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 collaborations with active composers and projects in the New Mexico arts community, we hope to challenge and expand our audiences’ conception of classical music.
Dalton Harris is a Germany and New Mexico based trombonist that is comfortable performing on modern and historical instruments. Dalton regularly performs with the Weser Renaissance Consort (Bremen, Germany) and freelances for a variety of modern and historical ensembles throughout Germany when he is not in New Mexico performing with the New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble. He is interested by the parallels between the music of modern composers and composers of the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Dalton is a graduate of the University of New Mexico where he completed his masters degree in Trombone Performance where he studied with Dr. Karl Hinterbichler, and he is currently working towards a masters in historical performance practice in Bremen with renowned trombonist Wim Becu.
Clara Byom is an Albuquerque-based multi-instrumentalist (clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, and accordion), musicologist, and educator. She performs contemporary classical music and a variety of folk dance music, including Jewish klezmer, contra, English Country, Balkan, Scottish, and Irish. Clara is a founding member of Di Kavene Kapelye, Edith Boulevard, Rusty Tap, The Parson Sisters, Two Odd Butterflies, drip project, and co-founder/co-director of New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble. Additionally, she performs regularly with Dust City Opera and serves on the board of the New Mexico Folk Music and Dance Society.
A graduate of the University of New Mexico (Master of Music in Clarinet Performance and Musicology), Clara has researched mid-century American klezmer music for her master’s thesis entitled “Mixing in Too Much Jewish: American Klezmorim in New York City from 1950-1970.” She was a guest lecturer at KlezmerQuerque 2017, as well as College of Charleston (Spring 2017) and Eastern New Mexico University (Spring 2018), and has presented at conferences for the International Clarinet Association (Summer 2018), 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 2015 National Heritage Fellow Michael Alpert, a leading figure in the klezmer revitalization. In 2012, Clara received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in Decorah, IA.