Michael Ching will compare and study the music of two great songwriters, Jimmy Webb and Elton John, during April 25's humanities project performance at Coffeyville Community College. Ching will take the stage at 10:30 a.m. in the Spencer/Rounds Peformaning Arts Theatre. Admission is free and the public is invited.
Ching is an American composer, conductor, and music administrator. A prolific and eclectic composer, best known nationally as the composer of innovative operas, including his a cappella adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (2011). His other major operas include Buoso's Ghost (1996), Corps of Discovery (2003), Slaying the Dragon (2012), Speed Dating Tonight! (2013), and Alice Ryley (2015).
Ching started playing piano at the age of six and was quite skilled at it, and at one point considered a career as a concert pianist. In addition, he studied flute, violin, and oboe, mostly for the sake of composition. He started composing as a child, and by the time he reached high school, he had studied composition at Interlochen and also had private composition instruction. He attended Duke University on a composition scholarship, studying with Robert Ward and Iain Hamilton. He graduated in 1980, and his senior project was a one-act opera retelling a vampire story set in New Orleans, which received a small performance at Duke.
In addition to being a freelance composer and conductor, he is currently the Music Director of Nickel City Opera in the Buffalo, New York area, and Chairman of the Douglas Moore Fund for American Opera, which supports emerging opera creators.
For more information about the humanities project, please call 620-251-7700, ext. 2166.