2014 Composition Competition

Composition Competition Winner Announced

The Holyoke Civic Symphony has selected Dominic Dousa as the winner of its 2014 Composition Competition. Dousa, an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, won for his 2010 orchestral work New Era Overture.

David Kidwell, conductor of the Western Massachusetts-based orchestra, said that there were 140 entries for this year’s competition. “I was thrilled with the response,” he said. “It’s inspiring to see how many excellent composers are out there.”

Other finalists were Nancy Bloomer Deussen of California, Mark Kilstofte of South Carolina, Mark Dal Porto of New Mexico, and Gene Pritsker of New York.

Dousa’s winning composition was written for Dr. Lowell Graham, conductor and chair of the music department at UTEP, in honor of Graham’s first concert with the UTEP Symphony Orchestra. The composer notes that “while the piece was written for a specific occasion, it is intended to convey the general spirit of celebration, optimism, reflection, and anticipation that comes with any new era.”

Kidwell has been conductor of the Holyoke Civic Symphony since 1997 and has been a strong advocate of accessible contemporary music. Each concert includes at least one piece written by a living composer, which is a level of commitment that few orchestras attain.

Dousa’s winning piece will be performed by the Holyoke Civic Symphony on Sunday, May 4 as a part of the final concert of its current season.

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