Skip Navigation
*To search for student contact information, login to FlashLine and choose the "Directory" icon in the FlashLine masthead (blue bar).

Tuscarawas News Detail

Guest Faculty Recital

Posted Jan. 24, 2014

A Guest Faculty Recital will be performed on Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. at Kent State University at Tuscarawas in Founders Hall auditorium. Sponsored by the Artist/Lecture Series, the event is free and open to the public. The auditorium doors open at 6:30 p.m., with seating available on a first come, first served basis.

The performance features Sebastian Birch, piano; and Alissa Shuster, flute; along with Brian Bennett, drums; and Daniel Nauss, bass. The recital will feature French composer Claude Bolling's Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano, as well as works by Lili Boulanger, Birch and Shuster. All four members of the quartet are music faculty members from Kent State Stark.

Birch is an associate professor of music, teaching theory, composition and piano. He is a native of Ohio but was brought up in Italy where he began his musical training. He holds an MM from Cleveland State University, studying with Edwin London and Bain Murray, and a DMA from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied composition with Donald Erb.

He has composed numerous works for many mediums and venues including the opera Ligeia, the musical, Cricket on the Hearth, The Hidden City, a suite for piano commissioned by the city of Cleveland and Argentum, a work for "flutes and silverware" commissioned by the Cleveland Museum of Art. Trois Chansons, for soprano and piano, was performed at the 2006 New Music and Art Festival.

I Love Shapes is the first of three commissions for the Cuyahoga Youth Valley Ballet, the others being Color Me Red and one of the movements from Three Visions of Bach.Other commissions include acoustic and electronic works for dance and the theater including Cleveland Ballet, The Tom Evert Modern Dance Company, The College of Wooster and the University of South Florida.

Originally from California, Shuster grew up in Cleveland Heights and attended St. Olaf College (Minnesota) and Kent State University for her MA and PhD degrees. She has been a visiting assistant professor at the University of the Pacific in California and Hiram College. She was a student at the l'ecole americaine in Fontainebleau, France, and the Czech-American Student Music Institute at the Prague Conservatory. 

In France, a composition of hers was performed on Debussy's previous piano, and in Prague, and her piece for soprano and piano, Songs for Sappho, were performed at the Dvorak Museum on Dvorak's own piano.

Shuster received first prize for her composition Kokopelli's Dream for flute and two percussionists by the International Society for Women Composers in 1994. For seven years, she was a faculty member in theory, music literature and composition at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, and before that was a fellowship student/instructor at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. She has been a member of the Kent State Stark music theory faculty for four years, and also teaches music theory at the College of Wooster.  She has taught for the past 11 years as a Suzuki and preparatory theory and composition teacher at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Kent State Tuscarawas is located at 330 University Dr. N.E. in New Philadelphia.