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July 30, 2012

Faculty News: Timothy Lovelace performs at 2012 Alexandria Festival of the Lakes and Fernando Meza's Youth Orchestra of the Americas

Lovelace_Tim.jpgTimothy Lovelace (collaborative piano) will perform in the 2012 Alexandria Festival of the Lakes on Friday, August 3 at 7:30 p.m at the United Methodist Church in Alexandria, MN. Ensemble 61, featuring SOM alumni, will perform in the festival as well. For ticket information and more, visit the Alexandria Festival of the Lakes website.

MezaFernandoSQ.jpgFernando Meza (percussion) was back for his 9th season as percussion coach for the Youth Orchestra of the Americas (YOA). The two week residence in preparation of the YOA tour of Chile was held at the University of La Serena in northern Chile. While in Chile, Meza worked with the young percussionists from the Peña Hen Experimental Music School and organized and performed in a successful percussion ensemble concert with musicians from YOA. Following his time in Chile, Meza was the faculty member for the Colombian Youth Philharmonic's residence, held at the Estelar Resort and Convention Center in the city of Paipa where he coached the percussionists of the CYP in preparation of their tour of Colombia and Brazil with internationally renowned violinist Sarah Chang.

July 24, 2012

SOM Faculty Member Mark Russell Smith Announced as Interim Artistic Advisor and Symphony Conductor for GTCYS

SmithMarkRussellSQ.pngMark Russell Smith (orchestra) has been announced as Interim Artistic Advisor and Symphony Conductor for the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) 2012-13 season. More info.

July 23, 2012

Faculty News: Christopher Brown at BASS2012; Guerino Mazzola and David Walsh's workshop of "Apocalypse - Now and Then"; and David Walsh coordinates guest artist residency

BrownChristopher.jpgChristopher Brown (bass) will give a seminar and recital at BASS2012, the biennial European double bass convention taking place August 14-19. BASS2012 promotes the development of double bass playing and its network of amateurs, students, professors, performers, educational establishment, bass makers and manufacturers of accessories. There will be more than 150 bass events at the convention, including competitions, recitals, master classes, seminars, showcases and open stages for both classical and jazz bass music.

MazzolaWalsh.jpgProfessors Guerino Mazzola (creativity, improvisation, and mathematical music theory) and David Walsh (opera theatre) recently held a two-week workshop of Mazzola's opera Apocalypse - Now and Then, with the support of the CLA's Grant-in-Aid program. Five scenes from the proposed opera, which deals with the creation and commercialization of music, were distilled into one 15-minute segment which was recorded in Barker Dance Center at the culmination of the workshop. Participants included four singers from the voice/opera program, four graduate orchestral students, two students from the Dance program and one dancer from St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, as well as students from Theatre, Public Policy and Anthropology. Also involved was young German-Italian composer, Manuela Kerer, who wrote the score for the opera. The DVD recording of the performance will be edited and then used to solicit funding for a future production of the full opera.

With the generous support of $150,000 in private funding, together with a CIRI grant from the School of Music and the College of Liberal Arts, University Opera Theatre director David Walsh was able to undertake a 3-week residency this spring with Grammy Award-winning composers, Robert Aldridge and Herschel Garfein. The guest artists collaborated with voice majors, as well as choral, orchestral, and composition students on a variety of projects. The residency included a concert of vocal and instrumental works (including extracts of new composition by doctoral composition candidate, Tiffany Skidmore); the workshop presentation of extensive scenes from a new opera by Aldridge and Garfein, Sister Carrie; and culminated in the first ever staging of their symphonic oratorio, Parables, involving close to 200 participants onstage. The Parables project, which entailed an educational outreach program in six area high schools and utilized 12 dance students from St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, was filmed by Twin Cities Public Television and will be aired this fall. In the meantime, discussions are being held with a major regional opera company regarding a potential future co-production of the world premiere of Sister Carrie.

July 16, 2012

Faculty News: Barbara Kierig asked to judge; Tanya Remenikova and alum Denis Evstuhin perform; and Adriana Zabala's Mill City Summer Opera Studio Artists Program

KierigBarbara.jpgBarbara Kierig (voice) has been asked to serve as a judge for the District Metropolitan Auditions in San Diego on October 13.

EvstuhinRemenikova.jpgFaculty member Tanya Remenikova (cello) and alumnus Denis Evstuhin (D.M.A., 2011, piano, student of Alexander Braginsky) gave a recital on July 14 at The Museum of Russian Art. Program included works by Grieg, Tchaikovky and Rachmaninov. They will perform on Sunday, July 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the opening concert of the International Cello Academy "Cello: An American Experience." The program will include Sonatas for cello and piano by J.S. Bach, S. Barber, and F. Mendelssohn. The concert will take place at Urness Hall, St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota.

MillCitySummerOpera.jpgAdriana Zabala (voice) was involved for two years in the development of the recently launched Mill City Summer Opera (MCSO). On July 12 the company started a sold-out run of Pagliacci in their unique venue, the Mill City Museum Ruin Courtyard. Founded by Karen Brooks and headed by Artistic Director David Lefkowich, MCSO also features a Studio Artists Program, built and directed by Professor Zabala. The Studio Artists Program, which includes nine singers from the University of Minnesota, includes Educational Engagement, master classes, main stage chorus, and a Showcase performance entitled Let's Make A Scene, which takes place on Thursday, July 19 at 8 p.m. in the Mill City Ruin Courtyard. It is free and open to the public. The University of Minnesota singers taking part in the MCSO Studio Artists Program are Elizabeth Steffensen, Sara Yoder, Carrie Hall, Reyna Sawtell, Sidney Walker, Brennan Blankenship, David Morgan, Richard Joseph, Joe Okell, Stephen Cunningham, Justin Spenner, and Stephen Mumbert.

July 9, 2012

Student Ryan Thompson featured in "Game Informer" interview

Ryan Thompson (M.A. candidate, musicology, student of Peter Mercer-Taylor) was interviewed by Game Informer about ludomusicology: musicology that studies games. Read the full interview.

July 2, 2012

Alumni News: Aja Majkrzak placed in top 10 in Miss Louisiana Scholarship Pageant (part of Miss America Organization)

2012-06-22-Aja-Majkrzak-receives-DoE-Award.jpgAja Majkrzak (B.M., 2011, violin, student of Mark Bjork) placed in the top 10 in the Miss Louisiana Scholarship Pageant (part of the Miss America Organization). She was also awarded the Bronze medal for her achievement through the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Program. At Miss Louisiana, Majkrzak represented Miss Holiday in Dixie, a local title she earned when she competed in Shreveport, Louisiana, in January 2012. She currently attends Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge where she is pursuing a M.M. in violin performance. She volunteers as a teacher with Kids Orchestra and has raised money to support Children's Miracle Network hospitals. Photo: Josh Randle, executive director of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, presented the Bronze medal to Aja Majkrzak along with Hope Anderson, Miss Louisiana 2011, in Monroe, Louisiana, on June 22, 2012. Photo by Michelle Roberts.