CROSS ISLAND with Tom Piercy

  • Suzanne Mueller

    Cellist Suzanne Mueller has been Summer Concert Artist-in-Residence at Old Westbury Gardens in New York since 2003, presenting an eclectic series of concerts with various partners. She is a graduate of both the Pre-College and College of The Juilliard School. Her teachers have included Marion Feldman, Alexander Kouguell, Lorne Munroe, Leslie Parnas, Channing Robbins, and Harvey Shapiro, and she has coached with artists including Joseph Fuchs, Margot Garrett, William Lincer, and, for non-classical cello and perspective, Eugene Friesen. She made her New York recital debut under the auspices of Artists International, as a member of the piano/cello Elysian Duo, and went on to perform as half of its successor, Elysian II, for ten years, before forming CROSS ISLAND with pianist Elinor Abrams Zayas. She also performs with clarinetist Thomas Piercy as CROSS ISLAND~Cello & Reed and with flutist Pamela Sklar as Cambiata Flute & Cello Duo. Another combination she enjoys is guitar and cello, and she was half of the guitar/cello duo, McCarron and Mueller, with Mark McCarron, for a decade. She enjoys collaboration with composers, which has led to her being a frequent performer on the Composer’s Voice concert series, presenting new music by living composers. Suzanne is a member of the New Directions Cello Association, the International Alliance for Women in Music and Mu Phi Epsilon music fraternity. She performs and records with the folk duo Hungrytown, and has also appeared and recorded with singer/songwriter Terry Winchell, and in the jazz-inflected pop ensemble of Dave Rave & Mark McCarron. She can be heard on CDs by CROSS ISLAND, HUNGRYTOWN, Robin Eve Terry Winchell, Dave Rave and Mark McCarron, Alli Collis, Lauren Agnelli, and the Cave Dogs. For more information about Suzanne, please see her website,

  • Thomas Piercy

    Thomas Piercy is a critically acclaimed musician with appearances throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. His performances have been described by critics as "passionate," "pulling out all the stops," by the New York Times as "brilliant," "playing with refinement and flair" and "devoking a panache in the contemporary works." A versatile artist - the clarinetist on the Emmy Award-winning Juno Baby CDs and DVDs; performing Mozart with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade; playing Broadway songs with Raoul Julia; working with the composer Leonard Bernstein; appearing in a KRS-ONE rap music video; performing concert improvisations with pianist Donal Fox; recording with members of Maroon 5 - he has performed and recorded for Broadway and Off-Broadway, commercial

  • Elinor Abrams Zayas

    Pianist Elinor Abrams Zayas is a favorite of Long Islanders as a piano soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative artist. A native of Brightwaters, her early teachers were Ruth Koch, Claude Gonvierre, and, at The Juilliard Pre-College, Howard Aibel and Leonard Eisner. Ms. Zayas is a native of Brightwaters, where she lives and maintains a private piano studio. She has served on the music faculties of Five Towns College, Hofstra University, and is currently on the music faculty of the Sachem Public Schools

  • These are fifteen one minute waltzes written for CROSSISLAND TRIO.

15 one-minute Waltzes for CrossIsland Trio

Concert program

    Helga Beier

    Helga Beier received her first piano lesson at 8. Now, retired, she plays piano again and takes part at music history seminars at the Hochschule fuer Kuenste, Bremen. When she wanted to deepen into 20th century classical music, she began to take piano and compositions lessons with Juan Maria Solare.

    The Vienna Opera Ball is the social peak of the carnival season: 180 young couples tread into the hall of the Vienna State Opera and dance a waltz. Then, the Master of Ceremonies shout „Alles Walzer“ and clear the dance floor to everyone. My piece parodies this event.

  • Cross Lake

    Scott Brickman

    Scott Brickman (b. 1963) is Professor of Music and Education at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. His CD Winter and Construction was released in April 2012, on the Ravello label.

    Cross Lake is a piece about “threes”; It is in three sections, the first and third feature the entire trio, the middle featuring accompanied solos for ‘cello and clarinet respectively. It is based on a three-note motive, heard three times in the outer sections. The cadence of each appearance is varied by three half steps.

  • Riding the Wave

    Dominic Dousa

    Dominic Dousa, a native of Rochester, Minnesota, is a member of the faculty of the University of Texas at El Paso Department of Music. Dousa’s compositions have received performances in the U.S., Europe, South America, and Asia. He has remained active as an accompanist and chamber musician.

    The feeling of ebb and flow in Riding the Wave takes its inspiration from the imagery associated with this Vox Novus project — the ocean waves near the home base of CROSS ISLAND, the warm thermals of the composer’s desert southwest, and the graceful lilt of the waltz.

  • Overclocked

    Alan Elkins

    When not composing, Alan Elkins enjoys introducing his freshman music theory students to gritty, dissonant contemporary works - especially his 8 AM classes. A graduate of Florida State University and Bowling Green State University, he currently serves on faculty at Lee University in Cleveland, TN.

    Overclocked takes the conventional accompanimental texture of a waltz (i.e. "boom chuck chuck") and doubles it in speed, beyond what anyone could realistically dance. Other waltz-like figures appear in the more relaxed middle section, but the driving rhythm of the beginning soon returns, rushing towards a violent finish.

  • Hurricane Waltz

    Adam Giese

    Adam Giese, born in Manchester, New Hampshire in January of 1990, received his Bachelor of Music in Composition from Baylor University, where he studied under Dr. Scott McAllister. He is currently studying for his Master of Music in Composition from the Tempe campus of Arizona State University.

    “Hurricane Waltz,” is a one minute piece written for clarinet, cello, and piano. It employs an anticipated second beat, typical of the Viennese waltz, and is constantly moving. The pitch material is derived from the whole tone scale, lending to an ambiguous tonal center.

  • Float

    Masatora Goya

    Masatora Goya, originally from Japan, is a composer writing extensively in the areas of chamber music and theater. Trained as a vocal performer first, he explores the musical landscape of drama, space, and emotion. Masatora is a recipient of the 2012 Jerome Fund for New Music.

    My childhood dream was to become a Gandalf-like wizard. But, instead of fighting against the dark enemies, I wanted to nap all day long in the clouds. In busy days I often wonder what went wrong with my life, and all I can do is creating this fantasy in music.

  • A Sentimental Song

    David Heuser

    David Heuser’s music has be hailed as “all-American music at its most dynamic and visceral,” “thoughtful, beautiful and wonderfully made,” and “just the sort of music classical music needs more of.” A native of New Jersey, Heuser now lives in Potsdam, New York.

    Sometimes it's just about staying out of the way and letting a tune be itself.

  • Rush Hour Waltz

    Kevin Holland

    Born in Lancashire, England, Kevin Holland is a qualified secondary Music teacher and active musician, arranging and composing for various ensembles. An early Music enthusiast he studied the harpsichord with Gary Cooper at the Royal Northern College of Music. He has recently had Five Recorder trios published by Orpheus Music.

    The initial ostinato and melodic fragment propels the piece forward. The anacrusis in the piano accompaniment should be played short and emphasis should be given to the first beat. Tension is built up before a new theme is heard. The piece ends emphatically after the original theme reappears.

  • Monet's Garden

    Steven Kreamer

    Steven is entering his fourth and final year at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he is studying composition. He has been a pianist for most of his life and continues to play as an accompanist, repetiteur and musical director. He also teaches music privately at his home in Sydney.

    Monet’s home in Giverny is the site of the beautiful grounds that inspired many of his most famous works including his ‘Water Lilies’ and ‘Japanese Bridge’ series of paintings. It is a place of colour and liveliness that I have tried to encapsulate in my composition.

  • Spindrift

    Tim Labor

    Tim Labor is an award winning LA-based composer and sound designer whose classical music credits include “Blomidon: tone poem with sound design” for the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra and “Olivia” for the Mira Costa Symphony. Tim is a faculty member in the Music Department at the University of California, Riverside.

    Spindrift is the windswept spray one sometimes sees on the surface of the ocean. In the wave of musical sentiment that accumulates and recedes in this composition, I hope to convey luscious submission to a similarly ephemeral and unstoppable reminiscence of youthful heroism.

  • I'm So Happy

    John Spartan

    Aspiring composer John Spartan is a Long Island native and Hofstra grad. He is an expert on Gilbert & Sullivan, and specializes in parody, satire, and new musical comedy works. Libby Moyer tried composing for the first time at the age of 48. Her comic operetta, Not A Tenor, premiered in June of 2012.

    Although there is no vocalist, the melody line in I’m So Happy was drawn from text by John Spartan. If you listen closely - or perhaps that should be quickly - you will hear both the clarinet and cello “sing” I’m so happy, and hopefully this breezy tune will have the same effect on listeners.

  • à la valse

    Steven Serpa

    Steven Serpa has earned master’s degrees in composition from the Hartt School and in early music performance from Longy School of Music. His recent one-act opera Thyrsis& Amaranth was premiered by Hartford Opera Theater and Halifax Summer Opera. He has studied with Tom Cipullo and Stephen Gryc.

    Music and dance have been linked since the beginning of human expression. Since the late 18th century, the Waltz has captured the imagination of Western society. I’ve written à la valse waltz for Cross Island to sweep listen’s away with its lilting melody and leave them wanting more than 60 seconds.

  • Contemplation/in Memoriam

    Bob Siebert

    I received my BM and MM Music Degrees from Manhattan School of Music, and have been a performer/composer/teacher in the New York area for the past thirty five years. My music runs the gambit from pop influenced electronic realism through reinvented jazz standards to experimental electronic pieces and improvisations for the African thumb piano. My work can be found on iTunes, YouTube, and Upcoming performances include Experimental music festivals in the metropolitan area and cafe’ venues in Brooklyn and New Jersey Six of my pieces have been winners in the “15 Minutes of Fame” competitions. In addition to performing and composing I enjoy cooking, specializing in Chinese cuisine, and fencing epee’ and foil.

    Simply put: The purpose of this piece is to pause and reflect over the sadness of a tragic event

  • The Fairy Dance

    Ruben Toledo

    Ruben Toledo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Complete their studies in music at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico in Music Education. It excels as a composer, arranger, conductor, guitarist, pianist, euphonist and teacher at the Music School of San Juan and in the Congregation Mita Church.

    The notes with a touch of grace and curious melodies transport us to a magical forest where the fairies dance splendidly. The cello sing the waltz's theme with energy and with the peculiar movement of the clarinet and the melodic intervention of the piano this amazing drama is completed.

  • A Jaunt in the Rain

    Benjamin Williams

    Benjamin Williams is a composer in central Mississippi and an Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Mississippi College. He is married to violinist Emily Williams.

    I talked with my wife about writing another minute-long piece and thought about Beethoven's hour-long symphonies, Mahler's hour-and-a-half, and here I'm writing a minute?!? Yet, so much can happen in sixty seconds! It was a pleasure writing for this Long-Island ensemble; particularly thinking about my wife's roots that are there.

Concert Dates

  • Saturday, April 13, 2013 - Old Bethpage Library, Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York