John Dorhauer (b. 1985) is a composer who embraces and enjoys a wide variety of styles, and this diversity is reflected in his compositions. His music has been brought to life by concert, jazz, and rock bands alike, which is indicative of his flexibility and curiosity as a writer. Furthermore, Dorhauer’s affinity for musical eclecticism has allowed his writing to blur boundaries of conventional genre, creating something fresh and unique.
Dorhauer is highly active as the creator and director for Heisenberg Uncertainty Players, a composers’ jazz big band that performs many of his original works. The band self-released its debut CD (Emergency Postcards) in March of 2013, and the album features six of Dorhauer’s original compositions for the ensemble. Other recent activity includes participation in the 2013 Fresh Inc. Festival, for which he composed a piece that was premiered by Latitude 49. Dorhauer also completed commissions by Riverside-Brookfield High School for their concert band and Shout Section Big Band for their CD, Cruisin’. Dorhauer also arranged JD McPherson’s album, Signs and Signifiers, into a musical commissioned by RBHS.
Honors for Dorhauer’s writing include first prize in Young Composer Competitions from Fifth House Ensemble and Orion Ensemble as well as consecutive years for Chicago College of Performing Arts’ Wind Ensemble Composition Contest. Dorhauer has also received three ASCAP Plus Awards and commissions from Elmhurst College Percussion Ensemble, numerous individual solicitors, and several other commissions from Shout Section Big Band. His compositions have received performances from Fifth House Ensemble, Orion Ensemble, eighth blackbird’s Timothy Munro, International Contemporary Ensemble, The New Collaborative, Latitude 49, Missouri State University Wind Ensemble, CCPA Wind Ensemble, Elmhurst College Jazz Band, Elmhurst College Wind Ensemble, Elmhurst College Percussion Ensemble, and several of Dorhauer’s own ensembles.
Dorhauer received his Master’s of Music in Composition from Chicago College of Performing Arts, where he studied with Dr. Stacy Garrop and Dr. Kyong Mee Choi. He also completed his Bachelor’s of Music from Elmhurst College, where he graduated summa cum laude and received a double major in Music Education and Music Theory/Composition. His composition instructors from Elmhurst include Dr. Mark Harbold, Dr. Kevin Olson, and Ken Haebich.
Aside from composition activities, Dorhauer maintains a vigorous schedule as both an educator and a performer. He currently teaches as adjunct faculty at Elmhurst College and Chicago College of Performing Arts, instructing courses in Music Theory, Form & Analysis, and private composition lessons. He also teaches private trumpet and music theory lessons to middle school and high school students. As a performer, Dorhauer plays trumpet in several area bands ranging in styles from jazz to rock to Spaghetti Western film scores. His music has been featured on MTV, WGN, WXRT, WDCB, WFMT, and Radio Phoenix. He has performed and had compositions performed at The Jazz Showcase, Logan Center for the Arts, Martyrs’, and Fitzgerald’s Night Club, and he has performed throughout Europe as a member of the Elmhurst College Jazz Band. Dorhauer is also an avid blogger, as he has written several analytical essays on topics as wide-ranging as Mahler, John Zorn, and Gorillaz for his website.
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