ALYSSA MORRIS - A HIGHER PLACEChamber Music for Oboe
ALYSSA MORRIS, oboe
CHRISTINA HAAN, piano
Elizabeth Darling, flute
Andrea Vos-Rochefort, clarinet
Jessica Findley Yang, bassoon
World Premiere Recordings
"I couldn’t begin to say whether Alyssa Morris is the more talented in composition or oboe playing, as she’s outstanding in each. Her music has charm, piquancy, verve, and most importantly substance, all within a secure tonal framework. Her oboe playing (as is that of her colleagues on their instruments) is first-rate, and gives the listener an excellent idea of what is going on in the music at every level. Highly recommended to woodwind enthusiasts and any others who appreciate fine music and performance."
David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare [September/October 2019]
"Oboist and composer Alyssa Morris is a truly impressive musician, as this album joyfully shows... Where Do Children Come From? uses extended techniques, deft emotional timing, and raucous rhythms to explain its subject matter. [Other works] marry a wide range of extended techniques and harmonic figures to paint gorgeous and thoughtful musical portraits of the artists and their art. The virtuosity Morris has written and brought off with aplomb is unmistakable here... Unmistakably beautiful performances by Haan, Darling, Vos-Rochefort, and Yang round out this stunning
woodwind-filled hour of music."
American Record Guide [September/October 2019]
"Alyssa Morris’ [oboe music has] both outward and inward elements... Morris has ample opportunity to display highly skillful playing in the service of music that... These pieces will likely be of considerable interest to Morris’ fellow oboists... All the pieces here have their pleasures... [this is] a very enjoyable foray into some little-known chamber music for oboe."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad.com [May 2019]
"Taken as a whole, the crystal clear recording is a tour de force demonstration not only of the sonic potential of the oboe but the other wind instruments, all normally relegated to supporting orchestral roles and not given opportunities to flaunt their expressive range... the recording is replete with gorgeous, brilliant moments that may transport you to a “high place”... The music is so rich with many special interludes it lends itself to multiple listenings... Morris is obviously someone who reaches to exceed her highest expectations, always wanting to do more with her instrument and her compositional ability... kudos must be bestowed on MSR’s recording and production of music, absolutely top shelf, with every instrument clearly present, resonate and balanced, making the CD a rare treasure to cherish."
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [May 2019]
On Morris’ playing: “skillful… fashionable… commendable”
On Morris’ music: “elegant… imaginative”
American Record Guide
PROGRAM NOTESOboist ALYSSA MORRIS has delighted audiences around the world with her inspired musicianship. Morris has appeared as a soloist in venues throughout the United States, Scandinavia, the British Isles and Western Europe. She performed as a soloist in the Kennedy Center and as a recitalist at the International Double Reed Society (IDRS) conventions in New York in 2014, Georgia in 2016 and Spain in 2018. Currently the principal oboist of the Topeka Symphony Orchestra, she held the position of Associate Principal Oboe in the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in Indiana and Second Oboe in the Utah Wind Symphony. Morris has also performed with the Wichita Grand Opera, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Cincinnati Bach Ensemble, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Utah Baroque Ensemble and Utah Lyric Opera. Regarding her equally expansive work as a composer, her chamber music is performed extensively around the world, and has been presented at IDRS Conventions, the National Flute Association Convention and the Society of Composers National Convention. Morris has been commissioned to compose by a wide range of ensembles and artists, including the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra; University of Missouri Kansas City’s flute, oboe and piano trio; Arizona State University faculty wind quartet; University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s double reed trio; Brigham Young University’s Sundance Trio; Ohio University’s Athenia Chamber Ensemble; and for Carolyn Hove, principal English horn of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Her music has been recorded on the Centaur, Equilibrium and MSR Classics labels. Morris earned her BM and MM degrees at Brigham Young University, where she studied with Dr. Geralyn Giovannetti, and her DMA at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Dr. Mark Ostoich. Morris is currently Assistant Professor of Oboe at Kansas State University.
Christina Haan is a highly regarded coach and collaborative pianist at Miami University of Ohio, and is on the faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. She has an extensive background in opera, musical theatre and chamber music. In demand as a collaborative musician, Haan has performed many times with groups such as Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati. Her professional engagements have taken her to Chicago, Washington D.C. and New York City, and to England, France, Italy and Austria. In her position as organist at Knox Presbyterian Church, she regularly performs major choral works and organ concertos.
Elizabeth Darling is an orchestral flutist and private teacher, with a thriving studio of students of all ages learning through both traditional and Suzuki flute methods. A passionate orchestral musician, she has performed with the Rockford Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, Johnstown Symphony, Fort Smith Symphony and Lima Symphony Orchestra. Also an active chamber musician and supporter of new music, Darling enjoys performing with her husband as The Darling Duo. Together, they have commissioned numerous works for flute-piccolo and tuba-euphonium – some of the first in the repertoire for this instrumental pairing. Darling holds an Artist Diploma in flute from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, a Master’s Degree in Flute Performance from Ohio University, and Bachelor’s degree in music education from Ithaca College.
Clarinetist Andrea Vos-Rochefort regularly premieres new works in recital and performs with the Lima Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra Kentucky. She serves as Adjunct Instructor of Clarinet at the University of Dayton and Stivers School for the Arts, Artistic Director of the Artalism Coalition, and Community Engagement and Education Manager at concert:nova, where she presents more than 20 interdisciplinary workshops. Vos-Rochefort earned her DMA at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, studying with Ben Freimuth; a Master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music, with Mark Nuccio;
a Diplômes Supérieurs at L’Ecole Normale de Musique, with Guy Deplus and a Bachelor’s degree at Ithaca College, with Michael Galvan.
Bassoonist Jessica Findley Yang currently holds the position of Second Bassoonist in the Lansing Symphony Orchestra and the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera. She has also been a guest performer with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Yang has attended numerous summer music festivals, including the Shippensburg Symphony Festival, Festival Napa Valley, Sarasota Music Festival, Castleton Music Festival and the Texas Music Festival, where she was the winner of their concerto competition. She holds degrees from the University of Kansas and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
WHERE DO CHILDREN COME FROM? (2013)
I. The Circus
II. Outer Space
III. A Higher Place
COASTAL KALEIDOSCOPE (2013)
III. Spring Tide
COLLISION ETUDES (2017)
I. Summertime (Mary Cassatt)
II. City Landscape (Joan Mitchell)
III. Jimson Weed (Georgia O’Keeffe)
IV. Rainbow (Alma Thomas)
V. Autumn Leaves (Georgia O’Keeffe)
VI. My World Is Not Flat (Margarete Bagshaw)
I. Bike Ride
III. Tip Toe