OpenPageEnsemble is Washington's newest chamber group, performing vocal and instrumental small-ensemble works of the 20th and 21st centuries. Founding directors, Rosa Lamoreaux, voice, and Lori Barnet, cello, are continually grateful for the privilege of performing music of the past 10 centuries, yet are compelled by curiosity to explore and perform music of our own era, and to commission new vocal and instrumental works for small ensemble.
Composer Janice Hamer studied at Harvard and received her Ph.D. at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York; her major teachers were Earl Kim and Thea Musgrave. She lived for some years in England, where her music was performed on BBC radio and in London's concert halls. She has taught and conducted at Haverford, Bryn Mawr, the Curtis Institute, and Swarthmore College.
Hamer is the recipient of numerous compositional awards and fellowships, including grants from the Radcliffe Institute, the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Councils on the Arts, Meet the Composer, American Music Center, American Composers Forum and ASCAP. She has had five residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
Among the groups and individuals performing and/or commissioning her music are Philadelphia's Orchestra 2001, the Dale Warland Singers, the BBC Singers, Philadelphia Concerto Soloists, Apple Hill Chamber Players, the Kharkov (Ukraine) Philharmonic, the US Holocaust Museum resident ensemble, Philadelphia's Chamber Orchestra First Editions, and a commission for OpenPageEnsemble.
Rosa Lamoreaux and Lori Barnet joined conductor Piotr Gajewski and the National Philharmonic in the 2013 performance at Strathmore Music Center in Hamer's opera Lost Childhood (librettist Mary Azrael). It was commissioned and developed by American Opera Projects, and will be performed again in May 2019, by the UCLA Opera Studio.
Composer Justus (Jay) Parrotta's works consist of music for solo instruments, voice, choir, congregation, chamber ensemble, orchestra, dance, opera, electronics, and film including the critically acclaimed documentary Dakota 38. His solo, chamber, orchestral, and vocal music merges a variety of influences such as the Fibbonacci and Lucas sequences, Latin American rhythm combinations, pitch centricity, the overtone series, Native American scales, Japanese Gagaku, and Irish and Scottish folk music. His sacred music takes influence from late 19th and early 20th century English and Anglo-American sacred music, plainsong, Byzantine chant, shape-note hymnody, Hildegard Von Bingen, Melchior Vulpius, Michael Praetorius, Henry Purcell, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Felix Mendelssohn. Regarding electronic music, he possesses an interest in Musique Concrete and manipulations of prerecorded sounds via digital technology. Venues such as The Columbia Pike Community Chorus, Writing the Rockies Conference at Western State Colorado University, New Voices at CUA, and churches throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia have featured his works. Dr. Parrotta's music has been heard in Antarctica, Australia, France, Russia, Sweden, Zambia, and throughout North America.
Composer Scott Pender (b. 1959) has called the phonograph his first music teacher. He cites his parents' "extensive, eclectic record collection" as a primary early influence. As a child, he began making up tunes at the piano and taught himself to read music. Formal study in piano and theory as a teenager led to his enrollment at Peabody Conservatory, where he began composition studies with Jean Ivey. He holds degrees in philosophy from Georgetown University and music composition from Peabody Conservatory.
He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study in the United Kingdom with the English composer Gavin Bryars. In addition to a MacDowell Colony residency and the Fulbright Fellowship, he has received honors and grants from the Virginia Arts Festival John Duffy Composers Institute, the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, the American Music Center, ASCAP, BMI, Meet the Composer, the Southeastern Composers' League, The Phi Beta Kappa Society,and others. Pender has written a wide variety of music, including work for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble (acoustic and electronic), solo voice, piano, organ, and music for theater, stage, and dance.
He is the composer of theme music for the C-SPAN series First Ladies: Influence & Image. His work has been performed throughout the United States and Europe to critical acclaim: "a good ear for melody and a keen sense for the dramatic" (The Washington Post); "natural expression, remarkable emotional range and flawless compositional technique" (The Columbia Flier); and "original, contemporary music of considerable grandeur and mystery" (The Washington Times).
Recent recordings include Music for Woodwinds (NV6127) and 88+12 (NV5968), both from Navona Records, and Foothills for string orchestra & piano from Petworth Music (PM1401). His sextet In the Time Before was released in 2012 on the Navona Records album Lock & Key. Commissions include: Foothills (North Georgia Chamber Symphony), Songs from Terezín (Annapolis Brass Quintet & Morgan State University), Music for Oedipus the King (Avalanche Theater Company), Solemn Overture (Annapolis Symphony Orchestra), Toccatina for four flutes (Powell Quartet), Vespers (the Jesuit Music Project), and TANGO: Ms. Jackson Dances for the World (Yvar Mikhashoff). Scott Pender's music is published by Petworth Music (BMI).
A native of Florida, he has made Washington, D.C. his home for more than 35 years. For more information about Scott Pender and his work, including audio clips and score samples, visit www.scottpender.net.