On November 3, 2016, MCO brought Puerto Rican composer and Lincoln Center educator Angelica Negron to Montpelier for a tour-de-force of community engagement, including a free public performance and presentation of her unique and innovative integration of music and ambient sound at at La Puerta Negra. On November 4th, Negron worked with students at U32 Middle and High Schools and Crossett Brook Middle School, helping them to expand their definitions of music and explore new uses of sound. MCO then performed Negron’s work at its November 6 and 7 concerts.
From David Powelson, U-32 Music Teacher:
Please pass on my sincere thanks to the MCO and to everyone who was involved in Angelica’s visit.
Angelica’s presentation not only engaged and entertained the students, but it also challenged them to think about music in new ways. In discussions after the event students specifically mentioned that they were intrigued by the idea of “found sounds” and making music from everyday objects.
A few specific comments from some of their written reflections:
“I liked the concept of using untraditional things as instruments…”
“It is an interesting part of the day when we get to hear experienced musicians presenting their ideas.”
“I liked seeing it and respected the innovativeness…”
I hope that we can look forward to more MCO guests again in the future, and if there is any way that I can support those efforts, please reach out!
U-32 Jr Sr High School
Puerto Rican-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón will offer perspectives on her unique form of musical expression and perform for the public at La Puerta Negra on Nov.
3, and her work “What Keeps Me Awake” will be performed by the Montpelier Chamber Orchestra during its fall concert series Nov. 5 and 6.
“I am very pleased and excited that Angélica Negrón will travel to Vermont and share her talents as a composer and performer with our community,” said Anne Decker, who will be presenting her first official MCO program since accepting the role of music director and conductor in March. “Her work pushes the boundaries of contemporary classical music and it will be a challenge for the orchestra. While she is here, we will also have a wonderful opportunity to expose area students and music lovers to her incredible talent as a performer.”
Negrón’s piece will be a highlight of the MCO’s fall program, entitled “American Celebration.” The orchestra will also perform Virgil Thomson’s “Pilgrims and Pioneers (from Journey to America),” Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” and Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F major. The MCO will perform on Saturday, Nov. 5 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Waterbury Congregational Church in Waterbury and on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 4 p.m. in the College Hall Chapel of the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.
On Thursday at La Puerta Negra, Negron will engage in a presentation and discussion of her music beginning at 4 p.m. She will return for a 7 p.m. performance. Both events are open to the public. While in the area she will also visit local schools to discuss and share her work
Negrón writes for accordion, robotic instruments, toys and electronics as well as chamber ensembles and orchestras. Her music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR/Q2) and “mesmerizing and affecting” (Feast of Music) while the New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise” and her “quirky approach to scoring.” Her music has been performed at the Bang on a Can Marathon, the Ecstatic Music Festival and the 2016 New York Philharmonic Biennial and she has collaborated with artists like Sō Percussion, loadbang, American Composers Orchestra and Face the Music, among others.
Negrón is currently a doctoral candidate at The Graduate Center (CUNY), where she studies composition with Tania León. She’s a teaching artist for New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers Program and Lincoln Center Education working with learners of all ages on creative composition projects. She was the 2014-2015 Van Lier Fellow at American Composers Orchestra and was recently selected as one of the recipients for NYFA’s 2016 Artists’ Fellowship Program.