For the summer of 2020, French Woods Music will embark on a virtual a-la carte option to give the serious music student a chance to sign up for as many ensembles as they wish. Going virtual will give us the unique opportunity to connect our participants with some of the best performers and educators here in the United States.
Three Weeks Only: July 6 - July 24
Concert Band $595
Jazz Ensemble $495
Private Lessons Available on most instruments.
Each applicant to the French Woods Intensive Music Program will be asked to send in a placement audition.
Registration is open. Call (607) 637-8400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The French Woods Virtual Symphony will enjoy daily rehearsal sessions exploring Dvorak New World Symphony with Maestro Brian Worsdale. These sessions will include 2-3 coachings with a faculty that includes members of The New York Philharmonic, The New York Pops and The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The ensemble will then assemble a “virtual performance” of the symphony.
The French Woods Virtual Concert Band will enjoy daily rehearsal sessions exploring a myriad of concert band repertoire.These sessions will include 2-3 coachings with a faculty that includes members of The New York Philharmonic, The New York Pops and The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Members of the concert band will also have the chance to speak to the composers of some of the works they are preparing. The ensemble will then assemble a “virtual performance” of the concert band.
The French Woods Virtual Jazz Ensemble will enjoy daily rehearsal sessions digging deep into some rich jazz repertoire led by director Paul Corn. These sessions will include 2-3 coachings with a faculty that includes some of jazz’s leading musicians and educators. The ensemble will then assemble a “virtual performance” of the jazz ensemble.
Individual lessons are a separate fee and the proceeds go directly to The Hancock French Woods Arts Alliance. We would offer a minimum of 3 lessons for the session and can offer more based on interest and instructor availability.
We have assembled a tremendous artist faculty to work with our students during this exciting time.
Violinist Sheryl Staples joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Associate Concertmaster, The Elizabeth G. Beinecke Chair, in September 1998. She made her solo debut with the Philharmonic in 1999 performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, led by Kurt Masur. She has since been featured in more than 25 performances, playing concertos by Mendelssohn, Mozart, Haydn, Bach, and Vivaldi with conductors including Alan Gilbert, Lorin Maazel, Kent Nagano, Jeffrey Kahane, and Sir Colin Davis. In addition she has performed as soloist with more than 45 orchestras nationwide, including The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego and Richmond Symphony Orchestras, and Louisiana Philharmonic. Most recently, she performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, led by Concertmaster Frank Huang, in May–June 2018.
The New York Times wrote that “she is a perceptive musician, who plays with great rhythmic integrity and a lucid sense of phrase structure. ... she draws a wonderful array of vibrant and luminous colors ... interpretive honesty and unmannered elegance.” The Los Angeles Times said she has a “tantalizing mix of qualities. ... refinement and boldness, polish and fire. ... big, rich, sweeping tone, lacking nothing in warmth and evenness.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer praised her “aristocratic artistry coupled with violinistic mastery ... pinpoint accuracy and daring that took the breath away.”
An active chamber musician, Ms. Staples is a member of the New York Philharmonic String Quartet, established in the 2016–17 season, and frequently performs in the New York area in venues including David Geffen Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ms. Staples has performed chamber music for U.S. Ambassadors in London, Paris, Berlin, Beijing, and Hong Kong, and in 2013 she toured Mexico, Brazil, and Chile. Recent summer festival appearances include La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, Boston Chamber Music Society, and Salt Bay Chamberfest. She has also collaborated and performed at the chamber music festivals of Santa Fe, Mainly Mozart, Seattle, Aspen, Sarasota, Martha’s Vineyard, Strings Music Festival, and Brightstar Music Festival. She appears on three Stereophile compact discs with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Sheryl Staples is a native of Los Angeles, where she developed her love for ensemble work at an early age. She began studying the violin at age five, and her major mentors were Robert Lipsett and Heiichiro Ohyama. Before finishing studies at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Thornton School of Music, Ms. Staples was appointed concertmaster of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and other professional ensembles in Los Angeles. She then became concertmaster of the Pacific Symphony in 1994 while enjoying a varied career consisting of solo appearances, chamber music, teaching (at USC’s Thornton School of Music and the Colburn School of Performing Arts), and Hollywood studio recording work for numerous major motion pictures.
At the age of 26 Ms. Staples joined The Cleveland Orchestra as associate concertmaster, a position she held for three years. In addition, she taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Encore School for Strings, and Kent/Blossom Music Festival, and she was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Piano Trio. Currently she is on the violin faculty at the Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard Pre-College Division. She also serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School working with students aspiring toward orchestral careers.
Ms. Staples resides in New Jersey with her husband, percussionist Barry Centanni, and children, Michael and Laura. Mr. Centanni and Ms. Staples premiered William Kraft’s Concerto a Tre for piano, violin, and percussion, written for them, at Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society’s summer festival and recorded it for release on the Albany Records label in 2008. They also premiered David Sampson’s Black River Concerto for solo violin, percussion, and orchestra in April 2011 with the Montclair State University Symphony.
Ms. Staples performs on the “Kartman” Guarneri del Gesu, ca. 1728, previously on loan from private collector Peter Mandell and now in the collection of the New York Philharmonic.
Praised for his versatility, technical clarity, and keen musical insight, Tito Muñoz is internationally recognized as one of the most gifted conductors on the podium today. Now in his sixth season as Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony, Tito previously served as Music Director of the Opéra National de Lorraine and the Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy in France. Other prior appointments include Assistant Conductor positions with the Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the Aspen Music Festival. Since his tenure in Cleveland, Tito has celebrated critically acclaimed successes with the orchestra, among others stepping in for the late Pierre Boulez in 2012 and leading repeated collaborations with the Joffrey Ballet, including the orchestra’s first staged performances of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in the reconstructed original choreography of Vaslav Nijinsky.
Tito has appeared with many of the most prominent orchestras in North America, including those of Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee, as well as the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the National Symphony Orchestra. He also maintains a strong international conducting presence, including recent and forthcoming engagements with SWR Symphonieorchester, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, a tour with Orchestre National d’Île de France, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Danish National Chamber Orchestra, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier/A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Opéra de Rennes/The Turn of the Screw, Auckland Philharmonia, Sydney Symphony and Sao Paolo State Symphony.
As a proponent of new music, Tito champions the composers of our time through expanded programming, commissions, premieres, and recordings. He has conducted important premieres of works by Christopher Cerrone, Kenneth Fuchs, Dai Fujikura, Michael Hersch, Adam Schoenberg, and Mauricio Sotelo. During his tenure as Music Director of the Opéra National de Lorraine, Tito conducted the critically-acclaimed staged premiere of Gerald Barry’s opera The Importance of Being Earnest. A great advocate of the music of Michael Hersch, he led the world premiere of Hersch’s monodrama On the Threshold of Winter at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2014, followed by the premiere of his Violin Concerto with Patricia Kopatchinskaja and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in 2015, a piece they also recorded with the International Contemporary Ensemble on the New Focus label, released in summer 2018. Most recently he gave the world and European premieres of I hope we get a chance to visit soon at the Ojai and Aldeburgh Festivals.
A passionate educator, Tito regularly visits North America’s top conservatories/universities, summer music festivals, and youth orchestras. He has led performances at the Aspen Music Festival, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University, Kent/Blossom Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, New England Conservatory, New World Symphony, Oberlin Conservatory, Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, University of Texas at Austin, and National Repertory Orchestra, as well as a nine-city tour with the St. Olaf College Orchestra. He maintains a close relationship with the Kinhaven Music School, which he attended as a young musician, and now guest conducts there annually. Tito also enjoys a regular partnership with Arizona State University where he has held a faculty position and is a frequent guest teacher and conductor.
Born in Queens, New York, Tito began his musical training as a violinist in New York City public schools. He attended the LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program, and the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division. He furthered his training at Queens College (CUNY) as a violin student of Daniel Phillips. Tito received conducting training at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen where he studied with David Zinman and Murry Sidlin. He is the winner of the Aspen Music Festival’s 2005 Robert J. Harth Conductor Prize and the 2006 Aspen Conducting Prize, returning to Aspen as the festival’s Assistant Conductor in the summer of 2007, and later as a guest conductor.
Tito made his professional conducting debut in 2006 with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, invited by Leonard Slatkin as a participant of the National Conducting Institute. That same year, he made his Cleveland Orchestra debut at the Blossom Music Festival. He was awarded the 2009 Mendelssohn Scholarship sponsored by Kurt Masur and the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Foundation in Leipzig, and was a prizewinner in the 2010 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition in Frankfurt.
A native of Pittsburgh, Kathleen Melucci holds the Principal Cello position with the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra. Kathleen holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Mannes College of Music. Her major teachers include Bernard Greenhouse, Steven Doane, and Timothy Eddy.
In addition to her orchestral positions, Kathleen is an active freelancer, chamber musician, and educator. Kathleen is a member of the Artistic Staff at the Three Rivers Young People’s Orchestras (where she was a member at age 10), Youth Chamber Connection, and maintains a thriving private cello studio. A committed Suzuki teacher, Kathleen has taught students ages 2 – 70, and believes passionately in the importance of music education for all.
Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, bassist Aaron White began his musical studies in the public school system after moving to Irving, Texas. He continued his studies at Southern Methodist University and then Duquesne University. His principal teachers include Thomas Lederer and Jeffrey Turner.
White has given master classes and recitals at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Pennsylvania State University, Southern Methodist University, Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University. In 2012 and again in 2014, he performed with the All-Star Orchestra lead by Gerard Schwarz, which aired locally and nationally on PBS.
Prior to joining the Pittsburgh Symphony, White was a member of the Louisville Orchestra and the Florida Orchestra.
Rhian Kenny joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1990 as Principal Piccolo. She is active in the PSO's education and outreach programs speaking often to groups throughout the Pittsburgh region.
Kenny was born in Benghazi, Libya and grew up in Calgary, Canada which is where she began her flute studies at the age of 9. She continued her studies with Timothy Hutchins at McGill University in Montréal where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Music. Throughout her studies, she won many competitions, including the Concours de l'Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières (1989), Concours de l'Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (1988), and the Concours de l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec (1987).
Rhian has no spare time because outside of the PSO, she enjoys running and a little yoga to keep her sanity. After that, she coaches softball, is president of her daughter's school PTG, and chauffeur to her three daughters.
She also teaches at Duquesne University, and privately.
Toyin. Spellman-Diaz earned her Bachelors of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and her Master’s and Professional Studies degrees at the Manhattan School of Music. Her orchestral career includes performances with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
An original member of Imani Winds, Ms. Spellman-Diaz has built her career as a champion of contemporary chamber music. Along with her Imani Winds colleagues, she is devoted to discovering new and diverse musical voices and cultures to increase and enhance the woodwind quintet repertoire. She has also collaborated with some of today’s most influential chamber music ensembles, including Alarm Will Sound, the Antara Ensemble and Camerata Pacifica.
Randall Ellis attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he studied with Ronald Roseman. He served as principal oboist of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra from 1988 until 2016. He is principal oboist of the Little Orchestra Society and the Mozart Orchestra of New York and is solo English horn in the New York Pops Orchestra. He is a member of Windscape Woodwind Quintet, artists in residence at the Manhattan School of Music. Randall is a member of the Emmy award-winning All-Star Orchestra under the music directorship of Gerard Schwarz. Mr. Ellis is principal oboist and faculty member of the Eastern Music Festival. He was principal oboist of the New York Chamber Symphony and received two Grammy nominations, including one for his recording of Howard Hanson’s Pastorale. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Florida Orchestra, and the American Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Ellis has appeared as a guest artist with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and has concertized and recorded with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has been a soloist with the New England Bach Festival, the International Bach Festival of Madeira, the Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York, and Chamber Music at the 92nd Street Y. Mr. Ellis has freelanced with the Ensemble Wien-Berlin, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the New York Philomusica and the Orchestras of the Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, and the American Ballet Theatre dance companies. He has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Sunday Morning, and many times on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center. His performances have been heard on National Public Radio, European radio, and NHK Radio and TV in Japan. Mr. Ellis has recorded for EMI/Angel, Columbia, Sony, RCA, Vox, Nonesuch, CRI, Pro Arte, Delos, and Deutsche Grammophon. He has performed with Winton Marsalis at Jazz at Lincoln Center and on Broadway in the orchestra for the musical Wicked. He teaches oboe and chamber music at Skidmore College and coaches in the graduate orchestral performance program at the Manhattan School of Music.
James Rodgers has been the Principal Contrabassoonist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since September of 2001. Formerly, he was the Principal Bassoonist with the Jacksonville Symphony, Associate Principal Bassoonist with the Florida Orchestra, Second Bassoonist with the Houston Symphony, and Contrabassoonist with the Colorado Symphony. Summer activities have included the Grand Tetons Music Festival, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Colorado Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute and Tanglewood Music Center. He studied bassoon with Norman Herzberg at the University of Southern California, and with Benjamin Kamins at the Rice University Shepherd School of Music. He also studied bassoon with Andrew Radford, and contrabassoon with Gregg Henegar
A founding member of the Pittsburgh Reed Trio, Jim has performed to critical acclaim. Their many and varied concerts have been heard locally, nationally and abroad. Jim also enjoys opportunities for study and performance on his Heckelphone, a rare double-reed instrument. As a pioneer of electric/acoustic bassoon and contrabassoon development, Jim is ever creatively exploring the possibilities of his instruments' capabilities, both in sound and genre.
Jim serves on the faculty of the Duquesne University Mary Pappert School of Music. He has also served on the faculty of Seton Hill University, Florida Southern College and Clearwater Christian College. In addition to a home studio, Jim is the woodwind coach for the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra.
Jim lives in Moon Township with his wife, Sue, a clarinetist and functional medicine nutritionist, and their feline family.
Camille Thurman’s mission is to spread a love for jazz to new audiences, old and young, and to inspire younger artists toward musical excellence. As such, she is also an educator, presenting lectures, teaching ensembles, and conducting masterclasses in various schools, colleges, camps, community centers, and arts organizations. Much of her teaching focuses on performance coaching. “Often, students don’t receive coaching, tips, and instruction on how to work as a performing artist or instrumentalist,” she explains. “I conduct workshops that help develop students as players of their instrument but also teach them how to work together in ensembles, how to practice, and how to study.” The artist hosts a bi-monthly mentorship series for young women musicians called “The Haven Hang: Young Lioness Q&A Advice Hour with Camille Thurman”. As an educator, Camille offers several focused instrumental and vocal workshops to students ranging from beginner to master level. These include: “Music is All Around Us!,” an exciting, interactive introduction to music; “The Origins of the Blues: What is the Blues?,” an interactive clinic learning about the blues in today’s music that also serves as an historical and geographical analysis of its influence on society and culture; “Rhythms of the World,” a 45-minute musical whirlwind experience traveling around the world, exploring rhythms and the connections between geography, history, and music; and “Rhythm and Justice: Music As a Voice of Social Consciousness,” an historical analysis of music and its relation to history. Her popular lectures include “Jazz and Pop Culture: An
Throughout his career, Tony Kadleck has been praised as a highly effective sideman, who has lent his hand to numerous musical activities. He is currently one of the most sought-after trumpet players in the New York area.
While attending the New England Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music, Kadleck studied both classical and jazz music, a task that would later benefit him, as he went on to perform and record with the Boston Pops Orchestra. In 1986, Tony was asked to join the trumpet section of the Buddy Rich Band, and later that year, decided to move to New York.
After graduating from the Manhattan School of Music in 1989, Kadleck did some touring with Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and Blood, Sweat & Tears. Eventually, the NY recording studios kept Tony too busy to leave town, and he found himself recording with a number of artists, including Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Elton John, and Celine Dion. Kadleck also spends plenty of time playing a wide variety of live concerts, having performed with Stevie Wonder, Count Basie Orchestra, Ella Fitzgerald, Issac Hayes, and most recently Steely Dan.
In addition to playing on countless jingles and for many films and shows, Kadleck has also done a great deal of composing and arranging. Since he was 15 years old, Tony has always loved writing music. His recent CD "Around The Horn", features ten of his arrangements for big band, about which Tony says, "There is nothing more gratifying than hearing spectacular musicians making these charts come to life." Kadleck has drawn upon many musical experiences to form his own voice, which can be heard in both his playing and in his writing throughout this release.
When asked about his musical influences, Kadleck is quick to point out his first teachers: Bernard Shifrin in Tony's hometown of Binghamton, NY; and Andre Côme, formerly of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Kadleck is currently a member of many organizations including the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, the New York Pops, John Fedchock's NY Big Band, and John Pizzarelli's "Swing Seven". In addition. Tony is a faculty member at the Purchase College Conservatory of Music. He is proud to be a Yamaha Performing Artist and uses mouthpieces designed by GR Technologies. His recent CD, “Around The Horn” is available at www.tonykadleck.com, and on iTunes.
Hornist Larry Williams has distinguished himself as a multifaceted performing and recording artist, teacher and administrator. Williams is currently Principal Horn of American Studio Orchestra, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, and a member of The Lyric Brass Quintet, Eastwinds Wind Quintet, and Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass.
Williams formerly served as Principal Horn of The New World Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, among others. His wide range of musical styles include: solo & chamber repertoire, orchestral, jazz, contemporary, film, and commercial music.
Larry is a Yamaha Performing Artist/Clinician, and performs exclusively on Yamaha Custom Horns.
In the Fall of 2009, James Nova joined the GRAMMY award-winning Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as its Second/Utility Trombone. Before joining the PSO, Jim served eight seasons as the Assistant Principal/Second Trombonist of the Utah Symphony Orchestra.
Jim began playing the trombone at age nine in his home state of Connecticut. As a child he received his early musical exposure and training from his father, Anesti Nova. During high school, Jim studied with his first private trombone teacher, Assistant Principal/Second Trombonist of the Hartford Symphony, George Sanders.
After graduating high school, Jim attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he received his Bachelor’s Degree studying with the Philadelphia Orchestra’s then Principal Trombonist Glenn Dodson. Jim then moved to Boston to pursue a Master’s Degree on a full scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music, studying with then Boston Symphony Orchestra trombonist, Norman Bolter. In addition to his college education, James attended the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and was also a member of the Tanglewood Music Center Fellowship Orchestra for three summers. After finishing his Master’s Degree, he freelanced in Boston for several years, substituting on a regular basis with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra, making several recordings and television broadcasts with both groups as both principal and second trombone. In 2001, Jim moved to Salt Lake City to join the Utah Symphony Orchestra.
From 2003 to 2007 he enjoyed playing at the Grand Teton Music Festival, and played and taught at the Brevard Music Center in the summer of 2013. He is also the former second trombonist of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in Orange County, California, former principal of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, former principal of the Vermont Symphony, and former assistant principal of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.
Jim’s debut solo recording, Albanian Rhapsody, is a debut in both performance and composition for the father and son team, composer Anesti Nova and trombonist James Nova. All but one piece in this world premiere collection of compositions is for solo trombone and either string or chamber orchestra. The music is ethnically charged, deriving much influence and flavor from Jim and Anesti’s strong Albanian background. It is at times tragic, languid and yet uplifting as it chronicles (with the trombone as storyteller) the journey of the Nova family through hardships and eventual triumph over adversity.
In March of 2012, Jim made his solo debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, performing the Henri Tomasi Trombone concerto as well as his own arrangement of the famous Tommy Dorsey jazz ballad, I’m Getting Sentimental Over You which is the material on which Tomasi based his trombone concerto.
Since 2012, Jim has found a new passion using recording technology to explore multi-track recording, also known as "overdubbing” (or, as he calls it, “Novadubbing”), and created numerous stunning recordings of challenging new transcriptions and arrangements he's done of a variety of exciting repertoire for trombone choir. These employ a number of trombones: contrabass, bass, tenor, small tenor, alto and even soprano trombones! To hear these, go to soundcloud.com/jimnova where his recordings have enjoyed over 600,000 listens!
In 2017, Jim performed world premiere orchestrations by Anthony DiLorenzo of the "Theme from the Green Hornet" and "I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You." These performances were with the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras and later that year, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with Jim as soloist.
Most recently, in December 2017, Jim has released a new overdub album for trombone choir, A Fall from Light to Dark. Through the chosen moments of John Williams’ masterful scores, this album musically chronicles the rise and descent of Anakin Skywalker as he transforms into Darth Vader. Truly a one-man show, this album’s transcriptions, playing, recording, editing, mixing and mastering were all done by Jim Nova!
Jim has had a lifelong love of John Williams’ film scores since his Dad took him and his brother to see The Empire Strikes Back in the theater. Throughout his career he has performed and recorded with John Williams on several occasions, with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the Boston Pops as well as the Utah Symphony.
When Jim is not on stage at Heinz Hall with the Pittsburgh Symphony, he can be found at Duquesne University where he’s Brass Coordinator and Adjunct Trombone Faculty, and also the Brass Coach of the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras.
Visit Jim’s newly revamped website, jimnova.com, for more info.
Jim is an S.E. Shires Artist and performs on Greg Black Mouthpieces.
During the '80s and '90s, most of the best jazz trombonists were inclined toward free jazz: Albert Mangelsdorff, Craig Harris, and Steve Swell, among them. Others, like Frank Lacy, straddled the fence between avant-garde and mainstream forms. Lacy has played with such free jazz paragons as Henry Threadgill, Oliver Lake, and Julius Hemphill, yet can also count Dizzy Gillespie and Abdullah Ibrahim among the prominent leaders for whom he's worked. Indeed, Lacy spent a year-and-a-half as music director for Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and played with Bobby Watson's Horizon band, which says everything about his bop credentials. Lacy was born and raised in Houston, TX. He came from a musical family; his father was a teacher and a guitarist (he played with such musicians as Illinois Jacquet, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, and Arnett Cobb, among others), and his mother was a gospel singer. Lacy began taking piano lessons at the age of eight and took up the trumpet soon after. He played the euphonium and tuba in junior high school, and began playing trombone at 16. Before beginning his advanced musical studies in the late '70s, Lacy earned a university degree in physics. Lacy attended Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he met and jammed with Branford Marsalis, Greg Osby, and Marvin "Smitty" Smith. He later attended Rutgers in New Jersey. Lacy's first record as a leader was Tonal Weights and Blue Fire (Enja/Tutu, 1991). Lacy is also a capable section player; he's worked with big bands led by David Murray and McCoy Tyner, as well as Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy and the Mingus Big Band.
A graduate of the Juilliard School, Barry is principal percussionist for the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. His engagements with St. Luke’s have included recordings for Sony, Music Masters, Telarc and Deutsche Grammophon, as well as appearances on "Live from Lincoln Center".
As a freelance musician, he has performed on “Late Night with David Letterman”, as well as “Saturday Night Live”. He has also appeared with the bands Yes, the Moody Blues and Metallica and with artists such as Tony Bennett, Sting, Elton John, and Frank Sinatra. He has also performed as an extra percussionist for the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, the American Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Little Orchestra Society, the American Composers Orchestra, the New York Pops, the New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic.
On Broadway, he has performed for "The Phantom of the Opera", "Grand Hotel", "The Three Penny Opera", "The Goodbye Girl", "Man of La Mancha", "The Secret Garden", "Blood Brothers", "Grease", "The Scarlet Pimpernel" "The Sound of Music", “The Music Man” and “Annie Get Your Gun”.
An active teacher, he has been on the faculty of the Mannes School of Music,The College of New Jersey, SUNY Purchase, New York University and Columbia Teachers College. Presently, he is Chairman of the percussion department of Montclair State University.
JEROME JENNINGS: Jerome is a New York based drummer, composer, bandleader, sideman. His debut recording ‘The Beast’ was named one of the top 3 Jazz releases by NPR, received a 4 star rating in DownBeat Magazine, and nominated for the prestigious French ‘Grand Prix du disque’ award for Album Of The Year 2016. Jerome’s sophomore recording, ‘Solidarity’, released November 2019 was recognized by NPR as best music of 2019. Jerome has always valued education, teaching and the pursuit of excellence. In 2004 he graduated from Rutgers University Mason Gross School for the performing arts. Later, the summer of 2007 Jerome earned a MM from the prestigious Juilliard School in Manhattan NY. He’s travelled the globe administering student and teacher workshops on various musical forms intrinsic to the American experience. Beginning fall 2017, Jerome accepted the position as Resident Director of The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra. Currently, Jerome is keeping extremely busy teaching, conducting collegiate lectures, workshops and educational tours domestic and internationally. Jerome has a love and passion for history. In 2014, under the tutelage of historian, professor, disc jockey, producer Phil Schaap Jerome passed Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Swing University 301 course: The most comprehensive study of jazz from a nonperformance perspective, available. Jazz At Lincoln Center has Jerome Jennings on file as an accredited jazz scholar. He has been artist in residence, and have lectured at dozens of Universities, Academy’s, and Camps nationally and internationally. John Hopkins Peabody Institute, Rutgers University, The Juilliard School, Sydney Conservatory of Music, Xavier College (Melbourne, AU), The Ohio State University, Aspen Colorado, Brigham Young University, University Of Ghana - Legon School Of Performing Arts, Rockport Jazz Workshop, Universidad Sergio Arboleda (Bogota Colombia), As always, Jerome has remained a pertinent performer. To date Jerome has/is performing/recording/touring with; Sonny Rollins, Hank Jones, The Count Basie Orchestra, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Wynton Marsalis (J@LC), Christian McBride, Paula West, Ernestine Anderson, The Mingus Big Band, Mike Stern, Catherine Russell, Craig Handy, Davell Crawford, Henry Butler, Houston Person, Philip Bailey, Slide Hampton, Benny Golson, Gerald Wilson, Tim Reis, Bernard Fowler, Benny Powell, Ronnie Mathews, Curtis Fuller, Valery Ponomarev, and many more.
A product of the school system he now proudly serves, Paul Corn has been teaching for two decades. He is a builder of quality programs wherever he goes. He began his teaching career at Marine Park Middle School (Brooklyn) where upon arrival he quickly changed the program from a three day a week program to a school with Marching Band, tiered concert bands, and a jazz ensemble which continues to thrive after two leadership changes.
From Marine Park, Mr. Corn moved on to Fort Hamilton High School (Brooklyn) where he succeeded his mentor Mr. Laurence Laurenzano as the conductor of the symphonic band, director of the marching band and during his time, he established the school’s highly competitive jazz ensemble, receiving a Gold with Distinction from The New York State School Music Association. After raising the bar he then went on to accept an appointment as Assistant Principal of The Arts at Wagner High School (Staten Island.) In his thirteen years at the helm, Mr. Corn has revitalized the arts program, created a fully tiered concert band program, a highly competitive jazz program, dance and theater and in conjunction with the Staten Island Borough Presidents Office, The Mayors Office and the Office of the Chancellor, a new Center for The Performing Arts that opened in 2016. This facility offers new space for all of the arts classes to rehearse and a new black box theater. Of the students taught by Mr. Corn at Wagner and Fort Hamilton, many have gone on to careers in music education leading award winning programs.
Mr. Corn’s work at Wagner brought him to the attention of Exploring the Arts: Tony Bennett’s foundation for music education. Mr. Bennett has visited the program at Wagner and has shown high praise for the students and their dedication to music and their school program.
Mr. Corn’s dedication to education brings him outside his classroom to a number of other rewarding projects. He is working as a conductor for Jazz at Lincoln Center where he leads one of their Middle School Jazz Academy Big Bands. Most recently Paul has become the new conductor of The New York City Symphonic Band (formerly ISO Wind Symphony) at Third Street. His passion for education also led him to The French Woods Festival of The Performing Arts where he has led the jazz studies program, the concert band and numerous pit orchestras for the countless musicals performed. He has commissioned works for his many ensembles by composers such as Frank Lacey, Salem Washington and Michael Markowski.
A graduate of Brooklyn College in Performance (BM, MM) he studied clarinet with David Weber and saxophone with Salem Washington and Lawrence Feldman. He has served as adjunct faculty at Brooklyn College leading their big band and their wind ensemble programs. He is a professional saxophonist, clarinetist and composer having penned numerous jazz works for his professional ensemble, The Modern Jazz Workshop as well as his own students.
Larry Livingston is a distinguished conductor, educator, and administrator, and a highly respected motivational speaker. The founding Music Director of the Illinois Chamber Orchestra, Livingston has appeared with the Houston Symphony and in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series. He has conducted at the Festival de Musique in Evian, France, and has led the Stockholm Wind Orchestra, as well as the Leopoldinum Chamber, Chopin Academy, and Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestras in Poland. He served as Music Director of the Pan Pacific Festival Orchestras in Sydney, participated in the International Jazz Festival in Rome, and conducted electro-acoustic ensemble concerts in Tokyo under the auspices of Yamaha International. Mr. Livingston has led the Houston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrellas Series, the American Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra, the USC Thornton Chamber and Symphony Orchestras in Los Angeles, the USC Thornton Contemporary Music Ensemble in Berlin, and served on the jury for the renowned Besancon International Conducting Competition in Besancon, France.
Mr. Livingston has performed with soloists Keiko Abe, Ran Blake, Shelly Berg, Maureen Forrester, Adolph Herseth, Lawrence Lesser, Yehudi Menuhin, Robert Merrill, Mark O’Connor, Christopher O’Riley, Itzhak Perlman, Donald Sinta, Ralph Kirshbaum, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, John Walz and Time for Three, and has premiered and/or recorded works by Shelton Berg, Paul Cooper, Mario Davidovsky, Robert Erickson, Ernst Krenek, Kasia Livingston, Edwin London, Pauline Oliveros, Russell Peck, Roger Reynolds, and Yuji Takahashi.
Mr. Livingston frequently appears with professional, festival, collegiate, and all-state wind ensembles, bands and orchestras throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. From 1983 to 2002, he served as a conductor in the University of Michigan All-State Program at Interlochen, has been the Conductor of the Festival Orchestra at Idyllwild Arts since 1989, and is the Music Director of Music for All’s National Honors Orchestra. .
From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Livingston regularly toured Germany and Slovakia with the Internationale Junge Orchesterakademie. The performances and subsequent recordings were “the most successful in this organization’s history,” according to its director. In the last decade, he has conducted extensively in Eastern Europe, and particularly throughout Poland, leading orchestras in Warsaw, Wroclaw, Jelenia Gora, Bialystok, and Katowice, attracting consistent critical acclaim. Reviews described “long, unending applause, enthusiastic cheers, like at a rock concert, standing ovation.”
Mr. Livingston has appeared with the famed Landes Jugend Orchester, served as clinician and guest conductor at the College Band Directors National Conference in Alice Tully Hall, and led All-State Ensembles across the United States including Texas on eleven occasions, an unprecedented record. He has also twice conducted the George Enescu Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra in Romania, served as Music Director of Thornton School Orchestras, and was Principal Juror for the 3rd Annual Winnipeg Symphony International Conducting Symposium. In 2013-18, Maestro Livingston conducts the All-State Bands or Orchestras of Arizona, Kentucky, California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, Washington, Michigan, and Texas, lead the Sewanee Music Festival Orchestra, serve again as clinician for the Disney Honors Program, and return to Katowice, Poland to conduct the opening concert in an international festival of academy orchestras. As well, he will teach in the conducting workshops of the University of Texas, Austin, the University of Texas, San Antonio, and the University of Colorado.
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Mr. Livingston studied conducting with Laurence Livingston, Elizabeth Green, William Revelli, Rafael Druian, and Herbert Zipper. He also did doctoral studies at the University of California, San Diego. Mr. Livingston served as Vice President and Music Director of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he was also Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra and, subsequently, became Dean of the Shepherd School of Music and Elma Schneider Professor at Rice University in Houston. From 1986 until 2002, Mr. Livingston was Dean of the USC Flora L. Thornton School of Music during which time he secured the School’s naming gift from Flora Thornton, raised more than 100 million dollars, and where he is now Chair of the Conducting Department. The first music administrator accepted into the Harvard University Executive Education Program, he is a recipient of the Hall of Fame Award from the University of Michigan, the Life in the Arts Award from Idyllwild Arts, and an Outstanding Teacher Award from the USC Center for Religion. As a motivational speaker, he has established a national reputation for inspiring presentations to business and education leaders across the United States. From 2008 to 2015, Mr. Livingston was Director of Educational Initiatives for the Guitar Center where he created and led the national educational quest, ALL IN. He is a consultant to the Conn-Selmer Corporation and, at the request of Quincy Jones, Mr. Livingston chairs the Education Committee of the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium.
In 2013, Mr. Livingston appeared in the “Lights Out” episode of Glee and was featured as a mentor in the USA Cable Network Television series, The Moment.
Jeffrey Grogan is an internationally acclaimed conductor and teacher, dedicating more than 25 years to nurturing musical excellence among young musicians. Mr. Grogan has served as adjudicator, conductor, and clinician for many prestigious national and international events. In 2018 he was invited by the LA Philharmonic to conduct with Gustavo Dudamel and Michael Morgan at Disney Hall, a part of the National Take A Stand Festival. Other conducting engagements include: the Honor Orchestra of America sponsored by Music for All, the National Orchestra Cup at Lincoln Center; and the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall. Recent international work includes conducting festivals at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the Harpa Concert Hall in Iceland, and venues in Bangkok, Thailand and Singapore. Mr. Grogan has also conducted numerous all-state orchestras and bands throughout the US, and in 2018, was named Master Educator by the Yamaha Corporation of America.
Grogan is currently Director of Orchestral Activities and Professor of Music at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University and Artistic Director of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras. Previously, Grogan served eleven seasons as Education and Community Engagement Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and as Conductor and Artistic Director of the NJSO Youth Orchestras, the InterSchool Orchestras of New York and the New Jersey Youth Symphony. His youth orchestras have performed to capacity crowds at some of the greatest concert halls in the world, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Smetana Hall, Bartok Hall, Musikverein, and Konzerthaus. He has appeared as a guest conductor at many universities throughout the US from Indiana University to the Manhattan School of Music and the Mannes School of Music Pre-College Division. His work with professional orchestras includes the New Jersey Symphony, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Little Orchestra Society of New York, Reno Philharmonic, Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Ridgefield Symphony and the New York Concerti Sinfonietta.
Following his passion for performing and helping to create new music for orchestras, he has collaborated with many composers: Lowell Liebermann, Michael Colgrass, Eric Whitacre, Steven Stucky, Michael Daugherty, Amanda Harberg, Steven Bryant, Dana Wilson, David Sampson, Michael Markowski, and Scott McAllister – and has worked with soloists Richard Stolzman, Stefan Hoskuldsson, Julian Schwarz and the Canadian Brass. Grogan worked on several projects with violinist and composer Mark O’Connor, which included professional studio work in New York City. He also conducted a recording of O’Connor’s March of the Gypsy Fiddler with the Ahn Trio and New Jersey Youth Symphony. This CD is recorded on the OMAC Records label and is played on classical music radio throughout the country.
Mr. Grogan is founding Artistic Director of two El Sistema inspired music programs in New Jersey: the Paterson Music Project (PMP) in Paterson and the NJSO CHAMPS in Newark. These two programs currently teach music to more than 500 students.
Prior to his work in New York and New Jersey, Grogan taught conducting and trained future music educators for over a decade at the University of Michigan, Ithaca College, and Baylor University. He is also the former Associate Director of Bands and Marching Band Director at the University of Michigan and Baylor University. Grogan began his career teaching grades 6-12 in DeSoto, Texas Independent School District.