Table of Contents
This year, three new collaborative relationships – with Shenandoah Conservatory, Washington Performing Arts Society, and Washington Vocal Arts Society – build on the Conservatory’s vibrant learning and listening offerings to bring expanded opportunities for the Conservatory’s students, families, and community.
Three New Relationships
The Washington Conservatory believes that every community should have excellent live music and in the past nine years, the Conservatory has presented over 100 free concerts of the highest quality.
Washington Performing Arts Societywww.WPAS.org
The Conservatory is presenting two master classes with the Washington Performing Arts Society.
Washington Vocal Arts Societywww.vocalartssociety.org
With the Washington Vocal Arts Society, the Conservatory presented a concert in March featuring winners of the Society’s Art Song Discovery Series Auditions, Brooke Evers, soprano, and Michael Gallant, tenor, with R. Timothy McReynolds, piano, and Elizabeth Daniels, commentator. Art Song Discovery concerts are especially designed to make art song interesting and accessible.
More Conservatory Events
The Conservatory’s Concerts for the Nation’s Capital
The Conservatory’s ongoing Concerts for the Nation’s Capital continue in May with two extraordinary pianists:
Previous programs in this year’s Concerts for the Nation’s Capital professional series featured outstanding guest artists, including Washington Conservatory Faculty members. The series began in October with cellist Tanya Anisimova and pianist Lydia Frumkin. Marcel Worms, pianist from Amsterdam, appeared in January. The series also included the following WCM faculty members:
Michael Adcock, piano, will perform on the Embassy Series at the Polish Embassy in Washington, DC, Saturday, May 31, at 7:30 pm, with Malgorzata Olejniczak, soprano, and Rafal Bartminski, tenor. www.embassyseries.com In June he will be on the faculty of the Sarasota Music Festival, Sarasota, FL. In March he performed Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto no. 2 in g minor with the Danville, VA Symphony Orchestra and also performed in Palm Springs, CA, with tenor Byron Jones.
Deborah Brudvig, cello, will be performing as principal cellist with the Washington Concert Opera (Rossini's "Biancha e Falliero") at Lisner Auditorium on Sunday, April 13 at 6 pm (www.concertopera.org) and on April 27, with the Amadeus Orchestra, conducted by faculty member A. Scott Wood. www.amadeusconcerts.com; 703-759-5334. On April 18, she will perform with cabaret singer Sally Martin in Baltimore at An Die Musik. www.andiemusiklive.com
Suzanne Gekker, clarinet, will perform the Brahms Quintet at the German Embassy on May 7 with the Mendelssohn Trio and Claudia Chudacoff, as part of the Embassy Series, and recently performed the Schubert Octet at the Austrian Embassy.
Aurelius Gori, voice, will solo with the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and the NOVA Community Chorus in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 1, “A Sea Symphony,” on Sunday, April 13 at 5 pm, Rachel Schlesinger Concert Hall, Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria, VA and on Sunday, April 20 at 5 pm, Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G Street, NW, Washington, DC. Tickets/information: 703-845-6097 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Grace Gori, voice, will solo in American University’s performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on Saturday, April 26 at 8 pm and Sunday, April 27 at 3 pm at the Katzen Arts Center, Abramson Family Recital Hall. Tickets: american.tix.com or 202-885-2787. Directions: Katzen Visiting She sang in the chorus in Washington National Opera’s March production of Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman” and in its November 2007 production of Bolcom’s “A View from the Bridge.” The Washington Post has called the chorus one “of the best such ensembles in the area.” www.dc-opera.org
Maribeth Gowen, piano, performed at the National Gallery of Art with the Women of the National Gallery Vocal Arts Ensemble in music by Hildegard von Bingen and other women composers in March, in honor of Women’s History Month. She performed in piano duo with her husband, Bradford Gowen, in a program of Mozart, Schubert, Ewazen, and Burge in March, in Rockville, presented by Musical Arts International and will do the same program in Georgetown on April 20 at 4 pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church, as a benefit to purchase a piano for the Chevy Chase Manor Care in honor of Paul Traver. For information: 202-363-8873.
Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, piano, performed at National City Christian Church's "Music at Midday" series in March. In July, in Guadalajara, Mexico, he will give two piano four-hand performances with pianist Grace Cho and the Jalisco State Choir, performing Brahms and Dvorák. In the fall, he will perform Bach, Bach-Busoni, and Brahms in Leesburg, VA at The Piano Company with pianist Ronald Hawkins, and will give solo recitals in Shenandoah University, Westmoreland Church, and, in Mexico, solo recitals and, with Grace Cho, four-hand performances.
Cheryl Hill, clarinet, plays with the Baltimore Opera Company, which will perform Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” in May at the Lyric Opera house in Baltimore. www.baltimoreopera.com Doug Dubé (violin), George Ohlson (violin, viola) and Nancy Snider (cello), also play with the Baltimore Opera. Mr. Dubé is concertmaster.
Dionne Laufman, piano, has become a repertory member of the National Chamber Ensemble, a new group founded by violinist Leonid Sushansky, former concertmaster of the Maryland Symphony. The 2007-2008 concert season has marked its inaugural year as Arlington, Virginia’s new Ensemble in Residence. Performances included Mozart’s Piano Quartet in g minor, as well as works by Haydn, Schubert, Shostakovich, and Beethoven. Concerts are presented at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theater. www.NationalChamberEnsemble.org
David Lonkevich, flute, was invited to perform with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions this past year, playing principal flute as well as flute and piccolo in the section, in subscription and pop concerts.
Marty Nau, saxophone, is playing with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra April 10 through 13, backing up the Four Freshman. With the Capitol Quartet, he will be playing with the Butler County (PA) Symphony Orchestra, May 2 through 4. During December, he will play with the Indianapolis Symphony for a Christmas show. In March, he performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights and Pops Goes Vegas.
Drew Owen, cello, has been playing with the National Symphony Orchestra this winter and spring.
Berta Rojas, classical guitar, will perform on the Marlow Guitar Series on Saturday, April 26 at 8 pm at Westmoreland Congregational UCC Church. Her program is titled “Reflections of Agustin Barrios.” (www.marlowguitar.org) Her DVD, “Paraguay according to Agustin Barrios,” featuring Rojas performing Barrios’ music in Paraguay, will be released at the end of the month. Copies will be for sale in the Conservatory office. On July 4, Rojas will perform with the Irish Symphony Orchestra in Dublin, playing music of Brouwer and Rodrigo.
Ruth Rose, piano, gave a recital in March at the Historical Society of Washington, DC, performing composers ranging from Mozart and Chopin to Satie and Albéniz. In February she performed with the Great Noise Ensemble at the Patricia Sitar Center in Washington, DC, and last November she performed at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.
José Sacin, voice, was chosen as cantor for the live mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI on April 17 at Nationals Stadium, which was attended by over 45,000 and seen on video by millions world-wide. He and Anastassia Ivanova, piano, performed in an Opera and Zarzuela Gala at the Embassy of Venezuela in February.
José Sacin, voice, and Anastassia Ivanova, piano, performed in an Opera and Zarzuela Gala at the Embassy of Venezuela in February.
Ilya Sinaisky, piano, will be a staff pianist at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado for two months this summer, accompanying violin teachers’ studios.
Haskell Small, piano/composition, gave a recital of Mompou’s “Música Callada” at the Phillips Collection last December, that was praised by the Washington Post as “a riveting performance” and elicited the headline “A Golden ‘Silence’ from Haskell Small.” Small’s CD of “Música Callada” is in production. Small’s composition, “Lullaby of War,” was premiered by Soheil Nasseri last September at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Mr. Nasseri, who is preparing a CD of Small’s piano compositions, also performed the work in Berlin in October, with Small narrating. In November, Small performed the work, both playing and narrating, as part of an American Music Festival in Wroclaw, Poland. He premiered the work in Washington as part of the Conservatory’s Concerts for the Nation’s Capital (see “More Conservatory Events,” above).
Jeffery Watson, piano/theory, is currently in residency at University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, coaching Copland’s opera “The Tender Land,” with performances scheduled for mid-April. On May 11, he will play with Opera Lafayette at National Gallery of Art. On June 8, he will perform in a recital with his Conservatory sight-singing student Agnes Donahue at Strathmore Mansion. (www.strathmore.org) Also in June, he will perform with the Bowen McCauley Dance Company at Signature Theater in Signature’s Kander & Ebb celebration. (www.sig-online.org) In March, he was in residency at the University of Alabama for vocal and piano master classes, including accompanying mezzo-soprano Susan Fleming in Webern Song Cycles; he performed in the DC Tango Festival at the Embassy of Uruguay with the Pan-American Symphony; and he gave a recital with mezzo-soprano Barbara Hollinshead and cellist Yvonne Caruthers, at the Bacon House headquarters of Diplomat and Consular Officers, Retired (DACOR). In February, he performed in the National Philharmonic’s performance of Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.”
Benjamin Wensel, cello, is a member of the National Gallery Chamber Players Piano Trio. In February, the Trio performed works of Dvorák, Schoenfield, and Ravel at the Gallery.
A. Scott Wood, conducting/ WCM orchestra, was invited to conduct the Washington Symphonic Brass (with members of the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and US military bands) in concerts in Washington, VA, and MD on April 11, 13, and 15 (for details visit www.wsbrass.com). He recently prepared the WSB for a Kennedy Center concert under Leonard Slatkin. During the past several months, he has also conducted the Rutgers (NJ) Sinfonia and the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia. This summer, he will return to Philadelphia to work with the OSP for a fifth time.
We are happy to announce the hiring of two new faculty members this semester: Jaewon Lee (piano) and Beth Rubens (early childhood). We welcome these two musicians as they join our outstanding faculty. To learn more about them and all our fabulous faculty please visit our website: www.washingtonconservatory.org/html/faculty.htm
A number of students participate in various highly regarded local student orchestras. These include the following:
Kate Amrine, trumpet (Chris Sala), jazz improvisation (Josh Bayer), jazz ensemble (Josh Bayer), was a semi-finalist in the National Trumpet Competition held at George Mason University in March. Kate is currently in the symphonic band and the jazz band at Walt Whitman High School. In March, she participated with the Whitman jazz band in the Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. In April she will go to Orlando with the Whitman bands for a high school competition. Kate earned a superior rating in the Montgomery County Solo and Ensemble festival and will compete in the State festival in May. She is also a member of the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra, who performed at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in March, and will perform and record a CD at Voice Of America as part of the Big Band Jam in late April.
Matthew Anderson, trumpet (Chris Sala), is in the Gonzaga High School Symphonic Wind Ensemble, which just returned from the All-American Music Festival, a competition in Orlando, FL. Matt is also in the school’s Jazz Band.
Jerry Baker, drums (Howard Kadison), timpani (Fred Begun), won a music scholarship from St. John’s College High School. Jerry auditioned on snare drum, timpani, and marimba. He has been a Conservatory student for the past three years.
Agnes Donahue, sight-singing/theory (Jeffery Watson), was selected as one of 250 (from among 550 accepted to audition) to sing in the archdiocese choir in the papal mass at Nationals Park on April 17. Sight-singing was a significant portion of the audition.
Matias Cardinale, clarinet (Suzanne Gekker), 4th grade beginner, performed in his first band concert in January.
Anya Goodman, cello (Drew Owen), and Allison Wyner, violin (Annie Loud), are members of a middle school string quartet which received a superior rating in the Montgomery County Ensemble Festival and will perform at the Maryland State Ensemble Festival in May.
Dena Goodman, violin (Mayumi Pawel), is a first violin in the Walt Whitman High School Symphonic Orchestra. In February, she was in the Montgomery County senior honors orchestra. In November, she played in the pit orchestra for Whitman’s performance of Verdi’s “Aida.”
Aldo Grifo-Hahn, trombone (Marcel Maican) was accepted at Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Art Camp.
Matthew Griswold, piano (Michael Adcock), performed the first movement (Allegro molto moderato) from Grieg’s piano concerto in a minor, Op. 16, with the South Carolina Philharmonic last September, as co-first prize winner of the 2007 Southeastern Piano Festival’s concerto competition. He will play in the Sergio Tiempo master class, presented by WPAS and WCM, on Monday, April 14, at 6:30 pm. On April 19, he will play in the John O’Conor master class at Shenandoah Conservatory. He has been accepted at Oberlin Conservatory with a merit scholarship, and has also been accepted at Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, and Peabody Conservatory.
Mina Himwich, cello (Deb Brudvig) and Frisia Rothenberg, cello (Deb Brudvig) are in a Westland Middle School cello quartet which received a superior rating in the Montgomery County Ensemble Festival and earned the right to perform at the Maryland State Ensemble Festival in May
Queally Hudson, composition (Jeffery Watson), voice (Nancy Almquist), guitar (John Butler), electric bass (Steve Novosel), has been accepted into American University’s undergraduate music program.
Vasant Joseph, saxophone (Marty Nau) is a member of the Blues Alley jazz youth orchestra.
Philip Kettler, cello (Drew Owen), was accepted at Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Art Camp.
Lydia Liang, viola (Annie Loud), performed in a trio that won a superior rating in the Montgomery County Ensemble Festival and will be performing at the Maryland State Ensemble Festival in May.
Zoe Loversky, viola (George Ohlson), played in the Maryland junior all-state orchestra in March.
Hope McGowan, voice (Grace Gori), is the soprano section leader of the Congressional Chorus, a 40-member chorus concentrating on American music and founded by the late Michael Patterson, a Conservatory piano faculty member. The Chorus, based at the new Atlas Center for the Performing Arts, performed "Roaring 20's" cabaret concerts in March and gave a free noontime concert at the new Harman Center in February. Hope will participate in the Berkshire Choral festival this summer in a program that includes Vaughan Williams' "A Sea Symphony."
Emilia McManus, cello (Drew Owen), auditioned and was selected by a WCM faculty panel to represent the Conservatory to perform on the Jiang Wang cello master class, co-presented with the Washington Performing Arts Society, in February.
Aurelio Menendez, guitar (Berta Rojas), won the Barrios prize for best performance of an Agustin Barrios composition in the John and Susie Beatty music scholarship competition for classical guitar in March. The prize included a $1,000 scholarship as well as participation in a recital on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage in March. Aurelio also won second prize in the junior category (13-15 years old). He will represent WCM at the Capital Talents concert on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage on June 11.
Caldwell Munk, trombone (Marcel Maican), was accepted at Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Art Camp.
Ross Munk, piano (Maribeth Gowen), was accepted at Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Art Camp.
Tamara Munk, theory (Herman Meyer), piano (Maribeth Gowen), passed the level 6 Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music theory exam.
Sergio Nevarez, theory/composition (Jeffery Watson), composed Duo for Flute and Piano, which was performed at Church of the Little Flower during a mass presided over by the Auxiliary Bishop of Washington on April 5. Sergio also takes piano at the Conservatory with Ilya Sinaisky.
Leah Plave, cello (Deb Brudvig) successfully performed two cello solos for her Bat Mitzvah party: the Bloch "Prayer from Jewish Life" and Saint-Saëns’ "The Swan."
Carola Purser, violin (Mayumi Pawel), auditioned and was selected to play in Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s Concerto Concert in January. She played Mozart’s violin concerto No. 3 in G Major, first movement, with the school’s Chamber Orchestra.
Dana Reback, voice (Nancy Almquist), is in the chorus in Richard Montgomery High School’s spring production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Frisia Rothenberg, cello (Deb Brudvig) and Mina Himwich, cello (Deb Brudvig) are in a Westland Middle School cello quartet which received a superior rating in the Montgomery County Ensemble Festival and earned the right to perform at the Maryland State Ensemble Festival in May.
Lucy Sears, clarinet (Suzanne Gekker), performed in the Montgomery County 6th Grade Honors Band Gala in February.
Johnny Stricklett, piano (Haskell Small), performed the first movement (Allegro) from Mozart’s piano concerto in d minor, K. 466 with the Washington Conservatory Orchestra at the Conservatory’s March concert, with A. Scott Wood conducting, Hearst Hall, National Cathedral School. He will play in the Sergio Tiempo master class, presented by WPAS the WCM, on Monday, April 14, at 6:30 pm.
Allison Wyner, violin (Annie Loud) and Anya Goodman, cello (Drew Owen) are members of a middle school string quartet which was tutored by Annie Loud and received a Grade I score in the Montgomery County Ensemble Festival and will be performing at the Maryland State Ensemble Festival in May.
A New Program and a Venerable One
New Comprehensive Percussion Program
Under the direction of drum faculty member Howard Kadison, students may now enroll for comprehensive study of drums, timpani, and marimba. Faculty member Fred Begun, former principal timpanist of the National Symphony Orchestra, specializes in timpani. Aubrey Adams, former principal percussionist with the United States Air Force Band, specializes in marimba.
For almost 20 years, the Conservatory has offered the theory program developed by ABRSM (Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music), a London-based global music examination program started in 1889. Exams, given locally by ABRSM in March, June, and November, cover material ranging from basic theory (Grade 1) through college-level (Grade 8). During the present school year, three Conservatory students sat for the November exam; four took the March exam; five more will take the June exam. Exams are graded in London; distinction (90-100) is the highest mark. Exams are suitable for children and adults, and all ages have taken part at every level.
Four New Virtual Acoustic Rooms at Westmoreland Site
Brand New Teaching Spaces
During the week of April 21 four new teaching studios will appear on the stage of Westmoreland church social hall! These rooms are the most advanced sound-isolated teaching rooms available today. The Sound-Isolated Room with VAE (virtual acoustic environment) technology provides real-time recording and playback.
Wear Your Support on Your Sleeve!
Or On Your Mousepad
Washington Conservatory of Music logo T-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags and more! These items are all available from CafePress on the Conservatory’s website homepage (www.washingtonconservatory.org). All products are offered by the Conservatory at manufacturer’s price, with no mark-up!
If we missed your musical news this time, let us know, and we’ll hope to include it next time.