Kent State Alumnus James Wilding, composer, has work premiered by the Escher String Quartet
Tuesday Musical of Akron Celebrates 130 Years
By Sarah Heber
Alumnus James Wilding, PhD, was humbled and honored when he was selected to compose an original piece for The Tuesday Musical Arts Association of Akron. The piece was for the celebration of Tuesday Musical’s 130-year anniversary and was performed by the world-renowned Escher String Quartet.
The Quartet premiered the piece, Homeland Portraits, on September 16 during the celebration. Composing the piece was fun but challenging for Dr. Wilding. For him, music is much more than just writing down notes and sending the music out, it’s about composing the music to create and entire experience.
“I had to figure out how to make the music in my head sound good on all the different instruments but still represent the celebration of their 130th anniversary,” Dr. Wilding says. “I loved the whole creation process though and I am glad I was lucky enough to have the commission to create a piece for a group like the Escher String Quartet.”
Wilding wanted his music to represent Tuesday Musical of Akron by looking back on its legacy and remembering where the organization came from. In order to show the reflection upon time, he divided the piece into three movements.
“The first movement is named People Gathering, and it lots fun. I saw this as a colorful movement of celebration. The second movement, Open Plain, is reflective of all the places we can think of and remember from our homes. The last movement is a look at the next 130 years to come. Named Fire, it represents that creative fire within all of us,” Dr. Wilding says.
After he finished composing Homeland Portraits, Wilding sent it off to the Quartet to be rehearsed.
“They only had two months to practice the piece, so I told them I would be available to answer any questions and left it at that. I wanted to let them do it on their own unless they needed me,” Dr. Wilding says. “In fact, it wasn’t until the day before the celebration that I had heard them perform it, and it sounded better than I could have ever imagined.”
Dr. Wilding’s time at Kent State ignited his passion for teaching. He had the opportunity to teach music theory classes where his double majors in music composition and music theory came in handy.
“Kent State is the reason I am teaching when I’m not composing. I have always loved helping students, and now I do that every day here at the University of Akron. I help them figure out how to compose their own music which gives them a real sense of pride once they have accomplished their first piece,” Dr. Wilding says.
For more information about James Wilding, visit his website at http://www.jameswilding.com/.
For more information about Tuesday Musical, visit their website at https://www.tuesdaymusical.org/performances/prelude/2525.