Composition festival set for Nov. 4-5 at Mendelssohn

Staff Report

Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center will host Greater Rockford Music Teachers Association’s (GRMTA) composition festival Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4-5.

The event, titled “A Journey Into Composition with Catherine McMichael,” will conclude with a public concert of Catherine McMichael’s works beginning at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5. Admission is free.

Guest composer Catherine McMichael, who has been mentoring a group of local young musicians interested in composing solo and/or ensemble music for the past few months, will hold a composition class for students Nov. 4-5. Participants will be grouped according to their experience with composing (i.e., beginner, some experience, and experienced).

McMichael is a pianist, teacher, composer, and publisher for piano, strings, flute, harp, brass choir, hand bells and chorus. Teaching, performing, and composing comprise her professional music life in Saginaw, Mich., where she is on the faculty of Saginaw Valley State University.

McMichael performs frequently with the Saginaw Choral Society and the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, and is a clinician at workshops and institutes throughout North America and Australia. Her educational materials are widely known and have been performed on recent concerts in Rockford.

GRMTA was founded around 1970 and has a current membership of around 20 teachers serving the northwestern Illinois area. The association exists to elevate the standards of music teaching and to encourage and promote the cause of good music. The association is part of the Illinois Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association. This is the third composition festival sponsored by the organization.

Mendelssohn is at 415 N. Church St., Rockford. Call (815) 964-9713 or visit for more details.

From the Nov. 2-8, 2011, issue

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