Daniel Strokis’ professors describe him as an eager and talented young composer who truly enjoys writing music.
The Fort Mill, S.C., native is among the first students in a newly forged music composition track in the bachelor of music degree started in fall 2008.
Music faculty members Ron Parks and Mark Lewis hoped their composition students would make their presence known in the region. They did not anticipate that success would materialize so swiftly.
Strokis learned that his work "Piece for Orchestra" was selected as the winner of the Charlotte Civic Orchestra’s student composition contest. As a result, his work received its world premiere at the Unitarian Church of Charlotte, N.C., by the orchestra with Geoff Whitehead conducting.
Strokis wrote "Piece for Orchestra" in the fall of 2010 while studying composition. Lewis, his professor at the time, noted that the piece is similar in style to Béla Bartók,a Hungarian composer who is considered one of the most significant musicians of the 20th century.
Parks added, "Most composition students are fortunate to have solo or chamber ensemble works performed in their first few years of study. Daniel is fortunate to have this opportunity to have an orchestra work performed. We are very proud of Daniel’s remarkable achievement so early on in his studies."
Strokis said many people have a romantic idea about composers writing music. "It is very laborious and technical and there is a lot of self-editing," he said. "You have to be prepared to throw away a lot of stuff."
A second success came in spring 2013 when Strokis learned that his electroacoustic composition project for Ron Parks' computer music composition class received national recognition. Click this link to listen to Strokis' work.
Strokis recorded the sounds emitted by a pet hedgehog and added some computer processing he learned in the Computer Music Composition course, then re-arranged the material into a musical composition. The result - titled Atelerix albiventris - is a aural exploration of the sonic qualities, rhythms and emotive qualities of the source material.
Strokis said he chose a hedgehog because it was a friend’s pet and he was fascinated that it could make noises. “I had never heard a hedgehog make noise before,” he said. “I didn't even know they could make noises!"
“Atelerix albiventris” has been selected for presentation on the National Student Electronic Music Event (N_SEME) to be held March 22-23 at Temple University in Philadelphia. N_SEME is a national peer-reviewed, juried festival featuring the best compositions and paper presentations from student composers nationally.
This will mark the first time a Winthrop student composer has been selected for inclusion in a national electronic music conference, and the first time a student will represent Winthrop University at the national level in an electronic music event.
Last updated: 3/14/2013