Department of Music Alumni Achieving Great Success in 2013
Thomas Richards (’10)
Department of Music Alumni Thomas Richards (’10) was one of the six winning artist of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2013 National Council Auditions at the Grand Finals Concert this March. This prestigious finals concert, which celebrated its 60th anniversary this year, is the culmination of months and months of competitions at the district, regional and national level. Nearly 1,500 singers between the ages of 20 and 30 participated in the competition, which is considered the most prestigious competition in North America for singers seeking to launch an operatic career.
Richards, a 24-year old bass-baritone, and his fellow winners were selected from ten finalists who performed arias on the Metropolitan Opera stage with the MET Orchestra, conducted by Marco Armiliato. They performed in front of an audience that included artistic directors of leading opera companies, artist managers, established opera stars, important teachers and coaches, music critics, and others who can play an influential role in the careers of young singers. Past National Council Winners include Renée Fleming, Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, and Thomas Hampson. Each winner receives a $15,000 cash prize, as well as the prominent exposure that can launch a successful musical career.
Richards, is a native of Burnsville, Minnesota and a current Artist Diploma student at the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati, where he studies opera with voice teacher William McGraw. He is a 2010 graduate of The George Washington University in the District of Columbia where he double majored in political science and music.
Louie Diller (’12)
MTV recently exclusively premiered Holychild’s music video Best Friends on their Buzzworth Bog. Holychild, the experimental pop, Los Angeles based duo, includes Department of Music Alumn Louie Diller (’12). Their debut EP, Tribes, dropped March 18. For more information on the group, visit holychildmusic.com.
Ben Thornewill, and Tommy Siegel and Jesse Kristin (’07)
Department of Music Alumni Ben Thornewill, Tommy Siegel and Jesse Kristin, aka Jukebox the Ghost, returned to DC this March to perform at the 9:30 Club as part of their first headlining tour. The sold out concert was originally the closing night of the Indie/Pop/Rock band’s tour, but they have since added additional tour dates. Jukebox the Ghost’s latest CD, Safe Travels, is available for sale on iTunes, Amazon, and Yep Roc Store.
Percussion Professor Joe Connell Featured on Fox 5 in the Morning
In preparation for National Symphony Orchestra in Your Neighborhood 2013 percussion professor, JOE CONNELL, appeared on Fox 5 in the Morning to promote the NSO’s community outreach program. During the segment he spoke about NSO in You Neighborhood, where the symphony breaks into small ensembles to perform chamber music and educational activities as requested by community organizations. He also showed correspondent Holly Morris and Chairman of the Board for the Howard Theatre Restoration, Myla Moss, a few tips on how to play the snare drum and tambourine. Click here to view the segment.
Department of Music Talent Shines at GW Inaugural Ball
Department of Music faculty and students entertained 5,000+ students, alumni, staff, faculty and various VIPs at GW’s Inaugural Ball on January 21, 2013. Held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, and taking place in several ballrooms, students and faculty performed everything from a cappella to jazz, serving as the ball’s entertainment. Highlights included freshman PSA student, SAMANTHA LAW, singing The Very Thought of You, with the Eric Felton Orchestra. Check out the video below for her performance.
Vocal and Piano Professor Duo Wow Crowds at GW's Global Women's Institute Launch
November 30, 2012 - GW Professors MALINEE PERIS (PIANO), and MILLICENT SCARLETT (voice) performed for the launch event of GW's Global Women's Institute on GW's campus this past Tuesday. The duo moved the crowd with a special rendition of "She's Got the Whole World in Her Hands." The launch also featured remarks by Global Women's Institute Director MARY ELLSBERG; LYNN ROSENTHAL, White House adviser on violence against women; senior MELISSA WONG, co-president of GW GlobeMed, a student-run nonprofit that advocates for public health equity; and George Washington President STEVEN KNAPP. To learn more about GW's Global Women's Institute click here.
Professors Baker, Conlon and Scarlett Teach Masterclass at Duke Ellington School of the Arts
GW Professors ROBERT BAKER (voice), FRANK CONLON (piano) and MILLICENT SCARLETT (voice) conducted a masterclass for 60 high school students at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts this past Tuesday. Prof. Conlon accompanied Prof. Baker and Scarlett on the piano as they sang songs performed the night before at the Department of Music faculty recital The Art of Collaboration. After their performances the instructors coached two students on vocal repertoire the students had prepared. The Duke Ellington School of the Arts was founded in 1974 and is the only DC public high school that provides professional arts training and college preparation to talented DC public school students.
Department of Music to Host The Washington International Piano Arts Council's Artists Competition
The GW Department of Music will host the Washington International Piano Arts Council (WIPAC) this August 2 – 5, 2012 as they hold “The 2012 Festival of Music and the 10th Washington International Piano Artists Competition.” Taking place at the Department of Music, as well at the Embassies of Bulgaria, France and Poland, WIPAC’s piano competition designed for pianists 31 years and older welcomes 25 amateur classical pianists representing the European, Pacific and American regions who will compete for prizes in a three-day event. For more information about the completion, and how to attend, click here.
Department of Music Concludes Inaugural Summer Piano Institute
Ten students from around the world concluded their two weeks of intense piano study this past Friday, at the GW Department of Music’s inaugural Summer Piano Institute.
The Summer Piano Institute (SPI) took place July 9 – 20, 2012 and was created to invite high school and college students to study with faculty-artists from the GW Department of Music and guest artists from outside the university. SPI was offered at three tiers, divided by age and skill level, and hosted students from across the United States, South Africa and Spain.
Students attended classes; had one-on-one instruction with professors; attended concerts by critically acclaimed pianist Simone Dinnerstein, as well as Malinee Peris and Ieva Jokubaviciute; and performed at multiple master classes and recitals. Instructors included GW faculty members Robert Baker, Douglas Boyce, Molly Orlando Palmiero and Malinee Peris, as wells as esteemed artists Jim Litzelman and Ieva Jokubaviciute.
Due to the overwhelming success of the Institute, the GW Department of Music expects to expand in 2013. Applications for next year will be posted on the GW Department of Music website in January, 2013.
Students in the "News"
Deceptive Cadence, NPR Music's classical music blog, has put out a post sharing the musical blind spots that some of their staff has. PSA student and work-study staff member Dominic Martinez, who is interning at NPR Music this semester, said that his blind spot is in opera. Click here to read it.
For George Washington student José Curbelo, co-producing a Smithsonian Folkways album was a chance to explore his heritage and shine a spotlight on what he feared was a dying tradition of music. Click here to read more.
Faculty in the News
Professors JEFFREY KOCZELA (bass), LORI BARNET (cello), and JOSEPH GASCHO (harpsichord) will perform as part of The Washington Bach Consort for the Noontime Cantata Series at the Church of the Epiphany at 1317 G Street, NW on Tues. March 6 at 12:10pm. FREE! Find more information here.
In October 2011, Vols. 18 and 20 of Thomasii Crequillonis Opera omnia, edited by Dr. LAURA YOUENS, were published by the American Institute of Musicology in its prestigious series Corpus mensurabilis musicae. These two volumes completed this collected edition of works by a composer from the imperial chapel of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Dr. Youens is the editor of Vols. 14-20; she worked on this edition for 23 years.
Professor JEFFREY KOCZELA, bass, will be performing at the Centennial Celebration Music Faculty Gala Concert for Howard University on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 3:00pm at the Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel.
Professor STEVE HILMY, electronic music, is currently touring India with the Maida Withers Dance Construction Company. He composed and will perform the music for Fare Well– The End of the World As We Know It at the India International Center - all realtime electronics. Prof. Hilmy composed the music for three of the four films presented at the Habitat Centre. He will also be doing workshops and performances at the 7th Annual Carnival of e-Creativity (CeC 2012). Find more information here.
Professor JOE GASCHO, harpsichord, and Professor LORI BARNET, cello, will perform with Harmonious Blacksmith on Sunday, 11 March 2012, 4:30pm at Atlas Performing Arts Center. Harmonious Blacksmith was co-founded by Joe Gascho in 2006. They will also perform a composition by Dr. DOUGLAS BOYCE.
Professor JOE GASCHO has also released his first solo harpischord recording. The pieces are his own original compositions- transcriptions and arrangements of pieces by a variety of Baroque composers. The CD is not currently available in retail or download but will be soon. We will update as soon as you can download!
Professor HERMAN BURNEY, jazz bass, will be performing with vocalist Sachal Vasandani at the Emory Jazz Fest on Friday,10 February 2012! Find more information here.
Read this review of Professor HERMAN BURNEY's latest album "Portrait of a Rose" and take a listen to a sample!
Professor HERMAN BURNEY made his fifth appearance at the 2012 North Carolina Jazz Festival playing February 2-4. Click here to read more.
Alumni in the News
Zack Colonna (alumni who studied voice with Prof. Amy Reiff and participated in USingers) performs as Charlie Brown in the Olney Theatre's production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown". Click here to read the review/
Aaron Leitko, GW Alum with Jazz Studies Minor and in King James, wrote the following article on The AMC series The Walking Dead for the Washington Post. Literally, he's in the news because he wrote it! :) Click here to read it.