Composer Christopher Mross Showcased in Performance by UCR Wind Ensemble and MIDI-on-the-Road

By Stephanie Wejbe, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing
On Saturday, March 6, the UCR Wind Ensemble and MIDI-on-the-Road (MOTR) performed original works by UCR graduate and ten-year composer Christopher Mross in the Music Rehearsal Hall of Arts 157.

Mross, 26, spent two years at UCR, which allowed him to perform in both groups. He played tenor saxophone with the UCR Wind Ensemble, directed by Bill Helms, and was a founding member and principal player with MOTR, an electronic music group that generates its sounds entirely through synthesizers.

Presented by CHASS’s Department of Music, the concert consisted entirely of Mross’s works and was free and open to the public. Barbara Bennett, director of MOTR, commented on the performance, “I thought we had a great concert. I have really enjoyed working with Chris and his music, and I think the music he wrote for MIDI-on-the-Road is really brilliant.”

“He really thinks about sounds. I think that's evident in the pieces for MOTR - he spent a lot of time with the synthesizers looking for sounds that would fit his music and many times he wrote music to fit the sounds,” Bennett added.

One of the highlights of the concert was GPS, a four-movement piece written expressly to utilize the sounds possible with electronic instruments. Bennett commented on the audience’s response, “I was watching the audience during GPS and I could see people were really into listening. Many times they were trying to tell which instrument was playing. The audience responded enthusiastically to Chris's music. One of the favorites of the evening was the 3rd movement of GPS (Relay) where the students changed instruments many times - a bit of choreography added to mix.”

For more information on Christopher Mross, the UCR Wind Ensemble, and MIDI-on-the-Road (MOTR) please visit UCR Events or visit the Department of Music's respective web-site at www.music.ucr.edu.

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