Texas State jazz artist takes first in composition competition

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
March 3, 2010

Hank Hehmsoth, a faculty member in the School of Music at Texas State University-San Marcos, placed first in the 2010 National Association of Composers, USA, Texas Composition Competition.

Hehmsoth, a jazz artist/composer, won top honors in the professional category with a string quartet, “X-trusions- a déjà vu in 4D.” The piece was performed during the International Joint Conference on Latin-American and Modern Music, held Feb. 26-27 at the School of Music.

"This piece literally came to me in a dream," Hehmsoth said. "In the middle of the night I scrambled to write it all down. This has been a jazz piece for my group, the Hehmsoth Project since then.

"Sometime in March 2009 I realized this had to be a string quartet. What began as a jazz piece had become much, much more," he said. "This piece has elements of written jazz improvisation and requires extraordinary rhythmic precision. There are numerous overlays and interruptions of thoughts, much like a mosaic in sound."

Hehmsoth's band, the Hehmsoth Project, was recently featured in "A Night at the Elephant" at the Elephant jazz club with special guest Bob Mintzer, saxophonist with the Grammy award winning Yellowjackets.

The National Association of Composers, U.S.A. (NACUSA) is one of the oldest organizations of composers in the U.S.