KMFA Composer-In-Residence Quinn Mason To Debut Final Commissioned Works in October

The first piece titled The Sky Searching Within Itself will be premiered on Friday, October 7, at an exclusive concert for KMFA members.

By: Sep. 23, 2022
KMFA Composer-In-Residence Quinn Mason To Debut Final Commissioned Works in October
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KMFA Classical 89.5 will present the final two of three commissioned works by the Dallas-based, rising composer Quinn Mason, the inaugural composer of the Draylen Mason Composer-in-Residence program. Each piece will be premiered in October.

The first piece titled The Sky Searching Within Itself will be premiered on Friday, October 7, at an exclusive concert for KMFA members in the Draylen Mason Music Studio. The work will be performed by a Wind Chamber Ensemble from the University of Texas at Austin's Butler School of Music under the baton of conductor, Jerry Junkin. The Friday performance will also include music by Mozart and Hila Plitmann.

The public will have an opportunity to see the piece as part of a larger concert with the full Wind Ensemble on Sunday, October 9, at 4:00 p.m. at Bates Recital Hall on the University of Texas at Austin campus. The Sunday program will also include Mason's A Joyous Trilogy, along with Katahj Copley's Dope, and another world premiere piece by Hila Plitmann titled In This Circle. On this new work, composer Mason said, "The Sky Searching Within Itself is a rhapsody-ballad for wind ensemble, which explores the topic of how we process and deal with loss."

On participating in the KMFA Composer-in-Residence Program with Mason, University of Texas at Austin Wind Chamber Ensemble conductor Jerry Jerkin said, "I am very excited to have received the score to Quinn Mason's new work, commissioned by KMFA, The Sky Searing Withing Itself. This is a beautiful piece by one of America's most important young musical voices. Many of you already know Quinn's name and his music, but if you are not familiar with him, you will be soon as his already remarkable compositional output continues to add to the modern concert repertoire. I can't wait for you to hear this piece and I want to thank KMFA for making this unique performance possible."

The final commissioned piece by KMFA's inaugural Composer-In-Residence, Quinn Mason, will have its world premiere as part of Inversion Ensemble's The Electric Choir concert on Saturday, October 22 at 2:00 p.m. in the Draylen Mason Music Studio at KMFA. Mason's composition entitled Peace with text by Pulitzer Prize Winning American Poet Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) will be featured in the program. "Utilizing an accessible harmonic language, Peace aims to convey a sense of tranquility and hope," said Mason on this new work.

This genre-bending concert will alternate between new a cappella works and choral works accompanied by electronic tracks and electric instruments - including Mason's premiere. Inversion Ensemble in-house composers Marjorie Halloran, Adrienne Inglis, Robbie LaBanca, Trevor Show, and Trevor Villwock will also have works premiered on the program.

Mason spent a week in residence with KMFA in late February, where supporters got to hear some of his music, as well as some improvisation at the piano by the composer himself. While in Austin, Mason also spoke with students at the conservatory of Draylen Mason's alma mater, East Austin Prep, and conducted a virtual mater class with aspiring composers from Golden Hornet's Young Composer project. Music students from KMFA's neighbor Martin Middle School also performed for Quinn the Draylen Mason Music Studio.

The first commissioned works for piano with Lara Downes, premiered in May 2022. All three works will be recorded and made available to classical radio stations around the country for incorporation into their playlists following the world premieres.

The Draylen Mason Composer-in-Residence program honors the memory of Draylen Mason, a promising young Austin musician killed in 2018 by the Austin package bomber.

With classical music historically dominated by white (mostly male) composers, performers, and managers, works of composers of color and other minorities have been overlooked and underrepresented, not only on concert stages, but also on record labels and on classical radio stations, which rely on recorded music for their daily playlists. The Draylen Mason Composer-in-Residence program was inspired by the national call for greater diversity in classical music.

Second World Premiere KMFA Members Concert, October 7

World Premiere of Quinn Mason's The Sky Searching Within Itself

Performed by UT Austin Butler School of Music Wind Ensemble | Jerry Junkin, Conductor

7:00 pm performance at KMFA's Draylen Mason Music Studio

Public Concert Event, October 9

Quinn Mason's The Sky Searching Within Itself and Hila Pittman's In This Circle

Performed by UT Austin Butler School of Music Wind Ensemble | Jerry Junkin, Conductor

4:00 pm performance at Bates Recital Hall on the UT Campus

Third World Premiere Concert Event, October 22

Inversion Ensemble's The Electric Chair including the World Premiere of Quinn Mason's, Peace

2:00 pm performance at KMFA's Draylen Mason Music Studio

TICKETS: The October 7 Members Concert is open to KMFA members. Tickets for the Public concert on October 9 are $10 for general admission; $8 for seniors; and $5.00 for UT staff, faculty and students and are on sale now at HERE. Tickets for the third world premiere on October 22 are $30.00 for general admission and are available HERE.


Twice commissioned by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Quinn Mason is a prolific, Dallas-based young composer whose work is being acclaimed and performed around the country. Texas Monthly Magazine declares he "might be classical music's next superstar," while Dallas Morning News critic Scott Cantrell calls him "a most impressive talent." Still in his 20s, he has assembled an astonishing output of music in multiple genres. His orchestral music has received performances in the US by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Utah Symphony Orchestra, among many others. His chamber works and music for wind ensembles have been extensively performed.

A multiple prize winner in composition, he has received awards from the American Composers Forum, the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP), Texas A&M University, and Voices of Change, among others. In 2020, The Dallas Morning News named him a finalist for "Texan of the Year."


KMFA 89.5 is an independent public classical radio station in Austin, TX. Established in 1967, KMFA serves approximately 120,000 listeners each week and features locally produced shows like Classical Austin, Early Music Now, and From The Butler School, as well as nationally distributed programming from Public Radio International, American Public Media, and National Public Radio.

KMFA supports many regional arts organizations such as the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Opera, and Texas Performing Arts with on-air and online promotions, co-sponsorships, and interviews with KMFA hosts. Our Listen Local initiative broadcasts Austin's finest classical music performances, making classical music and cultural events available to all. With popular programs like the "Fall Into Music Instrument Drive" and radio camps for kids, KMFA encourages arts education and supports the Central Texas community.


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