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UAF professor creates musical composition for International Polar Year

Submitted by Jenn Wagaman
Phone: 907-474-5082


What started as a quick idea to spice-up an International Polar Year event has resulted in a full-length musical composition in celebration of polar science and the uniqueness of the north.

University of Alaska Fairbanks Associate Professor James Bicigo recently completed a composition for brass ensemble based on his "Polar Fanfare," which premiered at UAF's IPY kick-off celebration last year. The full-length piece, titled "Polar Synthesis" includes five movements, each based on a northern theme.

"The movements are titled Polar Fanfare, Aurora, Polar Bears, Break up-Climate Change and Synthesis-Understanding," says Bicigo. "I'm really excited about the way the last movement ties together the themes from the first four."

Bicigo and the Borealis Brass will premier the piece at the upcoming Ice Alaska World Ice Art Championships, which take place in Fairbanks Feb. 26 through March 23. The theme of this year's event is "Celebrate the North" in recognition of International Polar Year.

In celebration of Bicigo's work, the UA International Polar Year office will make part of the original "Polar Fanfare" composition available for download on the IPY website, www.ipy.alaska.edu, for use as a ring tone.

"After meeting with folks from the international IPY office it became clear how excited people are about this composition," says Cherie Solie, UA IPY outreach manager. "We anticipate that this ring tone will be very popular."

For more information about the composition contact James Bicigo, UAF associate professor at ffjmb1@uaf.edu or 907-474-5906 or Cherie Solie, UA IPY outreach manager at fc.solie@uaf.edu or 907-474-6264.