Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
November 10, 2010
Hank Hehmsoth, a faculty member in the School of Music at Texas State University-San Marcos, has been awarded a MacDowell Fellowship in music composition for 2011.
Hehmsoth, a jazz artist/composer, won with a 2010 composition, "Two Desert Dances," a jazz and string ensemble piece featuring live performance with 60-year-old recordings of Native American dance from the John Donald Robb Archive of Southwestern Music.
"These two dances are inspired by field recordings of New Mexican Native Americans," Hehmsoth said. "Arroyo Storm is derived from a Taos Jemez Indian dance. The source material for Blue Moon Mist is a four-note melody played on a pito, a Native American flute, similar to an ocarina. Both were recorded in the 1950s."
The MacDowell Colony Fellowship is one of the highest awards given in the United States to artists. The MacDowell Colony is the nation’s leading artist colony. The Colony nurtures the arts by offering creative individuals of the highest talent an inspiring environment in which they can produce enduring works of the imagination.
In March, Hehmsoth placed first in the 2010 National Association of Composers, USA, Texas Composition Competition.
Hehmsoth's band, the H Project, was recently featured in "A Night at the Elephant" at the Elephant jazz club with special guest Bob Mintzer, saxophonist with the Grammy award winning Yellowjackets.