Student, alumnus earn jazz composer honor

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Student, alumnus earn jazz composer honor

Westbook Music Building
University Communications | File photo
Westbook Music Building

John Kosch, a sophomore in the Glenn Korff School of Music, received a 2014 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer award. The honor was recently announced by the ASCAP Foundation.

The awards, established in 2002 by the foundation, are designed to encourage gifted jazz composers under the age of 30. The honor is named after Herb Alpert, a trumpeter and ASCAP member, in recognition of the Herb Alpert Foundation’s multi-year financial commitment.

Recipients range in age from 11 to 29 and are selected through a juried national competition.

Kosch, a Lincoln native, is pursing a bachelor’s degree in music education with an emphasis in composition. Although primarily a pianist, he has played a variety of instruments at the university, including percussion, French horn and organ. He also participates in several vocal ensembles.

“His work as a composer reflects his diverse musical interests, exploring an array of media and styles ranging from music for jazz orchestra to art song,” said Eric Richards, an associate professor who guides Richards’ study of composition.

In addition to his studies, Kosch is also an active performer and educator in the Lincoln community. As a pianist, he has appeared with groups such as the Bobby Layne Orchestra and the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra. As a teacher, he assists in the instruction of the Lincoln Southwest High School drumline and works as a private music instructor.

Kosch worked on his winning piece, “Only You,” as part of his fall 2013 composition portfolio. The UNL Jazz Orchestra recorded his contest submission and then performed the piece on the 5th Annual New Music for Big Band from UNL concert in December.

Another UNL music education alumnus and jazz composer, Paul Krueger, who received his Bachelor of Music in Education in 2009, was also awarded one of the 2014 ASACP awards. Krueger is director of instrumental music at Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore.

The Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award Winners will be honored during ASCAP’s Jazz Wall of Fame event on June 9 at the New York Institute of Technology in New York City.

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