Cisum Percussion

Collaborating In Styles, United (by) Music

2019 Guest Speakers


Annika Socolofsky

Annika Socolofsky is a US composer and avant folk vocalist. Her music erupts from the power and nuance of the human voice and is communicated through mediums ranging from orchestral and operatic works to unaccompanied folk ballads. Annika writes extensively for her own voice with chamber ensemble, including composing a growing repertoire of “feminist rager-lullabies” titled Don’t say a word, which serves to confront centuries of damaging lessons taught to young children by retelling old lullaby texts for a new, queer era.

As a composer, Annika has collaborated with artists such as the Rochester Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, Dogs of Desire, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Eighth Blackbird, Third Coast Percussion, So Percussion, Möbius Percussion, Latitude 49, Music from Copland House, Contemporaneous, and sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird.

Annika is a recipient of a Fromm Foundation Commission, The Cortona Prize, and a BMI Student Composer Award, and has been awarded fellowships to the Blackbird Creative Lab, Banff Centre for the Arts, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and the Bang on a Can Summer Festival. Her research focuses on vocal technique and physiology in the music of Dolly Parton to create a pedagogical approach to composition that is inclusive of many vocal timbres, inflections, and techniques, evading the age-old false dichotomy of straight tone vs. bel canto vocal style. She is a doctoral candidate in composition at Princeton University. Annika plays a Norwegian hardanger d’amore fiddle made by Salve Håkedal.


Jason Treuting

Jason Treuting has performed and recorded in venues as diverse as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Walker Art Center, the Knitting Factory, the Andy Warhol Museum, Zankel Hall, Lincoln Center, DOM (Moscow) and Le National (Montreal). As a member of Sō Percussion, he has collaborated with artists and composers including Steve Reich, David Lang, John Zorn, Dan Trueman, tabla master Zakir Hussain, the electronic music duo Matmos and choreographer Eliot Feld. In addition to his work with Sō, Jason performs improvised music with Simpl, a group with laptop artist/composer Cenk Ergun; Alligator Eats Fish with guitarist Grey McMurray; Little Farm, with guitarist/composer Steve Mackey; QQQ (a quartet consisting of hardinger fiddle, viola, guitar and drums); and Big Farm (a foursome led by Rinde Eckert and Steve Mackey).

Jason also composes music. His many compositions for Sō Percussion include Sō’s third album Amid the Noise, and contributions to Imaginary City, an evening length work that appeared on the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2009 Next Wave Festival. Recent commissions for other ensembles have included Oblique Music for 4 plus (blank), a concerto for Sō Percussion and string orchestra for the League of Composers Orchestra; Circus of One, music for a video installation in collaboration with Alison Crocetta; and Diorama, an evening length collaboration with the French choreographers in Projet Situ.

Jason is co-director of the Sō Percussion Summer Institute, an annual intensive course on the campus of Princeton University for college-aged percussionists. He is also co-director of a new percussion program at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, where Sō Percussion is ensemble-in-residence since fall of 2011, and has taught percussion both in masterclass and privately at more than 80 conservatories and universities in the USA and internationally.

Jason received his Bachelors in Music and the Performer’s Certificate at the Eastman School of Music where he studied percussion with John Beck and drum set and improvisation with Steve Gadd, Ralph Alessi and Michael Cain. He received his Masters in Music along with an Artist Diploma from Yale University where he studied percussion with Robert Van Sice. Jason has also traveled to Japan to study marimba with Keiko Abe and to Bali to study gamelan with Pac I Nyoman Suadin.

2019 composer fellows

To see composers selected for previous years please visit the “About Us” page


Erika Bell

Erika Bell is a Los Angeles–based composer working in multiple styles. She is drawn to constructing textural and spatialized environments through her music in ways that methodically unravel via her keen perception to pacing. Her work is lightly focused on irregular ensemble groupings, a structural-based approach and experimentation. Bell has had work performed at the Göteborg Art Sounds Festival (Sweden), Yale-Norfolk Festival: New Music Workshop (Connecticut), Washington St. Gallery (Massachusetts)—in Los Angeles—the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Zebulon, The Dog Star Festival, Automata, the wulf., Human Resources and more. As of late, Bell received a fellowship to Yale’s New Music Workshop 2019 and will be studying with Annea Lockwood and Leah Barclay in electroacoustics mid-September.



Rob Funkhouser is a composer, performer, and instrument builder who can never quite sit still. He recently received an M.M. from Butler University in Music Composition, and most recently completed confidently, but with an awkward gait for the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet. He has released projects through various labels in three different countries, and has had his music played on the radio in many places, including Australia. His current projects include music for Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park in partnership with Classical Music Indy and a new work for the Indianapolis ensemble Forward Motion.

Currently residing in Indianapolis, Indiana, Funkhouser divides his time between composing, performing, and curating shows at various venues around the city. His performances vary widely, but often take the form of solo percussion or ambient electronics. He also collaborates with a wide variety of performers and artists. Most recently he has worked with Forward Motion, Corey Denham, Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, and Classical Music Indy. His principal teachers include Dr. Michael Schelle, Dr. James Aikman, and Dr. Frank Felice. He also serves as the Operations and Education Manager at the Rhythm Discovery Center for the Percussive Arts Society.


samantha KASETA

Samantha Kaseta is a composer, musician, and sound designer living and working in New York City. After graduating Princeton cum laude with a BA in Music and certificates in German and Theater, Sam has spent the past few years as a freelance composer and sound designer. Some of the theaters she has worked with include Soho Rep., Ars Nova, The Dramatists’ Guild, New Georges, Everyday Inferno, and Prospect Theater Company. She is also a music curator at The Tank NYC and a frequent contributor to its queer cabaret series Tankaret. Sam is currently pursuing her Master’s in Music at NYU Steinhardt, where she has been studying concert composition with Joan La Barbara and Caroline Shaw.


George Tsz-Kwan Lam

Hong Kong-born composer George Tsz-Kwan Lam (b. 1981) grew up in both Hong Kong and Winthrop, Massachusetts. George Lam is Assistant Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music at York College, The City University of New York. Along with his colleague Ruby Fulton, George also serves as co-artistic director of Rhymes With Opera.

George works primarily on projects that intersect music, theater, and the documentary, and is currently creating a new documentary work for New Morse Code (New Haven, CT) titled The Emigrants. Recent works include Shrewsbury Fair (2017) for Oak Middle School in Shrewsbury, MA, A Story, Again, Misremembered (2017) written for the 2017 International Trombone Festival, String Quartet (2013) for the Romer String Quartet (Hong Kong), Theseus and the Minotaur (2014) for the Asian Young Musicians Connection (Taipei, Taiwan), Ross McElwee’s “Sherman’s March” (2014) for the Black House Collective (Kansas City, MO), Citadel (2015) for Synergy Percussion (Sydney, Australia), and Carmina Burana (2015) for Hong Kong Voices.


Charles Lutvak

Charles Kretchmer Lutvak is a New York-based composer and guitarist/mandolinist. He recently completed his B.A. at Carleton College in Minnesota, where he studied composition with Andrea Mazzariello and participated in master classes given by Caroline Shaw, Anna Meredith, and Dan Trueman and Sō Percussion. He has participated in the NiefNorf Summer Festival at UT-Knoxville and the Sō Percussion Summer Institute (SōSI) at Princeton University. His music explores the intersections of western folk traditions, electronic/electroacoustic music, and rock and roll. He is also interested in nontraditional notation and timekeeping systems as well as in historical musicological research.


Nicholas Shaheed

Nicholas Shaheed is a composer of both acoustic and electronic music whose work explores aspects of structure. His music has been featured at the Norfolk New Music Workshop, SEAMUS, the MOXsonic Festival, Electronic Music Midwest, New Music on the Point, the So Percussion Summer Institute, the highSCORE Festival, and has been performed by So Percussion, Christopher Otto, Quartetto Indaco, Kivie Cahn-Lipman, Violetta Duo, and the Helianthus Contemporary Music Ensemble. For his music, he has received a number of grants and awards such as the Presser Award, the Edward Mattila Award for Excellence in Electronic Music, the Brosseau Creativity Award, and the James K. Hitt Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research. Nicholas holds degrees in computer science, music composition, and music theory from the University of Kansas, and has studied under Kip Haaheim, Forrest Pierce, Ingrid Stölzel, and James Barnes. He is currently based in Seattle.

2019 Student Composers


Jamie Klenetsky Fay

Jamie Klenetsky Fay is a vocalist, composer, and passionate advocate of new music. She thrives in collaborating with performers in workshopping her music and creating a thought-provoking experience for her audience through themes such as climate change, immigration, and gentrification. Jamie strives to create music that is meaningful and relevant to today’s audience. Being a vocalist, Jamie fell in love with writing choral music. She was a finalist in the San Francisco Choral Artists’ New Voices competition in 2007 and the Karen Sokolof Javitch Emerging Composer Competition (Omaha, NE) in 2008. Jamie was commissioned to write three pieces for the Seton Hall Chapel Choir (2010-2011), and also had electronic works heard at New Music Hartford in 2011. C4 has premiered five of Jamie’s works: The Temple Bells (2009), An Ever-Fixed Mark (2010), Tomaraji na kumo (The Ceaseless Clouds; 2016, also performed by sister organization C3LA), Seawall (2017), and Vanishing (2018). Jamie's piece for marimba and violin, Thoughts Creep In, was workshopped by Matt Gould and the Mivos Quartet at Walden’s Creative Musicians Retreat in 2017. In 2018, I Remain was premiered by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Men’s Ensemble. Two art songs, Distance and To Be Heard, were premiered in Michigan and Kansas City. Jamie was born and raised in New Jersey. She attended Rutgers University, graduating with a BA in Music, and currently lives in Morristown with her husband and two cats. 


Douglas Hertz

Douglas Hertz (b. 1993) is a composer and percussionist based in Brooklyn, NY. Hertz uses sound as a medium to investigate experiences ranging from the personal to universal and from the physical to the spiritual. Through his work, he seeks to connect with audiences in a way that helps them better understand themselves, one another, and the world they inhabit.

His work has appeared on programs presented by the Aries Composers Festival, Midwest Composers Symposium, Nief Norf Summer Festival, Atlantic Music Festival, the Dynamic Music Festival, Bard College’s Music Alive series and the Deer Valley Music Festival. His music has been either performed or recorded by the Wet Ink Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players, American Symphony Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Calidore String Quartet, Denovo String Quartet, Vanguard Reed Quintet, Up/Down Percussion Quartet, Room 1078, //meridian vocal ensemble, and BrassTaps Duo, UT Austin Percussion Ensemble, and the George Mason University Percussion Ensemble

Hertz is an avid collaborator and constantly seeks ways to further the potential of his work beyond the concert hall. Recent Collaborations include Saeculum, a cantata/dance piece created in collaboration with choreographer Al Evangelista, and Household, an art/sound installation commissioned by performance group, Call Your Mom.

Hertz completed his undergraduate degree at Bard College and recently earned a masters degree in music composition from the University of Michigan where he was awarded a graduate fellowship for both years of study. His past teachers have included Kristin Kuster, Evan Chambers, Bright Sheng, George Tsontakis, Joan Tower, Kyle Gann, and Janet Weir. As a committed educator, Hertz teaches music theory and composition at Bantam Studios in Brooklyn, NY and at the Walden School, where he also serves as director of operations.


Kyle Lewis

Kyle Lewis is a composer, theorist, and performer who likes to explore perception and conception with his solo work as well as in his collaborations with visual artist Gunnar Tarsa in their duo Guy Did Ail. Lately, he's been interested in giving performers creative agency, forms that change across performances, the balance between a work's identity and possibilities, extended notational systems, and generally adding flexibility to conventionally fixed formats. He graduated with degrees in theory and composition from the University of Georgia in 2017 and is currently a masters student studying composition at Stony Brook University. Outside of this musical landscape, he's hoping to join a new punk band. He would like to be your friend.

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Nicole Russell

Nicole Russell (b. 1997) is an African-American and Mexican-American composer born and raised in Austin, Texas, currently living in San Antonio. Her work includes art songs, choral music, instrumental chamber ensembles, electro-acoustic music, and has been performed at various events, including the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Festival of New Music in 2018 as a featured student composer, and the Women in Music Festival on the campus of the Mississippi University for Women. In March of 2019 she was awarded 2nd place at the SOLI Ensemble Invitation Composition Competition. She is a mezzo-soprano and pianist, and has performed as a finalist in the National Association of Teachers of Singing South Texas Competition, has sung as a soloist with full orchestra and choir, and works as an accompanist. She is a member of the Chancel Choir and Hand Bell Choir at Central Christian Church in downtown San Antonio, and teaches piano and voice lessons to children. She is currently pursuing her bachelors in music composition at the University of Texas at San Antonio.


Tianyi Wang

Born in China, Tianyi Wang is an award-winning composer, conductor, and pianist, whose music vocabulary is diverse and much inspired by subjects beyond music. Tianyi’s repertoire spans over solo, chamber, choral, orchestral, electronic, as well as film scoring, his works have been performed both nationally and internationally, including Boston Modern Orchestra Project, impuls Festival (Austria), CEME (Israel), iNEnesemble (Russia), MISE-EN New Music Festival, Boston New Music Initiative, New Music on the Bayou, Electroacoustic Barn Dance, Electronic Music Midwest, Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), UPS Piano Trio, Collage New Music Composer Colloquium, Audiograft Festival (UK), Ashmolean Museum (UK), Ink&Coda, Hawaii Public Radio, Et Lux Radio, NACUSA, and SCI Regional and National Conferences. Mr. Wang is a National Finalist of the 2019 American Prize, Honorable Mention of the 2019 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute. He is the winner of 2018-19 NEC Honors Composition Competition, 2018 BMOP/NEC Composition Competition, 2017 Longy Orchestral Composition Competition, and a recipient of China National Arts Fund. Tianyi is a member of Millennium Composers Initiative, his recent commissions include VIPA, Alea III, Meitar Ensemble (Israel), Atlantic Music Festival, and Northeast Normal University (China). A semifinalist of the Symphony Number One Call for Score 4, Tianyi has also won Gold Award at 2016 Sanya International Choral Festival (China). Tianyi Wang’s music was released by ABLAZE Records in 2018.

Besides being a composer, Tianyi’s outstanding piano skill won him the 2012 William Jewell Artist Competition and led to his concerto debut with Liberty Symphony Orchestra. In 2016, Tianyi Wang collaborated with London Symphony Orchestra in a recording production at Abbey Road Studio, London. In 2015, he founded and directed Qinyin Chamber Ensemble, and led public performances throughout the city of Changchun, China. Tianyi’s research paper on Xibo music was featured at the 31st International Society for Music Education (ISME) World Conference in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Tianyi has studied at William Jewell College (B.S. Composition, Mathematics; Summa Cum Laude; Honor Graduate), Moscow Conservatory, Longy School of Music of Bard College (M.M. Composition; Merit Scholarship Recipient), and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is continuing his music journey as a Doctor of Musical Arts Candidate at New England Conservatory of Music.