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Adam O’Dell ‘15 to lecture at Clarke April 7

By Clarke News  |  March 13, 2019

Adam D. O’Dell will present a Mackin-Mailander Alumni Lecture on Sunday, April 7, at 2 p.m. in Jansen Music Hall on the campus of Clarke University. His lecture is entitled, “Writing Home, Wherever It May Be.”

The Sunday afternoon lecture is free and open to the public.

The spring 2019 semester at Clarke University continues to be filled with festivities and special events marking the 175th anniversary of Clarke. The arts and lecture offerings for the year will pay tribute to this milestone with a series of events designed to highlight the theme of ‘Home’ and showcase Clarke’s extremely talented alumni. O’Dell is a 2015 graduate of Clarke University.

“Pieces of music serve as snapshots of the composers’ lives; where they lived, who they knew, what they experienced, and how they responded to these influences,” said O’Dell. “For even the most vagabond composers, the concept of ‘home’ permeates the soul of their work, whether that home is found in people, places, or ideas.”

O’Dell is a composer, pianist, and teacher, and in his lecture he will discuss the artistic and theoretical underpinnings of his recent music. He will share the musical journey of joy, grief, humor, and love and how this process reflects his upbringing as a musician, actor, comedian, and student both in Iowa and in the many homes he has found since.

O’Dell will discuss the idea generation component to the compositional process of selecting a theme or title. He will further demonstrate his method by playing the piano to show the audience how he moves through the creative process.

“Adam was an exceptional student during his time at Clarke.  He participated in vocal and instrumental music ensembles as well as composing music for choral groups and theater productions,” said Dr. Sharon Jensen, Assistant Professor of Music at Clarke. “He received several commissions from orchestras across the U.S., including the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, before he graduated from Clarke. He has garnered many international commissions and honors while in graduate school, as well. We are so grateful and excited to have him return to Clarke to share his insights and experiences.”

O’Dell has a bachelor’s degree from Clarke University, a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University, and is a current doctoral student in music composition at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University.

His work combines classical, jazz, rock, theatre, and folk influences into music with humanistic and story-like qualities. O’Dell is an internationally published academic writer, and has given lectures and masterclasses in composition, analysis, and biomusicology across the United States and Europe.

O’Dell’s recent commissions include the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, the Altered Sound Duo, the Oklahoma State University Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble 135, Just Duet, Third Inversion Reed Trio, hornist Andrew Pelletier, and the Julien Chamber Choir. His works have been performed in the United States, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Russia, Brazil, Germany, and Italy.

O’Dell currently serves as the Artistic Director, composer-in-residence, and pianist with the Noise-to-Signal Ensemble, and is a licensed PARMA Recordings Artist.

For more information, contact Clarke University at (563)588-6377.