Chamber Music for Oboe
ALYSSA MORRIS, flute
Amanda Arrington, piano
Heather Baxter, oboe
Sara Renner, English horn
KSU Percussion Ensemble
(Braedon Bomgardner, John Eldridge, Madison Howbert, Brandon Rathburn,
Nathan Smith and Brandon Wells)
“Alyssa Morris brings something that we don’t always hear in the music of our time – wit. Add to this a true melodic gift, an ability to evoke a range of moods, and a strong imagination, and the result is a composer whose music is gratifying even on repeated hearings.”
(from a review of "A Higher Place")
maintains a successful career as a player of exceptional and soulful musicianship. Morris, who is currently principal oboist of the Topeka Symphony Orchestra, has appeared as soloist in venues throughout the United States and Europe. She performed as concerto soloist at the Kennedy Center, and as a recitalist at International Double Reed Society conventions in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2021. Morris is a founding member of the Aglow Trio, which is comprised of herself, flutist Karen Large and pianist Amanda Arrington. The Trio, which seeks to amplify underrepresented voices in music and encourage the growth of repertoire for the instrumental combination, was a featured ensemble at the 2021 NACWPI conference and the 2021 World Flutes Festival. Regarding Morris’ equally impactful work as a composer, her music is performed extensively around the world. A recent Composer-In-Residence for the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and the recipient of an International LDS Barlow Composition Commission, Morris has been commissioned to compose music for numerous artists and ensembles, including the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, United States Air Force Woodwind Quintet and Carolyn Hove, the principal English horn of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Her music has been recorded for the Blue Griffin, Centaur, Equilibrium, MSR Classics, Parma and Tantara labels. Morris earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in oboe performance at Brigham Young University, where she studied with Dr. Geralyn Giovannetti. She earned a DMA in oboe performance with a cognate in composition at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where she studied with Dr. Mark Ostoich, Dwight Parry and Lon Bussell. Morris is currently Assistant Professor of Oboe and Music Theory at Kansas State University.
, currently the faculty collaborative pianist for Kansas State University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance, maintains an active performing career, collaborating with faculty artists, guest artists and students in more than 100 concerts each year. In addition to the numerous recitals given at KSU, Arrington performs with colleagues and friends in a variety of venues across the United States and abroad. As a concerto soloist, Amanda has performed with the Kansas State University Wind Ensemble and Orchestra. As an active recording artist, she can be heard in several well-received recordings, including Wanderlust: The Flute Music of David Amram and String to Silver: Flute Transcriptions of Works in the Romantic Tradition, both with flutist Karen Large; and Pretty Please with tubist Steven Maxwell. An advocate of new music, she has premiered solo and chamber works for a number of conferences, including the National Association of Composers, Society of Composers, ClarinetFest, North American Saxophone Alliance, Canadian Flute Convention, World Saxophone Congress, Mid-South Horn Workshop and the International Double Reed Society. Arrington is currently the faculty collaborative pianist for Kansas State University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance.
is an accomplished oboist with an international performing career. An advocate for new music, Renner commissioned five new works for unaccompanied oboe and English horn for her album, Oboe: Unfolded (2020). Continuing her work in international performance, Sara was a recitalist for the 2020 RioWinds Virtual Festival based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as the 2nd Annual International Double Reed Society Virtual Symposium in 2021. Renner earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a Master’s degree in Performance from the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University. She received her DMA from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Currently the Instructor of Oboe at Washburn University, Renner is also part of the Oboe faculty at the Omaha Conservatory of Music, and of the Woodwind faculty for the ÓperaMaya International Music Festival in Mexico.
joined the Omaha Symphony in 2015 as their Assistant Principal and Second Oboe and English horn player. Prior to her move to Omaha, Baxter performed with orchestras throughout Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, including the Richmond Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic, Lexington Philharmonic, Dayton Philharmonic and Kentucky Symphony. She has performed in the master class setting for John Mack, Ray Still, Washington Barella, Casey Hill and Karen Birch Blundell, among others. Baxter studied with several celebrated teachers and performers, including Cally Banham of the St. Louis Symphony, Humbert Lucarelli at the Hartt School, Ann Homann Mottl at Southern Illinois University and with Robert Atherholt and Anne Leek at the Texas Music Festival. Baxter also studied with Mark Ostoich at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati, where she earned her DMA in oboe performance.
The Kansas State University Percussion Ensemble
under the direction of Kurt Gartner performs a wide variety of music, including classic works, music of other cultures and contemporary literature. Active in commissioning new works, the ensemble has presented premiere performances of compositions by David Crowell, D.J. Sparr, Craig Weston, Tracy Thomas and Sabrina Peña Young, among others. They have presented numerous new literature sessions for the annual Kansas Music Educators Association conference as well as for regional conferences of Society of Composers. Performing on these recordings are KSU Percussion Ensemble members Braedon Bomgardner, John Eldridge, Madison Howbert, Brandon Rathburn, Nathan Smith and Brandon Wells.
FOUR PERSONALITIES for Oboe and Piano (2007)
FORECAST for Oboe and Four Percussionists (2009)
I. Clouds Descending
II. Rain Dance
IV. Tempest and Resolution
RUMINATIONS for Solo Oboe (2021)
I. Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
II. Emotions: Masked and Unmasked
III. Enough’s Enough
PARABLE OF A STORMY SEA for Two Oboes and English horn (2016)
I. “Thy waves passed over me…the waters compassed me about, even to the soul” [Jonah 2:3-5]
II. “Oh that my grief were thoroughly weighed…for now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea” [Job 6:2]
III. “There arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship… Master, carest thou not?” [Mark 4:37-38]
IV. “And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, ‘Peace, be still.’” [Mark 4:39-40]
27-72 for Oboe and Piano (2019)
I. A Day in the Life
II. Inside the Box, Outside the Box
III. Blood, Sweat and Tears (Reed Making)
IV. Guide Us As We Onward Go
Recorded on 10 February 2020 [5-7], 6 March 2021 [1-4], 13 March 2021 [16-19], 24 March 2021 , 20 May 2021 [9-11] and 21 May 2021 [12-15] at All Faiths Chapel and McCain Auditorium, Kansas State University. Recording Engineer: Owen Taylor, OT-AV.