FRESNO and GLENDALE — The Fresno State New Music Ensemble is a student-run chamber ensemble at California State University (CSU) Fresno dedicated to the performance and promotion of music by living composers. The ensemble presents at least one concert each semester at CSU Fresno, in addition to other performances around the state.
On March 9 at 8 p.m., the New Music Ensemble will present a concert of music by living Armenian composers at Fresno State in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The New Music Ensemble will present the same concert at the Brand Library & Arts Center in Glendale, for the Brand Associates Music Series on Saturday, March 28 at 2 p.m. The performances will be co-sponsored by Fresno State Associated Student Inc., the CSU Fresno Armenian Studies Program, the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the Brand Associates, and the honorary consulate of the Republic of Armenia in Fresno.
The students in the ensemble were responsible for all aspects of producing the concert, from selecting and performing the music to promoting the performance. The concert will feature the work of a wide variety of living Armenian composers from around the world, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. In addition, New Music Ensemble percussionist and composer Joseph Bohigian has written a new piece, titled In the Shadow of Ararat, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide which will be premiered by the ensemble at the March 9th concert. The performance will also feature the winner of the New Music Ensemble’s Call for Scores by Armenian Composers, Steven Aprahamian.
Founded in early 2014 by student performers dedicated to the performance of new music, the Fresno State New Music Ensemble is in its second season. Works are chosen from a wide range of contemporary composers and performed by musicians devoted to promoting their work. The ensemble is made up of some of the top performers in the Fresno State Music Department, including percussionist Joseph Bohigian, cellist Aimee Dockum, violinist Lianna Stuart, saxophonist Josh Locher, flutist Cassandra Barnes, clarinetist Katie Winter, guitarist Morgan Phillips, and pianist Nathaniel Musso.
Members of the ensemble have performed around the world in New York City (Composer’s Voice Concert Series), Los Angeles (Walt Disney Concert Hall), Yerevan, Armenia (Aram Khachaturian Museum Hall), Bloomington, Indiana (iMAYO), Mammoth Lakes (Chamber Music Unbound), and Durango, Colorado (Music in the Mountains). They have also won awards in concerto competitions, the American String Teachers Association competition, the Central California Baroque Festival competition, and solo/ensemble festivals nationwide.