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Dale Trumbore ’09, won for her choral piece “How to Go On.”

By Elizabeth Fletcher

Dale Trumbore ’09, music and English, was among the winners of The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. She won for the piece “How to Go On,” which was recorded on her album of the same name.

That album, “How to Go On: The Choral Works of Dale Trumbore,” debuted at No. 6 on Billboard's “Traditional Classical Chart” and was the fourth best selling classical album on the iTunes Store. Choral Arts Initiative, a Southern California based nonprofit choral organization, commissioned and recorded the album. Its lyrics explore the relationship between life, death and loss and feature works from three contemporary poets.

Established in 1979, the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards honor late Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and former ASCAP president, Morton Gould. Funded by Jack and Amy Norworth and Morton Gould, the award is open to composers of original, classical concert music who are under 30. This year, ASCAP received over 550 submissions and awarded 19 young composers.

As a composer, Trumbore is interested in the interplay of music and text. She frequently collaborates with contemporary poets to set their work to music.

“I'm trying to consciously choose texts that relate to what's happening in the world right now,” said Trumbore.

Interested in exploring unconventional text, Trumbore recently set one of her Facebook friend’s statuses about police brutality to music. She draws on her undergraduate English degree to write her own poetry and prose.

To connect with her audience, Trumbore explores questions of mortality and emotions. For example, she is currently working on an orchestral piece commissioned by the Pasadena Symphony that delves into the theme of self-doubt and internal strength in women. Her goal is to create a relationship between text, music and emotion that her audience can identify with.

Trumbore’s works have been commissioned, performed and awarded nationally and internationally by The Boston New Music Initiative, Inscape Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Modesto Symphony Orchestra and more. She has also been Composer in Residence for Nova Vocal Ensemble and an Artist in Residence at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Copland House and Dorland Mountain Arts Colony.

Most recently, she is working on a commissioned 20-minute piece with another former alumni and singer, Gillian Hollis ’09 vocal performance, for the Chicago based CHAI Collaborative Ensemble.

Trumbore credits the School of Music at the University of Maryland for helping her prepare her future as a composer. During her undergraduate career, Trumbore hosted two additional recitals with the support of the school and Associate Professor of composition Mark Wilson. Through this experience she was able to create and take advantage of more opportunities in her career.

“I met people like Gillian whom I’m still working with now and who I still value as one of the most talented people I know.” said Trumbore. “I’m really grateful to have gone to the University of Maryland.”