Cascadia Composers is very sorry to announce the cancellation of the NACUSA 2020 National Conference scheduled for March 19 through 21.

Just three days ago, we felt there was a path forward, with reasonable accommodations and precautions. But of course events surrounding COVID-19 continue to develop rapidly. Air travel is a special concern — we’ve started to have cancellations by out of town participants as well as locals, and one of our headlining performers would likely need to cancel as well. With our wonderful host, Lewis & Clark College, transitioning to all online classes by the day before the conference was to begin, at minimum the environment would not be very conducive to the relaxed and concentrated enjoyment of new music and musicians regardless of its actual safety, which we still believe in.

This has been a tough decision. We know countless hours have been spent rehearsing, airline and hotel reservations have been made, and many other arrangements and preparations also.

Several canceling participants have generously donated their registration fees. Under the circumstances, of course, all registered attendees will be issued a full refund, as well as those purchasing advance tickets for the concerts.

We are grateful for the kind words and support we’ve received from so many of you. Also, we are so grateful for the work of our conference committee, supporting volunteers, and our many, many performers. We’re aware how many hours of your lives (and ours) have been given over to this enterprise, and we’re deeply sorry for having to make this difficult decision. Rest assured, we will seriously consider if and when we might be able to reschedule the conference, with its existing content as much as possible, for sometime later in 2020. At the moment, it’s too early for us to assess; for now, we need to pause and refocus.

These are difficult times. We urge you to stay healthy, do whatever you can to help one another, and listen to the better angels of our nature.

Ted Clifford, president, Cascadia chapter of NACUSA
Michael Johanson, NACUSA 2020 National Conference committee chair / Chair, Lewis & Clark College Department of Music
Jeff Winslow, Cascadia chapter secretary / treasurer

NACUSA 2020 National Conference Details

All events are open to the public, except the NACUSA business lunch which is open to members only.  Keep an eye on for details!  The complete schedule:

Thursday March 19 @ 3:30 PM @ Evans Auditorium: Concert, Fresh Finds

New works by student composers from Lewis & Clark College, Portland State University and The Evergreen State College.  Featured performers include the Evergreen Experimental Music Ensemble and L&C’s Cappella Nova (under the direction of Katherine FitzGibbon).  Contact: Michael Johanson <>

7:30 PM @ Agnes Flanagan Chapel: Concert, In the ‘Hood

Friends of Rain and top-notch guest performers play works by Cascadia composers Adam Eason, Michael Johanson, Alexander LaFollett, Andrew Lewinter, Liz Nedela, Lisa Neher, Gary Noland, Lesley Sommer, and William Toutant.  Two hours.  Contact: Michael Johanson <>


Friday March 20 —

10:00 AM @ Seitz Lounge:  This coffee time is canceled, sorry!  We recommend the Dovecote Cafe, on campus a short walk away, also open weekdays until 2:30PM.

11:00 AM (to noon) @ Evans, Room 129 – Presentation by Ben Kapp: Acoustic Ideas and the Development of Musical Structure

An analysis of my compositional process in my latest work, Chromatic Limb, written, and rewritten, for various groups of ever changing instrumentation, and ultimately two acoustic guitars…  What is of compositional interest in a process such as this? What structures result? Is it music?


1:00 PM @ Evans Auditorium: Concert, Beethoven’s 250th

In honor of the 250th year of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, this concert features Beethoven-inspired piano works by Theresa Koon and David Lefkowitz, plus Stephanie & Saar playing LvB’s Grosse Fuge and other works.  One hour.  Contact: Jeff Winslow <>

2:30 PM (to 3:30) @ Evans, Room 129 – Presentation by Dr. Lisa Neher: Effective Text Setting = Happy Singers!

Effective vocal writing requires attention to text setting. Learn tools to make your vocal music sing beautifully, rehearse easily, and be understood by listeners. Bring your questions!

3:30 PM @ Seitz Lounge in Evans Music Center, coffee available

7:30 PM @ Agnes Flanagan Chapel: Concert, Spring Fever!

Portland Percussion Group (contact: Brett Paschal <>) goes crazy with the music of Trent Hanna, Michael Johanson and Greg A Steinke.  Then Resonance Ensemble (contact: Katherine FitzGibbon <>) brings you choral works that speak (mostly) to today’s issues and concerns by local composers Judy A. Rose and Jeff Winslow; and visiting composers Martin Blessinger, Katie Kring, Lansing McLoskey, Liza Sobel, and Ingrid Stölzel.  Two hours total.


Saturday March 21 —

10:00 AM @ Seitz Lounge in Evans Music Center, coffee available

11:30 AM @ Templeton Hall, Trail Room: NACUSA business lunch with sandwiches, salads etc. catered by Elephant’s Deli. All NACUSA members who have paid the (additional) lunch fee are welcome to share a meal, observe, and possibly even participate.

1:00 PM @ Evans Auditorium: Concert, Amplitude & Attitude

Electroacoustic and media works by local composer Kirsten Volness and visiting composers Joe L. Alexander, Chris Arrell, Patrice Langsdale-Williams, Timothy Moyers, and David Peoples.  Some will play in their own works.  One hour.  Contact: Arun Chandra <>

2:30 PM (to 3:30) @ Evans, Room 129 – Presentation by Nicholas Yandell: Composing Trauma

Quote from abstract: “… Ultimately, through these compositional explorations, I want to speak of how art can help individuals express, comprehend, and confront trauma, whether as composers, performers, or listeners.”

3:30 PM @ Seitz Lounge, coffee available

7:30 PM @ Evans Auditorium: Concert, A Wider World

Friends of Rain and guests celebrate the glorious diversity of new music being created across the USA with performances of chamber works by visiting NACUSA composers Andrew Conklin, Doug Davis, Joshua Hey, Patrick Houlihan, Mark Kilstofte, David Lefkowitz, Allen Shearer, Andy Sigler, and Stephen Yip.  Two hours.  Contact: Michael Johanson <>


NACUSA members: Be sure to register online and pay your registration fee ($30 now, $40 starting Feb. 29). Check out our page with travel information, including a temporarily reduced rate Cascadia has negotiated with the Hilton Garden Inn in Lake Oswego, closest town to Lewis & Clark College.

Guests and spouses of NACUSA members may also register for the conference, paying the same fee; see instructions on the registration form.  Other non-members may also register, but they must pay $40 ($50 starting Feb. 29).

Single ticket prices for the general public are as follows.  Standard Cascadia Admission (two hour concerts): $20 general (buys two tickets with Arts Card from RACC), $10 seniors, working artists and Cascadia members (if not comp’ed), $5 students, 12 and under free.  One hour concerts: $10 general, $5 all others (if not comp’ed), 12 and under free.  Thursday afternoon concert: All students admitted free, all others $5.  Again, admission to all concerts is included with conference registration fee.