October 10, 2024 — 7:30 PM
Capitol Theater
Madison, Wisconsin
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Get ready for an epic night as the WCO dives into year two of our five-year project Musical Landscapes in Color with Convergence. Performed live and recorded for a spring album release, it celebrates the converging of contemporary voices of color by generation, gender, and style of composition. We begin with Fanfare and Fantasie by four-time Grammy nominee Patrice Rushen, followed by Umoja by renowned composer and flutist Valerie Coleman. The next piece Changes, by contemporary composer Andre Myers, reflects the ever-shifting landscape of the world we live in, and for the finale, movements from the Nope film suite by the prolific Michael Abels, a Grammy and Emmy nominee, and the recipient of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

About Musical Landscapes in Color


2023 Pulitzer Prize-winning and Emmy- and Grammy-nominated composer MICHAEL ABELS is best known for his genre-defying scores for the Jordan Peele films “Get Out”, “Us” and “Nope”. The score for “Us” won a World Soundtrack Award, the Jerry Goldsmith Award, a Critics Choice nomination, multiple critics awards, and was named “Score of the Decade” by The Wrap. Both “Us” and “Nope” were shortlisted for the Oscar for Best Original Score. Abels’ creative output also includes many concert works, including the choral song cycle “At War With Ourselves” for the Kronos Quartet, the Grammy-nominated “Isolation Variation” for Hilary Hahn, and “Omar”, an opera co-composed with Grammy-winning recording artist Rhiannon Giddens. Abels other concert works have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Master Chorale and many others. Recent commissions include “Emerge” for the National Symphony and Detroit Symphony, and a guitar concerto “Borders” for Grammy-nominated artist Mak Grgic. Abels is co-founder of the Composers Diversity Collective, an advocacy group to increase visibility of composers of color in film, gaming, and streaming media. Read his full biography at michaelabels.com.

VALERIE COLEMAN is regarded by many as an iconic artist who continues to pave her own unique path as a composer, GRAMMY®-nominated flutist, and entrepreneur. Highlighted as one of the “Top 35 Women Composers” by “The Washington Post”, she was named Performance Today’s 2020 Classical Woman of the Year, an honor bestowed to an individual who has made a significant contribution to classical music as a performer, composer or educator. Her works have garnered awards such as the MAPFund, ASCAP Honors Award, Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Program, Herb Alpert Ragdale Residency Award, and nominations from The American Academy of Arts and Letters and United States Artists. Umoja, Anthem for Unity was chosen by Chamber Music America as one of the “Top 101 Great American Ensemble Works” and is now a staple of woodwind literature. Read her full biography at vcolemanmusic.com.

A California-based artist and educator, contemporary composer ANDRE MYERS serves on the faculty of the University of Redlands Conservatory of Music, teaching literary & musical composition, music theory, and computer music. Called “an insightful and skillful new voice” (Times Union), and “ingenious. . . powerful” (icareifyoulisten.com), his music mixes narrative drama, poetry, and meditations on color to create work that aspires to moments of honesty, poignancy, and depth. Read his full biography at andremyers.com.

PATRICE RUSHEN is an award-winning musician and composer, considered one of the top jazz pianists in the world, is a four-time Grammy nominee, and that’s only a handful of her accolades. Her hit song, “Forget Me Nots” from 1982 has been frequently covered and sampled by other artists including by Will Smith for the hit movie “Men in Black” and George Michael’s “Fast Love”. She has been the first female musical director for many of the entertainment industry’s top award shows including the Grammy Awards, the Emmy Awards, the People’s Choice Awards, the NAACP Image Awards, and more. Read her full biography on her website at patricerushen.com.


RUSHEN | Fanfare and Fantasie
| Umoja
| Changes
| Nope Film Suite

*program subject to change



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