(WROC TV 02/12/2017)
Two Eastman School of Music alumni, Sean D. Connors and Geoff Saunders, were winners in the National Academy’s of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc.’s 59th GRAMMY Awards Sunday. (Also reported by WXXI, Democrat and Chronicle)
(San Francisco Chronicle 02/07/2017)
But for composer Kevin Puts, World War I’s famous Christmas Eve truce provided an ideal setting for his hope-filled first opera, “Silent Night,” which earned him the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music (with librettist Mark Campbell). They’ll both be on hand Friday, Feb. 10, to discuss the work before Opera San Jose presents the California premiere of “Silent Night” on Saturday, Feb. 11, the first of six California Theatre performances through Feb. 26.
Before “Silent Night,” Puts never really considered writing an opera. During his studies at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., and Yale University, his teachers “were all orchestral,” says Puts, 45. “None wrote operas, as far as I know. But over the years, people kept saying, ‘There’s a real narrative quality to your music. You should write an opera.’”
(Topeka Capital Journal 02/10/2017)
Organist Melody Steed and trumpet player Keith Benjamin will present a concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 5, at First Lutheran Church, 1234 S.W. Fairlawn. . . . Benjamin joined the University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance as professor of trumpet in 1989. He holds a doctor of musical arts degree and a performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music.
Arts Around Town: Diversity of the harp enhanced in Wittchens’ ‘Duo Nouveau
(WFMZ Allentown 02/09/2017)
Thoughts of Valentine’s Day bring thoughts of romance, and what better way to celebrate than with music that sets the scene. All comes to life Sunday, when mother/daughter Andrea and Samantha Wittchen present a special recital celebrating 20 years of performing together. “Duo Nouveau – From Baroque to Bowie” will be held 3 p.m. at Baker Theatre at the Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University, Bethlehem.
Sam, 36, recalls her senior year at Liberty High School in Bethlehem, where she and her mom first performed together on the harp. It was a time when she started getting serious about the stringed instrument and thinking about pursuing music after graduation. Though her mom gave her a small harp when she was in kindergarten, she favored piano lessons through her early teens. She studied harp performance under Kathleen Bride at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, before transferring to the University of Virginia to complete a degree in mechanical engineering.
(Broadway World 02/11/2017)
Tom Vendafreddo (music director and conductor) is helming his tenth consecutive musical at Paramount, preceded by In the Heights, Mary Poppins, The Who’s Tommy, LES MISERABLES (Jeff Nomination, Music Direction), Oklahoma! (Jeff Nomination, Music Direction), A Christmas Story – The Musical (Jeff Nomination, Music Direction), Hairspray – The Broadway Musical, West Side Story (Jeff Nomination, Music Direction), Mamma Mia! and Disney’s The Little Mermaid. . . . He received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Eastman School of Music and a Master of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University
Richard Elliott, principal organist at the famous Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah is playing at 4 p.m. Feb. 26 at First Presbyterian Church in Greenwood as part of the church’s Festiva series. Elliott has a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and master’s and doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He served as assistant professor of organ at Brigham Young University and was appointed Tabernacle organist in 1991. Elliott is also a former assistant organist for Philadelphia’s famed Wanamaker organ.
(Appleton Post Crescent 02/11/2017)
Marty Robinson, associate professor of trumpet and jazz at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, directs the jazz ensembles and teaches jazz history in addition to applied trumpet students. He holds degrees from Lawrence University, the Eastman School of Music and Florida State University.
(Jazz Police 02/06/2017)
Vibes master Dave Hagedorn directs the award-winning jazz bands and percussion ensemble at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. With degrees from the University of Minnesota, New England Conservatory and Eastman School of Music, and studies with George Russell, his performance schedule includes percussion duties with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Opera, and regular jazz gigs with the Phil Hey Quartet, Pete Whitman X-Tet and Good Vibes Trio.
(Cleveland Heights Patch 02/06/2017)
Preview performance on Thursday, March 2 Performed at Dobama Theatre on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights
Dobama Theatre proudly presents the Regional premiere of THE FLICK, which runs March 3 – 26, directed by Dobama Artistic Director Nathan Motta. . . . He is the Founding Artistic Director of the Dobama Emerging Actors Program (DEAP), Dobama’s elite summer acting program, where he has directed productions of ANTIGONE, BLOOD WEDDING, OEDIPUS, THE TROJAN WOMEN, THE PERSIANS, THE TEMPEST and MACBETH. He has written two original musicals, LITTLE WHITE GLOVES (an adaptation of the movie All I Wanna Do) and MIDSUMMER (based on Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM). He holds a B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.M. from the Eastman School of Music.
(Daily Messenger 02/06/2017)
Literacy Volunteers of Ontario-Yates will host an evening of Chilean and Latin music performed by Chilean pianist Claudio Espejo at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at Granger Homestead, 295 N. Main St., Canandaigua. Espejo, 24, graduated from Eastman School of Music in Rochester and is pursuing a doctorate in piano performance and pedagogy at the University of Michigan.
(Democrat and Chronicle 02/12/2017)
Steve Gadd. The Legendary drummer’s Way Back Home: Live from Rochester, NY , recorded by Gadd at the 2015 at the 2015 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, has been nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. Way Back Home draws heavily on music from the studio album that the Irondequoit native and Eastman School of Music graduate recorded to celebrate his 70th birthday, 70 Strong, as well as the preceding Gadditude. Way Back Home was also issued as a DVD.