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Music professor earns accolades for composition

October 26, 2009

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    Assistant Professor of Music Michael Johanson

Assistant Professor of Music Michael Johanson’s work as a composer caught the attention of The Oregonian and earned him a prestigious award.

Johanson received an ACSAPLUS Award, in the Concert Music Division, for the performance activity generated by his catalog in the past year.

The Oregon Repertory Singers performed his composition “Earth Dweller” in two Portland concerts this fall. Inspired by the William Stafford poem of the same name, “Earth Dweller” took shape during Johanson’s residence at the MacDowell Colony for artists last year. In 2009, the piece received the Oregon Repertory Singers first Gil Seeley Prize in Composition.

The Oregonian said of “Earth Dweller”: “The gently rising and falling scales of [Johanson’s composition] evoked the poem’s images of sun and barn, dreams and magic, beginning in a wordless swirl of overlapping pitches and ending on an open chord.”

In addition to his composition work, Johanson spends his time in the classroom and working one-on-one with Lewis & Clark students. In this recent interview, Johanson recalls how his passion for music grew as a young student and describes how he works with Lewis & Clark students to develop their technical skills and personal creative voices. 

Learn more about composition at Lewis & Clark in this video.