Original Compositions of Two Amherst College Seniors to be Performed in Feb. 8 Concert

January 29, 2013

Contact: Sara R. Leonard

Manager of Concert Programming, Production & Publicity


AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College Department of Music presents two senior theses in music composition. “Rex” by Tom Vu and “Asylum” by Ryland Richards ’13 will be performed on Friday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. The concert is free and open to the public; seating is by general admission. 

“Rex” sweeps through selections of biblical text in five choral and piano movements. “The journey,” as described by Vu, “begins as light is emerging out of a dark abyss and then jumps to the annunciation of Jesus of Nazareth. Later movements travel through Jesus’ teachings, death and finally the return of the king.” “Asylum” is a narrative in five instrumental movements. Richards writes, “The story is one of imprisonment, escape and finding safety at last. Initially, the music is dense, angular and obscure, but as each movement gives way to the next, the harmonic language grows more and more familiar. Finally, we reach sanctuary in consonance.” The movements feature various combinations of seven different instruments. Vu is a composer and pianist from Westborough, Massachusetts. Richards is a composer and pianist from Killingworth, Connecticut.

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