May 1, 2024

Bandwidth Ensemble, which consists of UMass wind faculty Cobus du Toit (flute), Romie de Guise-Langlois (clarinet), Jonathan Hulting-Cohen (saxophone), Joshua Michal (horn), and Rémy Taghavi (bassoon) plus oboist Kemp Jernigan, has just released its first album, Where Songs Go at Night, on Neuma Records. 

Where the Songs Go At Night album cover

The new release features original contemporary works by five different composers: Ingrid Arauco, Hendrik Hofmeyr, Chelsea Komschlies, Annika Socolofsky, and Anna Weesner. The featured works range in inspiration from a sermon by St. Francis to science fiction and late-stage capitalism, and serve as a reflection of the group’s commitment to performing music that stretches the bounds of traditional chamber music.

Formed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bandwidth came together (virtually, at first) out of a shared desire to combat their loneliness and isolation through a shared creative endeavor. That experience helped them to rededicate themselves to the intimate art of chamber music and to forge a new vehicle for equitable collaboration through the formation of a new ensemble, one that champions chamber repertoire for wind instruments, fosters connections between faculty, and provides a model of music-making and musical citizenship to university students.

That commitment to equity and heterogeneity has been recognized by UMass, first through a Mutual Mentoring Grant from the Office of Faculty Development  which was awarded during the new album’s creation. Last month, Bandwidth also received an Equitable Practices in Collaboration (EPiC) award from UMass ADVANCE, a five-year effort to advance gender equity within the UMass Amherst faculty through funding from a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Looking ahead, the group plans to continue seeking further collaborations with like-minded performers across the country and advocating for consortium commissions while contemplating the role of musicians in the academy, extending beyond training of the next generation to actively shaping the society they aspire to create.

Read more here: