This past summer Katie Baird purchased a BOSS RC-300 loop pedal station – the most powerful looper on the market – thanks to support from the College of Fine Arts’ Medici Circle donors.
Katie is the Presser Scholar at the @uazmusic, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in viola performance. In 2020, she assisted Dr. Molly Gebrian in compiling a database of music for viola written by composers from traditionally marginalized communities discovering many new genres of viola music, including one style that involved loop pedal, a device that records and plays back music in real time.
“My goal with this grant was to begin my loop-pedal exploration by learning the music of Jessica Meyer, a contemporary composer and loop-pedal violist who takes inspiration from diverse musical styles such as baroque, delta blues, flamenco, Appalachian fiddling, and Indian raga, to name a few.”
The financial support provided through the Medici Award was used to purchase a loop-pedal station and microphone.
Medici Mondays: Katie Baird
“These two pieces of equipment have allowed me to begin my exploration of contemporary electronic viola music, a genre with endless expressive possibilities.”
Katie recorded Meyer’s beautiful piece Hello for a national virtual concert produced by the America Viola Society (AVS) Youth Advisory Council, raising funds for the AVS Viola Bank, which loans instruments to students in need. If fact, the AVS loaned Katie her current instrument.
Katie is currently learning a second piece for viola and loop pedal, which she plans to perform at her senior recital.
“Without the generosity of Sylvia and Herb Burton, exploring this musical style would not have been possible. I am immensely grateful for their support!”
Thanks to donations made by the generous Medici Circle members, talented, artist scholars like Katie are awarded $1,000 to pursue an educational summer project beyond the classroom.