A Pawn in the Schemes of Young Composers

I’m in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, which the locals freely admit is smack in the middle of one of the flattest expanses of real estate in North America. Were it not for fences and the occasional bridge over a highway, I think I could roll a golf ball from here to Detroit. Here, the music department of Central Michigan University is kindly presenting a concert of my music for this Tuesday evening, and I’ll be meeting with composition students until then. I was invited by Director of Music Events John Jacobson, but my host has been composer Jay Batzner, whose name I hear all over the country, but whom I’d never met. In fact, he seems to be one of a group of former UMKC/University of Louisville grad students, including also Brent Miller, Rebecca Doran Eaton, David McIntire, and Brian Herrington, whose names I encounter so ubiquitously in my travels that I’ve concluded that they’re a cabal intent on taking over all new-music activity across much of the United States, in which venture I wish them every success. CMU is a farflung campus of large buildings, with a huge, stone, yet dashingly designed music center. The concert is Tuesday night, March 29, at 8 in the Staples Family Concert Hall in said music building. Students and faculty are playing my Snake Dance No. 2, New World Coming, OlanaMinute Symphony, and Kierkegaard, Walking, and I’ll play Charing Cross and Solitaire. If the only way you can get here is by bicycle, at least it’s a straight shot.



  1. says

    I grew up in Michigan a little south of there and you’re dead on about the flatness, Kyle! I don’t know if you’re still around there but a trip up to Mackinac Island would be well worth it (though it’s not really the season for it, if you know what I mean).

    So will you have any audio of these works being performed at CMU?

    And I’ve really enjoyed Jay Batzer’s music for a while as well. Also, what’s not to like about someone whose webpage lists them as a ‘Composer, Home Brewer and Seamster’? OK, so I can’t identify with the Seamster bit. But I feel right at home with the other two.

    KG replies: I’m in mid-semester with no time for vacation, but I’ve been to Mackinac Island twice. My wife’s from Grand Rapids, and I know the state pretty well, though I’d never been to Mount Pleasant. And yes, I’ll have some audio up on my web site.

  2. says

    Hey, we have to have rumors if there are going to be legitimate conspiracy theories about us!

    Kyle, once again, it was fantastic having you on campus!