MEET OUR COMPOSER
Clarinetist, composer, educator, and new music collaborator Dr. Luke Ellard strives for art that continually reaches out, valuing a relational spirit, informed engagement, and unapologetic authenticity.
For Luke, collaboration is what gives music life. As clarinetist, he has performed with members of Bang on a Can, Eighth Blackbird, Fifth House Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, Lone Star Wind Orchestra, Sounds Modern, Atlantic Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, and has attended festivals such as Bang on a Can Summer Festival, Blackbird Creative Lab, Fresh Inc, Cortona Sessions for New Music, Atlantic Music Festival, and Masterworks Festival. His current performance projects center around cross-genre, electronic music with his solo clarinet+electronic band, LE, and Nu Atmospheres Contemporary Music Collective (co-founder).
His collaborative spirit is reflected in his life as a composer as well, drawing inspiration from a personal and communicative place. His music has been performed by groups such as New Trombone Collective (Blue Interjections, finalist in the 2013 Slide Factory International Composition Contest), the North Texas Wind Symphony (The Seer, concerto for Bassoon and Wind Ensemble), the University of Texas Symphony Band (Shifting Tides), Michigan State University Concert Band, Barkada Quartet (threads of execution), and the Mother Falcon String Quartet (all I’m feeling right now, winner of Golden Hornet Composer Lab's String Quartet Smackdown III). Luke has also attended festivals such as the European American Musical Alliance Composition Academy, Wintergreen Festival, and New Music on the Bayou.
Currently, Luke is a freelance performer/composer and private music instructor in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and recently graduated with the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Clarinet Performance with related studies in Contemporary Music and Music Entrepreneurship from the University of North Texas, studying under Kimberly Cole Luevano and Elizabeth McNutt. Additionally, Luke has earned degrees from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (James Campbell & Eric Hoeprich), the University of Texas at Austin (Yevgeniy Sharlat, Dan Welcher, & Donald Grantham), and Louisiana Tech University (Lawrence Gibbs, Joe L. Alexander).
Since my time living in Austin, TX, I have been fascinated and excited by craft drinks. From coffee, to spirits, and beer, I’ve found camaraderie with others while lifting a glass. Once my incredible twin brother (Ben Ellard, current brewer at Be Easy Brewing and Aomori Brew Pub) began his journey as an artistic craftsman and producer of craft drinks in our mid-twenties, I was opened up to more of the actual workings behind the scenes. The glass bottles we hold are the result of so much imagination and science, it’s astounding and inspiring. When Karen Bronson asked me if I’d like to write a piece for her reed trio, I knew just what I wanted to compose about. Karen and I share a love for good drink and good company, so what better moment to find inspiration in something we and so many of our friends and colleagues enjoy? Craftwork follows the general process of creation and distribution of beer: the inspiration, gathering ingredients and formulating, mashing, boiling, fermenting, producing, shipping, and the delivery (PARTY). It is encouraged all who listen and perform have a glass at the ready to celebrate (before and/or after)!