The wind music of Kristin Kuster
Phillips, Chester Bryant
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Kristin Kuster is a significant young American composer. On the composition faculty of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance, Kuster has written for groups ranging from solo voice to full orchestra with chorus. With a background in vocal music, Kuster has recently written two significant works for wind band, Interior (2006) and Lost Gulch Lookout (2008). This document serves as a resource for the conductor of these two compositions by Kuster. It contains a biography of Kristin Kuster, the genesis of each of her works for wind band, and a comparison of these two pieces, as it relates to Kuster’s use of timbre, texture, and harmony. This comparison reveals Kuster’s salient compositional characteristics common to both pieces and may provide insight to other works by her, as well. Additionally, a conductor’s guide for Interior and Lost Gulch Lookout is included and offers insights to performance from the author of this document, the composer, and the premiering conductor of each work—Michael Haithcock and John P. Lynch, respectively. This document is intended to help facilitate a successful performance of these two works and to advocate future compositions for wind band by talented composers. Appendices recount conversations between the author of this document and Kuster, program notes for each work, specific rehearsal considerations, and a complete catalogue of her works.