Society of Composers Inc. Recognizes GWU Senior Music Composition Major

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Nathaniel Parks’ Composition Selected for Performance at National Conference

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—A Gardner-Webb senior music composition major has received national recognition from the Society of Composers Inc. (SCI). Nathaniel Parks of Greensboro, N.C., will have his choral work performed at the SCI National Conference April 2, 2017, at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich.

His composition, Kyrie, was chosen from 700 submissions and will be performed by the Collegiate Singers. Judges included ensemble directors and administrators. “Kyrie is a piece that invokes God pleadingly and searches for understanding in a time where there is none,” Parks described. “The text translates to ‘Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.’”

Professor of Music Dr. Matt Whitfield explained the significance of the award. “Very few undergraduate students have compositions selected because of the high level of competition from graduate students, composition professors, and professional composers nationwide,” he noted. “This is something that will help Nathaniel get into a top-notch graduate school as well as receive an assistantship. Needless to say we are all very proud of Nathaniel and are grateful that he has this wonderful opportunity to showcase his compositional talents.”

Parks is director of the GWU AcaFelons (a cappella ensemble), president of the Society of Composers GWU Chapter and a member of the Gardner-Webb Honors Association and GWU Concert Choir. His concert mass, Messe de la Perdu (Mass for the Lost), was performed earlier this year by the Gardner-Webb Choral Union.

Dr. Paul Etter, Chair of the GWU Department of Music, directed the performance. “We know Nathaniel’s work,” he shared. “This can propel his name out there nationally so that more people can hear and experience it. I’m looking forward to hearing more of his compositions.”

The Society of Composers, Inc. is a professional society dedicated to the promotion, performance, understanding and dissemination of new and contemporary music. Members include composers both in and outside academia interested in addressing these concerns on a national and regional level. Click here for more information. 

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).