School of Music News
FEATURED STORY: Following Your Bliss as a Researcher
Harry E. Price is the recipient of the 2018 NAfME Senior Researcher award.
FOR HARRY E. PRICE, the idea of pursuing a career in music wasn’t exactly in his family’s plans. “My family has always been in business,” says Price, who began playing trombone in seventh grade, and decided around 10th grade that his path lay in music. “I sat my parents down and said, ‘I know it’s not for you, but I’m interested in music and teaching.’ And my father said, ‘You choose what you love, because money isn’t the answer. You’ve got to pick something you care about.’”
The shift from perform-ing to music education happened thanks to a job Price took while putting himself through school. “I got a job assisting Michael Wagner, who was in charge of technology at the time. I also helped a couple of doctoral students who were doing dissertations, one of whom was Cornelia Yarbrough. Interestingly. I ended up studying with her in Syracuse.” Price, who is the former Academic Editor of NAfME’s Journal of Research in Music Education (JRME), and current professor of music and music education at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in music education, both from Florida State University in Tallahassee, and a doctorate in teacher preparation from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.
Price has been doing research for more than 35 years. He describes his passion this way: “It’s just stuff I’m interested in, stuff I wonder about. I go, ‘I wonder if...’ It’s just curiosity.” He has been working with colleague Steve Morrison on the effect of conducting regarding the perception of sound. “We did a study where we had different conductors conducting music, but we had the same performance. And we found that the effect of the conductor on people’s perception of the music was quite high. They rate the experience of the music on how expressive the conductor is.” Price also says that if people see a fancy conductor as opposed to a more placid one, the viewer’s perception is affected. “Plenty of conductors will say it doesn’t matter. I tend to believe research, and if I find research that is different from what I think, I change my thought because I believe in data.”
Price remarks that, “Joseph Campbell used to say, ‘Follow your bliss.’ And that’s what people should do. Find something you are excited about. Your dissertation is who you are going to be for at least five years, so people need to find something that excites them.”
As a tip for researchers, Price recom-mends, “Don’t start with the answer, like, ‘I’m going to do research and prove that I’m right. You’ve got to be open to any possibility. There is a difference between a belief and a fact. Be open to all ideas and all information, not just the information that supports what you think the answer should be, because that’s death in research.”
By Lisa Ferber
KSU School of Music Releases Album Featuring Music of Chinese Composer Chen Yi
Album titled “Chinese
Rap” includes commissioned piece commemorating KSU professor’s tenure
Kennesaw, GA (June 16, 2016)–– The Kennesaw State University School of Music has released an album featuring music by Chinese composer Chen Yi performed by Kennesaw State students and faculty. Officially released on June 10, 2016 by classical music label Centaur Records, the album was recorded on campus in Morgan Concert Hall and is the first commercial recording released by the School of Music. In partnership with the School of Music, the KSU Confucius Institute, an organization that aims to promote Chinese language, education, and cultural exchanges, provided significant support for producing the album.
The project began in 2014 when Chen Yi made a special visit to KSU as the featured guest composer for the School of Music’s annual Kennesaw State Festival of New Music. During her visit, the composer participated in master classes and seminars and spent time working with students, including coaching rehearsals with student ensembles performing her compositions.
Born in China in 1953, Chen Yi studied music composition at the Central Conservatory in Beijing before earning her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Columbia University in New York. Currently serving as Distinguished Professor of Composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Dr. Chen is known internationally as a prolific composer who blends Chinese and Western traditions transcending cultural and musical boundaries.
The name of the album, Chinese Rap, is taken from the title of the disc’s opening track featuring Helen Kim, associate professor of violin, as soloist with the KSU Symphony Orchestra. This special piece, officially titled “Chinese Rap for Violin and Orchestra,” was commissioned by the KSU School of Music to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Kim joining the faculty at Kennesaw State.
Describing the piece, Dr. Chen says, “The work is inspired by Chinese folk musical story telling, Quyi, in a form of mixed reciting and singing style, with interludes played by percussion and plucking instruments in accompaniment… The melodies are delicate and leisurely, and the rhythmic parts are energetic, vivid and lively. There are big contrasts between sections, which are juxtaposed and connected smoothly and congenially.”
In addition to the commissioned piece, the album also features works performed by student ensembles and faculty. The KSU Chamber Singers perform selections from the composer’s 1994 work “A Set of Chinese Folksongs, Vol. 1” including Fengyang Song, Flowing Stream, and Diu Diu Deng. Violinist Helen Kim is featured again later on the album performing “Romance & Dance for Violin and Piano” along with Robert Henry, KSU pianist and artist-in-residence. The next track features Chen Yi’s exciting work “Tu for Wind Ensemble” which was originally written in 2002 for symphony orchestra but was arranged for band in 2004 and performed by the KSU Wind Ensemble for this release. Closing the album is a live recording of Dr. Chen’s 1998 orchestral work Momentum performed by the KSU Symphony Orchestra.
The album is now available for digital purchase and streaming from most major online music services, including Apple iTunes. Physical copies of the album on CD are available from most major online retainers, including HB Direct (www.hbdirect.com), ArkivMusic (www.arkivmusic.com), and Amazon (www.amazon.com).