Professor to premiere new music

Dr. Ellenwood to perform at the next music mosaics

Samantha Lynn, Staff Reporter

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Christian Ellenwood has been a professional musician since he was 15, and is currently in his 23rd year teaching at UW-Whitewater. Professor Ellenwood teaches clarinet, music theory, woodwind methods, chamber music, clarinet pedagogy and clarinet ensemble.

While Ellenwood teaches music to students, he is also a musician himself, sharing his own work with others. “to make music is to enter into the deepest place in the heart, mind, and spirit—a place beyond words, a place shared by all of humanity,” said Ellenwood.

Ellenwood plays the clarinet and piano, and he also loves many instruments that he cannot play such as the violin, viola, cello and horn. Music inspires him, and everything he composes comes from his own life experiences. “As a composer, I am compelled to navigate, confront and embrace the darkest and most daunting inner geographies of my heart,” said Ellenwood.

Music is rewarding to many musicians when it comes to performing or creating. Ellenwood has the honor to share music with his students. In the classroom he is constantly teaching deeper meaning and potential to his music students. “I love witnessing my students’ growth. I love their excitement as they achieve things that they previously thought were not possible,” Ellenwood said.

“I hope to help students develop their musical skills and techniques so that they may give free expression—through music—to their own hearts, and connect deeply and meaningfully with other humans,” said Ellenwood.

Lauren Vander Linden, who is currently a senior music major at UW-Whitewater, has had the honor of being a student of Ellenwood’s. “He showed us that music is about more than just notes and rhythms, it’s about expression and creativity,” said Vander Linden.

“I thank Dr. Ellenwood for showing me that music is one thing in this world that can bind people together when many other things try to divide,” said Vander Linden. She is grateful for the opportunity to perform the premiere of one of Dr. Ellenwood’s pieces on February 23, called “Things You Loved Are Here”.

Outside of the classroom Ellenwood is currently working on a commissioned piece for horn, cello and piano. “A very rich combination of sounds,” said Ellenwood.

“Making music, while challenging, has given the most incredibly deep rewards—most especially human connection and friendship,” Ellenwood said. He has worked with so many amazing colleagues at UW-Whitewater as well as all over the world.

Matthew Sintchak has been teaching at UW-Whitewater since 2001 and teaches all things related to saxophone. He will be performing with Ellenwood along with Cristina Ballatori at the Music Mosaics Woodwinds of Change concert. “I’m excited and honored to be a member of our faculty woodwind trio and to play with such amazing and gifted musicians and teachers,” said Sintchak.

Sintchak has been constantly inspired by  Ellenwood along with the music department. “His clarinet playing is of the highest caliber and his musical compositions are always beautiful and even funky at times,” said Sintchak.

Ellenwood will be performing at the Music Mosaics Woodwinds of Change with other musical gems from the 20th and 21st century on March 3 at 3 p.m. in the Light Recital Hall. Ellenwood is looking forward to sharing this experience with his colleagues.

The piece that will be performed is titled “Vent” and is influenced by jazz, funk and popular music. “It is a joy to share new music with an audience. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share it,” Ellenwood said. Expect to hear music that is classical, abstract, emotionally sublime and even sometimes jazz influenced. “There will be something for all listeners,” said Professor Sintchak.