Trombonist, vocalist, and composer Stanley Schumacher is director of the Music Now Ensemble and founder and president of Musikmacher Productions. The Music Now Ensemble is his primary vehicle for performing and recording improvised music. He founded this collective of improvisers in 2003 to present performances in both acoustical and electroacoustical formats and to promote the diversity and spontaneity of contemporary art music. The ensemble has recorded on the Musikmacher Productions label.
A multi-faceted musical background informs Mr. Schumacher’s improvisation. He has performed with contemporary art music ensembles, Dixieland jazz bands, concert bands, swing bands, orchestras, and blues and rock bands. His resume in improvised music includes performances at the Red Room (Baltimore, MD), High Zero Festival (Baltimore, MD), ArtScape (Baltimore, MD), AIRSpace Gallery and UCAL (Philadelphia, PA, Bowerbird Productions), Trenton Avant Garde Festival (Trenton, NJ), Galapagos (Brooklyn, NY), Downtown Music Gallery (New York, NY), and Connexions Gallery (Easton, PA) among others. Some of his collaborators in improvised music are Ricardo Arias, Gary Hassay, Rosi Hertlein, David Hofstra, Lukas Ligeti, Evan Lipson, Toshi Makihara, Christian Marien, Sabir Mateen, Matthias Müller, Hans Tammen, and Nate Wooley.
Mr. Schumacher founded Musikmacher Productions in 2005 to produce recordings of improvised and composed contemporary art music for small ensembles. Musikmacher Productions released its first CD in 2006. All releases from Musikmacher Productions are available from CDBaby
Mr. Schumacher also composes contemporary art music. God, Freud, students’ evaluations of their professors, the artwork of Robert Ryman, text from Herman Hesse, a “not so hip” jazz trio, whining narrators, indecipherable text, and unusual combinations of instruments are just a few of the elements in his unique compositions. Consisting primarily of theater pieces and works for small ensembles, most of Mr. Schumacher’s compositions combine pre-planned, aleatory, and improvised elements. Several of them employ narrative texts which often exhibit a humorous theatrical element, and some use graphic notation or a combination of traditional and graphic notation.
Some of the varied venues in which these interesting, creative pieces have been performed are 55 Mercer Gallery (New York, NY), Music Now Series (Columbus, OH), Galapagos (Brooklyn, NY), Trenton Avant Garde Festival (Trenton, NJ), County College of Morris, Pikeville College, Lafayette College, and Ryder College. The RASA Ensemble recorded The Lecture and Order (version for narrator and 3 trumpets). Mr. Schumacher’s music has been featured on New Arts Alive, a television series documenting contemporary artists which is produced by the New Arts Program, Kutztown, Pennsylvania. Symmetries is available from Media Press, Chicago, Illinois. The Lecture is in the American Music Center Collection at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and the scores of his other compositions may be acquired from the New Music USA Online Library or directly from the composer.
Stanley Schumacher holds a Ph.D. in Music Theory from Ohio State University. In addition, he has studied composition with Herbert Brun and Joel Thome and trombone with Dee Stewart and David Baker. He belongs to the American Composers Forum, International Trombone Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and American Federation of Musicians. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Mr. Schumacher currently lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
At any given time, Stanley Schumacher may be heard playing unorthodox music in unorthodox places throughout the Mid-Atlantic States.