2023 Teaching Artist Assistant
The music of Ella Kaale (b. 2003) is perpetually chasing cathartic release, characterized by collagism, abstraction, and polarity. Sonically, she explores non-conventional techniques of acoustic instruments and dramatic spectrums of volume, pacing, and timbre.
In the spring of 2023, Kaale’s sophomore orchestral work “seawall blvd” was programmed and premiered by the USC Thornton Symphony on their annual New Music for Orchestra concert, conducted by Donald Crockett at USC’s Bovard Auditorium. As a 2021 Composer Apprentice for Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, her “Eyes Like the Morning Star” was conducted by Julie Desbordes in the Performing Arts Center of Purchase College. She is an alumna of Composing in the Wilderness—Denali National Park, New Music on the Point, the New York Youth Symphony Composition Program (studying with Kyle Blaha and Jake Landau), Dolce Suono Ensemble’s ComposerLab: Young American Composers, MATA Jr. Festival (studying with Anna-Louise Walton), and the Curtis Institute of Music Young Artist Summer Program, (studying with David Serkin Ludwig, Wang Jie, et al.) as well as a two-time alumna of the American Festival for the Arts (AFA) Summer Music Festival Composers Institute, where she twice participated in the Houston Ballet Academy Composer-Choreographer Collaboration (studying with Aaron Alon, Brian Herrington, George Heathco, and Richard Ford). Kaale returned to AFA in the summer of 2022 as an Alumni Intern (and emergency auxiliary percussionist), a continuation of her passion for arts non-profit organizations that began with her role as a Development Intern with Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra.
Her music has been performed by the USC Thornton Symphony, TAK Ensemble, CORVUS, Hub New Music, Pacific Chamber Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, Dolce Suono Ensemble, the New York Youth Symphony Jazz Ensemble, the Bergamot Quartet, Schroeder Umansky Duo, harpist Bridget Kibbey, and flautist Mimi Stillman. Kaale’s honors include a Semi-Finalist for the American Composers Orchestra EarShot Readings with River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, a YoungArts merit Award, a Luna Composition Lab Honorable Mention, the Texas Music Scholar Award, the AFA Composition Faculty Excellence Award, the Parent-Teacher Association Reflections Fine Arts Competition National Award of Excellence and State Advance, and an Honorable Mention for the NextNotes High School Music Creator Award.
Kaale is currently pursuing her B.M. in Composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and a minor in Art History in the Dornsife School of Letters, Arts and Sciences. An active participant in the USC music community and a Thornton Student Ambassador Leader, Kaale has been a member of the Thornton Student Council, the USC Oriana and Suara Choirs, the Student Symphony Orchestra, and the Thornton Women and Gender Diverse Composers Network. In 2023, she received the honor of Most Valuable Player for the Composition Department. Her pedagogues include Alex Berko, Christopher Trapani, Ted Hearne, and currently, Andrew Norman. She is a Co-Founder and the President of Thornton Composers Ensemble (TCE), a registered student organization at USC dedicated to increasing the volume of new music of all genres on and off campus.