Posted on December 9, 2013

December 9th 2013, Boston MA – 23-year-old composer Stephanie Ann Boyd presented her string orchestra piece Dark Sky Soliloquy this evening at the New England Conservatory’s Tuesday Night New Music series in Pierce Hall. The opening piece of the concert, this Boston premiere of Dark Sky Soliloquy was conducted by Kristo Kondakci and performed by NEC string students.

The work was written for a composition residency in Canada and in describing it Boyd says “Dark Sky Soliloquy was written over four consecutive late spring evenings in my childhood bedroom with the windows open, letting in the eerie voices of the highway in the distance. I grew up listening to the night choir of the highway, hearing its melodies and eagerly absorbing its unearthly harmonies, many of which were incorporated into this piece.” Cody Forrest, composition doctoral candidate at the New England Conservatory, commented on the performance of Boyd’s work saying “her expressive lyricism is compelling and vibrant.”

A former violinist, Boyd actively strives to write for string instruments in a way that is meaningful to the performer, accessible to both high school and professional ensembles, and inspiring to the audience. Having had composition residencies in several countries over the past few years, this was her second of four string orchestra pieces, and it most recently won the 2013 Chicago College of Performing Arts Vector Project award. This is the third performance of Boyd’s works in Boston as part of the New England Conservatory’s Tuesday Night New Music Series.

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Benefit Concert Press Release

Young Ann Arbor Composers Showcase Work at Kerrytown Concert House


Scholarship Benefit Concert features the Michigan premiere of Three Disparate Sisters, a vignette of poems written by Ann Arbor poet and playwright Ken Gaertner

Ann Arbor, MI May 15 – Over the past year, several Ann Arbor high school students have been fitting one more activity into their lives. After orchestra rehearsal, at lunchtime, or before crew practice, these young musicians have been working on writing their very own compositions. Some focused on string orchestra pieces based on their favorite online comic, some wrote moving piano pieces dripping with nostalgia and some wrote a solo work for the instrument they play in the Pioneer orchestra program.  As these young Ann Arbor composers sought to explore their musical creativity, several young people from Canada were doing the same.

Taking lessons via Skype and working on several projects over the past year, all of these young musicians are part of Chicago composer (and former Ann Arborite) Stephanie Boyd’s composition studio.  These aspiring composers are having their works performed next Monday, May 20th in a studio recital and benefit concert at the Kerrytown Concert House at 8:00 PM to raise money for scholarships so that they can continue taking lessons in the coming year.

Featuring works by seven composition students ages 15 to 33, the concert will also feature some of Ann Arbor’s best young talent. Giancarlo Latta, a student who is performing two solo violin works at the concert, has said of working with Stephanie’s students that “It’s rare for young performers like myself to have the opportunity to learn and perform a piece whose ink is still wet”. Other performers include former concertmaster of the Pioneer Symphony Orchestra Davis West and former principal cellist of the Michigan Youth Orchestra Nathaniel Pierce. Also participating in the concert as the Narrator in Three Disparate Sisters is Zach Hendrickson, of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival’s touring company.

Three Disparate Sisters, the grand finale of the concert, was written as a collaboration between composition teacher Stephanie Boyd and popular Ann Arbor area poet and playwright Ken Gaertner. When asked about this piece that describes three very different young women, Boyd said “I really focused on crafting the music in such a way that it would bring out the inherent beauty of the poems and give a completely unique aural picture for each sister”.

An up-and-coming composer and arts entrepreneur, Boyd was Composer in Residence for the Ann Arbor Pioneer High School Orchestra’s 2012 Interlochen Music Camp and will be Composer in Residence this summer at the Cremona International Music Academy in Italy.  For more information about this free concert and the young composers and musicians involved, please visit


Media Contact: Alex Young