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Composer in Residence at ULM Takes Music Beyond the Page

Ali Owens
ULM Chamber Ensemble
Dr. Sekhon's music is being performed by several ULM ensembles, including the ULM Chamber Choir.

The 2018 ULM Composer in Residence is Dr. Baljinder Sekhon. His music is being performed Tuesday, February 27 at 7:30 in the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall.

Dr. Sekhon was invited to be the Composer in Residence by Dr. Mel Mobley after the two met at the New Music on the Bayou Festival in 2017. "When we invite a composer in, obviously, we want to get a really good composer and he was certainly that," says Dr. Mobley, "but also he was very engaging in our discussion." Dr. Mobley and Dr. Sekhon discussed how they each work with their students, and Dr. Mobley decided Dr. Sekhon would be a perfect fit as a guest composer.

Dr. Sekhon brings with him a selection of chamber music, including pieces featuring solo sax, flute and clarinet accompanied by percussion. The music works well in this setting to bring together students, faculty, and alumni. The concert features a three-movement piece for violin and piano dedicated to Dr. Sekhon's two nieces and nephew. The last movement, dedicated to the youngest of the three, is a lullaby.

Dr. Mobley and Dr. Sekhon agree that having the composer accessible helps students become more immersed in the music. "I experienced that most particularly yesterday in the choir rehearsal," says Dr. Sekhon. "I found that as soon as I talked for about five minutes with the students, I could see a level of understanding that went beyond just looking at music on the page." The ULM Chamber Choir is performing "There Are No Words," which Dr. Sekhon describes as a "failure to address" the violence that occurs in the world.

The Composer in Residence Concert is Tuesday, February 27 at 7:30 in the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall. More information about Dr. Sekhon and his music can be found here.