Student group Face the Music revels in new sounds

Posted on: March 26, 2012

In Sunday’s (3/25) New York Times, Allan Kozinn writes, “At first glance the ensemble setting up in a fifth-floor classroom at the Kaufman Center on West 67th Street in Manhattan seems like any other student group and exactly what you would expect to find in a building that houses two music schools and Merkin Concert Hall. … But when the conductor, Jenny Undercofler, using a pencil as a baton, leads her Face the Music ensemble through Steve Martland’s rhythmically pointed, texturally jagged ‘Horses of Instruction,’ you realize that this is not the sort of student orchestra you may remember. It is instead an alternative-universe high school band: a new-music factory that focuses on works written in the last 50 years, with an emphasis on the new alt-classical style. … Now in its seventh year Face the Music has 74 members, up from 8 when Ms. Undercofler started it in 2005. … They attend a three-and-a-half-hour rehearsal at the Kaufman Center every Sunday, and they have a busy concert calendar that has made Face the Music a force in the New York new-music world. In 2011 the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers presented its Aaron Copland Award to Ms. Undercofler and her musicians ‘for the artistry and passion with which they champion and perform the music of living composers.’ ”

Posted March 26, 2012