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New album from GVSU music students is a love letter to the National Park System


Have your daily walks around the block lost their luster? Do you long to be transported to somewhere with spacious skies and purple mountains majesty? A new record from Grand Valley State University’s New Music Ensemble called Dawn Chorus does just that by taking listeners on a sonic trip to some of  the country’s most beloved national parks.

The record is part of an ongoing project by the New Music Ensemble, a student group focused on performing contemporary classical music. The group has embarked on three tours across the country, performing commissioned works in the same national parks that inspired them. Bill Ryan, professor of composition at GVSU and the director of the New Music Ensemble, says he intentionally commissioned works from composers with diverse styles. 

“They all have very unique approaches to their music," he said. "And that’s what I was really hoping, that their music and their individual experiences with the environment and with these spaces would help convey that diverseness, that vastness of the parks.”

You can listen to Stateside’s full interview with Ryan about the new record above and check out the music from the album here:  

Support for arts and culture coverage comes in part from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

This post was written by Stateside production assistant Olive Scott. 

Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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