Texas State School of Music graduate student John Vinzant presented his paper, “Sed Non Eodem Modo: The Origins of Ludomusicology Compared to Musikwissenschaft,” at Texas Christian University for the fall 2019 conference of the American Musicological Society-Southwest Chapter. To view his presentation, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn5jZNMMj9k (starts at 6:01:00).
Texas State’s Mariachi Lince de Oro, directed by Miguel Guzman, were featured performers in San Marcos Record’s article “Centro Holds Annual Noche de Gala.” The gala featured keynote speaker Sandra Cisneros, notable poet and author of “The House on Mango Street.” Funds from the gala benefited Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos.
For the full article, visit “Centro Holds Annual Noche de Gala.”
Texas State music faculty Hank Hehmsoth recently had his first professional journalist byline published. The Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) invited him to write an article on NEA Jazz Master Dan Morgenstern’s 90th birthday on Thursday, October 24, 2019. This expansive article is the headliner for the JJA, which has honored Morgenstern as recipient of its Jazz Award for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism.
For the complete articles, visit Dan Morgenstern, jazz journalist, turns 90 – JJA News
A review by GRAMOPHONE praises the music on a new CD by composer Jake Runestad, a recent guest at the School of Music. The review mentions Texas State Artist in Residence Craig Hella Johnson: “In all of the repertoire, Conspirare founding artistic director and conductor Craig Hella Johnson draws lustrous and controlled artistry from his choristers, and the excellent soloists connect elegantly to Runestad’s humane creativity.”
A decade before Keenen Ivory Wayans spoofed horror films with “Scary Movie,” Academy Award-nominee John Hawkes made his film debut in 1991’s “Scary Movie,” a low-budget fright-fest filmed entirely around Austin.
Texas State University’s Hank Hehmsoth, associate professor in the School of Music, composed the film score for the film, which is receiving a Blu-Ray special edition release from American Genre Film Archive (AGFA) on Oct. 15, nearly three decades after it played limited runs in Europe and Asia. To coincide with the release, the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin hosted a screening of “Scary Movie” on Oct. 8 as a part of its “Terror Tuesday” series, and the Mayfair Theatre in Ottawa, Canada, will screen it as part of “Up All Night Fest 2” on Oct. 19.
“The director Daniel Erickson and I worked very closely on the score. He’d already finished the film — it was extremely low budget, and yet he wanted a high-quality orchestral soundtrack,” Hehmsoth said. “Much of the movie has scary action scenes with no dialogue. I had an Akai S1000 sampler with a library of orchestral instruments.
“Much of the score I wrote had strings, like Bernard Herrmann’s score for “Psycho,” he said. “I had a Video Toaster and a high-end VHS deck and I’d get dailies on Betamax video. I’d write music so it matched and synchronized to the action in the film.”
Because of the low-budget nature of the film, Hehmsoth often had to improvise to achieve the sound effects he wanted.
“I also invented scary sounds for the film. I remember one effect was an old SuperBall rubbed up and down the low strings on a grand piano,” Hehmsoth said. “I used Tibetan gongs to sound like random wind chimes, and lots of percussion toys. I am really pleased that this Austin-made movie is getting accolades and attention from movie critics and horror festivals. Almost 30 years later, it is now a major U.S. release.”
Hehmsoth’s score received praise from film reviewer James Jay Edwards earlier this year.
“The most genuinely high-quality aspect of the film (next to possibly John Hawkes’ freak-out performance) is the musical score,” Edwards wrote for FilmFracture.com. “Scary Movie was made at the tail end of the golden age of the slasher and the synthesized electronic score, composed by Hank Hehmsoth reflects the era.
“The simplistic, spooky analog keyboard sounds are probably a product of the no-budget production schedule, but the eerie melodies and ominous chord beds sound like a precursor to the eighties soundtrack renaissance that horror fans are experiencing now,” Edwards wrote. “By being just after his time, Hehmsoth was about 20 years ahead of it.”
(Article from TXST Newsroom Featured Faculty October 17, 2019. Written by Jayme Blaschke.)
The Austin film industry came out in full force with a sell-out for the film debut at the Alamo Drafthouse on October 8 as a part of its “Terror Tuesday” series, and the Mayfair Theatre in Ottawa, Canada, will screen it as part of “Up All Night Fest 2” on October 19. Hehmsoth was an invited speaker for a Q&A after the Austin screening.
Dr. Martin McCain was recently an artist-in-residence at the Mahidol University College of Music in Bangkok, Thailand. He performed a recital, led a masterclass and coached the Mahidol Trombone Octet. While in Southeast Asia, McCain performed a few weeks with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and continues to be regularly engaged with the ensemble. He also led a masterclass for the Memphis Youth Symphony Program’s low brass section. Most recently, McCain joined the artist roster with the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass which is an international touring ensemble composed of some of America’s top brass musicians.
The Texas State Mysterium for New Music Ensemble recently performed for several days at the Austin Classic Game Fest Convention, the largest retro gaming event in Texas. Attendance at the convention was estimated to be over 6000. The ensemble consisted of graduate composition major Wesley Uchiyama-Penix and undergraduate composition seniors Sean Eure and James Thistleton. The ensemble is directed by senior lecturer Richard Hall.
The Texas State Clarinet FIESTA CD, created by Texas State clarinet students under the direction of Dr. Vanguel Tangarov, has been accepted by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) for an appearance on the GRAMMY® Award Entry List, the second step of the GRAMMY® process. Their “LIVE from the Texas State Clarinet Fiesta” CD appears in the following four categories:
- Album of the Year
- Best Engineered Album, Classical
- Best Orchestral Performance
- Best Classical Instrumental Solo
The Texas State Clarinet FIESTA CD is on a list that will allow voting NARAS members to vote for their music for the actual GRAMMY® Award Nomination. The top 6 voted projects from each category are the nominees shown on TV.
Congratulations to our wonderful Texas State clarinet students for their hard work and dedication and the professionalism and hard work of all the colleagues and friends who participated in the realization of this great project.
Director’s Diary — TC writes:
Sunday, September 29, the San Marcos Daily Record ran a wonderful front-page story about our community outreach program, headlined “Mariachi Infantil trains youth in music, shares culture.”
We are understandably proud of the work of TXST Professor John Lopez and his TXST students and colleagues training children and youths to love and skillfully perform this exciting traditional music.