New England Guitar Quartet Reading Session

Saturday, March 7 | 2:30-5:00 pm
Charter Oak Cultural Center
21 Charter Oak Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106

The New England Guitar Quartet (who made their debut with us back in 2012!) will read Martha Bishop‘s Tidal Currents, Tiffany McKinney’s Khaos, and 2015 Composer-in-Residence Lisa Coons‘s A Growing Absence.  Dr. Coons’s work was commissioned by the Women Composers Festival of Hartford, and the final version of the composition will be premiered by the New England Guitar Quartet in a future performance.  Conceived as an open workshop, the reading session is part of the Women Composers Festival’s effort towards fostering new repertoire by women composers and helping to build relationships between composers, performers, and audiences.

About the New England Guitar Quartet

Since their debut performance at The Hartford Women’s Composers Festival in 2012, The New England Guitar Quartet Has been stunning audiences with their dynamic virtuosity,  inventive programming and artistic interpretations.  The quartet delivers an eclectic mixture of fiery latin american rhythms, exotic modalities and complex baroque counterpoint in their performances.  Their concert programs bring to life both historically significant repertoire as well as newly composed works for the guitar.

Composer Bios

Martha Bishop is largely self-taught as a composer, mentored by Dr. John A. Lennon (Emory) and Dr. Charles Knox (Georgia State University.  She is currently auditing a seminar at GSU with Dr. Nickitas Demos. She is a Fellow of the Hambidge and Lillian Smith Centers, and a member of Society of Composers Inc. Several of her works for early instruments are published by PRB Publications and the Viola da Gamba Society of America.

2015 Composer-in-Residence Lisa Renee Coons is a composer and sound artist with a special affinity to noise composition, collaboration, and experimentation.  She is dedicated to progressive art and focuses on partnerships with other artists and musicians as a means of developing innovative new works.  Presently an assistant professor of music composition at Western Michigan University, Lisa Renée received her PhD in Composition from Princeton University, her Master’s from SUNY Stony Brook and studied at the University of Missouri-Kansas City during her undergraduate degree.  Before joining WMU she was a Jackie McLean Fellow and visiting professor at the Hartt School in the University of Hartford.  Her portfolio includes music for acoustic and electronic instruments, turntables, traditional ensembles, and her own welded percussion sculptures.  She has received awards and support from the Other Minds Festival (a 2011 Composer Fellowship), ASCAP (Morton Gould Young Composer Award 2005/Honorable Mention 2009), and Meet the Composer, among others.  Recent commissions include an evening-length work for The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and pieces for The California E.A.R. Unit, The Machine Project for the Hammer Museum of Los Angeles, the Violin Futura Project, and Dither Electric Guitar Quartet.  Lisa Renée is a founding member of the bicoastal composers collective called, simply, The Collected (

Tiffany McKinney was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia on July 16. She moved to Spencer, Indiana at a young age. She started taking guitar lessons her freshman year of high school. She took guitar lessons with Joe Lisinicchia. After taking some theory classes her sophomore year, she developed an interest in composing. She began to take lessons with Steven Bergdall, a pianist/composer. After this, she majored in Music Composition at Indiana University. She began taking guitar lessons with Jonathan Godfrey. She then transferred to Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. She is currently studying composition with Dr. Robert Fruehwald. She participates in the Southeast Guitar Ensemble and takes lessons from the ensemble’s director, Patrick Rafferty. During her sophomore year, she entered a trio piece in the Phi Mu Alpha music competition and won runner up. She will be giving a senior recital in the spring. After her graduation in the spring, she will be heading off to gain a master of music degree in the fall.