International composer set to guest direct at music festival | News, Sports, Jobs

International composer set to guest direct at music festival | News, Sports, Jobs
International composer set to guest direct at music festival | News, Sports, Jobs

Z. Randall Stroope

Internationally-renowned composer and director, Z. Randall Stroope, will be traveling to Minot for the Magic City Choral Festival where he will guest perform at a concert that will debut his new composition, “Now We Belong.” The concert will be held on Sunday, May 5, at 3 pm at Ann Nicole Nelson Hall at Minot State University.

Stroope grew up in an agricultural environment raising cattle on his family’s ranch in New Mexico. His parents both valued musical experience so from an early age he started piano lessons. He found he had a natural knack for music and eventually branched out to playing brass and started composing music around the time he was 8 or 9 years old.

Although his initial manuscripts were quite short, his composition took career off during his university years and he began to publish his compositions shortly after graduation. Stroope said he views his career in three parts: teaching at the university level, guest conducting and traveling, and composing music. He said each aspect bleeds into, supports and complements each other.

Stroope has conducted in 25 countries and has directed more than 40 times at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He has also performed music for the Vatican Mass at least eleven every year since 2008. He has also served as artistic director for two summer music festivals and has taught composition and conducting for the Italian Choral Directors Association. He has published around 195 works including compositions for orchestras, soloists and choral ensembles.

“Big or small, I always enjoy going out and connecting with people and that’s exactly what’s going to happen this coming weekend,” he said.

Stroope has home studios in Merritt Island, Florida, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Having guest conducted in Hong Kong, Rome, Barcelona, ​​Singapore, Vancouver and Dublin, Stroope has an international understanding of how people connect with music. He said he believes people around the world are the same in the sense that they largely have the same motivations, needs and desires to be better human beings – that music is such a natural part of humanity that it is woven in the cultural fabric of any region. Although he’s done the music for the Vatican Mass several times, he doesn’t value that any more than he would a concert in a small community because wherever he is, people and their connection to music is the same.

“I think a lot of what we gain as human beings is introspection – true introspection we evaluate where we are in life, where we’d like to be. “I think it sort of is osmosis.”It almost cleans or adds a filter when we see the arts and they tend to give us perspective … I think the bottom line is the essence remains and the essence is just a greater understanding of ourselves and just an appreciation for connecting with other people,” Stroope said.

Stroop was commissioned to write a special composition for the Magic City Choral Festival on behalf of the Minot Chamber Chorale. The debut of “Now We Belong” will be the culmination of the festival and will bring together numerous ensembles from the area. Ensembles involved include the Minot Chamber Chorale, Minot High School, Minot State University Singers, Heritage Singers, First Lutheran Bell Choir, Voices of Note and NU Notes.

“It’s a unifying work and it just speaks of people who were once searching for connection to their communities, to their land in general, or even to their family, and now they have found it – now they belong. I think that is something that will resonate. Certainly in the world today that we need all the immigrants and people that are refugees searching for a better place, sometimes just searching for basic needs – this work speaks of that. “The desire to belong to something that is bigger than ourselves,” Stroop said.


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