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Composer's Workshop XI 2014-15


General Information
Western Oregon University presents its annual Composer's Workshop that features guest composers & performers throughout the academic year. The workshop aims to foster the creation, growth and appreciation of contemporary music in the University's local and regional communities by providing a forum of composition-related topics, presentations, and performances for the following clientele: Composers of any age who are at the early and formative stages of their creative activities; Studio and classroom music teachers engaged in teaching beginning composition techniques; Western Oregon University students and faculty; and Community members.

Workshop XI Featured Guest Ensemble:

Trio Elf
February 25, 2015

Trio Elf

Trio Elf has truly re-invented the classic jazz piano trio format in recent years by using grooves and sounds of contemporary club styles as a kickoff for improvisation. The most diverse influences that have nurtured the passion of these three musicians find their natural place in Trio Elf's adventurous universe. Critics both in Europe and Japan have hailed their inspired interplay. Trio Elf's musical ease stems from melodies of an almost hymnic quality, dazzling rhythms und surprising dynamic shifts arising from a collective breathing of three equal voices. The warm acoustic sound is augmented by the unconventional use of effects on the individual instruments. Elf's third album "Elfland" (enja) effectively features Brazilian vocal legend Milton Nascimento as a special highlight. In this "Elfland" you may find snippets of current British Hip Hop, Brazilian souvenirs, fragments of Seattle Grunge and subtle chamber jazz side by side in harmonious union, bound together by the blind interaction of three individualists that has grown in countless stage appearances. Gerwin Eisenhauer's virtuoso drumming sounds like a drum machine come alive since he is freely improvising with drum'n'bass or hip-hop grooves like other jazz drummers are using the swing rhythm. Over this pulsating foundation Walter Lang stretches his lyrically expressive melodies and energetic chords that have made him one of Europe's most prestigious pianists. Sven Faller brilliantly connects these layers, one second delivering his trademark melodious counterpoint then diving into deep synth-like grooves on the acoustic bass. The hidden fourth member of Trio Elf is sound wizard Mario Sütel, who at times confronts the band with a sampled doppelganger by spontaneously cutting loops out of the flow of improvisation.


Wednesday, February 15, 2015 - Workshop free and open to the public. Evening Concert is $8 general admission and $5 non-WOU students and seniors.

  • Workshop: Contemporary Music - performance and composition - 10:00-11:50 AM, Smith Hall 122
  • Concert: 7:30 PM, Smith Recital Hall

Workshop XI Featured Guest Singer & Songwriter:

Ned Roberts
February 26, 2015

Ned Roberts

London-based Singer-songwriter Ned Roberts's debut album, recorded in LA with producer Luther Russell (Richmond Fontaine, Noah and the Whale) is a warm treat. Roberts is a fine guitar picker, his melodies reminiscent of Leonard Cohen with lyrical nods to Bob Dylan, and his voice has echoes of Tim Hardin. Refreshingly brief at under 40 minutes, the album is full of little twists, as when the texture changes in See You Sometime, Roberts's voice suddenly soaked in reverb and warm piano chords kick in, or when the cello starts up in I Remember You Said; the frenetic tabla in the otherwise ethereal setting by Roberts's brother Barney of Oberon's speech "I know a bank where the wild thyme blows" from A Midsummer Night's Dream creates a pleasing tension and harks back to late 60s experimentalism. The closing single, Blues No 6, a duet with Sarabeth Tucek, has already received airplay in all the right places.


Thursday, February 26, 2015 - Workshop free and open to the public. Evening Concert is $8 general admission and $5 non-WOU students and seniors.
  • Workshop (tentative): Songwriting - 6:00-7:00 PM, Smith Recital Hall 121
  • Concert: 7:30 PM, Smith Recital Hall

Workshop XI Featured Guest Composer:

Dave Metzger
May 15, 2015





Dave Metzger is a composer as well as an orchestrator with a long track record of success. Among his strengths are his versatility and his exquisite attention to detail. He is equally comfortable composing broad lyrical music for full symphony orchestra, as well as synth grooves for contemporary urban music. In addition, he has a reputation in the industry for his craftsmanship and efficiency. He orchestrates all of his own scores, and he was the sole orchestrator for G. I. Joe, Ice Age 3, Night At The Museum 2, Bolt, Training Day, August Rush, Shooter, and Tarzan, among others. Dave has also worked on Broadway and was nominated for a Tony award for his orchestration of The Lion King. Other recent composition and orchestration stints include his collaborations on Frozen, Dr. Suess' The Lorax, Captain America, X-Men: First Class, Kung Fu Panda 2, Rio, and How To Train Your Dragon. Dave's orchestrations for the songs in Disney's Frozen and Tarzan have garnered him an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, and two multi-Platinum recordings. Here is a list of Dave's achievements:

  • Academy Award  Best Animated Feature Film and Best Song for “Frozen” (2013)
  • Tony Award nomination for Best Orchestrations for his work on “The Lion King” (1998)
  • Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Orchestrations for “The Lion King” (1998)
  • DVDX winner Best Original Score in a DVD Premiere Movie “Tarzan 2” (2006)
  • DVDX nomination Best Original Score in a DVD Premiere Movie “Tarzan & Jane (2003)
  • Grammy Award for the “Tarzan” soundtrack (1999)
  • Grammy Award for “The Lion King” cast recording (1998)
  • Multi Platinum record for “Tarzan”
  • Multi Platinum record for “Frozen”
  • Platinum record for “The Lion King”


Dragon Dave was born in Corvallis, Oregon and began composing music in the 7th grade for choir and jazz band. He received his degree in music from Cal State Long Beach, and pursued graduate work at UCLA, receiving the award of "Outstanding Graduate Student" in the process. During this time he got his start in commercial music by working on promotional videos and the Ice Capades, as well as arranging music for legendary jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. From 1992 to 1997, he arranged over 200 cues for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Over the past ten years, Dave has developed a close working relationship with Grammy award-winning composer Mark Mancina. Through his work with Mancina and Disney studios, among others, he has arranged music for Phil Collins, Melissa Etheridge, Elton John, John Legend, and more. Dave’s client list began expanding in 2008, and he now also regularly orchestrates for film composers John Powell and Alan Silvestri.



Friday, May 15, 2015 - All sessions are free and open to the public

  • Session 1: Film Scoring - Composition & Orchestration Techniques - 8:00-8:50 AM, Smith Hall 122
  • Session 2: Film Scoring - The Business - 9:00-9:50 AM, Smith Hall 122
  • Session 3: Masterclass - 10:00-10:50 AM, Smith Hall 122
  • Session 4: Luncheon/Q&A - 11:00 AM -1:00 PM, Mt. Jefferson Room - Valsetz Hall

    Lunch is provided to WOU Music Faculty, Film Scoring/Media Music Production class members, and prospective WOU music students (please contact Dr. Kevin Walczyk for reservations: 503.838.8274)

View Previous Workshops:


The Music Department (503) 838-8275 | or e-mail:
Location: Smith Hall