Reprinted from The Spectrum, 2/23/97

Utah Mayor Receives National Composer Grant

Phillip Kent Bimstein, mayor of Springdale and a composer, has received one of five grants in the new residencies program, which integrates music and composers into the day-to-day life of communities across the United states.

New residencies is administered by Meet the Composer, a 22-year-old organization whose mission is to bring composers together with performers and audiences working to overcome the distance that has come between them during this century.

Composers and hosts were selected through a rigorous and highly competitive application process. The chosen composers represent a range of musical styles.

They have written music in jazz, concert, electronic, film and theater styles. Along with Bimstein, who will begin his three year residency in Southern Utah, other grant recipients include Malachi Thompson, Chicago; Deidre Murray, Queens, N.Y.; Joseph Julian Gonzalez, San Diego, Calif., and Tijuana, Mexico; and Anthony Kelley, Richmond, Va.

"This is a truly astonishing array of new partners, the most ingenious and idealistic group of composers and community leaders you'll ever meet," says Meet the Composer Director of Programs Theodore Wiprud. "It's thrilling to think of what they will accomplish in the years ahead with the resources of New Residencies behind them."

What Will Bimstein Do as a Grant Recipient?

Bimstein, who combines acoustic instruments with digital samplers to make the spoken word part of an innovative sonic texture, will compose music that celebrates and explores the intimate relationship between the landscapes of the desert and the many cultures that have inhabited the area. He will create pieces from recorded oral histories of community elders and involve local people in performances.

The music will often be site-specific, performed at river sides or in narrow canyons. Bimstein will work regularly with teenagers at the Washington County Youth Crisis Center, perform works at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts in St. George, speak regularly to groups, moderate forums and advise musical groups.

New Residencies Program

New Residencies is a national program of Meet the Composer. With a shared vision, arts organizations and community groups combine resources in collaborative projects and productions that build community solidarity. Resident composers create music celebrating the diverse cultures within the community, while host arts organizations present the works in both community and traditional performance settings. In addition to writing music, composers also teach, organize cultural events, promote local heritage and help make music a positive force in community life.

About Meet the Composer

Meet the Composer is a national nonprofit organization that was founded in 1974 to foster the creation, performance and dissemination of music by American composers and to broaden audiences for music of our time. With funding from foundations, corporations, individuals and government sources, Meet The Composer designs programs that support all styles and forms of music. Meet The Composer's programs provide support to nonprofit organizations that commission or encourage original works. Awarded funds go primarily toward composer commissioning fees and residency expenses. Programs include the Meet the Composer Fund and National Affiliate Network, New Music for Schools, New Residencies, Meet the Composer/Arts Endowment Commissioning Music USA, International Creative Collaborations and other special projects.