San Francisco: January 12, 2014 – The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players‘ inaugural competition for high school composers, Compose Yourself, has announced the four jurors as well as an extended deadline to January 22, 2014Larry PolanskyDeke SharonElinor Armerand Cynthia Mei will review and select the finalists’ works. Full details.

Larry Polansky is a heralded composer, theorist, performer, editor, writer and teacher. Currently a professor of composition at UC Santa Cruz, he was the longtime Strauss Professor of Music at Dartmouth College, and also on the faculty of Bard College. As a composer and music advocate, he is known as the co-founder and co-director of Frog Peak Music (A Composers’ Collective), his widely published and performed compositional catalog including many works for just-intoned guitar, and his many musical collaborations. These include working with the Mills Center for Contemporary Music on the computer music language HMSL, and contributing to the widely-used program SoundHack. Larry’s writings on American music include works on James Tenney, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Lou Harrison, Beyer, and more.  

Larry is the co-author of Music and Computers, a web-text published by Key Publications. He has premiered and recorded works by composers and collaborators that include Christian Wolff, James Tenney, Lou Harrison, Lois V Vierk, Ron Nagorcka, Kui Dong and more. He is the recipient of prizes including Guggenheim, Fullbright, and Mellon New Directions Fellowships, and he was the inaugural recipient (with David Behrman) of the Henry Cowell Award from the American Music Center.

Deke Sharon is an accomplished performer, arranger, and producer. Trained with an opera background as a young child, Deke has shared the stage with musicians from Ray Charles to LL Cool J to Pavarotti. He currently produces “The Sing-Off” worldwide (USA, Netherlands, China), and served as arranger, on-site music director and vocal producer for Universal’s “Pitch Perfect” starring Anna Kendrick (2012).

Deke founded the Contemporary A Cappella Society, and commissioned programs including the CARAs (Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, ICCAs (International Championship of College A Cappella), BOCA (Best of College A Cappella Compilation), the first contemporary a cappella conferences (the A Cappella Summit), the newly formed Contemporary A Cappella League, and the online channel “Inside A Cappella.” He is also a prolific arranger, having arranged over 2,000 songs, with many of them in print worldwide with Hal Leonard/Contemporary A Cappella Publishing. His first book, “A Cappella Arranging” was published in 2012.

Elinor Armer has been associated with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music since 1969. In 1985 she established the Composition Department and served as chair for eleven years. She studied composition with Darius Milhaud, Leon Kirchner and Roger Nixon, and piano with Alexander Libermann. Recipient of numerous awards, fellowships and commissions, Armer has performed and lectured throughout the country, and her works are performed regularly in the United States and abroad. Armer is one of the co-founders of Composers, Inc., and a member of ASCAP.

Her compositions are published by J. B. Elkus & Son, a division of Subito Music Corporation. Among her best-known works is the eight-part fantasy Uses of Music in Uttermost Parts, written in collaboration with Ursula Le Guin. Her many references include the Elinor Armer Archive in the University of California-Berkeley Music Library and Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

Cynthia Mei is a veteran of the new music scene in the Bay Area, as founder and director of the Adorno Ensemble, whose commitment to fostering the creation and presentation of new music has included performances in galleries, via online radio and podcasts, and an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to music appreciation, the Kandinsky Listening sessions.

Cynthia currently manages community relations, fund-raising, and music education for San Francisco Classical Voice. Other positions have included: development director of Other Minds, and development director/administrator of California Summer Music. She has a Bachelors and Masters of Music from the Manhattan School of Music.

“This a highly illustrious and diversified Jury panel, reflecting a full spectrum of musical and pedagogical influences, experiences, and styles — perfectly aligned with the essence of the Compose Yourself competition,” says SFCMP Executive Director Rozella Kennedy. “With the deadline extended until January 22, we are receiving so many interesting submissions from young composers around the world. There will be an exciting selection of compositions for our wonderful panel to review!”