The Community School of Performing Arts will hold auditions for the Colburn Youth Orchestra and Colburn Chamber Orchestra, as well as four other ensembles and the Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute June 4–7 on the Colburn School campus.
The Youth Orchestra is a full orchestra comprising strings, winds, brass, and percussion. They perform standard symphonic repertoire, including newly commissioned works and arrangements created especially for them. The Chamber Orchestra consists only of strings and, like the Youth Orchestra, they perform standard repertoire for their ensemble as well as works commissioned for them, including compositions by current Community School students.
Maxim Eshkenazy directs both ensembles and also serves as Associate Conductor of the Colburn Orchestra, the Conservatory of Music's flagship ensemble. Both orchestras regularly appear as part of the Sundays Live performance series at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which is also distributed as a podcast by KUSC radio. The Chamber Orchestra debuted at Walt Disney Concert Hall as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Sounds About Town series, and the Community School is currently planning a European tour for the ensemble beginning June 2016. The group plans to perform in cities such as Prague, Budapest, and Vienna as part of their very first tour.
Both ensembles participate in the Community School's annual Collaboration Concert, which brings together the Community School's orchestras, choirs, ballet, and modern dance students in one spectacular production involving more than 100 students.
Each year, the Community School's orchestra program holds a concerto competition for students enrolled in the Colburn Youth Orchestra and Colburn Chamber Orchestra. Winners have an opportunity to perform a solo accompanied by one of these ensembles.
"Ensemble participation is a crucial part of a young musician's development," said Assistant Dean Sara Hiner, "especially for those who are at an advanced level and planning to pursue music in college. The skills learned in a large ensemble like following a conductor, active listening, blending as one unit, as well as the camaraderie, is priceless."
Auditioning students should prepare a solo concerto, etude, or showpiece without an accompanist to demonstrate their technical and interpretive skills, along with an orchestral except from a prepared list. Students auditioning for the Chamber Orchestra may sight read as part of their process.
"It is an honor working with such dedicated and talented young musicians as the ones we have here in the Community School," said Orchestra Manager Alexis Luque. "I am looking forward to welcoming new students to our orchestras this fall and helping them to be the best they can be. I could not be more proud of the students in these groups."
Contact the Community School by phone at 213-621-4548 to schedule an audition time.
The Community School of Performing Arts will hold its annual Chamber Gala on Saturday, June 6. This year's event has been split into two performances to accommodate the number of participating student ensembles. Concerts begin at 2:30 pm and 4 pm in Thayer Hall.
The Chamber Gala is the culminating performance for students who study in the Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute at the Colburn School. "This is an opportunity to showcase all the work they've done this year," said Gina Coletti, who serves as chair of the institute. Each ensemble will perform one or two movements from a longer work.
Chamber music students were placed into trios, quartets, and quintets at the start of the academic year. Students range in age from 11 to 18 years old. "Chamber music represents community in its most essential forms," Ms. Coletti said. "You have to make sacrifices for the betterment of the group, you have to pull your own weight, you have to be honest with each other," she explained. With only one musician playing each part of the score, it becomes even more critical for the musicians to develop strong communication skills. "It's not about compromise," Ms. Coletti added. "It's really about collaborating to find the best way forward for the benefit of the entire group. They develop strong bonds and become mentors for each other."
This is Ms. Coletti's first year as the chair of chamber music for the Community School, and her passion for the art is palpable. She sees her role as one that exists to create opportunities for her students, especially when they ask to try something new. "I try to find a way to say yes," she said. "Their best learning comes from their own feeling of ownership and their passion."
This past spring, two of the Community School's chamber ensembles advanced in the Fischoff Competition, a national chamber music competition held in Indiana each year. The Fenice Quartet advanced to the semifinals, while the Incendium Quartet, who will appear in Saturday's concert, received the gold medal in the junior division of the competition. The Honors Woodwind Quintet, last heard in this semester's Honors Recital, will perform again on Saturday's program as well.
"I just want the kids to have opportunities to thrive," Ms. Coletti said. "They work so hard, practicing hours every week to get it right. They deserve the best chances for success."
Each spring, SongFest takes up residence at the Colburn School, and on June 7, the art song festival and training program will present a concert in collaboration with Colburn's Ziering-Conlon Initiative entitled Rediscovering Vocal Gems of the Early 20th Century. The concert, which begins at 4 pm in Thayer Hall, features SongFest participants and Colburn Conservatory of Music students and alumni instrumentalists.
"Almost immediately after the creation of the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices, Sel Kardan suggested I be in touch with SongFest," said Robert Elias, director of the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for the Colburn School. "He felt SongFest, with their wide range of repertoire interests, might welcome a collaboration, and he was right."
SongFest is the United States's premier art song festival and training program held each summer at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. The event provides young singers and pianists with training and performance opportunities with the most distinguished artists in their field by fostering a supportive, challenging, and rewarding musical environment.
Liza Stepanova, an associate artistic director of SongFest, contacted Mr. Elias and with early input from LA Opera Music Director James Conlon, Stepanova devised a program to highlight the work of composers suppressed by the Nazi regime. "These composers would be much better known today had they not been banned from publication, broadcasting, and performance during the twelve years of the Nazi regime," Mr. Elias said. "The history of classical music in the first half of the 20th century is terribly incomplete as a result."
The composers selected for inclusion in the SongFest program share a common lineage. "They all were an integral part of the Austro-German classical music tradition, a tradition that stretches all the way back to before Bach," Mr. Elias explained. "There is no comparable artistic tradition of consistent excellence anywhere in the history of Western culture, whether in music or visual art."
A major goal of the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices is to place this music in the ears, hands, and ultimately the repertoire of today's and tomorrow's musicians so they may come to know the music and perform it regularly for audiences.
"SongFest is thrilled about this partnership," Ms. Stepanova said. "Our participants will benefit enormously from exposure to this repertoire, much of which will be unfamiliar to them. Our hope is that they'll go home inspired and continue programming and exploring these works as their careers move forward." As part of SongFest's preparation for the event, they reached out to Professor Timothy Cheek, a foremost expert on Czech lyric diction and repertoire, to help with the preparation of works by Pavel Haas, Gideon Klein, and Vítězslava Kaprálová. Mark Trawka, director of musical studies at Pittsburgh Opera, will conduct Gideon Klein's Madrigal, a haunting ensemble work composed at the Terezin concentration camp.
"We are particularly excited about this first official collaboration between our vocalists and alumni instrumentalists of the Colburn Conservatory," Ms. Stepanova added. "Chamber music and art song were once much more integrated in concert life, but now are often too separate. We hope this is the beginning of an ongoing partnership."
Rediscovering Vocal Gems of the Early 20th Century is free, though reservations are required. Visit SongFest's website to reserve your seat.
On May 20, the Colburn School announced Dr. Adrian Daly would assume the position of provost, the school's senior academic administrator, beginning on July 6, 2015. Dr. Daly comes to the Colburn School from the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), and was selected as part of a national search for the newly-created position.
"I'm honored and thrilled to be joining the Colburn School as provost," said Dr. Daly. "For many years, I've admired the school's commitment to artistry of the highest order, music making, education and community engagement, relevance, and impact. I look forward to joining this extraordinary school, and working with its community and President Sel Kardan to build on the legacy of artistic and educational excellence envisioned by the late Richard Colburn."
As provost, Dr. Daly will serve as a member of the senior administrative leadership, liaise with all areas of the school, and ensure smooth academic operations. He will provide oversight of the school's academic divisions, including the conservatory, community school of performing arts, music academy, dance academy, libraries, community engagement, adult studies, artistic administration, residential life, and piano technology. During the 2015–2016 year, he will also serve as interim dean of the conservatory of music.
President and CEO Sel Kardan said: "Adrian Daly brings extraordinary experience and skills to the newly created position of provost, where he will oversee all aspects of academic administration. He distinguished himself among a strong pool of national candidates and we look forward to welcoming to campus this summer."
Dr. Daly most recently served as Dean of the Conservatory at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). During his tenure, he extended CIM's global reach into Asia, developing institutional connections in China, Korea, and Singapore, and expanded CIM's international exchange program by building new partnerships with the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. He also facilitated the approval of five new programs in composer and performance, and new double majors with music theory.
Dr. Daly received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Trinity College Dublin, a Master of Arts in performance and literature from the University of Notre Dame, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music.
A former Fulbright Scholar from Ireland, Dr. Daly served on the faculty at the College of Music in Dublin, teaching piano and music theory, and was a part-time member of the faculty at Eastman, teaching in Eastman's Arts Leadership Program and in the Community Music School. He was previously the Associate Dean for Admissions and Retention at Eastman following other primary roles there in Academic Affairs, Career Services, and Student Affairs. His primary piano studies were with Jeffrey Kahane, Malcolm Bilson, William Cerny, and Frank Heneghan.
Last Saturday, the Community School of Performing Arts bade farewell to 110 students graduating from high school at the annual Senior Recognition Event.
This year's senior speaker was trombonist Nicholas Lee, who participated in the jazz and orchestra programs in the Community School during his entire high school career as a member of the Colburn Youth Orchestra and the Colburn Jazz Workshop's award-winning Monday Night Band and Big Band. Along with more than 10% of the Community School's graduating class, Nicholas was also enrolled at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. In his speech to the senior class, Nicholas referenced Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford University commencement address in which he spoke about connecting the dots. "I think it relates to the graduating seniors here today," Nicholas said, "especially those who are pursuing a career in the arts." Nicholas went on to say that "It is your parents, programs like Colburn, and your peers that give you more dots to trust, a few more risks to take, and the confidence to follow your heart. You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards."
Half of Nicholas's graduating class will major in music in the fall and 94% will go on to a four-year university or conservatory. Twelve students plan to pursue double majors, seven will be at Ivy League institutions, and 11 will attend a conservatory, including the Colburn Conservatory of Music. Overall, Community School students will be in the freshman class at 63 different institutions in twenty states and three countries.
"I am so proud of our senior class and their many impressive accomplishments," said Dean Robert McAllister, who led the event with Colburn School President Sel Kardan and Assistant Dean Sara Hiner. "Our students leave with a passion for learning, a drive to succeed, and the commitment to serious study. These are skills they can take with them no matter what professional path they may choose."
Some of the top performing students from the Community School of Performing Arts will take the stage May 31 in a concert highlighting their skill, musicality, artistry and dedication to their musical studies.
After nomination by the faculty juries at the weekly Friday Night Recitals, students audition for the Honors Recital judges, who then determine the final lineup for the event. Of the 44 students who participated in nearly seven hours of auditions this month, eight soloists and two ensembles won spots on this semester's recital program.
The musicians in the spring Honors Recital represent the Community School's strings, piano, winds, and voice departments. In addition to their applied studies, many of them are also enrolled in orchestras, band, choir, chamber ensembles, and music theory classes. "Students such as the ones represented in this recital are fully engaged and committed to achieving their utmost potential," said Dean Robert McAllister, "and their involvement in multiple classes and ensembles allows them to excel to the highest levels."
Performers range from 14 to 18 years old, hail from both Los Angeles and Orange counties, and come from a variety of backgrounds. "I am proud that our Community School is able to provide top level arts instruction to students from all walks of life," said Assistant Dean Sara Hiner. "Our Honors Recital is a beautiful example of this. The students representing the Community School in this recital come from a variety of neighborhoods and economic backgrounds, attend private schools and public schools, and are enrolled in multiple programs within the Community School."
Several students in the program are recipients of merit scholarships, financial aid, or are in the Herbert Zipper Scholars program. Now completing its second year, the Herbert Zipper Scholarship provides full scholarship support to dedicated students with high potential and high financial need, for study in the Community School.
Many of the students performing on the program have garnered a number of honors and wonderful accomplishments this year.
In the Honors Woodwind Quintet, oboist Enoch Park (age 18) will attend Stanford University, clarinetist Anita Ho (age 17) will attend the University of Michigan, and hornist Brian Jan (age 17) will attend the University of Southern California in the fall. Flutist Roger Justo (age 16) is the recipient of the Sierra Summer Festival's 2015 Horton-Kohl Award, where he will make his solo debut with the Sierra Summer Festival Orchestra this summer. And bassoonist Maggie O'Leary (age 18) was the recipient of a National YoungArts Award and will attend the Curtis Institute of Music in the fall.
Vocalist Breanna Flores (age 16) received the Music Center's Spotlight Promise Award and will attend Boston University's Young Artists Vocal Program at the Tanglewood Institute this summer. Violinist Thompson Wang (age 15) won First Prize in Junior Chamber Music's Young Artists Concerto Competition. Pianist Alisha Yan (age 18) will attend Dartmouth College in the fall. Cellist Claire Park (age 14) advanced to the quarter finals of the National Fischoff Competition with her string quartet. Violinist Geneva Lewis (age 16) made her solo debut with the Pasadena Symphony and won the gold medal with the Honors String Quartet at the National Fischoff Competition. Violinist Abigel Szilagyi (age 16) was a semi-finalist in the Music Center's Spotlight Awards. And pianist Daniel Lee (age 17) was awarded a scholarship from the Music Teachers' Association of California.
In the Honors Piano Trio, violinist Hao Zhou (age 18) was named a Laureate Finalist in the ASTA National Solo Competition and will attend the Colburn Conservatory in the fall. Pianist Nicholas Mendez (age 16) was a semi-finalist in the Music Center's Spotlight Awards. And cellist Ethan Sandman (age 18) was a winner of the Colburn School's Concerto Competition and will attend the Peabody Institute in the fall.
The program includes pieces by classical composers like Verdi, Mendelssohn, and Schumann alongside twentieth century works by Barber, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, and Nielsen. Following the performance, there will be a reception in honor of these students in the Colburn Café. For more information about the program, visit the calendar on our website.
The Colburn School congratulates these 15 Conservatory of Music students and alumni on their important achievements. For more news about these and other students, follow our Facebook page or Twitter feed for up-to-the-minute reports.
The Calla Quartet won the Senior String Division Silver Medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition earlier this month. The award includes a cash prize of $3,000. The quartet members include violinists Michaela Wellems and Amelia Dietrich, violist Aiden Kane, and cellist Karissa Zadinsky, all current Conservatory of Music students in the Bachelor of Music program.
Clarinetist Ben Adler (Artist Diploma '15) won the Assistant Principal, 2nd and E-flat Clarinet position at the Milwaukee Symphony. He begins in September.
Clarinetist Samuel Almaguer (Bachelor of Music '13) won a one-year position as the Principal Clarinetist of the North Carolina Symphony.
Hornist Rachel Childers (Artist Diploma '09) accepted a faculty position at the New England Conservatory and will begin teaching there in the fall of this year. She will remain the John P. II and Nancy S. Eustis chair at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Trumpeter Ryan Darke (Professional Studies Certificate '13) won the Principal Trumpet position at the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra. He will begin performing with them in the fall of this year.
On May 17, students enrolled in the Community School of Performing Arts's Honors Chamber Ensembles will perform at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the Sundays Live performance series, a staple of the city's classical music scene attended by 25,000 people each year and heard by thousands more online.
The four groups on the upcoming Sundays Live auditioned to become Honors Ensembles, and each student received full scholarships from the Community School to participate in the program. One of the groups, the Incendium Quartet, just returned to Los Angeles after their very exciting gold medal win in the junior division of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. The Incendium Quartet includes violinists Geneva Lewis and Mei Zhan, violist Emma Wernig, and cellist Atticus Mellor-Goldman.
"I am so incredibly proud of these students and what they have achieved together," said their chamber music coach Aimée Kreston. "I knew from the beginning these students had something magical together. It has been an honor to coach them and I am so grateful for all of the support we have received."
Also on the program is the Honors Woodwind Quintet, coached by Karen Lundgren; the Honors Brass Quintet, coached by Darren Mulder; and the Honors Piano Trio, coached by Jacob Braun. The woodwind quintet includes students Roger Justo, Enoch Park, Anita Ho, Maggie O'Leary, and Brian Jan; the brass quintet, Christopher Armstrong, Christopher Pak, Shane Conley, Cole Davis, and Kevin Iaquinto; and the piano trio Hao Zhou, Ethan Sandman, and Nicholas Mendez.
Begun in 1948, Sundays Live is the longest running live music broadcast in Los Angeles. Professional and emerging musicians perform on the stage of LACMA's Bing Theater 50 Sundays each year. These free programs are streamed live on lacma.org and heard on kusc.org as a podcast throughout the week.
"Sundays Live is the perfect opportunity to experience performances by all of these amazing young artists," said Assistant Dean Sara Hiner. "I have no doubt they are about to embark on incredibly exciting and rewarding careers. We could not be more proud of these dedicated young artists and all that they have achieved."
"Sundays Live is celebrating a very special milestone, our 25th anniversary at LACMA," said Bill Vestal, Artistic Director of Sundays Live. "The Colburn Community School of Performing Arts is an essential part of that musical legacy. Community School students have performed in LACMA's Bing Theater as a part of Sundays Live during each of those 25 years. And we wouldn't be here today without the participation of the Colburn School for a quarter of a century."
If you miss Sunday's concert, you can hear the Honors Piano Trio and Honors Woodwind Quintet on the Community School's spring Honors Recital on Sunday, May 31 at 3 pm in Zipper Hall.
With the close of the academic year, graduating seniors taking classes in the Music Academy will spend the next several months preparing for the next phase of their professional development: college and conservatory music study. This year's graduates will attend schools across the United States, including many of the top music programs in the country.
"This is such an important moment for our students," said Music Academy Dean Ory Shihor. "All the work they've put into their time at the Music Academy helped prepare them for this next step in their music education."
The Music Academy's program prepares talented pre-college musicians for conservatory-level training and careers as well-rounded musicians. The curriculum includes classes in music theory, chamber music, music history, and presentational skills, as well as private lessons. Many students have the opportunity to take master classes with visiting faculty. Last year's guest artists included violinist Laurent Korcia, violist Kim Kashkashian, and cellist Hans Jørgen Jensen.
Eleven students graduated from the Music Academy this year and will continue to develop their artistry at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, The Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Peabody Institute at The Johns Hopkins University, the University of Southern California, DePaul University, and the University of Michigan.
"All of the experiences I've had at the Colburn Music Academy have allowed me to grow as a musician and a performer, to take what I've accomplished in the practice room out onto the stage," said recent graduate Hannah Geisinger, a violist who will study at Juilliard in the fall. "This has been a groundbreaking experience for me."
As they reflect on their time at the Music Academy and prepare to move forward, these Colburn alumni have important advice for prospective students. "There's so much you can do with your time at the Colburn School and in Los Angeles," said violist Lauren Siess, also attending Juilliard this fall. "There are so many opportunities. Take advantage of all of them.
"We are so proud of our graduates and wish them all the best as they move forward," Mr. Shihor said.
A complete list of graduates and their destinations follows.
Cellist Katrina Agate, undecided at press time Bassist Nicholas Arrendondo, Colburn Conservatory of Music Clarinetist Wonchan Doh, The Juilliard School Pianist Yi-Chen Feng, Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University Violist Hannah Geisinger, The Juilliard School, Kovner Fellow Violist Mya Greene, University of Southern California Cellist Oliver Herbert, Curtis Institute of Music Violinist Alina Kobialka, DePaul University Violist Lauren Siess, The Juilliard School, Kovner Fellow Violinist Yu Chao Weng, University of Michigan Violinist Mei Zhan, Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University
Colburn Conservatory of Music alumnus Sang Yoon Kim won First Prize and Best Performance of a Contemporary Piece in the clarinet division of the 2015 Prague Spring International Music Competition, which included 190 of the top young musicians from around the world.
Mr. Kim studied with Yehuda Gilad at the Colburn Conservatory, graduating in 2014 with an Artist Diploma, and made his solo debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall performing the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the Colburn Orchestra. He is a member of Colburn Artists, a roster of the Colburn School's most gifted Conservatory and Music Academy students on the cusp of launching major solo or chamber music careers.
"I am so proud of Sang Yoon's performance, as I am thrilled for all of my remarkable students," Mr. Gilad said. "He is a very special musician and I am sure he will continue his amazing growth. He has become not only a great clarinetist, but more importantly a beautiful artist. Bravo!"
The Prague Spring International Music Competition is held every year in conjunction with the Prague Spring International Music Festival. The competition features two different instruments each year, and the world's most talented young clarinetists and flutists competed in this year's event.
Over 400 flute and clarinet candidates applied to participate in the competitio. The final rounds, taking place on May 12 for flute and May 14 for clarinet, featured four musicians with orchestral accompaniment. Clarinetists in the final round with Mr. Kim included Franck Russo of France, Anna Paulová of the Czech Republic, and Horácio Ferreira of Portugal.
At just 26 years old, Kim won first prize at the 2014 UNISA competition, an award that includes a concert tour of South Africa and a 2015 performance with the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra and conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Mr. Kim also won first prize at the 2012 Jacques Lancelot International Clarinet Competition. An active chamber musician, Mr. Kim has performed with renowned artists including members of the Ebéne Quartet and pianists Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Robert Levin.
Visit colburnschool.edu/colburnartists or sangyoonkim.com for more information about Mr. Kim's career and achievements. Visit this link for more information about the festival and competition. Visit this link to view Mr. Kim's performance from the finals of the competition.
On Sunday, May 10, 2015, the Calla Quartet from the Colburn Conservatory of Music and the Incendium Quartet from the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts took home prizes at the Fischoff Competition. This year, 49 groups competed across junior and senior divisions in string and wind chamber music.
Held each year in South Bend, Indiana, the Fischoff Competition is the largest chamber music competition in the world. Each year, an average of 125 ensembles, representing 22 nationalities, enter in either the wind or string categories of three to six performers. Fischoff is the only national chamber music competition with both senior divisions for ages 18–35 and a junior division for musicians age 18 and younger. Since its founding, more than 6,600 musicians have participated, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in music performance and education.
The Conservatory of Music's Calla Quartet, with violinists Michaela Wellems and Amelia Dietrich, violist Aiden Kane, and cellist Karissa Zadinsky, received the Senior String Division Silver Medal and a prize of $3,000. The Calla Quartet is coached by Martin Beaver and Clive Greensmith.
The Incendium Quartet of the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts won the Junior String Division First Place Medal and scholarship of $2,300. The Incendium Quartet comprises violinists Geneva Lewis and Mei Zhan, violist Emma Wernig, and cellist Atticus Mellor-Goldman, and is coached by Aimée Kreston.
The Zorá String Quartet from Bloomington, Indiana, won the Grand Prize and String Senior Division Gold Medal. The Mirasol Quartet from Lubbock, Texas, won the Gold Medal in the Senior Wind Division.
On May 17, the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute in the Community School of Performing Arts will present the Children's Dance Showcases in Zipper Hall. Performances will feature tap, jazz, and musical theater at 2 pm and 5:30 pm.
The 2 pm showcase highlights dancers who are 13 years old and younger who have participated in classes in tap, jazz, or musical theater. "With our younger dancers, we start with shorter pieces so they can learn to be on stage and get familiar with the steps," said Denise Scheerer, chair of tap, jazz, and musical theater. The showcase includes a variety of musical styles. "We like to vary the music so it makes for an interesting show," Ms. Scheerer added. "It all melds together so beautifully."
Joining these students will be dancers from the Apprentice Group, which are among the most advanced dancers in school's tap program. "We want parents to see where continued study of dance can take their children artistically, athletically, and professionally," Ms. Scheerer said.
The 5:30 pm showcase features primarily high school–age students who have more dance experience. Dancers include memberes of the Colburn Tap Ensemble and the Apprentice Group, as well as students from the upper level jazz and musical theater courses. The Tap Ensemble will perform two pieces taught to them by guest choreographers Sarah Reich and Steve Zee. Mr. Zee's piece is a premiere performance. The Apprentice Group will dance to the Ray Brown song "Gravy Waltz," while musical theater students will perform selections from West Side Story and 42nd Street.
"If you're going to be a musical theater artist, you need to have tap and jazz experience," Ms. Scheerer said. "And if you're tap dancer, you live in the jazz world, though you can tap to anything, really." The overlap and interplay of these forms of music and dance offers students artistic breadth of experience.
The showcases are a significant moment for these young dancers, some of whom are taking the stage for the first time this semester. Ms. Scheerer said a dancer's training can be challenging, requiring a great deal of focus and practice on a specific piece with one or two opportunities to dance for an audience. "They love to perform," Ms. Scheerer said. "They love to get into costume and onto the stage. It's a benchmark for them, a prize for all their hard work."
The Children's Dance Showcases are free and open to the public.
Esteemed pianist and radio host Christopher O'Riley joins Colburn School President and CEO Sel Kardan in conversation on May 18 as part of the Colburn School's Sidley Austin Artspeaks series. Mr. O'Riley will be joined by Community School of Performing Arts violin student Kevin Miura, who studies with Danielle Belen, for a short performance to open the show.
Mr. O'Riley has performed as a soloist with virtually all of the major American orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, National Symphony, and San Francisco Symphony. In addition, he has performed recitals throughout North America, Europe, and Australia. Mr. O'Riley received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1982.
The Artspeaks lecture series allowed performing arts luminaries to share forward thinking perspectives on the arts scene in an up-close and personal setting. Mr. O'Riley is the final guest of the 2014–2015 season, which included National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu, celebrated international pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and arts education leaders Jonathan Herman and Margie Reese.
Mr. O'Riley strives to introduce new audiences to classical music with an almost missionary zeal by performing piano arrangements of music by Radiohead, Elliott Smith, Pink Floyd, and Nirvana alongside traditional classical repertoire. "I think there's good music and bad music, and genre distinctions have only been a matter of concern of late," Mr. O'Riley said. "Mozart and Beethoven played popular music during their time." He has performed recitals featuring these arrangements at such diverse venues as the Istanbul Jazz Festival, Highline Ballroom (NYC), the Knitting Factory (LA), and South by Southwest (Austin, TX).
Now in his fifteenth year on air as the host of NPR's From the Top, Mr. O'Riley introduces the next generation of classical-music stars to almost a million listeners each week, highlighting performances by musicians between the ages of eight and 18. "Young musicians explore much more widely in their genre-choices, mostly for pleasure, and, as a result of the compelling quality and integrity and beauty of some of those found musical kindred spirits, they may choose to embrace a broader repertoire," he said. Kevin Miura was a guest on the show in March 2015.
A prolific recording artist, Mr. O'Riley has recorded the music of Beethoven, Stravinsky, Scriabin, Liszt, Ravel, Gershwin, Debussy, and John Adams. His most recent solo recording featured two discs of Liszt's transcriptions, including songs by Schumann and Schubert, the opera paraphrase on Mozart's Don Giovanni, the Don Juan Fantasy, and Liszt's own transcription of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, liberally re-imagined by Mr. O'Riley.
Jazz soloists and ensembles in the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts were honored in DownBeat magazine's 38th Annual DownBeat Student Music Awards across the categories of jazz soloist, small jazz combo, original composition, and jazz arrangement. All award recipients will be featured in the magazine's June issue. The awards are considered among the most prestigious honors in jazz education, and Colburn School jazz students are frequently among the recipients.
"We have had a very nice run in recent years," said Lee Secard, director of the Colburn School's jazz program. "For at least the last four years we have received on average about five or six DownBeat awards per year, which is a remarkable achievement by our students. I am tremendously pleased for their performance success and recognition."
Winners and outstanding performers receive the honors based on their type of study, and all Colburn School honorees competed in the Performing Arts High School division. In the Jazz Soloist category, tenor saxophonist Max Lesser was awarded Winner for the second year in a row, and drummer Alex Smith was recognized with the Outstanding Performances award. The Thursday Night Band and Monday Night Band received Winner and Outstanding Performances awards, respectively, both under the direction of Lee Secard.
Luca Mendoza was recognized as Winner for his composition "Ophelia" in the Original Composition—Small Ensemble category, and in the same category Corey Gordon received the award for Outstanding Composition for "Leaving the Cave." For his arrangement of "A Child is Born," Ethan Moffitt was honored as Winner in the Jazz Arrangement category. Ethan was also interviewed in DownBeat's segmen, "Young Arrangers Embrace Creativity." Ethan explained to DownBeat, "I'm also a classical double bassist and do a lot of arco, so I wanted something that could mix both worlds." This year's Jazz Arrangement winners comprised three double bassists and a trombonist, most of whom looked to legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson for inspiration. Ethan's inspiration for his arrangement of Thad Jones' "A Child is Born" came from an Oscar Peterson recording of the same piece. "I thought there were some really cool voicings in there and that I could maybe pull some out to help me with the horn parts," Ethan told DownBeat.
"I encourage my students to write," Lee Secard said in the same interview. "My encouragement to Ethan was to stretch out and take some chances. I think he absolutely nailed it."
"Our program continues to be one of the top training programs for jazz musicians in the nation," said Community School Dean Robert McAllister. "Our faculty understand how to help students move themselves to the next level of playing. They are exceptional musicians."