Webster University Music Professor Completes PLAYA Composer Residency

Sep. 26, 2018

Webster University Music Professor Completes PLAYA Composer Residency

David Werfelmann, assistant professor in the Department of Music in Webster University's Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts, spent a portion of summer holiday at PLAYA in Oregon in a composer residency program.

Throughout his June residency, Werfelmann dove into finishing a composition that had to be completed before his departure day. He came to PLAYA with a specific goal to complete a large choral work. Werfelmann collected excerpts from Johannes Kepler’s "Harmonices Mundi" and completed the vast majority of the writing and editing while in residence.

Werfelmann has spent time in New York, Wyoming and Alaska for other residencies prior to his time at PLAYA. When asked what led to his decision on this retreat, Werfelmann said, "These residencies have proven to me how important seclusion and natural beauty are to my creative process and my ability to write thoughtful, inspired music." 

Choral Ensembles Oct. 5

Werfelmann’s next new work premieres Oct. 5, when the Webster University Chamber Singers will perform a multi-movement work written for them.  The choral ensembles concert features the Concert Choir, Women's Chorus and Chamber Singers at 7 p.m. in the Community Music School.

About PLAYA residencies

PLAYA’s residencies are open to scientists, naturalists, biologists, designers, sustainability leaders, social practice artists, musicians, visual artists, writers, performing artists, and collaborations and individuals engaged in interdisciplinary work or other forms of creative work.

PLAYA’s 75–acre property, located at the northwestern edge of the Great Basin in south-central Oregon, includes six fully equipped and spacious cabins, two fully equipped live/work studios, three studio/research spaces, a large open shed/studio, and outdoor field research areas.

The organization’s stated mission: "On the edge of the Great Basin, PLAYA offers creative individuals the space, solitude, and community to reflect and engage their work through its residency program. PLAYA supports innovative thinking through work in the arts, literature, natural sciences and other fields of creative inquiry and encourages dialogue between disciplines to bring positive change to the environment and the world.

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