Honors College

News - Greg Yasinitsky Dist. Lecture Nov. 18

Oct. 28, 2013

MEDIA: M. Grant Norton, Dean, WSU Honors College, 509-335-4505

Linda Howell, Academic Coordinator, WSU Honors College, 509-335-7801, linda.howell@wsu.edu

WSU Honors College Welcomes Regents Professor Greg Yasinitsky Nov. 18 to Explain Music’s Origins (Creatively Speaking), Debut New Composition

PULLMAN, Wash.—“Where Did that Come From? Musical Composition and the Creative Process” is the topic of a presentation with live performances led by Regents Professor Gregory W. Yasinitsky at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, in the Honors Hall Lounge on the Washington State University campus.

His lecture will also include musical demonstrations including “One-Two-Three,” a new composition created especially for this event, the third program in the Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series. Hosts are the college and its Honors Student Advisory Council (HSAC).  [http://honors.wsu.edu]  All students, faculty, staff, and the community are invited.

Yasinitsky, who is director of the WSU School of Music, plans to have fellow musicians join him to help demonstrate—literally—answers to a wide variety of questions. They include: What goes into the creation of a piece of music? How much is intellectual, how much is intuitive? What is the role of inspiration? How important is craft? How many basic building blocks of music (rhythm, melody, and harmony) be assembled and reassembled to create new musical structures? How does a composer balance repetition and variety? How is a composition framed, how are musical ideas organized into forms? What are the characteristics of spontaneous composition and improvisation? What is the role of the performers and of the audience?

At the Monday lecture, Yasinitsky’s piece “Steps” will be performed by the faculty ensemble Jazz Northwest, featuring saxophonist Dave Hagelganz, trumpeter David Turnbull, guitarist Brad Ard, pianist Brian Ward, bassist Frederick "Dave" Snider, drummer David Jarvis and saxophonist Yasinitsky.  Also featured will be Yasinitsky's composition “For All That Has Been Given” performed by School of Music faculty members Ann Marie Yasinitsky, flute, and Gerald Berthiaume, piano.

“This event offers a unique and entertaining examination of music and creativity, and the opportunity to learn from a world-class expert on the topics,” says M. Grant Norton, dean of the Honors College. “Dr. Yasinitsky is also an esteemed academician, having received the prestigious WSU Eminent Faculty Award, the Marian E. Smith Faculty Achievement Award, and numerous additional top recognitions for excellence.”

Yasinitsky joined the WSU faculty in 1982 and was coordinator of jazz studies until 2011; throughout that period, the program received widespread recognition, invitations to perform at prestigious conferences, and awards from Down Beat magazine and from major festivals.

He is a globally renowned composer, arranger, and saxophonist. He has written music for Clark Terry, David Liebman, and the USAF “Airmen of Note” big band, and his music has been performed in more than 30 countries. As a saxophonist, he has appeared with artists Lou Rawls, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Louis Bellson, Stan Getz, Lionel Hampton, Mel Torme, and Clark Terry, and the Manhattan Transfer. He is principal saxophonist with the Spokane Symphony and has performed as a member of the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera Orchestra, and Oakland Symphony. His playing and compositions can be heard on compact discs release by his own label, YAZZ Recordings, and others.

He earned his DMA from the Eastman School of Music, and his MA and BM at San Francisco State University.  More information on his scholarly publications, and additional work and accomplishments, is available at http://libarts.wsu.edu/music/faculty-staff/yasinits. Links there are available to recordings of his performances and compositions.

The Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series hosts three lectures in fall and three in spring, the final being organized by HSAC as a student-selected invited presentation in spring.  For more Honors College information, visit http://honors.wsu.edu.

Honors College, Washington State University, PO Box 642012, Pullman WA 99164-2012, 509-335-4505, Contact Us