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Work by Crane School of Music Composer Performed by Major Orchestras in Los Angeles

June 17, 2022

Composition by Crane School of Music Faculty Member Ivette Herryman Rodriguez Performed by YOLA & LA Philharmonic 

Dr. Ivette Herryman Rodriguez, a faculty member at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, was recently invited to attend a special performance of one of her compositions, presented by the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles to open the 2022 League of the American Orchestras National Conference. Her piece, “Un Danzón a Mi Manera (A Danzón Done My Way),” was conducted by the renowned music director Gustavo Dudamel in the Walt Disney Concert Hall.  

To top it off, the Los Angeles Philharmonic asked her for the same piece to perform in two concerts at the Hollywood Bowl on July 22 and 23, also conducted by Dudamel. Her piece will open the concerts, followed by two works by Arturo Márquez, and ending with a special collaboration between the LA Phil and Latin pop music star Ricky Martin. 

“I feel so grateful and happy about these three performances. I can't believe they are happening, but I'm certainly trying to be as present as possible and to enjoy this moment that truly feels like a gift from God. I love composing and I have been able to stay active while also teaching. This moment feels like reaping the fruits of my labor, and like a gift at the same time,” said Rodriguez, who is an assistant professor of music composition and theory at The Crane School of Music. 

A native of Cuba, Rodriguez first wrote “Un Danzón a Mi Manera (A Danzón Done My Way)” in 2016 as the result of winning a composition competition during her doctoral studies at Michigan State University. 

This piece departs from the Cuban musical genre danzón, which is also a dance. The form of a danzón can be understood as an evolutionary process in itself. It starts with a slow introduction called paseo, in which the dancers are walking and relating to each other as in a conversation. The main theme is played next alternating with other themes as the danzón progresses. The final section, which was added some years after the genre had been conceived, is called mambo. This section presents a riff that is repeated in the form of an estribillo. Its tempo is slightly faster, and the rhythmic element of the music becomes the priority,” she said. 

About the composer:
A native of Cuba, Dr. Ivette Herryman Rodríguez holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music composition from the Instituto Superior de Artes (Higher Institute of Arts) in Havana, a master’s in music composition from Baylor University, and both a master’s in music theory and a doctorate in music composition from Michigan State University. She studied composition with Juan Piñera, Scott McAllister, Ricardo Lorenz and Zhou Tian. 

Ivette’s music has been described as “absolutely exquisite” and “breathtakingly beautiful.” She is the composer of a bestseller piece for women’s choir, published by Walton Music. She is the winner of a Cubadisco Special Award, a Brandon Fradd Fellowship in Music Composition given by the CINTAS Foundation and the 2019 Illinois State Music Teachers Association Composer Commissioning program, among other awards. 

Her most recent commissions include new compositions for the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Michigan State University’s Symphony Band, Illinois State Music Teachers Association 2019 Conference, Truman State University’s Wind Ensemble, percussionist Alex Smith, and the Aria Reed Trio from The Crane School of Music. 

Before joining Crane, Ivette taught music theory and composition at the Instituto Superior de Artes, the Opera of El Salvador, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Western Illinois University, where she also taught piano. To learn more, visit 

About The Crane School of Music: 

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 and was one of the first Yamaha Institutions of Excellence. For more information, please visit 

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