2022-23 Composers-in- and Not-in-Residence
While SFCA performs fine choral music of all periods and cultures, we have a special commitment to fostering the choral tradition through the showcasing and commissioning of living composers—both those with recognized, published works and new, emerging choral talent. SFCA’s Composer-in-Residence (CiR) and Composer-Not-in-Residence (CNiR) programs recognize and encourage choral composers.
The goal of the Composer-in-Residence program is to increase the visibility and support of the many talented and prolific choral composers living in the San Francisco Bay Area whose works the Choral Artists have performed—to the delight of audiences—since the inception of the Choral Artists.
The Composer-Not-in-Residence program seeks to expand SFCA’s reach and increase the diversity of the music fostered and performed by SFCA.
SAMUEL C. NEDEL:
Composer-in-Residence, December 2022
Originally from Kent, Ohio, Samuel’s formative years were in orchestral and choral music. As a young adult he played double bass in the Kent State Symphony, sang with the Cleveland Opera Chorus and Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, founded and directed a youth contemporary music choir at a church in Kent, and performed on stages and in orchestra pits throughout Ohio and the Northeast US.
In 2008, Samuel moved to New York City to pursue a career as a freelance musician. Over the ensuing decade he composed and performed choral works with Chromatic Voice Exchange, sang with the choirs of Saint Bartholomew’s Church and The Church of the Ascension (Catholic), and played double bass with The Chelsea Symphony, the Queer Urban Orchestra, Amore Opera, Blue Hill Troupe, The Bronx Opera, and internationally renowned cabaret artist, Micheline Van Houtem. He performed at venues including Avery Fisher Hall (now David Geffen Hall), The Juilliard School, The Bruno Walter Auditorium, The Stonewall Inn, and Carnegie Hall. In 2014, Samuel made his television debut as a member of the fictitious "New York Symphony" in Amazon Studios' original series, Mozart in the Jungle.
In 2015, Samuel began studying composition with Lowell Liebermann at Mannes School of Music (The New School). After a move to San Francisco in 2017 and a hiatus, he resumed his studies with David Garner at San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), where he received his Bachelor of Music in Composition in 2022. Samuel is currently pursuing a Professional Studies Certificate in the Technology and Applied Composition (TAC) program at SFCM.
Composer-in-Residence, March 2023
Clark Evans has been a part of many varied ensembles as a cellist and as a pianist, competed as a soloist on both instruments, and has taught many students. He has received awards and has had opportunities to perform as a soloist with various community and professional orchestras including the Brigham Young University Philharmonic, the Utah Philharmonic, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and the Civic Orchestra of Tucson. Additionally, he was a finalist in the 2018 Osaka International Music Competition.
A prolific composer, he has had the privilege of seeing many of his works performed throughout the United States and Europe. His music has been commissioned by individuals and by professional and student ensembles, and has been performed in local venues, on tours, and programmed in regular concert seasons. He has received the awards of finalist and honorable mention in the annual ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Competition. Additionally, in July of 2018 he was involved as an administrative assistant for the prestigious annual Barlow Commission. In 2019 he was awarded 1st prize in the Vera Hinckley Mayhew Composition Contest.
Evans is a graduate of San Francisco Conservatory of Music, with Masters of Music degrees in cello performance and in music composition. He also holds a B.M. in Music Performance, with an emphasis in strings, from Brigham Young University. His past teachers include Elinor Armer, Stephen Jones, Michael Hicks, Christian Asplund, Steve Ricks, and Ilona Vukovic Gay.
JOSÉ DANIEL VARGAS:
Composer-in-Residence, June 2023
José Daniel Vargas is a 3rd-year bachelor's student in Composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Growing up in Tucson, Arizona, José had an eclectic musical upbringing that began with the electric guitar and classic rock music in his early teenage years. Joining his middle school orchestra playing the double-bass, José learned how to read sheet music and was immediately interested in learning how to write his own. Almost entirely self-taught through internet forums and YouTube tutorials, the only music lessons José received before arriving at SFCM were private lessons on the double-bass with Dr. Philip Alejo at the University of Arizona.
Throughout high school, José became heavily involved in music performance, participating in band, jazz band, orchestra, as well as a community youth orchestra program called Tucson Junior Strings. José would perform everything from James Brown to Beethoven at festivals, paid gigs and school concerts. Throughout this time José was also constantly writing his own music and learning from the music he played. Eventually José participated in the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Young Composers Project where student composers worked with professional musicians and had their music played by the orchestra. The Tucson Symphony premiered José’s first orchestral work Amour dépérissant in May of 2019. December of 2021 saw the world-premiere of a piece José arranged and orchestrated with the Cape Cod Pops Orchestraon their holiday concert.
José is currently studying under Dr. David Conte, as well as teaching private music lessons at Guitar Center.
American composer Caroline Mallonee (b. 1975) is an award-winning composer based in Buffalo, NY. Her music has been programmed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Merkin Hall, Bargemusic, Tenri Cultural Center, Town Hall, Roulette, and National Sawdust in New York City, as well as further afield at the Carlsbad Music Festival (CA), Long Leaf Opera Festival (NC), Bennington Chamber Music Conference (VT), the Corcoran Gallery (Washington, DC), and Jordan Hall (Boston, MA).
The New York Philharmonic included her music on its CONTACT! new music series in 2015 and commissioned a new work in 2019. She has also been commissioned to write new pieces for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Spektral Quartet, Present Music, Wet Ink Ensemble, PRISM Quartet, Ciompi Quartet, Ethos Percussion, and the Buffalo Chamber Players, for whom she serves as composer-in-residence.
Her choral music is performed widely. She has been commissioned by the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, Vocális Chamber Choir, Buffalo Girlchoir, and A Prairie Home Companion, among others. First rising to national prominence at 14 with The Carolers At My Door, Dr. Mallonee has won the ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composers Award, Yale Glee Club’s Emerging Composers Competition, Ft. Myers Mastersingers Prize, and the Institute for Choral Creativity Competition.
She is the director of the Walden School Creative Musicians Retreat, a week-long festival for composers and improvisers held in New Hampshire each June. She holds degrees from Harvard, Yale and Duke, and held a Fulbright Fellowship to the Netherlands, where she studied with Louis Andriessen.
- 2020/22 — Alexis Alrich
- 2019 — Jean Ahn
- 2018 — Michael Kaulkin
- 2017 — Elinor Armer
- 2016 — John Kelley
- 2015 — Daniel Afonso
- 2014 — Benjamin Taylor
- 2013 — Mark Winges
- 2012 — Allen Shearer
- 2011 — Richard Felciano
- 2010 — Brian Holmes
- 2009 — Ted Allen
- 2008 — Robin Estrada
- 2007 — Jerry Mueller
- 2006 — Henry Mollicone
- 2005 — Maia Aprahamian
- 2004 — Paul Crabtree
- 2003 — Russell Burnham
- 2002 — Kirke Mechem
- 2001 — David Conte
- 2000 — Herb Bielawa
- 1999 — Roger Nixon