In the first gathering of its kind, new classical music composers from across the Central Valley will meet in Turlock to share ideas and listen to each other's work.
About 60 composers are participating and will present their music Saturday in a free concert open to the public at California State University, Stanislaus.
"It's important for people to be connected with the artists who are working in their own back yard," said Ed Harsh, vice president of Meet the Composer, a New York City-based organization that set up the conference.
Included in the eclectic program will be music for voice, English horn and piano as well as vibraphone and computer-generated sounds, presented with video and Japanese reed flutes.
Composers will meet by themselves earlier in the day for a conference hosted by Deborah Kavasch, a Stanislaus State music faculty member and composer whose work has been performed around the country and in Europe.
Kavasch said the group will talk about how to market compositions, how to attract a new music audience and the best ways to prepare scores.
"I'm excited to meet composers in the Central Valley and to discover who they are," she said. "I think many of us have found it hard to take the initiative (to meet each other)."
Among those joining Kavasch at the program will be her husband and fellow Stanislaus State professor John Marvin, Stephen Blumberg (Sacramento), Robert Coburn (Stockton), Douglas Davis (Bakersfield), Kenneth Froelich (Fresno) and Samuel Nichols (Davis).
Some of the artists also plan to present their works in November at the Festival of New American Music hosted by Blumberg at California State University, Sacramento, Harsh said.
Harsh said the event was prompted by the James Irvine Foundation, which asked Meet the Composer to present a professional development program in the Central Valley.
Over the last few years, the foundation has made the valley a priority. Among its projects were sponsoring the Ill List invitational poetry slam at the State Theatre in 2003, funding the San Francisco Mime Troupe's performances in Modesto in 2004-05, the Los Angeles' Cornerstone Theater Company performances in Grayson in 2005 and paying for Playhouse Merced to build bigger Latino audiences in the first part of this decade.
WHAT: Sonic Bloom concert
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Snider Recital Hall, California State University, Stanislaus, 801 W. Monte Vista Ave., Turlock
ONLINE: Listen to audio clips of compositions that will be performed at the concert at www.modbee.com/mp3