The New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble aims to bring the music of the past century’s most prolific and creative composers to the audiences of New Mexico. By commissioning and programming modern classical music of the Americas, we present an assortment of artistic landscapes that will continue to resonate within the diverse culture of the Southwest. Through a concert series in the summer months and collaborations with active composers and New Mexico’s arts community, we hope to challenge and expand our audiences’ conception of classical music.
Dalton enjoys music of all varieties and performs music from the baroque repertory to the modern avant garde. Classically trained on alto, tenor, and bass trombone as well as having studied tenor and bass sackbut in the United States, France, and Italy, he regularly performs with New Music New Mexico (University of New Mexico) and the San Juan Symphony (Durango, Colorado). Dalton is a graduate student at the University of New Mexico where he is currently completing his masters in Trombone Performance. Dalton is interested by the parallels between the music of modern composers and composers of the Renaissance and Baroque eras, while also thoroughly enjoying performing music of the Classical and Romantic periods on period and modern instruments.
Clara Byom is a multi-instrumentalist, musicologist, and educator based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Clara performs many genres of music including klezmer, contra dance, Scottish, and contemporary classical music on clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, and accordion. She is a founding member of Di Kavene Kapelye, Salsola Consort, drip project, Edith Boulevard, and co-founder/co-director of New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble. She also performs frequently with The Rebbe's Orkestra. Additionally, she serves on the board for the New Mexico Folk Music and Dance Society.
A recent graduate of the University of New Mexico (Master of Music in Clarinet Performance and Musicology), Clara has researched mid-century American klezmer music for master’s thesis entitled “Mixing in Too Much Jewish: American Klezmorim in New York City from 1950-1970.” She was the guest lecturer at KlezmerQuerque 2017 and has presented at conferences for the Society for Ethnomusicology (Spring 2017) and Yiddish Summer Weimar (Summer 2016). Since the Summer of 2014, she has done archival work for the Center for Traditional Music and Dance in New York City, primarily digitizing and cataloging the field recordings of a leading figure in the klezmer revitalization and 2015 National Heritage Fellow, Michael Alpert. In 2012, Clara received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in Decorah, IA.