A great evening isn’t complete without great music. TEDxTulsaCC attendees and simulcast viewers will enjoy a 3-song set by singer/songwriter John Calvin Abney, as well as pop-up performances by the TCC Concert Choir and the Union High School Percussion Section that could happen anytime, anywhere over the course of the evening. The choir will present a world premier commissioned by the Center for Creativity specifically for the TEDx event. Composed by Noam Faingold, the piece will “subliminally” arise around the event’s audience.
John Calvin AbneySongwriter & Musician
John Calvin Abney is a Tulsa-based songwriter who has played over 400 shows in the past two and a half years, performing his critically acclaimed debut album “Better Luck” and two singles, “Empty Candles” and “Vice Versa Suite.” He has performed as a sideman for acts such as Samantha Crain, John Moreland, and The Damn Quails. At the end of 2016, he released another full length record, “Far Cries And Close Calls,” on Horton Records. It is both a travelogue and a deeply personal recitation of missteps and disappointments. The album is brimming with energy and catharsis, combining the introspection and harmonic inventiveness of Elliott Smith with the wit and energy of Blonde On Blonde-era Dylan. He continues to tour and perform on his own accord, under the banner of rock and roll, to move forevermore toward freedom and happiness.
Composer Noam Faingold’s music has been called “…lyrical…”, “…exhilarating…”, and “…a tour-de-force of Jazz melded with Classical…” by the New York Times, the BBC, Downbeat Magazine, and The Tulsa World, among others. His Burning City Orchestra’s debut album was described as “21st century acoustic electric art music” (Rich Fisher, Public Radio Tulsa). Performance highlights include oboist Rob Botti (New York Philharmonic), violinist Dennis Kim (concertmaster, Buffalo Philharmonic), Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, and ensembles in the UK, France, Sweden, Finland, and Argentina. Recent commissions include the International Double Reed Society, the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association, and TCC’s Signature Symphony. Noam holds a PhD in music composition from King’s College London (2015) funded by a Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Fellowship. He is the Director of the Barthelmes Conservatory college preparatory program and directs compositional activities at Tulsa Community College. Noam has taught courses at the University of Tulsa and Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and he curates the OK Electric festival.
Laura Barnard Cowan, Director of Vocal Music at Tulsa Community College, directs the TCC Concert and Jazz Choirs, teaches Aural Theory, Musical Theatre, and Voice, and serves as musical director for TCC Children’s Summer Theatre. Throughout her career, Laura has taught junior high and high school vocal music, piano, music theory, and voice. As the vocal music director at Union Public Schools, her choirs consistently received superior ratings at district and state contests. The Union High School Women’s Chorus was featured as an OMEA Honor Choir under her direction. Laura has also served as Music Minister at Trinity Presbyterian Church and is currently involved in the music ministry at Fellowship Lutheran Church. Her professional memberships include National Association for Music Education, American Choral Directors Association, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Oklahoma Music Adjudicators Association. Laura serves on the advisory board of the Signature Symphony and Chorale at TCC.
Assistant Band Director/ Percussion Specialist
Union High School
Adam Bruce teaches and oversees all aspects of the percussion program from grades 6-12 in Union Public Schools. Previously, Adam held the percussion specialist positions at Western Heights High School and Casady School, and he was the marching percussion specialist at Edmond Memorial High School. As a performer, Adam has played with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic as well as the Colts, Bluecoats, and The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps. Since then, Adam has been on the instructional staff with Gateway Indoor, the Crossmen, and The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps. Adam participated in the Juilliard Summer Percussion Seminar and holds a master’s degree in Percussion Performance from Oklahoma City University and a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Christian University in Instrumental Music Education. Bruce’s percussion music is published with C. Alan Publications, and he is proud to be endorsed as an educational artist with Innovative Percussion. Adam lives in Broken Arrow with his wonderful wife and daughter.