Native wins musical awards

Submitted photoArmando Varricchio, the Ambassador of Italy to the United States, is pictured with Brendan McConville, Ph.D.

A Centerville native recently claimed several honors from the Global Music Awards.

Dr. Brendan McConville, originally from Centerville, received silver medals in the album, composition/composer and modern classical categories for his work, Un D'Annunzio Nuovo.

Global Music Awards is a well-known international showcase for original music, unique voices and emerging artists. It has a large international following. Entries go through a multi-layered judging process including listener impact, technical quality, uniqueness and styling. All first-level judging is conducted by Global Music's in-house professionals. Entries judged may then be sent to outside judges for additional review. Global Music Awards maintains consistency across judging categories and keeps high standards in the music talent competition. The judging process is strictly merit-based and does not consider the size of fan base, popularity or record sales.

McConville was a 1996 graduate of Centerville High School, where he was active in concert band, jazz band, and drama along with sports. He is a Phi Beta Kappa and Summa cum laude graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore in 2000. McConville was awarded his Master's Degree, 2005, and Ph.D. in 2007 from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, in Music Theory and Composition. Since 2007 he has been a faculty member at the University of Tennessee School of Music. He is currently Associate Director for Undergraduate Studies, Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition, and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Tennessee. His writings as a musical theorist appear in a variety of scholarly journals. His areas of research include twentieth-century music analysis and the use of emerging technologies in music theory pedagogy. He is an active presenter and member of the College Music Society and the Association for Technology in Music Instruction and the Society for Music Theory organizations.

McConville was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 2016 and spent six months researching and teaching at the Luisa D'Annunzio Conservatory of Music in Pescara, Italy. While there he worked composing music based on works of the renowned Italian poet, playwright and author Gabriele D'Annunzio. The first four tracks of his recent CD were taken from the stanzas of "La Pioggia nel Pineto" (Rain in the pinewoods), arguably D'Annunzio's most famous poem. His works are innovative in that they incorporate sounds of nature, including rain, thunder, cicadas, frogs, birds as sounds of the environment they were heard in the countryside of the poet's native Abruzzo region of Southern Italy, as recalled in the poet's work of over 100 years ago. He collaborated with several classical vocal and instrumental artists from the Abruzzo region in both performances and recordings. His works have been widely performed and recorded internationally and is available worldwide on Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes streaming as well as CDs.

McConville is the latest of a number of world-renowned music educators and composers that originally came from the Centerville, Iowa area. In December he met with the Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Armando Varricchio, in Washington, D.C. where he was honored as part of a gathering of past Fulbright Scholarship recipients.

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