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SMS High School Teens Premiere New Work by Martha Mooke


World Premiere of (S)hort (M)essage (S)ervice: (H)idden (S)igns
Thursday, November 21, 2013
7 pm concert, 8 pm reception

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Special Music School High School
at Kaufman Music Center

Auditorium of Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Complex
122 Amsterdam Avenue at 66th Street

On Thursday, November 21, 2013, at 7 pm, the 50 ninth graders at the newly-opened Special Music School High School will give the world premiere of (S)hort (M)essage (S)ervice: (H)idden (S)igns by pioneering composer, educator and electro-acoustic violist Martha Mooke. This piece for orchestra and chorus “contains old (Morse) code and new (SMS) code at times blatantly, other times more obscurely,” says Mooke, whose inspiration for the piece came when she received an SMS (Short Message Service) text message while pondering the acronym for “Special Music School High School” (SMSHS).

The program also includes Mooke’s Ode to Ganymede (World Premiere) and Quantum for Quartet, plus world premieres of new works by Special Music School High School student composers: Henry Alonso’s Classical Things for Martha Mooke, Julian Galesi’s Got There and a preview of a new piece by Zachary Detrick at the post-concert reception.

(S)hort (M)essage (S)ervice: (H)idden (S)igns was commissioned as part of Composers & Schools in Concert’s Commissions in Concert program, which pairs teen ensembles in grades nine through twelve with professional composers who create a piece specially for them. The ensembles rehearse the piece with the composers and perform the world premiere.

This concert is the culmination of the first ever composer residency at Special Music School High School, a new public school for musically gifted teens that emphasizes improvisation, composition, music technology and contemporary music in addition to building a strong classical foundation. It is unusual among NYC public arts high schools in offering a composition major along with composer residencies that give young musicians the opportunity to work with established composers.