KEARNEY — Aaron Hynds is more than the audio guy for University of Nebraska at Kearney theatrical productions and concerts.

He’s also a talented musician and composer.

Hynds, a sound production coordinator in the department of music, theater and dance, is the featured performer for this year’s UNK New Music Festival, scheduled for Friday and Saturday in the Fine Arts Recital Hall on campus.

“I’m very excited to have Aaron on the festival,” said Anthony Donofrio, an assistant professor of composition and theory and organizer of the UNK event. “He is a tireless promoter of contemporary music for tuba, as well as a scholar in contemporary performance techniques.”

Hynds will perform new music for the tuba, bass trombone and electronics during a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday that also includes the world premiere of a piece composed by UNK junior Reiley Hillman, a music major and sound recording technology minor from Grand Island. Hillman’s piece is titled “Unfamiliar Ceilings.”

“Reiley has been studying composition with me for two years, and ‘Unfamiliar Ceilings’ is her most experimental and detailed piece thus far. Her craft and artistic imagination have greatly improved over the course of the school year,” Donofrio said. “We’ve been working on this piece for quite a while, and I’m excited to finally hear it come to life.”

Hynds, an audio engineer who supervises UNK’s sound recording technology minor, focuses on “exploring the numerous connections between the analog and digital realms” as a musician, so his work often includes electronic components. He’s been a featured performer on the tuba since 2007, appearing at Omaha Under the Radar, the International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany, Null Point music series in Buffalo, New York, Constellation in Chicago and New Music Gatherings in Baltimore and Bowling Green, Ohio.

Hynds earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Northern Iowa and University of Wisconsin-Madison, respectively, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in contemporary music through Bowling Green State University.

UNK’s New Music Festival, an annual celebration of contemporary and experimental music, includes four concerts over two days featuring 29 composers, 18 UNK student, faculty and staff performers and five guest performers. All concerts are free and open to the public and will be livestreamed at

Other concert times are 7:30 p.m. Friday, and 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday, all in UNK’s Fine Arts Recital Hall. A “Composer Conversations” event is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday in the Fine Arts Building Room 219.

In addition to Hynds, the New Music Festival will showcase the UNK Brass Quintet (1 p.m. Saturday) and UNK New Music Ensemble (4 p.m. Saturday), as well as a piece composed by Donofrio titled “Interfere” (7:30 p.m. Friday).

Guest performers are Erin Cameron, clarinet and bass clarinet; Christopher DeLouis, alto saxophone; West Fox, percussion; Thomas Dempster, bassoon; and Isaac Pyatt, percussion.

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