Fern Rosetta Sherff Professor of Composition and Theory
B.M., M.M., Indiana University; A.Mus.D., University of Michigan
Professor Vayo (b.1957) is the Fern Rosetta Sherff Professor and Composition Department head at Illinois Wesleyan University, where he teaches composition, improvisation, and contemporary music. As Coordinator of New Music Activities, he directs the annual Symposium of Contemporary Music, the New Music Cafe concert series, and other events in the School of Music's New Music Series. Vayo has also taught at Connecticut College and the National University of Costa Rica. He holds an A.Mus.D. in Composition from The University of Michigan, where his principal teachers were Leslie Bassett and William Bolcom; his M. Mus. and B. Mus. degrees are from Indiana University, where he studied with Frederick Fox and Juan Orrego-Salas.
Vayo has received awards and commissions from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, ASCAP, the Koussevitzky Music Foundations, the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the American Music Center, the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, and the Illinois Council for the Arts, and has been granted numerous artists' colony residencies. More than four hundred performances and broadcasts of his compositions have taken place, including recent performances in Mexico, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Spain and at the universities of Wisconsin, Iowa and Utah. Festivals which have programmed his work include two International Trumpet Guild festivals, the International Trombone Festival, the International Double Reed Festival, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Thailand Composition Festival, and three World Music Days of the International Society for Contemporary Music. His compositions are published by Honeyrock, Bèrben/Italia Guitar Society Series, and the International Trombone Association Press. Vayo is also active as a pianist performing contemporary music, free improvisations, and jazz.
Recent projects include Sueño de Brotar for Cello Alterno of Mexico City; for Songs of Ourselves baritone James Martin '92, on original poetry by Amit Majmudar, and Ceremony of Yearning for conductor Chen Shih-Cheng and the Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra of Taipei, Taiwan.
Prof. Vayo writes: "As a composition teacher I am primarily concerned with helping young composers discover and refine their personal artistic voices. My teaching is aimed at developing each student's aesthetic sensitivity, practical skills, and inner ear in ways that will make it possible for him or her to create music of significance and meaning.
"Traditional and contemporary concert music, jazz, popular, and folk music have been equally potent influences on my own artistic development. I welcome students whose backgrounds and interests include any combination of these areas."
For more on Professor Vayo's compositions and projects, including audio, please see his personal website: www.davidvayo.com