The Second Sunday Concert Series at Boston Sculptors Gallery presents a monthly collaboration with Boston area musicians, programmed by Music Director Aaron Jay Myers. The musicians are often inspired by the sculpture on display and perform interactive works in response to it. All events are free and open to the public and donations directly support the musicians.
This World of Yes:
Megan Ihnen - mezzo soprano
Alan Theisen - alto saxophone
Alan Theisen (b. 4 Oct. 1981) is a composer, saxophonist, music theorist, and educator. Theisen's compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His music, frequently commissioned by chamber and large ensembles, has been described by composer Dimitri Terzakis as being "the product of a unique talent." Commissioning organizations include the Argot Trio, A/B Duo, Force Majeure Quintet, Tromboteam!, Samford University, the University of Southern Mississippi, Kontra Duo, Trio Bel Canto, the Mana Quartet, members of the U.S. Army bands, and the Asheville Community Band. Theisen's works combine an expressive melodic sensibility, a diverse harmonic language, and elaborate formal designs. Recent world premieres of Theisen's music have occurred at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, the 2016 New Music Gathering at Peabody Conservatory, NMG 2017 at Bowling Green State University, and the 2015 World Saxophone Congress in France. He remains active as a saxophonist (classical recitals, wind ensembles, jazz bands, musical theater productions) and performed in the 2000 and 2003 World Saxophone Congresses. Recent national appearances as a classical saxophonist include performances at the 39th Festival of New American Music (Sacramento, CA); UMKC Conservatory; with Chamber Cartel (Atlanta); at the 2016 and 2017 U.S. Navy International Saxophone Symposia; the University of Oklahoma (Norman); as guest recitalist at the Wichita State University New Voices Festival; with the Pan Harmonia concert series (Asheville); and with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. With mezzo-soprano Megan Ihnen, Theisen crafted a program of contemporary music for voice and saxophone entitled This World of Yes that they have performed across the United States. He is a member of Fujin - a multi-instrumental new music chamber ensemble extant since 2010. Theisen performs with the Asheville Jazz Orchestra, the Nouveau Passe Orchestra, the Gamble-Wilson Swing Orchestra, Rational Discourse (an Asheville-based progressive jazz-rock group), and has played reed books for the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, Asheville Community Theatre, and Haywood Arts Regional Theatre. He is associate professor of music at Mars Hill University where he coordinates the music theory/composition curriculum. Theisen is the founder and director of the Mars Hill New Music Festival (established 2012). American mezzo-soprano Megan Ihnen is recognized for her colorfully rich tone, powerful performance skills, and insightful musicianship in a diverse repertoire ranging from Brahms, Schubert, and Handel to the modern sounds of Crumb, Schwantner, Cage, and the most up-and-coming composers of her generation. Megan is a new music force of nature. A prolific new music artist, Ms. Ihnen has appeared with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble, Latitude49, Great Noise Ensemble, Stone Mason Projects, Rhymes With Opera, SONAR new music, and more. She has sung with many outstanding performers including Nadia Shpachenko, Nicholas Photinos, Michael Hall, Gregory Oakes, Holly Roadfelt, Nick Zoulek, Hillary LaBonte as well as premiered the work of Mara Gibson, Griffin Candey, Garrett Schumann, Christian Carey, Alan Theisen, Anna Brake, D. Edward Davis, Anthony Donofrio, and more.
Ms. Ihnen has upcoming engagements on the SPLICE Festival 2018 and Winifred M. Kelley Music Series at Salisbury House. She has appeared with ÆPEX Contemporary Performance, Detroit New Music “Strange Beautiful Music Marathon”, Omaha Under the Radar Festival, Works and Process at the Guggenheim Series, Notes on Fiction Series at the Center for Fiction, New Music Gathering, Contemporary Undercurrent of Song Project, American Opera Theatre, Vivre Musicale, UCCS Music/Peak Frequency Creative Arts Collective, Harford Community College Sunday Afternoon Concert Series, and Silver Finch Arts Collective. As a chamber musician, Ihnen has been featured at impuls International Ensemble and Composers Academy for Contemporary Music, Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP), Fresh Inc Festival, Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, and MusicX. Ms. Ihnen is also a founding member of the Seen/Heard Trio along with harpist Jennifer R. Ellis and flutist Erika Boysen. The Seen/Heard Trio’s model is dedicated to excellence and creativity in teaching and learning, immersive performance, audience experience, and developing the repertoire for the instrumentation of flute, harp, and voice. As musicians and recording artists, Seen/Heard Trio is devoted to featuring rarely-recorded or never-recorded composers. Ihnen’s interpretations of modern and contemporary repertoire have garnered growing acclaim. She is particularly recognized as an excellent recitalist. Her This World of Yes program of contemporary music for voice and saxophone with Alan Theisen explores the themes of pathways, choices, and duality through the work of contemporary composers such as Jessica Rudman, Michael Young, and Michelle McQuade Dewhirst. This World of Yes has been performed in Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, and will go on a Southeastern states tour in 2017. With performances in Washington D.C., Baltimore, Colorado Springs, and Kansas City, Ms. Ihnen has worked with violinist Martha Morrison Muehleisen and Rome Prize winner video artist Karen Yasinsky to take audiences on a profound journey through György Kurtág’s Kafka Fragments through video and sound. Finally, Ihnen’s Single Words She Once Loved is a performance that centers around the ideas and effects of memory, dementia, and time. It is a deeply personal exploration of the dueling forces of ‘eternal sunshine of the spotless mind’ and ‘God gave us memories so that we may have roses in winter.” Single Words She Once Loved features compositions by David Smooke, Ryan Keebaugh, Daniel Felsenfeld, Jeffrey Mumford, and more. In the spring of 2017, Ms. Ihnen undertook a fundraising project for her first album, “Sleep Songs: Wordless Lullabies for the Sleepless.” She commissioned over 25 diverse composers from the United States and abroad to write brief, wordless lullabies for mezzo-soprano. Megan has also had recordings on the I CARE IF YOU LISTEN Fall 2015 Mixtape and the CarpeDM Seize Des Moines “Music Mix: Volume III” which was featured at the 2016 SXSW Festival. Ihnen was honored to receive a Phyllis Bryn-Julson Award for Commitment to and Performance of 20th/21st Century Music in 2009 and a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Classical Music: Solo Performance in 2014. She was an accomplished violist and drama student before pursuing degrees in music and vocal performance from Augustana University and the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Ihnen has been a board member for Baltimore Concert Opera and HOWL performing arts ensemble. Ms. Ihnen is a devoted teacher who shepherds studios at Drake University Community School of Music, Southwestern Community College School for Music Vocations, and Graceland University. She has also been a resident faculty artist for the UMKC Summer Composition Workshop. In addition to UMKC, Megan has presented her popular masterclasses, workshops, and lectures at the New Music Gathering, Iowa Thespian Festival, UNCG Greensboro, and Florida Atlantic University.