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Here’s to something new
Composition news from the School of Music

The halls of the School of Music are filled with familiar melodies floating out of practice halls as students practice daily. Playing well-known music  –– timeless classics from renowned composers –– is an important foundation for any aspiring musician.

But School of Music students and faculty are also creating the future, making their mark with original compositions that are then selected for ensembles and groups to perform.



Assistant Professor of Composition and Music Theory, Jessica Rudman has recently had several original works selected for performance, and has also received prestigious awards.

Here are a few key highlights:

  • Rudman’s Three Vignettes from Marie Curie Learns to Swim received the Christine Clark/Theodore Front Prize for Large Ensemble Works as part of the International Alliance for Women in Music’s Search for New Music Competition
  • She is workshopping a new chamber opera titled Neither Created Nor Destroyed with the ENAensemble in Philadelphia, PA next week. The work is based on a libretto by Kendra Preston Leonard and deals with the birth and death of stars in the style of the BBC television show “Call the Midwife.” Public workshop performances will be given at Temple University and the Free Library of Philadelphia on 1/25. 
  • Rudman’s large-scale song cycle for mezzo-soprano and piano Iseult Speaks (text by Elizabeth Hamilton) will be performed in Seattle, WA on 2/18 by The Sound Ensemble with vocalist Melissa Plagemann. 
  • Two compositions—L’Age Mûr for solo flute, and The Memory of Old Things for voice and piano with text by Jay St. Flono—were selected for performance at the Music By Women Festival at the Mississippi University for Women. They will be performed at the Festival on 3/2-4 in Columbus, MS.
  • Choral work Credo will receive its premiere by the Kansas City Chorale conducted by Charles Bruffy in Kansas City, MO on 4/8. This performance is a result of Rudman’s selection as a winner of the HerVoice Emerging Women Composers Competition in 2021. (The performance was delayed due to COVID.)

Rudman also serves key roles for organizations leading the way for new composers

  • Rudman is co-founder of “Teaching Composition: a Symposium on Music Composition Pedagogy,” who had their  inaugural meeting at the University of Maryland - Baltimore County last fall in conjunction with the LiveWire New Music Festival. During the conference and festival, Rudman  presented her music, taught masterclass to UMBC composition students,  chaired a session, and served as co-chair for the conference selection committee. 
  • She serves as the Director of the Emerging Composers Workshop for the Women Composers Festival of Hartford, mentoring a group of young women-identifying composers from the US and abroad. 

Additionally, composition student Alex Porter was selected for CubeLab, an online composition workshop run by the chamber group Hypercube. His participation culminated in a public performance of his work I Have Always Hated the Color Red for saxophone, guitar, piano, and percussion. You can watch the performance here. 

Here’s to something new! 

Last Updated: 5/16/24