The program for Close to Home began when clarinetist Michael Rowlett met two composers whose music intrigued him — Valerie Coleman and Eric Mandat. He gathered works by other American composers, finding similarities among the diverse pieces with inspiration for the compositions coming from a particular place, a moment or a memory. Michael Rowlett is on the faculty at the University of Mississippi and was a semi-finalist in the ICA’s 1998 Young Artist competition. He has appeared as a concerto soloist with orchestras in Tennessee, North Carolina, Louisiana and Mississippi and at the conventions of the International Clarinet Association. He studied at Florida State University where he received his D.M, the University of Iowa and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His collaborator on this recording, pianist Stacy Rodgers is on the faculty at the University of Mississippi.