Neal Endicott is a composer, theorist, saxophonist, and educator based out of the Lansing, Michigan area. Neal’s music, which ranges from solo piano works to large-scale symphonic wind and orchestra compositions, is informed by his background in jazz, his modernist harmonic vocabulary, and a zeal for rhythmic and metric complexity largely inspired by his interest in Eastern European folk music.
Recent works include Color and Clangor, commissioned by the Michigan State University Concert Orchestra; Amaro, commisioned by Fifth House Ensemble for the Pure Winds Quintet; and Digress, which was premiered by the Lemberg Sinfonia of Lviv, Ukraine as a finalist (and special mention recipiant) at the 2016 KLK New Music Orient-Occident New Music Festival.
Other notable performances of Neal’s work include the premiere of his string quartet Against the Dying of the Light by the Susan Mayo String Quartet at the 2016 Region VI Conference of the SCI in Wichita, Kansas; Lux Liquida, a work commissioned and premiered by the Traverse City East Middle School Symphony Band; the premiere of Come Slowly, Eden by clarinetist Javier Perez-Garrido as part of the Vox Novus Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame concert series in Alicante, Spain; and numerous performances by groups at Western Michigan University. Neal’s music has also been featured on reading sessions with the WMU Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, MSU Wind Symphony, Ensemble Dal Niente, and the Mivos Quartet.
Recent News and Upcoming Events
March 24, 2019, Lviv Philharmonic Society
Nothing Left but Bones and Benedictine
to be premiered by the musicians of KLK New Music as part of the 2019 Orient/Occident New Music Festival.
March 22, 2019, Wharton Center,
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Orchestra
to be premiered by the MSU Symphony Orchestra with soloist Evan Harris, as winner of the
2018 MSU Honors Competition in Composition.
Against the Dying of the Light
Second Place, Student Division;
American Prize in Chamber Music Composition
April 18, 2018, Fairchild Theater,
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Color and Clangor to be premiered by
the MSU Concert Orchestra.
Color and Clangor was commissioned by the ensemble as a winner of the 2017 Jere Hutcheson Large Ensemble Composition Competition
Neal is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Composition at Michigan State University where he studies with Dr. Alexis Bacon and Dr. David Biedenbender. He holds a Master’s of Music degree in Composition from Western Michigan University where he studied under Dr. Richard Adams and served as President of the Western Student Composers Alliance. Neal has also participated in master classes and taken private lessons with Richard Danelpour, John Mackey, Dana Wilson, Dr. James Mobberly, Kathryn Salfelder, Trent Kynaston, and Dr. Scott Boerma. In addition to his degree in composition, Neal holds a Master’s of Business Administration and a Bachelor’s of Music in Saxophone Performance from Western Michigan University.
As a saxophonist, Neal studied with Trent Kynaston, Dr. Andrew Rathbun, and Laurie Sears, as well as participating in numerous master classes with, among others, Johannes Ernst and Otis Murphy. While at WMU he helmed the saxophone section of the WMU Symphonic Band for three years, as well as performing in the University Jazz Orchestra, Gold Company, the Jazz Lab Band, the University Concert Band, several iterations of the University Saxophone Quartet, and WMU’s new music ensemble, Birds on a Wire. With WMU jazz ensembles, Neal has performed with Grammy Award-winning singer Kurt Elling, legendary Cuban clarinetist/saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera, saxophonist and composer Bob Mintzer, multi-instrumentalist and composer Mike Crotty, and trumpeter Michael Phillip Mossman.
Neal has performed in pit orchestras throughout Michigan, as well as with jazz, funk, and rock groups all around the state. While still in high school, Neal won the Encore Wind Symphony’s annual Harry Goldson Young Artist Competition and gave three performances of Alexander Glazunov’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone with the group. In 2013, Neal performed the premiere of Dr. Christopher Biggs’ work Fractures of Echoes with Birds on a Wire. Later in 2013, Neal performed in a recital by composer and sound-artist Betsy Biggs, that included her work Lost and Found. In 2014, Neal performed the saxophone solo in Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances at a well-received concert by the Kalamazoo Philharmonia.
Neal's playing can be heard on numerous recordings from Western Michigan University, as well as the album “Shadowcatcher" with the Western Michigan University Symphonic Band. The album features Eric Ewazen's Shadowcatcher and the first recording of Kathryn Salfelder's Stylus Phantasticus.