Earl Taylor 2010 Distinguished Alumnus
The School of Music Alumni Professional Society has chosen Earl Taylor as the 2010 Distinguished Alumnus.
Mr. Taylor holds two degrees from the School of Music: A Bachelor of Music Education ('74) and a Master of Music in Music Education ('90).
Most recently he has served as Supervisor of Arts Education for Onslow County. He has held positions as Band Director at White Oak High School/Tabernacle Middle School, Interim Principal for Parkwood Elementary and Thompson Elementary, Director of Middle Schools and Arts Education, Director of Community Affairs and Arts Education, President of the ECU School of Music Alumni Professional Society, President of the North Carolina Bandmaster Association (Eastern District), Chair of the Arts Coordinators Section of NCMEA, and President of NCMEA.
On January 8, 2010, White Oak High School dedicated its new fine arts center, which includes a 740-seat auditorium and two art rooms.
In recognition of his achievements as band director at White Oak and serving as the Arts Education Director for the Onslow County Schools, the faculty and staff at White Oak High chose to name the new facility the ‘Earl Taylor Performing Arts Center.’
Join us in congratulating Mr. Taylor on this latest honor. Mark you calendar for the Distinguished Alumni Award Ceremony and Reception to be held in conjunction with the New Music Festival Concert on February 27, 2010.
School of Music welcomes two new faculty members
East Carolina University School of Music grad Jami Rhodes will join the SoM voice department faculty this fall. A native of North Carolina, mezzo-soprano Rhodes is an active performer in a variety of genres. Most frequently seen on the operatic stage, she holds a number of favorite roles to her credit including Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Baba in The Medium, Madame de Croissy in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Jo in Little Women, Charlotte in Werther, Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia, Florence Pike in Albert Herring, The Old Lady in Candide and the title role in Bizet’s Carmen.
Also a frequent of the concert stage, Rhodes recording of Dinos Constantinides’ Marche de Galvez with the Louisiana Sinfonietta and the Schola Cantorum was released by Centaur. She has been a winner in the Orpheus National Vocal Competition and a District Winner and Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
She is also an active educator, having maintained a private voice and piano studio for over 10 years. In addition, she has taught in the NC public school system, and she served on the faculty of the New York State Summer School for the Arts (NYSSSA). Rhodes is a full active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).
Rhodes holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal performance and pedagogy from Louisiana State University, as well as a Master of Music in vocal performance from the University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Music in music education from East Carolina University.
Pianist Benjamin Hochman also comes to the SoM faculty this fall, with the keyboard department.
Hochman has achieved widespread acclaim for his performances as orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He made his recital debut at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; has appeared at the 92nd Street Y; made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; and has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony and the American, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Knoxville, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Portland, Seattle, Wheeling and Vancouver symphony orchestras, among others. His chamber music engagements have included the Bridgehampton, Charlottesville, Cooperstown, Caramoor, Lucerne, Marlboro, Ravinia, Santa Fe, Spoleto, and Verbier music festivals.
Hochman has participated in three prestigious residencies, and his honors include the Outstanding Pianist citation at the Verbier Academy, second prize at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, and first prize at the National Piano Competition of the Rubin Academy of Music.
His performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio, CBC (Canada), ABC (Australia), Radio France, and Israel’s Voice of Music radio station, as well as on the European television network, Mezzo.
His first album was released on Artek in 2009.
He is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music and Mannes College of Music.
Michelle J. Hairston receives music therapy award
Michelle J. Hairston, professor and chair and of ECU’s Music Education & Music Therapy Department, was honored at the 2010 American Music Therapy Association conference with the Award of Service to the profession of music therapy.
Jazz great Dr. Billy Taylor, ECU jazz festival namesake, died in New York on December 28
Dr. Billy Taylor, a Jazz pianist, composer, educator and broadcaster who encompassed
that rare combination of creativity, intelligence, vision, commitment and leadership, qualities that made him one of our most cherished national treasures, died in New York on December 28, 2010. He was 89 and lived in Riverdale, New York.
The cause was heart failure, according to his daughter, Kim Taylor-Thompson.
Taylor, (at right with Billy Taylor Jazz Festival director Carroll V. Dashiell, on right)
a Greenville native, was namesake of ECU’s Billy Taylor Jazz Festival.
A memorial service will be held at Riverside Church in Manhattan on Monday, January 10 at 6 pm. It is located at 490 Riverside Drive in Manhattan.
The distinguished ambassador of the jazz community to the world-at-large, Taylor's recording career spanned over six decades. He also composed over three hundred and fifty songs, as well as works for theatre, dance and symphony orchestras.
Among his most notable works is "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free", achieving great popularity with Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Nina Simone covered the song in her 1967 album Silk and Soul, and the song continues to be recorded by many artists worldwide, most recently by Levon Helm.
Playing the piano professionally since 1944, he got his start with Ben Webster's Quartet on New York's famed 52nd Street. He then served as the house pianist at Birdland, the legendary jazz club where he performed with such celebrated masters as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis.
Taylor was not only been an influential musician, but a highly regarded teacher as well, receiving his Masters and Doctorate in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and serving as a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale University.
He also hosted and programmed such radio stations WLIB and WNEW in New York, and several award winning series for National Public Radio. In the early 1980s, Taylor became the arts correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning.
Chamber Singers sing at South ACDA, premiere
The East Carolina University Chamber Singers have been selected to perform at the American Choral Directors Association’s (ACDA) Southern Division Convention in Memphis March 11 as part of the their spring tour. The chamber singers, conducted by ECU director of choral activities Daniel Bara, are ECU’s premiere choral ensemble.
The choir has been chosen for the southern division premiere performance of this year’s Raymond W. Brock Choral Commission. The Raymond W. Brock Choral Commission is the ACDA’s annual commission of a nationally-recognized composer to write a choral composition to perpetuate quality choral repertoire. This year’s commission is entitled “All the Works of Love,”written by American composer Joan Szymko. The singers will perform before an audience of more than 900 choral conductors and choral musicians from the nine-state Southern region.
Additional tour stops include Charlotte and Nashville. The Charlotte performance is March 8at7:30 p.m. at Providence United Methodist Church, and is co-hosted by The Charlotte Children’s Chorus, who will also perform.
The chamber singers will perform at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Nashville on Tuesday, March 9at 7:30 p.m. The concert is hosted by Michael Velting, director of music at Christ Church, and his assistant organist and choirmaster Jon Johnson (ECU BM ’99, MM ’07).
Repertoire on the tour program includes works of Frank Martin, Elliott Carter, William Harris, Charles Wood, Samuel Barber, Richard Rodney Bennett, and others, in addition to several folk song and spiritual arrangements.
The Chamber Singers’ first professional recording, “Greater Love,” is available on iTunes. Their second recording, “Eternal Light,” is scheduled for release in the spring of 2010.
All concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about the ECU Chamber Singers, contact Daniel Bara at firstname.lastname@example.org
Information about past Raymond Brock commissions, performances, composers, and choirs is listed on this webpage.http://acda.org/archive/brock_pieces
Lenoir County Fifth Graders Are “Blown” Away
On Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010 the East Carolina University Symphonic Wind Ensemble came to the Performing Arts Center at Kinston High School to perform for all the fifth graders in Lenoir County Public Schools. The Wind Ensemble from Kinston High School was also invited to attend.
Under the direction of Dr. Scott Carter the ECU Wind Ensemble gave a spectacular performance and demonstrated different instruments to the fifth graders. The group of college students performed a Renaissance brass piece, Brazilian drumming techniques, the overture to Vanity Fair by Percy Fletcher, The Engulfed Cathedral by Claude Debussy, and Aurora Awakes by American composer John Mackey.
Jazz Studies ensemble at the Lincoln Center
East Carolina University jazz studies ensemble A performed at the Lincoln Center in New York on February 28. The performance featured a premiere performance of the composition “Aha” composed by ECU Distinguished Professor of Music Bob Mintzer, funded by ECU Jazz Friends Mr. and Mrs. Victor Chapp. In addition, Billy Taylor, namesake of Greenville’s Billy Taylor Jazz festival, performed a solo intro to his composition, “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” with the ensemble.
On the trip the ensemble performed at Francis Hammond Middle School in Alexandria to 200 children (Vaughn Ambrose, SofM Alum is Director of Instrumental Music at Hammond), and at Bowie State University for student body and music students. The Bowie State performance was filmed for the Prince Georges County cable TV network and ABC World Wide Web.
ECU school of music and jazz studies alums Vaughn Ambrose, director of instrumental music at Francis Hammond Middle School, and Dorsey Mitch Butler, director of jazz studies at Claflin University were featured as guest conductors and special guest soloists.
Lenora Helm, UNC-Central jazz vocal studies professor and ECU jazz studies graduate teaching assistant, performed with the ensemble.
Four Seasons, New Music Festivals celebrate 10th anniversaries
The Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival and artistic director Ara Gregorian bring internationally renowned musicians to eastern North Carolina and beyond for concerts, master classes, and interactive community outreach. In residence at the East Carolina University School of Music, the festival is celebrating its 10th Anniversary Season. Highlights of past seasons include more than 60 public concerts, 200 master classes, two performances at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and a six-concert tour of Israel.
The 2009-2010 season is highlighted by four residencies. Each residency includes back-to-back nights of concerts, master classes, open rehearsals, children’s concerts, world-renowned guest artists, and the greatest literature in the chamber music repertoire, all in ECU’s A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall.
In addition, the festival will present Children’s Residency III and debut the Master Teachers Next Generation Concerts, the newest component of the Master Teachers Program. These concerts will feature current and former East Carolina University students performing alongside Four Seasons guest artists and ECU faculty.
This year will also be marked by two specials events: the annual Donor Appreciation Event and the 10th Anniversary Celebration. Each event will feature special guest artists and programs in celebration of the festival and in appreciation of all those who have made its existence possible throughout the years. www.ecu.edu/music/fourseasons
ECU’s New Music Festival presents its 10th anniversary concert series February 24–28, 2010, celebrating the music of our time.
Highlights include evenings with ECU percussionist Chris Nappi; clarinetist Nathan Williams (ECU professor Christopher Grymes’ teacher and predecessor at ECU, as well as an instigating force behind the festival’s creation 10 years ago); Nathaniel Bartlett’s (left) “Immersive Music” http://www.nathanielbartlett.com/; a guest composer appearance by Steven Dembski of the University of Wisconsin, and others.
The ECU symphony orchestra will perform at the festival again this year, featuring the winner of the fifth annual Orchestra Composition Competition; the premiere of a new work by Edward Jacobs, New Music Festival founder and director; and Mark Glick’s “The Wife of Bath” for Soprano and Orchestra, with guest soloist Karen Hall (orchestral version première).
The festival week will begin with a concert of student compositions—the Premiere Performances Concert.
For additional information about the festival, or to become a festival sponsor, contact: East Carolina University School of Music, 252-328-6851, or Edward Jacobs, NewMusic@ECU Festival Director, NewMusic@ECU.EDU, 252-328-4280.
Greater Love on iTunes
ECU Chamber Singers CD Greater Love is now available for purchase on iTunes. Search by Dan Bara or by East Carolina University.
The American Record Guide said of the CD:
“The choral tone is extraordinarily fine: warm, solid, well blended, and superbly disciplined...I am inclined to think that the freshness and purity of sound we hear on this recording can only be obtained from well-trained young voices...There are many fine recordings of the Howells Requiem and Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, but I believe this one can stand with the best of them."
Jazz at Christinne’s with “TomtheJazzman”
Tom Mallison, host of “An Evening with TomtheJazzman” on Public Radio East, will serve as master of ceremonies for East Carolina University School of Music jazz studies program concerts at Christinne’s in the Hilton Greenville during the 2009–2010 academic year, beginning on Friday, September 11.
The evenings will feature performances by students and faculty from the ECU jazz studies program, as well as occasional guest artists. Christinne's will take reservations for dinner on concert nights. The number to reserve a table for dinner, starting at 6 p.m., is 252-355-9500.
“Jazz at Christinne’s with TomtheJazzman” featuring the jazz studies program performances are scheduled for Friday, September 11; Friday, October 23; Friday January 22; Friday, February 26 and Friday, March 26. All concerts start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5.00 for students and $10 for the public, and are available at 1-800-ECU-ARTS or at the door.
Mallison began programming jazz as “TomtheJazzman” on Public Radio East over 24 years ago. “An Evening with TomtheJazzman” is the longest-running jazz program in North Carolina. Mallison is a contributing programmer, writer and photographer for JazzWeek magazine, the late International Association for Jazz Education, the Jazz Journalist Association and Pure Jazz Radio. He is co-founder of the Friends of Jazz at East Carolina University and was a charter member of the Coastal Jazz Society. He frequently conducts workshops regarding the changing landscape of jazz.
"We are delighted that Tom Mallison has agreed to serve the jazz studies program in this particular capacity,” said Jeff Bair, director of jazz studies. “He has introduced jazz to generations of music lovers in eastern North Carolina and will be a great addition to this concert series."
Harold Jones honored for his years of service as conductor of the Tar
River Symphonic Band.
On Saturday, November 14, the Tar River Symphonic Band, conducted by Michael Votta, will be honoring East Carolina University School of Music emeritus
faculty member Harold Jones for his years of service as conductor of the Tar
River Symphonic Band.
The concert will include a world premier performance of "Concertino for
Percussion and Symphonic Band" commissioned by the Tar River Symphonic Band
for this event. The composer, Jack Stamp, is an ECU alumnus and the
percussion solo will be performed by Jonathan Wacker, who is currently on
the percussion faculty at ECU.
The performance begins at 7:30 at the Dunn Center in Rocky Mount. Other
activities include an open rehearsal Saturday afternoon 2:00-4:30 and a
preconcert talk at 6:15 that evening.
Tickets are $17 for adults. Students are free with student ID.
For more information please contact the Dunn Center at
www.dunncenter.com Or (252) 985-5197.
Music Therapy brings gamelon to ECU
The ECU Music Therapy Program hosted the Music Therapy Association of North Carolina spring meeting April 24, at the ECU School of Music. In attendance were professional and student music therapists from across the state and music educators and world music students from Pitt County and ECU.
A five-hour continuing education workshop was conducted by ECU alumnus Dr. Michael Rohrbacher, director of music therapy at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va. He brought a large gamelan "orchestra" from Bali, and participants learned to play and understand the role of the gamelan in Balinese society, as well as make applications to therapeutic and educational environments.
A gamelan is a musical ensemble from Indonesia, typically from the islands of Bali or Java, featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings. A gamelan is a set of instruments as a distinct entity, built and tuned to stay together.
Dr. Barbara Memory, director of music therapy at ECU, coordinated the meeting and workshop.
Franklin takes reins of Marching Pirates
By Jeannine Manning Hutson, ECU staff writer
John Franklin was hired knowing he was staring down a deadline: Sept. 5, ECU’s home football opener.
Franklin began as director of the Marching Pirates on Aug. 4, meaning he had one month to turn 220 college students into a cohesive marching band ready to hit the field and impress the football fans.
Before joining the School of Music faculty, Franklin directed the athletic and symphonic bands at the University of West Georgia. At ECU, Franklin is director of athletic bands and associate director of bands.
Five days before fall semester classes began at ECU, Franklin had the marching band on its practice field at the bottom of College Hill for its first practice of the season. Yes, two weeks before the first home football game.
Franklin along with his student staff of drum majors and nine section leaders will teach the band the music and the half-time routine through multiple daily practices.
“They go in knowing the essentials (of being in a march band), but this is getting everyone on the same page,” Franklin said. “Half of our band is non-music majors.”
During the football season, the band will perform five half-time shows at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, learning 15 songs and the marching routine for each show. The band will also learn the 15 to 20 tunes to play in the stands, five pre-game songs including the National Anthem, and the music for the “Power Play” show they plan for this year outside the stadium as part of the pre-game festivities.
“We’ll play songs like ‘Hey! Baby’ and have lots of interaction with the fans at tailgating,” Franklin said.
ECU Senior Tremayne Smith, head drum major for the Marching Pirates, helped keep the program on track between band directors this summer.
“We worked orientation to sign up students for marching band, made copies and created folders, kept the communication going to the band, and kept planning over the summer since Dr. Knighten left.” Chris Knighten resigned as the marching band director in the spring for a similar position at the University of Arkansas.
Smith said he’s proud of the way the section leaders have stepped up to the challenge of preparing their areas and welcomed Franklin and his new ideas. “I hope this is an indication of how the season will go,” Smith said.
“Some directors come in and immediately try to make the program their own. Dr. Franklin has said, here’s some things we’re going to change and here are the things we’re going to keep for tradition. It’s a good mix,” Smith said.
On the first full day of marching band camp, the heat and humidity were aiming for a record even before 10 a.m. Franklin was sweating; the students were sweating; the sun was beating down on the open field. During a five-minute water break, Franklin used “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” references to get one of the horn sections motivated to come onto the field intending to impress the fans (and their fellow Marching Pirates) with their precision.
Joking about the heat, Franklin said he has worked in some of the hottest places for marching bands – tradition and temperature wise– Florida and Indiana.
Franklin completed his doctor of music degree in wind conducting at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, where he also earned his master’s of music education degree. He earned a bachelor’s of music education degree from Florida State University.
Chris Buddo, School of Music director, said that ECU is lucky to have Franklin coming in and gearing up so quickly for the football season.
“We are fortunate to have found a marching band director of John’s exceptional qualifications,” he said. “It is a tribute to his dedication and work ethic that he was in Greenville preparing for the upcoming football season three weeks after interviewing, and on the field with the band one week later.”
The rise of ECU’s football program was a ready-made recruiter for the Marching Pirates director position, Franklin said. The band has an opportunity to play at sold-out home stadium games before loyal Pirate fans and potentially at a bowl game.
Franklin said he was inspired to take this career path by exceptional band directors in his high school and college years. “Plus I’m a longtime college football fan.”
Organist Scanlon joins School of Music
Organist Andrew Scanlon has joined the School of Music to teach organ and sacred music. In addition, he will serve as the Organist-Choirmaster at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Greenville.
Scanlon is an active recitalist, performing extensively on the organ in the United States and abroad.
Prior to moving to Greenville, Andrew Scanlon was a member of the organ faculty at Duquesne University, where he taught applied organ as well as courses in Service Playing, Choral Literature, and Liturgical Studies to undergraduate and graduate students in one of the nation’s largest sacred music degree programs. Between 2006—2008, he organized two international study tours for the organ students, taking them to Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, and he also organized two large-scale sacred music conferences at Duquesne, one in celebration of Jean Langlais’ music, and a second celebrating Olivier Messiaen’s centennial. From 2005-2009, he was also the Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, where he oversaw a music program which encompassed a semi-professional parish choir, a volunteer womens’ choir, a diverse and ambitious concert series, and an organ recital series. Scanlon was also the conductor of The Pittsburgh Compline Choir during that time. During his time as the conductor of the Compline Choir, Andrew Scanlon was credited with bringing the Compline Choir back to life, reorganizing it, tripling its membership, and broadening the choir’s already extensive repertoire. The Compline Choir’s new CD, Blessed, Heavenly Light is scheduled to be released this year.
Scanlon earned the Bachelor of Music degree from Duquesne University and the Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music and Yale Institute of Sacred Music.
09 Guitar Festival and Workshop
The 2009 East Carolina University Summer Guitar Festival and Workshop takes place July 11-14 in the A. J. Fletcher Music Building on the ECU campus in Greenville.
The ECU Summer Guitar Workshop is open to students ages 12-and-up who wish to acquire or improve skills on the classical guitar. The workshop draws talented students from across the United States and abroad. Applications for the workshop are being accepted currently.
The Concert Series features the artist-faculty, nationally and internationally known concert artists and teachers. Students have lessons with these gifted artists and area music aficionados can hear these musicians perform in recital during the workshop. Concerts will feature 2008 solo competition winner Jeremy Collins, Slovenian virtuoso Marko Feri and workshop director Elliot Frank, Andrew Zohn and workshop headliner Adam Holzman, the Akerman Teixeira Duo, and the great American virtuoso, Jason Vieaux.
Master teachers Bruce Holzman, Joseph Ikner, and Patrick Lui will also be a part of the workshop faculty.
On Tuesday, July 14, some of the country’s finest young guitarists will compete in the finals of the ECU Solo Guitar Competition. This year’s event takes place with sponsorship from the D’Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts.
For further information regarding the workshop or concert series, please contact
Dr. Elliot Frank at 252-328-6245 or by email, email@example.com
, or visit www.ecu.edu/music/guitar/workshop.
New television show features East Carolina School of Music performances (3/1/09)
Greenville cable viewers have access to a new music performance television program featuring faculty and students from the School of Music at East Carolina University.
“ECU School of Music Presents” is a 30-to-60 minute music performance and interview show airing on Suddenlink Cable Channel 99, also known as ECU-TV.
The first episode, featuring professor of guitar Elliot Frank, aired Monday, March 16. New shows will be aired as they are recorded and will be rebroadcast at various times.
The show’s host is Christopher Buddo, director of the school of music.
“The faculty at the ECU School of Music includes world-class performers- they truly appear in venues all over the world- and this program gives music aficionados in our region the opportunity to see and hear these gifted musicians play in the comfort of the viewer’s living room,” Buddo said. “And while it is impressive and fun to watch the student performances, it is important to remember that performance is part of the curriculum for many of these young men and women.”
Harley Dartt, assistant director at the school of music and one of the show’s executive producers said the format is designed for education as well as pleasure viewing.
“The various musical pieces are introduced and explained by the performers and faculty before each piece is performed, giving the audience unique insight into what they will hear,” Dartt said. “The taping format allows for multiple camera angles and very close shots of performers and instruments.”
The April show features Henry Doskey, pianist and chairman of the keyboard department, performing an all-Chopin program. Future shows will include a variety of performances including large ensemble vocal, percussion and steel drum, solo tuba and performances on historic instruments.
In addition to public broadcast, the school will use the recorded programs for student recruitment and classroom education.
Jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon to headline
Billy Taylor Jazz Festival in Greenville
Again this year, the East Carolina University School of Music Jazz Studies Program brings a world-class jazz performer to Greenville for the Billy Taylor Jazz Festival on April 16-17.
Award-winning and multiple Grammy-nominated North Carolina vocalist Nnenna Freelon headlines this year’s event. Freelon has been awarded the Eubie Blake Award from the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and the Billie Holiday Award from the Academie du Jazz. Freelon performed a film soundtrack for “The Visit,” starring Billy Dee Williams, remaking Frank Sinatra's classic "Fly Me to the Moon.”
She also had a cameo as a nightclub singer in the 2001 blockbuster Mel Gibson romantic comedy “What Women Want,” performing her trademark song "If I Had You.” In addition, she has been nominated twice for the “Soul Train” Lady of Soul award. On February 21, 2001, Freelon earned a rousing standing ovation for her stunning live performance at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards telecast in Los Angeles, performing “Straighten Up And Fly Right.”
Dr. Billy Taylor—house pianist at Birdland, arts correspondent for CBS News “Sunday Morning,” artistic advisor for jazz to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, recipient of two Peabody Awards, an Emmy, a Grammy, and 23 honorary doctoral degrees—is a national treasure, Greenville’s native son and the festival’s namesake.
Morton is the recipient of NCMEA scholarships
ECU music education student Jason L. Morton is the recipient of the North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA) Bill McCloud Merit Scholarship and the NCMEA Ruth Jewell Scholarship for 2009.
The Bill McCloud Merit Scholarship is presented to a North Carolina music education student based on leadership, activities and character. The Ruth Jewell Scholarship is presented based on musical talent, leadership and service.
Morton is president of the NC Collegiate Chapter and membership taskforce chair of the NCMEA.
The ECU music therapists will be hosting the Music Therapy Association
The ECU music therapists will be hosting the Music Therapy Association of North Carolina on April 24, 2009. Dr. Michael Rohrbacher from Shenandoah University will be the guest clinician on "The Art of Playing Gamelons."
Dr. Michelle J. Hairston, MT-BC
Prof. & Chair, Music Education & Music Therapy Dept.
East Carolina University
Past President, American Music Therapy Association
Greenville, NC 27858
ECU Trumpet Ensemble Wins Fourth Place at National Trumpet Competition (3/13/08)
During Spring Break, the ECU Trumpet Ensemble competed in the national Trumpet Competition in Fairfax, VA. There were 27 groups accepted into the semifinal round. After the first round on Thursday, ECU was invited to participate as one of five finalists later in the evening, outplaying such schools as Juilliard School, Indiana University, and Boston University. They were awarded fourth place and received a check for $1,500.
The students involved include Alex Jackson, John Maye, Robert Goodwin, James Old and Chris Neverve (pictured above). They performed Ronald Lo Presti's three-movement Suite by memory. Several professors at the competition said it was the finest performance of that piece they had ever heard. The ECU Trumpet Ensemble is coached by Professor Britton Theurer.
ECU Student wins prize in National Vocal Competition (3/3/08)
Gary Harwell, a Senior Vocal Performance major was recently awarded fourth place, and the Nora Sands Encouragement Award at the 13th annual Orpheus National Vocal Competition, held at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Harwell competed against over 100 other singers in three rounds of the competition. Following a preliminary round where contestants submit recordings to a panel of judges, Harwell was invited to travel to Tennessee for the competition’s semi-final round on March 1, 2008. His performances of Schubert’s Ganymed, and Korngold’s Pierrot’s Tanzlied earned him a spot in the final round, where he competed against six other singers. He offered Poulenc’s Sanglots, and Fauré’s Hostias for the final round of the competition. Other finalists in Harwell’s category included graduate students from Eastman School of Music, Florida State University, and Indiana University.
Gary is a native of Wendell, North Carolina. He is the voice student of John Kramar at ECU, where he has performed the title role in their recent production of Sweeney Todd, as well as leading roles in The Magic Flute, Curlew River, and Gianni Schicchi. He plans to attend the American Institute for Musical Studies in Graz, Austria this summer for further studies in opera and art song.
John Wustman named Distinguished Professor for 2008-09 (2/4/08)
The School of Music is delighted to announce that John Wustman "dean of American accompanists" has been named the Robert L. Jones Distinguished Professor of Music for the 2008-2009 academic year.
Professor Wustman's biography reads like veritable history of singers and singing. After becoming affiliated with Robert Shaw his long and illustrious career took off. He has appeared in the leading concert halls on five continents with some of the world’s greatest singers; including Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Birgit Nilsson, Régine Crespin, Christa Ludwig, Nicolai Gedda, Carlo Bergonzi, Luciano Pavarotti and a host of others. Leading highlights in an already brilliant career include a series of televised recitals with Mr. Pavarotti, including the first recital from the Metropolitan Opera House in 1978.
For more information contact Chair of the Vocal Studies Department via e-mail: Professor Sharon Munden.
ECU Hosts "Day of Percussion" (1/25/08)
On February 23rd, ECU will host the 2008 "Day of Percussion". This is an annual event of the North Carolina chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. ECU professor Dr. Jonathan Wacker is currently the President of the NCPAS and will host the event.
The "Day of Percussion" will bring percussionists of all ages, from across North and South Carolina to ECU to enjoy a full day of performances, masterclasses and clinics from some of the best drummers and percussionists in the world. Attendance is expected to be between 300-400.
The event runs from 8AM until 6PM. Student admission is $5, Adults $10 and all PAS members (with a valid PAS ID card) are free!
For more information, contact Dr. Wacker at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the PAS webpage at http://www.pas.org/Chapters/NorthCarolina/dop2008.htm
Chamber Singers Releases First CD (11/1/07)
The ECU Chamber Singers, under the direction of Daniel Bara, has recorded their first professional compact disc recording in collaboration with international concert organist and ECU organ professor, Janette Fishell. The project was produced and is now being internationally distributed on the Gothic recording label and in the Gothic Catalog: Choral and Organ Recordings of Distinction. The recording features primarily twentieth-century sacred English works for chorus, and chorus & organ-music dear to the hearts of Fishell and Bara. These works of Britten, Howells, Tippet, Ireland, Pearsall, and Wilbye were first performed live by the Chamber Singers, Bara and Fishell at the 2007 Religious Arts Festival Opening Concert in January of 2007. After traveling to Miami in March for a featured performance at the American Choral Directors Association's National Convention, the Chamber Singers returned to Greenville for two days of recording in May.
The recording was made at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Greenville, home of the Fisk pipe organ Op. 126, and the primary instructional instrument for ECU Organ Majors.
Read Steve Row's review from the Classical Voice of North Carolina HERE.
Recordings can be purchased through most online classical music recording distributors, including the Gothic Records website. You may also purchase recordings directly through the ECU School of Music. Just send a check for $15.00 to:
Dr. Daniel Bara
School of Music
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858
ECU Welcomes new viola professor (8/1/07)
The ECU School of Music is pleased to announce that Melissa Reardon has joined the faculty as professor of viola.
Melissa received her BM from the Curtis Institute of Music, and her MM and GD from the New England Conservatory of Music. She received the prestigious Tourjee Award from the New England Conservatory for her third year of graduate study in 2002. Melissa has studied with Kim Kashkashian, Michael Tree, Joseph dePasquale, Karen Tuttle, Samuel Rhodes, and Hsin-Yun Huang.
She won First Prize of the 2003 Washington International Competition, and has performed extensively in both solo and chamber music settings. Melissa made her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the age of thirteen and has since garnered top prizes in several international competitions including HAMS International and Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. As a collaborative musician, Melissa has performed in numerous festivals across the US, Europe and Korea. She has performed with the Borromeo String Quartet, the Boston Chamber Music Society, International Sejong Soloists, Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, at Bargemusic and has toured with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. Melissa is also a founding member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and has spent several summers at the Marlboro Music Festival. She toured with Musicians for Marlboro in 2004, and toured France with the same group in May-June of 2005. Melissa was also a founding member of the Amaryllis String Quartet (1991-2000) whose engagements included performances at the Kennedy Library, Caramoor Music Festival, Jordan Hall, Steamboat Springs, Boulder and Rockport Chamber Music Festivals.
ECU Welcomes new tuba/euphonium professor (5/10/07)
The ECU School of Music is excited to announce that Tom McCaslin has joined the faculty as professor of tuba and euphonium.
Raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Tom McCaslin began his musical training on the trombone at the age of nine and switched to the tuba three years later. Tom holds a Licentiate in Music Performance from McGill University (Montreal) and a Master’s degree in Music Performance at Arizona State University. Tom’s principal teachers include John Griffiths, Fritz Kaenzig, Roger Bobo, Dennis Miller, Floyd Cooley and Samuel Pilafian. In 2006 he was acting principal Tuba in the Auckland Philharmonia (New Zealand). In 2003 Tom became the first tuba player to return three summers to the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center, the summer training center for the Boston Symphony.
Tom has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Ann Arbor Symphony, the New Mexico Symphony, the Santa Fe Symphony, and the Regina Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist, Tom has been a semi-finalist in the Marneukirchen world instrumental competition, a two-time finalist in the Montreal Symphony’s concerto competition, a finalist in the National Canadian Music Festival, the winner of the Saskatchewan Music Festival’s Brass division and the winner of Arizona State University’s Concerto competition. He has presented recitals in USA, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and Australia. He has also recorded for the Canadian Broadcast Company, National Public Radio and performed on Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor.
Winners Announced for the ECU Pre-College Piano & Organ Competition (3/19/07)
We are pleased to announce the winners of both the Piano and Organ Divisions of the first annual ECU Pre-College Piano and Organ Competition. The field was made up of a number of exceptionally talented young high school students from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The piano competition judges were, in the Junior Section, Dr. Richard Lucht of Greenville, and, in the Senior Section, Ms. Constance Kotis of Greensboro. The organ competition was judged by guest adjudicator, Dr. Wilma Jensen. Winners are as follows:
Junior Piano Section:
Senior Piano Section:
- SPECIAL PRIZE: THE GILLOCK PRIZE, $100, sponsored by Green Mill Recordings - DANIEL PETERSON (Wilson, NC)
- SPECIAL PRIZE: THE AMERICAN MUSIC PRIZE - $100, sponsored by The Greenville Piano Teachers Association - NICHOLAS PETERSON (Wilson, NC)
- THIRD PRIZE: THE CHAUNCEY PRIZE - $200, sponsored by Ms. Bea Chauncey – MARIKA YASUDA (Williamsburg, VA)
- SECOND PRIZE – THE BURRAGE MUSIC PRIZE - $300, sponsored by Burrage Music Company - NICHOLAS PETERSON (Wilson, NC)
- FIRST PRIZE: THE TRANS EAST PRIZE - $500, sponsored by Mr. Ed Glenn of Trans East - LUCI DUAN (Cary, NC)
Organ Competition Winners
- THIRD PRIZE: THE BATH/LALIK PRIZE - $350, sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. Charles Bath and Mrs. AnneMarie Lalik – SANDY KIM (Lillington, NC)
- SECOND PRIZE: THE HENRY HUSTED WOOTEN PRIZE -$500, sponsored by Mrs. Harriet H. Wooten - JI-WON LIM (Charlotte, NC)
- FIRST PRIZE: THE CHARLES AND JOANNE BATH PRIZE - $750, sponsored by Dr. Charles and Mrs. Joanne Bath - PATRICK KREEGER (Greenville, NC)
- First place winner of the Fisk Prize and the Special Prize for outstanding Bach performance (presented by the NC Bach Society): Paul Thomas, HS Senior from Charlotte, NC.
- Second place winner of the Fishell Prize: Chris Lynch (senior), Woodberry Forrest Prep School.
- Third place winner of the AGO Prize: Caroline Robinson, HS Freshman from Greenville, SC.
Acclaimed Vibraphonist Arthur Lipner performs at ECU (2/2/07) On February 1, acclaimed vibraphonist Arthur Lipner--one of the most talented marimba and vibes voices performing today--performed the world premiere of Hybridisation, a sound sculpture for Vibraphone/Marimba soloist and percussion ensemble. The performance took place in A. J. Fletcher Recital Hall with the ECU Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Wacker. Included on the program was the Greenville Children's Choir under the direction of Paul Flowers.
On Friday, February 2, Lipner performed with the ECU Jazz Ensemble A under the direction of Carroll V. Dashiell Jr. Joining the ensemble are ECU jazz faculty members Jeff Bair, saxophone; George Broussard, trombone; Ernest Turner, piano; and Jonathan Wacker, percussion. Also on the program is the ECU Symphonic Wind Ensemble, under the baton of Scott Carter. The performance was offered as a part of the All-East Band Festival.
For more information on Arthur Lipner, visit his web site at www.arthurlipner.com.
ECU Voice Professor Appointed to NC Arts Council Board (2/1/07)
Dr. Louise Toppin, acclaimed soprano and voice instructor at ECU's School of Music was recently appointed by the governor of North Carolina to the NC Arts Council. This group sets policy and determines arts funding for all organizations across the state.
ECU Students Win Raleigh Symphony Concerto Competition (1/31/2007)
Three of our string students were selected as winners of the Raleigh Symphony Concerto Competition and will play with the Raleigh Symphony on May 6.
Leo Perez will perform the Prokofiev Concerto #2 1st movement, Ashley Dyer will perform the Saint-Säens Concerto #3 1st movement, and Elizabeth York will perform the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto movements 2 and 3.
We congratulate these students and their teacher, Ara Gregorian, for this terrific achievement.
ECU Music Students to compete in semi-finals of ACDA Conducting Competition (1/31/2007) We are pleased to announced that two of our choral conducting students have been selected to participate in the semi-final round of the ACDA Conducting Competition.
Anthony Maglione, a semi-finalist in the graduate division, and Josh Dearing, a semi-finalist in the undergraduate division, were two of the sixteen semi-finalists chosen nation-wide.
We congratulate these students and their teacher, Dr. Dan Bara, for this fine achievement.
ECU Announces Concerto Competition Winner (12/6/06)
Alicia Arnold, graduate violin student of Ara Gregorian was named ECU’s concerto competition winner in a competition held December 5, 2006. Performing Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole, Alicia competed against other students chosen as finalists from preliminary rounds held earlier in the semester. Other finalists included, Adam Fussell (trombone), Shrieka Gilliard (bassoon) and Matthew Gillette (voice). Ms. Arnold performed with the ECU Symphony Orchestra on January 28, 2007 in Wright Auditorium on the ECU campus.
ECU to host Southeast Chapter of the American Musicological Society (11/28/06)
The ECU School of Music is proud to host the Spring 2007 meeting of the American Musicological Society-Southeast Chapter. The meeting will take place in the recently completed addition of the A. J. Fletcher Music Center on Saturday, February 24 from 9am to 5pm. For further information, visit the AMS-SE web site or contact the meeting host, Dr. Francesco Izzo.
Jazz Vocalist Vanessa Rubin performs at ECU (11/28/06)
A frequent jazz performer worldwide, and just coming off two performances at "The Half Note" in Athens, Greece, the renowned vocalist, composer, producer, and clinician Vanessa Rubin provided a jazz vocal clinic and performed with the ECU jazz faculty during the recent Jazz Ensembles concert on Friday, December 1 at 7:00 PM in Wright Auditorium on the ECU campus.
The list of great musicians who have graced Rubins recordings and bandstands is quite impressive: Monty Alexander, Cecil Bridgewater, Kenny Burrell, Frank Foster, Billy Higgins, Etta Jones, Lewis Nash, Houston Person, Toots Thielemans, Steve Turre, Cedar Walton, Grover Washington, Jr., and James Williams are just a few of the masters who’ have lent their skills to support Ms. Rubin’s artistry. More recently she has completed auspicious global tours with Herbie Hancock, the Woody Herman Orchestra, and the Jazz Crusaders.
After teaching for a number of years, Rubin headed to New York City in 1982 and landed early gigs with the likes ofKenny Barron, Pharoah Sanders, Lionel Hampton, and the Mercer Ellington Orchestra. Since then, she has performed countless performances and recorded and released numerous CDs on Telarc and RCA/Novus labels. Visit Rubin's web site for more information and audio samples from each of her seven albums.
Links: Vanessa Rubin Official Web Site
Fall 2006 Issue of Tones Now Available You don't want to miss this issue of our alumni and friends newsletter!
Features include "From Beauty Parlor to Beauty Queen" which tells the story of music major Jessica Lim's experiences involving the Miss Korea pageant in Atlanta; student news; news on the Chamber Singers invitation to the National ACDA convention; "Opera Professor Sings to Cows, Crosses Nation" which covers Oliver Henderson's trek via bicycle across the U.S.; faculty creative activity; news of Katrina refugee earning a masters at ECU School of Music; and our concert calendar.
Click to view/download a PDF version of the Fall 2006 edition of Tones.
Chamber Singers heads to "World Series" of Choral Events (10/31/06)
The American Choral Directors Association’s national convention attracts between 10,000 and 15,000 conductors, singers, teachers and church musicians from across the country, and features a collection of the nation’s best choirs. The conference is so well attended that attendees are divided into more than one schedule. Each concert, interest session and lecture is offered in triplicate, as no convention center or performance hall can hold the multitude that throngs to the annual event.
East Carolina University’s Chamber Singers were selected to perform at this convention. A national committee reviewed more than 300 audition CDs in a blind process, selecting 32 choirs in a variety of categories from across the country to perform. “These choirs tend to be the cream of the crop at the convention,” Bara says. “To my knowledge, this is the first time an ECU choral ensemble has received national level attention, and perhaps the first time that any ECU musical ensemble has been invited to a national level event that was juried.”
The ACDA appearance falls on the heels of having been invited to perform for the Southern Division ACDA last spring. East Carolina’s was the only North Carolina choir invited to that event. “This is our Rose Bowl, our trip to the College World Series,” Bara says.
Links: ACDA National web site || ASTA National Convention || NC-ASTA web site ||
New School of Music web site unveiled (10/27/2006) After five months of development and even more time for the planning phase, the ECU School of Music has released its brand-new web site. This is the first major overhaul of the school's web site since it was first created in the mid-1990s.
Michael B. Dixon, a School of Music alumnus (BM '92, MM '94) and current Instructional Technology Consultant for the ECU College of Fine Arts & Communication, built the new site using the university's official web authoring tool, CommonSpot. Significant planning and consultation with Mr. Christopher Ulffers (assistant director for administrative support), Dr. Christopher Buddo (director) and Dr. Susan Beck-Frazier (assistant director for student services) along with various music faculty members helped to hone in on the desired result.
"The approach we took with this new site was to streamline the information available; to focus on providing easy-to-access information for prospective students, as well as to better serve our current students and faculty," Dixon stated. "We also wanted to provide dedicated web pages to all departments within the School, and expand areas for our Friends groups and Alumni."
In the past, not all departments have had web presence, and trying to find contact information had been one of the main weaknesses of the old site. Both issues are resolved with redundancies throughout the site enabling visitors to quickly find what they need with very view clicks.
One major improvement will be the way the site is managed. Several faculty and staff will have access to specific portions of the new site, enabling them to better maintain the information displayed. The system is easy enough that you need not be a true "webmaster" to make changes.
Dixon added, "As an experienced web site designer, using CommonSpot to build the new site was a bit frustrating for me to use, as it adds so many more steps to create or modify information than standard web design tools. However, this system is ideal for enabling many non-webmasters to maintain the site simultaneously, without redundancy or duplication of efforts."
Have comments? Please feel free to e-mail Chris Ulffers, Chris Buddo, or Mike Dixon
Alumni recital October 16
The School of Music Alumni Board invites alumni from all years to attend the Second Annual Alumni Reunion & Recital to be held in the A. J. Fletcher Recital Hall on October 16, during homecoming weekend 2009.
The reception will be held in Rehearsal Hall Room 105 immediately following the recital.
Look for more information here as the weekend approaches, or contact Mary Jane Gaddis, 252.328.1268 or email@example.com.