Instrumentation: saxophone quartet (SATB) and wind ensemble (also piano reduction)

Duration: ca. 21:00

Premiere: January 10, 2020 :: U.S. Navy Band Saxophone Quartet, Captain Kenneth C. Collins, conductor :: International Saxophone Symposium :: George Mason Center for the Arts, Fairfax, VA

U.S. Navy Band Saxophone Quartet: Jonathan Yanik, soprano saxophone; Patrick Martin, alto saxophone; David Babich, tenor saxophone; Dana Booher, baritone saxophone

Purchase/Rent

Program Note:

Severance was commissioned by the United States Navy Band. The title for the piece and for the second and third movements come from a linked collection of poetry called Severance by my friend Robert Fanning, who has been the muse for several of my recent works. Robert’s poetry often gives voice to my own emotional world in a way that is deeply important to me. In Severance, the main characters, two marionettes, Professor and Grief, sever their wires and escape the play and the theatre in Winterland in “search for a life untethered and authentic, crossing from day into night, from wood into flesh, from wakefulness into dream, from ice into thaw. Severance sings of a way—through the narrows of time and body—toward healing.” (Severance by Robert Fanning, Salmon Poetry).

In the first movement, Clouds of Remembering, I introduce all of the musical material for the piece, but it is often shrouded and ephemeral, always fleeting, like the distant memory of something or someone lost.

The second movement, Every Way Through Hurts, is dedicated to my friend Jovanni-Rey Verceles de Pedro. Jovanni and I met at the University of Michigan while completing our graduate work. He was a pianist, professor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. After graduation, we both moved to Idaho—Jovanni taught piano at the University of Idaho, and I taught music composition and theory at Boise State University. He recorded my Rhapsody for solo piano on his first studio album, and I had planned to write him a new piece, but Jovanni died suddenly in the summer of 2019 while traveling with the global nonprofit organization he founded. When I heard about his passing it took my breath away. At 36 years old—a young, hopeful, energetic musician, a person with whom I felt a kinship and a related musical path—it just didn’t seem possible that he was gone. The outpouring of grief from his friends and family was extraordinary—he had connected with so many people through music. There is no way around grief—every way through it hurts—but very gradually, the waves of grief become smaller and grow farther apart, and we come to know that we can weather them. This music is for Jovanni, and the piano plays a prominent role, often gently tracing the saxophone solo lines like some strange shadow or echo.

The third movement, Follow the threads: Unstrung, begins with metaphorical darkness. The saxophonists play slow melodic lines—threads—that are passed around the quartet and are eventually passed to the ensemble as the quartet’s music transforms into raindrops and then into a peculiar dance. I imagine the marionettes dancing, awkwardly at first, recently untethered and free from their strings, but becoming assured and ecstatic as they dance through grief, through their scars, through the waves, and toward healing.

Robert Fanning’s Severance is published by Salmon Poetry and you can find out more about his work at www.robertfanning.wordpress.com.

[Performance above: Ava Ordman, trombone; Michigan Philharmonic; Nan Washburn, conductor]

Instrumentation: solo tenor trombone with orchestra (also with wind ensemble or piano reduction)

Duration: ca. 21:00

Orchestra Premiere: November 15, 2018 :: Ava Ordman and the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Timothy Muffitt, conductor :: Wharton Center, East Lansing, MI

Wind Ensemble Premiere:  March 22, 2018 :: Ava Ordman and the Michigan State University Wind Symphony, Kevin Sedatole, conductor :: Wharton Center, East Lansing, MI 

Program Note:

I often wonder what it’s like to see the world through the eyes of my children. I have two sons, Declan and Izaak, and, at the time of writing this piece, they were ages two and four, respectively. The title, Their Eyes Are Fireflies, is a metaphor for the magic and joy they bring to my life. The light in their eyes—both the way in which they take in the world with wonder and amazement as well as the way they add light to the world with their innocence and joy—has shaped and changed my perspective in profound ways.

For Declan, at age two, there are so many beginnings, so many firsts, so many discoveries, and so many adventures. The first movement begins with an extended trombone cadenza in time, building from the foundations of the instrument into increasingly accelerating, ascending, and ecstatic waves and surrounded by distant echoes and a halo of dimly twinkling lights. These waves finally burst, revealing a distorted image of the beginning—cascading waves of sound that finally come crashing down like an overgrown tower of toy blocks.

The second movement, This song makes my heart not hurt, is for Izaak. One day he said this exact phrase, and its simplicity and directness stopped me in my tracks. For me, this very unadult-like turn of phrase contained something special—both a recognition and admission of pain but also a turning toward healing. This music is my humble meditation on Izaak’s words.

The third movement is entitled Izaak’s Control Panels. Izaak loves to draw and paint. One of Izaak’s favorite subjects has been ever more fantastical control panels. We have piles of these controls panels in our house, carefully created using pencils, pens, markers, and paint on sheets of paper of varying sizes and colors. These control panels are connected to airplanes, race cars, boats, helicopters, and even strange, imaginary machines that he’s created both in his imagination as well as with Legos. What’s more, the panels often contain gadgets and gauges for unusual and awesome purposes, including to measure the level of mint chocolate ice cream (his favorite flavor), chocolate milk, pasta, as well as typical things like speed, altitude, and fuel. This music comes from looking at the world through the creative and surreal lens of a four year old—motoric, machine-like music for building imaginary worlds is disrupted by the playful smashing, destruction, and recreation of those worlds, culminating in a spectacular and bizarre place where time flows backward, objects fall up rather than down, and airplanes come with milkshake gauges.

Commissioned by Ava Ordman and a consortium of trombonists, conductors, ensembles, and sponsors led by:

Kevin Sedatole and the Michigan State University Wind Symphony
Timothy Muffit and the Lansing Symphony Orchestra

and

Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra
Mark Williams and Grand Valley State University
Jim Morrison
Timothy Higgins, San Francisco Symphony
Jeremy Wilson, Vanderbilt University
Kenneth Tompkins, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Michael Haithcock, David Jackson, and the University of Michigan Symphony Band
Nan Washburn and the Michigan Philharmonic
Robert Carnochan, Timothy Conner, and the University of Miami Wind Ensemble
Mallory Thompson and the Northwestern University Wind Ensemble
Rodney Dorsey, Henry Henniger, and the University of Oregon Wind Ensemble
Robert Lindahl, Central Michigan University
Steven Kandow, University of Saint Francis

Performed by: Matthew Vangjel, flugelhorn; Patrick Johnson, piano :: Cook Recital Hall :: Michigan State University College of Music :: February 25, 2019

Instrumentation: flugelhorn and piano

Duration: ca. 6:45

Commissioned by: Matthew Vangjel

Studio Recording(s): available on Still and Quiet Places, Matthew Vangjel, flugelhorn and trumpet

Program Note:

This piece is my attempt to find the places of stillness and quiet inside myself at times when I am feeling anything but still and quiet.

Instrumentation: picc, 2fl, 2ob, eh, 2bsn, cbsn, 4 cl, b.cl, cb.cl,  s.sax, a.sax, t.sax, b.sax, 4hns, 3tpt, 3tbns, bs tbn, 2euph, 2tuba, db, timp, 5 perc, harp, pno

Duration: ca. 24:00

Premiere: February 23, 2019 :: Dustin Barr and the California State University, Fullerton Wind Symphony :: 2019 College Band Directors National Association Conference, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

This work is currently under a consortium exclusivity agreement and will be available after April 30, 2019 at Murphy Music Press

*When programmed together all movements are played attacca, but they may be programmed separately.

Program Note:

What is Written on the Leaves was commissioned by a consortium of conductors and ensembles led by Matthew Westgate and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Dustin Barr and California State University, Fullerton, and James Batcheller and Central Michigan University. It is dedicated with gratitude to John E. Williamson, Director of Bands at Central Michigan University from 1979 until his retirement in 2018 and in whose wind ensemble I played euphonium throughout my undergraduate studies. Mr. Williamson had a profound impact on my conception of music; he both pushed my understanding of what is possible and honed my approach to nuance, detail, and expression.

The title What is Written on the Leaves comes from a poem by my friend Robert Fanning. Robert’s poem is a beautiful reflection on letting go, and, like much of his work, seemed to be the words I needed to hear at that particular moment in my life. As I meditated on Robert’s words, the metaphor of trees seemed to me to be an apt way to describe the relationship students have with their teachers: bold, green branches and leaves sprouting from deeply rooted trunks of wisdom and experience, eventually, new seeds falling to earth and becoming new trees. The next generation of musicians may not have the chance to experience Jack Williamson’s extraordinary perspicuity on the podium, but his words and his passion will continue through the work of his students, in the same way each autumn the ephemeral leaves fall from their branches and eventually become the soil that nourishes the tree itself.

The first movement is entitled I no longer recognize my hands, which is a line from Robert’s poem. For me, John Williamson’s wind ensemble was home. I have been listening to the Central Michigan University Symphonic Wind Ensemble since the beginning of my formal music education. But you have to leave home in order to know it. Graduating from Central Michigan University and heading out into the world was when I truly began to appreciate and understand the music we had all made together. It is also when I began to understand myself and the music I eventually wanted to write. It is a strange but important feeling to realize that you have changed but to also realize that change is an important part of the process of finding yourself.

The second movement stems from a vivid dream my father had and recounted for me and the title, Coming Home, came from an article written by composer Steven Stucky. Steven’s words speak to how everyone—even the most original and innovative artists—come from somewhere. It is a beautiful reflection on how to find your own way while acknowledging the people and the places from which you come, and it has stuck with me for a long time. In many ways, this piece, this metaphor, is a way to say thank you to all of my mentors and teachers.

The last movement, And the trees clap for winter, was inspired by a conversation I had with my son, Izaak, when he was three years old. For the first time, he had noticed the leaves changing colors and falling off the trees, and, in his innocent and somewhat concerned voice, he asked me what was happening. I told him about the change of the seasons and mustered an explanation for how this cycle is all a very natural and important part of life. Izaak paused for a moment and described the movement of the trees as the “trees clapping for winter.” This final movement is a dance, at times dark and earthy and at other times ecstatic and radiant. Ultimately, it is a celebration of the past and those who have set a path before us as well as the future and the change that will come.

Commissioned by a consortium led by: 

Matthew Westgate and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Dustin Barr and California State University, Fullerton, and James Batcheller and Central Michigan University

and

Eastman School of Music – Mark Scatterday
Nazareth College – Jared Chase
SUNY Potsdam, Crane School of Music – Brian Doyle
University of Delaware – Lauren Reynolds
University of North Carolina at Greensboro – John Locke & Kevin Geraldi
Western Michigan University – Scott Boerma
Brooklyn Wind Symphony – Jeff W. Ball
University of Oklahoma – Shanti Simon
Southern Illinois University – Chris Morehouse
Texas Tech University – Eric Allen
Virginia Tech – Jonathan Caldwell
Azusa Pacific University – John Burdett
Bowling Green State University – Michael Thomas King
University of Arkansas – Chris Knighten
University of Nevada, Reno – Reed Chamberlin
West Virginia University – Scott Tobias & Stephen Lytle
University of Connecticut – Vu Nguyen

[Performance above: Tim Conner, trombone; University of Miami Frost Wind Ensemble; Robert Carnochan, conductor]

Instrumentation: solo tenor trombone with wind ensemble (also with orchestra or piano reduction)

Duration: ca. 20:00

Orchestra Premiere: November 15, 2018 :: Ava Ordman and the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Timothy Muffitt, conductor :: Wharton Center, East Lansing, MI

Wind Ensemble Premiere:  March 22, 2018 :: Ava Ordman and the Michigan State University Wind Symphony, Kevin Sedatole, conductor :: Wharton Center, East Lansing, MI 

Program Note:

I often wonder what it’s like to see the world through the eyes of my children. I have two sons, Declan and Izaak, and, at the time of writing this piece, they were ages two and four, respectively. The title, Their Eyes Are Fireflies, is a metaphor for the magic and joy they bring to my life. The light in their eyes—both the way in which they take in the world with wonder and amazement as well as the way they add light to the world with their innocence and joy—has shaped and changed my perspective in profound ways.

For Declan, at age two, there are so many beginnings, so many firsts, so many discoveries, and so many adventures. The first movement begins with an extended trombone cadenza in time, building from the foundations of the instrument into increasingly accelerating, ascending, and ecstatic waves and surrounded by distant echoes and a halo of dimly twinkling lights. These waves finally burst, revealing a distorted image of the beginning—cascading waves of sound that finally come crashing down like an overgrown tower of toy blocks.

The second movement, This song makes my heart not hurt, is for Izaak. One day he said this exact phrase, and its simplicity and directness stopped me in my tracks. For me, this very unadult-like turn of phrase contained something special—both a recognition and admission of pain but also a turning toward healing. This music is my humble meditation on Izaak’s words.

The third movement is entitled Izaak’s Control Panels. Izaak loves to draw and paint. One of Izaak’s favorite subjects has been ever more fantastical control panels. We have piles of these controls panels in our house, carefully created using pencils, pens, markers, and paint on sheets of paper of varying sizes and colors. These control panels are connected to airplanes, race cars, boats, helicopters, and even strange, imaginary machines that he’s created both in his imagination as well as with Legos. What’s more, the panels often contain gadgets and gauges for unusual and awesome purposes, including to measure the level of mint chocolate ice cream (his favorite flavor), chocolate milk, pasta, as well as typical things like speed, altitude, and fuel. This music comes from looking at the world through the creative and surreal lens of a four year old—motoric, machine-like music for building imaginary worlds is disrupted by the playful smashing, destruction, and recreation of those worlds, culminating in a spectacular and bizarre place where time flows backward, objects fall up rather than down, and airplanes come with milkshake gauges.

Commissioned by Ava Ordman and a consortium of trombonists, conductors, ensembles, and sponsors led by:

Kevin Sedatole and the Michigan State University Wind Symphony
Timothy Muffit and the Lansing Symphony Orchestra

and

Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra
Mark Williams and Grand Valley State University
Jim Morrison
Timothy Higgins, San Francisco Symphony
Jeremy Wilson, Vanderbilt University
Kenneth Tompkins, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Michael Haithcock, David Jackson, and the University of Michigan Symphony Band
Nan Washburn and the Michigan Philharmonic
Robert Carnochan, Timothy Conner, and the University of Miami Wind Ensemble
Mallory Thompson and the Northwestern University Wind Ensemble
Rodney Dorsey, Henry Henniger, and the University of Oregon Wind Ensemble
Robert Lindahl, Central Michigan University
Steven Kandow, University of Saint Francis

Instrumentation: violin, viola, violoncello, piano

Duration: ca. 24:00

Premiere:  June 30, 2018 :: Garth Newel Piano Quartet :: Warm Springs, VA

View Score Excerpt

Solstice was written for and commissioned by the Garth Newel Piano Quartet. The commission was made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.

Program Note:
Solstice was written for my friends in the Garth Newel Piano Quartet and for the beautiful place they call home, the Garth Newel Music Center in Bath County in the Allegheny Mountains near Warm Springs, Virginia. The piece is divided into four movements, one for each season—Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring—and are ordered as such because I visited Garth Newel in each season beginning in August 2017. The title comes from the solstices, which, along with the equinoxes, divide the seasons. The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere(to stand still), because at the solstices, the sun’s declination “stands still”; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun’s daily path (as seen from Earth) stops at a northern or southern limit before reversing direction. For me, this idea of “standing still” captures the essence of my experiences visiting Garth Newel: it is in this place—among the mountains and among friends, great music, and incredible food—that I have often found stillness, quiet, peace, and happiness—a respite from the everyday.

Summer begins with an homage to the most incredible cicadas and crickets I’ve ever heard. A series of warm chords and sweeping melodies introduces much of the musical material for the entire piece. For me, like summer, this music is bright, warm, and full of possibility and excitement.  

Autumn is twilight, an ending. It’s the end of the summer, the end of the year, the end of warm, sunny days, and the harbinger of winter. This season is my favorite, but it is also filled with bittersweet nostalgia.

Winter is cold, icy, distant, and persistent. The melodic material in this movement is a quotation of and meditation on Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question.

Spring is bright again, beginning with rain and eventually returning to a transformed version of the fast, dancing music from Summer. I have an affinity for bluegrass and for the traditional fiddling that comes from Appalachia and the mountains surrounding Garth Newel, and this spirit, overflowing with energy and joy, also found its way into this movement.


Instrumentation: solo soprano, flute, clarinet/bass clarinet, violin, violoncello, percussion, piano

Duration: ca. 16:30

Premiere:  July 6 & 7, 2018 :: Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble with Lindsay Kesselman, soprano and Kevin Noe, conductor :: City Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA

View Score Excerpt

Program Note:

My sons, Izaak and Declan, have profoundly changed and shaped the way I see the world. I initially set out to write a collection of vignettes about them, about childhood—a way to capture the beautiful, tender, and often silly and hilarious moments of their lives, but, my plans suddenly shifted after yet another all too common incidence of violence against children. In response to this violence, I felt compelled to respond in some way—to respond to my fear of sending my sons out into this violent world. Shell and Wing emerged as a collaboration and a response to these parental impulses with my friend and fellow father, poet Robert Fanning. Robert’s response to our conversation—a poem in two stanzas—gave voice to the ambiguity, the conflict I feel as a parent—this profound longing to protect my children coupled with the knowledge that I must also let them go.

The first poem is in a parent’s voice—my voice—and the second poem is in a child’s voice—that of my sons. Musically, the first movement is a sort of fragmented lullaby interwoven with a distorted memory of Robert Schumann’s Träumerei(Dreaming/Reverie) from Kinderszenen(Scenes from Childhood). Schumann’s harmonies are pulled and stretched until they resemble only a distant echo of the original. The second movement begins with solo piano, distant and aching that transforms into a quiet, dream-like duet for the soprano and vibraphone. The child’s song grows and builds, underpinned by a chaconne—a repeated chord progression—and eventually becomes the same song heard in the first movement, the parent’s song.

Read about Robert Fanning’s experience collaborating on this piece.

SHELL AND WING

by Robert Fanning

I. SHELL                                                             

I hold you, breath beneath my skin, a nest of flesh. No world can break
you here. Shadows feather the shell. If you fly, you’ll never go far.
I dream my body border and sky, my heart an aviary. In my sleep, you wake.
I hold you. Breathe a nest beneath my skin, flesh no world can break.
Now, the season’s errant and astray; coiled rage hisses to strike. Hate leaks
into vine and branch, river and vein. So, song in me, rise. May death take no air
I hold. You, my breath beneath. My skin a nest of flesh. No world can break
you. Here, shadow. Feather, never go. I’m a shell if you fly. Fly far.                                                         

II. WING

You dream you hold me in your nest of breath. Before they lifted me
from mingled blood, I rose, a song within your feathered sleep
for centuries. Your veined branches mapped my lidded eyes. A tree
you dream you hold. In your nest of breaths before me. They lifted me
from you to veil the sky. I flew through your death in learning to fly.
No world bears us. Though we slip our nets of wing and flesh, may love keep
you, this dream you hold in your nest of breath, before they lift me
from mingled blood. I wrote your song within. My feathered sleep.

 

© Copyright 2018 by Robert Fanning
International copyright secured. All rights reserved.


Instrumentation: Band (grade 3)

Piccolo, 2 Flutes, Oboe (div.), 3 Bb Clarinets, Bb Bass Clarinet, Bassoon (div.), 2 Eb Alto Saxophones, Bb Tenor Saxophone, Eb Baritone Saxophone, 3 Bb Trumpets, 2 F Horns, 3 Trombones, Euphonium (div.), Tuba (div.), Timpani, 6 Percussion

Winner of the 2019 Sousa/Ostwald Prize from the American Bandmasters Association

Duration: ca. 6:30

Premiere: December 21, 2017 :: Riverwatch Middle School Band :: Matthew Koperniak, conductor :: Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic :: Chicago, IL

View Score

Purchase: Murphy Music Press

Program Note:

Unquiet Hours was commissioned by the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.

This piece is about the unquiet hours—the times when sadness, doubt, anxiety, loneliness, and frustration overwhelm and become a deluge of unceasing noise. When the distant din of the past and the steadily approaching uncertainty of the future grow closer and become louder than the present moment. When the world swirls and churns like a hurricane of discord and anger. And this piece is about finding peace inside this noise—it is about listening, it is about being still, and it is about empathy.

Musically, there is one central idea in this piece: an idée fixe around which everything centers. This idea is repeated and varied—even meditated upon—slowly changing color and shape, becoming increasingly tumultuous until eventually returning to the quiet stillness of the opening.

The title comes from the opening line of George William Russell’s poem The Hour of Twilight.

Instrumentation: percussion quartet

Duration: ca. 6:30

Premiere: November 9, 2017 :: Michigan State University Percussion Ensemble :: Percussive Arts Society International Convention :: Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, IN

View Score

Program Note:

This piece comes from two kinds of music that I love: heavy metal and Indian Carnatic music. I spent a summer in Mysore, India studying Carnatic music—specifically, the mridangam, a hand drum which serves as the primary rhythmic instrument in the Carnatic music ensemble. My favorite metal band is Meshuggah, a Swedish group known for its use of incredibly intricate and virtuosically executed rhythmic material. For me, although vastly different in many ways, Meshuggah and Carnatic music are deeply connected in their use of complex rhythmic cycles. The title for this work, Ferrum, is the latin word for iron—a heavy metal—and also references the ferric oxide (rust) tuning paste used on the drum heads of the mridingam, which gives the instrument its distinct metallic timbre.


Instrumentation: Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, English Horn, 2 Bassoons, Contrabassoon, E♭ Clarinet, 4 B♭ Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, B♭ Contrabass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, 4 Trumpets, 4 Horns, 3 Tenor Trombones, Bass Trombone, Euphonium (div.), Tuba (div.), Double Bass, Timpani, 6 Percussion, Harp, Piano

Duration: 10:00

Premiere: 7:00pm, Thursday, March 16, 2017 :: Michigan State University Wind Symphony, Kevin Sedatole, conductor  :: 2017 College Band Directors Association National Conference :: Kauffman Center, Kansas City, MO

Purchasing: Murphy Music Press

Program Note:

Cyclotron was commissioned by Kevin Sedatole and the Michigan State University Wind Symphony. A cyclotron is a type of particle accelerator in which charged particles accelerate outwards from the center along a spiral path, using a static magnetic field and accelerated by a rapidly varying (radio frequency) electric field. Cyclotrons serve many purposes, including to create high-energy beams for nuclear physics experiments and in particle therapy to treat cancer. Nuclear physics research began at Michigan State University in 1958, and the National Superconducting Laboratory (NSCL) is one of the world’s flagship nuclear science research facilities. Hundreds of researchers come to MSU each year to take advantage of the NSCL facilities and explore the inner workings of atoms and their role in the universe.

In this piece I use the cyclotron as a launching point for my creative process. I imagined a fictional and playful sonification of the cyclotron and of what happens to particles when they are smashed together at nearly half the speed of light. These violent nuclear collisions tend to cause strange things to happen, and, among other things, at MSU’s cyclotron, the experimental observations of these collisions have led to the discovery of completely new types of nuclei (isotopes). In fact, the infinitesimally small particles that make up atoms generally behave in bizarre—though not totally unexpected—ways (thanks to quantum physics) when compared to our understanding of the visible world. Among many peculiar subatomic phenomena, light particles called photons can behave both like particles and waves and particles can simultaneously be in two different places at once!

The music develops out of a small collection of motifs and gestures, which are layered and transformed over time to try to portray things like time dilation (accelerated particles experience slower time) through acceleration/deceleration and expansion/contraction, particle versus wave-like motion, cyclical and spiraling motion, the Doppler effect to convey speed and direction, and mechanical, machine-like sounds. It is my hope that, in some small way, this music captures the strange and mysterious beauty of the sub-atomic world and that it honors the work and research of the scientists at MSU and their extraordinary machine.

Additional information on Nuclear Physics at MSU:

Nuclear physics research began at Michigan State University in 1958, and, through a National Science Foundation grant, the first cyclotron at Michigan State University became operational in 1965. In 1981, after years of research and development, scientists at MSU used superconducting technology to create a more powerful and smaller particle accelerator: the superconducting cyclotron. The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory is also the source of innovations that improve lives. A medical cyclotron built by the laboratory in the 1980s was used to treat cancer patients at Harper University Hospital in Detroit for more than 15 years. More recently, NSCL technology and design were used in a new, higher-powered medical cyclotron built by Varian Medical Systems. This technology will bring more advanced nuclear therapy to cancer patients in several countries. For more information, visit: nscl.msu.edu.

Nuclear science research continues to expand at MSU with the creation of a new Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), including a new linear particle accelerator which will be operational in 2022. Funded with support from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, MSU, and the State of Michigan, FRIB will provide intense beams of rare isotopes (that is, short-lived nuclei not normally found on Earth), which will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications for society. As the next-generation accelerator for conducting rare isotope experiments, FRIB will allow scientists to advance their search for answers to fundamental questions about nuclear structure, the origin of the elements in the cosmos, and the forces that shaped the universe. For more information, visit: frib.msu.edu.