New Music

Through our performances and outreach projects, we bring inspired composers and music to the Central Vermont Community, including the premiere of contemporary music new to Vermont and sometimes the United States.

This fall, the orchestra will perform the US premiere of Coleccion de Realidades, by Diana Syrse.  

Diana Syrse (Diana Syrse Valdés Rosado)

Composer and singer, Mexico City, 1984

Her work as a composer involves chamber and choral music, orchestra, electronics, dance and musical theater. "Syrse is an arresting singer, as well as a composer, that appears destined to play a defining role the future of Mexican music..." (LA Times, Mark Swed). Her music has been presented at international music festivals around the world. She won the Musikförderpreise der Landeshauptstadt München, the prize given by the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste, the Residence at the Banff Center (Canada), the Jóvenes Creadores Program (FONCA) and the Akademie Musiktheater heute. She has been commissioned by organizations such as the Theater Akademie August Everding, the Transatlantic Arts Consortium (TAC), VocalEssence for their program Cantaré and the LA Philharmonic among others. Her music has been performed by ensembles such as the Sirius Quartet, VocalEssence, the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba, IPN Symphony Orchestra, Breakout Ensemble, Túumben Paax, Nemian Dance Company, Oktopus Ensemble, Julliard New Music Ensemble, LA Philharmonic and Isura Madrigal Chor between others.

Syrse is an arresting singer, as well as a composer, that appears destined to play a defining role the future of Mexican music...
— LA Times, Mark Swed

Composer, San Juan Puerto Rico, 1981

In 2016, MCO premiered Ms. Negrón’s work, “What Keeps Me Awake.” It was a thrill to have the composer travel to Vermont for the dress rehearsal and concerts. Angelica's presentation in the local middle and high school (U32) not only engaged and entertained the students, but it also challenged them to think about music in new ways. In discussions after the event students specifically mentioned that they were intrigued by the idea of "found sounds" and making music from everyday objects. "It is an interesting part of the day when we get to hear experienced musicians presenting their ideas," wrote one participant.

It is an interesting part of the day when we get to hear experienced musicians presenting their ideas
— Student at U32 High School, Montpelier, Vermont

Puerto Rican-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón writes music for accordions, robotic instruments, toys and electronics as well as chamber ensembles and orchestras. Her music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR/Q2) and “mesmerizing and affecting” (Feast of Music) while The New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise” and her “quirky approach to scoring”. Angélica has been commissioned by the Albany Symphony, Bang on a Can All-Stars, A Far Cry, MATA Festival, loadbang, The Playground Ensemble and the American Composers Orchestra, among others. Her music has been performed at the Kennedy Center, the Ecstatic Music Festival, EMPAC, Bang on a Can Marathon and the 2016 New York Philharmonic Biennial and her film scores have been heard numerous times at the Tribeca Film Festival. She has collaborated with artists like Sō Percussion, The Knights, Face the Music and NOVUS NY, among others and is a founding member of the electronic indie band Balún.  Angélica is currently a doctoral candidate at The Graduate Center (CUNY), where she studies composition with Tania León and focuses on the work of Meredith Monk for her dissertation. She's a teaching artist for New York Philharmonic's Very Young Composers Program and Lincoln Center Education working with learners of all ages on creative composition projects. Angélica is currently an artist in residency at National Sawdust. She is the composer in residence for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra for their 2018-2019 season.

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About our Music Director

Decker, who makes her home in Waterbury Center, is one of Vermont’’s best-known conductors. She conducted the statewide 15th anniversary tour of the Erik Nielsen-David Budbill opera, “A Fleeting Animal: The Judevine Opera.” (She also conducted the premiere 16 years ago.) Decker is currently artistic director of TURNmusic, a new music chamber ensemble based in Waterbury. For 15 years, she has been teaching at U-32 School in East Montpelier, where she directs the orchestra, guitar, and music technology programs. She came to Vermont in 1999 to work with the VYOA, where she conducted and taught for 13 years.

Decker has conducted productions with the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble, Opera Company of Middlebury, Vermont Opera Theater, and Amato Opera Company of New York City and served as assistant conductor of the Pioneer Valley Symphony. A new music enthusiast, she has worked with composers Augusta Reed Thomas, Joan Tower, Dennis Bathory-Kitsz and Nielsen.

Decker holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Western Michigan University and a master of music in orchestral conducting from Illinois State University. She has studied conducting with Glenn Block, David Effron, Charles Peltz and Frank Battisti.