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Crane School of Music Hosts Alumni Conductor Barton McLean for Residency

Barton McLean 1958
Barton McLean ’60 improvises a work in the orchestral rehearsal room at The Crane School of Music as an undergraduate in 1958 (Photo courtesy of Barton McLean).

SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music is proud to welcome an accomplished graduate back to campus as an artist-in-residence beginning this week. Composer Barton McLean ’60 will return to his alma mater from Wednesday, Nov. 16 through Monday, Nov. 21.

McLean is set to work with the Crane Wind Ensemble and the Crane Symphonic Band during his visit, as well as leading discussions with computer music and electronic composition classes.

During his residency, the Crane Symphonic Band will present McLean’s composition, “Rondo,” during its concert on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall.

McLean’s visit will culminate with the world premiere of his work, “Legend No. 2,” in concert by the Crane Wind Ensemble, which will also perform his earlier piece, “Legend.” The concert will be held on Monday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m., also in Hosmer Hall.

Both concerts are free, and the public is invited to attend.

All three of the works that the ensembles will present were composed by McLean during the decade he spent at Crane, first as a student and later as an instructor.

“My tenure at Crane lasted 10 years, and I shall always be grateful for the fine and talented teachers who saw something in me and afforded me every chance to succeed,” McLean said.

Barton McLean will be joined during his visit by his wife, Priscilla, a composer and performer in her own right. The duo performs together as the McLean Mix, employing an unusual combination of audience interactive installations, virtuosic and evocative concerts and lecture/performances, extensive use of visual media and thematic content drawing from sources such as experimental techniques, world music and sounds of nature.

After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in music education with a concentration in composition from The Crane School of Music, McLean remained at the College to teach at the Campus School and later to lead instruction in double bass and music theory. At the same time, he completed his master’s in music theory at the Eastman School of Music, and later went on to earn his doctorate in music composition from Indiana University. McLean has held faculty positions at Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana University South Bend, the University of Texas at Austin and at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is the recipient of a number of grants and fellowships, has written extensively and has a large discography of recordings. McLean has served on the New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Advisory Board, and is a member of the Society of Composers, Inc.

Both concerts will be broadcast live on the SUNY Potsdam website at the performance times. To view the programs and see other upcoming streaming performances, visit

For more information about SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, please visit

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution.

Media contact:

Alexandra Jacobs Wilke, Office of Public Affairs,
(315) 267-2918