The Blue Bash 2020

Our most magical evening of the year, The Blue Bash is ACMC’s annual gala to support our chamber music programs in Central Texas

Join fellow chamber music supporters at ACMC’s upcoming Bash, now taking place in your living room!

This year, we are thrilled to feature Austin composer-extraordinaire and ACMC faculty member Graham Reynolds. Graham will perform and speak about his incredibly diverse career in the music industry and his impact on young composers, with special emphasis on his involvement in ACMC education programs as a composition instructor.

Experience Graham’s creative process as he performs a spontaneous composition/improvisation. His unique work will be based on motives and themes from Rachmaninov’s Prelude in G-sharp Minor, performed in its original form by Artistic Director, Michelle Schumann. The event will also feature performances and discussion by ACMC alumni and active composers Diana Burgess and Noah Simon.

Please consider making a donation to support ACMC during our biggest fundraiser of the year, made all the more important at this difficult time. The first $25,000 raised will be matched 1:1 by two of our board members, to double your impact. Anyone who donates $500 or more will receive a special invitation to a party at the home of Executive Director Peter Helf with live music from Invoke. We’ll set the date when we can safely gather again.

These donor benefits have ended, but you can still support ACMC’s year-round programming through the link below!

Donate Now

Diana Burgess

Diana Burgess is a cellist, educator and composer based in Austin, TX. Diana holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Cello Performance at UT Austin and focuses primarily on writing, performing, touring and collaborating with artists in a variety of genres.

Since 2010 Diana has been a member of Austin orchestral pop band Mother Falcon, and with the group has toured throughout the United States and Canada, performed for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, and collaborated with artists including Ben Sollee, Kaki King, Amanda Palmer, Todd Reynolds, and Gina Chavez. In addition to performing, Diana contributes to the writing process in Mother Falcon, most notably in the creation of an original score for their collaboration with Glass Half Full Theater in a production of Petra and the Wolf, a Texas-based adaptation of Peter and the Wolf, which began touring the US in 2017.

Diana is the co-founder, outreach director and cello teacher for the Mother Falcon Music Lab, a unique music education program encouraging young musicians to discover their creative voice through collaborative songwriting.

As a solo artist, Diana has just completed her debut album You Run, to be released in summer 2020. Diana is the sole performer on You Run’s thirteen original songs, creating lush, haunting worlds of layered vocals, cellos, tenor guitars, and more.

Graham Reynolds

Called “the quintessential modern composer” by the London Independent, Austin-based composer-bandleader Graham Reynolds creates, performs, and records music for film, theater, dance, rock clubs and concert halls with collaborators ranging from Richard Linklater and Jack Black to DJ Spooky and Ballet Austin. Heard throughout the world in films, on TV, on stage, and on radio, from HBO to Showtime, Cannes Film Festival to the Kennedy Center, and BBC to NPR, he recently scored “Before Midnight” with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, “Bernie” featuring Jack Black, and the Hulu TV series “Up To Speed”. His score to the Robert Downey, Jr. feature “A Scanner Darkly” was named Best Soundtrack of the Decade by Cinema Retro magazine. With the jazz-based but far reaching Golden Arm Trio, Reynolds has repeatedly toured the country and released four critically acclaimed albums. As Co-Artistic Director of Golden Hornet Project, Reynolds has produced more than fifty concerts of world-premier alt-classical music by more than sixty composers, as well as countless pieces of his own. He is a company member with the internationally acclaimed Rude Mechs and resident composer with Salvage Vanguard Theater. Reynolds last released two albums simultaneously: “The Difference Engine: A Triple Concerto” and “DUKE! Three Portraits of Ellington” on Innova Records with distribution by Naxos, the world’s biggest classical label. His awards include an Independent Music Award, Lowe Music Theater Award, six Austin Critic’s Table awards, the John Bustin Award, an Amp Award, seven Austin Chronicle Best Composer wins, and a B. Iden Payne Award. His current work-in-progress is a multi-year three part commission from Ballroom Marfa titled “The Marfa Triptych”, a portrait of deep West Texas that Vogue Magazine described as “beautiful and raucous”.

Find out more at

Michelle Schumann

Hailed for her “sensitive, flexible, and tempestuous dexterity” (Fanfare Magazine), pianist Michelle Schumann has built a reputation for evocative and moving performances. Since 2006, Michelle has served as Artistic Director of the Austin Chamber Music Center, where she “is fearlessly expanding our definition of chamber music” (Austin American-Statesman). Her brand of performance includes an enthusiastic interplay with the audience and her trademark includes bringing diverse music together under a blanket of narrative events.

Schumann is artist-in-residence and professor of piano at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. She received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin and additionally holds a Performance Diploma from the Vienna Conservatory.

Noah Simon

Noah Simon is a composer, pianist, and teacher in his third year at UT Austin. As a composer, he likes meme culture, popular idioms (such as trap, synthpop, rock and roll, and country music), the theatricality of music performance, subverting concert hall etiquette, and simply making loud noises. He has studied composing with Yevgeniy Sharlat, Christopher Trapani, and Russell Podgorsek, and he studies piano with Sophia Gilmson. He loves teaching his dozen-or-so piano students, who, although mostly on the younger side, are all enthusiastic and brilliant musicians. Beach camping, grilling, singing, and playing acoustic guitar are some of his favorite pastimes. He is extremely grateful for his family, his friends, and his teachers, without whom he would not be where he is today.

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