Pieces to be performed include:
Second Wind for alto saxophone and woodwind quintet
Deployments (world premiere) for flute, clarinet, bassoon, and percussionists
Katherine Ann Murdock grew up in the Bay-Area region of California known as “Silicon Valley” and earned her first college degrees in music (piano and voice) and theatre arts from Humboldt State and San Francisco State Universities. In 1986 she received a Ph.D. in composition from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Samuel Adler, Joseph Schwantner, and Warren Benson. She spent the greater part of her professional career teaching music theory and composition at Wichita State University in Wichita, KS, retiring as a full professor after twenty-five years in 2010.
Murdock’s works include vocal and choral music, chamber music, works for string orchestra and symphonic band, and a one-act opera. She has had numerous commissions, and performances of her works have occurred in many venues across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. In 2003 her work Trees Dream of Dancing was premiered in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. In 2007 she received a commission from the National Symphony Orchestra to compose the chamber work Unquiet Night for members of that ensemble, which premiered at the Kennedy Center in September of 2008.
In 1992 Murdock was awarded a Kansas Artist Fellowship in music composition by the Kansas Arts Commission. Other honors and awards include an honorable mention in the Harvey Gaul Competition for New Music sponsored by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (1986), the 1986 convention commission from the Kansas Music Teachers Association, the Louis Lane Composition Prize (Eastman School of Music, 1982), a special Third Prize in the Ithaca College Choral Composition Contest (1981), and a prize from the Culver City Chamber Music Series (1997). In the spring of 1988, Dr. Murdock was selected as an Emory Lindquist Honors Program Mentor at Wichita State University. In 2001 she was awarded the WSU College of Fine Arts Award for Excellence in Creative/Scholarly Activity. Dr. Murdock was chosen as the first (and only) Kansas Master Artist Fellow in Music Composition by the Kansas Arts Commission in 2010 and won an Artist Fellowship in Music Composition from the Arkansas Arts Council 2012.
In addition to teaching composition, theory, counterpoint and orchestration at Wichita State, Murdock has taught at the University of Texas (Austin), San Francisco State University, and the Eastman School of Music (as a graduate assistant). She has also adjudicated student composition contests on the regional and national levels and has twice been a judge for the Arkansas Arts Commission in awarding composer fellowships. Murdock was the founder and director of the annual Wichita State University Contemporary Music Festival, and her music is published by Dorn Publications of Medfield, Massachusetts. Her composition Postcards from the Center is available on a CD of the same name by the Moran Woodwind Quintet, issued by Crystal Records. Her Trio Bel Canto for two saxophones and piano is included on the CD Louder than Words issued by Red Clay Records, and several of her works for concert band and wind ensemble appear on Music from the Heart from the Heartland available from Mark Records.
Photo courtesy of Liz R. Lester