Senior Seann Branchfield of Newport, who spent a year composing "Ragnarok," a four-movement work based on Norse mythology, found it is one thing to listen to the computer-generated version and quite another to hear it played live by a 59-member band.
"It's amazing!" said Branchfield, an oboist in the band. "As more of the piece comes together during rehearsals, it sounds like how it is supposed to."
Branchfield has written more than 60 musical compositions, many of which have been performed in Oregon. He was a finalist in the Oregon Symphony's Conti Connection competition in 2004 and composed background music for the Linfield Theatre Department's production of "Antigone." His work has also been performed by the London Chamber Group and the New York Miniaturist Ensemble. Branchfield plans to attend graduate school in music composition and ultimately work as a professional composer in the film scoring industry.
Branchfield's piece, "Ragnarok," is one of nine original pieces for band that will be performed by the Linfield College Community Band, made up of both Linfield students and community musicians. The evening will open with "Come Thou Almighty King" and feature "Flirtations for Flute," a fanfare spotlighting 11 flutists. The concert will also include "Epinicion," a piece written to produce music of chance.
"'Epinicion' is going to be different every time we play it," said Joan Paddock, Linfield professor of music and the band's director. "The score contains a number of directions which are up to each individual musician. For example, at points they're asked to play the highest note possible."
Paddock is director of instrumental activities and, in addition to the concert band, conducts the wind symphony and brass choir. She earned a doctorate in trumpet performance from Indiana University and received a Fulbright scholarship to study at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo. A Bach trumpet clinician for Selmer, Paddock has performed internationally as trumpet soloist. She has
performed with a variety of groups and is principal trumpeter of the Linfield Chamber Orchestra. In 1992, Paddock was awarded an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for creation and performance of an original composition for use with a television documentary. She serves as adjudicator and clinician for solo, ensemble and band festivals throughout the Western and Central United States. She holds memberships in the Oregon Music Educators Association, Oregon Band Directors Association, College Band Directors National Association, Music Educators National Conference, International Trumpet Guild and the Portland Brass Society.
The concert, which runs 75 minutes with intermission, is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Linfield Music Department at 503-883-2275.