January 20, 2015

2014 ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Prize Winner Announced

Shuying Li Wins $5000 Frederick Fennell Prize in Competition for Young Composers of Concert Band Music

Shuying Li, Fennell

New York, NY, January 20, 2015: The winner of the seventh bi-annual ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Prize was announced today jointly by Cia Toscanini, Vice President of Concert Music of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and Stephen Peterson, President of CBDNA (College Band Directors National Association). The competition, named for Frederick Fennell, ASCAP member and past President of CBDNA, was established to encourage gifted American composers who create new works for Concert Band. The winning work was selected via a juried national competition, which attracted submissions from eligible composers (between the ages of 18 and 30) from across the United States.

The $5,000 Prize for a wind ensemble work has been awarded to Shuying Li, age 25, for “Slippery Slope.” The award-winning work will be performed by a prominent ensemble in 2015 and circulated to ensembles performing at the national and regional CBDNA conferences, and during the CBDNA Forum at the Mid-West Clinic.

Shuying Li grew up in China and after completing her freshman year at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, she received a scholarship to attend the Hartt School of Music, where she earned her Bachelors degree. She is currently pursuing her Masters degree at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Composer, conductor and pianist, Shuying Li has received prizes and recognition from the International Alliance for Women in Music, the NAfME Composers Competition, the Melta International Composition Competition, the Seattle Symphony’s “Celebrate Asia” Composition Competition, the Florence String Quartet Call for Scores, the Foundation for Modern Music’s International Robert Avalon Composition Competition, the American Prize, the MacDowell Club of Milwaukee Young Composer Competition, the International J. Dorfman Composition Competition, the Chinese New Performing Arts Start Competition, and the Qingdao City Piano Competition. She was the “Composer in Residence” for the Romania ICon Arts Festival during summer 2014. She received an Edward Diemente Award for excellence in composition from the Hartt School Composition Department upon graduation.

Shuying has performed on several occasions with Contemporary Directions Ensemble (University of Michigan), Hartt Symphony Orchestra, the Hartt Wind Ensemble, the Foot in the Door Ensemble and the Hartt Symphony Band. Furthermore, she has conducted her own chamber and orchestral pieces many times in United States, Germany, and Italy.

Shuying’s compositions have been performed by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, orkest de ereprijs (Netherlands), Avanti! Chamber Orchestra (Finland), ICon Arts Ensemble (Romania), Cecilia Quartet (Canada), Opera From Scratch (Canada), 15.19. Ensemble (Italy), Ascanio Quartet (Italy), Atlas Ensemble (Netherlands), Hartt Wind Ensemble, 016 New Music Ensemble, Foot in the Door ensemble among others. Further information is available at http://shuyingli.com.

Steven Peterson said, "CBDNA celebrates Frederick Fennell’s legacy together in partnership with ASCAP with the Frederick Fennell Prize which highlights talented young composers and promotes the creation of new repertory for wind band."

Cia Toscanini said, “Frederick Fennell was dedicated to fostering a great repertory for Concert Bands and Wind Ensembles. We honor the Centennial Anniversary of esteemed ASCAP member Frederick Fennell by recognizing the talented young composers whose works were selected in his name."

In addition, Michael Ippolito’s 10-minute work for large wind ensemble “West of the Sun” was selected for Special Distinction by the jury. Ippolito is 29 years of age and currently resides in San Marcos, Texas and is an Assistant Professor of Composition at Texas State University. His score will be circulated to ensembles performing at the national and regional CBDNA conferences, and during the CBDNA Forum at the Mid-West Clinic. Further information is available at: www.michaelippolito.com

The ASCAP composer jurors for the 2014 competition were: Missy Mazzoli and Harold Meltzer. The conductor jurors were: Glen Adsit (The Hartt School) and Eric Rombach-Kendall (University of New Mexico).

SLIPPERY SLOPE (2013) by Shuying Li

Publisher: Shuying Li Music

Duration: 11’


4 Flutes (all doubling on Piccolo)

2 Oboes

English horn

Clarinet in Eb

3 Clarinets in Bb

Bass Clarinet in Bb

2 Bassoons


Soprano Saxophone

Alto Saxophone

Tenor Saxophone

Baritone Saxophone

4 Horns in F

3 Trumpets in Bb

3 Trombones (2 Tenor, 1 Bass)



Double bass


Timpani (5 drums, 1 player)

Percussion 1: Tom-toms, Marinba, Whip Triangle, Tam-tam (shared with Perc. 2), Suspended Cymbal.

Percussion 2: Tam-tam (shared with Perc. 1), Chimes (shared with Perc. 3), Bass Drum, Glockenspiel, Bongos, Cymbals.

Percussion 3: Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Cowbell, 4 Tom-toms, Whip, Xylophone, Chimes (shared with Perc. 2).

Percussion 4: Clash Cymbals, Suspended Cymbal, Castanets, Temple Blocks, Vibraphone, Ratchet.

Program Note:

As a composer, the first decision I have to make concerns process. The first note of Slippery Slope was put to paper only after I had the whole second movement in mind — at that time, this was one and only movement. And it was not until I had almost finished the movement that I developed ideas about the third movement, and the first, chronologically.

There are several different levels or definitions interpreted about “slippery slope” in the piece. While the second movement, or the main movement explores various relationships between two different musical personalities (one rigid and angular, the other lyrical and emotional), and constrains every possible growth from developing into a final climax until the very last moment, the third movement offers the audience straightforward and undisguised excitement with the partially humorous, partially passionate journey as it takes so much effort to arrive the peak (the second movement is indeed the longest) before slipping down the slope. Consider the first movement as a mystifying preparation interrupted by several “trailers” — fragments from the subsequent two movements, that either reveal or obscure what will happen next.

“Slippery Slope” was commissioned by The Hartt Wind Ensemble.


College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) members are devoted to the study, teaching, and performance of music, with a particular focus on music created for the numerous kinds of wind bands found throughout today's musical landscape. www.cbdna.org

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business - from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With 700,000 members representing more than 11.5 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. www.ascap.com.

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