Composition Fellowship

Winners of the 2017-18 Composition Fellowship will receive a paid stipend, three performances of their works, audio/video recordings of the premiere performance, plus rehearsals and workshops with Transient Canvas. This year's fellows were chosen by an independent panel made up composers from all over the United States: Adam Roberts (New York, NY), Emily Koh (Athens, GA), and David Coll (Berkeley, CA).

This fellowship is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Harvard Musical Association's George Henschel Community Award.


Cindy Giron

Cindy is a composer, performer, and educator based in Boston and The Netherlands. Intrigued by silences, textures, journeys, contrasts, and conversations, her music explores all instrumentations from solo, chamber, orchestral, electronic compositions, all the way to merging different art forms, sometimes creating installations.

As a 2014 First Music winner, Giron was commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony
for Nelumbo, an orchestral piece with a premiere at Carnegie Hall and the United Palace
Theater in New York City. Other collaborations include having not forgotten, a solo
percussion piece commissioned by Gavin Ryan with a premiere in Provo, Utah and
Gothenburg, Sweden. This year, Giron collaborated with the contemporary Dutch
ensemble Kluster5 for the creation of her new chamber ensemble piece oNo, and also
received a commission from St. Petersburg, Florida’s Rogue Dance Collective for her piece
hu-nature, an electronic track accompanying excerpts, a newly choreographed work.
Past travels and collaborations include participation as a composition fellow at Bang on a
Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA (2014), Darmstadt International Summer
Course for New Music in Germany (summer 2014 and 2016), and the Impuls International
Ensemble and Composers Academy in Graz, Austria (2015). At Impuls, Giron created her
first installation Friluftsliv, in collaboration with cinematographer Toshiki Yashiro.

This past year, Giron also participated as a composer and performer at Co-Incidence, an
experimental music residency in Somerville, MA during January 2017. At Co-Incidence,
Giron premiered her mono-drama i-4-1-2 for electronics, video, lights, voice and metal
objects. It was during this time that she also created a new installation Blanket for
performers, fabric and movement. Recent performances include participation at the 2017
Wave Field Synthesis Festival in Den Haag, Netherlands, the Third Life Studio in
Somerville, MA.

Giron holds a Bachelors of Music from Manhattan School of Music, a Masters in Music
Theory and Composition from NYU Steinhardt, and is currently studying her second
Masters Degree in Music Composition with Practice-Based Research and a minor in
Contemporary Piano Performance at The Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague,


Todd Kitchen

Composer Todd Kitchen is fascinated by arrhythmic smatterings of events and unpredictable shapings of timbre (conductor Todd Kitchen tries to avoid both). His music’s predominant metric ambiguity belies the fact that he takes much of his inspiration from the genres of jazz, funk, and EDM. These influences are perhaps most readily perceived in the sonic materials that he carefully sculpts before tucking them into ordinary-looking meters.

As a composer, Todd has earned modest acclaim, including a Barlow Commission, and his music has been featured at the Etchings festival, the Cortona Sessions, New Music on the Point, the SEAMUS national conference, and the National Student Electronic Music Event. He has written for groups such as PRISM Quartet, Talea Ensemble, Sound Icon, the Lydian String Quartet, BYU Singers, and Brevitas choir. He is currently the conductor for the Brandeis Operetta Initiative, and has performed in several choirs, including the prestigious BYU Singers and Brevitas choir, of which he is a founding member. He also has a storied history playing brass instruments in various orchestras, wind ensembles, and a ska band. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in music theory and composition at Brandeis University, where he has studied with Yu-Hui Chang, David Rakowski, and Eric Chasalow. He received his bachelor’s degree in Composition from Brigham Young University where he studied with Michael Hicks, Neil Thornock, Christian Asplund, and Steve Ricks. Todd currently lives just outside of Boston with his wife and baby, where you can find him running in the woods or biking on the roads during his free time.

Aaron Butler.png

Aaron Cecchini-Butler

Aaron Cecchini-Butler is a composer based in Boston, MA.  His music has been performed by Talujon Percussion, the Janus Trio, Stephen Gosling and Jennifer Choi. Aaron attended Berklee College of Music (BA) and the Vermont College of Fine Arts (MFA), working under Dr. Jonathan Holland, Dr. Michael Early, Dr. John Mallia and Marek Poliks.  

Currently, Aaron's works are inspired by his interpretation of the fantasy series, "The Sword of Truth" by Terry Goodkind as well as the surrealist novels of Haruki Murakami.  He also finds daily inspiration from nature and his two Shiba Inus.

He was a 2017 BMI student-composer award winner, and has had his piece, "Keep" released on a CD through the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt and Distract Fold.