Western music professor Mario Gaetano wins N.C. composition contest

CULLOWHEE – Mario Gaetano, professor of music at Western Carolina University, recently won first place in the 2003 composition contest sponsored by the North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs.

Gaetano’s composition “Three Inventions for Flute and Percussion” was voted best chamber composition and was awarded the Hinda Honigman Composer Cup at a recent awards luncheon in Winston-Salem. There are 18 music clubs within the North Carolina federation, and thousands of clubs nationwide.

Gaetano teaches applied percussion and directs Western’s percussion ensembles. A prolific composer of music involving percussion instruments, Gaetano has more than 30 published works to his credit, and is recipient of four awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers.

His works, which range in difficulty from student-level teaching pieces to professional-level recital pieces, have been performed and recorded worldwide, said Robert Kehrberg, head of the WCU music department.