Blowin' in the wind

The newly formed Southern Oregon Chapter of the National Association of Composers/USA will present its first concert Saturday at 8 p.m. in Wesley Hall at the First United Methodist Church, 175 N. Main St., Ashland.

The featured performers will be the Rogue Valley Wind Quintet, who will present works by I'lana Cotton, Mark Jacobs, Stephen Truelove, and R. Barry Ulrich, all local composers. The pieces represent a variety of contemporary chamber music styles.

The Rogue Valley Wind Quintet musicians include: Penny Lee Austin, flute; Kristin Kessler, oboe; Marla Kasdorf, clarinet; Linda Harris, horn; and Kathy Staller, bassoon.

Composers in Southern Oregon came together in the summer of 2007 to form a new chapter of NACUSA, united by a common desire to promote and celebrate new concert music in the Rogue Valley. Other composers in the chapter include Ken Deveney, as president, William Ashworth, Federico Behncke, Jenifer Jaseau, and Mark Knippel.

The group has been holding informal monthly listening sessions, with members bringing music to share and discuss. In November, members produced a reading/recording event for works-in-progress at Southern Oregon University, involving most of the member composers and several university music students and faculty.

NACUSA is one of the oldest organizations devoted to the promotion and performance of American concert hall music. Now celebrating its 75th year, NACUSA was founded by Henry Hadley in 1933. Many of America's most distinguished 20th century composers have been among its members.

Each NACUSA chapter typically sponsors several concerts, which feature music by its members and other contemporary composers, each year. The Southern Oregon chapter joins in association with NACUSA's other chapters in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco Bay area, Baton Rouge, Virginia, Tennessee and Texas.

Tickets, available at the door, will be $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors.

For more information, contact Ken Deveney at 488-5506, I'lana Cotton at 772-4022 or visit the NACUSA Web site at .

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