New Works Commission Concert: National Sawdust Ensemble

Thursday, December 10th at 5:00 pm EST

  • Julie Herndon, Ghost
  • Bethany Younge, limbs / uttered / spirits / neglected / flesh
  • Baldwin Giang, I should have known better
  • James Diaz, HYPER
  • Mario Fabrizio, Astrum
  • Clifton Joey Guidry III, Y’all don’t want to listen
  • Kelley Sheehan, by the roots of your teeth
  • Finola Merivale, Susurrus
  • Michele Cheng, A Different Reality
  • Manjing Zhang, Dance of the Drums


In these unprecedented times, fast-evolving models and new ways of thinking are necessary. Thus far into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brooklyn-based not-for-profit arts organization, performance venue and artist incubator National Sawdust has responded with the 40+ performance Digital Discovery Festival, producing new work by and compensating over 120 artists. National Sawdust are now proud to present the performance stage of their inaugural New Works Commission. Each of the program’s twenty selected composers has been granted a $3,000 commission, taken part in the multi-week New Works Composer Sessions masterclass and mentorship program, and will now premiere their winning work via streaming New Works Commission Concerts. National Sawdust is deeply grateful to the Alphadyne Foundation for fully underwriting the Digital Discovery Festival and New Works Commission.


The debut performance of many of these New Works Commission compositions will feature the National Sawdust Ensemble (including Miranda Cuckson, Jeffrey Zeigler, Ian Rosenbaum, Oran Etkin, Brandon Patrick George, Eric Umble and Stephen Gosling) performing music by Michele ChengJames DiazBaldwin GiangClifton Joey Guidry IIIJulie HerndonMario Layne FabrizioFinola MerivaleKelley SheehanBethany Younge and Manjing Zhang. This concert performance will be jointly-hosted by Marcos Balter and the ten participating composers, who will provide the listener with insight into their music and their process, a clearer view of the technical elements within their work and what it means for them to be an artist at this time.  Mentors for this commission include Marcos BalterSteve SmithEllen ReidJeffrey ZeiglerAndy Bart, the members of JACK QuartetPamela ZKaren WongAllison Loggins-Hull and Chris Grymes.


Composer and National Sawdust’s co-founder/Artistic Director Paola Prestini says, “The New Works Commission is programmatically emblematic of the core values we are stressing for National Sawdust’s 2021 season: encouraging innovation in form and approach, emphasizing financial and professional mentorship for artists, and intensifying our commitment to spotlight the experience and creative work of a gender-diverse and ethnically-diverse roster of performers and music creators.”


I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, powered by American Composers Forum, is the exclusive media partner of National Sawdust’s New Works Commission Concerts. 


If you enjoy this performance, consider making a tax-deductible donation to National Sawdust. Your support will strengthen the organization’s ability to support arts communities in this time of need.  Donate here.


New Works Commission Concert: National Sawdust Ensemble