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Ted AllenOakland, CA
California native Ted Allen spent his youth enthusiastically participating in choirs, marching bands and rock bands at high school in Newport Beach and at Pomona College. After completing a masters degree in composition at the Yale School of Music, he worked in the music business in New York City as a composer, arranger and copyist for a diverse clientele that included both the New York City Ballet and Metallica, for whom he orchestrated “Devil Dance” and “Human” for their platinum selling collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony. He is currently in the twentieth year of his “second career,” teaching high school bands and orchestras.
His music has been performed by the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, the Mitch Leigh Big Band, the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine Wind Band, Big O: the Big Band of Oakland Public School Music Teachers, San Francisco Choral Artists, San Francisco Bach Choir, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, the San Jose Choral Project, the New Jersey All State Chorus and numerous high school ensembles. His educational music is published by Walton Music and Grand Mesa Music. His high school orchestra “string metal” composition, “Fire in the Forge” was a best-seller in the educational music market in 2016 and dozens of orchestras around the country have uploaded their renditions to Youtube. Many of his compositions reflect his California upbringing in their invocation of western musical traditions and history, particularly the violin solos; “Cattle Ranch Moon” and “Vulture in the Canyon” and the vocal works; “Western Meadowlark,” and “Coyote Song/¡Ay Susanita!” His new music/jazz group The Incendiary Cycle has performed at the Sound Room in Oakland, the Center for New Music in San Francisco and played on the New Music Gathering at the San Francisco Conservatory in 2015. The Incendiary Cycle is currently working on an extended piece featuring the work of four California poets titled “Watershed” with funding from IntermusicSF.
Tule Lake, on the northern border of California, is both a place of great natural beauty and a place of human conflict and sadness. The remote lake, on a windswept landscape of lava flows and pinyon juniper forest is prime waterfowl habitat. It is a good place for listening to the birds and wind in the grass. It was also the site of the Modoc War in1872-1873 and the Tule Lake Segregation Center from 1942 to 1946. This composition attempts to resolve the dissonance between the human and natural histories of this place.