Classical Music

Music In The Making: Time To Teach

Three local professors take us back to the classroom in Music in the Making’s second back-to-school special.


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The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University
The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University

On this week’s episode, we’re returning to the classroom once again with another back-to-school special, with music by Pierre Jalbert and Karim al-Zand, Professors of Theory and Composition at the Shepherd School of Music, and Marcus Karl Maroney, Assistant Professor of Music at the Moores School. They’ll also share some of their own educational experiences and discuss the role that academia plays in their art.

Pierre Jalbert: Dual Velocity
The Fischer Duo: Norman Fischer, cello; Jeanne Kierman Fischer, paino
Duncan Recital Hall

American composer Pierre Jalbert has earned widespread acclaim for his dynamic compositions, receiving many honors throughout his career. In addition to composing, though, he is Professor of Composition and Theory at the Shepherd School of Music, which he says plays a significant role in his work as a composer. Of his experience at Shepherd, Dr. Jalbert writes, “I’m surrounded by lots of music-making and very talented musicians, so that’s always inspiring new ideas. My work with students gives me energy and insights into the composition process and it’s a joy to share my music with the greater musical community.”

Marcus Karl Maroney: Scherzo – “How a Mosquito Operates”
Tali Morgulis
Moores Opera House

Marcus Karl Maroney: Pantheon
Moores School Percussion Ensemble; Alec Waren and Blake Wilkens, directors
Moores Opera House

Dr. Markus Maroney, associate professor at the Moores School of Music, attests that educating young musicians keeps him “fresh” and “hip.” His diverse array of compositions certainly feel that way; the upcoming piece, for instance, a scherzo entitled, “How a Mosquito Operates,” was composed to accompany a 1912 animated short film by the same name. The second one of Maroney’s pieces, called “Pantheon,” was composed for large percussion ensemble, and makes use of many sounds and effects, including using double bass bows on various instruments. To Dr. Maroney, teaching is an invigorating process. He describes, “While I have my own musical proclivities, there is fuel from younger minds that is always running through the creative process, inspiring me to question my decisions and try new things.”

Karim Al-Zand – City Scenes: Three Urban Dances for Orchestra
Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra; Larry Rachleff, conductor
Stude Concert Hall

Composer Karim Al-Zand describes the Shepherd School of Music as a type of “laboratory.” He joined me for a short conversation about how academia inspires him, mentioning the reciprocal relationship between student and teacher. City Scenes consists of three interwoven dances that, as Al-Zand describes, “reflect on the alluring tumult of city life.” Composed in 2006, the work was premiered by the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra the following year.

This episode originally aired Sunday, September 4th, 2016. Catch Music in the Making every Sunday at 7:06 PM on Classical.