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New York Youth Symphony Announces its 57th Season
Source: Christina Jensen
12/08/2019

New York, NY - New York Youth Symphony (NYYS), is proud to continue its mission of educating and inspiring young musicians through its OrchestraJazz, Chamber Music, CompositionMusical Theater CompositionApprenticeship Conducting, and First Musiccommissioning programs. This season includes seven world premieres of new works commissioned through the First Music program, composed for the Orchestra, Jazz, and Chamber Music ensembles. The season also features renowned and up-and-coming soloists including prodigy pianist Harmony Zhu, 2019 Sphinx Competition winner cellist Sterling Elliott, and leading young pianist Michelle Cann in the Carnegie Hall premiere of Florence Price’s recently re-discovered Piano Concerto in One Movement with NYYS Orchestra, as well as in-demand drummer Matt Wilson, celebrated saxophonist Steve Wilson, and trombone virtuoso Wycliffe Gordon with NYYS Jazz. The complete NYYS 2019-2020 concert calendar follows at the end of this press release.

 

Founded in 1963, the NYYS is internationally recognized for its award-winning and innovative educational programs for talented young musicians. As the premier independent music education organization for ensemble training in the New York metropolitan area, the NYYS has provided over 6,000 music students unparalleled opportunities to perform at world-class venues including Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, National Sawdust, Joe’s Pub, and TheTimesCenter, and to study with world-renowned artists. Beyond the instruction from accomplished musicians, students gain valuable life skills — commitment, discipline, focus, collaboration — and friendships that last a lifetime.  

 

The NYYS is committed to partnering with traditionally underrepresented communities to create pathways for young people to find their way to music, and to a life in music. These community partnerships go beyond the stage to in-school residencies, free community concerts, and family involvement, and make music accessible to a wider and more diverse audience. The NYYS partners with organizations including the Harmony ProgramHarlem School for the ArtsSongSpaceMaestraKIPP Academy Middle Schoolthe Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’sInterlochen Arts AcademyBMI and ASCAP, plus offers fellowships to its current students and alumni/ae through the Vargas-Vetter/UkenaVan Lier, and Orpheus Arts Management programs.

 

Executive Director Shauna Quill explains, “The New York Youth Symphony is proud of its 57-year history of providing outstanding music education to students through its six outstanding programs. We are committed to broadening access to the arts through our partnerships across the city as well as through fellowships which support students as they navigate the pathway towards college and perhaps a career in the arts. NYYS students and alumni become part of a community of musical citizens who engage with the arts for a lifetime.”

 

NYYS Orchestra

Following the group’s successful tour of Spain in summer 2019 with concerts in Madrid, Seville, Ronda, and Valladolid, the NYYS Orchestra’s 57th season, under the baton of Music Director Michael Repper, kicks off the season on Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 2 pm with the first of three performances at the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. Thirteen-year-old pianist Harmony Zhumakes her Carnegie Hall debut performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, in celebration of Beethoven’s 250thbirthday year. The concert also includes the world premiere of First Music commission Rehén de tus labios, o Escena de telenovela by Marco-Adrián Ramos, the first performance of Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1 at Carnegie Hall, and Rimsky-Korsakov’sScheherazade

 

On Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 2 pm, The McCrindle Concert will feature Sphinx Competition-winning cellist Sterling Elliott performing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B Minor. The concert will also include the world premiere of First Music commission The Sycamore and the Oak by Yale composer Tanner Porter, written to be paired with Respighi’s Pines of Rome. Porter’s piece is co-commissioned by the Interlochen Arts Academy, and during its composition she is working with students at the KIPP Academy Middle School, who are using a variety of artforms to inspire her work.

 

The 2019-2020 NYYS Orchestra season concludes onSunday, May 24, 2020 at 2 pm, with The Spring Concert, featuring pianist Michelle Cann making her Carnegie Hall debut in the first performance of Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement at Carnegie Hall. The program also includes the world premiere of First Music commission Here, We Are Something Else by Patrick O’ Malley and Mahler’s 1st Symphony, the “Titan.” Harmony Zhu and Michelle Cann are both appearing as part of the Roy and Shirley Durst Debut Artist Series, now in its 35th year. 

 

NYYS Jazz

NYYS Jazz, led by director Andy Clausenwill swing into the 2019-2020 season showcasing both classic and contemporary arrangements of big band mainstays. The 17-member ensemble’s season opens at Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center with “Fun Ride”: Swinging Through the Ages, featuring drummer and composer Matt Wilson on Monday, December 3, 2019, with sets at 7:30 and 9:30 pm. The program celebrates the great drummers of jazz history including Buddy RichMax RoachArt Blakey, and Shelly Manne. This performance also includes the First Music commission and world premiere of One Batch, Two Batch by Matt Horanzy. 

 

The second concert, Celebrating Charlie Parker @ 100, features saxophonist Steve Wilson at Dizzy’s ClubJazz at Lincoln Center on Monday, March 9, 2020, with sets at7:30 and 9:30 pm. This concert includes the world premiere of First Music commission In the Shadow of Tall Giants, by Devin Reilly. 

 

The jazz season will conclude on Monday May 11, 2020with Dreams of New Orleans, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon at TheTimesCenter. This final concert of the jazz season pays homage to the music of New Orleans, and includes the world premiere of First Music commission Cesium 137, by Greg Weis. The NYYS Jazz band will also continue its free community concerts at the Slope Lounge in Brooklyn.

 

NYYS Chamber Music

The NYYS Chamber Music program, led by director Dr.Lisa Tipton, offers young musicians an opportunity to explore the often-complex dialogue between instruments as a metaphor for learning skills that emphasize open communication, harmony, and compromise. The program provides coaching sessions and master classes with members of the Shanghai QuartetThe Juilliard QuartetOrpheus Chamber OrchestraImani Winds, and more to over 80 students in 22 ensembles each season. The students will perform two showcases in the spring, hosted this year at Scandinavia House on Monday, May 4, 2020 at 7:30 pm and at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall onTuesday, May 5, 2020 at 7:30 pm. First Music commission Tikka by Nina Shekhar will receive its world premiere at Weill Recital Hall.

 

NYYS Composition

The NYYS Composition program, led by Dr. Kyle Blaha and in partnership with BMI and ASCAP, has broken new ground in its acclaimed sessions for younger composers to examine orchestration styles, techniques, and skills. The program offers student composers the opportunity to explore the world of composition and orchestration through seminars, individual tutorials and workshops and this year hosts sessions with renowned composers and performers including Nico MuhlyMissy MazzoliMatthew AucoinDavid RobertsonHuang RuoMartin Bresnick, the Aizuri Quartet, and moreThe annual Composition Date 2020 performance, to be held at National Sawdust in Brooklyn on Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 7:30 pm, will include original student compositions performed by members of the Orchestra, Chamber Music, Jazz, and Robert L. Poster Apprentice Conducting programs.

 

NYYS Musical Theater Composition

After a successful inaugural season led by director AnnaJacobs, The NYYS Musical Theater Composition Program continues into its second season, in partnership with the Harlem School of the Arts, Songspace, and Maestra. The goal of the program is to diversify the voices on Broadway in the long term. It is specially designed to lead students through a range of musical theater songwriting processes. This season  will feature guest lecturers including David Yazbek (The Band’s Visit, Tootsie), Lynne Shankel (Allegiance, Cry-Baby), Stephen Brackett (Be More Chill), Barbara Whitman (Fun Home, Next To Normal), and more. Guest artists will include soprano Jamila Sabares-Klemm, mezzo-soprano Grace McLean, tenor Jason Gotay, and baritone Jason VeaseyThe students’ original works will be showcased at a final concert at the end of the season performed by the students themselves, as well as students from the Harlem School of the Arts, at Joe’s Pub on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 7:00 pm

 

NEW YORK YOUTH SYMPHONY 2019-2020 PERFORMANCE CALENDAR

 

Tickets & Information: www.nyys.org/events

 

ORCHESTRA 

Michael Repper, Music Director 

 

Season Opening Concert

Stern/Perelman at Carnegie Hall

Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 2 PM

Joan Tower: Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1 (Carnegie Hall premiere)

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, op. 15 with Harmony Zhu, piano (Roy & Shirley Durst Debut Artist)

Marco-Adrián Ramon: Rehén de tus labios, o Escena de telenovela (First Music world premiere)

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, op. 35

 

The McCrindle Concert

Stern/Perelman at Carnegie Hall

Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 2 PM

Dvořák: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in B minor, op. 104 with Sterling Elliott, cello

Tanner Porter: The Sycamore and the Oak (First Music commission and world premiere)

Respighi: Pines of Rome

 

The Spring Concert

Stern/Perelman at Carnegie Hall

Sunday, May 24, 2020 at 2 PM

Patrick O’ Malley: Here, We Are Something Else (First Music commission and world premiere)

Florence Price: Piano Concerto in One Movement with Michelle Cann, piano (Carnegie Hall premiere, Roy & Shirley Durst Debut Artist)

Mahler: Symphony No. 1, “Titan”

 

 

JAZZ

Andy Clausen, Director

 

“Fun Ride”: Swinging Through the Ages
Monday, December 3, 2019, at 7:30 & 9:30 PM at Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center

Matt HoranzyOne Batch, Two Batch (First Music commissioned world premiere)

Soloist: Matt Wilson, drums 

 

Celebrating Charlie Parker @ 100
Monday, March 9, 2020, at 7:30 & 9:30 PM at Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center

Devin ReillyIn the Shadow of Tall Giants (First Music commission and world premiere)

Soloist: Steve Wilson, saxophone 

 

Dreams of New Orleans
Monday, May 11, 2020 at 7:00 PM at TheTimesCenter

Greg WeisCesium 137 (First Music commission andworld premiere)

Soloist: Wycliffe Gordontrombone, trumpet, vocals

 

 

CHAMBER MUSIC

Dr. Lisa Tipton, Director

 

An Evening of Chamber Music

Monday, May 4, 2020 at 7:30 PM at Scandinavia House

 

An Evening Among Friends

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 7:30 PM at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall

Nina ShekharTikka (First Music commission and world premiere)

 

 

COMPOSITION

Dr. Kyle Blaha, Director

Composition Date 2020

Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 7:30 PM at National Sawdust in Brooklyn 

Featuring original student compositions performed by members of all NYYS programs

 

 

MUSICAL THEATER COMPOSITION

Anna Jacobs, Director

Musical Theater Composition Songwriter Showcase 2020

Tuesday, May 19, 2020, at 7:00PM at Joe’s Pub

Featuring original works, performed by NYYS students, and students from the Harlem School of the Arts

 

 

ABOUT THE DIRECTORS AND ARTISTS

                                                             

ARTISTIC DIRECTORS

 

Michael Repper is an emerging conductor of classical music, jazz, pops, and musical theater. A graduate of Stanford University, he recently completed his doctoral residency at the Peabody Conservatory of Music as a student of Gustav Meier and his longtime mentor, Marin Alsop. Mr. Repper was the Peabody Institute-Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Conducting Fellow for two seasons, and continues to work with the Peabody Institute ensembles. Mr. Repper holds leadership positions in several music organizations in the Baltimore area. He is currently Music Director of both the Northern Neck Orchestra and Baltimore Basilica, Assistant Conductor of the Concert Artists of Baltimore, and New Music Consultant for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Repper’s international performances include a recent debut with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in Brazil, masterclasses with the Artes Nazionale Orchestra in Florence, Italy, and performances in Australia. 

 

Andy Clausen is a New York-based composer, trombonist, bandleader, and graduate of The Juilliard School. He has performed with Wynton MarsalisRon CarterBenny Golson, Frank Wess, Gerald WilsonKurt Elling, The After Midnight Orchestra, Joe Lovano, Bill FrisellJason MoranDave Douglas, Wayne Horvitz, Andrew D’angelo, John Zorn, The American Brass Quintet, Feist, and My Brightest DiamondThe New York Times has described his work as “sleek, dynamic large-group jazz, a whirl of dark-hued harmony and billowing rhythm...The intelligent sheen of Mr. Clausen’s writing was as striking as the composure of his peers...It was impressive, and not just by the yardstick of their age.” He is a founding member of The Westerlies, a new music brass quartet whose 2014 debut “Wish the Children Would Come on Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz” was met with critical acclaim from NPR Fresh AirJazz Times, and was named the NPR Jazz “Best Debut of 2014.” His awards include the Gerald Wilson Prize for Composition from the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Emerging Artist of The Year, and Alternative Jazz Group of the Year Awards from the Earshot Jazz Festival, and the Lotos Foundation Prize. In addition, Mr. Clausen has been commissioned by The New York TimesDellBloombergand Blue Chalk Media to compose music for film and television. 

 

Dr. Lisa Tipton is a violinist and co-founder of the award-winning Meridian String Quartet, has toured internationally and held residencies at Queens College, Bard College, and the Turtle Bay Music School. She has won distinctions from the Evian International Competition, Artists International, and Chamber Music America. As a devoted interpreter of new music, Dr. Tipton established the “Made in America” series at Weill Recital Hall with pianist Adrienne Kim and has performed on the “Interpretations” series at Merkin Concert Hall. She performs regularly with Amici New York and the American Symphony Orchestra, and is a co-founder of NY Chamber Music CoOp. Dr. Tipton’s recording of Ives’ violin sonatas with Ms. Kim was released in 2006 on Capstone Records. She earned a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, and a D.M.A. from the CUNY Graduate Center. 

 

Kyle Blaha received his D.M.A. and M.M. from Juilliard and his B.M. from Eastman School of Music with high distinction in composition, clarinet, and German. He has studied composition with Darrell Handel, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Carlos Sanchez Gutierrez, Samuel Adler, Philip Lasser, and Robert Beaser, and Solfège with Mary Anthony Cox. He is faculty at the European American Musical Alliance Program in Paris and Ear Training faculty at The Juilliard School in the College, Evening, and Pre-College divisions. He has received multiple ASCAP Young Composer Awards and awards for study in German, including a Fulbright grant and a D.A.A.D. (German government) grant as well as Arabic study in Cairo, Egypt. Mr. Blaha’s work has been premiered by the Juilliard Orchestra and multiple performances by the New York City Ballet Choreographic Institute and has received commissions from the NYYS, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the New Juilliard Ensemble, and the American Composers Orchestra.

 

Anna K. Jacobs is a Brooklyn-based composer and lyricist. Her musicals include POP! (Yale Rep, Pittsburgh City Theatre, Studio Theatre, etc.), HARMONY, KANSAS (Diversionary Theatre), ANYTOWN (George Street Playhouse), TEETH (O’Neill Musical Theater Conference), ECHO (The Gallery Players), and Stella & the Moon Man (Sydney Theatre Company/Theatre of Image). Ms. Jacobs is a former Sundance Fellow and Dramatists Guild Fellow, and has been an Artist in Residence at Ars Nova, New Dramatists, Musical Theatre Factory, Goodspeed, and Barrington Stage Company. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Ms. Jacobs holds an M.F.A. in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU-Tisch and is on faculty at The New School.

 

 

ORCHESTRA SOLOISTS

 

A happy girl with many talents, 13-year-old Harmony Zhubecame the youngest “Young Steinway Artist” at age 10 and has been featured three times on NBC’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show, CBC News, NPR’s From the Top, and CBS, among many others, for her exceptional gifts in piano, composition and chess. Ms. Zhu has performed with such renowned conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and John Giordano, among other. Last year, Ms. Zhu toured with the Israel Philharmonic, appeared with the Detroit Symphony for three concerts, and made her soloist debuts at the Ravinia Festival and Aspen Music Festival. The year prior, she opened The Philadelphia Orchestra’s season under Yannick Nézet-Séguin. A student of Yoheved Kaplinsky at Juilliard Pre-College since 2014, Ms. Zhu won the Concerto Competition in her first year of studying there. She has distinguished herself by consistently winning first prizes from an early age while competing within older age categories. Ms. Zhu is an accomplished composer and improviser, and studies composition with Ira Taxin. In chess, Ms. Zhu holds the World Champion title in her age group after winning the World Youth Chess Championship. She enjoys reading, drawing, creative writing, spelling, math, history, dancing, singing, ping pong, playing violin, and bird watching. Ms. Zhu is also her school’s Spelling Bee Champion.

 

Sterling Elliott has soloed with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, the Sound Bend Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and many more as well as a performance at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In 2015 and 2016 Mr. Elliott performed a 7-week national tour with the Sphinx Virtuosi, and in 2018 was a featured soloist-on-tour including a performance at Carnegie Hall. He began his cello studies at the age of three and made his solo debut at the age of seven when he became the first-place Junior Division winner of the PYO Concerto Competition. Other notable accomplishments include 1st place in the 2019 National Sphinx Competition Senior Division, 2019 Camerata Artists International Competition, grand prize in the First Presbyterian Young Artist Competition, 1st place in the 2014 Sphinx Competition, 2014 Richmond Symphony Concerto Competition and more. Mr. Elliott has enjoyed the honor of performing for cellist Yo-Yo Ma and also performing alongside recording artist Jennifer Hudson. Mr. Elliott currently studies with Joel Krosnick at the Juilliard School working toward an undergraduate degree in cello performance where he is a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship.

 

Concert pianist Michelle Cann is a young artist with a deep musical commitment to performing a wide range of repertoire throughout the US and to bringing the arts to local communities. Ms. Cann made her orchestral debut at age 14 and has since performed with orchestras including the Florida Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Ms. Cann recently soloed with The Dream Unfinished Orchestra in New York City, where she performed the New York City premiere of Concerto in One Movement by composer Florence Price, the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer. The Boston Musical Intelligencer wrote "Michelle Cann…was a compelling, sparkling virtuoso, bringing this riveting work to life in its first New York performance". She performed Price’s piano concerto as a guest soloist with the Knoxville Symphony as well. Ms. Cann regularly appears in recital and as a chamber musician throughout the US, China, and South Korea at premiere concert halls including the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., and will make her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony in May 2020. Ms. Cann received her Bachelor and Master degrees in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Paul Schenly and Daniel Shapiro and received an Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia studying with Robert McDonald. She is currently on staff at the Curtis School of Music and the Luzerne Music Center. Ms. Cann is the founder of a new program, “Keys to Connect”, which strives to strengthen the bond between parent and child through the shared study of piano.

 

 

JAZZ SOLOISTS


Matt Wilson embodies the spontaneous energy of jazz like no other musician. The New York-based drummer combines buoyant zeal, idiosyncratic style, infectious humor, joyous swing and an indomitable spirit of surprise. Together, with his universally recognized personal warmth, these qualities have made Mr. Wilson one of the most in-demand players and educators on the modern jazz scene, both beloved and respected by his peers, elders and students. Mr. Wilson has released thirteen albums as a leader. His latest recording, Honey And Salt (Music Inspired By The Poetry of Carl Sandburg), was recognized on over thirty worldwide “Best of 2017” lists, including Top Ten in the National Public Radio Critics Poll, JazzTimesIrish TimesBoston GlobeJazziz, and All About Jazz. Mr. Wilson has held residencies at the Centrum Jazz Workshop, Stanford Jazz Workshop, Litchfield Jazz Festival, Jazz St. Louis, and the Cornish College of the Arts. He is also on the faculty of The New School, San Francisco Conservatory, LIU Post, Sarah Lawrence College, and the Prins Claus Conservatory in Groningen, Holland.

 

Steve Wilson has attained ubiquitous status in the studio and on the stage with the greatest names in jazz, as well as critical acclaim as a bandleader in his own right. A musician’s musician, Wilson has brought his distinctive sound to more than 150 recordings led by such celebrated and side-ranging artists as Chick CoreaGeorge DukeMichael BreckerDave HollandDianne ReevesBill BrufordGerald WilsonMaria SchneiderJoe HendersonCharlie Byrd, Billy Childs, Karrin Allyson, Don Byron, and Mulgrew Miller among many others. He has also released eight recordings as a leader. Mr. Wilson is currently the Associate Professor at the City College of New York, and on faculty at the Juilliard School. He has had artist-in-residence and/or visiting artist at the University of Michigan, the University of Oregon, the University of Maryland, University of North Carolina, the University of Delaware, Le Moyne College, North Carolina Central University, Bowling Green University, Lafayette College, University of Northern Colorado, SUNY New Paltz, Florida State University, California State University at Stanislaus, University of Manitoba, Hamilton College, Old Dominion University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and for the award-winning arts organization CITYFOLK in Dayton, Ohio.

 

Wycliffe Gordon experiences an impressive career touring the world performing to great acclaim from audiences and critics alike. Most recently Mr. Gordon received the “Louie Award” honoring his dedication and commitment to the music of Louis Armstrong, and received the International Trombone Association Award in 2017, which recognizes the highest level of creative and artistic achievement. In 2015, Mr. Gordon was presented the Satchmo award from the Sarasota Jazz Club, received the Louis Armstrong Memorial Prize presented by the Swing Jazz Culture Foundation, and was named Artist of the Year (2015) by the Augusta Arts Council. He is also a past recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Vanguard Award, among others. Mr. Gordon also tours regularly with his quintet known as Wycliffe Gordon and His International All-Stars. He is commissioned frequently, and has an extensive catalog of original compositions that span the various timbres of jazz and chamber music. Musicians and ensembles of every caliber perform his music throughout the world. Mr. Gordon has previously played with the Wynton Marsalis Septet, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and has been a featured guest artist on Billy Taylor's "Jazz at the Kennedy Center" Series. Gordon is also one of Americaʼs most persuasive and committed music educators, currently serves as Artist-in-Residence at Augusta University in Augusta, GA, and is a Yamaha Performing Artist.

 

FIRST MUSIC COMPOSERS

 

Marco-Adrián Ramos is a Mexican-American composer and arranger. Composers with whom he has had the pleasure of working include Christopher Lacy, Christopher Rouse, Derek Bermel, Aaron Jay Kernis, Gabriela Lena Frank, Arturo Márquez, and Mari Kimura. He is the recipient of a 2016 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award (as well as twice being a finalist), an artist grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures in conjunction with composer-mentor Gabriela Lena Frank, and a 2019 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was also awarded the Arthur Friedman Prize in 2018 “for an outstanding orchestral work”; the piece Toys in a Field was premiered under the baton of Jeffrey Milarsky with the Juilliard Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall in New York City. Mr. Ramos studies at the Juilliard School, where he has been the recipient of the Gretchaninoff Memorial Prize, Henry Mancini Fellowship, and the Rodgers & Hammerstein Scholarship, as well as serving as a Teaching Fellow in the Ear Training department. He is currently in the studio of Juilliard faculty member Robert Beaser.

 

Tanner Porter is a composer-performer (voice and cello), songwriter and visual artist from California. In her “original art songs that are by turns seductive and confessional” (Steve Smith, The New Yorker), Ms. Porter’s passion for storytelling manifests in her setting of original poetry; her love for the cross-mingling of art forms often brings Ms. Porter to incorporate her own artwork and animations into scores and performances. “A voice that should be heard” (For Folk’s Sake), Ms. Porter’s work has been performed at Ann Arbor’s Threads All Arts Festival, by art-ensemble Willo Collective at New Music Detroit’s Strange Beautiful Music 9, the 2018 New Music Gathering, the Modern Piano (+) Festival, the Female Composers’ Festival at Spectrum, and on Sō Percussion’s Brooklyn Bound series. Ms. Porter received a Bachelors in Music Composition from the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Music Composition from the Yale School of Music. Upcoming 2018-2019 season projects include a series of performances with the Nu Deco Ensemble as a part of their Nu Works Initiative, a new piece for orchestra and voice for the Albany Symphony (in collaboration with librettist Vanessa Moody), a work for stage titled “Harbor,” and an upcoming song cycle, “Circle, Retrace.” Ms. Porter is pleased to be attending the Djerassi Resident Artists Program and Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music this season. Her most recent album, “The Summer Sinks,” was recorded with LA-based studio Oak House Recording.

 

Patrick O’Malley is a composer of orchestral and chamber music, currently living in Los Angeles, California. He is inspired by mysterious dichotomies in nature and art, composing music that often embraces abstract worlds rather than concrete images. When writing a new piece, Mr. O’Malley considers the listener’s imagination as much as every other musical element – an admittedly and enjoyably subjective endeavor. His works have been performed across the United States and also in Europe. Most recently, Mr. O’Malley has been recognized or performed by organizations including the Albany, Columbus and Milwaukee Symphonies, the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s National Composer Intensive, and The American Prize. He was named Composer of the Year by the Sioux City Symphony for 2018, and he has been awarded various fellowships from Copland House, the Los Angeles Film Conducting Intensive, Avaloch Music Farm, and the Aspen Music Festival. He also serves as the arranger and a conductor for the concert series Journey LIVE with Fifth House Ensemble and Austin Wintory. Mr. O’Malley is completing his doctoral degree in music at the University of Southern California where he studies with Andrew Norman and Sean Friar. He divides his time between living in Los Angeles, California, and Lake Charlevoix, Michigan.

 

Nina Shekhar is a composer that creates music that explores the intersection of identity, vulnerability, love, and laughter. Her works have been performed by Eighth Blackbird, ETHEL, Tony Arnold, Third Angle New Music, The New York Virtuoso Singers, and Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, and have been featured by Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Sawdust, National Flute Association, North American Saxophone Alliance, GLFCAM, I Care If You Listen, and WNYC/New Sounds. Upcoming projects include multiple performances by Eighth Blackbird, a piece for Music from Copland House, and a commission for the International Contemporary Ensemble to be premiered at LA Philharmonic’s Noon to Midnight Festival at Walt Disney Concert Hall.  She is a recipient of the 2015 ASCAP Morton Gould Award and 2018 Leonard Bernstein Award. Ms. Shekhar is also a versatile performing artist, studying flute with Amy Porter, performing as a piano soloist with the Lublin Philharmonic, and as a saxophonist in the Detroit International Jazz Festival. Ms. Shekhar is pursuing composition graduate studies at University of Southern California, studying with Ted Hearne and serving as a composition and aural skills teaching assistant. She earned dual undergraduate degrees in composition and chemical engineering at University of Michigan, studying with Evan Chambers, Bright Sheng, Kristin Kuster, Michael Daugherty, and Erik Santos.


Matt Horanzy is a jazz composer, guitarist, and educator living in Washington D.C. Having recently completed a Master’s Degree in Jazz Composition at the University of South Florida, Mr. Horanzy has shared the stage with musicians such as Nick Finzer, Danny Gottlieb, Frank Greene, John Clayton, John Beasley, and Steve Allee. During the summer of 2017, Mr. Horanzy joined the University of South Florida’s Jazz Ensemble to perform throughout the United Kingdom at the Edinburgh, Liverpool, and Birmingham Jazz Festivals. As a composer, Mr. Horanzy has written for ensembles ranging from solo performer to jazz orchestra. His composition entitled "init 1" received the 2018 USF Owen Prize in Jazz Composition, first prize in the ASMAC Bill Conti Big Band Composition and Arranging award, and first prize in the National Band Association Jazz Composition Competition, which resulted in a performance by the Airmen of Note at the Midwest Conference. Currently, Mr. Horanzy is a member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in New York City, under the direction of Andy Farber and Alan Ferber. Mr. Horanzy has studied with Grammy nominated and award-winning artists such as Chuck Owen, Jim McNeely, LaRue Nickelson, Joshua Bayer, and Fernando Benadon.

 

Devin Reilly is a San Francisco Bay Area-based composer, guitarist and producer. A 2016 graduate of Cornish College of the Arts, Mr. Reilly studied with three-time Latin Grammy nominee Jovino Santos-Neto, world renowned jazz French hornist Tom Varner, and big band composer Jim Knapp. Mr. Reilly has worked extensively with the Jim Knapp Orchestra, as well as with San Francisco’s Friction Quartet, and members of the Seattle Symphony. Mr. Reilly also has had the pleasure of working extensively with Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, providing all orchestra music preparation for productions of Ragtime, and Kiss Me Kate; as well as providing original orchestrations for the Rising Star Project and Project Reprise, a collaboration with the University of Washington. In 2018, Mr. Reilly recorded his debut EP, Talking in Circles. Due out later this year, the EP draws on influences from traditional and modern big band to chamber and electronic music, to rock and metal. By combining elements of traditional instrumentation and orchestration with modern production techniques, Talking in Circles presents the large ensemble as a contemporary and vital musical format and explores what it means to make a big band record in the 21st century.

 

Greg Weis is a composer and jazz trumpeter from St. Louis, Missouri, currently completing his doctoral studies at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), and has completed his Master’s in Jazz Composition also at UNC. He received his Bachelor’s in Jazz Performance at Missouri State University. His big band music is regularly performed by the DownBeat Award-winning University of Northern Colorado Jazz Lab Band I and his arrangements and compositions have been performed by Randy Brecker, Dave Pietro, Antonio Hart, Paul McKee, Greg Gisbert, Bob Sheppard, Jim White, Clay Jenkins, Tanya Darby, the Missouri State University Jazz Studies Ensemble, the Colorado Jazz Orchestra, the United States Air Force Airmen of Note, the Texas All-State Jazz Ensemble II, and numerous high school jazz bands. Mr. Weis’ music has received awards and honors from the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers, the Jazz Education Network, the New York Youth Symphony, ASMAC, and ASCAP. In 2017, Mr. Weis recorded an album with fellow composer Mike Conrad, the All Angles Orchestra, and jazz trumpeter Alex Sipiagin called New Angle. Two of Mr. Weis’ original compositions are featured on the recording.

 

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