CASA Winter Newsletter 2021

It's the most-wonderful time of the year! View our Winter 2021 newsletter.


    Welcome to the first edition of our newsletter to spread the joy of music making in our community and beyond.

    Winter News from CASA


    Music Wall Duo breathes life into CASA creations

    Our project with Music Wall Duo had its first live in-person performance on November 20, 2021 in Jacksonville, IL. This edition included works by Brian Bondari, Yvonne Freckmann, Samuel Gaskin, Misook Kim, Timothy Kramer (Stelae*), Ken Metz, Dimitar Ninov, Juan Luis de Pablo Enriquez Rohen (Kaleidoscope*), and Kevin Salfen. *world premieres

    Special thanks to Abigail Walsh, Pei-I Wang, and Timothy Kramer!

    Fine Arts Series presents :: MUSIC WALL DUO, -Abigail Walsh, Flute, & Pei-I Wang, Piano

    CASA Conversations Series on YouTube

    CASA members have fantastic tales to tell from synthesizing Vitamin E, to Loop 410 going up, to the founding of CASA to promote new music making in San Antonio. Watch here to find out our stories interviewed by Brian Bondari!



    • Two to three student composer finalists will be chosen to refine an existing work or compose a new work to be premiered either by the U.S. Air Force Band of the West’s Woodwind Quintet or Brass Quintet in a masterclass/reading session format. (Works should not require a conductor or mixed media.)

    • Each finalist will be paired with a composer mentor from CASA throughout the writing process.

    • The featured compositions (4-8 minutes in duration), which must not have received a prior public performance, will be presented at the New in SA concert on May 22, 2022.

    • Finalists will provide professional performance materials (i.e., parts) by April 22, 2022. Finalists are expected to attend the performance, which will be live-streamed and recorded at the University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX.

    For more information on what to submit, visit our website:

    Submission Form

    Member News

    Composing from Hospital in Mexico

    On the morning of the first day of November, the day of all the Saints, Juan Luis de Pablo Enriquez Rohen was interned in intensive therapy at the Morelos Hospital in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. He was interned for eight days with a 20 percent chance of survival with grave pneumonia due to COVID19 infection. During his stay at the hospital he was able to compose a small piece for solo viola called “La Mansión Celestial” (The Celestial Mansion). This piece will be performed by the Mexican Society of Violas on their December Concert streamed on Facebook on December 18, 2021.

    We are grateful for his continued recovery!

    Richard A. Novak, tenor; Ames Asbell, viola; Joey M. Martin, piano

    New Vocal Music at Home and on Tour

    • Kevin Salfen's Stations of Mychal, a 14-movement song cycle for tenor, viola, and piano, about the life and ministry of Fr. Mychal Judge, on a libretto by Rick Davis, had its premiere tour in September-October 2021, with performances in Manassas, Virginia, San Marcos and San Antonio, Texas, and New York, where it was an official part of the 20-year commemoration of 9/11.

    • Pictured above: Richard A. Novak, tenor; Ames Asbell, viola; Joey M. Martin, piano.

    • Kevin's Preces and Responses were performed as part of Choral Evensong at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, San Antonio, on October 17 and November 21. Choir of St. Luke's Episcopal Church; Russell Jackson, dir.; David Heller, organ.

    CASA President wins San Antonio Arts Commission Grant

    Program note excerpt: Truthfully, music from video games has fascinated me all my life. Having grown up with the likes of Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda, Castlevania, and other classic games, this kindled an interest in game music that has remained through the present day. And though I find myself with far less time to play the games themselves than I did in my youth, I still enjoy an epic game soundtrack. Now that I have children, I get to share these old (and occasionally newer) games with them, and bask in the nostalgia that the music gave to me all those years ago. Keeping up with modern-day titles has been admittedly difficult for me, but having children does help with that.

    So, what does this have to do with the music presented here? Planetscape: A Suite was commissioned by the SOLI Chamber Ensemble. Early in the process, I had the idea that I wanted this commission to relate somehow to video game music. Yes, that sounded like a challenge. The primary connection is that the title of the piece, including all the individual movement titles, are manipulations of different video game titles. Obviously (well, for those with any love of video games), Planetscape is Runescape (or Planescape: Torment). Next is Day Dawns Grim (from Grim Dawn), whose quiet opening reveals a long melody that is developed relentlessly throughout the work. Tomorrow’s Wind (from Morrowind) is the most angular and rhythmically driven movement. An Endless Sky (from Endless Sky) is floating and lyrical, like lying on your back and watching the clouds move over time. And finally, World of Wonder (from World of Warcraft, or maybe Age of Wonders), is an epic and exuberant ballad, weaving together its own theme with a healthy dose of prior thematic material.

    The SOLI concert will take place on January 31, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. at the SA Botanical Garden. More information | Tickets

    Upcoming performances in Carnegie Hall & Francisco


    New Members Corner

    Mark Gurrola & Peter Petroff


    Happy Holidays & All the Best in the New Year!

    The Composers Alliance of San Antonio (CASA) is one of South Texas’s most active, dynamic composers organizations. Since its founding in 1999, CASA has been dedicated to supporting its members and promoting new music, collaborating with many of the region’s most outstanding performers. Through CASA’s educational initiative “Made in SA,” members have written pieces for area piano studios, collaborating directly with teachers and their students. Kefāli Press has published five volumes of these pieces, and a documentary about the project premiered at the 2020 Lift-Off Global Network Film Festival. CASA has also collaborated with regional poets such as 2015 Texas Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla, and their “SA24” project brought together contemporary poets and composers with area performers for the premiere of two dozen new art songs. Throughout the COVID pandemic, CASA has regularly offered virtual concerts and has begun to develop “CASA Conversations,” a series of interviews about contemporary composers and music.

    CASA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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