Door County musician Craig McClelland’s band Skümbáàg performed original compositions at the March 27 opening concert as “Ensemble in Residence” at the University of New Mexico John Donald Robb International Composers Symposium. The band’s set included selections from McClelland’s original musical, The Lubbock Lights, played before a standing room only crowd.
“It was a bit nerve wracking,” said McClelland, “performing for a crowd like that. The audience was full of some the heaviest contemporary composers of our time, from all over the world, and we were up there doing our heavy-metal vaudeville shtick. It was surreal!”
Whether in the pit or on the stage, McClelland usually attempts to make all performances at least a little theatrical. “Music is great,” he said, “but many musicians’ shows are honestly quite boring. Yes, the music should speak for itself, but it never hurts to spice it up with a visual.”