Mark Buller was born in Maryland. He began his musical studies at a young age, studying percussion at the Peabody Preparatory with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra percussionist Leo LePage. He went on to study piano with respected pedagogue Jan Puckett. Mark earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance at Bob Jones University, where he studied with David Lehman. He went on to earn a graduate degree in composition from BJU, studying with Dan Forrest. In the summer of 2010 he participated in the highSCORE Festival in Pavia, Italy, where he studied with Christopher Theofanidis and Giovanni Albini and had lessons with Paul Moravec and Mario Garuti. Mark, who has also studied briefly with Grammy award-winning composer Richard Danielpour, is a recipient of several awards, including the 2010 Vanguard Premieres Choral Composition Contest (Emerging Composers Category) and the 2009 ASCAPlus Award.
Mark is frequently commissioned to compose for a variety of vocal and instrumental forces. Chief among such commissions are seven song cycles (to date), a number of art songs, a wind octet, and works for solo instruments. Recent works to garner acclaim include a set of quodlibets for wind quintet, the String Quartet No. 2, several works for solo instruments, and a set of neo-Renaissance motets for choir. Current projects include commissions from a wind ensemble, pianist Courtney Phelps, soprano Carolyn Holland, and several solo instrumentalists; further works for choir; and a third string quartet.
Mary Ann Joyce-Walter was born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in theory and composition from Washington University, St. Louis, after which she moved to the New York City area where she has remained. She is an active composer and a Professor of Music at Manhattanville College. Her works have been performed at international festivals in Europe and Russia, as well as many parts of the United States. In Anguish and in Hope-a Psalm for Today, was commissioned and recently performed by the Manhattan Choral Ensemble at Earl Hall, Columbia University, New York City. A recently-commissioned piece for SATB and piano, In Anguish and in Hope-a Psalm for Today, was performed on June 9, 2006 by the Manhattan Choral Ensemble at Earl Hall, Columbia University, New York City. Other recent performances of her works during the past year include Aceldama for solo flute and string ensemble premiered by the Antara Ensemble, New York City; The Little Vagabond (Wm. Blake) for soprano and piano, at the Round Top Center for the Arts, and the Live Poets Society; and Gothic Fantasy for solo piano and Winter Weather Advisory (Ann Silsbee, poet) at Greenwich House, New York City. Cantata for the Children of Terezin for orchestra, chorus and children’s choir was recently selected by Editions de la Rue Margot (ERM) to be included in the CD series Masterworks of the New Era. The CD will be available in summer 2008. Mary Ann lists her influential teachers as A. Foster Sonderskov, John. J. Bezdek, Anna T. Walsh, Rosalyn Tureck, Robert Wykes, and Paul Pisk. Her works are published by Pioneer Drama and Gold Branch, and recorded by ERM-Media, Capstone and Pioneer Drama. She is a member of ASCAP, American Composers Forum, New York Women Composers, and the American Music Center.
Toby Young (born 1990) is currently a choral scholar, studying Music at King's College, Cambridge with Robin Holloway and Colin Matthews. He attended The Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School as a music scholar, and studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music junior department with Matthew Taylor. In addition, he has enjoyed consultation lessons with Robert Saxton, Joseph Horovitz and Edwin Roxburgh.
Toby has won numerous competitions, most notably the International ABRSM Composition Competition (2009), the Cathcart Composer of the Year (2007) and the Guardian/BBC Proms Young Composer of the Year (2006) with Dirty Linoleum for wind quintet, which was subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio 3. His works have been performed at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, and the Cadogan Hall, by renowned ensembles and orchestras including the LSO, RPO, Britten Sinfonia and Endymion Ensemble. Commissions include orchestral and ensemble works for the St. Petersburg British Music Festival, the City of Oxford Sinfonia, the London School of Economics, and the Royal Academy of Music, as well as solo pieces for the 2007 Brighton Festival, the Birmingham Conservatoire, the Cheltenham Ladies' College, and Chetham’s School of Music.
Toby is currently Composer-in-residence at the University of Perugia.
William Vollinger is primarily a composer of vocal music, performed by groups such as the Gregg Smith Singers and New York Vocal Arts Ensemble, whose performance of his "Three Songs About the Resurrection" won first prize at the Geneva International Competition. "The Violinist in the Mall" won the 2005 Friends and Enemies of New Music competition. "Sound Portraits", recorded by Capstone, features soprano Linda Ferreira, including "The Child in the Hole", the true story of a Jewish boy who was hidden for three years during the Holocaust. It was selected for the 2003 Contemporary Music Festival in Kearney, Nebraska, and the 2004 Society of Composers National Conference. Tennessee Technological University presented an entire concert of his music. His works have been performed and broadcast in Europe, United States, and Asia. NPR devoted an hour program to his music. He is published by Lawson-Gould, Laurendale, and Heritage, with four pieces featured as editor's choices in the Pepper Catalogue.
Writing in "Fanfare" (December 2003), Raymond Beegle writes, "I have known his work for years and believe, after much consideration, that there is genius in it. With astonishing depth and clarity, Vollinger brings his subjects to life. One finds a new musical language, not born out of a desire to be new, but a desire to be clear and to tell the truth. With all it's freshness, it is rooted in our past traditions, felicitously circumventing all the chaos, all the attitudinizing, and intellectualizing, and publicizing, that litter the present musical horizon."
Armand Russell was born in Seattle, Washington in 1932. He received the Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Washington, with a major in music composition, and a Doctorate in music composition from the Eastman School of Music. He studied double bass with Leslie Martin, who played in the Seattle Symphony and Boston Symphony Orchestras, and at the Eastman School of Music with Oscar Zimmerman. His composition studies were with John Verrall and George McKay at the University of Washington, and with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson at the Eastman School.
Professionally, Armand Russell played double bass in many orchestras including the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Tour Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic and Civic Orchestras, and Honolulu Symphony. For five years he taught as a visiting Professor at the Eastman School of Music. From 1961 to 1994 he taught at the University of Hawaii Music Department and retired as Professor emeritus in 1994. While at the University of Hawaii he taught music theory, composition and double bass and also served as Chair of the Music Department for seven years.
David Gompper has lived and worked professionally as a pianist, a conductor, and a composer in New York, San Diego, London, Nigeria, Michigan, Texas and Iowa. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Jeremy Dale Roberts, Humphrey Searle and Phyllis Sellick. After teaching in Nigeria, he received his doctorate at the University of Michigan, taught at the University of Texas, Arlington, and since 1991 has been Professor of Composition and Director of the Center for New Music at the University of Iowa. In 2002 - 2003 Gompper was in Russia as a Fulbright Scholar, teaching, performing and conducting at the Moscow Conservatory. In 2009 he received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City.
Jorge Sosa a contemporary classical music composer, makes his home in New York, NY. His compositions, which are influenced by popular and traditional music from Latin America, have been performed in venues in Europe, the United States, and Mexico. Jorge received his Doctorate of Music from the prestigious conservatory at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and his Masters of Music in Composition from Mannes College of Music. He is currently an artist in residence at the American Lyric Theater NYC, working on an opera project.