The Symphonic Band will welcome tuba player William Roper as its artist-in-residence for the 2013-14 academic year.
While not physically residing at the college, Roper’s residency will be of a creative nature, as he will compose new works for the band’s December and May concerts and will work closely with COC band members.
“William Roper is an important composer of new music and a deep thinker,” said Ray Burkhart, conductor of the COC Symphonic Band. “He’s recognized regionally and internationally for his tuba playing, having worked for all the local symphonies and also for big stars such as Elton John. I think the members of the COC band will learn a lot from him.”
Based in Los Angeles, Roper has played with artists and various ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Elton John, Leon Russell, Jusef Lateef, James Newton, Horace Tapscott, Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith and Glenn Horiuchi.
Roper has released several recordings and has toured North and South America and Europe as a soloist and as a member of jazz, rock and classical ensembles.
The recipient of several awards from organizations such as California Arts Council, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, American Music Center, American Composers Forum and the Durfee Foundation, Roper has also been a resident composer at the Djerassi Institute and the Oberpfaelzer Kuenstlerhaus in Bavaria.
Since Burkhart joined the college’s Symphonic Band as conductor in fall 2013, the band has evolved and grown in size.
“We play some of the usual fare but we can also play great music that is rarely performed, newly reconstructed historical band music and new music,” said Burkhart. “It’s vital for young musicians to engage with new music. New music expands thought and Roper’s residency will engage the COC band members in the creative process in ways that most musicians never experience.”
On Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, the band will perform the concert “Four Centuries of Music for Band” in the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center lobby. Admission is free and open to the public.