Faculty member gets grant to compose new work inspired by Studs Terkel
August 7, 2009
Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
Benedictine University jazz piano instructor Josh Moshier has been awarded one of 12 grants totaling $253,000 through Chamber Music America’s (CMA) New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development program.
The grantees were selected in June by an independent panel of jazz musicians. CMA received 161 applications from jazz ensembles in 16 states.
“We are delighted to be offering the New Jazz Works program, not only because of the new compositions it is supporting, but because of the opportunities for professional development it will foster,” said Margaret M. Lioi, CMA chief executive officer. “More than ever, creative artists need to be competent administrators and promoters of their own work.”
Moshier is a pianist and composer who lives in Chicago. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Northwestern University School of Music, where he studied composition, jazz performances and digital media. He has performed in the Chicago area with many great jazz musicians.
Moshier is the co-leader of a quartet called The Moshier-Lebrun Collective with saxophonist Mike Lebrun. He also conducts and composes for an 11-piece jazz ensemble called “One Louder” and performs regularly with the Max Krucoff Trio. He has appeared as a sideman at such venues as Andy’s Jazz Club, the Drake Hotel, Pete Miller’s, Martyrs and Schubas.
Moshier and the Moshier-Lebrun Collective will use the grant to compose a work inspired by Studs Terkel’s memoir, “Touch and Go.” Terkel’s memoir has been characterized as a medley of all the extraordinary characters he encountered throughout his career, from the unknown loners of his youth to New Deal politicians and famous sports figures.
The work proposed by Moshier and the Moshier-Lebrun Collective will seek to capture the spirit of Terkel’s colorful career, his compassion for the truth and his zest for life by utilizing both sequenced song and through-composition in five self-contained songs. The work will be scored for tenor saxophone, piano, guitar, bass and drum set.
Another Benedictine faculty member, jazz guitarist John Moulder, is also participating in the project and will appear with the Moshier-Lebrun Collective on its upcoming album, “Joy Not Jaded,” which will be released in October by OA2 Records.
New Jazz Works, made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, supports the creation and performance on new works by professional U.S. jazz ensembles, funds activities that extend the life of the work and encourages the development of career-related business skills.
Since its inception in 2000, the program has provided support to more than 132 jazz ensembles.
Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education
recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes
magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business
as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.