Two music compositions by Charles Nichols, an assistant professor in the School of Performing Arts, were premiered in June. His piece Tsuga, for solo piano, jointly commissioned by the Iowa Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association as a result of a competition cosponsored by the Iowa Composers Forum, was performed by Richard Steinbach on June 3 in Iowa City, Iowa.

At the performance, Nichols was recognized with the Distinguished Composer of the Year award by the Iowa Music Teachers Association and the Iowa Composers Forum. His Bluestone, for alto saxophone, electric guitar, piano, and drum set, commissioned by the Charlotte New Music Festival, had its premiere by the Hypercube ensemble on June 29 in Charlotte, North Carolina.