One listen to Mary Elizabeth Bowden‘s music and it’s pretty clear that this isn’t the type of trumpet you muddled with in middle school band. The Curtis Institute of Music graduate and world-renowned artist is releasing her first album, Radiance, this April, which features the works of two local Philadelphia composers: Joseph Hallman and David Ludwig. She also will be playing two Philly concerts in early March with an all-female brass ensemble, Seraph Brass.
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University of Pennsylvania Administrative Coordinator Joseph Hallman was taken back when he received an email from the Penn Professional Staff Assembly (PPSA) announcing that Red Cross would be holding a blood drive on campus. The reason? The Red Cross excludes gay men from donating blood, a touchy topic as the FDA recently endorsed a lifetime gay blood ban. In response to the University’s announcement, Hallman composed an email to the chair of PPSA, expressing his concerns regarding the discriminatory practices of the Red Cross: Read more »
Every week, Philly gay gents share their local picks for Man Crush Monday. This week, G Philly matriarch, local journalist and fine artist Natalie Hope McDonald.
Last Five Man Crush Mondays:
Every week, Philly gay gents share their local picks for Man Crush Monday. This week, Grammy-nominated composer Joseph Hallman. His work has been featured both at home and abroad. When not writing or travelling, He works at University of Pennsylvania, his alma mater, and teaches at Drexel. He believes heartily in the continued development of Philly’s arts and cultures market. He is also decidedly single.
Joseph Hallman's Man Crush Monday Picks
My name is Joseph Hallman, and these are my picks for Man Crush Monday.
"Marc Silver has been one of my long standing mancrushes. Aside from being pretty dreamy, he's got a gorgeous voice and writes great songs. One of these days, we will eventually figure out a collaboration!"
"Jordan one of the mancrushes I have known the longest. Jordan is a kind, mindful man with lots of creative and intellectual interests. He is a definite asset to his students at University of the Arts and to artistic life in general, in Philly."
Charles Cobine and Owen Franklin
"These two! Both handsome, both hella smart, and both super kind (and they both look good in hats)!"
"Jay has been doing his best to diversify the Philly arts scene via his role as Programming Director at the Kimmel Center (and he's a little cutie too!). Kimmel is lucky to have him, and he's also a Penn alum."
David Devan and David Dubbeldam--The Double D's
"David Devan is the Director of Opera Philadelphia and has transformed not only Philly's art scene, but has influenced the opera world both domestically and internationally. His creative approach to programming and his out-of-the-box thinking in regards to arts management, promotion, and programming has been inspiring. The other David just wrapped up his schooling and is serving as a chaplain. Both are handsome, kind, and pretty damn brilliant."
Submit your Man Crush Monday!
Here are the rules: (1) Name five to 10 guys you’re crushing on, and tell us why they have your heart aflutter (2) You and all men involved have to be from Philadelphia (3) Email your crushes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Five Man Crush Mondays:
When Joseph Hallman was a child, his mother would tell him that he was so open-minded that his brain would fall out.
Thankfully that never happened, and years later it may be that very open-mindedness that the Philly-based composer can credit for much of his success, including the recent news that his album, Sprung Rhythm, was nominated for a 2014 Grammy in the Best Surround Sound Album category. And get this, among the five albums up for the award are works crediting Paul McCartney and Les Claypool.
Even before his Grammy nomination, the 34-year-old had been touted for his wide scope of work: In 2011, NPR named him one of the top 100 Composers Under 40. Major companies, like the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Pittsburgh Symphony have played his compositions. And sensing greatness long before the nominations were revealed, The Washington Post called Hallman’s work on Sprung Rhythm “skillful” and claimed that he was a composer “to watch.”
So what inspires the young songster? “Anything and everything,” he says. His list of influencers includes everyone from Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A. and modern composer Nico Muhly to American Horror Story. (He recently composed a piece of music inspired by his fascination with witches and the television show.)
Hallman sees music as being part of who he is, that there’s a self-awareness in his compositions he calls “organic.”
“My music is me,” he says. Indeed, this might be the best way to describe Hallman’s philosophy on music-making. In a world of pop-star generators like American Idol and The Voice, his approach to cranking out tunes is refreshingly simple: “Just be yourself.”
Sprung Rhythm is available for purchase on iTunes. You can follow Joseph Hallman on Twitter: @HallmanComposer.