Percussionists Alana Wiesing and Erich Rieppel selected as associate members of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago

WiesingRieppelJacobs percussionists Alana Wiesing and Erich Rieppel have been selected as associate members of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Founded in 1919 by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago benefits from a musical alliance that is the only one of its kind among major American orchestras. Under the guidance of CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti, Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma, Principal Conductor Cliff Colnot, and CSO musicians, the Civic Orchestra offers advanced training for young classical musicians seeking to make a professional life in music. Drawing on the extraordinary musical resources of the CSO, Civic musicians develop into experienced orchestral musicians who are imaginative, innovative, collaborative and flexible artists of the 21st century.

Associate members are offered a one-season associate membership and are contacted on as-needed basis as extra/substitute musicians. Both Alana and Erich were awarded the associate membership position of principal timpani.

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Percussion academy helps round out summer concert offerings

By Peter Jacobi

 

Summer Music, the annual series of concerts sponsored by Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, depends heavily on the presence during June and July of workshops, academies, clinics and camps that bring paying students and paid faculty together.

Sometimes, the students end up performing on programs that highlight the skills they’ve been honing while on campus. More often, the teachers, many of them eminent professionals, go beyond one-on-one teaching sessions and master classes by adding public performances to their responsibilities.

Indiana University | Courtesy photoJohn Tafoya will lead the Indiana University Percussion Academy and Workshop.

Indiana University | Courtesy photoJohn Tafoya will lead the Indiana University Percussion Academy and Workshop.

For examples, the Edward Auer Piano Workshop added four piano recitals to the concert schedule, including one by the distinguished veteran, Jerome Lowenthal; a Concerto Competition Winners’ Concert, with orchestra, also resulted from this annual workshop.

A Summer Saxophone Academy faculty recital featured local sax luminaries Otis Murphy and Tom Walsh. A Summer Music Clinic resulted in three events, highlighted by a finale concert featuring an orchestra, a Crimson Band, and a Cream Band, those three ensembles conducted by former Bloomington Symphony Orchestra artistic director Charles Latshaw and two Jacobs School wind conductors, Eric Smedley and Stephen Pratt.

The Steve Zegree Vocal Jazz Camp ended with a program prominently displaying its illustrious faculty.

The two major contributors, as has been the case for countless summers earlier, were Mimi Zweig’s Summer String Academy and Karen Taylor’s Summer Piano Academy. The concert riches that materialized from those extended gatherings for pre-college talents amounted to a significant bounty: a host of pleasure-giving chamber events (most prominently featuring the Netherlands-based Rubens Quartet) marking the String Academy weeks and a series of fine piano recitals (including by star alum Jonathan Biss and an exciting but not-well-enough-known Italian, Roberto Plano) shadowing the Piano Academy.

With but a week to go for the current Summer Music schedule, the spotlight shifts to another sponsor/producer, the Summer Percussion Academy and Workshop, created and run by the Jacobs School’s Percussion Department Chairman John Tafoya. This is the seventh such event, designed primarily for 17- and 18-year-olds at a crossroads: Should they go on with their music seriously during the college years just ahead or accept music as a hobby, a sidelight in their future?

“Our week with these young musicians, and we’ll have 25 this year, immerses them in lessons, master classes, discussions, concerts, and performance,” says Tafoya, whose credits include service as principal timpanist of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. “The workshop experience often proves as a flash point, a lightning rod that awakens their interest in pursuing a music career. It happened to my own son last summer. He began to practice like a maniac. The workshop got him all revved up. This year, he attended a Summer Band Clinic, taking another step toward music.”

Tafoya raves about the faculty he’s signed for the week, including his Jacobs colleagues: Kevin Bobo, a marimba specialist; Steve Houghton, focused on drums and jazz, and Michael Spiro, with his Latin music enthusiasms. Guest artists are Jeremy Branson, associate principal percussionist for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Casey Cangelosi, composer and marimba soloist; Mark Latimer, an IU alum and principal percussionist in “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band; and Rich Redmond, an influential touring and recording drummer and percussionist. All will perform for us this coming week.

“They’re incredible musicians who want to share their talent and knowledge. We select them for their musicianship and for their teaching abilities,” says Tafoya. “Not all professionals can do both. These can. They can also contribute to another aspect of our curriculum, and that is to give the students some organizational skills, showing them how to be successful in the world of music, how to live as a pro. That’s terribly important.

“We cover a lot of territory,” Tafoya continues, “dealing with their individual percussion skills; adding instruction on accessory instruments such as a thunder sheet and chimes and tambourine; stressing listening and collaboration skills. And before the week ends, on Friday, each participant will perform as part of a group in a public concert, a great experience for them, an event that I think will provide them with memories.”

A week of percussion. Give these instruments a listen.

 

© Herald Times 2014

 

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Marco Schirripa awarded first place in Southern California International Marimba Competition

MarcoSchirripa.webMarco Schirripa (Percussion M.M. 2014) has been awarded first place in the Southern California International Marimba Competition, which took place in Orange, Calif., May 30 – June 1.

The event featured 13 semifinalists from an original pool of 100, representing Asia, Europe, the United States, and Canada.

The judging panel consisted of world-renowned marimbist Naoko Takada, Grammy-nominated chamber percussionist Nick Terry, contemporary soloist Lynn Vartan, and legendary marimbist and composer Gordon Stout.

Four soloists advanced to the final round, and Schirripa was awarded first place, with the runner-up being Hiromu Nagahama from Fukuoka, Japan.

The grand prize includes a monetary award, percussion equipment provided by sponsors Marimba One, Malletech, Encore Mallets, and Innovative Percussion, as well as personal promotion by Naoko Takada for one year.

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DM candidate Josh Bowman accepts teaching position at Christopher Newport University

Bowman-200Doctoral percussionist, Joshua Bowman will assume a new role as Instructor of Percussion at Christopher Newport University, Newport News Virginia. In this new position, Joshua will teach applied percussion, direct the university percussion ensemble, and work with the Christopher Newport University Marching Band. He will also teach percussion techniques classes for music education majors and courses in music technology.

Joshua received his Masters degree from Indiana University in 2006 while studying with Gerald Carlyss and Anthony Cirone. As a doctoral student, Joshua studied with John Tafoya and Kevin Bobo. Additional studies were with Steve Houghton and Michael Spiro.

 

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Marco Schirripa wins First Place in Great Plains International Marimba Competition

MarcoSchirripaBeginning his second year as an M.M. percussion performance major at the Jacobs School this fall, Marco Schirripa was recently named the winner in The First Annual Great Plains International Marimba Competition, which took place July 25-27 at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Thirteen competitors advanced to the semi-final round from the first (taped) round on May 1. Each semi-finalist performed a maximum 20-inute program consisting of a movement of Bach solo violin or cello music, followed by a piece from a set list. Three finalists were selected to perform on July 27, each with a new 20-minute program of a piece from the set list and one free-choice work.

For the first round, Schirripa performed the Sarabande from Bach: Partita No. 1 in B minor for solo violin, and Paul Lanksy: Three Moves for Marimba. For the finals, he performed Gunther Schuller: Marimbology and played the world premiere of Mind Blow, by Josh Oxford.

The top prize included various equipment provided by the sponsors: Zildjian, Malletech, Encore Mallets, and Innovative Percussion, as well as the Wanda L. Bass Marimba Prize, totaling $2,000.

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Alumnus Brian Blume appointed as Instructor of Percussion at Southeastern University in Florida

BrianBlume-150Alumnus Brian Blume (BM 2007, MM 2010) has been named Instructor of Percussion at Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL (www.seu.edu) where he will be teaching applied percussion, percussion methods, marching percussion, and Introduction to Music theory.

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Andrew Riley selected to participate in the Aspen Summer Music Festival

Andrew Riley has been selected to participate in the 2013 Aspen Summer Music Festival.  Andrew is a junior at the Jacobs School of Music, majoring in Percussion Performance. Riley grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, where he received a background in jazz, classical and marching percussion. Before moving to Bloomington, Andrew was a member of groups such as the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra and the Kentucky All-State Symphony Orchestra. He has studied with John Tafoya, Kevin Bobo, and Michael Spiro, and has since been a member of various IU ensembles including the Bands and Orchestras and the Percussion, Steel Pan, Brazilian and Afro Cuban Ensembles. In 2012, Andrew performed as a member of The Phantom Regiment Drum Corps.

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Bobby Conselatore selected to participate in the Aspen Summer Music Festival

Bobby Conselatore has been selected to participate in the 2013 Aspen Summer Music Festival.  Bobby is a native of Washington, D.C. and is currently a junior at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. At IU, Bobby performs with the Philharmonic Orchestra and has studied with John Tafoya, Michael Spiro, Kevin Bobo and Steve Houghton. Outside of school he is a member of the Square Peg Round Hole percussion quartet. He is an alumnus of the National Music Festival, Chosen Vale Percussion Seminar and American Youth Philharmonic. Past teachers include marimba soloist Rebecca Kite and James Swartz of the US Navy Band. Bobby can be heard with Square Peg Round Hole on WFIU on February 19th at 10:00 PM.

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Percussionist Bridget Leahy named director of bands at Defiance College

Second-year MM precussion student Bridget Leahy has been named director of bands at Defiance College (DC) in Defiance, Ohio. Her duties will include the creation of a new marching band (The Marching Yellow Jackets), directing the pep band, the DC Community Band, supporting the DC Strings and Big Band, and providing percussion lessons and other music courses.

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Erin Jeter awarded internship with Percussive Arts Society

Student percussionist Erin Jeter has recently been appointed as the spring 2013 intern for the Percussive Art Society (PAS), beginning in January.

During the six-month internship, Jeter will be part of the team that is planning the 2013 international convention (PASIC), work with the PAS Museum Curator to help manage the museum collection, and be the principal tour guide for the Rhythm! Discovery Center.

The PAS headquarters are located in Indianapolis.

She is graduating from the Jacobs School of Music in December 2012.

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