Carlos Velez

Constantly striving for ingenuity and wit in his music, Mr. Velez has produced works for Clarinet Quartet, Woodwind Quintet, Wind Ensemble, and various chamber combinations, many of which have been performed throughout the United States and in Japan as well. A native of Florida, he has studied composition with a number of fine teachers, including Kari Juusela, Joel Hoffman, Michael Fiday, Mara Helmuth, Keith Fitch and Christopher Bailey. His musical background deeply rooted in performance, Mr. Velez is an accomplished flutist and has worked with both NeXT ens and the Cincinnati Real-Time Composers to foster the development of engaging new music in America. He is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Carlos A. Velez: List of Works

  • Sonata for E-flat Clarinet and piano
  • Processional/Recessional (Double-Reed Quartet)
  • Prism Suite for Solo Clarinet - for Shawn Copeland
  • Caricatures for Clarinet Quartet - for Shawn Copeland and the Una Voce Clarinet Quartet
  • Sonic Flare (Clarinet Quartet) - for Shawn Copeland and the Una Voce Clarinet Quartet
  • Antipodes (Wind Ensemble)
  • Doppelgänger - for the CCM Chamber Player and the Cincinnati Real-Time Composers Woodwind Quintet
  • Musings of Ancient Spirits (Piccolo and Piano)

Marcus Karl Maroney

Marcus Karl Maroney studied composition and horn at The University of Texas at Austin (B.M.) and Yale School of Music (M.M., D.M.A.). His principle composition teachers were Joseph Schwantner, Ned Rorem, Joan Tower and Dan Welcher. In 1999, he received a fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center, he First Hearing award from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (for Those Teares are Pearle) and an ASCAP/Morton Gould Young Composer's award. Other awards and fellowships followed, including: a Charles Ives Scholarship from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Music 2000 Prize from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, further awards from ASCAP, a residency at the Copland House and consecutive Woods Chandler Memorial awards from Yale University.

Commissions have come from such organizations and individuals as eighth blackbird (Rhythms), the Orchestra of St. Luke's (Hudson), The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (Introduction and Barrage for the Gryphon Trio), Timothy McAllister (Denk Dir:), the Moores School Percussion Ensemble (Pantheon), the Texas Music Festival (Märchenbilder), the Deer Valley Music Festival (Three Pieces for String Quartet) and the Juventas! New Music Ensemble (Dust of the Road).

Mr. Maroney served on the faculty of the Yale School of Music from 2002-2004. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Houston's Moores School of Music. His academic pursuits include research on the music and life of Swiss composer Frank Martin, for which he was awarded a grant from the University of Houston for residency at the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel.

Dr. Maroney may be reached at

William Stevens

William Stevens grew up in western North Carolina, influenced by the classical music his parents played at home and the fiddle tunes he heard down at the Esso station. He was a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina, received his masters from Catholic University, and doctorate from the University of Maryland.

Bill is best known for vocal music ranging from children's songs to opera to liturgical settings for the Lutheran Church. He has two pieces for woodwind quintet-a one-person opera titled Tongues of Fire, and the Quodlibet on B-E-C-C-A (his daughter's name) premiered by the Relevents.

Recent premiers have been by the Piedmont Chamber Singers, the Relevents Wind Quintet, the Degas String Quartet, and by his daughter at a jazz verspers at St. Peter's in New York City. Bill is the father-in-law of Relevents' flutist, Laura Stevens.

Tom Brennan

Tom Brennan was born in 1982 and grew up in Ohio and Michigan. At the age of sixteen, he composed his first serious work, the Prelude for string orchestra, which was performed by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony as part of their Young and Emerging Composers series. Tom’s compositional style is a blend of 80’s and 90’s pop music influences, traditional musics of all kinds and a broad resonance with the music of the distant past from composers like Leonin, Machaut, and Tallis. Firmly devoted to the audience, he considers music a part of a vast cultural conversation that wouldn’t be possible without inclusiveness and reciprocation.

Tom has received commissions from the Washington Saxophone Quartet, soprano Dorothy Kingston and the Capitol Pride Symphonic Band. He is currently working on a partial setting of St. John of the Cross’s Cantico Espiritual, a commission for bassoon and chorus from bassoonist Lynn Gaubatz, to be premiered in Linz, Austria as part of that city’s status of European Capital of Culture in 2009. He is also collaborating with award-winning Seattle poet Sarah Mangold on a setting of the her chapbook, Parlor.

Tom lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he is pursuing a Master of Music degree in composition at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, studying with Kenneth Frazelle. He also studies privately with Alex Shapiro. Tom previously studied composition with Mikel Kuehn at Bowling Green State University, and Mara Helmuth and Frederick Rzewski at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He holds a BA in Art History from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Tom Brennan can be reached at:

Nicole Strum

Canadian saxophonist Nicole Strum was unanimously awarded the Diplôme Professionel de Perfectionnement Musical from the Conservatoire National de Region de Bordeaux, France, where she studied with Marie-Bernadette Charrier. While at the Conservatoire she worked with composer Jose-Luis Campana and premiered a new work for saxophone quartet and percussion featured in a 2005 edition of the French Association des Saxophonistes Les Cahiers du Saxophone. In 2001 and 2002 she attended the summer Université Européenne de Saxophone in Gap, France where she studied with Claude Delangle, Jean-Denis Michat, Arno Bornkamp, Vincent David, and Fabrizio Mancuso. She completed a Master of Music at the University of Calgary, Canada, and was a member of the Calgary Saxophone Quartet, whose 2001 recording for CBC Radio received national airplay.

A recipient of numerous Canada Council for the Arts grants and winner of the 2008 Canadian Federation of University Women Creative Arts Award, Nicole’s artistic focus is the performance of contemporary solo and chamber music for saxophone, and the development of interdisciplinary and mixed media projects. She is a member of the international KaleidArts Ensemble, who will present a program of electroacoustic works in Greensboro, NC and Mexico City this coming fall. Nicole is currently a DMA candidate and teaching assistant in theory and saxophone at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.