Troy Gifford - composer

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Tell us a little about yourself.

I am an Orlando based composer and educator.  I teach at Valencia College and my primary instrument is the guitar.


What’s your role with this music/performance?  Please elaborate on your piece and writing for OCCO.

The piece that I am honored to have premiered by the OCCO is called Chupacabra.  It is a tone poem based on the mythical creature of Latin folklore.  It consists of three sections that are connected without pause.  The first section is called Conjuro-La Tormenta, which is the conjuring up of the storm before the appearance of the Chupacabra.  The second section is Ritual, which is a ritual dance as the monster makes its appearance.  The third section is Salsa Diabolica, which is a nightmarish version of a salsa.


What attracted you to music, especially orchestral music?

Music has something I have been very passionate about since I was a young teenager, but I didn't really start to explore orchestral music in depth until my college years.  There is so much incredible music out there to find.


What were your musical influences growing up?

My earliest influences were rock and pop music, and I was very interested in guitar music specifically.


Any other influences we might want to know about?

There are so many types of music I enjoy, including rock, classical, Latin music, jazz, etc.  I think all of these come together in various degrees to make my music sound the way it does.


How long have you lived locally?

I've lived in the central Florida area for over 15 years.


What do you like about being here?

The weather, not being too far from the beach, the local arts scene, the multicultural nature of the area, the students and colleagues I get to work with, and I've come to really enjoy going to the parks too.