Glenn Korff School of Music Blog
The halls of the Westbrook Music Building are busy with activity, but our faculty, staff, alumni and students are out in the world doing amazing things too! Read about all of their activities here.
I’m excited to be back in Syracuse, NY, this week for the 2014 convention of the Organ Historical Society. I’ll be playing a recital program on Tuesday afternoon for the convention, on an organ built in 1872 by J.H. Willcox in St. Cecilia Catholic Church. I’ll be performing a newly commissioned piece by Kurt Knecht. Here are a couple of pictures of the instrument …http://www.christophermarksorganist.com/?p=111
The International Music Institute and Festival USA 2014 took place on the beautiful campus of Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD from July 14-24 and I was able to attend due to a generous Hixson-Lied summer study grant. In addition to lessons, coachings, performances and masterclasses, the festival also included seminar in performance psychology, theatre workshop and daily yoga morning stretches. The following five-day tour around cities of Thurmont, Annapolis, Towson, Bel Air and Baltimore featured eight of us from the IMIF. We performed a total of seven concerts in various venues, including a mountain retreat lodge, retirement centers and many gorgeous churches. There was also time for friendships, sight-seeing, ice cream and trying local foods, my favorite being charming Annapolis, historic Hampton Mansion in Towson and of course, Maryland crabcakes! Needless to say, I had a blast!
Tass Schweiger and Christina Ensign
The past 5 weeks, we have been working as Counselors at the New York Summer Music Festival. We sent in our applications and audition tapes back in January and were notified of our positions in April. We began the 22 hour drive to Oneonta, New York on June 30 and will be headed back on August 4.
While at NYSMF, Tass (oboe) has been a part of the Chamber Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Double Reed Trio, Mixed Woodwind Trio, Double Reed Institute, and All NYSMF choir.
At NYSMF, Christina (clarinet) has participated in Chamber Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Clarinet Quartet, Mixed Woodwind Trio (with Tass!), Jazz Combo (playing jazz clarinet), and Lab Jazz (playing trombone), a collaborative faculty/staff performance of "Carnival of Animals", and All NYSMF choir. She has also been teaching a Theory 1 class each morning to a class of approximately 20 students.
Along with ensembles, we have had opportunities to take lessons, participate in master classes, and listen to concerts given by various guest artists from around the world. We even found some spare time to take a beginning guitar class (We can now play about 5 chords and "Love Me Tender"!) and got some fantastic ice cream!
I recently taught and performed at the Csehy Summer School of Music at Houghton College in New York.
Right now I am in Cortona, Italy, studying with a variety of composers and working with a bunch of performers because of a grant the Glenn Korff School of Muisc gave me! Yesterday, I toured Firenze with all of my new friends here in Italy, and on Monday, I will be taking a wine tour around the Italian countryside. All the while, I'm getting to hear the most incredible new music by my fellow composers, and will have two of my pieces premeired Thursday and Friday!
This summer I will be attending two different seminars for percussion performance.
The first is the Chosen Vale seminar in New Hampshire from June 30 until July 12. Chosen Vale has a diverse faculty of nationally known percussionists including the Eastman percussion professor, Michael Burrit, the principal percussionist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cynthia Yeh, and several other percussionists making their careers as solo and chamber musicians. I will be participating in several evening concerts and masterclasses, performing chamber and solo works, and during the day I will have the opportunity to meet with and take lessons with the diverse faculty.
The second seminar is the So Percussion Summer Institute at Princeton University from July 20 to August 3. The So Percussion quartet was recently named as artists in residence at Princeton University, replacing the Brentano String Quartet. They are one of the most important percussion chamber groups in the United States, championing and revitalizing many important standard pieces of the repertoire, like the works of Cage, Reich, and Xenakis. They have also premiered and recorded many new works for percussion, such as Lansky's Threads and Mackey's It Is Time. This year's Summer Institute theme is percussion and electronics with Dan Trueman's Neither Anvil nor Pulley as the central piece for study and performance.
Dr. Peter Eklund departs on June 30 with 100 singers and chaperons for Europe to perform large combined choral, brass, and organ works by Palestrina, Saint-Säens, Rachmaninoff, and many others in amazing world-class venues such as Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral, on Omaha Beach in France, Normandy's American Cemetery, the Gothic Bordeaux Cathedral, the yet-to-be-completed Gaudi-designed Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona (soon to be the tallest church in the world upon completion of the primary tower), the Prince's Cathedral in Monaco, Dachau Concentration Camp, the Milan Cathedral, the important historical abbey-church of St. Hildegard von Bingen above the Rhine River, plus other important churches in Munich, Rothenburg, and many other great spaces in Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Germany. Eklund's long-standing connection with the venues, music-directors, and his European conducting reputation have ensured amazing venues for participants over the years (including Venice's St. Mark's Basilica, the Salzburg Cathedral, the Prague Cathedral, the primary naves of London's Westminster Abbey, Coventry Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral, Straford-on-Avon, Warwick, the Chartres Cathedral, Metz Cathedral, the Strasbourg Cathedral and many, many more. This marks the 20th International Honor Choir directed by Eklund, Director of Choral Activities at UNL. Many of these talented performers ultimately enrolled and attended UNL over the years. Many current and past UNL students have filled roles of chaperons, instrumentalists, performers, and mentors on this trip.
Here is what I’m up to:
Premiere of a new clarinet and flute duo entitled, “Three pieces in three styles” at the International Clarinet Society conference July 30-Aug. 3, Baton Rouge.
Performance of “Esa Enai El Heharim” by University of Southern California Chamber Singers, Jo-Michael Scheibe, conductor at the World Choir Symposium in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 6-13, and in several concerts in China.
Premiere of “Romance and Tarantella” for organ by Chris Marks at the national convention of the Organ Historical Society in Syracuse, NY Aug 11-14
Premiere of new cello sonata at NMTA State conference at Wayne State College in Nebraska, Oct. 23.
I will be the featured guest artist/performer for the Chamber Music Week at the Csehy Summer School of Music at Houghton College in Houghton, NY during the week of July 1-5. As part of the festival I will give a solo recital with Dr. Benjamin Harding, piano, of Cairn University and coach chamber groups.