December 23, 2011

ENVISO (formerly the Irving Symphony) and SMU’s Division of Music have launched a partnership in which a music composition student will serve each year as a composer-in-residence with the area’s only boutique professional symphony orchestra.

Vince Gover

The initiative is named the William H. Lively SMU Student Composer-in-Residence Program in honor of alumnus Bill Lively ’65, vice chancellor of strategic partnerships for the University of North Texas System.

After earning a Bachelor’s degree in music from Meadows School of the Arts, Lively returned to SMU in 1973 as the Mustang Band assistant director. He served SMU for 25 years, most recently as vice president for development and external affairs. He also served as president and CEO of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation and as president and CEO of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee.

“The new program will support and celebrate young musicians who aspire to be among the next generation of American composers,” Lively says.

“To our knowledge, this is the first such program of its kind between an orchestra and a university music department,” says Tracy Boyd, president of ENVISO.

The first student selected for the residency is sophomore Vince Gover. ENVISO performed the world premiere of Gover’s Let Us Begin Anew… (a quote from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech) in November in a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s presidential inauguration.

Though an undergraduate, Gover already has received recognition for his compositions. Last January, his Children’s Suite was performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., by the Saxony-Anhalt Brass Quintet. Gover’s Minute Fanfare was performed by the Meadows Wind Ensemble at its October concert at SMU.

“Our composition students will have an opportunity to work with a professional orchestra and gain performance experience that will be invaluable to them in their careers,” says Samuel Holland, director of the Meadows’ Division of Music.