UM Students Featured in Pensacola ComposerFest Sept. 24

Greg NamanASOTA, News

MOBILE, Ala. – Three talented University of Mobile students will perform their original piano compositions at Pensacola ComposerFest XVIII.

Rebecca M. Reed, Benjamin Naman and Luke Graham will represent the university’s Alabama School of the Arts at the festival along with their professor, world-renowned pianist and composer Dr. Kadisha Onalbayeva, director of piano studies and a Steinway Artist.

ComposerFest XVIII will be held Sept. 24 at 2:30 p.m. at Pensacola State College’s Ashmore Fine Arts Auditorium in Building 8. This event is free and open to the public. 

In addition to the three UM students and Onalbayeva, the concert will feature original music by the following local and regional composers: Michael Coleman, Kevin Fails, Matthew Fossa, Troy Von Harris Jr., Israel Railing, Jerry Sieg, Joseph T. Spaniola, Pierre Thilloy and Robert Voisey. Of the 13 original compositions featured in the concert, eight will be world premieres.

Rebecca M. Reed, a first-year master’s student in piano performance at the University of Mobile, is honored to perform at ComposerFest for the second time.

“I am always excited to perform my piano work ‘Ditto’ alongside some of the Gulf Coast’s finest composers and am honored to have been asked to take part of this event again,” said Reed. “Being among the group of composers and witnessing our works performed on stage always inspires me to continue creating and learning from others.”

Benjamin Naman, a sophomore piano performance major with a secondary in composition, is also thrilled to share his work.

“At this year’s ComposerFest, I’ll be performing a piano solo I composed titled ‘Aspiritio.’ That is the Latin word for aspirations,” said Naman. “I feel incredibly honored to have the chance to share my work with other composers on the Gulf Coast, and I can’t wait to start performing.”

Luke Graham, a sophomore piano performance major with a secondary in composition, gave insight on the excitement he has felt for this concert.

“I have composed music my whole life, but I have never had the opportunity to perform any of my original works for a live audience. I will be playing my piano work ‘Treading on Clouds,’” said Graham. “I am so honored to be a part of this festival and to experience this milestone.”

To RSVP for the concert, visit and for more information, call the Lyceum Box Office at 850.484.1847.

To find out more about more events featuring Alabama School of the Arts students, please visit or call the Alabama School of the Arts at 251.442.2383.

About the University of Mobile

The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered university with a vision of “Higher 
Education for a Higher Purpose,” founded to honor God by equipping students for their 
future professions in an environment where they are known. Located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama, on a campus of over 880 acres, the university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in over 75 academic programs.The University of Mobile was founded in 1961 and is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention.

For information about the University of Mobile, areas of study, admissions and more, visit, connect with UM on social media @univofmobile, or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.