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New Music Ensemble

New Music Ensemble students


The nationally recognized New Music Ensemble at Grand Valley State University is dedicated to bringing audiences the most significant music of our time. Founded in 2006 by its director Bill Ryan, the ensemble performs an incredible variety of music. From landmark compositions of the Twentieth Century, to the most recent works of this new century, their concerts are stimulating, entertaining and unpredictable.

The group has been profiled in numerous publications including Newsweek, the New York Times, and Billboard Magazine, and featured on NPR's Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, and WNYC's Radiolab. In addition to concerts around campus, they have performed at the Bang On a Can Marathon in New York, at the College Music Society National Conference in Atlanta, as members of the all-star ensemble assembled by the Kronos Quartet to perform on the In C 45th Anniversary concert at Carnegie Hall, at New York's (le) Poisson Rouge, at New Music Detroit's Strange Beautiful Music marathon, at the Make Music New York summer festival (Morningside Park), and at Chicago's Millennium Park, where they helped realize John Luther Adams' large scale work Inuksuit.
The ensemble has released three critically acclaimed recordings named to best release lists by the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Weekly, Time Out Chicago, and many others. A track from their second CD, In C Remixed, was recently heard on MTV's new hit series Teen Wolf. Excerpts from their first CD, Steve Reich's, Music for 18 Musicians, were used as the soundtrack to Michael Langan's award winning film Choros, where it played throughout the world at over 40 film festivals. That recording was also recently named one of the top five classical recordings of the decade by WNYC's John Schaefer, as well as being named the #1 classical recording of the decade in the WNYC Soundcheck listener poll.

Actively engaged in the creation of new works, the ensemble has commissioned and premiered compositions by Marc Mellits, Belinda Reynolds, Robin Cox, Zoe Keating, David Lang, Mason Bates, Jad Abumrad, Rob Smith, Armando Bayolo, David Biedenbender, and Kurt Ellenberger, as well as over one hundred GVSU student compositions. Their YouTube videos recently passed one million views, all without the aid of a cat or Lady Gaga tune.



The Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble is at the forefront of contemporary repertory groups, alongside other established groups including Kronos Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, So Percussion, Bang on a Can and Germany's Ensemble Modern.

The Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble - the band of Michigan undergraduates whose CD of Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians" was the surprise new-music hit of 2007 - has struck again.

The players of the Grand Valley ensemble play with giddy exuberance and energy, rhythmic drive and an exceptional tonal blend.

The members of Grand Valley State's ensemble play with a confident swing...To put it another way, these kids are a trip.

A hyper-propulsive and yet silkily beautiful, entrancing and utterly alive interpretation that more than holds its own.

The Michigan musicians play with glistening precision, yet they also bring out the variously jubilant and wistful emotions beneath the surface of Reich's score. The result is a vibrant recording that deserves to leap from the new-music ghetto onto the mainstream charts.

The New Music Ensemble is open to all instrumentalists and vocalists. For further information please visit the ensemble website at

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