Winners Announced


We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Frame Dance Music Composition Competition!  Their work will be presented by Frame Dance throughout 2015.  Many thanks to all who submitted and our incredible panel.

First Place: Alex Freeman


for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussionAlex Freeman

Alex Freeman (b. 28 April 1972) is a recipient of the 2014 McKnight Composer Fellowship. His music has garnered acclaim and commissions from the Jerome Foundation, ASCAP, The American Scandinavian Foundation, the Sibelius Academy, American Composers Forum and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Born in Raleigh, NC, He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Boston University’s School of Fine Arts, and the Juilliard School, where he completed his doctoral studies in 2004. His doctoral research led him to Finland, via Fulbright Fellowship, where he lived for six years, studying at The Sibelius Academy and freelancing, before he assumed his current position of Assistant Professor of Music in Composition at Carleton College in Northfield, MN. His chamber works and choral music are performed regularly in the US and abroad.

Recordings of his music have been released by Albany Records, Innova Recordings, and Navona Records, including, most recently, a CD of complete his piano works by Albany Records, Inner Voice, a recording of his chamber work, Blueshift, by Parma Recordings, and internationally acclaimed recordings of his choral works by The HOL Choir and Tapiola Children’s Choir. His degrees are from The Juilliard School, Boston University, and The Eastman School of Music.


Second Place: Gabriel José Bolaños Chamorro


For Steel String Guitar Duet

Gabriel José Bolaños Chamorro (b.1984 Bogotá, Colombia) is a Nicaraguan-American composer and guitarist. He is pursuing his PhD at UC bolanosDavis, and is currently studying with Mika Pelo.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in 2007 where he studied composition with Fabien Lévy and Sebastian Currier, and orchestration with Tristan Murail. He has also worked as a freelance musician in New Haven, CT, and was a professor of theory, analysis and guitar at the Casa de los 3mundos music academy in Granada, Nicaragua. His work draws upon a variety of interests including linguistics, spectralism and the physical properties of sound, psychoacoustics and geology.


Third Place: Joel Love


for string quartet

Joel-Love_webThe music of Joel Love explores an eclectic mix of genres, from short video pieces to works for chamber and large ensembles. It creates colorful landscapes of sound through the use of image, melody, and extended tonality, and seeks to reveal the connection between music and spirituality.

Joel was recently commissioned to compose a new work, Lightscape, for the opening of light artist James Turrell’s The Color Inside, which was unveiled in October of 2013.  Molly Glentzer from the Houston Chronicle wrote that the music evocatively captures the emotion of The Color Inside.” PARMA Recordings selected Lux and Synchronicity in Purple Minor for publication in their 2013 and 2012 Anthology, respectively.  In May of 2013, Aurora Borealis was selected as a finalist in the 3rd International Franck Ticheli Composition Contest.  In 2010, Real Fiction received a Compositional Excellence Citation by the New York Youth Symphony. In 2009, Da Camera of Houston presented Joel with an Aspiring Artist Award and the commission of Just One Person.

Joel’s works have been performed by The Aura Contemporary Music Ensemble, The California State University Los Angeles Wind Ensemble, Da Camera of Houston’s Young ArtistsThe Boston New Music Initiative, the Ohio State University Wind Symphony, the Texas A&M University Symphonic Winds , the Lamar University A Capella Choir and Wind Ensemble, the University of Texas Wind Symphony, and exhibited at many art galleries throughout the United States.  Joel’s first work for wind ensemble, Aurora Borealis, was recently selected for performance at the 2013 SCI National Conference.  In a recent review of 2013 SXSW events, Capital Public Radio’s Nick Brunner commented that “The Peace of Wild Things” was a “gorgeous piece of music, wafting along into the ether.”

His film scores include the documentary film Stitched, official selection at the 2011 Carmel Art and Film Festival, as well as a short film Kidfellas, “Best Musical Score” at Houston’s 2011 48-Hour Film Project. Other notable collaborations with artists from other disciplines feature a city-wide public art exhibit with artist Karyn Olivier, Inboud: Houstonand a 3-month installation by Prince V. Thomas, On Joy, On Sorrow at the Houston Center for Photography, praised by the Houston Chronicle as ”a beautiful piece that feels cleansing to watch.”  

Joel recently completed a DMA in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin and holds degrees from The University of Houston’s Moores School of Music (M.Music) and Lamar University’s Mary Morgan Department of Music (B.Music).


Film Score Winner: Leah Reid

Ring, Resonate, Resound

7 channel acousmatic compositionReid

Leah Reid (b. 1985, New Hampshire) writes vibrant compositions that examine the innermost nature of sounds. Reid’s work is noted for its exploration of time, timbre and texture. Reid holds a D.M.A. and M.A. in composition from Stanford University and a B.Mus in composition from McGill University. She was awarded the Pauline Oliveros Prize for her piece “Pressure” for viola and electroacoustic media. Reid has had works performed in the United States, Canada and Europe with premieres by Livia Sohn, Geoff Nuttall, the Jack Quartet, Sound Gear, Talea, Seth Josel, the Pheonix String Quartet and McGill’s Contemporary Music Ensemble. Reid’s principal teachers include Mark Applebaum, Jonathan Berger, Brian Ferneyhough, and Sean Ferguson.

Reid currently teaches at the University of the Pacific and continues her research on the compositional applications of multidimensional timbre representations.




The Panel included Robert Honstein, Robert McClure, Charles Halka, Micah Clark and Frame Dance Artistic Director Lydia Hance.

Frame Composers: What are they up to now?

Tuesday Tunes

Rob in China2013 Winner

Robert McClure


Robert McClure moved to China and accepted the new position of Assistant Professor of
Music Composition at Soochow University in Suzhou, China (close to Shanghai) in 2013. Over the past year and a half his music has been performed across North America, Asia, and Europe at Festivals such as Sonorities Contemporary Music Festival, New York City Electronic Music Festival, North American Saxophone Alliance National Conference, Festival Musiquem, and the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium. His recent/current projects include a piece for violin and percussion, fixed media piece withRobert McClure sounds from the Anji Mountains in China, piece for vibraphone and computer, piece for bass flute, clarinet, and computer, and a new string quartet for Frame Dance to be premiered sometime in 2016. On April 30, 2014, he and his wife Kate welcomed their first child, Violet August. She is in great health and an absolute joy. She is getting quite proficient at the maracas but also shows promise with ukulele and the melodica and enjoys dancing to early 90’s hip hop.






8 Lessons for Dancers in Higher Education

MFA Mondays

MFA right

 8 Lessons for Dancers in Higher Education

by Sarah Wildes Arnett

1. Dance is not a terminal field, even though the MFA is. Most dancers (and performers in general) know and accept this as truth – dancers are students their entire lives. There is always a way to improve and become better as our bodies change and as the field evolves. I accepted this long before making the decision to go back to school. What I did not realize until much later was that this applies to my creative work as well. As I went into my thesis work and now, as a professional and in setting choreography on my students, I started the process of reworking old choreography. I’ve now taken what was originally a sextet and translated it into a duet (which works much better that way) that has been reworked at least five times on different dancers, each time finding out new information about the piece. The piece has evolved from a general exploration of rhythms and patterns to being about a simple relationship to death and the afterlife. I’m pretty sure it’s not perfect yet.

2. It’s ok to beat a dead horse (figuratively). Not every piece has to be a masterpiece and you don’t have to make work about something new and different every time. Some things are worth investigating again and again. Just because you tried something once doesn’t mean you are done and that you cannot do it again.

3. Age is just a number. I went to school with people from all walks of life, including those in my MFA program and the undergraduates working on their BFA and BA degrees. I truly believe that there are things to be learned from each other, no matter what the age as everyone brings in their own experiences and ideas. One of the best collaborators I ever worked with in graduate school (and best friends I’ve ever made) was an undergraduate student, Megen Burgess. We still work together and talk weekly about dancing ideas even though we live 9 hours away from each other.


4. Not every rehearsal has to be in a studio. Megen and I created an entire duet (and mind you, a very physically challenging duet) without managing to spend but maybe a total of 4 hours dancing. Sometimes you just need to have rehearsal at El Carreton. Sometimes you just have to draw a dance.


5. Write everything down. I cannot tell you the number of brilliant ideas (and I mean brilliant – I should be Trisha Brown by now) that I have forgotten because I didn’t write them down. Continue reading

Links We Like Friday: Tiny Dances

Links We Like Performances/Screenings

Week 3 in our series that came from our installation at Fresh Arts.  The piece was called The Black Space, and included these tiny silent dances meant to be seen on your smart phones.


The Black Space: Tiny Dance 3 from Frame Dance Productions on Vimeo.

Free Events Thursdays

Free Events Thursday

Bruce Munro’s Field of Light

November 22, 2014 – February 08, 2015 (Recurring daily)

Time: Dusk-11pm

Discovery Green
1500 McKinney Street, Houston, TX 77010

Discovery Green is proud to host Field of Light, a dazzling art installation by internationally-acclaimed artist Bruce Munro. The vivid, temporary, site specific installation will be exhibited along the Brown Promenade and will be illuminated at dusk until 11 p.m. daily.

Price: FREE!!!


Let’s Get Organized!

Saturday January 24th

Time: 11pm -4pm

At an IKEA near you!


The New Year is a great time to get organized, start new habits & get ready for a great year ahead! And there’s nothing like learning from the pro’s on how to create an organized a clutter free home.

Join us for G.O. Day (Get Organized Day), a day clearing out, gearing up and getting organized!

We’ll have secure document shredding, clothing donations and electronics recycling on site to accept your donations, workshops where you’ll learn from Houston’s Professional Organizers (members of NAPO – The National Association of Professional Organizers) and storewide specials on the items you’ll need to get off to an organized and efficient year ahead.

So bring a bag full or a trunk load and get rid of those unwanted items, then stick around to learn from the pros on topics like: getting started on organizing, making the most of your “Junk” drawer and getting your stuff to fit your space.

*Workshop space is limited, so arrive early to ensure admission!

Price: FREE!!! 


Tai Chi

Saturday, January 24th

Central Green Park in Katy

Time: 8:30 am

Tai Chi is a slow and gentle exercise perfect for all levels– beginner to advanced. This Chinese exercise system uses slow body movements to achieve a state of relaxation.

Price: FREE!!!


Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence

11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. every Wed., Thu., Fri., Sat., Sun. until February 15

The Menil Collection
1515 Sul Ross Houston, TX

“Experiments With the Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence,” now on exhibit at The Menil Collection, is the first ever visual arts exhibition to examine Gandhi’s philosophy and ethics of nonviolence — that is, his satyagraha. It includes the famous photograph Gandhi’s Last Possessions, which shows what the great man owned at the time of his death: two pairs of sandals, two dinner bowls, eyeglasses, a prayer book and a few other small items.

Curated from a wide range of museums, galleries and private collections, the pieces on display include paintings, sculpture, religious icons, texts and photographs that document Gandhi’s life and legacy. “Experiments With the Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence” marks the 145th anniversary of his birth.

Price: FREE!!!

Want to write for Frame Dance?


Are you a Frame Dance blog reader?  Have you ever wanted to write something to be published and shared with the Frame Dance audience?  Are you an MFA who would like to contribute to the MFA Monday column, or a health and wellness person who would like to share some tips on Wellness Wednesday?  Or maybe a music professional who can share on Tuesday Tunes?  Or maybe you have a wild idea that doesn’t already fit?  We’d love to hear it!


We are accepting Frame Dance blog submissions now.  All of these beautiful people are blog writers past and present! Be a part of the Frame Dance Blog community.

Frame Dance Composers: What are they up to now?

Tuesday Tunes

As we get ready to announce the winner of this year’s Music Composition Competition, we thought we’d let you know what the past winners are up to now.  We think they’re outstanding.

Starting with the most recent, today’s update is on Robert Honstein, 2014 Winner.

robert honstein

Robert Honstein

Robert’s recent collaboration with New York based early music ensemble, The Sebastians, has been released as an album, ‘Night Scenes from the Ospedale’. The disc weaves together selections from Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico with a new suite of night music by Honstein. In these companion pieces Robert imagines “Night Scenes” from the Ospedale della Pietà where Vivaldi worked as performer, composer, and teacher. These evocative interludes comprise “a kind of music barely heard, melting into the stillness of empty rooms and dimly lit hallways” and exist in stark juxtaposition with the bold, exuberant Vivaldi concerti. Stream sample tracks and order a copy here (

Wellness Wednesday

Eat Well Wednesday Uncategorized

0What are the 20 best foods to eat for breakfast?  Some of these may surprise you.  Read the article from to get more details.  Some of these had my brow furrowing skeptically….


Greek yogurt

Wheat germ


fruits-for-skinBananas (I thought we were off of these)


Almond butter





Coffee (yay!)




Orange juice (what?! Didn’t we JUST hear about all the sugar in this?)

Cranberry juice (I’m imagining in small doses, but boy do I love this)

Cereal (careful on this one)


Whole wheat bread (careful on this one too)