I am what you might term a contemporary classical composer. Like many of my colleagues I draw from a variety of musical traditions. My objectives are to create works that reflect my personal sensibility, and that are inspiring and rewarding for performers and listeners alike.

Having always pursued an independent creative path, I especially find inspiration in the beauty and wonder of nature and in what I learn from the world’s sacred traditions.

I am equally at home composing for vocal ensembles, chamber groups and orchestra. My recent efforts include works for chorus, orchestra, and chamber trio (viola, ‘cello and piano), as well as an orchestral score for an independent film and a collection of devotional chants.

Featured Works


 …And nothing remains the same

 The Voice of the Stream


  • Of the newest music given, Newell's piece Knossos was distinguished by very strong rhythms and a quite haunting mood; its characterization both of place and idea was impressive.

    Spectator (Raleigh, NC)
  • A peculiar, haunting timbre... The odds are you’ve never heard this sound before. 

    Buffalo Evening News
  • With the composer at the piano, Novak did full justice to the sinuous vocal lines that flowed gently with just a hint of near-eastern inflection.

    Berkshire Record (Gt. Barrington, MA)
  • ...a motionless beauty...as delicate and as pretty a piece for voice and percussion as I can imagine.

    The Reader (Chicago)
  • Newell’s original score filters through the play with considerable power.

    Buffalo Courier-Express
  • ... a powerful and moving work. Starting with the hymn in it's simplest form, it takes the listener through a wide range of styles and sonorities: from gospel textures and bell-like clusters, to the Chopinesque, yet retaining all the while an organic cohesion. It is a worthy work to program, for audiences experienced with new music or not, as it gently bridges readily accessible musical language with new tonal landscapes.

    Rorianne Schrade (Soloist in the premiere performance)

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