Performance Press Quotes
Press contact: Steven Swartz,


“On Wednesday night, it was the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, a group of hardworking undergraduate students from Michigan who have gained notice in the new-music community for two well-received recordings and a certain savvy with YouTube. The group’s most recent recording combines a performance of Terry Riley’s “In C” with remixes of its performance made by several more recent composers. This concert ended with three of those remixes, arranged to involve live performers, yielding a kaleidoscopic refraction of this landmark minimalist work, from the hypnotic crescendo of Zoe Keating’s “Zinc” to the childlike clowning of Jad Abumrad’s “Counting in C.” Full review HERE.


"As its length suggests, this was a leisurely “In C,” and it began with a prelude of sorts: a rich aural haze surrounding a honking, spirited saxophone line that darted about for five minutes before the steady, pulsing C signaled the start of Mr. Riley’s work. The ensemble, which included standard strings and woodwinds, as well as a few guitars, an accordion, a piano and percussion, moved between extremes of dense, flowing textures and transparent pointillism, with Mr. DeSantis’s additions — including what sounded like instrumental sounds played backward — occasionally providing otherworldly effects." --Allan Kozin. Full review

"...a performance of Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians" by the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble around 5 a.m. on Sunday was attended by more than 400 people, by Mr. Lang's estimate. For listeners present from the evening's onset, that performance took on unanticipated dimensions: higher cognitive functions ceded to powerful impressions of physicality and emotion. The entry of the maracas in Section VI felt epic." --Steve Smith. Full review


"...Music for 18
Musicians...felt like an epiphany..." --Greg Sandow

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Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone

"I saw and heard the future of New Music on Sunday night, and I am happy to report the future is bright." --Matt Marks. Full review HERE.

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society

"The Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble just wrapped up a transfixing performance...all seemed imbued with a greater emotional weight" --Darcy James Argue

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Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise

"Last month I posted about the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble and its project of learning Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians". After 26 rehearsals and classes and a field trip to New York, the performance took place...the group's director sent me an MP3 of excerpts, and it sounds impressive." --Alex Ross

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