By Kimberly Osberg
Based on the short story The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe, this Vocal Drama chronicles a very calculated and premeditated murder. The story is told by an unnamed narrator who seeks to convince the audience that he is not insane, but he is continually haunted by the auditory hallucination of his victim's heart still beating. Told in a pair of trios and three larger vignettes, Thump! captures the mystery and suspense Poe's classic. Each vignette tells a different point of view of the narrator, one angry, one forlorn, and one who recalls the love they had for the man.
Kimberly Osberg is an emerging composer from Eau Claire, where she began her music studies on piano, harp and percussion; in high school, she was an active performer, working with over a dozen ensembles ranging from marching, concert, pep, show and jazz bands to concert and pit orchestras, harp and percussion ensembles. Her first work, Dark Inspiring, won the Chippewa Valley Youth Symphony Young Composers Competition (2009), leading to subsequent pieces for jazz combo and the North High School Wind Ensemble. Her work with these ensembles led her to study composition at Luther College in Decorah, IA.
While studying with Dr. Brooke Joyce at Luther she has attended numerous summer festivals including the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the New York Summer Music Festival, the Atlantic Summer Music Festival, the Rocky Ridge Music Center and, most recently, the Brevard Music Festival. She has studied with dozens of composers across the United States and has enjoyed countless performances of her works along the East Coast and throughout the Midwest.
In addition to studio composition and student musician recitals at Luther College, she has received professional commissions from the Exponential Ensemble and Percussia in New York City, from the Decorah High School Band and Eau Claire Middle School Band programs, several churches and numerous independent musicians around the Midwest. Her work with the Exponential Ensemble (their first-ever student commission) provided such a positive experience for the ensemble that the group was inspired to create a Young Composer's project which now provides annual opportunities to young composers to work with the group, culminating in public performances and recordings for select students. Her work with Percussia earned a Benson Research Grant from Luther College, which facilitated travel to New York City to learn about native West African and Afro-Cuban percussion instruments for her commission.
Her work with Maxwell R. Lafontant - a collaborative composition for two pianos entitled The Page Turners' Retort - was chosen to represent Luther College at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research in 2013, and was also presented at the Luther College Research Symposium. In addition to her work with Lafontant, she has also worked with other composers for large-scale collaborations - such as for the Luther College studio collaboration Invited to Tea (an immersive theatre piece featuring dancers and electronics), and a re-scoring project for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, her segment of which featured electronics with live flute.
Her latest project, a 35-minute operetta (based on Edgar Allen Poe's short story, "The Tell-Tale Heart" entitled Thump, was just premiered at Luther College in May 2014 and was the first-ever student opera to be produced at Luther College in the school's history.