ENVISO (formerly the Irving Symphony) and the Division of Music in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts have launched a unique partnership in which a Meadows music composition student will be selected to serve each year as a composer-in-residence with the region’s only boutique professional symphony orchestra.
The new initiative is called the William H. Lively SMU Student Composer-in-Residence Program in honor of Bill Lively (’65), former CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and current vice chancellor of strategic partnerships for the University of North Texas System.
“ENVISO’s unique partnership with SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, resulting in the creation of the Student Composer-in-Residence Program, is an extraordinary example of collaborative planning,” said Lively. ‘The program will support and celebrate young musicians who aspire to be among the next generation of American composers.”
“To our knowledge, this is the first such program of its kind between an orchestra and a university music department,” said Tracy Boyd, president of ENVISO.
The first student selected for the residency is sophomore Vince Gover (left). ENVISO will perform the world premiere of Gover’s Let Us Begin Anew… (titled with a quote from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech) in a concert commemorating the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s presidential inauguration. The event begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, in the Irving Arts Center. Lively will introduce the celebration of Kennedy’s life, presidency and legacy, which will include archival video footage.
Though still an undergraduate, Gover has already received recognition for his compositions. In January, his work Children’s Suite was performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., by the Saxony-Anhalt Brass Quintet, an ensemble of principal performers from German orchestras. The quintet chose Gover’s work for their U.S. tour after discovering it through Gover’s high school music teacher. In addition, Gover’s Minute Fanfare was performed by the Meadows Wind Ensemble at its October concert at SMU.
“We are very excited about this new collaboration,” said Samuel Holland, director of the Meadows School Division of Music. “Our composition students have an opportunity to work with a professional orchestra and gain performance experience that will be invaluable to them in their careers.”