Mark Ford, coordinator of percussion, and Corey Marks, associate professor of English, have been named faculty fellows in UNT's Institute for the Advancement of the Arts for the 2011-12 academic year.
Ford plans to compose a concerto for wind ensemble and percussion soloist and Marks will focus on writing a book of poetry during the faculty fellowship program, which grants faculty members release from other faculty duties to concentrate on their creative endeavors full time for a semester.
The percussion concerto that Ford composes will be performed and may be recorded by the UNT Wind Symphony under the direction of Eugene Migliaro Corporon. Ford also plans to create a version of the concerto for orchestra, and Innovative Percussion Inc. has agreed to publish his composition.
During his faculty fellowship, he will expand his composition skills by studying with internationally known composer Edward Gregson, retired from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and Jack Stamp, Wind Ensemble director and composer at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
"I am honored to be a recipient of the fellowship program," Ford says. "This opportunity will allow me to work with world-class composers as I develop my own compositional skills. Additionally, this fellowship program gives focus to UNT's outstanding support of the arts that creates new avenues of expression for faculty members."
Ford, a marimba specialist, has performed throughout the United States and in Asia, Australia, Europe and South America. He has composed works for solo marimba and chamber music, which are considered standard in percussion literature and performed around the world. Ford also is the author of Marimba: Technique Through Music, a four-mallet marimba method book published by Innovative Percussion, Inc.
Marks will use the fellowship to work on his third manuscript of poetry. Specifically, Marks will concentrate on writing a sequence of six poems that will explore the theme of the modern zoo and "how zoos embody a complicated set of impulses: intellectual curiosity, preservation, entertainment, titillation and the performance of power," he wrote in the fellowship application.
He also proposes to write a central poem about Dallas real-estate mogul Harlan Crow's collection of sculptures of 20th-century dictators.
"I'm not writing stand-alone poems, but a group of related poems that rely on a larger structure to hold them together," Marks says. "The fellowship will allow me time to work on that larger-scale work -- to write and to craft a sequence, to do the research that I think will be important to these poems, to get lost in the ideas I am playing with and see what I come out with on the other end."
Marks' first book, Renunciation, was a National Poetry Series selection. His second book, The Radio Tree, won the 2011 Green Rose Prize and is forthcoming from New Issues Press in April 2012. His poems have appeared in a number of journals, including in New England Review, The Paris Review, Poetry Northwest, Ploughshares, Southwest Review, The Three Penny Review, TriQuarterly, The Virginia Quarterly Review, as well as in the anthology Legitimate Dangers. He has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Natalie Ornish Prize from the Texas Institute of Letters, and the Bernard F. Conners Prize from The Paris Review.
About the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts
UNT's Institute for the Advancement of the Arts aims to showcase, support and advance excellence in the visual, performing and creative literary arts at UNT, among its faculty members and in conjunction with their renowned colleagues and collaborators. The institute was launched, along with UNT on the Square, in October 2009.
The IAA is an initiative of the offices of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. Participating colleges include the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Visual Arts and Design, and the College of Music. The Institute is housed at UNT on the Square. The three central components of the Institute are:
- UNT on the Square
- IAA Faculty Fellows program
- IAA Artist-in-Residence program
The IAA Faculty Fellows program provides UNT faculty fellows with 100 percent reassignment for one semester to accomplish and present creative research projects. Participants are selected through an annual application process open to all UNT full-time faculty in the visual, performing and creative literary arts. Fellows' activities often involve collaborations with outside artist and entities, resulting in creative works or initiatives that garner national attention and further raise the profile of the arts at UNT.
Ellen Rossetti with UNT News Service can be reached at Ellen.Rossetti@unt.edu.