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APSU Announces Winners of 24th Annual Young Composers Competition


Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts recently announced the winners of its 24th Annual Young Composer’s Competition.

First prize was awarded to Heather Stebbins, of Richmond, VA, for her “again and again, however we know this landscape” composition for chamber ensemble. Paul Dooley, of Ann Arbor, MI, earned second prize for his “Dani’s Dance” for piano trio, and Michael-Thomas Foumai, also of Ann Arbor, took home third prize honors for his “Hanakotoba” for violin and piano.

The Austin Peay State University Young Composers Competition has been held annually since 1987. It became a national competition in 1993, and the APSU Department of Music and the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts have awarded prizes to composers from such prestigious musical institutions such as Peabody Conservatory of Music, Harvard University, Yale University, the Cleveland Institute, New York University, and the Eastman School of Music.

Its purpose is to encourage young composers by providing professional-level performances of their music as well as financial incentive and support. Those composers winning first prize are traditionally invited to the Austin Peay State University campus for the performance of their music, a vitally important facet of the competition.

This year’s first-place winner, Stebbins is a composer of both acoustic and electroacoustic works. Her music has been performed at festivals and conferences across the country, including the Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival, the Florida Electronic Music Festival, the 12 Nights Electronic Music and Art festival, the University of Louisville New Music Festival, and the New York Women’s Experimental Music Festival.

She received her B.A. in music composition at the University of Richmond in 2009, where she studied with Benjamin Broening and served as the music technology Specialist from 2009-10. She is currently pursuing a Master of Music in composition at Boston University, where she is studying with Joshua Fineberg. She is a teaching assistant in both electronic music and aural skills classes. Stebbins is also a cellist and has studied with Pei Lu of the Baltimore Symphony, Jason McComb of the Richmond Symphony, and Nick Photinos of eighth blackbird.

Dooley is a composer, pianist and percussionist currently completing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Michigan. Groups such as the Omaha Symphony, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, and the Detroit Symphony, conducted by Leonard Slatkin, have performed his music throughout the United States.

Foumai’s music has been performed across the United States, China, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand. He holds a bachelor’s in music composition from the University of Hawaii and is pursuing a master’s in music composition at the University of Michigan.

During her upcoming visit to APSU, Stebbins will interact with both undergraduate and graduate students in composition and theory, talking to classes and meeting with composition students.

The Annual Young Composer’s Competition is open to student composers who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States, enrolled in accredited public, private or parochial secondary schools, in accredited colleges or conservatories of music, or engaged in the private study of music with recognized and established teachers, and who are under the age of 30.

For more information, contact the APSU Department of Music at 931-221-7818.




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