May 8 Concert and May 9 Recording Session a Great Success!

Our final concert of Season 41 on May 8, 2016, “All Water Has a Perfect Memory”, was a tremendous success!  Our featured guest composer David Dzubay returned to conduct two of his works, “All Water Has a Perfect Memory” and “Producing for a While”, two amazing pieces which we recorded the following day in a local studio, to be featured on a fabulous new CD available in a few months.  We will announce the debut of this recording here on our website and will make it available to you as soon as it is ready for you to enjoy.

We also held our annual Young Composers symposium before the concert and we performed the music of our four talented finalists.  David and Artistic Director Maria Schleuning led a discussion with the composers after hearing each of the four pieces performed and the performers, along with David and Maria, provided feedback and commentary to each composer about their music.

This was the perfect ending to an incredible season and allowed us to fulfill our serious commitment to provide our loyal patrons (and new patrons!) with the best possible new music in Dallas, and to encourage both young and veteran composers to continue to believe that this is an art form that will continue to flourish.

Maria Schleunig and David Dzubay
Maria Schleunig and David Dzubay
Our Four Finalists!
Our Four Finalists- Quinn Mason, Ryan Ayres, Cody Griffin & Blake Turner (left to right).
David conducting our musicians!
David conducts the ensemble.

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2016 – Young Composers Competition

We are excited to announce the winners of this years’ Young Composers Competition. This year, composers from across the state submitted works written for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano. The works listed below will be read, performed, and work-shopped on Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 1:00 in Caruth Auditorium on SMU campus, just before our normal concert activities. Be sure to come early and join us for this reading session. This event is free and open to the public.

First Place –

  • Quinn Mason – “Two Fleeting Daydreams”

Second Place –

  • “Ryan Ayres – “twitch”

Honorable Mention –

  • Cody Griffin – “Dance of a Madman”
  • Blake Turner – “Elusive Trails”

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Young Artist Chamber Music Competition

We are pleased to announce the winners of our first annual Chamber Music Competition held on April 2nd, 2016.  Chamber ensembles from around Dallas submitted recordings to VOC.  The winners will receive a coaching session from a VOC ensemble member and a chance to perform at a future VOC pre-concert.  Congratulations to the Rice Middle School Quartet directed by Barbara Fox for their first place win.  Second place went to the quartet from Highland Park High School directed by Peggy Tucker.  Third place went to the quartet from the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas directed by Nicolette Solomon.

First Place - Rice Middle School
First Place – Rice Middle School


Second Place - Highland Park High School
Second Place – Highland Park High School


Third Place - Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas
Third Place – Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas

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Review: Free-range modernism from Voices of Change

Thanks to everyone that came out on Sunday and joined us at City Performance Hall. We had a great time welcoming Laurie Shulman back as well as performing Lane Harder’s piece “La Razon del Viaje.” Them audience thoroughly enjoyed themselves and everyone walked away with a smile on their face. Here are a few quotes from Scott Cantrell in the Dallas Morning News.

“Judging by a standing ovation and enthusiastic whoops, the audience enjoyed themselves”

“Laurie Shulman delivered the Ogden Nash poems with just the right bit of mischief.”

“An Allegro, Intermezzo and Scherzo for string quartet by the late Alan Shulman, a New York cellist and composer (also Laurie Shulman’s father), was deftly crafted in a musical language often suggesting Shostakovich’s transformations of Jewish folk music. It got a skilled performance by violinists Maria Schleuning and Shu Lee, violist Barbara Sudweeks and cellist Kari Kettering.”

“Clarinetist Paul Garner and pianist Gabriel Sanchez joined Schleuning in a charming early, also folk-influenced, Trio for clarinet, violin and piano by the Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian. Garner and flutist Helen Blackburn had fun with the perky, playful Chôros No. 2 by the Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos.”

Thanks to everyone who came out and saw us!

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“Voices of Change Lives Up to Its Name”

This wonderful write-up from Arts + Culture greeted us this morning! What a fantastic article and a sneak peak at March 20th’s concert.
Read the entire article here

“We do it for the love of music and the love of chamber music—and for the excitement of being able to present something new,” says violinist and artistic director Maria Schleuning, who also performs in the Dallas Symphony. “As wonderful as playing in an orchestra is, at the end of the day, it’s your job. We feel like this is icing on the cake. This is fun. This is creative. This is something where we can be more individual.”


Voices of Change offers its next collection of the fresh and the more-familiar March 20, when works by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Aram Khatchaturian and others will set the scene for a work premiered last year: La Razon del Viaje, or The Reason for the Voyage, a song cycle by Southern Methodist University composition teacher Lane Harder. Harder marshals a singer, pianist and four percussionists to explore the poetry of Mexico’s Enrique Gonzalez Martinez, who takes “an unflinching look at the mysteries and puzzles of human existence.”


Collaborating with flesh-and-blood composers still attracts Schleuning and her colleagues, she says. Voices of Change shares the experience with audiences whenever possible by bringing in composers whose works it performs. Musicians, composers and listeners can draw even closer at the group’s Sound Bites concerts: Before each program, the group hosts a free showcase at Dallas’ times ten cellars annex, where a wine tasting loosens everyone up. “They tell about their wine, and we talk about the music,” Schleuning says. “If we have a composer in town, the composer will come. It’s a very informal setting. People feel like they can be up close and personal with the musicians and the composers.”

Voices of Change tries to carry that immediacy into its concerts. “It’s hard to (grasp) new music the first time,” Schleuning says. “Sometimes it takes a second listening or a third before you start to get a grip on it. So we try to have it so well prepared that we can present it in a convincing way. … I want the audience to feel like they’re part of it —that they’re living and breathing it along with me.”

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