The Composers in Residence program, founded in 2021, commissions new works by world-renowned composers and invites them to Cleveland to work with our students. Thomas Flippin and Hermelindo Ruiz both began their work with CCGS as Artists in Residence for Creative Fusion, composing mainly concert works.
When they were first learning guitar, it was challenging for Thomas and Hermelindo to find composers of student works that represented them or their backgrounds. As Composers in Residence at CCGS, they are changing that.
Thomas and Hermelindo composed a total of 29 student works for CCGS in 2021. In spring 2022 they will be conducting workshops with CCGS students and a live performance. CCGS students and alumni will be premiering most of these commissioned works in videos and live performance.
Special thanks to the Cleveland Foundation and Ohio Arts Council for helping to fund this program.
Thomas Flippin, from his introduction:
“14 Études on the Music of Black Americans is inspired by melodies created by enslaved or recently emancipated African-Americans (my ancestors). These melodies were selected for their inherent beauty, melodic and rhythmic inventiveness, evocative lyrics, and potential for development on the guitar.”
Hermelindo Ruiz, from his introduction:
“In April of 2021, I traveled to Cleveland for the first time. Like most tourists in a new place—I was very intrigued and attentive to all details in the city. I visited for a recording engagement and my stay involved a lot of walking—an activity that often makes me ponder. This experience provided the images that I now use as titles for these pieces.”