December 17, 2021

MSM Contemporary Performance and Composition students take part in an exchange program in Germany

Participants from the MSM Contemporary Performance Program were Emmalie Tello (MM ’22), Steph Dressler (MM ’22), Nicole Brancato (MM ’22), and Teagan Faran (MM ’22); from the MSM Composition program: Lacey Kwon (MM ’22), Yule Han (MM ’22), and alumnus William Bolles-Beaven (MM ’21).

The exchange program of workshops and concerts took place in the cities of Weimar and Magdeburg, Germany in November 2021.

Teagan Faran (MM ’22) talks about what it meant to the MSM students to be in this unique collaborative program that included workshops and concerts.

Tell us about your trip to Germany and what it was like for you all?

The seven of us from Manhattan School of Music traveled to work with students at the Hochshule für Musik Fransz Liszt in Weimar, Germany. Each school had four performers and three composers come together to put together a concert of premieres.

We were supported by the Dwight and Ursula Mamlok Foundation and were able to give a performance of Mamlok’s When Summer Sang as part of the concert.

We also worked with young students in Magdeburg where the ensemble gave a workshop on contemporary music and extended technique.

Who from MSM took part in the performances?

The four performers are all second year CPP Master’s students, Emmalie Tello (MM ’22), Steph Dressler (MM ’22), Nicole Brancato (MM ’22), and myself, who are part of a group we established this past summer, oNSET, when we curated a streamed program for the Banff Centre; it was lovely to be able to connect with our friends in the composition department, William Bolles-Beaven (MM ’21), Lacey Kwon (MM ’22), and Yule Han (’22), on a deeper level and also have the opportunity to present live music again!

MSM student participants worked with German musicians in a workshop in Magdeburg

What are highlights of this tour for you all?

This was my first time in Germany and the first time back to Europe in many years. For all of us, it was incredibly sacred to have the opportunity to travel internationally again to make music. Both of the schools host many international students as well; joining together as an ensemble of people from across the world in the context of where our global conversations are now was really lovely for all of us involved.

Why was this tour important musically for you all? How has it inspired you?

This octet was a special instrumentation, and the nature of our rehearsals gave us the opportunity to really workshop the pieces and make them our own. It was fascinating to me to see how the six composers involved all came up with very different colors for the same group to create.

The oNSET Collective workshopped their compositions

What’s next for you all?

The students from Weimar will be joining us here in New York in April for two more concerts of this brand new music!

We are excited to welcome them to the city and share this project with the audiences here. Many of us also have our recitals coming up next semester and various projects around the city; I’m particularly excited to bring my tango ensemble to Columbia University in February, among other performances!

MSM students with musicians from Germany who will be coming to NYC