Monday, October 7, 2013

William Roper and the College of the Canyons Symphonic Band

William Roper, a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, will be Artist-in-Residence for the College of the Canyons Symphonic Band for the academic year 2013-2014. Roper is active in the fields of composition, music performance (especially on tuba), theater, dance, painting, and performance art. He will compose new works for tuba and winds to be performed by the COC Symphonic Band.

William Roper in Bavaria

On tuba, Roper's professional experience ranges from the symphony stage to free improvisation groups. He has toured North and South America and Europe as a soloist and as a member of jazz, rock, and classical ensembles. His has released several recordings as a leader and co-leader. He has played or recorded with numerous artists and ensembles, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Elton John, Leon Russell, Jusef Lateef, James Newton, and Horace Tapscott. He has also played on several major motion picture soundtracks.

As a composer he has fulfilled commissions for the Gloria Newman Dance Theater, Dance L.A., and SASSAS. His compositions have been performed in the US and Europe. He has received awards from organizations such as the National Endowment of the Arts, California Arts Council, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Meet the Composer, American Music Center, American Composers Forum, Durfee Foundation, Brody Arts Fund, and others. He has been a resident composer at the Djerassi Institute in California and the Oberfaelzer Kuenstlerhaus in Bavaria and recently fulfilled a cultural ambassadorship to Japan.

I have blogged about Roper before, because I find him to be an unusually interesting person and musician. You can read that blog here. Visit Roper's Web site here.

It is an important part of my plan to grow the COC Symphonic Band and its audience to invite eminent musicians like Roper to visit COC and work with the music students. A great deal can be learned from great musicians, and the greater Santa Clarita Valley area (including its many neighbors to the south) has many great musicians in its midst. The music world is smaller that it seems, and Roper's visits with the COC Symphonic Band will provide opportunities for much more than learning. Lifelong relationships sometimes come of such experiences.

Concerts by the COC Symphonic Band which will feature Roper and his works will be given on Monday, December 2, 2013 and Monday, May 19, 2014 in COC's Van Hook University Center. Both concerts begin at 8pm and are free to the public. Our December concert will feature "Four Centuries of Music for Band," while the May concert will take a more geographical look at band music in "Around the World in 80 Minutes."

The College of the Canyons Symphonic Band always welcomes inquiries from prospective members. We rehearse Monday nights at COC in Pico Canyon Hall, room 202. I'm the conductor, and if you want to know more about how to join us, I'd like to hear from you. Please send email to Raymond.Burkhart@canyons.edu. Thanks!

Dr. Ray