Community invited to free event

Dr. Lanier SammonsDr. Lanier Sammons, a lecturer in the Music and Performing Arts Department, will premiere some of his compositions on Dec. 5 at a free concert in the Music Hall. The performance will get under way at 8 p.m.

“I have an ensemble of great musicians and they’ll be performing pieces I wrote for my dissertation” while a graduate student at the University of Virginia, he said. The performers, all active chamber musicians based in San Francisco, are Michael Straus (saxophone), Dana Jessen (bassoon), Kyle Bruckmann (oboe) and Giacomo Fiore (guitar).

All the pieces are audience-interactive. “The audience is in some way vital to the performance of each piece. The pieces literally can’t be performed without the audience because they’re given a specific role to play,” he explained.

That role varies. In a few pieces, the audience members improvise along with the ensemble. In one, the audience becomes the score for the ensemble. In another, a bank of sensors translates data about the audience and the performance environment into electronic sound.

Dr. Sammons, a guitarist as well as a composer, teaches analogue mixing and digital editing, the MPA capstone class and organizes the MPA master class and lecture series.

 His music explores the intersection of popular and classical music and the pairing of electronic and acoustic sound, among other ideas. As a performer, he explores multiple genres on electric guitar, classical guitar and other instruments.

Recently, Dr. Sammons was the recipient of an ASCAP Plus Award in the concert music division.
The award is given by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and is based on the unique value of each composer’s catalog of original compositions as well as recent performances.

According to the organization, the grants support the growth and development of the nation’s musical future.

This is his first semester at CSUMB. For more information, visit his website.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Sammons