top of page

2020 Sinta Quartet 

National Composition Competition Winners



Flagello Headshot Vertical.jpg

Gala Flagello

The music of composer Gala Flagello (b. 1994) “is both flesh and spirit, intensely psychological without sacrificing concrete musical enjoyment” (Lana Norris, I Care If You Listen). She is also the Festival Director and co- founder of the nonprofit contemporary music festival Connecticut Summerfest ( Gala is a recipient of the Edward Diemente Prize for Excellence in Creative Activity (The Hartt School), the Artist Scholarship (Artists for World Peace), and the Dorothy Greenwald Graduate Fellowship (University of Michigan). Her piece Self-Talk, which was premiered at National Sawdust in 2018, will be featured on Vanguard Reed Quintet’s debut album, Red Leaf Collection (June 2020 release). Gala is the winner of the 2020 Sinta Quartet Composition Competition, 2020 Michigan Music Teachers Association Commissioned Composer Prize, and the 2017 Dulciana Vocal Ensemble Score Call (Dublin, Ireland). She has also received two EXCEL Enterprise Grants for her projects Educational New Music for Developing Voices (2017) and The Contemporary Solo Horn (2018).


Gala is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Michigan. She holds a Master of Music in Composition degree from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Music in Composition degree from The Hartt School.

Learn more about Gala at

Winning Piece

Dabble (2019) for saxophone quartet is a piece about the act—and perhaps art—of dabbling: doing things you’re bad at (or only superficially good at) precisely because you enjoy doing them, full well knowing you’ll never be the best at whatever it is, and that that is part of the fun. Throughout the work, the quartet explores the process of doing, making, and being, never letting sudden jolts and bumps, comments and interruptions, stop them in their pursuit of dabbling.

Aaron Siebert-Castiñeira

Aaron Siebert is a Spanish-American composer and pianist trained both in Spain and the United States. He received a BM from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY (2018) with a double major in composition and
piano performance after completing his studies at the Professional Conservatory in Vigo, Spain (2015). He funded his college tuition composing full midi orchestrations on commission for personal and
professional use.


Aaron is currently completing his master’s degree in Film Scoring and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Mark Watters, Dave Rivello, and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. His master's thesis will be the score to a film that he wrote, directed, and produced, titled Elas, featuring a score for bagpipe, soprano, and orchestra.

Learn more about Aaron at

Winning Piece

The Sobbing of the Phoenix is my musical interpretation of Rafael Úbeda’s painting Blue Vibrations. The piece is a succession of failed attempts by the painting’s main character to bring his dreams of beauty to life in the real world. Finally, the profound melancholy that stems from his pain becomes a door to that unattainable beauty he was seeking to express from the start, through a beautiful cry of desperation at the climax of the piece. Rebuilt from his own ashes, the musician reigns over the darkness of Blue Vibrations in a triumphant return to where everything once began.

Blue Vibrations - Rafael Úbeda

2020 Runners-Up:

Erin Busch: Two Winter Scenes, Movement II

Neal Endicott: Saxophone Quartet no. 2 “Quarantet”

Connor Johnson: Scenes Unseen

Kyle Rieger: The Bluegrass is Greener...

Randy Stagich: Impressions

bottom of page