Current Project

A set of pieces for piano duet, to be premiered by the composer and Illinois Wesleyan University pianist Nancy Pounds.


On January 11, the Altered Sound Duo will premiere Shades of Play for soprano saxophone and percussion during the Navy Band Symposium at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. The duo will take the piece on their March tour of the southeast US.

Vayo will perform improvisations with shakuhachi virtuoso Shawn Head during Head’s concert at Illinois Wesleyan University on Feb. 8, 2019.

Tenor Justin Vickers and pianist R. Kent Cook will premiere That Old-Time Nutrition, a humorous setting of advertising copy from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, on February 26 at Illinois Wesleyan University.

On March 30 at the University of New Mexico, the national conference of the Society of Composers will include a performance of Vayo’s Chambers for viola, percussion, electronic keyboard, conductor and audience.

“Quiet Poem” from Sandpails, a setting of the poetry of James McGowan, is programmed in the 2018-19 season of the ensemble AcquaTroupe, in collaboration with World Oceans Arts, a consortium that presents arts events throughout North America.

The premiere of Songs of Ourselves for two trombonists, two percussionists, pianist and baritone, Vayo’s first collaboration with Ohio Poet Laureate Amit Majmudar, will take place on October 27 at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. The work was composed for baritone James Martin, who will sing the premiere.

Recent News

Vayo’s website was chosen for inclusion in the Library of Congress Commissioned Composers Web Archive, a research collection. (Vayo’s Signals was commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundations in the Library of Congress.)

Vayo received an Honourable Mention in the 2018 composition competition of the Alvarez Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble based in London, England. The award was given for Vayo’s Sandpails, which sets poetry by James McGowan.

Soprano Kate Tombaugh sang “The Place I Love,” an aria from Fertile Ground, during her October 18 performance at the University of Southern Indiana, in Evansville.

Soprano Lisa Neher performed Tell Me What You Think Of Me: A Monodrama in Twenty-Six Letters, a humorous piece for singing actor, in two concerts presented by the Iowa Composers Forum: on October 6 at Cedar Rock House in Quasqueton, and on October 7 at Montauk Historic Site in Clermont.

During the late spring of 2018, Vayo was in residence for two weeks at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences in Rabun Gap, Georgia, as the Echols Distinguished Fellow in Music.

Wings was performed by cellist Craig Hultgren and pianist Lawrence Axelrod during their guest program at Illinois Wesleyan on March 22. Their Midwest tour also included performances of Wings at St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana; Butler University, Indianapolis; and the Porter House Museum in Decorah, Iowa.