Director's Report


This past MACCM season was full of triumphs and challenges, and overall reinforced how important contemporary music is in daily life at the College of Musical Arts. Finally back to a full schedule of concerts and events after a slightly scaled-back post-pandemic return, MACCM presented or supported a diverse slate of performances and activities that impacted the entire CMA community.

In October, we hosted the 43rd Annual Bowling Green New Music Festival with guest composer Stacy Garrop and, with the generous support of the Hansen Musical Arts Series, the American Brass Quintet. In addition to Ms. Garrop’s music, the ABQ presented the world premiere of BGSU alumna Jennifer Higdon’s The Book of Brass, a quintet also generously sponsored by the Hansens. The Festival was a great success, with other highlights including an informative composer talk on forging a path outside of academia, Ms. Garrop’s The Battle for the Ballot featuring speaker Myra Merritt, which closed the Festival, and several consortium premieres from both the Resonate Project and Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History, two commissioning initiatives supported by the Center.

In the 2021-22 academic year, we announced a record-setting amount of money given to faculty and students through the MACCM Award program, noting that the amount was likely a once-in-a-generation anomaly due to extra available funds made possible by scaled-back programming during the pandemic. We are happy to announce that we were actually wrong in last year’s report; due to external support for other MACCM programs like the Festival, we were able to award over $17,000 to support more than 30 projects, breaking last year’s record.

The Center presented two Music at the Forefront events, an amazing all-star percussion concert celebrating the work of renowned composer and teacher Michael Udow from the University of Michigan, and a spirited residency by the Canadian-based Quasar Saxophone Quartet. We again collaborated with the Klingler Electro-Acoustic Residency (KEAR) on a multi-part residency/composer recording session with the ensemble Hypercube, a frequent visitor and ally to the Center, producing four high-quality audio and video recordings for selected composition students. MACCM continued to support the annual Toledo Symphony Reading Session for student composers, and assisted Brad Cresswell at WGTE-FM in compiling a tenth season of our radio series Living American Composers: New Music from Bowling Green for national and international syndication. The multi-year commissioning and performance collaboration Resonate Project, started in 2020 with Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings and regional university partners, culminated with a symposium and performances at the Carr Center in Detroit. Though not exclusively a MACCM project, the Center provided extensive production and logistical support to the second Hansen Musical Arts Series event, a three-day residency with Kronos Quartet, who were touring in celebration of their 50th anniversary. In addition to a spectacular concert, the Quartet engaged in residency activities and coached BGSU student quartets who then performed with them on stage, perhaps the highest point in a year filled with great performances.

I believe that this year epitomized the Center’s mission to support meaningful new music activities around the CMA and the surrounding community, from Bowling Green to Perrysburg to Toledo to Detroit. I look forward to continuing this mission next year, and look forward to what the future holds for MACCM and the College of Musical Arts.

Respectfully submitted,

Kurt Doles, Director


2021 marked a heavily-anticipated return to normalcy for the Center and its programs. While the 42nd Annual Bowling Green New Music Festival did not present as many concerts as we would in a pre-pandemic model, we were able to offer six concerts over three days and the traditional composer talk. Augusta Read Thomas, Michael Hall, and Marianne Parker were wonderful guests, and brought a spark of much-needed energy to the CMA as we were gradually feeling our way back after so much time away.

Due to reduced Festival costs, the Center was able to grant slightly over $13,000 in MACCM awards to faculty and students for projects and travel. We are particularly proud that were able to give awards to every student who applied for assistance for summer festivals and programs, returning for the first time in two years.

The Center was able to continue to increase its support for the commissioning of new works through MACCM Awards, the ongoing Resonate Project, and consortium project support for commissions for the Wind Symphony (Hannah Lash) and a set of solo works by four women for the percussion studio (“Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History”). Most of these works will see their BG premieres on the New Music Festival in October

We assisted WGTE in compiling the ninth season of Living American Composers: New Music from Bowling Green, and eased back into our Music at the Forefront programming with a second MACCM/KEAR collaborative residency with Unheard-of//Ensemble and a remarkable standalone concert from Ekmeles, making up for their cancelled show from the spring of 2020. MACCM sponsored a reception for the 2022 Toledo Symphony Reading Session, and co-hosted the Eighth International Conference on Music and Minimalism in May. The conference was particularly successful, I was impressed with the level of engagement displayed by our faculty and students, especially our DMAs and a group of graduate students that stayed an extra week after they had graduated in order to participate and perform. It was a demonstration of the College’s “new music DNA” in action and on display for the whole world to see.

I believe that this year was quite successful in presenting, supporting, and disseminating new music not only within the CMA but within the regional and national contemporary music communities. I look forward to continued work on our new strategic plan as we continue to integrate the Center even further into the programs of the College of Musical Arts.

Respectfully submitted,

Kurt Doles, Director

Updated: 08/01/2023 10:36AM