Our first night was an open mic night. Then, I was the first person to give my presentation (Gulp!) but it went pretty well. Each of us was assigned to write a piece for a guest ensemble. I wrote a piece for Duo Zonda which was performed at Google Fiber Space in downtown Charlotte.
Other performers were the Red Clay Sax Quartet, the Beo String Quartet and Hypercube, all of which are dedicated to performing music. They are very generous with young composers, taking time to answer our questions and make sure they get things right.
We got to hear from other composers who won national composition contests, as well as instrumentalists, university professors, and composers making their living in other ways. Most of the performance venues were at venues in downtown Charlotte, including bars, microbreweries, and a warehouse turned into an art gallery.
Some of the people I met include New York saxophonist Erin Rogers and composition professor Kyong-Mee Choi. They were both very open and interested in listening and gave me musical feedback as well as career advice. All in all, I came home with a lot of ideas about things I could do back home (not to mention some delicious meals).