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May 6, 2010: Someone You Should Know

Jabez Co ’12.
Photo by Linda O’Horo

Jabez Co
Ohio Wesleyan student earns national recognition for music composition

OWU music major Jabez Co ’12 has been recognized as a finalist for a Morton Gould Young Composer Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation for his work “Antarktikos.” The award program grants cash prizes to composers under age 30 whose works are selected during a juried national competition.

Co submitted the score as a composition lesson assignment from Jason Bahr, professor of composition. Co says he was surprised and pleased to receive the award because about 730 entries were evaluated during the competition.

“Antarktikos” was inspired by the poem “At Home in Antarctica” by Claire Beynon, an artist from New Zealand.

“I was thinking of Antarctica and its cold, stark environment when I composed ‘Antarktikos,’ ” Co says. “I composed for the piece to be played on a vibraphone, which I think makes a sound that creates a sensation of coldness.”

The eight-and-a-half-minute chamber piece also includes a clarinet, cello, flute, piccolo, and vocalists.

Co says he worked on the piece for about 100 hours between September and December. “I heard the first few melodic lines in my head,” he says. “I also composed while playing a piano.”

“Antarktikos” premiered in February during the Department of Music’s OWU/NOW Festival. Richard Edwards, assistant professor of music, was the conductor. Ensemble members included Tom Reinman ’12  on vibraphone; Co on flute and piccolo; Jon Rux ’12 on cello; Dwight Parsons ’10 on clarinet; and vocalists Jessica Spafford ’11, Chantel Deane ’11, David Mertz ’13, and Ben Sala ’13.

Co says he is developing a passion for composing. “I’m fascinated by chords and movements, and I like to figure out where each harmony should go.”

He is currently working on a symphonic band piece inspired by Carl Sandburg’s poem “A Sphinx.”

– Linda O’Horo