org.

Julia Wolfe and John Zorn's compositions by string quartet Ethel at Columbia University's Miller Theater in New York City. Works performed included Zorn's "Dead Man," "Kol Nidre," and "Memento Mori", and Wolfe's "Dig Deep" and "Early That Summer."


[Released]

John Allan's Stand Easy. Allan, a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter who has performed with The Chieftans, Korn, and The Tonight Show Band, assembled an impressive lineup with members of Joe Cocker's band, the L.A. Scots Pipe Band and Sweetwater. The Celtic rock record features both original and traditional songs, using vocals, bagpipes, electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, whistles, bass and drums.

David M. Bailey's Coffee With the Angels. His seventh album illustrates his vocal range and knack for catchy melodies. As an insightful storyteller, Bailey is lauded by other well-known ASCAP artists like award-winning Nashville singer Jana Stanfield and Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary. Since Bailey was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 1996, he has spread messages of hope, faith, love, time and dreams through his songs, and this album is no exception.

Ripley Caine's Lover, an album that weaves together tales of heartbreak and self-doubt. Throughout this diverse collection of songs, Caine deftly oscillates from soft to more demonstrative vocals. She's able to exert passion in powerful tracks like "Hey Mister" and expose her sorrowful side with hushed, vulnerable vocals on songs like "The Mouse and the Cat." This Chicago-based singer/songwriter/guitarist has also opened for comedienne Margaret Cho and indie rock artist Michelle Malone. She was a semi-finalist in Oxygen .com's Roxygen competition.

Freddy Cole's In the Name of Love, a whimsical CD of 11 beloved romance songs. Highlights on the album include Cole's wonderful interpretations of Smokey Robinson's "Just to See Her" and Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You." Over the years, Cole has matured significantly as a vocalist with a tender style that's continues to be distinctive from his famous sibling Nat "King" Cole.

Earlimart's new CD, The Avenues EP. The group, based in the Central California Valley, draws from both post-punk and Americana influences. Singer-songwriter Aaron Espinoza toiled over the songs on the new album for over a year and a half, keeping himself isolated in his studio. Thus, a lot of his songs talk about what he experienced during that period of time -- lost friends, broken relationships and the passage of time.

Francesca Di Giosa and Charles Mandracchia's Valentino the Musical, a soundtrack for the romantic musical by the same name. Both Di Giosa and Mandracchia penned the lyrics, and Mandracchia composed the music. The two were inspired by the turbulent, yet passionate love life of Rudolph Valentino, a Hollywood icon from the Roaring Twenties who died at age 31. The musical explores the complicated relationship of Valentino and his wife Natascha, who pushed her husband to rebel against Hollywood heads, much to their chagrin.

Karen Lynn Gorney's Hot Moonlight, which includes 10 of her composer-father Jay Gorney's songs spanning the 20's through the 60's. Gorney, known for co-starring with John Travolta in the film Saturday Night Fever, titled her album after a song written in 1931 for the Broadway musical Shoot the Works. The CD also includes hit songs like "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" from the Shubert musical Americana, "You're My Thrill" from the film Jimmy and Sally and "He's the Hottest Man in Town" from the Ziegfeld Follies' Kid Boots.

Jerry Herman's Tap Your Troubles Away, a benefit album with proceeds going to the Actor's Fund of America. The album featues selections from Herman's prestigious catalogue like Mame, Hello, Dolly!, La Cage Aux Folles and Mack & Mabel performed by the likes of Connie Stevens, Joely Fisher, Rita Moreno, Angela Lansbury, Lynn Redgrave, Bruce Vallanch, Carole Channing, Tyne Daly, Dom DeLuise and more.

Judah Johnson's debut album, Kisses and Interrogation. The band is led by singer-songwriter Daniel Johnson and features his seductive vocals. The 15 songs on this follow-up to the group's 2001 self-titled EP are sweetened by intricate guitar lines and gentle drum beats. Songs like "Kisses and Interrogation" and "Theme from the Thinker" have heart and will woo listeners with their earnestness.

K-OS's Exit, an album with introspective acoustic hip-hop songs. K-OS (pronounced "chaos") draws upon his experiences living in Toronto, Trinidad, Vancouver and Los Angeles. Intrinsic in his lyrics is the search for spirituality and peace, as K-OS draws on his personal exploration of different religions like Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Rastafari schools of thought. His love for hip hop, rock, soul, and reggae shine through his music, and it's easy to see how artists as diverse as Michael Jackson, A Tribe Called Quest, the Beatles, the Roots, and Stevie Wonder are his key influences.

Lenahan's Brand New Bag, the fourth album by one of the most internationally recognized Celtic folk-rock groups. The band marries diverse influences such as rock, blues, ska, reggae and world music for a bold collection of songs that move from jigs to jazz. Tom Lenahan leads the group on guitar, Highland bagpipes and vocals. The band also includes fiddler/guitarist Clarence Ferrari, bassist Brendan O'Grady and drummer Ryan Cavan.

Jeff Lorber's 16th album, Philly Style. Inspired by his hometown, Lorber wrote or collaborated on nine of the 10 songs on his album. His first single, "Gigabyte," features lively piano and an energetic horn section. Lorber also does a cover of Goodie Mob's "Soul Food." His music is a mix of R&B, jazz, pop and rock, and his songs have hit the national jazz, R&B/hip hop, pop and dance charts.

Vic Mizzy's film scores for The Night Walker (musical), The Caper of the Golden Bulls and The Perils of Pauline. Mizzy is well-known for composing the themes to "The Addams Family" and "Green Acres" TV series. Over the years, he's also become a prolific film composer. His CDs are available at Percepto.com.

PaulO's Two Decades & a Third, 14 contemporary urban tracks. PaulO, a Kansas-City based artist, marries Motown and dance music in his third full-length CD. He also brings his Nigerian roots into his music, incorporating African beats with American lyrics. His standout first single, "Throwin' It Down," has also been featured on radio stations in Kansas, Florida and South Carolina.

John Patitucci's new solo album, Songs, Stories and Spirituals, the follow-up to 2001 Grammy-nominated Communion. Bassist Patitucci, a leader in the Afro-Brazilian music scene, teams up with talented artists like Grammy-nominated jazz singer Luciana Souza and Venezuelan pianist Edward Simon to produce a brilliantly diverse album, ranging from the genre's classics to gospel and folk songs.

Pulse Faction's debut CD The Celestial Hellgrounds. David Brock is the multi-instrumentalist behind this hardcore electronic band, which was formed in 1997. Pulse Faction's songs have been featured in TV shows like MTV's "Road Rules" and "Real World" as well as ESPN's "X-Trax" and "X2Day." CDs can be purchased on Amazon, cdbaby.com and cdstreet.com.

Question of Honour's latest album, Bound. Formed in 1998, Question of Honour's Ken Pitchford and brothers David and Hugh Wygmans set out to make music that would cross genre lines, melding together their love for heavy metal, progressive rock, alternative rock, Chicago blues, pop and acoustic folk music. The band is in rotation on over 70 radio stations across the U.S. and the band's songs have hit the top 30 at six of those stations.

Alan Shuman's The Music of Alan Shulman performed by various performers. This posthumous release features notable recordings of the music Shulman produced in performances with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. The CD includes "Waltzes for Orchestra" conducted by Milton Katims, and Shuman's arrangement of the Israeli National Anthem, "Hatikvah" performed by Leonard Bernstein in 1949.

SONICFLOOd's cry holy, a new album with a mix of original songs and new classics, including Chris Tomlin's "Famous One." The Grammy-nominated band achieve a poppier sound with this new collection of spiritual worship songs. As one of the top touring Christian acts this past year, SONICFLOOd have swiftly proven themselves as one of the top modern Christian rock acts.

Sean Sullivan's Ready, full of original blues, jazz, and folksy songs. Sullivan is a winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Award, and has performed with the likes of Jon Hendricks, David "Fathead" Newman, and the late Teri Thornton. In addition to his many jazz influences, this singer-songwriter also draws from some of the great storytellers of music like James Taylor and Mose Allison.

Derek Webb's first solo CD, She Must and Shall Go Free. A former member of the critically acclaimed folk-rock group Caedmon's Call, Derek branches out on his own with this album, exploring new aspects of his life -- a new marriage and a renewed spiritual connection with God. Many of his songs are directly inspired by religion, and he hopes that his music inspires others as well.

White Christmas: The Story of an American Song by author Jody Rosen, tracing the history of classic Christmas carol, "White Christmas," written by Irving Berlin. The song especially became popular after Bing Crosby's tender ren- dition hit the charts, selling over 31 million copies. With over 500 different versions of the song by artists spanning the globe, "White Christmas" is the most recorded Christmas tune ever. Rosen talks about the entrance of the song into the American consciousness and how it helped to shape the Christmas holiday.


[Signed]

Edible Red has signed with Radical Entertainment, a publishing company that focuses on TV, film and commercial placement. The group will work closely with Radical Entertainment, which is known for placing songs in shows like Dawson's Creek, Sex and the City, and Touched by an Angel. For more info on the band, check out www.ediblered.com.

Stan Lynch, a founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, has signed a publishing contract with Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville. Lynch was inducted into the 2002 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He parted with the Heartbreakers in 1994, and has worked with many other legendary artists like Jackson Browne and Aretha Franklin.

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