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Composer in Residence

Jake Gunnar Walsh.png
Jacob Walsh

Junior Session

BM in Oboe Performance and Music Composition, Ithaca College

MM in Oboe Performance and Music Composition, Indiana University

Joined LMC Faculty in 2019

Share with us some of your professional accomplishments.

I am a composer, oboist and educator originally from deep in the woods of Rhode Island. As a composer, I am passionate about communicating with many different kinds of audiences and exploring the ideas of narrative through sound. I think that for many people, story telling is a very meaningful access point into our world as musicians, and it is this idea of story telling that I wish to share through all of the music I make. I am passionate about new music as well as music education, and I believe that through the way that we teach and talk about music we can pass down a rich tradition of music making as well as inspire young people to share their own story through music.

I have written music for solo instruments, voices, chamber ensembles, as well as full orchestral works, with performances across the United States and internationally. My latest collaboration was an orchestra piece titled "Anke Dje, Anke Be," commissioned and premiered by The Boston Landmarks Orchestra in August of 2018. The piece included participation of 20 young people from Camp Harbor View Boston playing percussion, dancing, and reciting spoken word alongside the orchestra at the Hatch Memorial Shell in Boston. My music has won the Ithaca College Downey Prize for vocal composition, The Smadbeck Memorial Prize, 1st Place winner of the 2018 NOTUS Choral Composition Competition at Indiana University, and I was a finalist for the Arizona State University Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition in 2018.  I am passionate about performing, especially commissioning and premiering new works. I have performed with the Indiana University New Music Ensemble for the past three years, and traveled with them to Mexico City for a performance in May 2018. In addition to performing in orchestras during my M.M. at Indiana University, I have performed Oboe and English Horn in a number of orchestras including the Binghamton Philharmonic, the Grassroots Festival Chamber Orchestra, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and more. I have also played oboe and English Horn with Ensemble X Contemporary Music Ensemble in Ithaca, NY. I am currently writing an oboe concerto which I plan to premiere myself in the Fall of 2019. 

What excites you about Luzerne Music Center?

Luzerne Music Center is unique in that it has a Music Composition program for young students who otherwise may not have the opportunity to ever write music on their own. I look forward to being able to guide this process of thinking about music from a different perspective, and giving students the tools to explore what it means to be a composer. I believe Luzerne offers a wonderful chance for young musicians to explore music composition in addition to a very high level of study their performance areas. I am also looking forward to being surrounded by so many wonderful colleagues who are as equally passionate about the art of music as they are passionate about the art of teaching.  

What can campers expect to learn while working with you this summer?

One of the most important things about learning about music composition goes far beyond just "writing notes on a piece of paper. I aim for all of my students who are interested in Music Composition to leave camp not only feeling confident about new ways to write music, but most importantly new ways to think about music. I want to explore what happens when we think about music as sound and noise, how we can talk about the way music makes us feel, what makes a melody work, and how we can find "that perfect harmony" that sends shivers down your spine. It is true that studying Music Composition includes writing notes on paper and getting those notes performed, yes. However, I want each student to leave having a different perspective of how to think like a composer and look at a blank sheet of paper in front of them and turn it into a beautiful, authentic piece of music waiting to have life breathed into it. Campers can also look forward to learning music theory with me with a strong emphasis on active participation through ear training and aural skills as well as how to apply things learned in a music theory classroom to their every day life as performers and composers!

Robert Paterson

Senior Session

BM, Percussion and Music Composition, Eastman School of Music

MM, Music Composition, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

DMA, Music Composition, Cornell University

Joined LMC Faculty in 2023

Share with us some of your professional accomplishments.

Although I am primarily a composer, I also conduct (most recently, the Mostly Modern Orchestra in The Netherlands) and play percussion when the occasion arises. As a percussionist, I am most well-known for playing marimba with six mallets, a technique that I helped develop.

I have won awards for my music in virtually every classical genre, including the A.I. duPont Composer’s Award from the Delaware Symphony, a three-year Music Alive grant from the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA, the American Composers Forum Jerome Composers Commissioning Program, and fellowships to Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, Aspen Music Festival, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the Copland House. My music has been commissioned and performed by over one hundred outstanding ensembles, including Nashville Opera, Opera Memphis, Minnesota Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Delaware Symphony, Austin Symphony, Albany Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Oratorio Society of New York, American Modern Ensemble, Ensemble Aleph, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Imani Winds, The Indianapolis String Quartet, Euclid Quartet, and the Chamber Choir of Europe. A few of my recent commissions and performances include the New York City premiere of Whitman’s America for chorus, soprano, baritone, and orchestra, and at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, featuring the Oratorio Society of New York; the world premiere of I Go Among Trees, commissioned by New Amsterdam Singers in honor of their 50th anniversary, and Look To The Sky, New York Choral Consortium’s first-ever commissioned work, for their ten-year anniversary.

What excites you about Luzerne Music Center?

What excites me most about Luzerne is working with young musicians eager to explore and create new musical works while surrounded by amazing faculty members, staff, and beautiful surroundings. Nothing excites me more than helping musicians develop their inner creative voices and watching the excitement on musicians' faces when they hear your pieces performed for the first time!

What can campers expect to learn while working with you this summer?

As a composer, I strongly believe that anyone with a musical background can compose. As a teacher, my goal is to nurture younger composers to develop their own unique voices while also exploring music, styles, and genres of music by other musicians and composers that may prove inspirational. We will explore music composition from a variety of angles, from how to be creative and where to find inspiration to music theory as it applies to composing new music. We will also discuss music notation and how to work with performers, so their performances are as successful as possible.

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