In the final episode of our series on the Akron Symphony Chorus, we sit down with Chorus Director Chris Albanese and special guests Chuck Myricks Jr. and Jesse Ayers about There’s a Stirrin’ in the Water, which they co-composed in 2016.
The episode includes selections of There’s a Stirrin’ in the Water from the November 2016 performance by the Akron Symphony Orchestra and Akron Symphony Chorus, as well as a performance by the Akron Symphony Chorus in May 2021 from the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church in Akron.
As a pioneering participant in Akron’s Gospel Meets Symphony concerts, Chuck Myricks has had several of his compositions performed by the Akron Symphony Orchestra and the Tuscarawas Philharmonic. In 2000, he was commissioned by Akron’s First Night to write the new Millennium Theme Song for the city-wide celebration. His 2004 collaboration with the Ohio Ballet led to the premier of Transformation, a ballet featuring music composed by Chuck and performed by Divine Hope. He also has written a musical, The Miracle of Love, and an opera, Paul: A Musical Journey.
Jesse Ayers was the winner of the inaugural American Prize for Orchestral Composition in 2011, and winner of the first Opera Kansas Zepick Modern Opera Composition Competition in 2016. Recent honors include the 2020 Governor’s Award for Ohio’s Outstanding Individual Artist, the 2019 Ohio Music Teachers Association Composer of the Year Commission, two Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Excellence Awards, the 2011 Dayton Ballet “New Music for New Dance” award, a 2010 MacDowell Fellowship, and seven “Finalist” awards from the American Prize. His music has twice been selected to represent the United States at the prestigious World Music Days festival. Learn more at his website.