Michael Mapp

A new symphony gets its world premiere in Las Cruces

Nov 12, 2021

It’s not often that Las Cruces hosts the world premiere of a symphony. But we will next week, when the NMSU Wind Symphony premieres “Reaching Nirvana,” the first symphony written by Austin-based composer Joni Greene. The work is the result of the long-time friendship between NMSU band director Michael Mapp and Greene, who will be in residence all week working with students ahead of the premiere on Nov. 18.

Leora Zeitlin

Fall has officially arrived along with a new academic year, and musicians from the major student ensembles at NMSU will welcome both with the fifth annual “Autumn Overture” concerts to showcase their talents. The opening concert will feature the top band at the university, the NMSU Wind Symphony, performing a “British Invasion” of five British composers. NMSU Director of Bands Michael Mapp came to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin to discuss the concert and the composers.

Leora Zeitlin

This year’s 9th annual NMSU/Warner Hutchison Contemporary Arts Festival will be a two-day celebration of contemporary music, dance, drama, and narration, and will feature music ranging from Stravinsky to a world premiere. The festival is named for the long-time composer-in-residence and NMSU music department chair Warner Hutchison, himself a great champion of contemporary music and art who moved from Las Cruces to Albuquerque many years ago.

Leora Zeitlin

Echoes from a legendary murder in Mesilla’s famed Double Eagle Restaurant will be heard tonight in “Grave,” a new theatrical music piece that will be premiered in Las Cruces with area musicians and actors. Actress Monica Mojica wrote the libretto about the true Mesilla story in which Senora Maes, in a pique of rage, murdered her son and his forbidden lover. Composer Lester Pack, who has collaborated twice before with Las Cruces musicians, wrote the music. Mojica, Pack, and tubist Jim Shearer, joined Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin in this interview at KRWG.