Educators honored and challenged at Second Symposium on Music in Schools

The stage is set in Sprague Hall for Symposium panel discussions

The stage is set in Sprague Hall for Symposium panel discussions

Check out the media galleries of the Symposium!

Honoring 51 distinguished public school music educators from 37 states, welcoming an additional 60 music teachers  from New Haven, probing critical educational issues, building skills in panels and workshops, and drawing national attention to the value of music and music teachers in the lives of our children, the Yale School of Music’s second biennial Symposium on Music in Schools was a resounding success. Taking place on June 10 and 11, 2009, the Symposium was sponsored by the Yale College Class of 1957 and the Yale School of Music as part of the Music in Schools Initiative.

“The symposium was a wonderful opportunity for the School of Music to contribute to music education in our country and to recognize the wonderful work done by so many music teachers,” said Associate Dean Michael Yaffe, who oversees the School’s Music in Schools Initiative. “It really exceeded my expectations. There was so much high level conversation about the topics, and teachers were really energized about what they were doing. They left feeling that they could go back and conquer the world — which is just what we were hoping they would do.” MORE

Published June 30, 2009
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Student prizes awarded at YSM Annual Dinner

The School of Music held its annual dinner on May 3, paying tribute to distinguished alumni and honoring outstanding students.ysm-099-key

2009 Student Prizes
Awarded at the Yale School of Music Honors Dinner
May 3, 2009

The Woods Chandler Memorial Prize, for the best compositions in a larger form written during the year.
» Bryan Benjamin Senti & Andrew Jeffrey Norman

The Phyllis Curtin Career Entry Prize, to assist in launching the career for a graduating student who demonstrates exceptional promise and talent as an artist.
» Adelaide Beth Muir & Emily Grace Righter


From L to R, Deputy Dean Thomas Masse; John Mangan '94MM; Dean Robert Blocker

The Eliot Fisk Prize, to an outstanding guitarist whose artistic achievement and dedication have contributed greatly to the department.
» Christopher Boyd Mallett

The Michael Friedmann Prize, to the student deemed to have the thesis in the Master of Musical Arts program that is most distinguished by originality, substance, and craft.
» Fernando Buide Del Real

The Rena Greenwald Memorial Prize, for the best piano composition written during the year.
» Naftali Yitzhak Schindler

Georgina Lucy Grosvenor Memorial Prize, to the violist in the graduating class whose performances while at Yale have exhibited the highest potential for success as a soloist or chamber musician.
» Bo Li


Published June 21, 2009
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Collection of Musical Instruments names two conservators

strings-studentsWilliam Purvis, interim director of the Collection of Musical Instruments, is pleased to announce that two eminent instrument makers have accepted invitations to serve as consultant Conservators to the Collection.

Andrew Dipper, Vice-President of Claire Givens Violins (Minneapolis) will serve as consultant Conservator of String Instruments. A renowned luthier and scholar, Mr. Dipper has performed restoration and conservation work for many of the world’s foremost public and private musical instrument collections, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York; the Federal Musical Instrument Museum of Berlin; the Shrine to Music Museum in South Dakota; and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Rodney Regier, of Freeport, Maine, will serve as consultant Curator of Pianos.  Mr. Regier has completed three extensive restorations of pianos in the Yale Collection and delivered a new fortepiano of his own make to the Yale School of Music last season.  His instruments based on late 18th- and early 19th-century models are used by eminent pianists around the world and by institutions including the University of California, Harvard University, Indiana University, Peabody Conservatory, the Sibelius Academy (Helsinki), Stanford University, and many others.

For more information about the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, please visit

Published June 18, 2009
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Sō Percussion receives grant from Chamber Music America

Faculty composer Aaron Jay Kernis among those commissioned by CMA grant recipients

so percussionChamber Music America (CMA) announced today that it will award $181,500 in grants for ten commissioning projects in six states. The commissions, made through CMA’s Classical Commissioning Program, are funded by a generous multi-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Since its creation in 1982, the CMA Commissioning Program has made more than 100 grants. Works that have been funded include Yale faculty member Aaron Jay Kernis’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Quartet No. 2 (“Musica Instrumentalis”); George Tsontakis’s String Quartet No. 4 (“Beneath Thy Tenderness of Heart”), recipient of the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award; Joan Tower’s Night Fields; Richard Danielpour’s  Urban Dances; and Steve Mackey’s  Indigenous Instruments.

Among the grant recipients is the ensemble Sō Percussion, whose membes – Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting – are all graduates of the Yale School of Music. The quartet has commissioned Steve Mackey to compose an extensive work for percussion quartet. MORE

Published June 16, 2009
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Violist Ettore Causa appointed to YSM faculty

ettore causaThe Yale School of Music announces with pleasure the appointment of Ettore Causa as Associate Professor (Adjunct) of Viola. Mr. Causa will join the faculty in September.

Since 2001, Mr. Causa has served as professor of viola and chamber music at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland, and he regularly presents master classes throughout Europe and South America. Additionally, he is a member of the Aria Quartet, with whom he performs throughout the world. Mr. Causa studied at the International Menuhin Academy with Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Johannes Eskar, and Alberto Lysy. His advanced studies were with Michael Tree at the Manhattan School of Music.

Immediately following his studies, Mr. Causa was appointed as the First Solo Viola of the Carl Nielsen Philharmonic in Denmark and was also leader of the Copenhagen Chamber Soloists. In 2000, he was awarded both the Schidlof Prize and the J. Barbirolli Prize at the prestigious Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in England. MORE

Published June 15, 2009
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William Westney ’76DMA named Hans Christian Andersen Guest Professor at the University of Southern Denmark (Odense) for 2009-10

william westneyWilliam Westney (DMA ’76, Piano Performance) has been named the Hans Christian Andersen Guest Professor at the University of Southern Denmark (Odense) for the 2009-10 academic year. This six-month university-wide interdisciplinary residency is granted annually to one scholar in any field. During his time in Scandinavia he will also perform as guest artist at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

In June 2009 he was the principal guest artist/presenter at the Singapore Piano Teachers’ Association “Pedagogy Symposium,” playing a solo recital and giving five days of workshops and lectures. While in Asia he also returned to Tonghai University in Taiwan as guest clinician. Earlier in the year, Dr. Westney, who holds two endowed positions at Texas Tech University, was given the university’s highest teaching honor, the Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching Award (only one award is given out of a faculty of over 1200). An in-depth interview with William Westney entitled “Breakthroughs – the Sweetest Moments in Teaching” comprised the cover article of the May/June 2009 magazine Clavier Companion – a new publication resulting from the merger of two well-established pedagogy magazines, Clavier and Keyboard Companion. His book The Perfect Wrong Note (Amadeus Press), now in its second printing, has sold over 10,000 copies worldwide.

Published June 15, 2009
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Dan Trahey heads to Venezuela to study El Sistema

dan traheyDan Trahey ’03MM returned to the School of Music this week to present at the Symposium on Music in Schools. Currently the program manager for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s ORCHKids education initiative, as well as a music teacher mentor for the Peabody Conservatory of Music, he joined with Larry Friend and Bob Capanna to talk about El Sistema, Venezuela’s uniquely comprehensive music education system. Capanna, executive director of the Settlement Music School, is a 2008 recipient of a National Medal of Arts and the National Service Award of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts. Friend, the coordinator of visual and performing arts for Baltimore City Public Schools, is currently crafting the district’s Blueprint for Arts Education.

Check back for video reports from the Symposium’s discussion groups, in which music educators from around the country gathered in small groups to examine the topics at hand.

Trahey is on his way to Venezuela to study El Sistema in greater depth. Follow his experiences on his blog.

Published June 12, 2009
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Music in Schools program featured on Channel 3 WFSB “Cool Schools” segment

music and film programMusic and Film program featuring Yale composers and performers working with students at John C. Daniels School and Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School

The Music and Film program, part of Yale’s Music in Schools initiative sponsored by the Yale School of Music and the Yale Class of ’57 Outreach Program, was featured recently on New Haven’s Channel 3 WFSB. The news station’s “Cool Schools” segment visited New Haven’s Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School (CAHHS). In a feature called “CAHHS—’Cool’ for Making Movies,” reporter Mike Hydeck highlights the Music and Film program at the high school, where students developed a screenplay from a mystery story written by students at John C. Daniels Elementary School.  The Music and Film program connected all these talented students with musicians from the Yale School of Music, who composed a score for the film and recorded it with the Fred Plaut Recording Studio at YSM. Read more about the Music and Film program here.

Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School (CAHHS) in New Haven was named the “Cool School” for the week of May 29, with segments featuring the arts magnet school’s dance, art, film, jazz, and music programs. MORE

Published June 9, 2009
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Toshi Shimada appointed music director of Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra

shimada_toshiThe Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra in New London, CT., is thrilled to announce the appointment of Toshiyuki (Toshi) Shimada as its new music director. Shimada, currently the music director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra (the university’s undergraduate orchestra), will be the fifth music director in the ECSO’s 63-year history.

Toshiyuki Shimada has been music director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra of Yale University since 2005. He is also music director laureate of the Portland Symphony Orchestra, in Portland, Maine, where he served as music director from 1986 to 2006. Prior to his Portland engagement, he was associate conductor of the Houston Symphony Orchestra for six years, beginning in 1981.  Since 1998, he has also served as principal conductor of the Vienna Modern Masters record label in Austria. In addition, he is music director and chief creative officer of the Trinity Music Partners, LLC, which holds the worldwide rights to the Vatican Library Music Collection, and he has been serving as artistic adviser of the Tulare County Symphony Orchestra in California since 2007. MORE

Published June 1, 2009
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