Tune of Our Times

On Nov. 14, the Knight Foundation announced the 17 winning projects chosen from the 300 submitted ideas for the 2017 Knight Arts Challenge Akron. Among the recipients is Kent State University faculty member Christopher Coles, whose grant totals $45,000 out of the $743,000 awarded this year. His winning idea, titled “Nine Live,” involves the creation of an interdisciplinary piece that will immerse the audience into the lives and stories of nine African Americans killed during an evening prayer service in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

“This is an incredible accomplishment given the number of ideas submitted,” said Jane Dressler, interim director of the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music. “I look forward to hearing the completed piece, tentatively set to premiere in 2019.”

Coles is a saxophonist, composer and teacher who currently is on the faculty at both Kent State in the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music as well as the Aurora School of Music. He is an active performer in Northeast Ohio, appearing with local and internationally renowned musicians including Eddie Baccus Sr., Melvin Burks, Kenny Davis, Glenn Holmes, Bill Ransom, and Cecil Rucker, Grammy Award-winner Slide Hampton, Ralph Lalama and Allen Vizzutti. Recently, he performed in Italy with the Ohio Youth Jazz Orchestra and Wessell Anderson, lead alto saxophonist for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Coles received his bachelor’s degree in saxophone performance from Youngstown State University where he studied with world-renowned saxophonist and educator Dr. James C. Umble, jazz saxophonist Dr. Kent Englehardt, and jazz bassist and composer Dr. David Morgan. In 2012, he received his master’s degree in saxophone performance from the University of Akron.

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For more information about the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music and Christopher Coles, please visit www.kent.edu/music.

For more information about the Knight Foundation, please visit www.knightfoundation.org.

POSTED: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 9:04am
UPDATED: Friday, May 25, 2018 - 1:09pm