CCM Assistant Professor of Voice wins UC Grant

Quinn Patrick Ankrum won a $10,000 award for a new music and art project called Our House is on Fire

The UC College-Conservatory of Music is pleased to share that one of its faculty, Assistant Professor of Voice Quinn Patrick Ankrum, was chosen by UC’s Office of Research for a $10,000 research grant. The funding will go toward Our House is on Fire, a newly commissioned musical work for voice and piano, accompanying visual and written works, and freely available digital performances of that work.

Quinn Patrick Ankrum

Quinn Patrick Ankrum. Photo/Provided

The project seeks to draw attention to climate change, specifically highlighting the voices of young people experiencing concern about their futures in a world with an unstable and unpredictable climate. The dedication of the work says, “Inspired by Greta Thunberg, dedicated to those of her generation and those who will follow.”

Our House is on Fire is a collaboration between Ankrum and Elizabeth Avery, an associate professor of music in vocal coaching at the University of Oklahoma. 

“It was conceived as a way to make music with my collaborative and research partner, Dr. Elizabeth Avery, during COVID-19. We wanted to create something that could be performed during the pandemic, but also something conceptually unique that used technology in a new way. This also ties into sustainability and climate, as there will be no need for us to fly across the country to create something meaningful,” Ankrum says.

Composer Lisa Neher will write the piece, and the group plans to present it at a variety of conferences, both digital in the near future and in-person down the road. Ankrum says that the art song repertoire has surprisingly few works that address climate change, so the project will be one of the first of its kind.

Our House is on Fire may be the first of its kind, not only in terms of the source of the textual material being used within the music — an interweaving of scientific facts with poetry and prose — but also in how it will be performed, with the pianist triggering the vocal elements during the performance itself,” Ankrum says in the grant proposal for the project.

Ankrum expects that Our House is on Fire will have its digital premiere in August 2021.

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