UMD Alumni Composer Concert Tuesday

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 – 7:30pm
UMD Alumni Composer Concert
UMD Weber Hall
Adult $8 – Senior $7 – Student $5 – UMD Student $3 – Alumni $2

This is new classical chamber music featuring a real PDD’er!

The concert features the music of 4 umd alumni composers: Robert Linnemann, Ryan Rapsys, Nick Mroczek and James Gould. All of the pieces are lyrical, varied and entertaining. Every composition is a world debut! The Gichigami Piano Trio is the featured group, but the umd woodwind quintet and other small ensembles will also play.

The UMD music program has graduated many talented composers, and this concert features four of them. On Tuesday, March 23 at 7:30 pm in Weber Music Hall, you can enjoy new classical chamber music composed by UMD alumni composers Robert Linnemann, James Gould, Nick Mroczek, and Ryan Rapsys. Each is active in their communities as composers and musicians. For tickets, visit A very special UMD alumni price of only $ 2.00 per ticket is available.

“We are thrilled to premiere new works by four UMD alumni composers. It is especially wonderful that concert goers will be able to experience these pieces in beautiful Weber Music Hall,” said Jack Bowman, dean of UMD’s School of Fine Arts.

The featured performing group is Duluth’s own Gichigami Trio. Boasting great professional musicians, the Gichigami Trio consists of Josh Aerie (cello), Laurie Bastian (violin), and Sam Black (piano). They have championed accessible new music together, and each of them is active in the Duluth community. In addition to the Gichigami Trio, current UMD students as well as UMD graduate students will also perform.

Justin Rubin, professor of music at UMD, is pleased to act as faculty sponsor for this event. He worked with each of these composers when they were students at UMD. “It’s exciting that the audience will hear what the new young artistic voices in classical music today sound like and how diverse those voices can be. Each composer has such a different aesthetic. Robert comes from a jazz background. James is more traditionally classical. Nick is an experienced operatic composer with an unparalleled melodic gift, and Ryan is quite avant garde,” Rubin said.

Robert Linnemann is the organizer of this concert. He lives in Duluth and plays saxophone with the premiere local lounge group Tangier 57. He also plays oboe and has written music for the Duluth Community Orchestra. He has worked locally as a composer-in-residence at Harbor City International High School. Linnemann also has a music business called Epistrophy Products which produces the music manuscript paper, Staffgraph (available at the UMD bookstore). He writes music in jazz and classical styles. Linnemann graduated with a Theory & Composition Music degree from UMD in 2005. Website:

James Gould began composing music at an early age. Maybe too early – his first piece was a tremendously complicated work entitled “Birds” written in crayon on a staff of his own design (6, sometimes 7 staff lines!). From there, music became an ever-growing interest that eventually brought him to study music composition at UMD with Dr. Justin Rubin. While studying music composition at UMD, Gould developed a great interest in the texture of music. To this day, texture is the driving force in his compositions. After graduating from UMD in 2005, Gould moved to Minneapolis where he continues to compose, perform, and teach music to this day. Starting in 2009, he founded the MPLS Music Group that performs music exclusively composed or arranged by members of the group.

Nicholas Mroczek received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory/Composition and Vocal Music Education from UMD in 2007. Mroczek’s compositions have been performed by groups ranging from the Hermantown 7th grade choir to the UMD Opera Theatre to the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. In part with an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program Grant, his first opera, Evelyn, was premiered by the UMD Opera Theatre under his direction in April 2007. Mroczek received honorable mention in the 2007 Roger Wagner Contemporary Choral Composition Competition and was a finalist for the MENC National Convention Young Composers Concert in 2004. Website:

Since graduating from UMD in 2004, Ryan Rapsys has been engaged in a number of music composition projects, including the original soundtrack to the film Minnesota’s North Shore (2007) by photographer Craig Blacklock as well as an original theatrical score for the Duluth Playhouse’s production of It’s A Wonderful Life (2008) and The Three Musketeers (2009). Currently, he continues to pursue opportunities to compose music for a variety of media through his business Erratik Music Solutions, including short and feature film, commercial, and web video projects. Website:



about 13 years ago

What an excellent concert.  Unfortunately I didn't stick around afterwards to let each of you know how inspired I was by hearing your work.  The performances tonight were truly new and exciting.  As an audience member who does not compose but who shares a similar background and age, I felt that these were songs drawn from my own experience with music and the world.  Wonderful.  Good luck to each of you!  + Gitchigami Trio rocked all of it.


about 13 years ago

Thanks, you are very kind to leave a message, it means a lot.


about 13 years ago

Amazing to hear local compositional talent and the performers were all excellent, especially the the Gitchigami Trio. Thanks for a great concert!

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