Justin Aftab is from Santa Clarita, California and began learning music in the form of piano lessons in at the age of 6. Over the years he became increasingly interested in composition, and used the piano as the sole medium for all of his early pieces. He is currently a second-year undergraduate at UCSB, studying composition with Jeremy Haladyna and piano with Charles Asche. He intends to continue his studies into graduate school, and hopes to one day write and perform his own concert music as a profession.
Salman Bakht is a first-year Ph. D. student in the Media Arts and Technology Program at UC Santa Barbara. He is currently exploring the use of statistical and analysis-based collage/montage techniques applied to the generation of sound, visual, textual, and intermedia works.
Bo Bell is an electroacoustic composer and theater artist working primarily in interactive computer contexts. He has produced a large body of theatrical and improvisatory works in New York City, California, and internationally, performing in theatres, concert halls, clubs, and impromptu house parties. Bo holds degrees from Wesleyan University and Brooklyn College, and is currently a Ph.D. student in Media Arts and Technology at UCSB. He previously taught music and theater in New York for the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and he heads back East each summer to serve as the Production Manager and Sound Designer for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. He also works locally as a media arts consultant for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
Christopher Jette graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1998 with a B.A. in violin performance. He received his M.M. in music composition from the New England Conservatory in 2005 and began a Ph.D. in composition at UCSB in 2006.
The act of human perception is central to all of Christopher's works. This has manifest in the investigation of cognitive apparatus of perception. The result of this interest is works that seek to explore the idea of music not simply as sounds, but as sounds that are experienced by humans. The emphasis on experience has led to an interest in organizing concert events. The other component of this interest is that many of Christopher's compositions are created specifically for individual performers. This is a testament not only to the aesthetic bond that is formed, but also to the molding of pieces to the physical, mental and aesthetic abilities of the performer(s) involved.
Emil Margolis is an active composer currently pursuing a B.A. in music composition from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. In addition, he attended the Walden School in Dublin, New Hampshire as a student for six summers and worked on staff at the school for two summers. He holds diplomas from Orrington Elementary School, Haven Middle School and Evanston Township High School.
Aaron studied physics and music at the liberal arts school, Kalamazoo College, and later earned a masters degree in physics from Notre Dame. In 2007, he worked as an interactive music composer for the upcoming computer game, SPORE. He is currently a graduate student in the Media Arts and Technology program pursuing a masters degree in computer music composition. His interests are focused on developing interactive music systems for use in computer music performance and computer games.
James Orsher is a composer, performer and curator. Many of his works derive their content and material from found sources and chance procedures. He particularly enjoys cooking, borders and intersections, the process of getting to know a place, and short text scores. He studied at CalArts with Michael Pisaro, Stephen "Lucky" Mosko and Sara Roberts, and Amherst College with Lewis Spratlan. He currently purses doctoral studies with Clarence Barlow at UCSB.
Katherine Saxon was born in Los Angeles in 1981. She received her bachelor of arts from Williams College in Massachusetts where she studied composition with Ileana Perez-Valezquez and voice with Brad Wells. In 2002 she performed with the Berkshire Symphony as part of the Williams College Student Soloist Competition. She continued her composition studies at the University of Oregon and earned a Masters of Music in Composition, studying with Robert Kyr and David Crumb. While at the University of Oregon she founded a vocal ensemble dedicated to the performance of vocal music by students and faculty, and presented numerous new compositions on concerts and recitals as a soloist as well. Ms. Saxon currently studies composition with Joel Feigin at UCSB. She remains an active vocalist and loves to be near the ocean.
Christoffer Schunk is a sophomore at UCSB. He grew up in Los Angeles and started taking piano lessons from Janice Biermann at eight years old, staying with her through the end of his high school years. At UCSB, he studies piano with Natasha Kislenko. He started writing music in his freshman year of high school, writing primarily piano music until he came to UCSB. In his first year, he studied composition with Bahram Osqueezadeh; currently, he studies with Joel Feigin.
Ron K. Sedgwick is a PhD. candidate at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received a five-year UC Regents Special Fellowship. Both his acoustic and electro-acoustic works have received numerous awards and have been performed in the United States and Europe. He has studied composition with Professors Joel Feigin, Karen Tanaka, and Kurt Rohde, computer programming with JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, and computer music with Professors Curtis Roads and Clarence Barlow.
Chad Skopp graduated with honors from UCLA in 1992 with a double major in economics and political science. In 1995, he completed a master's degree from UCSD in Pacific International Affairs, specializing in international management while acquiring proficiency in Spanish. After studying film scoring and audio engineering, Chad completed a third major in music composition, on a jazz performance scholarship, while pursuing flamenco and classical guitar with Juan Serrano and cello with Dieter Wulfhorst. Chad continued his work in composition at UC Riverside, completing a second master's degree in 2005. At UCR, he received two Gluck Fellowship awards to play piano in performances of his jazz combo pieces.
Currently, Chad is working on a Ph.D. at UC Santa Barbara (expected June 2009) where he received both a Menk and Distinguished Performance Fellowship. At UCSB, he principally studies composition with Joel Feigin, and also has worked with Curtis Roads and Kurt Rohde. Chad's interests include Latin American chamber music, film, and jazz composition, and he particularly enjoys writing works featuring piano. In 2007, Chad received first prize Corwin awards for separate compositions in vocal and large ensemble music.
Chad's pieces have been performed across the country and have been featured on National Public Radio stations. For their 2004-05 concert season, Loyola Marymount University's chamber orchestra commissioned Chad's work, "Ethan's Dream," dedicated to his newborn son. Recent and upcoming performances include works programmed by Free Play 10 in Michigan, UCSB's Ensemble for Contemporary Music, and the L.A. chapter of the National Association of Composers (NACUSA). Chad serves as a consultant on both music and marketing initiatives for the Academy for New Musical Theater, in North Hollywood, and is the Treasurer for NACUSA/Los Angeles.
Originally from Placentia, CA, Kyle Ukes is finishing his junior year as a College of Creative Studies music composition major and sociocultural linguistics minor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Since day one, he has been under the compositional guidance of Jeremy. After many years of composing, he is very excited and honored to have his first world premiere during the Primavera Festival. His music is highly influenced by the neo-romantic and expressionist philosophies and composers. He hopes to show in his music that it is possible to combine contemporary ideas with traditional tonal practices and derive music from other sources within academia.