International Clarinet Association Selects DarkWood Duo for New Music Weekend

Published: October 14, 2022 | Author: Kol Gibson | Read Time: 3 minutes

Darkwood Duo with Todd Cochran

The Southern Utah University Department of Music is proud to announce that Dr. Lynn Vartan’s DarkWood Duo has been selected to premiere “Ring Around the World” by Todd Cochran at the International Clarinet Association’s (ICA) New Music Weekend later this month. This year, the ICA received more applications to participate in this event than ever, making the selection all the more impressive. 

The ICA is an international community of clarinetists and clarinet enthusiasts that support projects that encourage and promote the performance and teaching of a wide variety of repertoire for the woodwind instrument. Their annual New Music Weekend is a two-day virtual festival that brings clarinetists from around the globe together to present their newest compositions to the world. The world premiere of “Ring Around the World” will take place at this festival and will be followed by a live premiere at SUU later this school year.

DarkWood Duo was formed in 2021 by Vartan, SUU’s director of percussion, and Dr. Laura Grantier, former director of woodwinds at SUU and current woodwind area head at the University of Utah. After hearing the Duo perform in Los Angeles, musician and composer Todd Cochran started a friendship with the duo, which led to the conception of their piece “Ring Around the World.” Vartan and Grantier then commissioned Cochran to compose the piece utilizing the SUU Faculty Scholarly Support Fund (FSSF).

“‘Ring Around the World’ embodies elements of how we all perceive the world today, mixed with Todd’s reverence of feminine culture and strength,” shares Dr. Vartan. “Commissions are so amazing because you have all of these talks and share ideas and feelings and concepts that exist internally, and then the composer interprets them into his musical language and brings them to life.”

The FSSF supports scholarly and artistic activities that aid SUU faculty in professional development and staying at the forefront of their fields. By supporting these projects, the University lives its claim to connect faculty and students to the real world in a tangible way. 

“As an artist and educator, I feel it is so important to be a part of the way that music, particularly art music evolves in our world. Having the University support these kinds of endeavors helps our students to see how they can contribute to the world of art through our example. I am grateful to SUU for supporting this project,” says Vartan.  

ICA New Music Weekend will take place October 22-23 from noon to 6:00 p.m. Registration for the event is free and can be accessed at under the Events tab.


About the College of Performing and Visual Arts

The College of Performing and Visual Arts (CPVA) at Southern Utah University comprises 41 academic programs including liberal arts (BA/BS) and professional (BFA, BM, BMEd) degrees in art, design, dance, filmmaking, music, and theatre. It includes graduate programs in the fields of arts administration (MFA, MA), music education (MME), and music technology (MM). More than 60 full-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring over 900 majors in the College. CPVA presents over 100 performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibitions each year and is affiliated with the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Center for Shakespeare Studies. Southern Utah University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) making SUU the first public university in the state of Utah to be accredited by all four associations. For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, visit

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