Mitchell Ryan

Senior Mitchell Ryan has been awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2015 national Percussive Arts Society (PAS) Percussion Composition Contest.


Senior Mitchell Ryan Wins Honorable Mention in National Composition Contest

Music composition and percussion major receives award for ‘Ascent, Suspend’

09 November, 2015 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio ­– Mitchell Ryan, a senior who is majoring in music composition and percussion performance at The College of Wooster, has been awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2015 national Percussive Arts Society (PAS) Percussion Composition Contest. A resident of North Lawrence, Ohio, Ryan’s work, titled Ascend, Suspend, for solo timpani and fixed electronics, was one of only two works honored in the Solo Category of the contest.

Ryan’s award includes concert performances of his work at the 2015 Percussive Arts Society International Conference (Nov. 15) in San Antonio, Texas, and, earlier (Nov. 9) at Texas A&M University-Commerce. The award also includes a published review of the work in the PAS publication Percussive Notes as well as a cash prize.

Ascend, Suspend, one of four works composed and submitted by Ryan for his Junior Independent Study portfolio in composition, was mentored by Peter Mowrey, chair of the Department of Music and Ryan’s academic advisor, and by Jack Gallagher, Ryan’s Independent Study advisor. Gallagher describes Ascend, Suspend as“an imaginative, tense, atmospheric juxtaposition of four solo timpani with electronic sounds evocative, perhaps, of the theatrical sound-world of modern dance. The work’s elaborate timpani solo is enriched greatly by Mitchell’s informed knowledge of the instrument gleaned as an accomplished percussionist. Its selection for the PAS award speaks eloquently to Mitchell’s distinctive achievement.”

The award follows the selection, last spring, of Ryan’s Hero’s Village for string orchestra, chosen as runner-up in the 2015 Noteflight Video Game Music Composition Contest. Its selection resulted in its video recording, at WGBH Studios in Boston, by a 35-member string orchestra conducted by Yohei Sato, Music Director of the Boston Chamber Orchestra.

Ryan, who studies percussion with adjunct Wooster faculty member Jeff Neitzke and studied previously with former adjunct faculty member Thomas Roblee, has performed as a member of the Wooster Symphony, the Scot Symphonic and Marching Bands, the Wooster Chorus, the Wooster Singers, the Wooster Percussion Ensemble, and as Pipe Band drummer.