2019 Participants

Ting-Ting Yang (composer/pianist)


Yang, Ting-Ting is a multi-genre composer, arranger and collaborative pianist. Currently an undergraduate from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Ting-Ting is grateful to have her compositions premiered by renown artists and ensembles which include Percussionist Max Riefer (2016), Cellist Martin Jaggi from Ensemble Phoenix Basel (2017), and Trio Surplus (2017). Recently, her orchestra work, Portal, is the winning piece of North Carolina NewMusic Initiative Composition Competition (2019). Though a composition major, she has collaborated with numerous chamber groups, held piano recitals in the conservatory, and performed piano with the New Music Ensembles. 

Dayton Kinney (composer)


Dayton Kinney creates music that has won and has been recognized at numerous competitions at the international and national level. Performed in the U.S. and abroad, Dayton’s music has had notable performances by the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Durham Medical Orchestra, Rela Percussion, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, the Zodiac Trio, and at Pittsburgh Opera.  Her eclectic style is inspired by juxtapositions and accessibility, exploring the concept of tonal ambiguity through patterns, sectional comparisons, and repetition. Dayton is a doctoral candidate for a Ph.D. in Music - Composition at Duke University with John Supko as her dissertation advisor. 

Ryan Ayres (composer)


    Ryan Ayres is a multi-instrumentalist and composer of television dreams, radio hallucinations, hypnagogic meditations, and pulsating landscapes. His work has been presented in concert halls, galleries, symphony halls, and even on VHS and cassette tapes. He writes everything from jazz to classical to electronic music and everything in between. Whatever the medium, Ayres’ music often deals with themes such as communication, cyclical patterns, extramusical references, memory, and the passage of time. He earned his Mater of Music in Composition from the Peabody Institute where he studied under Oscar Bettison. 

Sameer Ramchandran (composer)


  Recent collaborations include Helix! New Music Ensemble, Volt Studios and Encompass New Opera Theatre. Recent performances of Ramchandran’s electroacoustic works include New York University’s Interactive Arts Performance Series and the New York City Electroacoustic Festival (NYCEMF 2018). He has provided music for on-line video branding content for a number of companies, including Proofpoint and Communities in Schools, as well as musical scores for independent and short films. He is currently a doctoral candidate in music composition at Rutgers University. He has received degrees from the University of California at Santa Barbara and Colgate University.

Stephanie Andrews (composer)


Stephanie Andrews is a composer, church musician, and educator who has taught piano, voice, composition, and general music and movement for nearly three decades. She currently resides in Austin, Texas, is on staff at Clearview Sudbury School of Austin, Texas, and teaches piano, voice, and composition at Velocity Music Academy in Cedar Park, Texas. Holding a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in music education, and a Ph. D. in Curriculum and Instruction, she is highly active in the Austin classical music community as a singer and composer, with numerous recent local and national performances of her compositions.

Jacob Ottmer (percussion)


Percussionist, Jacob Ottmer earned his degree in Instrumental Performance from Kent State University under the direction of Dr. Matthew Holm, Cameron Leach, and Zachary Mathes. During his time there he has held positions as the Principal Percussionist and Timpanist in both the Wind Ensemble and Orchestra, and has performed in the New Music Ensemble, Opera, and Steel Band. Jacob’s previous notable performances have been with the PRISMA Festival Orchestra, Monarch Independent Percussion, Santa Clara Vanguard as World Champion, and the Kent Blossom Orchestra. Jacob has also performed at PASIC each year during his undergraduate studies. 

Haley Olson (composer)


Haley Olson is a composer who seeks to blend improvisation with notated music. Her works have been performed by groups such as the ECCE Ensemble and the Occasional Symphony, and at festivals such as the Sparks and Wiry Cries SongSLAM. Haley holds a B.M. in Music Theory and Composition from St. Olaf College, where she studied with Justin Merritt and Timothy Mahr, and where she co-developed the St. Olaf Laptop Orchestra. She also holds an MM Composition degree from the Peabody Institute, where she studied with Michael Hersch. Haley is currently the composer-in-residence for Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Eduardo Caballero (composer)


Composer and conductor  from Mexico. Degree in composition (MFA)  Vermont Collegue of Fine Arts, Guitar and Composition at the Superior School of Music and Dance of Monterrey. He studied composition with Ramiro Guerra, John Mallia, Beat Furrer, Emmanuel Nunes, Salvatore Siarrino. Artist in residence at Millay Colony of the Arts, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Production Research Laboratory Musical LIPM, and the Mexican Center for Music and Sonic Arts CMMAS.He studied conducting with Prof. Colin Metters (Germany), Harold Farberman (USA) and Miguel Garcia Ascencio (Spain). Cluster Prize 2018, Finalist: ALEA III International Composition Competition 2015, Composition Competition N.E.O.N. 2009.

John Moody (composer)


John Moody, b. 1961, lives in Spartanburg, SC where he teaches Music Theory and Music Technology at Spartanburg High School. He has received commissions from Wind Ensembles, Chamber Ensembles and Choirs. His piece, “The Open Road”, for Wind Ensemble and Jazz Piano can be found on the recording “The Speed of Heat”, by the United States Air Force Academy Band, and his piece “Drip” won the 2015 “treefalls call for scores” competition. His “Six Songs of Spring” was chosen as a “finalist” in the 2016 NATS “Art Song Composition Award” and will be given it’s premier performance in early 2019.

Michael Cheng (percussion)


Michael Cheng received his degree in Music Education from Lamar University under the direction of Dr. Francisco Perez, Dr. Matthew Holm, and Travis Fife. Michael has performed in TMEA several times with the All-State Band, Lamar University's Wind Ensemble, and Lamar University's Percussion Ensemble. He was also selected to complete in the Great Plains International Marimba Competition in Oklahoma City, OK and international Artist Competition in Orange, CA. Next Fall, he will attend Boston Conservatory at Berklee to pursue a Master's degree in Marimba Performance.

Matthew Tozer (composer)


Matthew Tozer currently resides in London, Ontario, Canada where he works as a freelance composer, sessional instructor, and operates a private studio. Matthew holds a PhD in Music Composition and is a strong advocate of music education. He is an associate member of the Canadian League of Composers and the Canadian Music Centre. Actively involved in the creation of new work through the collaborative process, Matthew’s compositions have been performed across Canada and Europe by groups such as: TorQ Percussion, Toy Piano Composers, The Bozzini String Quartet, The Erato Ensemble, The Vancouver Chamber Choir, and Soundstreams Canada, among others.

Jacob Elkin (composer)



Jacob Elkin is a composer and musician based in Brooklyn, NYC. Through the integration of space, noise and microtonality, his compositions seek an abstract expression of contemporary concerns which have reached listeners around the world. Mr. Elkin works as brass instructor for the United Nations International School and frequently performs on trombone and tuba.

Victor Artiles (composer)


Born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico in 2001. Victor first started writing music in 11th grade with the feedback of his band directors at Clear Springs High School with his first composition being a piano waltz titled, “The Waltz of a Life”. Currently, Victor is in his senior year of high school writing music for his indoor percussion ensemble, and a mixed instrumental trio written by him has been played at a school concert by members of the top band at his school. Victor plans to pursue a degree in music composition at the University of Houston so that he can share his passion for music around the world.

Nathan Mays (composer)


Nathan Mays is an active musician and versatile composer from the Gulf of Texas, who has collaborated with numerous musicians, dancers, and painters to explore the artistic bounds of modern music. He began studying composition in 2009 at San Jacinto Community College, finishing his Bachelors of Music in Composition at Sam Houston State University in 2013 and Masters of Music in Composition at Texas State University in 2016. An avid supporter of rock and jazz musics, these styles always find a place in Nathan's works, as he continues to search for the  balance between popular and classical genres

Justin Langham (composer)


Justin Langham is a performer, composer, conductor, and teacher based in Houston, Texas. Originally from Mobile, Alabama, Mr. Langham earned a double bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance and composition from the University of Alabama, his masters in trumpet performance at the University of Houston, and is currently working towards his doctorate at the University of Houston in trumpet performance and choral conducting. Mr. Langham has written in a wide range of styles, and has had works commissioned and performed around the United States, Italy, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. As the founding member of the internationally renown trumpet & organ duo, Deux Voix, Mr. Langham has composed, arranged, performed, and recorded many new works to add to the repertoire of trumpet and organ music.

George Solis (trumpet)



George Solis is a trumpet player in the Houston and Galveston area. Originally from Fort Worth, George moved to Houston in 2014 and has taught band for the past five years. George is trained in both classical and jazz, and loves playing in the pit for musicals. A graduate of UNT, George played in the Lab Bands, Brass Band, Concert Band, as well as other ensembles. In his free time George can be found cooking a delicious meal, pie, or enjoying local food and beverage. You can also find him out on a trail hiking and enjoying all of nature.

Thomas Bailey (composer)


  Born in 1986, Thomas Bailey earned a bachelor of music composition at Baylor University under the tutelage of Scott Mcallister, a Masters degree in Music Composition at Sam Houston State University under the tutelage of Kyle Kindred, and currently serves as adjunct professor of music at Lone Star College-Tomball. His music has been performed in short film, and at Universities across his home state of Texas. Most recently he was featured as a part of the Lone Star College-Tomball and 

Lone Star College-Cy-Fair New Music Festivals

Jim Roman (organ)


A native of Moorestown, NJ, James Roman attended Westminster Choir College (WCC) in Princeton, NJ where he earned a BM and MM in Organ Performance and Sacred Music. 

An avid lover of choral music, James has participated in three tours of Denmark and Sweden. As a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, he performed under the baton of Alan Gilbert, Daniel Barenboim, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. 

James has performed with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center and New York’s Carnegie Hall. 

He was also a member of the Grammy-nominated Westminster Williamson Voices under the direction of Dr. James Jordan and released two recordings with the ensemble under the GIA and Naxos labels: A Hole in the Sky and Carolae: Music for Christmas.

James currently resides with his wife Grace in Houston, TX and is the Associate Organist/Pianist at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.