NVC Hosts Community College Composers and Saxophone Quartet in Jack Stone Award for New Music Concert

Three composers from community colleges in Schenectady, New York, and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and a saxophone quartet recently took the stage of the Palmetto Center for the Arts Recital Hall to present the 8th Annual Jack Stone Award for New Music concert.

The competition is a funding priority of the Friends of the Arts at NVC (FANs) with major support provided by SeaWorld San Antonio, Ron Keller and NVC Founding President Dr. Jacqueline Claunch. FANs hosted a reception honoring the finalists and musicians after the concert.

Sam Rainey, a 20-year-old student at North Idaho College, was awarded first place for his piece entitled “NYC Traffic Jam”. First runner up in the original composition contest was Peter Fitzgerald from Schenectady County Community College for his piece “A Final Goodbye” and second runner up was John Carroll, also from the New York community college, for his piece “Sketch of a Figure Skater”.

The compositions were performed by the Bel Cuore Quartet, four very talented saxophonists from Austin. The group has performed concerts all over the world including the SXSW music festival. At the NVC concert, the quartet treated the audience to their renditions of “Dear Lord” by John Coltrane and “Chaconne for Saxophone Quartet” by J.S. Bach.

Dr. Beth May, a former NVC music faculty member, established the Jack Stone Award competition in 2010 to have a competition specifically and exclusively for community college students. The award is named in honor of Jack Stone, a former college administrator and Ph.D. in music. He was married to Dr. Claunch and passed away in 2007.

Beth is now head of the music department at Centralia College in Washington, however, continues to coordinate the annual competition, which is judged by members of the Composers Alliance of San Antonio.

Finalists in the competition receive a modest scholarship and the opportunity to come to San Antonio and hear their work performed by professional musicians.

And, they get to meet their peers.

“These students stay up until 3 a.m. talking about music and they become lifelong friends. In the field of music, it’s important to have a network,” Beth says.

Contributed by Lynne T. Dean, NVC Director of Institutional Advancement







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