From the September 2018 Desktop News | Dr. Osiris “Ozzy” Molina, the Woodwind Area Coordinator and Associate Professor of Clarinet in UA’s School of Music, was recently awarded a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts for his work on Cuban composers.
Molina is one of two recipients of the $5,000 Performing Artist Fellowship award this year. The peer-reviewed fellowship is awarded to musicians based on their work, career achievement, career potential, and service to the state of Alabama.
In a press release, the Council said, “Molina demonstrates a command of the clarinet in technique appropriate for the both the instrument and for the styles of music. His performances showcase his mastery of a wide range of complex rhythms that are executed with proper intonation and sensitivity towards phrasing.”
Molina said of the award, “It is meant to recognize artistic excellence as well as professional commitment and maturity. It is the highest individual award from the State Arts Council.”
While spending time in Cuba through the University’s Alabama-Cuba Initiative, Molina discovered several works by Cuban composers. With the funds from this fellowship, Molina plans on recording these works on the clarinet on an album currently titled “Piezas Cubanas,” or Cuban Pieces.
The project is especially important to Molina, not only because of his love of the clarinet, but because it ties directly to his life: Molina’s family is from Cuba.
“This project is special on many levels, not the least of which is my family heritage,” Molina said. “My parents and sister were born in Cuba, so the UA Cuba Initiative allowed me to become more familiar with the Cuban classical music scene, while bringing clarity to facets of my family’s culture and upbringing.”
The Alabama State Council on the Arts awards 23 total fellowships to professionals in arts administration, dance, design, media/photography, music, literature, theatre, visual arts, and crafts.