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The Antelope

UNK New Music Festival attracts national talent



For the 19th year, UNK is proud to present the 2020 New Music Festival. Taking place on March 13-14, students and performance professionals will showcase a variety of contemporary music styles in a concert setting in the Fine Arts Building. 

Dr. Anthony Donofrio, the associate professor of music composition and theory, as well as the director of the new music series and festival is encouraged by the event and the national reach that it has gained.

“The amount of exposure that the festival has gotten has really exploded,” Donofrio said.

With the festival featuring four concerts that will take place over the two-day span, attendees will get the chance to hear a diverse array of sounds. The headlining group is Nois, a saxophone quartet that will conclude the event with a concert. 

Along with the Chicago-based group, a variety of other music professionals will showcase their talents and as provide tips while working with UNK students.

Not only does the event provide a musical experience for the general public, it also gives students the opportunity to showcase their musical talents and learn from the best in the industry.

“For student composers, it’s very important because they have the opportunity to have pieces performed by professionals,” Donofrio said.

Students and audience members can learn from the compositions put on display by professional performers.The festival will not only provide a venue for emerging composers, but it will also allow for collaboration between musical students and professionals. A process that at one time seemed rather strenuous has now been transformed into an online approach This has led to an increased number of submissions.

What was once an event with roughly 30 submitted composers has grown much larger. The festival has received about 230 submissions, which leads to a wide range of musical pieces. The event is only one of two new music festivals in the state of Nebraska, and the opportunity for continued growth is there for the taking. 

This annual success has led to recognition by professional music publishers as well as performers reaching out to Donofrio.

Focusing on the creation of the 2020 New Music Festival at UNK, Donofrio paints a picture of the national attention he hopes to continue to attract.

“Before, I think it was much more geared towards just regional, and I’m trying to just blow it up,” Donofrio said.

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