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WTAMU Grad Receives Emerging Composers Fellowship to NYC


May 23, 2017

CONTACT:    Misael Tambuwun, metambuwun1@buffs.wtamu.edu

COPY BY:     Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

WTAMU Grad Receives Emerging Composers Fellowship to NYC


CANYON, Texas—It’s going to be a busy June for recent West Texas A&M University graduate, Misael Tambuwun. He’s headed to New York City for an Emerging Composers Fellowship and then off to Boston for the world premiere of his own work.

Misael TambuwunTambuwun, who just graduated with honors a few weeks ago with a bachelor’s degree in music/music composition, will spend June 2-11 in New York City at the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival as the recipient of a coveted Emerging Composers Fellowship. He is one of seven applicants from around the world to be chosen for the program. The festival will give Tambuwun the opportunity to write and learn in a collaborative environment with esteemed guest artists and composers, including members of the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera as well as the Grammy winning Imani Wind Ensemble. His days will be filled with masterclasses, workshops, concerts and performances.

“The Emerging Composer Fellowship Program is a very prestigious one and an honor for Misael to be selected,” Dr. Robert Hansen, director of the WTAMU School of Music, said. “It is a very positive reflection on the  that one of our grads should succeed at this high level.”

Applying for one of the seven open fellowships is very competitive. Tambuwun learned about the opportunity through a fellow WTAMU alumna last summer. He tracked the festival’s website for months, waiting for the application process to begin. To apply, Tambuwun submitted a biography, résumé and recordings of two of his original compositions. One submission was his composition, “Turbulence,” which was performed in Italy in 2015. His second submission was “Cowboy’s Dilemma,” a piece Tambuwun composed while studying abroad in Russia and later performed by students at WTAMU.

Part of Tambuwun’s preparation for the festival is submitting a composition a week before the event begins. The piece will be premiered at the festival and performed by the Imani Wind Ensemble. The piece is in the works now and currently titled “Sodom and Gomorra.”

The festival closes on June 11, and Tambuwun will be on a midnight flight to Boston for the Divergent Composition Workshop at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Here, Tambuwun will work with some of the best faculty composers and collaborate with two ensembles—Neave Trio and loadbang. The Neave Trio will perform the world premiere of Tambuwun’s composition, “Behind Closed Doors.” Tambuwun wrote the piecein just two days while studying at WTAMU.  

“Misael’s unique music is engaging and dynamic,” Dr. BJ Brooks, associate professor of music, said. “The music he composes often challenges the performer to go beyond the typical technique of their instrument yet the work still manages to speak to its audience without feeling exclusive. His rhythmically driven works are evocative of his Indonesian roots. Misael’s music bridges the gap of two cultures with energy, tenderness and joy.”

Music has always been a passion for Tambuwun. He is a talented pianist, who began studying at the Yamaha Music School at the young age of three. He made his orchestral debut at the age of nine with the Yamaha Youth Orchestra. He was a composer-in-residence at the Lucca International Music Festival in Tuscany, Italy in the summer of 2015 and a visiting scholar at the Tbilisi State Conservatoire. His works have been performed and commissioned across the United States, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Macedonia and the former Soviet Union Georgia Republic.  His awards include first-place prizes at the Gracia Music Competition, Yamaha Music Competition and Ensemble Music Competition-Jakarta Region.

Tambuwun plans to pursue a master’s degree in composition in the fall at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University. He wants to be a professor of composition, and his plans include WTAMU.

“I really do want to teach here,” Tambuwan said. “I started at WT, and I want to pay back to WT for all my achievements, career and contributions.”


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Shravan Purohit
on 6.2.2017

Congratulations to Misael,He has great talent and I wish him good luck and make WT proud !

Shravan Purohit
on 6.2.2017

Congratulations to Misael,He has great talent and I wish him good luck and make WT proud !

Kristine Combs
on 5.26.2017

Congrats to Misael. Well deserved and I could not be prouder for one of the many talented international student we have at WTAMU.

Charles Faulkner
on 5.24.2017

Congratulations to this young man and his instructors at WT. Reminds me of James Andrews winning the CBDNA composition contest back in the 60s with what was his master's thesis.

Gordon Cloutier
on 5.24.2017

What an awesome accomplishment! Congratulations Misael!!!