During the 2020 "pandemic year," we focused on developing our ability to improvise, both individually and as an ensemble. The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center provided support for UMWO to partner with composer Danny Clay and the Living Earth Show to create a version of Danny's piece "Music for Hard Times."
The piece is based on a series of "strategies" that served as inspirations for group and individual improvisations. After working together in Zoom rehearsal/coaching sessions with Danny, TLES, Michael Votta and several GAs, the students recorded their improvisations which were assembled by Danny into the final work. Two of the eight strategies are shown below.