Ashlee Busch

Music is the drink of the dreamer...

What Takes You Out of a Performance?

We’ve all been drilled in proper performance practice since the days of middle school band, yes?


1) Make sure you wear black socks
2) Don’t shuffle your music until the audience stops clapping
3) If you mess up, DO NOT show any physical response
4) Guys, don’t forget your ties
5) Ladies, resist the desire to display your…assets

and so on…

But here’s what I’ve been wondering lately - other than these tried and true etiquette rules. What else removes you from a concert experience? I recently attended a wonderful choral concert and heard some lovely singing. However, I must admit, I cringed every time the piano gave the performers the pitch for an unaccompanied piece. Now, hold on, don’t get all up in arms yet. I understand this is sometimes necessary with vocal ensembles, but the fact remains that it took me out of the experience of listening to such lovely music, and I wanted to stay in that bright and colorful world.


This experience reminded me of other distractions I’ve noticed at concerts - pianists who bang their feet on the floor in exuberance, wind players who draw in massive, noisy, CPR breaths before a passage, screeching speaker feedback, etc. But I want to know what takes YOU out of the concert experience. Please share!

Cool Music Events!

October 14
GVSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble
The Grand Valley State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble presents the world premiere of 'Apotheosis' at the newly rebuilt Performing Arts Center on Grand Valley's Allendale campus. Special thanks to conductor and director Kevin Tutt.

September 8 & 9
West Fork New Music Festival
Fairmont State University hosts its annual West Fork New Music Festival in West Virginia! The featured ensemble, Great Noise Ensemble, shall be presenting about themsevles and performing two new works including my chamber piece, Petoskey Stones. I will also be presenting on Saturday at 4:30pm. Special thanks to Great Noise Ensemble and Director/Festival Host Daniel Eichenbaum

June 24, 2017
Sweetwater Sound
Sean and I are headed down to Sweetwater for a 2-day celebration of music, music tech, and hanging out with other musicians! Great way to celebrate my birthday!

May 24, 2017
ELF: A Multimedia Performance
Kalamazoo College
Join us for the screening of ELF (Extremely Low Frequency), a video by Nayda Collazo-Llorens in collaboration with Ander Monson, accompanied by a live performance of ELFsong, an electroacoustic composition by Ashlee Busch for piano, violin and stereo playback.

Kathryn Martin, Violin
Hannah Kim, Piano

Reception starts at 5:30pm and the 8-minute performance will start promptly at 6pm. It will be followed by a Q&A with Ashlee Busch, Nayda Collazo-Llorens and Ander Monson.

March 17, 2017
New Music Ensemble Composition Competition
Grand Valley State University Art Gallery
GVSU music composition students created adventurous, one-minute composition inspired by
Nayda Collazo-Llorens' Comfortably Numb. These compositions will be played by the GVSU New Music Ensemble in rapid succession and judged by a special guest panel and the audience for cash prizes! Opening the show will be the Collaborative work by Nayda Collazo-Llorens and Ander Monson with composer Ashlee Busch's Elfsong.

November 17, 2016
M. I. Concerts
Lansing Brewing Company
Come out and hear some live music at Lansing Brewing Co.! Michigan State University students will be playing a concert of contemporary chamber music composed entirely by composers based in Michigan. At the close of the concert will be the premiere of my piece specially composed for the event - Petosky Stones. There will be delicious beer and food, as well as some exceptional music making. I hope to see you there!

October 4, 2016
Student Composition Recital
IU - Jacobs School of Music
Auer Hall
Undergraduate students at the Jacob School of Music premiere works they've written under an extreme time crunch as a test of their compositional mettle! Performed by a mix of graduate and undergraduate IU performers.

July 22, 2016
ELF: A Multimedia Performance
MakeShift Studio Residence and Gallery
Join us for the screening of ELF (Extremely Low Frequency), a video by Nayda Collazo-Llorens in collaboration with Ander Monson, accompanied by a live performance of ELFsong, an electroacoustic composition by Ashlee Busch for piano, violin and stereo playback with pianist Jack Sligh and violinist Sarah Dowell. A Q&A with the artist and the composer will follow.

April 2, 2016
Tenth Anniversary Concert
GVSU New Music Ensemble
The New Music Ensemble at Grand Valley State University is celebrating their founding with a special 10th anniversary concert on April 2, 2016. With performances by current and former members, the concert will celebrate the group’s long-time collaborator, composer Marc Mellits, on the occasion of his 50th birthday. Featured on the program will be two compositions the ensemble commissioned from Marc, as well as other notable works spanning his significant career. As one of the most performed and recognized American composers of today, we are excited to have Marc joining us for this special occasion.
Will Call only

March 16, 2016
BOP STOP at The Music Settlement in Cleveland, Ohio
GVSU New Music Ensemble

The New Music Ensemble at Grand Valley State University (Allendale, Michigan) will present newly commissioned music from Sarah Kirkland Snider, Gyan Riley, Todd Reynolds, Anna Clyne, Michael Lowenstern, and Marc Mellits. Each work combines the speaking voice of the composers’ compositional heroes—Arvo Pärt, Terry Riley, Meredith Monk, John Cage, James Brown, and Steve Reich, along with the ensemble. In addition, as a tribute to Terry Riley’s 80th birthday year, the ensemble will perform selections from their acclaimed CD “In C Remixed”.
Tickets available at

February 29, 2016
Music at the Forefront
Clazel Theatre
Bowling Green, Ohio
Bearthoven is a piano trio creating new repertoire for a familiar instrumentation by commissioning works from leading young composers. This group is rapidly building a diverse repertoire by challenging composers to apply their own voices to an instrumentation that, while common amonst jazz and pop idioms, is currently foreign in the contemporary classical world.

February 25, 2016
GVSU Art Gallery in the Performing Arts Center on the Allendale Campus
GVSU New Music Ensemble Composition Competition
The New Music Ensemble at Grand Valley State University presents its annual composition competition! The ensemble will perform one-minute, student-created compositions inspired by the exhibition Great Lakes: Image & Word featuring poetry and visual art inspired by Michigan's Great Lakes. Cash prizes are awarded. This event is made possible with the generous support of Larry and Elaine Rutowski Shay. Three of my micro-pieces are included on this concert.

January 26, 2016
GVSU Art Gallery in the Performing Arts Center on the Allendale Campus
Stefan Stolarchuk in Concert
Bass trombonist Stefan Stolarchuk comes to Grand Valley to perform an eclectic program of contemporary works for bass trombone. Stefan's program includes a world premiere of my piece, Unrequited, composed especially for Stefan. He will accompanied by Hyekyung Lee on the piano.

November 2, 2015
GVSU Louis Armstrong Theatre in the Performing Arts Center on the Allendale Campus
GVSU New Music Ensemble
Grand Valley's award-winning New Music Ensemble teams up with former member, Daniel Rhode, and the Kun-Yang Lin Dancers to premiere an entire evening of new music!

September 4, 2015
Michigan Institution for Contemporary Art
Curating Roots
The MICA Gallery is hosting an exhibition that celebrates the local food movement in the Lansing area. The opening of this exhibition will showcase the connection between food, art, and music. Flutist Chelsea Koziatek and band will play a repertoire of music while tapas by "Soup Spoon Cafe" that was created based on the music is served. This concert will feature an incaration of my piece, Euphony, for flute and cello.

April 9, 2015
Grand Valley State University Allendale Art Gallery
die Bibliomusik
This concert series, developed and directed by composer and oboist Julia Gjebic, promotes the work of young, active contemporary composers in an assortment of venues designed to bring new music to a wider community. The final installment of this concert series taking place this evening included a longer version of my 2015 microwork, Euphony, performed by Kevin Flynn, Nate Bliton, and Julia Gjecbic.
Free and open to the public!

April 3, 2015
Grand Valley State University Allendale
GVSU New Music Ensemble
The GVSU New Music Ensemble, under the direction of Professor Bill Ryan, performs their last campus event of the year featuring winners of the student composition competition (including my work, Stencils), Our resident guest artist of the week, Todd Reynolds, will also perform alongside the ensemble!There will also be a world premiere of an iPad ensemble composition by John Jansen.
Free and open to the public!

April 1, 2015
Grand Valley State University Allendale
Arts at Noon: Todd Reynolds
Violinist, composer, educator, and technologist Todd Reynolds is known as one of the founding fathers of the hybrid-musician movement and one of the most active and versatile proponents of what he calls 'present music.' The violinist of choice for Steve Reich, Meredith Monk, Bang on a Can, and founder of the string quartet known as Ethel, his compositional and performance style is a hybrid of old and new technology, multi-disciplinary aesthetic, and pan-genre composition and improvisation.
Free and open to the public!

March 12, 2015
Grand Valley State University Pew Campus
Sixth Annual GVSU Student Composers Microworks Competition
30 sixty-second pieces for the nationally recognized GVSU New Music Ensemble, directed by Bill Ryan, composed by GVSU student composers. I'm pleased to say that three of my microworks were included - Stencils, Euphony, and Watercolors.

February 20, 2015
Grand Valley State University Louis Armstrong Theater
Symphonic Wind Ensemble Concert
Leap Nation and Morning Premieres
Two works for chamber winds commissioned by Kevin Tutt, Director of Bands and Assistant Deparment chair. Leap Nation and Morning were comissioned as chamber works for undetermined instrumentation in the summer of 2014. After a wonderful rehearsal process with the GVSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble, these works are premiered tonight, conducted by Kevin Tutt and Ashlee Busch.

April 21, 2014
Michigan State University Fairchild Theater
Harm Estimate Premiere
Commissioned by the Spring 2014 Michigan State University Concert Orchestra, Harm Estimate is an energy-packed 6-minute musical rollercoaster composed specifically for this eclectic ensemble. Special thanks to the '13-'14 MSU Concert Orchestra, conductor Matt Forte, and vocalist Heather Marie Benson.

March 20-22, 2014
Michigan State University Kellogg Center
New Directions in Music Education: Teaching Composition, Improvisation, and the New Musicianship Conference
The New Directions in Music Education conference is designed to provide a stimulating environment for sharing and learning the latest scholarly advances and best teaching practices from some of the world's foremost teachers, researchers, and musicians.

October 29, 2013
Grand Valley State University
FreePlay27: Latitude 49
Latitude 49 is a dynamic mixed-chamber ensemble exploring new sounds, engaging diverse audiences, and holding hands with composers of today. Join Grand Valley students and faculty for a one hour concert follwed by a casual discussion with the ensemble.

October 8, 2013
Michigan State University, Residential College
Musique 21
This incredibly talented group, directed by Kevin Noe, presents an energetic and ecelctic program including works by Kevin Puts and Michael Torke. This wonderful ensemble will also perform the world premiere of my piece, Collage.

October 8, 2013
Michigan State University, Impact Radio
Philip Rice, Justin Rito, and myself are interviewed by the lovely Abbie Newton on her segment of Exposure.

September 25-27, 2013
Michigan State University
Guest Composer Residencies John Corigliano and John Mackey
These world renowned composers are on the campus of Michigan State University this week conducting master classes and coaching the top ensembles for both band and orchestra performances and the conclusion of the week including Corigliano's Clarinet Concerto featuring soloist Guy Yehuda.
Wind Symphony - Thursday, Sept 26, 7:30pm
Symphony Orchestra, Friday, Sept 27, 8pm

September 14, 2013
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
Strange, Beautiful Music VI
Experience an eight hour marathon while surrounded by invigorating contemporary art. Performers include Bang-On-A-Can All-Stars and the GVSU New Music Ensemble performing Steve Reich's Double Sextet.

August 17, 2013
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum
Beyond Pluck Harp Duo
Harpists Paula Elizabeth Bressman and Rachel Renee Miller perform a variety of works spanning several centuries as the final performance under the exhibit 'Follow the Rules'

July 17-August 3, 2013
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival
We travel to Massachusetts to hear the music of my dear friends, Adam Cuthbert and Bill Ryan, along with the amazing Bang on a Can All-Stars!

July 27, 2013
Michigan State University
Broad Museum of Art
New in Sound: Classical Music Program-Russian Romance
Acclaimed flutist, Maxim Rubtsov preforms classical Russian music for East Lansing

April 14, 2013
Michigan State University
Broad Museum of Art
Sound Escapes Concert Series I
Premieres by my students as well as some of my favorite colleagues!

February 1-2, 2013
Grand Valley State University
Billband Residency
2-2, Bill Ryan CD release party, Towards Daybreak

November 12-13, 2012
Grand Valley State University
David Lang Residency
11-13, performance of Cheating, Lying, Stealing by GVSU New Music Ensemble

November 6, 2012
Michigan State University
Student Composers' Premieres Concert!
Michigan State premiere of my work, Three Pianos
Hart Recital Hall

October 22, 2012
Michigan State Univerisity
Talk with composer Carter Pann
Hart Recital Hall

October 9, 2012
Michigan State University
Student Composers' Premieres Concert!
World premiere of my new work, Requiem!
Hart Recital Hall
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