Stephanie Ann Boyd – New York, NY
Stephanie Ann Boyd endeavors to write music that brings whimsical worlds to life, that is meaningful to audience and performer alike, and that refreshes and strengthens the creative spirit. Stephanie’s 2015/2016 season included commissions for a cello concerto for Alan Toda-Ambaras and the Eureka Orchestra, new works for Washington Square Winds in New York City and Cincinnati Soundbox in Ohio, and a co-commission involving 50 violinists across America. Other recent highlights involved co-directing the Tuesday Night New Music concert series, winning New England Conservatory’s Donald Martino Prize for Excellence in Composition, being chosen as the NEC/Boston Modern Orchestra Project Competition winner, and having her violin concerto premiered in Jordan Hall by recent Michael Hill International Competition prize-winner Eunae Koh under the baton of Australian conductor Nathan Aspinall.
Boyd is a frequent lecturer at universities and high schools, often speaking on the subjects of creativity, entrepreneurship, and how to create a career after music school. An advocate of the innate creativity in young people, she has brought composition programs to schools and music festivals in three countries. She maintains a studio of international composition students, with studio recitals being held twice a year in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and New York City. When not composing, Ms. Boyd secretly enjoys screaming trumpet music, openly enjoys John William Waterhouse paintings, and will never pass up a London Fog latte. Boyd resides in Inwood, Manhattan.
Laura Harrison – Cincinnati, OH
Laura Harrison is a composer whose works explore unique timbres and extended techniques within the context of traditional performance practices. Her music is characterized by rhythmic drive, lyrical melodies, and emotional intensity. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at CCM, where she teaches orchestration and composition. Among other projects, she is currently working on a piano concerto for Kristofer Rucinski as part of the New Concerto Project. She recently finished a commission for guitar trio for Cincinnati Soundbox which premiered in January 2017, as well as a piano solo for pianist Kristofer Rucinski. Laura is also an active performer and is the pianist for the Cincinnati-based new music ensemble HK-4.
Cristina Spinei – Nashville, TN
Latin Grammy-nominated composer Cristina Spinei (b. 1984) is in demand from choreographers, film directors, and musicians. Her compositions have been commissioned and performed by the Bohemian Trio, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Denison University Orchestra, Ebony Strings Quartet, Écouter Ensemble, ETA3 Trio, Gallim Dance, Golden Hornet Project, Kathleen Dyer Dance NY, London Central School, Mary Seidman and Keystone Dancers, the Metropolis Ensemble, MuSE, the National Symphony Orchestra of Uruguay OSSODRE, New York Chamber Music Festival, New York Choreographic Institute, New York Piano Quartet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, St. John’s Church, St. Michel Strings, and Treetops Chamber Music Society. Ms. Spinei is the recipient of the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism Grant for Composition, two Composer Assistance Awards from the American Music Center, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts composition grant, and the New York State Council on the Arts composition grant. She received her BM and MM in composition from the Juilliard School where she studied with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Christopher Rouse.
Rachel C. Walker – Cincinnati, OH
Rachel C. Walker writes poetic, timbrally sensitive works drawing from her ongoing immersion in and research on Chinese folk music, musical time, and language. Her pieces have been heard across the US, China, and Australia, with major performances and commissions from the Tianjin Symphony Orchestra (天津交响乐团), the Chinese Bamboo Flute Orchestra (中国竹笛乐团), NANOWorks Opera, pianist Kristofer Rucinski, percussionist Colleen Phelps, the Ava and Cincinnatus string quartets, and pipa virtuoso Xia YuYan (夏雨言). As the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Cincinnati Soundbox, she curates concerts blending the new music scene in Cincinnati with those of other cities around the United States.
Colleen Phelps – Nashville, TN
Award-winning percussionist Colleen Phelps is based in Nashville, TN. She is a faculty member at Lipscomb University and Nashville State Community College. She has appeared as a percussion soloist with the Charlotte Civic Orchestra, and Nashville Philharmonic. Colleen is a founding member of Sound Riot, an experimental chamber music ensemble, premiering a new collaboration with dance ensemble New Dialect throughout the 2016/2017 season. She frequently collaborates with grammy-nominated composer Cristina Spinei, and can be heard on Cristina’s album, “Music for Dance,” released by Toccata Classics. She also frequently works with composer Rachel C. Walker, creating various works for natural materials and voice. With poet Michael Williams, Colleen is the composer and percussionist for Khristos Cantos: an evening-length theater piece for percussionist and actor, to be premiered in March 2017.
Colleen received her Bachelor of Performance degree in percussion and a Master of Music degree in conducting at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She was a student of the ensemble-in-residence Percussion Group Cincinnati and studied extensively with Allen Otte. While at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Colleen won the Clara M. Baur Competition for Instrumental Performance. Colleen recently earned her Master’s Degree in Conducting, also at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, conductor Matthew Phelps, and their son Noah.
Emily Tyndall – Nashville, TN
Kristofer Rucinski – Cincinnati, OH
Pianist Kristofer Rucinski’s playing has been described as both a “tour de force” (Music in Cincinnati) and “confidently elegant” (CityBeat). Kristofer is originally from Ashland, KY, and has long been a proponent of new music, having given dozens of world premieres throughout the Midwest and Southern states. Also a composer and educator, Kristofer currently lives in Cincinnati, OH.
Andrew Marlin – Chicago, IL
Andrew Marlin holds both a Masters of Music and a Professional Artist Diploma in Orchestral Studies from Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. During his various studies at Roosevelt University, he was fortunate enough to study with members from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Prior to his adventures in Chicago, Mr. Marlin earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Bassoon Performance from the University of Washington, Seattle. Ever since, Mr. Marlin has been actively freelancing in the greater Chicagoland and looking to pursue a career as an orchestral performer.
Alexander Colding Smith – Cincinnati, OH
Australian and Danish conductor Alexander Colding Smith’s precise, elegant performances cover traditional orchestral and operatic repertoire as well as the works of living composers.
Recent performances include orchestral works of Poulenc and Verdi, a fully staged production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, a concert with the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Republic), and serving as the assistant conductor during the workshops for the world premiere Fellow Travelers by Gregory Spears at Cincinnati Opera. Additional highlights from this past season include a performance of Idomeneo at CCM Opera, educational outreach concerts with concert:nova, and conducting Cincinnati Soundbox’s New Concerto Project.
In August 2014 at the inaugural Gstaad Conducting Academy led by Professors Neeme Järvi, Leonid Grin and Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Alexander conducted the Gstaad Festival Orchestra during the Menuhin Festival. Earlier in 2014 he assisted Eugene Onegin with Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House. As a student at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2013, Alexander conducted the SCM Modern Music Ensemble in a concert of contemporary music “Danish Voices” and assisted Britten’s “War Requiem”. In 2011 and 2012, as core participant in the Symphony Services International Conductor Development Program, he conducted the Adelaide, Melbourne, Queensland Symphony and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestras, studying with teachers including Johannes Fritzsch and Bernard Labadie. He was a core member of the Australian Youth Orchestra as a violist in the 2008 and 2010 seasons, touring China and Europe, and participated in the Australian Youth Orchestra – Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (AYO-TSO) in Concert.
Alexander is a graduate of the College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, USA, where he studied conducting with Mark Gibson as a graduate assistant. He serves as the Outreach Director for Cincinnati Soundbox, which promotes and performs the new music of composers from across the United States.
Jon Noworyta – Cincinnati, OH
Jon S. Noworyta is a Graduate Conducting Associate at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting. Noworyta is the former Director of Bands at Wheaton North High School where he conducted and administered all aspects of the band program and taught music technology and music theory. He is a frequent guest clinician of concert and marching bands, orchestras, and has guest conducted various high school, collegiate, and honor groups. Noworyta has conducted at Chicago’s Symphony Center, the Kennedy Center, and made his European professional orchestral conducting debut in 1996. Ensembles under his direction have performed at local, state, national, and international venues most notably Carnegie Hall, where the Wheaton North Wind Ensemble was invited to perform in 2009 and 2015. The Wheaton North Wind Ensemble also appeared at the 2010 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic and performed at the 2013 Music for All National Concert Band Festival.
Noworyta’s commitment to high quality new music led to the following recent commissions for wind ensemble: “in the midst” by Shawn Okpebholo (2014), “Escapade” by Charles Rochester Young (2014), and “Second City Vignettes” by Clint Needham (2005). He has conducted the Illinois state premier of Robert Sheldon’s “1000 Cranes” (2010) and Needham’s “Legacies” (2010 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic) among numerous other premiers. His work has won him the praise of such composers as Leslie Adams, Jennifer Higdon, Karel Husa, and Timothy Mahr as well as legendary conductors Arnald Gabriel and Harry Begian. Noworyta has twice collaborated with world-renowned pianist and CCM Piano faculty member James Tocco, a guest artist at Wheaton North High School, in performances of the music of George Gershwin and David Maslanka. A western New York native, Noworyta holds degrees from Baldwin-Wallace College (BME) and Northwestern University (MM).
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