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Cello percussion duo New Morse Code visiting APSU on Oct. 31

            CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – In a brief YouTube video clip, Hannah Collins is seen playing the cello while Michael Compitello taps his drumsticks against different sized flowerpots. The performance could be seen as a novelty act if the resulting music wasn’t so beautiful. This mixture of playfulness and serious music making is what defines New Morse Code, a music duo of Yale University graduates who are using inventive performances to expand the reach of classical music to a younger generation.

            On Oct. 31, the duo will visit Austin Peay State University for a day of workshops, a master class and a concert. All the events are free and open to the public.

            "New Morse Code is a wonderful model for the 21st century musician,” Dr. Eli Lara, APSU associate professor of music, said. “Mike and Hannah are creating their own niche by commissioning new compositions, working closely with composers and engaging in interdisciplinary projects with performing and visual artists. The combination of percussion and cello offers an immense palette of colors, range of sounds and variety of styles.”

            The day will start at 10:10 a.m. with a rhythm and movement workshop in the APSU Memorial Health Dance Studio. The interactive class will feature dance students responding to the duo’s music as well as the musicians reacting to the impulses of the dancers.

            At 11:30 a.m., New Morse Code will host a children’s workshop in the Mabry Concert Hall geared toward middle school and high school students. Collins and Compitello will demonstrate how one of their performances was constructed. Then, they will guide students through developing and performing their own work.

            At 2 p.m., the duo will offer a classical master class in the concert hall for APSU music students, providing students with valuable feedback to their performances.

            The day will end with an interactive concert at 5 p.m. in the concert hall. In an approachable performance presented in a conversational style, New Morse Code will perform a variety of works by a range of young and exciting composers including Caroline Shaw, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music, and Osvaldo Golijov, recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship.

            “They are sure to captivate audiences of all ages in their workshops and performances, and I am thrilled that APSU and the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts is hosting New Morse Code," Lara said.

            For more information, contact the APSU Department of Music at 221-7818.