Frontwave Festival Showcases Contemporary Music

Celebrating the 10th event of the series, the School of Music and Fine Arts at Palm Beach Atlantic University will present its festival of new music March 27–29, 2014. The Frontwave New Music Festival is a biennial event that brings together remarkable composers and performers to present four concerts of truly contemporary music.

Gregory Wanamaker is the guest composer for Frontwave 2014 at Palm Beach Atlantic University, which takes place March 27-29. Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) is a private, Christ-centered college in West Palm Beach, Fla., USA.
Gregory Wanamaker is the guest composer for Frontwave 2014.

“The mission of the festival is to bring high-level performances of the best of contemporary art music to the West Palm Beach community promoting the works of local and regional artists,” said Dr. Tim Thompson, professor of music. “In addition, the festival gives students first-hand experience with the work of contemporary composers and with composer/performer collaboration.”

All four concerts take place at Palm Beach Atlantic University in the Helen K. Persson Recital Hall located in Vera Lea Rinker Hall, 326 Acacia Road in West Palm Beach. Tickets for performances on March 27 and 28 are $10 general admission and $5 for students with ID. Tickets for the March 29 performances are $5 for general admission and for $5 for students with ID. To purchase tickets or for more information, contact Ticket Central at (561) 803-2970 or Tickets also can be purchased online at

Gregory Wanamaker is the guest composer for Frontwave 2014. His music has been described as “compelling,” “outstanding,” “cutting-edge” “skillful,” and “a technical tour de force” in publications including Fanfare, American Record Guide and Audiophile Audition. He has been on the faculty at the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam as a professor of composition since 1997. In addition, the festival features music by local composer Marlene Woodward-Cooper, professor of music at Palm Beach Atlantic, and Miami composer Lansing McLoskey, among others. The Frost Saxophone Quartet also will perform.

The schedule of performances is:

7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 27

This opening concert features the works of PBA student composers and performers. Come hear emerging musical voices and experience firsthand the promise of a vibrant future for concert music. The level of creativity and artistry evidenced in the music of university students is astounding!

7:30 p.m. Friday, March 28

Piano duo Gastesi-Bezerra present music recently added to the ever-expanding list of music composed expressly for them, as well as pieces they have premiered at concerts and festivals within the past two years. This reception with the artists follows this concert.

1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29

Intermedia (music with dance, electroacoustic and audio-visual elements) is showcased at this final concert of the festival. The highlight is the full-length performance of Gregory Wanamaker’s “A Story Within a Story,” a multimedia collaboration with 2014 MacArthur Fellowship Award winner Carrie Mae Weems. The piece explores the public discourse surrounding the American civil-rights movement and incorporates a six-piece chamber ensemble, dance, video and audio footage from the period. PBA’s own Susan Joyce will make an appearance at the concert, bringing her prowess at the piano to bear the synthesizer.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29

The final concert of the festival focuses on new music for the concert stage. This concert features the members of the Frost Saxophone Quartet performing Gregory Wanamaker’s saxophone quartet “Run” and his “Duo Sonata” for clarinet and alto saxophone, as well as “Blur” by Miami composer Lansing McLoskey. (Both “Duo Sonata” and “Blur” are available on the album “Citizens of Nowhere” on Albany Records.) A highlight of this concert will be “Concertante,” a new work for piano and string orchestra by PBA’s own noted pianist and composer, Marlene Woodward-Cooper, performed by acclaimed pianist Robin Arrigo.