The Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble is returning to the national stage to celebrate the National Park system. With their second funding award from the National Endowment for the Arts, five acclaimed composers were commissioned to create music that will be performed within the parks during the ensemble’s 17-day, 5,000-mile summer tour. The music reflects the immense diversity of the parks while capturing their breathtaking and inspiring landscapes and wildlife. Kristin Kuster’s Wildflower Report portrays the many flower-covered meadows throughout Mount Rainier National Park. Alexander Miller’s Glacier Blue is his response to the magnificent glaciers and wildlife of North Cascades National Park. Aerial Glacier, composed by Rachel Grimes, presents an audio “flyover” of Glacier National Park, and includes quotes from members of surrounding Native American tribes. Michael Laurello’s Mosaic, based on Voyageurs National Park, captures the tapestry of its vast interconnected land and waterways. Finally, Jennifer Jolley’s Blue Glacier Decoy combines the ensemble with the voice of famed choreographer Trisha Brown, to convey glacier activity in Olympic National Park. In addition, a new arrangement of music by Pacific Northwest filmmaker, YouTuber, ultrarunner and composer Ethan Newberry will be performed, along with a fun composition from John Jansen that uses natural objects from the parks as instruments. Rounding out the program is music from the ensemble’s two previous national park tours by composers Ashley Stanley, David Biedenbender, Adam Cuthbert, Zoe Keating, and Niko Schroeder.
The ensemble presents this program over a seventeen day, five thousand mile driving tour June 26-July 12, 2018. With performances at both indoor and outdoor venues, they will present eight concerts at five national parks—Voyageurs, Glacier, North Cascades, Olympic, and Mount Rainier. All concerts are free and open to the public, and appropriate for ALL ages!