Local composers will talk about their efforts to create new performance pieces for the Kansas City vocal ensemble Octarium on Friday, March 2, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
The panel discussion - The State of Choral Music in an American Idol Age - features composers Forrest Pierce, Robert Pherigo, Ian Coleman, and Ingrid Stölzel. It takes place just a day before Octarium's performance on Saturday, March 3, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. at Community Christian Church, 4601 Main St., at which it will premiere several new works.
Last year Octarium commissioned the original pieces from Pherigo, Missouri's Composer Laureate for 2010; Rich Campbell, winner of Octarium's 2011 Composition Competition; Pierce, and Coleman.
The ensemble also has sponsored student composer competitions and worked with composer interns from area colleges.
The March 3 concert is a spin-off of the "locavore" trend that encourages people to eat locally-grown food. In that spirit, Octarium seeks to perform locally-composed music.
Octarium is an eight-voice group that performs unaccompanied choral works. Founded in 2003, it has earned a national reputation for what composer Morton Lauridsen calls "stunning artistry combined with an absolutely beautiful blending of voices." The group has produced four recordings: Octarium, Hodie, Essentials, and Modern Masters.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore
Major funding for programs at the Kansas City Public Library is provided by a generous grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.