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Jan Bach wins national composition contest

July 24, 2015
Jan Bach

Jan Bach

Jan Bach, NIU Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus in the School of Music, has received the $5,000 first prize in the choral composition contest sponsored by Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a national music fraternity.

Bach’s “Clink,” a drinking song for men’s chorus and piano with words by Chicago poet Eugene Field, stood atop 114 entries to the contest. Judges included Samuel Adler (Juilliard), Carlyle Floyd (opera composer) and Keith Lockhart (conductor of the Boston Pops).

John Mongiovi, the fraternity’s outgoing national president, presented the award to Bach during the triennial convention’s July 11 banquet in New Orleans. Men of Song, the fraternity’s male choir, sang “Clink” during the event.

The banquet also lauded 83-year-old jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis Jr., who was given the “Man of Music” award in recognition of his long service as a jazz performer and music educator. He is the father of Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis, all well-known jazz musicians who grew up in New Orleans.