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BNMI's annual concert series is supported in part through collaboration from the Boston Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council and by supporters such as yourself.  We are sincerely grateful for the continued support.

The Beauty of the Line | April 7, 2019 – 7:30 pm

featuring new and existing works by New England based Visual Artists Jessica Bartlet, Matt Dorado, Brian Grimson, Melanie Long, Christle Rawlins-Jackson, and Joe Bun Keo

The Community Church of Boston - 565 Boylston St, Boston, MA 

Missed it? See the full concert here.

Lonnie Hevia  Kiss°
Evan Williams
the waters wrecked the sky
Jeremy Rapaport-Stein  two sculptures after Joe Bun Keo°
Tim Davis  A Private Conversation°
Dani Howard – Ostara
Beth Ratay  Paysage triste°

Joshua Jandreau  And I'll call you by mine°
Mats O. HanssonShadow Dance
Alex Wakim –
Resounding Drips°
Vera Ivanova –
Electrostatic Whale
Martin Bresnick
Three Intermezzi
Alex Berko Living in Color°

*winner of our 6th Annual Commissioning Competition
°World Premiere

Presented by the Boston New Music Initiative core ensemble conducted by Tian Hui Ng

Recommended Donation $10

Get Tickets Here

Program Notes
Composer Bios
Artist Bios
Performer Bios
Staff Bios

Program Notes

The piece Kiss was composed to accompany a painting of the same name by the artist, Melanie Long. The painting depicts an underwater scene in which a mermaid and a merman are passionately entwined in a kiss. The blue of the water, the red of the mermaid’s flowing hair, and the yellow of the seaweed comprise the main color palette of the work. The composition, then, tells the story that leads up to the moment captured in the painting, and, like the painting, uses bold primary colors to do so. The piece sets the scene with water music depicting the vastness of the sea, the mystery of its depths, and the flowing of its waves. Two themes are then introduced. The first, with a melody played by the violinist, is stereotypically “feminine,” while the bold chords of the second theme assert themselves in a manner more associated with the “masculine.” As these two elements interact throughout the piece, one might hear music of attraction and of pursuit, music of flirtation, and music of courtship, all culminating in the grand, romantic moment depicted in the painting. 

 the waters wrecked the sky is paired with Christle Rawlins-Jackson's work From Fort to Fort: View from Cape Coast Castle which depicts an old slave fort in West Africa. Williams' piece was inspired by an Emily Dickenson poem. Artistic Director Beth Ratay chose to pair these works because of how the stormy energy of the music comments on the underlying turbulent past of the quilt's image.

The Wind begun to knead the Grass —
As Women do a Dough —
He flung a Hand full at the Plain —
A Hand full at the Sky —
The Leaves unhooked themselves from Trees —
And started all abroad —
The Dust did scoop itself like Hands —
And throw away the Road —
The Wagons — quickened on the Street —
The Thunders gossiped low —
The Lightning showed a Yellow Head —
And then a livid Toe —
The Birds put up the Bars to Nests —
The Cattle flung to Barns —
Then came one drop of Giant Rain —
And then, as if the Hands
That held the Dams — had parted hold —
The Waters Wrecked the Sky —
But overlooked my Father's House —
Just Quartering a Tree —

two short sculptures after Joe Bun Keo follows two of Joe’s assemblage sculptures. “don’t worry about a thing, I’m right here beside you” is an empty plastic folding chair and a light box. “have a beautiful day with smiley faces” is made of a red folding chair, a garbage can, a message on the floor, and fortune cookie crumbs.
Physical objects have this funny characteristic of not moving forward through time, whereas sound, by definition, must. These two short movements strive towards the former, more sculptural, more impossible way of hearing.

A Private Conversation was written as a complementary work to a painting by Matt Dorado of two male figures appearing to be in the midst of a conversation. I found that my perspective and interpretation of the painting changed substantially as I reconsidered my role as the viewer. How is the viewer observing the conversation? As another guest at a cocktail party? A fly on a wall in an otherwise empty house? Through a television set? Based on the setting, I imagined the conversations taking on decidedly different tones.

As I created my work, I wished to capture these ideas by building a sound environment that takes the listener through these ideas as background, with the violin, like the two figures, always present in the foreground. I also sought to have my work consider the broader idea of modern communication, how it has changed with the evolution of so many different communication tools and methods, and how conflicts almost always arise due to some failure to communicate effectively.

Composed in the winter of 2019, A Private Conversation was written for violinist Ryan Shannon to be premiered at The Boston New Music Initiative’s spring concert in its tenth season.

Ostara for Piano, Cello and Clarinet is inspired by the installation ‘Love’ by Ukranian Sculpture Alexandr Milov. In the installation you see and an outer sculpture of two adults sitting back to back, with an inner sculpture displaying two children touching hands through the metal wires. “Love depicts a scene of conflict with hope and innocence rising from within”, which really inspired me to write a work that explores this dynamic between ourselves and our inner child. Melanie Long has created a new artwork inspired by the musical work.

Paysage triste (sad landscapes) was inspired by the painting Backyard Night by Jessica Bartlet. I chose two Paul Verlaine poems from the set Paysage triste that I felt shared a similar melancholy feel to the painting. I specifically chose three instruments/voices with generally brighter timbres to contrast with the somber dark feelings of the painting and poems.

Setting Suns (original French)

A weakened dawn
Scatters onto the fields
The melancholy
Of the setting suns

The melancholy
Rocks of a sweet song
My heart which forgets itself
To the setting suns

And peculiar dreams
Like suns
Setting, on the strands,
Vermilion ghosts,

Parade relentlessly
Parade, alike
To big suns
Setting on the strands.

Autumn Song (original French)

The long sighs
Of the violins
Of autumn
Hurt my heart
With a languor
Of sameness.

All stifling
And pale, when
The hour sounds,
I remember
Days of once
And I weep.

And I let myself go
With the evil wind
Which carries me
Here, beyond,
Like the leaf
Which has died.

And I'll call you by mine
The poplar leaned closer, closer, closer to the power line; and then a gust brought it down in a hail of sparks and a tangle of wires. The lights in the house went off. Now there was only the sound of the wind. How come nobody cheered?
– Vonnegut, The Euphio Question

In Shadow Dance the clarinet has the main role and the work is in its form threefolded. It has its origin in three short and rather simple melodies that gradually have been prolonged and given a greater degree of complexity. The melodic material is in certain respects the same all the time and has been inserted into itself repeatedly in several layers.
By the use of a composition technique I call “prismatic canon”, the melody of the clarinet is spread in different directions, like a beam of light through a prisma. Two shadows (or projections) is created on each side of the clarinet melody. One shadow is played by the piano and the other by flute, violin, viola and cello. Their melodic movements have a more commenting character and forms a contrast to the melody of the clarinet which is more steadily moving forward. Jessica Bartlet has created a new artwork inspired by this piece.

 Resounding Drips - A couple drips of water from a leaky faucet into a sink, or from a decaying water bottle into a pond, these are rather negligible. Imagine those same drips harmoniously resonating though – growing, evolving, resounding. This miniature is about that. One descending motive of a perfect fourth constructs the whole piece. These are the drips that start the chain reaction, and everything around the drips is what happens to them as they change, develop, and resound. Enjoy. 
This work is paired with a work from Matt Dorado which depicts the initial "drop" of a needle on a record player.

Electrostatic Whale was composed in 2016 for the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble's clarinetist Oleg Tantsov. The piece is written for bass clarinet and is accompanied by a pre-recorded soundtrack; its main source comes from the sound sample of a whale song, manipulated and transformed through the use of various software to create an image of a creature, a digitized sea mammal, submerging into the deep ocean and emerging to a digitized surface.
I have chosen to work with the sound of a whale song as it is as expressive as a human voice, and some of its timbral characteristics are reminiscent of bass clarinet. What inspired me to write a piece about the whale was a snapshot from my memory. As I was taking off on a plane and looked down through my window, I saw in the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean hundreds of whales, swimming as a pod on their migration path. The surreal beauty of this moment – seeing these majestic creatures from the sky above – ignited the idea of writing this piece for bass clarinet and pre-recorded soundtrack, based on the whale song.
Brian Grimson has created a new artwork inspired by this piece.

Artistic Director Beth Ratay has chosen to pair the first of the Three Intermezzi with Brian Grimson's Color Series 2 because the intricacy of the colors of the painting mirror the intricacies of Bresnick's music.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about influence. How does one mold his/her unique personal and musical motivations into a distinctive artistic voice, and in what ways can the many influences that constantly surround us tastefully converge? Living in Color is an exploration of these thoughts.
As inspiration for this piece commissioned by and premiered in Boston, I chose to use Boston-based artist, Melanie Long’s work Curls; a vibrant and elegant image that bursts with a multitude of color and detail to depict the wonderfully simple state of content. Shortly after beginning sketches on this piece, my grandmother suddenly passed. Her daughter (my mother) happened upon an image of my grandmother wearing a jacket with the same color pallet as the protagonist in Melanie’s work. With this image, I discovered a theme of connectedness and tangling of worlds that made its way deeply into the architecture of this music.
The seed of this piece is a simple motive: a descending minor third. It is the first thing we hear and it is played by the piano: my protagonist because it is my instrument and the one that my grandmother most associates with me. That minor third transforms into a lament-like, R&B- flavored chord progression containing three chords that also happen to be separated by a minor third. The construction of this piece is held together by that chord progression, and although there is an overwhelming sense of lift throughout the course of the work, every major landmark is a lower rendition of the three-chord progression until it eventually spirals back to its original state.
The cross-pollination of R&B with a contemporary classical palate is my attempt to further explore this intertwining of worlds. My belief is that creative expression transcends genre and it is my belief that music is more powerful when we choose to open our ears wide and allow ourselves to hear all colors.

Composer Bios

Lonnie Hevia (b. 1970) grew up in Miami, Florida. Although he started playing the piano at the age of 7, his formal lessons were sporadic, and he found a much greater fascination in using the instrument to create sounds that were his own than in using it to practice the pieces assigned by his teachers. By the time he entered high school, he had started writing music inspired by the progressive rock and jazz fusion of the 1970’s and by the alternative bands of the 1980’s.
After high school, Lonnie became involved in an eclectic variety of musical projects: playing keyboards in an experimental, psychedelic jam band; nightclub performances with various rock and top-40 bands; and a studio project in which he played the role of George Martin, orchestrating the Beatles-esque songs of a talented songwriter. Having been self-taught as a composer, and realizing that he had hit a wall in his compositional progression, Lonnie enrolled at the Florida State University School of Music in 1994.
At Florida State, Lonnie studied with professor emeritus, John Boda. He earned his bachelor’s degree in composition – summa cum laude – in 1998, and he earned his master’s degree in composition in 2001. He presented his music in a master class with John Corigliano, worked with Ellen Taaffe Zwilich in master classes and individual lessons, and studied for one semester with Ladislav Kubik.
In 2006, Lonnie enrolled at The Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland where he worked on, both, a DMA in composition – which he earned in 2013 – and a second master’s degree, in music theory pedagogy. At Peabody he studied composition with Nicholas Maw, Christopher Theofanidis, and Michael Hersch. He presented music in master classes with Justin Dello Joio, and Christopher Rouse, and he took individual lessons with Libby Larsen and Chen Yi. He won second prize in the school’s Prix d’Été and first prize in the Virginia Carty deLillo Composition Competition. In 2008, he was awarded the Randolph S. Rothchild Award in Composition.
Lonnie completed his MM in music theory pedagogy in 2009 and has taught as adjunct faculty at Peabody and Towson University, and as a teaching assistant at Johns Hopkins University. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. He has taught courses in the undergraduate music theory and aural skills sequences, fundamentals for both music majors and non-majors, keyboard skills, eighteenth-century counterpoint, Classical and Romantic form and analysis, twentieth-century theory, composition, arranging, and the history of popular music.

The music of Evan Williams draws from a wide range of influences, both musical and cultural. His work reflects inspirations from the Baroque, Romanticism, Modernism, Minimalism, contemporary popular music, and everything in between. Williams’ music has been performed across the country and internationally in Canada, Italy, and Switzerland. His work has been performed by members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble, Splinter Reeds, the Verb Ballets, and at festivals such as Fresh Inc, N_SEME, SEAMUS, Studio 300, the New Music Gathering, the Electroacoustic Barn Dance, the New York City Electronic Music Festival, and the Midwest Composers Symposium. He has been commissioned by notable performers and ensembles including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Lawrence University Symphony Orchestra, the V3NTO Brass Trio, Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra, Patchwork Duo, and a consortium led by Andy Hall for his baritone saxophone concerto Wild Velvet. He has also received readings by the JACK Quartet, Oasis Saxophone Quartet, and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, among others. His work can be found on recordings by The Namaste Ensemble's "No Borders Quartet," Levels, and an upcoming recording by soprano Katherine Jolly and pianist Emily Yap Chua.
Williams has received awards and recognition from the National Federation of Music Clubs, ASCAP, Fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and in 2018, was chosen as the Detroit Symphony’s inaugural African-American Classical Roots Composer-in-Residence. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Williams completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition with a cognate in Orchestral Conducting at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. There, he studied with Michael Fiday, Mara Helmuth, and Douglas Knehans, and served as a teaching assistant in electronic music. He holds a Masters degree from Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH), and a Bachelors from the Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University (Appleton, WI). His other primary teachers have been Asha Srinivasan, Joanne Metcalf, Christopher Dietz, Mikel Kuehn, and Marilyn Shrude. He has also received instruction in festivals, masterclasses, and lessons from composers Julia Wolfe, Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, David Maslanka, Libby Larson, Evan Chambers, Stacy Garrop, Dan Visconti, and others.
As a conductor, Williams and has led performances with the Lawrence University Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble, numerous chamber ensembles, at the 2012 New Music Festival at BGSU, with Café MoMus (CCM’s contemporary chamber ensemble), and with members of the International Contemporary Ensemble. He has also trained at the Bard Conductors Institute and the Band Conducting and Pedagogy Clinic at the University of Michigan.
Williams serves as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Instrumental Activities at Rhodes College, where he teaches composition, music technology, and is music director of the Rhodes Orchestra. He previously held teaching positions at Lawrence University, Bennington College, and at The Walden School’s Young Musicians Program.

Jeremy Rapaport-Stein likes to make ethical, peculiar objects with sounds, words, and gestures. His artistic interests include improvisation, voice, error, and the perception of time. Jeremy currently resides in Boston, where he teaches and studies at Brandeis University.

Timothy A. Davis has studied composition with Bruce MacCombie, David Gompper, Thomas Oboe Lee, Lawrence Fritts, and Salvatore Macchia, as well as electroacoustic composition with Scott Wyatt, Lawrence Fritts, and Jean-Paul Perrotte. He is a past recipient of a Masterworks prize from ERM Media, and his work In Memoriam for symphony orchestra is included in ERM’s Masterworks of the New Era CD series. Past collaborations and commissions include works for the Bay Colony Brass, Quinta Esencia Ensemble, Northern Arizona University Faculty New Music Ensemble, the International Horn Society, and the Boston New Music Initiative.
Tim holds degrees in composition from Boston College, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of Iowa. He is the founder of The Boston New Music Initiative and has served as its president since its inception in 2010. In addition to his musical activities and affiliations, Tim currently works as a Senior Project Manager at GreenPages Technology Solutions in Kittery, Maine. Tim is an avid tennis player and private tennis instructor, hiker, skier, baker, and beer taster. He resides on the New Hampshire seacoast with his wife, soprano Erin M. Smith, and their two children, Caroline and Jack.

Dani Howard is a British composer who was born and raised in Hong Kong. She graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2015 where she received a first class BMus Honors Degree. She was a Rose Williams scholar supported by the Henry Wood Trust, and studied composition under Jonathan Cole. Interested in collaborating with artists in a variety of disciplines, she has worked with dancers, architects, film-makers and visual artists on a variety of projects.
She has had her compositions performed and screened internationally across the UK and North America, as we as in Italy, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Netherlands, Romania and Brazil.
Dani Howard received a commission in 2017 from ClassicFM and the Royal Philharmonic Society to write a work for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for their 25th Anniversary Concert, premiered in September 2017. This came just after her residency at the Suoni Dal Golfo Festival of Music and Poetry, Italy, which took place in August 2017. Her most recent competition includes 1st Prize in the “Breaking The Fourth Wall 1st International Composition Competition” 2017. In 2015-16 she was named winner of the 2015 Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize, and was invited as a composition fellow to the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, California. Other competitions include the Alba Rosa Vietor Composition Competition, Netherlands. In 2014-15, she was named winner of the RCM Concerto Competition, and won the Royal Philharmonic Society/IdeasTap Sound:Vision Competition, as well as being awarded 3rd Prize among junior participants in both the 5th and 6th International Antonin Dvorak Composition Competition, Prague. She was selected as one of seven finalists for the International A. Rendano composition competition, Italy, and was shortlisted for the British Section of the ISCM World Music Days Festival, Slovenia. Additionally she won 3rd Prize in the 10th International Cheng- du Sun River Composition Prize, China.

Beth Ratay has been composing and performing for over 25 years. As a composer, she has had works performed around the world, by ensembles such as Earplay, West Edge Opera,Third Millennium Ensemble, The Boston New Music Initiative, Boston Opera Collaborative, Coalescence Percussion Duo, the Cambridge Chamber Singers, the Phoenix Symphony Chorus, the Willamette University Wind Ensemble, the Arizona State University Concert Band and the University of Colorado Wind Ensemble. Her works have been featured at the April in Santa Cruz Contemporary Music Festival, the Women Composer’s Festival of Hartford and the Society of Composers, Inc National Conference.
Dr. Ratay received her Doctor of Musical Arts in World Music Composition from the University of California, Santa Cruz, her Master of Music in Music Composition from Arizona State University, and her Bachelor of Music in Music Composition from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her musical research has focused on the music of Harrison Birtwistle as well as text setting, poetic interpretation and the relationship of language to music, especially in Czech, German and English. She has studied with composers David Evan Jones, Paul Nauert, James DeMars, and Michael Theodore.
Beth is also active as both a flutist and a singer. She was the principal flutist for the University of California, Santa Cruz Orchestra and also performed for the April in Santa Cruz New Music Festival for three consecutive years. She is currently a member of the Back Bay Chorale and the Cambridge Chamber Singers. In the past, she has been a member of the Phoenix Symphony Chorus and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. Beth is currently the Artistic Director for the Boston New Music Initiative.
Dr. Ratay also enjoys teaching, and is currently an Adjunct Instructor at Bunker Hill Community College. In the past, she has taught courses at Hartnell College, Gavilan College, and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Joshua Jandreau is a composer based in Boston, Massachusetts. His music draws from jazz, funk, folk, and electronic music. He has collaborated with artists and ensembles including the Fifth-House Ensemble, Grammy-nominated Imani Winds, and Grammy Award-winning hornist Andrew Pelletier. Jandreau serves as Director of Concert Series for the Boston New Music Initiative and teaches piano in the greater Boston metro area. When not writing music, he is an avid winemaker.

Mats O Hansson (1960) has an MFA in composition from the University of Music in Gothenburg, Sweden. Composes mainly chamber music for ensembles and soloists, but also music for stage and film as well as sound and video art. Beside Sweden, his music has also been performed in Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, Greece, Argentina and USA.

Alex Wakim is an internationally performed Lebanese-American composer and pianist residing in Manhattan, KS. He is a senior pursuing a Bachelors in Music Composition at Kansas State University under Dr. Craig Weston. His piano and electronics piece, Redemption was recently choreographed and filmed with aerialists and dancers highlighting the music and producing a music video. His Trombone Concerto, Play of the Sky, was commissioned by the KSU trombone professor, Dr. Paul Hunt, and was premiered on Wakim’s composition recital with an all faculty ensemble. The third movement of this piece, Hot Blue won first place for his second year in a row in the 2017 annual Kansas Soundscapes Competition. His clarinet quartet, Clarinet 4, won his first first place award in the 2016 Kansas Soundscapes Competition and was also featured at the SCI 2016 Region VI conference, selected after a competitive peer review process. Wakim’s main instrument is piano, performing in the top KSU big band and jazz combo under Dr. Wayne Goins and actively playing around town in his own combo. His big band piece, Disillusionment, was premiered by the KSU big bands. Wakim also served as a student senator, is pursuing minors in jazz and entrepreneurship, and is vigorously pursuing film composition, hoping to attend a competitive graduate school in the field. He has been actively involved in international festivals and programs, being featured at the Alba Music Festival, getting a premier of his piece Childhood Recollections. He is studying Latin Jazz in Cuba, and refining his film composition skills at the Palomar Film Music Workshop. He is connected with the Lebanese music society, performing concerts there annually. Upcoming projects include an original musical entitled An American in Beirut and a song cycle featuring new poetry from a rising UK poet, Sea Sharp.

Vera Ivanova's compositions have been described as "... humanistic and deeply felt works ..." (John Bilotta, Society of Composers, Inc.). In her early Fantasy-Toccata (2003) for violin and piano, "the humor takes on a harder, sardonic edge recalling the composer's roots in the work of Shostakovich and Schnittke" (Ted Ayala, Crescenta Valley Weekly).
In her later Three Studies in Uneven Meters for piano (2011), "the greatest power of her brief, angular, crystalline music lies in its power to provoke the gods of symmetry" (Laurence Vittes, Lark Gallery Online Blog).
After teaching as Assistant Professor of Theory and Composition at the Setnor School of Music of Syracuse University (NY), she was appointed as Associate Professor of Music in the College of Performing Arts at Chapman University (Orange, CA). Dr. Ivanova is also teaching at the Colburn Academy.
Her music is available in print from Universal Edition and Theodore Front Music Literature, Inc., SCI Journal of Music Scores (vol. 45), on CD's from Ablaze Records (Millennial Masters series, Vol. 2), Quartz Music, Ltd., PARMA Recordings (SCI CD series, No. 27), Musiques & Recherches (Métamorphoses 2004), Centaur Records (CRC 3056), and on her website.

Martin Bresnick's compositions, from opera, chamber and symphonic music to film scores and computer music, are performed throughout the world. Bresnick delights in reconciling the seemingly irreconcilable, bringing together repetitive gestures derived from minimalism with a harmonic palette that encompasses both highly chromatic sounds and more open, consonant harmonies and a raw power reminiscent of rock. At times his musical ideas spring from hardscrabble sources, often with a very real political import. But his compositions never descend into agitprop; one gains their meaning by the way the music itself unfolds, and always on its own terms. Besides having received many prizes and commissions, the first Charles Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Rome Prize, The Berlin Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Koussevitzky Commission, among many others, Martin Bresnick is also recognized as an influential teacher of composition. Students from every part of the globe and of virtually every musical inclination have been inspired by his critical encouragement. Martin Bresnick's compositions are published by Carl Fischer Music Publishers, New York; Bote & Bock, Berlin; CommonMuse Music Publishers, New Haven; and have been recorded by Cantaloupe Records, New World Records, Albany Records, Bridge Records, Composers Recordings Incorporated, Centaur, Starkland Records and Artifact Music.

Fascinated by the art of storytelling and capturing human expression, the music of American composer/pianist Alex Berko (b. 1995) has been performed by The Crossing, Monterey Symphony, Cape Symphony, Del Sol String Quartet, and Heartland Marimba Quartet, among many others. His music has received national recognition from ASCAP/SCI, the American Choral Directors Association, and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and more. Berko is a recent graduate of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, holding a BM in composition with an outside concentration in piano and a certificate in entrepreneurship. Primary teachers included David Dzubay, Claude Baker, Keith Fitch, Aaron Travers, Don Freund (composition) and Jean-Louis Haguenauer, Edmund Battersby, and Sandra Shapiro (piano). Berko is a member of ASCAP.

Artist Bios

Melanie Long is a Boston-based artist who not only creates digital and traditional media, but music as well! She completed her BFA in illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2017. In her free time, she plays the piano, Celtic harp, and sings with the Cambridge Chamber Singers.

Christle Rawlins-Jackson is a visual artist and a communications expert who is inspired by her relationships with people, nature and her experiences living and working in West Africa. Rawlins-Jackson, a native of Boston, Massachusetts has exhibited her work throughout the United States. She is the author of “Well Seasoned Sisters”, a cookbook that chronicles an African American quilting guild through the art of quilting and food. She is currently practicing her art; working as a freelance designer; and is proprietor of Jácra Design. From 2008 until 2010 she held the position of Director of Communications at African University College of Communications in Adabraka, Accra, Ghana and from 2001 until 2008 she served as Art Director as well as Associate Director of Communications at The Governor’s Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts. From 1987 until 2000 she was employed at Community Newspaper Company (CNC). During her fourteen-years at CNC she served as Promotions Designer in the Framingham office, manager of the Creative Service Department in the Waltham office, and Design Director for the corporate headquarters in Needham, Massachusetts.

Joe Bun Keo was born in Bristol, Connecticut and currently lives and works in Hartford. He received his BFA in sculpture in 2009 from the University of Hartford. He uses materials from dollar, hardware, and thrift stores. The cheaply made kitschy aesthetic of mass-produced novelties and everyday utilitarian items serve as vessels to deliver eventual punchlines. When paired with a carefully crafted title, the work addresses reoccurring issues of art and labor, family life, cultural identity and linguistics.

Matt Dorado is a landscape oil painter and video artist whose work has been exhibited in the Massachusetts State House, the Cape Cod Museum of Art, and Mass MOCA. Matt just received his Master's Degree in Film and Video, along with his Bachelor's Degree in Painting, both from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. From the beach landscapes of his hometown of Sandwich, to the architecture and grit of urban living in Boston, Matt is inspired by a wide array of both natural and manmade atmospheres. He is from Cape Cod, Massachusetts and currently lives in Brighton.

Born in Lexington, Massachusetts, Brian Grimson received his BA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2010 and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He currently lives and works in the Boston area.

Jessica Bartlet grew up in Waterford, Connecticut and graduated in 2001 from St. Bernard High School. She attended Eastern Michigan University and received a BFA with a concentration in Drawing in 2005. She attended the New York Studio School for the 2007 Drawing Marathon with Graham Nixon and as an MFA candidate at Western Connecticut State University from 2007 to 2009 with Margaret Grimes. She held a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in the spring of 2010 and was accepted as a member, via invitation, to the First Street Gallery, in New York City in the summer of 2010. She currently lives in Torrington, CT. She had her debut solo show at First Street Gallery inFebruary/March 2013 and was featured in the March edition of In New York magazine. She currently serves as an officer on the board at First Street Gallery.

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