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McNally Smith Lends Student Talent, Improv Orchestra for Zeitgeist’s 4th Annual New Music Cabaret

McNally Smith College of Music is proud to announce a new partnership with the forward-thinking, St. Paul-based music quartet Zeitgeist—an adventurous, internationally recognized ensemble (two percussionists, woodwind, piano) that has maintained a fierce dedication to the creation of new music for the past three decades, commissioning more than 150 works and collaborating with emerging composers and some of the finest established composers of our time.

McNally Smith will sponsor and participate in Zeitgeist’s 4th Annual New Music Cabaret at Studio Z, taking place November 15-18 in Lowertown St. Paul. With three to five hours of live, local music each night, the New Music Cabaret will feature an eclectic variety of new music, spotlighting some of McNally Smith’s most original and progressive young performing artists and composers, including Improvestra—a 17 piece conducted improvising orchestra featuring local luminary improvisers, current McNally students and faculty, McNally alumni, and talented high school age improvisers from The St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists.

“Zeitgeist and their great sounding performance chamber, Studio Z, have become one of the most important groups and venues in the entire Upper Midwest for fostering progressive, new music, as well as mentoring young, talented, composers and performers,” says Christopher Cunningham, Creative Partnerships Liaison and Composition & Songwriting faculty member at McNally Smith. “It’s so exciting to me to be able to present our students in a context that will open their ears and eyes to the new musical possibilities they will encounter by being part of this series.”

“We love nothing better than sharing the Studio Z stage with some of our favorite groups from around the Twin Cities, and we look forward to great music and great times with our New Music Cabaret each fall,” adds Heather Barringer, managing director and percussionist for Zeitgeist.

Location: New Music Cabaret @ Studio Z is located at 275 East Fourth Street, Suite 200, St. Paul.
Tickets: $5 per night with a McNally Smith ID, $10 per night without and $25 for a festival pass with access to all four nights. Tickets available online at

New Music Cabaret schedule:

Nov. 15:
7 p.m. Flying Forms
8:30 p.m. Zeitgeist
10 p.m., Atlantis Quartet

Nov. 16:
7 p.m., Ensemble 61
8:30 p.m. Zeitgeist
10 p.m. Orange Mighty Trio
11 p.m. McNally Smith Showcase featuring pianist/ composer Joseph Schad

Nov. 17:
5:30 p.m. Bill Simenson Orchestra
7 p.m. Saltee
8:30 p.m. Zeitgeist
10 p.m., Gao Hong and Butterfly
11 p.m. McNally Smith Showcase featuring Improvestra

Nov. 18:
2 p.m., Duo Zeno
3:30 p.m. Zeitgeist
5 p.m. Carei Thomas’ Neighborhood Band
6 p.m. McNally Smith Solo Showcase featuring:

  • Schuyler Peterson: laptop and voice
  • Ross Charmoli: piano and spoken word
  • Kelsey Lewis: string bass and voice