Graduate's composition to be aired on NPR

WILMORE, KY—Shawn Okpebholo found his compositional voice at Asbury College and these days that compositional voice is being heard around the nation.

okpebholo05-new.jpgOn Saturday Dec. 3, Okpebholo’s piece Ritual Dances will be aired at 11 a.m. EST on national public radio affiliate, WGUC 90.9 and on www.wguc.com.

The arrangement premiered by the U.S. Army Field Band in 2003, has since been performed around the nation and recorded by the Belgian Air Force Band. Okpebholo, a 2003 Asbury College graduate from Lexington, Ky., composed the wind ensemble piece as a senior under the instruction of James Curnow, former Asbury College composer in residence. He entered it in a contest for the National Band Association and Bands of America’s Young Composers Mentor Project (YCMP). Okpebholo was one of one five students selected to attend the conference where he received instruction from top composers, Mark Camphouse and Frank Ticheli.

Okpebholo earned a B.A. in music composition and musicology from the College. He is now completing a D.M.A. in composition at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.

“I had really good professors at Asbury,” he said. “Several musicians may not look at a Christian, liberal arts college like Asbury because it’s not a conservatory, but the faculty are just as good as would be at a top conservatory. I’m at one of the top music schools now, but I think Asbury College faculty can stand up against them.”

Okpebholo is planning on becoming a college professor after graduation. He hopes to compose music for film and concerts, as well.

Located 20 minutes south of Lexington, Asbury College is a private, residential, liberal arts institution committed to academic excellence and spiritual vitality. Founded in 1890, the College offers 49 undergraduate majors plus graduate programs in special education, teaching English as a second language and alternative teacher certification programs in several disciplines to approximately 1,300 students. For this release and more information about Asbury College, visit www.asbury.edu.

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