About Marjorie M. Rusche
Marjorie M. Rusche is an internationally performed award winning contemporary classical composer who combines romantic, modernist, and vernacular influences in her music. Dr. Rusche composes for opera, music theater, orchestra, chorus, a variety of vocal and instrumental chamber ensembles, soloists, dance, and theatre.
Commissioned by oboist Jennet Ingle, Dreams and Visions (Searching the Shadows) for oboe, viola, and piano, premiered 1/26/2020 with subsequent performances throughout northwestern IN and southwestern MI in Feb. and March 2020. Songs of Love and Death for soprano and piano premiered 3/6/2020 on the Fourth Annual International Music by Women Festival, Mississippi University for Women, Columbus, MS.; song cycle excerpts were premiered 3/7/2014 on a New York City Underworld Productions Opera CrossCURRENT concert.
She currently teaches or has taught music composition, orchestration, opera history, music theory, form & analysis, music history, and piano at Indiana University South Bend, the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, Colombia College Chicago and Southwestern Michigan College. She also taught in Kenya while serving in the U.S. Peace Corps. She earned her D.M. in Music Composition from the Jacobs School of Music Indiana University-Bloomington, and her M.A. in Music Composition & Theory from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis.
About Eli Kahn
Eli Kahn is a guitarist, composer, & improviser from South Bend, IN. After graduating from Indiana University South Bend in 2010 with degrees in both classical guitar performance & music theory, he transitioned into the jazz world, quickly discovering his love for improvisation. Having spent over a decade performing with various ensembles (ranging from modern jazz to neo-soul to folk to hip-hop), he developed a distinct style by live looping with his custom, seven-string hybrid guitar, allowing him to fill the roles of multiple instrumentalists.
In addition to performing live, he creates immersive speaker & art installations, starting with the collaborative project STRT/SLCT at The Birdsell Project in South Bend (2018) & Treefort Music Fest in Boise, ID (2019). Most recently, Kahn created a permanent, quadraphonic soundscape installation entitled “Portal to a Better Dimension” in collaboration with visual artist GIIIVENS in South Bend’s Pier Park as part of a larger park rehabilitation effort commissioned by the city’s Venues, Parks & Arts department.
Kahn’s instrumental debut solo album “How Are You? No, Really…How Are You?”, written & recorded in his home studio during the pandemic, was released in June 2021. The record is intended to help listeners relax & find mindful presence during trying times. His immersive audio installation for the piece “(In My Dreams We) Levitate” was awarded Runner-Up for the time-based installation juror category at Art Prize 2021 in Grand Rapids, MI. Kahn’s next installation will be an immersive presentation of his full album at the South Bend Museum of Art, running from April through July 2022.
About Zae Munn
Zae Munn is Professor of Music at Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana where she teaches theory, composition, digital media in music, and orchestration/arranging. She is the Director and Resident Composer of the Summer Composition Intensive at Saint Mary’s College. Past faculty positions include Bowdoin College, Transylvania University, Lehigh University, and Interlochen Arts Camp.
Her D.M.A. and M.M. degrees in composition are from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and her B.M. in composition is from Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University. Born in 1953, Munn’s early musical training was as a cellist, with additional studies in piano, voice, and conducting.
Virtually all her works are available from one of these publishers: Arsis Press, Balquhidder Music (Carl Fischer Music), Earthsongs, Frank E. Warren Music, HoneyRock, JOMAR Press, MusicaNeo, Tempo Press, and Yelton Rhodes Music. Recordings are available from Navona Records, Capstone Records, Centaur Records, and a number of independent labels.
About Jessica T. Carter
Jessica T. Carter is a Black American composer, violinist, mezzo-soprano, voice coach, and educator from Indiana who is swiftly making a name for herself. In 2014, she completed her first full-length musical, Filthy, which went on to win the award for Best Original Song in a regional competition the following year. In both 2018 and 2019, Carter was the recipient of the Craig and Carol Kapson Bicentennial Scholarship in Music Composition through Indiana University South Bend. In 2020, she was the grand prize winner of the Indiana University South Bend Symphonic Composition Competition with the work, Rancor and Triumph, Concerto for Cello and Orchestra.
She is an active traveling artist and has been invited to several festivals such as the Bravo! Vail Music Festival and the Atlantic Music Festival. Carter has worked with several renowned composers and ensembles such as Marilyn Shrude, David Ludwig, and Billy Childs as well as Trio Fibonacci and the Euclid Quartet. Carter holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Music from Bethel University and a Master’s of Music in Music Composition under the tutelage of Dr. Jorge Muñiz from Indiana University South Bend.
About Jorge Muñiz
The music of Jorge Muñiz has been performed in Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Singapore, Australia, and the United States by such ensembles as the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Seville Symphony Orchestra, Malaga Symphony Orchestra, Asturias Symphony Orchestra, Oviedo Filarmonía, South Bend Symphony Orchestra, the Das Scardanelli Quartett, Euclid Quartet, Avalon Quartet, Cámara XXI, Duo Ahlert & Schwab, Cuarteto Quiroga, Cuarteto Quattro, Duo Saxperience, the Vesper Chorale and Chamber Orchestra, and Duo Sonidos.
Jorge Muñiz received his M.A. in music composition from Carnegie Mellon University where he studied with Leonardo Balada and his doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music with Richard Danielpour. Dr. Muñiz is currently Interim Dean and Professor of Music – Composition and Theory, at the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts at Indiana University South Bend.
About John Liberatore
John Liberatore is a composer, pianist, and one of the world’s few glass harmonica players. Described by critics as “enchanting” and “truly magical” (Boston and New York Classical Review, respectively), his music seeks poignancy through levity, ambiguity through transparency, and complexity within simple textures—“to feel pulled along at varying speeds in multiple directions, but always forward.” (clevelandclassical.com)
Over the past several years, his music has received hundreds of performances in venues around the world: the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, The Four Seasons Center, the Seoul Arts Center, Sint-Germanuskirk in Belgium, and other prestigious venues across the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship from the MacDowell Colony, and other fellowships from Tanglewood, Yaddo, the Brush Creek Arts Foundation, the I-Park Artist’s Enclave, and the Millay Colony. Other notable distinctions include commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation and the American Opera Initiative, two ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, and the Brian Israel Prize. Through a 2012 Presser Music Award, he studied in Tokyo with Jo Kondo—a mentorship that made an indelible impression on his music.
In 2015, Liberatore commissioned glass blowers G. Finkenbeiner Inc. for a new glass harmonica, becoming one of the few exponents of this rare instrument in contemporary music. Since then, he has been exploring new ways of integrating this unique timbre in contemporary chamber music, both acoustically and electronically. So far, he has collaborated as a composer and performer with Roomful of Teeth, percussionist Daniel Druckman, soprano Jamie Jordan, the Concert Choir of Old Saint Patrick’s, and as a soloist at the Third Practice Festival in Richmond, VA.
About Carmen Téllez
Venezuelan-American conductor and scholar Carmen-Helena Téllez has been called “a quiet force behind contemporary music in the United States today” by the New York-based journal Sequenza 21. A multifaceted artist, she takes a co-creative approach to new music performance, devoting special attention to vocal-instrumental and staged genres, involving interdisciplinary media and musical scholarship, in an approach that The Washington Post has called “immersing and thrilling.” Carmen-Helena Téllez obtained a Doctor of Music degree with Highest Distinction at Indiana University in 1989. Her document “Musical Form and Dramatic Concept in Handel’s Athalia” won the ACDA Julius Herford National Dissertation Award in 1991, and was the first study to propose the influence of Racine on the development of the modern oratorio. She has maintained her devotion to music scholarship, and is currently writing books on Latin American Choral and Avant-Garde Genres.
Carmen-Helena Téllez has brought important contemporary works to audiences in the American Midwest for the first time, including Osvaldo Golijov’s opera Ainadamar, John Adams’s opera-oratorio El Niño, as well as the American premiere of Ralph Shapey’s oratorio Praise, originally composed for the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the foundation of Israel. As part of her increasingly focused dedication to interdisciplinary presentation, she co-created an immersive theatre production of Don Freund’s Passion with Tropes in May 2011, in collaboration with artists Robert Shakespeare, Susanne Schwibs and Margaret Dolinsky. In 2009 she designed and conducted for the University of Sao Paulo a multimedia performance of Orff’s Carmina Burana as a commentary on the artist and fascist society. In October of the same year she conducted the fiendishly difficult Svadebka (Les Noces)ballet by Stravinsky at Indiana University, and is currently working on an art-video installation based on Pulitzer composer Shulamit Ran’s Credo/Ani Ma’Amin. Her art video The Bells of Leopardi, based on a staged performance of a composition by Yehuda Yannay, can be viewed in YouTube.com. As an outgrowth of these explorations, Carmen Helena Téllez has returned to composition, and will include some of her own works in Aguavá’s upcoming seasons.