Nov. 15, 2012/For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu



WINSTON-SALEM – The holidays will be especially bright this season for two music composition students at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), whose work will be heard by hundreds of thousands. Bruce Tippette and Kenneth Florence composed electronic music for Tanglewood Park’s 21st annual Festival of Lights, which opens Friday and runs nightly through Jan. 1, 2013, in Clemmons.

Tippette, a graduate student originally from Garner, composed “Bell Music” which will be heard at the jingle bells light display. Florence, a second-year undergraduate student from Raleigh, composed “Night Bells” which will be heard at the Christmas tree display. The compositions are part of their music technology coursework in UNCSA’s School of Music.

Michael Rothkopf, assistant dean of the School of Music who teaches music technology, said it is important to bring outside projects into the classroom whenever possible. “The students in my music technology classes have created music for the Festival of Lights, animated cartoons, films, dance, art, light shows and concert pieces for both on- and off-campus projects,” he added.

In music technology courses, students use computers and synthesizers to create music, Rothkopf said.

At the Tanglewood displays, lights are synchronized to the students’ music, according to Jazmine Kirkpatrick, manager of events and marketing for the park. Kirkpatrick said the Tanglewood Festival of Lights is one of the largest light shows in the Southeast, with 280,000 estimated visitors each year. For information, visit http://forsyth.cc/parks/Tanglewood/fol/.

Bruce Tippette earned his Bachelor of Music in both music composition/theory and music education from Appalachian State University in 2007, graduating Magna Cum Laude under the direction of composer Scott Meister.  He served for four years as choral director for both Ledford and East Davidson high schools, and he performs as pianist for Shady Grove United Methodist Church. 

Tippette composes a large volume of works in various styles, instrumentation, and difficulty. He actively receives commissions, including Christmas Night by the Raleigh Boychoir, where he began his musical training at age seven. Christmas Night has recently been added to the annual Christmas program by the choir, which regularly invites Tippette to conduct its concerts.

Florence is a composer and guitarist. Before deciding to continue his education, he spent several years as a touring and recording artist for several indie rock bands, most notably North Carolina's own Annuals.  He has been signed to numerous record labels including Sony/BMG/Columbia and has performed across the United States and around the world in countries as diverse as Iceland, the U.K. and Spain.  In 2007 and in 2008, he appeared with Annuals on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.  

Florence was recently commissioned by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts to compose original music for the Open Dream Ensemble children's theatre production Big Shoes. Florence teaches private guitar lessons in the Triad and Triangle areas.

Tippette and Florence are students of Lawrence Dillon, composer-in-residence in the UNCSA School of Music.

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.