Caleb Vaughn-Jones, a classical cellist and composer will serve as the inaugural Composer in Residence at Key to Change. Vaughn-Jones will compose original works for both violin and viola for string students of all musical levels that they will perform in virtual recital in the spring of 2021. Based in Los Angeles, Vaughn-Jones will work virtually with Key to Change string students in a master class setting, assessing their playing ability to compose repertoire specific to their playing abilities and later coaching them on the created repertoire. Select string students will perform Vaughn-Jones’ original works and be interviewed on Dr. Quinton Morris’ new show on Classical King 98.1 FM radio. Morris’ new show is scheduled to premiere in January 2021. Morris is the executive director and founder of Key to Change, which he founded in 2017.
“I’m ecstatic about Caleb joining our studio as our inaugural Composer in Residence”, states Morris. “I’m thrilled for our students, who will have an opportunity to work with not just a young, brilliant composer, but someone who looks like them and understands their story. Representation is key and it will be present in Caleb’s residency through his teaching and the music he composes.”
Vaughn-Jones’ career in performance and musical composition has taken him around the world through industries of solo and symphonic performance, film, gaming, and sound production; from the Civilization games series by Firaxis Games, to solo performances in works with Hans Zimmer, Mark Lackey, and Southern Africa’s Free State Symphony Orchestra in Bloemfontein, ZA. His solo works and compositions in the United States include touring performances with the Sphinx Virtuosi at venues around the country, including the New World Center of Miami, FL and Carnegie Hall in New York, NY.
Brenda Barnes, CEO of Classical KING 98.1 FM Radio says, “We are thrilled to welcome Caleb Vaughn-Jones as our first Composer in Residence. We are grateful to Dr. Quinton Morris, our Artist-Scholar in Residence, for selecting Caleb and giving us a chance to work with a brilliant young composer.”
Born 1985, Vaughn-Jones’ artistic and musical interests showed at an early age. He attended performances of the Charleston Symphony and the Spoleto Art Festival, hosted in Charleston, SC. At the age of 8, he began voice lessons; by age 10, began studying the cello. In grades 11 and 12, Vaughn-Jones attended the South Carolina’s Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, spending his summers at Indiana University’s Strong Academy and the Interlochen Arts Camp where he received the prestigious Emerson Scholarship. Following those studies, Vaughn-Jones attended the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University and the Lynn Conservatory of Music.
“I’m really excited to create music that, hopefully, they find exciting and refreshing to learn and perform. I remember being a student and having those few pieces that I didn’t mind practicing because I really connected with the music. I really want them to realize how powerful this art form is and their instruments are tools that can bring about a huge range of emotions,” says Vaughn-Jones. “For me, this is the single driving factor behind my pursuit of artistic excellence; we can have a lasting impact on the listener.”
In 2013, Vaughn-Jones founded Regulus Sound Productions, specializing in production and sourcing of original sounds from Africa for various companies around the world, notably for Firaxis Games, Mandharam (Bollywood), and Step Up. Regulus Sound Productions has grown into a music production company, mixing remote cello recordings for producers in music for film, television, and gaming industries.
In conversation about his time in South Africa, Vaughn-Jones comments: “living in South Africa for 9 years had an impact on me. Some of this influence is obvious, a lot of which I’m probably unaware of at this point. During my time there I had the opportunity to collaborate with people from many different backgrounds. I learned most from traditional African singing. Attending weddings and church services were essentially music masterclasses for me. There are certain ways that Xhosa men sing bass notes that impressed me. That sound can fill a room.”
“South Africans tend to be more concerned about today, not the future…I find that they are a society that values deep relationships, everything has intention. Conversations are deeper, the food is made with love, and belly laughs are common. In terms of my performances and compositions, I have found that I second guess myself less. It is easier for me to determine whether something is actually impactful or not because I am not trying to impress the “academy”, but instead impact the human soul,” Vaughn-Jones says.
The Composer in Residence is in sponsored by Classical King 98.1 FM.
To learn more about Caleb Vaughn-Jones, visit calebvaughnjones.com
For more information, please contact:
Thomas Sweeney, Creative Content Manager