Beth Mehocic is a composer, poet, visual artist, filmmaker, author and currently the Composer-in-Residence, Music Director, and Full Professor in the Department of Dance at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Today Mehocic is our next featured artist for ‘The Inside Story,’ a blog series exploring the personalities and inner-workings of our artists. Read on and get to know one of our debut PARMA artists!
Who was your favorite artist(s) growing up?
I owe much of my preference of concert music to my older brother who always played classical music on the radio since I was three years old. I loved the passion of Beethoven and memorized all nine symphonies. When I went to college as a music major and was sitting in Music History class, one day the professor, who thought he was being clever and wanted to show the class what they didn’t know, asked if anyone could hum the theme from the Second Movement of Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony. Well that was an easy one since I loved it so and I began to hum it and he almost fell off his feet. He never asked again. My other favorite composer is Stravinsky and I often try to emulate his philosophies on music. My all-time favorite one is “musicians have a hard enough time playing what’s on the page, let alone what’s not.” That kind of sums up his feelings about avant-garde music and to a great extent, mine as well.
What was your most unusual performance or the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during a performance?
One of the most embarrassing moments was when I was a senior in High School. I was a member of a Madrigal group and we were performing at our Spring Concert. I was a pretty good alto and I was front and center and the microphone was right in front of me. The auditorium was packed and all of a sudden my nerves got the best of me and I started laughing. [My laugh became] uncontrollable and then I started snorting! I should have walked off the stage like any other “normal” person would do, but I was glued there and couldn’t move. What a night that was.
If you weren’t a composer/performer, what would you be?
Today, if I was just starting out, I would be a multimedia artist. I would be in the fine and performing arts in some way. In addition to being a composer, I am also a visual and video artist as well as a poet and I often work in the genre of video poetry. If those options weren’t available to me I’d be a brain surgeon.
If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be? And why?
I would spend creative time in the South West, exactly where I am. I love the colors, the mountains, the wide-open spaces and the climate. But, I have always had a great desire to compose out in Space like on another planet and see if that environment would affect my work. I have always been fascinated with the Universe and the possibility of one day exploring it.