Taproot New Music Festival:
Opening Concert

Sam Nichols, director

Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center


Colin Minigan, percussion

Members of Splinter Reeds
Kyle Bruckmann, oboe
Bill Kalinkos, clarinet
Jeff Anderle, bass clarinet

Empyrean Ensemble
Sam Nichols, director
Matilda Hofman, conductor-in-residence
Sandra McPherson, clarinet
Jennifer Ellis, harp
Michael Seth Orland, piano
Chris Froh, percussion
Hrabba Atladottir, violin
Ellen Ruth Rose, viola
Leighton Fong, cello


John Cage: Child of Tree (1975)

Dana Reason: …a poet you must become (2023) for oboe and fixed media

Joseph Kudirka: 21st Century Music (2008) for three instruments

Kory Reeder: My Mother Made Many Blankets (2023) WORLD PREMIERE

Free, a Shinkoskey Noon Concert​


Ann E. Pitzer Center, Davis, CA

Taproot New Music Festival
February 8–11, 2024

The Department of Music at UC Davis presents the Taproot New Music Festival February 8–11, 2024, at the Ann E. Pitzer Center at UC Davis.


The Taproot New Music Festival will take place on the campus of the University of California, Davis, during the week of February 5, 2024, and will culminate in performances at the end of that week (February 8–11, 2024). Eight composers have been chosen to participate in the festival: they’ll have new pieces performed, and will participate in seminars and workshops facilitated by the visiting artists and UC Davis composition faculty. The festival will feature Splinter Reeds as a visiting ensemble. UC Davis’s own Empyrean Ensemble will also join the festival line-up.

Participating Composers

Dean Boursiquot
Stephen Ryan Jackson
Trey Makler
Kory Reeder
Phillip Sink
Shahrzad Talebi
Amber Vistein
Zoë Wallace

Featured Ensembles

Splinter Reeds
Splinter Reeds is the West Coast’s first reed quintet, comprising five innovative musicians with a shared passion for new music. The ensemble is committed to presenting top tier performances of today’s best contemporary composition, showcasing the vast possibilities of the reed quintet, commissioning new works, and collaborating with fellow musicians and artists.

Empyrean Ensemble
Sam Nichols, director
Prof. of Teaching, UC Davis Music Department

Matilda Hofman, conductor-in-residence
Continuing Lecturer, UC Davis Music Department

Ensemble-in-residence at UC Davis, the Empyrean Ensemble presents engaging and eclectic programs, inviting audiences to experience new musical sensations delivered with high artistry by its extraordinary players—among the finest new music performers in California.


The Taproot New Music Festival brings together a diverse group of composers and performers, both local and visiting, and gives them the chance to hear new work, and to make lasting connections. A biennial festival at UC Davis, it features concerts and other events, and also creates the opportunity for our students to work alongside exceptional artists. Actively inclusive and participatory, Taproot broadcasts a unique vision of how to sustain a musical community.

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