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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.jpg´╗┐´╗┐Professors 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.