Young Artists Solo Competition, 4th-6th grades

The Yale School of Music is pleased to announce the winners of the 4th–6th grade level of the Yale/New Haven Young Artists Solo Competition. This round of the Competition took place on Wednesday, May 23, at 5 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall.

The competition , which is part of the Music in Schools Initiative, was open to three nominees from each K-8 New Haven Public School. Sixteen students from seven schools participated.

The winners were:
Grand Prize
William Suzuki, alto saxophone, Worthington Hooker School

Second Prize
Sinead Donnelly, flute, Edgewood School

Third Prize
Faith Harris, bassoon, Augusta Lewis Troup School

The judges for the competition were William Boughton, music director of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra; Nicholas Lewis, freelance musician and educator; and William Purvis, a member of the School of Music faculty.

Addressing the students, Purvis said, “I’m a French horn player, and when I play, sometimes I make mistakes. I know you are all thinking about the mistakes you may have made tonight, but you should focus on what you did well – because you all played with musicianship and poise.”

The final two levels of the Solo Competition will take place next week: 7th–8th grade on Tuesday, May 29, and 9th–12th grade on Wednesday, May 30. All competitions begin at 5 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, corner of Wall Street), and are free and open to the public.

Published May 25, 2012
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Yale hosts international festival of choirs

Manado State University Choir

Renowned choirs from four continents will come together on the Yale campus June 19–23 for the first Yale International Choral Festival: five days of singing, learning, and celebrating the transcendent power of choral music to connect and inspire people from all cultures and all walks of life. Participating ensembles include the Central Conservatory of Music Chorus, Beijing; the Cambridge University Consort of Voices, UK; Manado State University Choir, Indonesia; the Imilonji Kantu Choral Society, South Africa; and two Yale choral groups: the renowned Yale Alumni Chorus and the newly formed professional ensemble Yale Choral Artists.

Each evening will feature a formal concert in Morse Recital Hall (located in Sprague Hall at 470 College St.) by individual choirs, and each day will be filled with lectures, workshops, and master classes led by visiting conductors, guests, and Yale faculty.

Imilonji Kantu Choral Society

Sponsored by the Yale Glee Club (Jeffrey Douma, director), the Yale School of Music, and the Yale Alumni Chorus, the event is part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, which takes place in New Haven June 16–30. MORE

Published May 25, 2012
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Dmitri Novgorodsky ’03DMA to join faculty of SUNY-Fredonia

Dmitri Novgorodsky ’94MM, ’99MMA, ’03DMA, a pianist, has been appointed to the faculty of the School of Music at SUNY-Fredonia. Novgorodsky will be Assistant Professor of Music, a tenure-track position.

For the past three years, Novgorodsky has served on the piano faculty at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. He has also taught at Grand Valley State University, the University of Wisconsin, and Lawrence University Conservatory of Music.

Of his new position at SUNY, he said, “I am very excited to be moving back and to be rejoining the academic and musical life of the United States.”

Hailed by the press as a “…breathtaking” and “…stunning” pianist, Dmitri Novgorodsky was born to a musical family in Odessa. At the age of 16, he won first prize in the Kazakhstan National Piano Competition. He later won the Gold Medal of the National Festival of the Arts. After graduating from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory with high honors, Mr. Novgorodsky immigrated to Israel in 1991. The following year he moved to the United States to study with Boris Berman at the Yale School of Music.

Mr. Novgorodsky has appeared in Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Kazakhstan, Israel, France, Austria, Canada, Turkey, and Taiwan. A CD of pieces for oboe and piano by twentieth-century Russian/Soviet composers, recorded in collaboration with Mark Fink, was released by the University of Wisconsin Madison Press in 2007.

For more information, visit his website.

Published May 23, 2012
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“Observe the Fermata”: Dean Blocker’s address to the Class of 2012

Photo by Richard LaPlante.

The Yale School of Music held its Commencement exercises on Monday, May 21, 2012 in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall. Here is the text of Dean Robert Blocker’s address to the Class of 2012.

In his epic poem THE FOUR QUARTETS, T.S. Elliot offers this revelation:

What we call the beginning is often the end.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we often start from.

For many of us, the introduction of the fermata to our musical vocabulary and skill marked our passage from the mathematical exactness of notation to a discretionary choice. As a seven-year old, I was fascinated with this new freedom – much more so than my teacher thought necessary or amusing. Fortunately, she was endowed with extraordinary patience. Her words still echo in my mind: “Linger, Robert, don’t hurry, think about the next phrase. Take time, observe the fermata.” MORE

Published May 23, 2012
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Fifth Annual Yale/New Haven Young Artists Solo Competitions May 23, 29, 30

A student competing in the 2011 Competition. Photo by Alvin Wong

The Music in Schools Initiative is pleased to announce the fifth annual Yale/New Haven Young Artists Solo Competitions. This year’s competitions will take place on three nights: Wednesday, May 23 for 4th–6th grade students; Tuesday, May 29 for 7th–8th grade; and Wednesday, May 30 for 9th–12th grade.

All competitions will take place in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall, and will begin at 5pm. Competitions are open to the public.

A collaboration between the Yale School of Music and the New Haven Public Schools, the Solo Competitions offer NHPS students the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and compete against their peers. Students are nominated by their school music teachers. Each school may nominate up to 3 instrumental students at the 4th–6th and 7th–8th grade levels. The 9th–12th grade level also includes vocalists, and there is no limit on the number of nominees per school.

The top three performers in each age group will be awarded prizes, including tickets to any fall semester School of Music performance and gift cards to the Yale Bookstore.

Judges for the 2012 Solo Competitions include representatives from the Yale School of Music faculty, Music Haven, Neighborhood Music School, and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.

Published May 22, 2012
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All-City Honors Chorus completes third season

The Yale/New Haven All-City Honors Chorus performed their 2012 season finale concert on Tuesday, May 15 at 7pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall. Music for the concert ranged from a South African folk song to pieces by Duke Ellington and Elton John. Veteran All-City Chorus conductor Jonathan Q. Berryman was joined in his leadership of the group this season by fellow New Haven Public School music teacher Meaghan Sheehan.

Watch highlights from the concert in this video:

Founded in 2010, the All-City Honors Chorus is a collaboration between the Yale School of Music, the Yale Glee Club, and the New Haven Public Schools. The Chorus gives talented 5th-10th grade NHPS students the opportunity to participate in an honors-level ensemble. Students also maintain membership in their school choruses. MORE

Published May 22, 2012
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Joseph Polisi ’80DMA awarded Sanford Medal

At the Yale School of Music’s 119th Commencement today, alumnus Joseph Polisi was awarded the Samuel Simons Sanford Medal. The highest honor bestowed by the School of Music, the medal is awarded for distinguished service to music.

Polisi was awarded the DMA degree from the Yale School of Music in 1980, after earning his MM (1973) and MMA (1975) degrees here as well. He also holds a degree in political science from the University of Connecticut and one in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Joseph Polisi became the sixth president of The Juilliard School in 1984. An accomplished bassoonist, he has performed as both soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, including performances at Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Avery Fisher Hall. MORE

Published May 21, 2012
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Yale awards honorary degree to Midori

At Yale’s 311th Commencement exercises this morning, the violinist Midori was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree.

In awarding the honorary degree, University President Richard C. Levin said:

With poise, precision, and artistry, you have been acclaimed as one of the world’s great violinists since the age of fourteen. Equally gifted in the classical and the contemporary repertoire, you have embraced new music even as you bring interpretative brilliance to the composers of the past. And your philanthropic ventures have extended your influence far beyond the concert hall. You provide music education to 15,000 New York City children each year, and you promote music as a force for good in your role as a United Nations Messenger for Peace. For your supreme talent and your commitment to education and community wellbeing, we are pleased to name you Doctor of Music.

An internationally renowned violinist, Midori is widely known as a master musician, an innovator, and a champion of the developmental potential of children. Named a Messenger of Peace by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007, she has created a new model for young artists who seek to balance the joys and demands of a performing career at the highest level with a hands-on investment in the power of music to change lives. She is also the founder of Midori & Friends, an organization that provides music education and performance opportunities to students in New York City schools that lack music programs. MORE

Published May 21, 2012
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All-City Honors Band 2012 finale concert

The Yale/New Haven All-City Honors Band completed its second season on Tuesday, May 8 with a 7pm concert in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall. The program featured pieces by Yale School of Music faculty composers Thomas C. Duffy and Christopher Theofanidis, among others. As conductor, Duffy was assisted by New Haven Public School teachers Olivia Malin ’07MM, Daniel Kinsman, Mindy Hartfiel, and Matthew Fried ’08MM.

Watch highlights from the concert in this video:

Addressing the students’ parents, Associate Dean Michael Yaffe said, “Tell everyone you know about what music has done to help your children. In this difficult education world, the arts need to be an important part of the solution. If any education leader or politician saw this concert, it would help to dispel the idea that education reform is only about reading and math. They are both important, but the music-making by these children shows the importance of creativity and emotion in the well-rounded education of our youngsters.”

A collaboration between the Yale School of Music and the New Haven Public Schools, the All-City Honors Band was founded in the spring of 2011 under the baton of Duffy, who is the director of Yale Bands. The Band hosts open auditions each January for NHPS students in the 6th-12th grades who play brass, woodwinds, and percussion. Students continue to play in their school bands, and the All-City Band gives these talented young musicians the opportunity to participate in an honors-level ensemble.

Published May 18, 2012
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Dominick DiOrio ’12DMA to join faculty of Indiana University

Dominick DiOrio ’08MM, ’09MMA, ’12DMA has accepted a tenure-track position at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University for next fall. DiOrio will be Assistant Professor of Music in the choral conducting department.

“I am so excited about this new opportunity,” said DiOrio, “and I can’t wait to move to Bloomington to start this next stage of my career.”

Dominick DiOrio is currently Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Lone Star College-Montgomery. He is also a composer, and this year he was named the winner of the 2012 Yale Glee Club Emerging Composers Competition. His new a cappella work Ode to Purcell, scored for SATB chorus and SATB solo quartet, will be premiered in November 2012.

For more information, visit his website.

Published May 18, 2012
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