Composer Blogs@Sequenza21.com

Stefanie Lubkowski received her bachelor's degree in Music and Technology and Guitar Performance from Connecticut College, in New London, CT. In fall of 2005 she will begin a masters degree in composition at New England Conservatory, where she will study with Lee Hyla. Stefanie's past teachers include Noel Zahler, Yehudi Wyner, and Pozzi Escot. Stefanie has written for various chamber ensembles and electronic media. Her most recent commission was El Hombre de Plata, an electronic tango premiered at the Auros Groups for New Music "Tangothen & Now" concert in Cambridge, MA.

Stefanie's musical interests and ambitions are wide ranging. She enjoys putting her iPod on shuffle and letting it spit out a mix of electronica, 20th century string quartets, Tom Waits, punk rock, 1930s orchestral tangos, Einsturzende Neubauten, early American blues, Beethoven, Johnny Cash, and opera. She hopes that one day her music will be heard on concert stages around the world, independent films, computer games, car commercials, radio (or its future equivalents), and anywhere else music is being enjoyed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Conservatory Cooties

I seemed to have survived my first two weeks at New England Conservatory. Well mostly. I did not pass the hearing portion of the theory placement test, but only missed the mark by four points. My analysis essay was fine. After consulting with the professor in charge of the placements test, Iíve decided not to take the remedial course. Instead, I will continue practicing ear training on my own. It feels a bit like gambling, but the course doesnít do a lot of hardcore ear training, so Iím better off spending the time drilling chords, intervals, etc.
This means I canít take any graduate theory courses yet, so I am taking Orchestration, Composition Seminar, possibly Intro to Ethnomusicology, and my lessons. So far, Iím very happy with the classes, the professors, and my classmates. Unfortunately, I seem to have caught a slight bug from this new germ pool.

Itís refreshing to have music assignments, deadlines, etc. For so many years now, all my music pursuits were independent studies, with no outside pressures. The only realm in which I had outside pressure and stimulus to work in new ways was my day job. This week I wrote a one-minute violin etude for my orchestration class. In this assignment, itís more important to employ a diversity of techniques rather than create an elegant form. Not the kind of thing I would normally take on, but Iím having a lot of fun with it.

On the other hand, the prospect of working at the MFA, going to class, and keeping up with all the coursework is very intimidating, and many a day I think, ďhow the hell am I going to do this?!Ē Such is the life of a grad student I guess.