David Voss '16

David VossWhen I first applied to Lawrence University for composition, I had no idea just how much I would grow in my four years of school. Having never formally studied composition prior to college, I didn’t know what to expect. However, shortly after I started taking lessons, I was greatly impressed by the composition faculty’s attentiveness to their students’ needs, their respect toward each composers’ individual musical voice, and their insightful compositional remarks regarding their students’ works. Even since I’ve graduated, I’ve received great support from the Lawrence composition faculty, particularly with grad school applications and the commissioning process.

I am very grateful for the education I received at Lawrence and for the various musical opportunities I received during my four years. The faculty and my fellow Lawrentians have shaped me more then they can ever know.

Life after Lawrence: David Voss was the recipient of a Lawrence Composition Scholarship as well as a Piano Accompanying Fellowship. David won the 2014-15 Pi Kappa Lambda Award in Composition at Lawrence, and he was chosen as one of a select group of composers for the 2015-16 Lawrence Symphony Orchestra Composers’ Forum. He has received a number of commissions, writing an Easter cantata for St. Mark Lutheran Church as well as a mass double reed ensemble piece for the International Double Reed Society 2017 convention. He was a composition student at the 2016 Atlantic Music Festival, where he studied with composition professors from some of the top music schools in the country and had his Pierrot ensemble piece Tweak premiered by the AMF Contemporary Ensemble. Before that, he was a Composition Fellow at the 2014 nief-norf Summer Festival, where his quintet Porch Swing was given its world premiere. In addition to his composition studies, David studied piano at Lawrence and performed as the pianist for the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra and Concert Choir. Listen to David's music on his composition website.

JP Merz '14

JP MerzComing in as a double degree guitar performance/environmental studies major, constant exposure to all sorts of great new music drew me towards becoming a composer. The composition faculty guided me in finding my own path, whether it was developing my compositional voice or applying to grad school. The school as a whole is also an amazing place to be exposed to new ideas, play in unique ensembles, and collaborate with amazing musicians, many of whom I continue to collaborate with. The environment is supportive, extremely active/ambitious, and lots of fun. My education at Lawrence was a valuable and irreplaceable experience.

Life After Lawrence: JP Merz is a composer and sound artist who works with classical musicians, jazz musicians, rock musicians, improvisers, dancers, electrical engineers, programming languages and robots. JP’s music has been performed by members of the JACK Quartet, Colorfield Ensemble, Playground Ensemble, Iowa Center for New Music, Lawrence Symphony Orchestra and the Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble. Performances have recently been heard at New Music on the Point (Lake Dunmore, VT) and the Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions (Steuben, WI).

Upcoming projects include a commission from the Colorado New Music Ensemble, a piece for the Altius Quartet, and a showing of new sound sculptures at the ACRE gallery in Chicago. In addition to composing, JP performs on guitar, electric viola and electronics with an eclectic variety of groups ranging from new music/improv ensembles to folk-rock bands.

JP holds a B.Mus. in composition and music theory from Lawrence University where he studied with Asha Srinivasan and Joanne Metcalf. He is currently a master’s student at the University of Colorado - Boulder, studying with Michael Theodore, Dan Kellogg, and John Drumheller. Listen to JP's music on his composition website.

Daniel Miller '13

Daniel MillerThe mark of a great teacher is that their students all turn out very differently. This was my experience of the Lawrence faculty. They care deeply about the individuality of their students. With their mentorship, my peers accomplished everything from composing and recording an opera to writing music for Balinese gamelan instruments.

The opportunities the Lawrence community offered me were no less diverse. I had the opportunity to pursue a newfound love for computer music; study music in the Netherlands; help found a student group that sang traditional Appalachian a cappella music; collaborate with countless talented musicians and ensembles; and study philosophy rigorously, an experience that still informs my music and my life.

The many friends and mentors I met at Lawrence continue to be a source of inspiration for me today.

Life After Lawrence: A native of Seattle, Daniel Miller has long been influenced by the intersection of technology and ecological sound. Daniel is a recipient of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, a grant that made possible twelve months of research and field recording in seven countries. His project, “Experiencing Nature through Computer Music,” took him to the Australian outback, volcanoes in Indonesia, underground-music venues in Tokyo, high-altitude salt flats in Bolivia, and glacial lakes in Iceland.

Daniel’s music has been performed in the United States and Europe played by, among others, Seattle Symphony musicians, the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Beau Metro String Quartet, and the NOW Ensemble. His electroacoustic works have been accepted by the national conference of the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States and the International Computer Music Conference. Most recently, Daniel served as the Coordinator of Art and Technology Programs at Foundry Academy in Walnut, California. He is currently a masters candidate in the Digital Musics program at Dartmouth College. Daniel’s music, field recordings, and other creative work can be found on his website.

Evan Williams '11

Evan WilliamsI’m convinced that I wouldn’t be where I am today without Lawrence. The faculty nurtured and helped me grow as a composer, musician, and person. Even today, I can reach out to Conservatory faculty for guidance and support. I don’t know of any other place where I could perform in multiple ensembles, conduct large ensembles, and undertake lengthy and ambitious projects as an undergrad.

Collaborating with talented students provided valuable experience and created important professional and personal connections that have lasted till this day.

In addition, the supportive community of composers is unlike anything that I’ve encountered anywhere else. I’m so thankful for the opportunities that Lawrence has given me.

Life After Lawrence: Evan Williams’ music has been performed across the country and internationally in Canada, Italy, and Switzerland. His work has been performed by members of the International Contemporary Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble, the Verb Ballets, and at festivals such as Fresh Inc, SEAMUS, Studio 300, the Electroacoustic Barn Dance, and the Midwest Composers Symposium. He has been commissioned by the Lawrence University Symphony Orchestra, the V3NTO Brass Trio, the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra among others. He has also received readings by ensembles such as the JACK Quartet, Oasis Saxophone Quartet, and Toledo Symphony Orchestra.

Evan’s honors and awards include recognition from the National Federation of Music Clubs, ASCAP Plus, Fellowships from the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts, and others. He serves as a teaching assistant for electronic music at CCM.

Evan Williams recently received a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He also holds degrees from Bowling Green State University and Lawrence University. Listen to Evan's music on his composition website and his SoundCloud page