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Music Education Students Teach in Miami-Dade Public Schools

Ever since taking her first music class in elementary school, Natalie Lopez knew she wanted to teach music.

Now a junior music education major at FIU, Lopez got her first opportunity when she signed up for the Elementary Music Methods (MUE 3340) course for the Fall 2014 semester.

The course, a requirement for all music education majors, focuses on the development of instructional skills, techniques, and strategies for teaching music elementary school classroom.

But for the first time, the students taking the course got to teach themselves, instructing at a third-grade music class once a week at Carlos J. Finlay Elementary School. This unique opportunity to go into an actual elementary school classroom allowed the students to practice what they learned in her class in a real-world setting.

“They were beyond generous to allow us to come and teach that class,” course professor Cathy Benedict said of Carlos Finlay Elementary. “This helped our students see what it means to be a teacher.”

Benedict taught the third graders for the first few weeks of the class while her music methods students observed. After that, Benedict’s students took turns teaching lessons for the duration of the semester.

Through the experience, students like Lopez got to address some of the fears that come along with teaching, such as crafting lesson plans and effectively delivering a lesson to a group of elementary students.

“I was always worried about it – but getting in front of that class and actually teaching made me realize that I can do this,” Lopez said. “The experience made everything feel more real and put my goals in perspective. This class gave me focus and set me down the path I’m on now.”

The experience also shattered many misconceptions that these students held prior to taking the course – including the notion that teachers are supposed to simply impart knowledge on students. They saw that elementary students could think critically about musical concepts – like melody, rhythm, and harmony.

“If you show them that you expect them to do that because they are capable of that, they are so much more receptive to listening to you,” said Alexa Marsellos, a sophomore music education major who also took the course. “They would fix things you pointed out to them and they would sing beautifully. They made music.”

Lopez added: “There is potential inside them that you sometimes don’t see. If you have them engage in these activities that help them along the way to understand the larger concept, they can understand complex concepts.”

According to Benedict, it is one thing to tell her students that elementary school students are capable of learning at a high level and something completely different for those students to see it happen before their eyes.

“It’s earth shattering when someone realizes that an 8-year-old can reflect on their own thinking and my students got to see that,” Benedict said. “If you believe that everyone can think, then what does it mean then to facilitate an environment in which you are asking people to think? Because we are musically wired, music is our medium for facilitating an educative environment.”

Observing their peers teaching the class also proved valuable for classmates. Whereas Lopez may have taught a particular song behind a piano, for example, another may have utilized a smart board or other teaching tool. “You get to see everything from a different perspective,” Lopez said of watching her classmates teach. “ You notice how they are approaching the lesson and see that everyone has a different way of teaching and thinking. You get to think about how you would do it, how they are doing it and it just gives you one more resource to feed off of.”

At the end of the fall semester, the third graders that Benedict and her students taught had the opportunity to perform the songs they learned throughout the semester at the annual Music in Need Benefit Concert, which took place in the Wertheim Performing Arts Center in December.

As a result of the concert, $250 was given to Carlos Finlay Elementary for purchasing musical instruments, equipment, and other materials.

The third graders that Benedict and her students taught also had the opportunity to perform at a school board meeting in front of Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and other school board members.

Benedict says that the elementary school expects students taking the course, which is taught every other year, to come and help teach music classes in the future.

“This was one of the more profound teaching experiences I’ve ever had, and I’ve taught a lot,” Benedict said. “There was a lot of joy in this class. My students got to see themselves differently and I think it might have surprised them that they loved and enjoyed working with children.”

To learn more about the FIU Music Education Division, click here.


Story originally posted by FIU News staff reporter Joel Delgado. 

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The Amernet Meets The Cleveland on South Beach

The Amernet String Quartet’s latest collaboration with some of the finest musicians in South Florida will take place at one of Miami’s best known cultural institutions on South Beach, The Betsy Hotel.

On Wednedsay, February 25th at 7:00pm, the quartet will be joined by three members of The Cleveland Orchestra: principal Clarinetist Franklin Cohen, cellist Brian Thornton, and violist Mark Jackobs. Together, they will perform a program of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet and Tchaikovsky’s String Sextet, “Souvenir de Florence.”

Praised for their “intelligence” and “immensely satisfying” playing by the New York Times, the Amernet String Quartet has garnered recognition as one of today’s exceptional string quartets and are Ensemble-in-Residence at Florida International University in Miami.  Their sound has been called “complex” but with an “old world flavor.” Strad Magazine described the Amernet as “a group of exceptional technical ability.”

This event is free and open to the public. You can register for this event by clicking here.

Click here to view other performances in the Amernet String Quartet 2014-15 Series.

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Fully Engaged CARTA Board Meeting Took Place at Gus Berenblum’s Office in Wynwood

Gus Berenblum, principal of Berenblum Busch Architecture (BBA), generously hosted the CARTA Advisory Board meeting at his office in the Wynwood district at noon on February 9th, 2015.

During this very productive meeting, Dean Brian Schriner discussed CARTA 2020, the Miami Creative City Initiative with the direction of Dr. Richard Florida, and the Bauhaus Miami with the collaboration of Dr. Claudia Perren, Director of the Bauhaus Dessau.

Larry Kline from Perkins & Will presented the new partnership with CARTA for the creation of a new Healthcare Design track in the School of Architecture.

Bernardo Fort-Brescia, founding principal of Arquitectonica, was recognized for having the winning bid for the redesign of the Coconut Grove Playhouse.

Alfred Karram Jr, Chairman of the Urban Studios Advisory Board, made a presentation on their involvement with the City of Miami Beach Centennial.

Rick Tonkinson, Chairman of the CARTA Advisory Board, discussed Josh Oberhausen speaking to the Communication Arts students, the status of hiring a Career Development Officer, and the grand opening of the RCCL building at the FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus on March 20, 2015. Dean Schriner is making arrangements for the board members to attend the grand opening and to receive a private tour.

Rick also discussed the Martin and Connie Silver Award, which is a scholarship for students to explore how to assimilate artwork and collections of art into their architecture designs.

Rick announced the School of Architecture Career Fair on March 25th and Jason Chandler, Chair and Associate Professor, provided the details at the board meeting.

Rick let the board know that the Department of Interior Architecture is ranked in the top 10 in the nation by Design Intelligence and Janine King, Chair and Associate Professor, stated that 1,108 professional practice organizations participated in the ranking.

Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Julian Kreeger, President of Friends of Chamber Music of Miami for 25 years, had a very insightful conversation that started with Bernardo asking “What is the ideal size of a venue in order to be able to create the right amount of buzz (sizzle) for a theatre or music production?” A discussion ensued over this fundamental and critical question, which that is often never addressed. “Buildings are overbuilt and there is too much capacity so when it is half full, it still looks empty,” said Bernardo. Julian thought that 300 seats is small enough to create a demand for attendance. “This conversation was in essence why the College of Architecture + The Arts are combined at FIU because it brings the two points of view together. At most universities, this conversation would not take place. With most cultural arts centers, they are built over capacity because the decision makers want something grandiose. It is their way or the highway so when it is built, presenters have to deal with trying to fill up the room. Chamber Music does not need a 2,600 seat auditorium,” said Rick Tonkinson. “We just witnessed in a conversation the unique philosophy of CARTA,” added Rick.

Rick was pleased to announce that David Harper, President and CEO of HADP Architecture, is joining the board. He named the atrium of the Green Library at FIU and is a major donor.

The next meeting will be at hosted by Daniel de la Vega in April. Daniel is president of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty.

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Sizzling Jazz Trombone Concert by John Fedchock was Stellar

On Saturday, February 7th, the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center Concert Hall had a stellar performance of John Fedchock, a Grammy Award nominated arranger and world class trombone soloist.

John played with the FIU Faculty Jazz Ensemble, which included Gary Campbell (its Director), Cisco Dimas, Hal Roland, Jaime Ousley, Osvaldo Vargas, and Tom Lippincott for the first half of the performance.

For the second half, the sizzling sound of the FIU Studio Big Band under the direction of Jim Hacker played with John on seven of his tunes.

“We have enjoyed very special jazz concerts in New York City where John has played for over 20 years and this FIU concert was of a Carnegie Hall quality,” said Rick and Margarita Tonkinson who sponsored the event.

Earlier in the day, John taught a master class to seven high school jazz bands.

John Fedchock enjoyed playing with the faculty and students. “We all had a real great time,” said John.

Header image is of John Fedchock.

John Fedchock and FIU trombonist Tom Savage

John Fedchock and FIU trombonist Tom Savage

John Fedchock and the FIU Studio Jazz Big Band

John Fedchock and the FIU Studio Jazz Big Band

Group Photo

Left to right: Rick Tonkinson – Sponsor, Jim Hacker – Director of the FIU Studio Jazz Big Band, Bob Dundas – Chair of FIU School of Music, Bill Hipp – Past Chair of FIU School of Music, and John Fedchock – World class trombonist


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Meet Edgar M. Abreu, King of FIU Opera Theater’s Production of “L’Étoile”

Each time he steps onto a stage, tenor Edgar M. Abreu looks for new ways to captivate his audiences and draw them into the performance. That’s exactly what he intends to do in the leading role as King Ouf I in Emmanuel Chabrier’s L’Étoile with the FIU Opera Theater this February.

This rarely heard satirical opera buffe was much admired by Chabrier’s contemporaries, including Debussy, Satie, Ravel, Poulenc, and Stravinsky. Featuring disguise and deception, astrologers and ambassadors, peddlers and lovers, this whimsical opera tells the story of King Ouf, a monarch on the search for a suitable subject to execute as a birthday gift to himself.

“I’m having a wonderful time discovering my character King Ouf! He embodies the essence of what one would expect in a theatrical performance-he is childish, crazed, compassionate, fickle, and dramatic at all times. Plus, who wouldn’t want to play royalty!” noted Mr. Abreu playfully.

Under the direction of Robert B. Dundas, Director of FIU Opera Theater, the opera theater performs one fully staged production each concert season, which allows students to experience all of the elements that encompass a professional opera performance.

“Every season, I prefer to introduce students to a variety of repertoires from different cultures in order to enhance their educational experience. I also have to look very carefully at the strengths of our students. For many of them it’s the first time that they’ve done anything operatic,” stated Professor Dundas.

As a student at FIU, Mr. Abreu has appeared as a soloist for repeat Messiah performances and has participated in master classes by artists such as Helen Donath, Carol Farley, Marcello Giordani, Leona Mitchell, Sherill Milnes, and Virginia Zeani. In 2014, Mr. Abreu made his operatic debut in a supportive role as Lippo Fiorentino in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene with the FIU Opera Theater. Classical South Florida Review wrote that “Edgar Abreu made the most of Lippo Fiorentino’s scenes, singing and dancing with abandon.”

“Competition to be cast in a leading role is intense, but we are all still encouraging and supportive of another,” said Mr. Abreu. “There is a lot of talent in this production, and I feel very fortunate to be where I am.”

Currently, Mr. Abreu is Music Director and pianist at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church and Director of Florida Atlantic University’s summer piano and creative writing camp, Teaching Outstanding PerformerS (TOPS). Mr. Abreu earned his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Florida Atlantic University in 2011 and is currently working on obtaining his Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Florida International University under the tutelage of Professor Dundas.

L’Étoile will take place at the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 21, at 7:30pm and again on Sunday, February 22, at 3:00pm. To learn more, click here.


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Panther Alumni Week Welcomes Composer Carlos Rafael Rivera, Mezzo-Soprano Misty Bermudez, Saxophonist Chris Castro, and Flutist Ernesto Fernandez

Panther Alumni Week (PAW) 2015 is FIU’s second annual alumni week of service, during which alumni are invited to return as guest speakers to inspire our students and share career advice. Guest speakers will visit our vibrant campus, experience today’s FIU, and reinvigorate their Panther spirit. This is also the perfect opportunity to visit a former professor or inspirational mentor. PAW is scheduled for the week of February 2-6. The School of Music PAW speakers include:


PAW Speaker Carlos Rafael Rivera

M.M. Composition,’96

Monday, February 2, 2015 at 2pm

Location: Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center Instrumental Hall (157)

FIU music alumnus composer Carlos Rafael Rivera will be visiting Mesut Özgen’s Guitar Ensemble class. Rivera is a commissioned and award winning composer whose career has spanned several genres of the music industry. His soundtrack for Universal Pictures’ “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” starring Liam Neeson and directed by Scott Frank, is now available through Varèse-Sarabande Records. His music has been acclaimed by the Miami Herald, the San Francisco Examiner, and the LA Times, helping establish him as a composer with the unique ability of incorporating a large diversity of musical influences into his captivating compositions, which reflect his multicultural upbringing in Central America and the United States.

His work has been performed by some of the most prominent ensembles and soloists, including Arturo Sandoval, Colin Currie, Chanticleer, Cavatina Duo, the American Composers Orchestra (ACO), the New England Philharmonic, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ); commissioned by the Simon Bolivar Youth Symphony, the Miami Symphony Orchestra, and the American Wind Symphony; recorded by Warner, Sony, Naxos, and Cedille labels; published by Mel-Bay, and Doberman Editions; and awarded by the ACO, the Herb Alpert Foundation, the Guitar Foundation of America, BMI, and twice by ASCAP. He has served as Composer-in-Residence with the Miami Symphony Orchestra, as well as musical consultant for “Invitation to World Literature,” an educational series funded by the Annenberg Foundation and produced by WGBH. He is a voting member of the Recording Academy (Grammy’s), the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL), and is a highly sought-after guest composer and lecturer throughout the US. More info can be found at riveramusic.net.

misty bermudezPAW Speaker Misty Bermudez

B.S. Music Education, ’00

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 12pm

Location: Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center Recital Hall (157)


Highly sought after as a soloist, chamber artist, and educator, mezzo-soprano Misty Leah Bermudez has captivated critics and audiences alike with her “ravishing” voice and “compelling” concert performances (South Florida Sun Sentinel, Palm Beach Arts Paper). Residents of South Florida will recognize Ms. Bermudez as a founding and current member of the Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble Seraphic Fire.

Ms. Bermudez has maintained an active private voice studio for many years and has recently joined the voice faculty of both Miami Dade College and the New World School of the Arts, Miami’s prestigious visual and performing arts magnet high school. Her students have been admitted to fine college vocal programs around the country, many with impressive scholarship awards. She served as a master teacher for the participants of the Professional Choral Institute, an initiative in 2011 and 2012 by Seraphic Fire, which aimed to educate talented pre-professional singers about the world of professional ensemble music. She is in demand as a visiting clinician for university music programs around the country and is currently the visiting Artistic Director the Civic Chorale of Greater Miami.

Ms. Bermudez graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida International University School of Music with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and holds a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Miami, where she was a Smathers Fellowship recipient. Artist information can be found here.

chris castro 3PAW Speaker Chris Castro

B.M. Instrumental Performance, ’13 & M.S. Music Education, ’14

Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 11am

Location: Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center Instrumental Hall (157)


Christopher Castro, since becoming a part of the FIU family, has performed alongside great musicians such as Arturo Sandoval, Ed Calle, Gary Keller, Carlos Averhoff, Gary Campbell, Dave Fernandez, Ed Maina, Jon Faddis, Paquito D’ Rivera, Dave Samuels, Giovanni Hidalgo, Donna Campbell, Ashley Curuthers, and Roland Storm. He has also been a lead instrumentalist in the FIU Marching Band, FIU Pep Band, FIU Big Band, FIU Latin Jazz Band, FIU Wind Ensemble, FIU Symphony Band, and FIU Studio Jazz Quartet.

He has continued his professional career by fulfilling his childhood dream of being a soldier in the United States Army. A veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, Chris Castro used his talents by attending the Army School of Music in Little Creek, Virginia and performing in U.S. Army Bands for over four years as the lead instrumentalist, performing for heads of state (including Presidents), government dignitaries such as Donald Rumsfeld, Governor Charlie Christ, Mayor Gimenez, and countless others. He currently is a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Florida International University, working on his second Master’s Degree of Instrumental Conducting after graduating in 2014 with a Masters of Music Education.

As a Graduate Assistant, Mr. Castro works alongside Dr. Brenton Alston (Director of Wind Ensemble & Chamber Winds) conducting the ensembles and also assists as an instructor for many courses at FIU. He has previously earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance at FIU. Chris often travels the world performing aboard Carnival Cruise Lines along with other guest artist and orchestras. Chris Castro continues to be involved heavily in all aspects of musical education for all age groups in the South Florida Area as well as around the globe.

paw ernestoErnesto Fernandez

B.M. in Instrumental Performance, ‘ll

Friday, February 6, 2015 at 1:00pm

Location: Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center Concert Hall (Room 170)

FIU School of Music alumnus, Flute Performer, Music Educator, Clinician will be visiting the FIU Instrumental Forum to discuss career possibilities after the undergraduate program as a part of Panther Alumni  Week.  Born in Havana, Cuba, Fernandez attended South Miami Senior High School, where he was nominated to the Silver Knight Award in the Music category.  Fernandez was a member of the Honors College while attending FIU and graduated in 2011 Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance and Music Education.  He as a student of Elissa Lakofsky and Nestor Torres.

In 2011, Ernesto Fernandez became a teaching assistant and Henry Mancini Fellow at the Frost School of Music of the University of Miami.  He studied with Trudy Kane and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2013 with a MM in Instrumental Performance.  During that time he participated in the recording of the soundtrack for the movie Despicable Me 2 with Pharell Williams, and performed in two PBS specials:  Gloria Estefan’s “The Standards”, and Jazz at the Philharmonic with Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, Mark O’Connor, Terence Blanchard, and Dave Grusin.

Ernesto Fernandez is currently an Adjunct Professor of Music at Miami-Dade College and at Barry University, where he teaches Flute.  He is also pursuing a DMA in Instrumental Performance with an emphasis in Music Business at the Frost School of Music.  He has performed in Italy, Mexico, Grand Cayman, Nicaragua, Toronto, Cleveland, New York, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Chicago, Charlotte, and New Orleans.

Ernesto Fernandez is endorsed by Gemeinhardt Musical Instruments, Co.  He is a clinician and performer at state and national flute conventions, and gives flute masterclasses throughout the United States.  He remains a Henry Mancini Fellow and maintains a balanced musical career as a classical/Latin performer, educator and arranger.


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FIU Alumna Sarah Payne ’14 Wins Met Opera FL District Auditions

Congratulations to FIU School of Music graduate Sarah Payne, who was one of three winners at the Metropolitan Opera FL District Auditions on Saturday, January 17th.

It is well known that singers who compete in this district come from all over the United States and are among the best singers in the region. Many are young artists at Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Opera, and Sarasota Opera, among others.

“I am very proud of Sarah and the tremendous progress she has made over the past two years. She’s an exceptional person with an exceptional talent. I’m confident that she will continue to make all of us at FIU very proud as she moves on to the next round,” said FIU Opera Theater Director Robert B. Dundas.

Soprano Sarah Payne, a native of South Florida, is a 2014 graduate of Florida International University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance.  This past summer, Ms. Payne performed the role of Contessa Almaviva with the Miami Summer Music Festival under Maestro Michael Rossi of the Washington National Opera. After performing with the festival, Ms. Payne spent two weeks in Salzburg, Austria studying with renowned American soprano Helen Donath at the Mozarteum University. During her time in Salzburg, she was named a finalist in the annual International Richard-Strauss-Competition and has been invited to take part in next year’s International Wagner Competition in Bayreuth, Germany. While at FIU, Ms. Payne performed the roles of Anna Maurrant in “Street Scene,” Poppea in “Aggrippina,” and The Governess in Benjamin Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw” with the FIU Opera Theater, all under the musical direction of FIU’s Maestro Grzegorz Nowak.

According to Ms. Payne, “the FIU School of Music has allowed me to grow exponentially as a musician, as well as an artist. I will forever be grateful to Professor Dundas as well as the rest of the voice staff for their continued support.”

Ms. Payne will next compete in the Southeast Regionals in Atlanta, GA in February. She has received enthusiastic offers of support from a number of entities, including Basler Fashion Art House, who will outfit her for this next round. Follow her progress in Georgia by clicking here.














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2015 FIU Festival of Jazz Bands

The FIU Festival of Jazz Bands, now in its third consecutive year, will take place at the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 7th from 12pm until 9pm.

The festival is a FIU community initiative designed to prepare local area high school jazz bands for their upcoming annual festival performances. Each year, eight to ten bands are invited to each perform three pieces for faculty and guest clinicians, who then critique and workshop directly with the students. Afterwards, the performances and workshops are also recorded and given to the band directors.

According to festival director Jamie Ousley, “the FIU Festival of Jazz Bands is important to our community because South Florida has become a major center of jazz education, which includes excellent middle school jazz programs, national award-winning high school jazz bands, and at least 8 vibrant college jazz programs. Jazz is an important American artistic contribution to the world, and it’s exciting to see south Florida cultivating the next generation of artists.”

Participating schools this year include New World School of the Arts, Felix Varela, Southwest Miami, Palmetto Senior, Miami Senior, Hialeah, Robert Morgan, and Ronald W. Reagan-Doral. The public is welcome to attend all high school performances and clinics at no charge, including a master class given by Grammy-winning John Fedchock. Joe Donato from the Miami Jazz Cooperative will serve as MC for the festival.

The festival will conclude with a concert at 7:30pm featuring esteemed jazz artist John Fedchock, the FIU Studio Jazz Big Band directed by Jim Hacker, and the FIU Jazz Faculty Ensemble. The performance is free to all festival participants. For more information regarding the evening closing concert, please click here.

The festival was sponsored, in part, by WDNA public radio, Miami Jazz Co-op, Rick and Margarita Tonkinson, and through a grant provided by XO Brass.


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Alumni Spotlight: The Music of Composer Pablo Chin, ’06

The music of Pablo Chin, a Costa Rican composer based in Chicago and an ’06 CARTA graduate from the School of Music, engages with self-designed methods that aid in generating sophisticated polyphony, and that reveal unforeseen musical trajectories. These methods derive from the composer’s concerns with the role of calculation and intuition in his work. Recent works draw inspiration from the narratives of film and literature, phonetic structures in text, and the exploration of iconic Latin rhythms and metrical spaces.

Chin’s music has been performed in 11 countries and across the U.S. states. He has been commissioned by Ensemble Recherche, International Contemporary Ensemble, members of the Anubis Quartet, the MAVerick Ensemble, Chicago Humanities Festival, Latino Music Festival of Chicago, Claremont Concert Orchestra, and ensemble dal niente among others. His music has also been performed by artists including Ostravská Banda, Donatienne Michel-Dansac, Pierre-Stéphane Meugé, Marino Formenti, Claire Chase, Eric Lamb, Gan Lev, and Marcus Weiss.

Chin earned his doctoral degree in composition from Northwestern University, where he has been awarded the Cacavas Award, William T. Faricy Award, and William Karlins Award. There he studied with Hans Thomalla, Jay Alan Yim, and Aaron Cassidy. In master classes he has worked with Richard Barrett, Oliver Knussen, Chaya Czernowin, and Kaija Saariaho among others. His music has been commissioned for and performed in prestigious international festivals of new music, including the 45th and 46th Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, Ostrava Days 2009, and Centre Acanthes 2011. Currently Chin teaches theory, aural skills and composition at Saint Xavier University, and is co-founder and artistic director of Fonema Consort.

The Fonema Consort Ensemble is scheduled to perform as part of the New Music Miami ISCM Festival on Friday, January 16th at Miami Beach Urban Studios on Lincoln Road. Chin was recently awarded the Dotacion Musical from Costa Rica’s ACAM, to fund the production of his first album, which was released in the spring of 2014. (Source: www.pablochin.com).


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New Music Miami Festival Marks Its 19th Season with Artistic Diversity

The New Music Miami ISCM Festival welcomes a variety of innovative and well-known composers and performers from all over the globe in celebration of its 19th successful season in South Florida.

The festival, founded by Professor of Music in Composition and Composer-in-Residence at the College of Architecture + The Arts Miami Beach Urban Studios Orlando Jacinto Garcia, provides exciting performances along with master classes and panel discussions with the invited guest artists. Garcia’s own solo and chamber works have been nominated for Latin Grammys in 2009, 2010, and 2011 in the best contemporary classical composition category. The recent release of his cd,”Auschwitz” on the Toccata Classics label in September 2014 received positive reviews by both Grammophone and The New Music Web International Review.

The 2015 festival will open on January 16th with a performance on Lincoln Road at the College of Architecture + The Arts Miami Beach Urban Studios. The Fonema Consort Ensemble, a new music ensemble hailing from Chicago, will perform music from the Americas, including works by Joan Arnau Pamies, Shawn Lucas, FIU Alumnus Pablo Santiago Chin, and the South Florida premiere of a new work by Orlando Garcia. 

jennifer choiOn Friday, January 30th at 7:30pm, the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center invites audiences to enjoy a program featuring violinist Jennifer Choi and the FIU NODUS Ensemble, joined by the strings of the FIU Symphony Orchestra. The concert will feature the world premiere of una marea creciente (a rising tide), a new work for violin and string orchestra by Orlando Jacinto Garcia. Garcia shares the following details, “The title was suggested by the ascending sonorities that can be heard in different sections of the work as well as the melodic contour of the solo violin part. The title is thematic in that it represents current concerns about sea level rise, which is an issue of greater concern to me now that I am living on Miami Beach.” The concert will also feature the US premiere of a work by Canadian/Polish composer Peter Paul Koprowski with Grzegorz Nowak and Garcia conducting.

Other artists in upcoming concerts include FIU composer Jacob Sudol, the Calloway-Sudol Duo, composer and pianist Amy Williams, the Bugallo-Williams duo, cellist Charles Curtis, violinist Mari Kimura, flutist Robert Dick, FIU School of Music alumni composers, and performances by FIU’s new music ensembles and FIU’s Ensemble-in-Residence the Amernet String Quartet. The festival runs from January 16th- April 17th.

For more on this season’s schedule, click here.


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The Johnny Mercer Foundation and FIU School of Music Advocate Music Education

As part of an ongoing collaboration, The Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF), in partnership with Florida International University’s School of Music (FIU), recently hosted a workshop titled “Enriching Your Language Arts and Music Program Through Lyric Writing” at ARTS@FIU Day. The second of these joint ventures designed to enrich music education in Miami-Dade county schools, the Accentuate The Positive (ATP) workshop focused on developing innovative educational opportunities, delivering high-quality instructional materials, and providing professional development opportunities for local music and language arts teachers.

Among those in attendance were the four FIU graduate students pursuing a Master’s in music education through scholarships awarded by JMF — Oliver Diez, Ryan Ellis, Kadhine Gonzalez, and William Jenkins. They are extending the existing curriculum and writing new programs based on the life and works of Johnny Mercer. The fellows are working teachers in the Miami-Dade Public School District at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, overseeing classrooms which are a microcosm of the world-wide diversity present in our area.

Over 12,000 JMF supplemental student activity guides were distributed to the 150 music teachers in attendance, providing invaluable material for instruction and curriculum development in music education. According to Bryan Petorak, the District Supervisor for Performing Arts for the MDCPS, “as the 4th largest school system in the U.S., partnering with outstanding institutions like FIU and the JMF, for innovative music education curriculum, is a natural.” Sari Rose Barron, the Project Director for the Accentuate The Positive Los Angeles program, led the workshop on how to implement the ATP program. Dianne Thurman, JMF Education Committee Chair, spoke about the work of the Foundation and expressed her gratitude to the music teachers who have committed to teach the ATP program.

Also in attendance was Jon Brielle, Vice President of JMF, who was delighted at the success of the mutually beneficial program. Brian Schriner, Dean of FIU’s College of Architecture + The Arts, which houses the School of Music, summed up the goodwill engendered by the event, saying “what a perfect fit. FIU joining with JMF has proved to be powerful in so many positive ways. The upside for students interested in pursuing a career in music is incalculable and working with JMF is a definite plus for all involved, students and educators alike.”



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FIU Tuba Professor Named President of the South Florida Musicians Association

It was recently announced that FIU’s long-time tuba/euphonium professor Jay Bertolet will assume a two-year position as President of the South Florida Musicians AssociationAFM Local 655, beginning on January 2, 2015.

The South Florida union was formed in 1913 and represents the interests of professional musicians from Key West to Vero Beach. The union is comprised of recording and freelance musicians who perform at cultural institutions such as the Kravis Center, the Broward Center, and the Jackie Gleason Theater, among many others. 

“I am humbled and honored to be elected to the position of President of AFM Local 655.” said Bertolet. “I’ve been a member of this local for almost 30 years and it gives me great pleasure to offer my efforts to help make the local a valuable resource for the musician community of South Florida.”

In addition to his teaching responsibilities at FIU, Mr. Bertolet is an active freelance performer in the South Florida area. He is Principal Tuba and Cimbasso for the orchestra of the Florida Grand Opera. He serves as the Principal Tuba and Cimbasso for the Miami Symphony Orchestra, the Palm Beach Symphony, the Klezmer Company Orchestra, the Symphonia Boca Raton, and Keith Brion’s New Sousa Band. He also plays Cimbasso for productions of Opera Naples and Opera Tampa as well as for the renowned singer Andrea Bocelli. 

To read more about Jay Bertolet, click here.


A community of musicians working together tosouthflorida musicians preserve the culture of music and
promote dignity, fairness, and democracy for musicians.

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FIU Symphony Orchestra Conductor Grzegorz Nowak Appointed Music Director of Orquesta Sinfonica de España

Grzegorz Nowak, director of the FIU Symphony Orchestra and the Conducting Program, has been appointed as the first Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfonica de España, beginning this season.

Grzegorz Nowak began his international career by winning the first prize at the Ernest Ansermet Conducting Competition in Geneva and special honors, including the Grand Prix Patek Philippe, Rolex Prize, Swiss Prize, and American Patronage Prize, and received in Basel the Europäische Förderpreis für Musik for the European Musician of the Year. He honed his skills at Tanglewood on a Serge Koussevitzky Fellowship with such masters as Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Erich Leinsdorf, Igor Markevitch, Maurice Abravanel, and Gustav Meier, before assisting Kurt Masur with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Since then, he has conducted the world’s finest orchestras. In Europe, Grzegorz Nowak has worked with such prestigious ensembles as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Lamoureux in Paris, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, RAI orchestras in Milan, Rome and Turin, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva, Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich, Berliner Symphoniker, Belgian National Orchestra, Luxemburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, National Orchestra of Spain and the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon. He has also conducted many times in Scandinavia, performing with the Philharmonic and Radio orchestras of Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen.

Grzegorz Nowak has served as Music Director of such orchestras as the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Polish National Opera in Warsaw, SWR Radio Orchestra in Germany, and Sinfonia Helvetica, and Festival Musique & Amitié Festival in Switzerland. He is Artist-in-Residence at the Florida International University in Miami, was honored with the Distinguished Teacher Award during his tenure as Asst. Professor at the Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and with the title of Honorary Professor from the University of Alberta.

In 2010, Grzegorz Nowak came to FIU from London, where he is the principal associate conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Audiences will be able to see him and special guest Mark Gibson conduct the next performance of the FIU Orchestral Masterworks Series, set to take place on Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 7:30pm. To read more, click here.

To read his biography, click here

To see the announcement made by Orquesta Sinfonica de España , click here.



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Composition Workshop in Italy: Summer 2015 Study Abroad Program

The FIU School of Music is pleased to announce a composition workshop in Assisi, Italy this summer.

This summer study abroad program will give music composition students the opportunity to receive an overview of contemporary sacred art music and compose a new work with the guidance of, FIU head of composition and composer in residence, Dr. Orlando Jacinto Garcia. In addition, the work they create will be rehearsed and an archival recording will be provided by the Suono Sacro Ensemble in residence at the Suono Sacro International Music Festival in Assisi, Italy. A number of student works to be selected by the ensemble in conjunction with Dr. Garcia will be presented at the closing concert of the Festival.

The language for the course will be English and no knowledge of Italian is required. A limit of 12 students will be accepted into the workshop.


The program will be held in the city of Assisi, Italy, home of the Suono Sacro Festival. Facilities for rehearsals, lectures, and master classes will take place in the city at selected locations, including churches and schools.


Students will be staying at the Cittadella residence space especially designed for study abroad programs.


Summer B 2015


Abroad: July 12—25, 2015

Application Deadline: February 28, 2015

A portfolio of scores with recordings required by the deadline

Interviews in person or via Skype: March 2015


MUT 5930 : Special Topics (3 credits)


3 Credits


The estimated program cost of $2175 includes: accommodations in student residences, breakfast, and mandatory international health insurance.

The program cost does not include: airfare, daily meals, some local transportation, FIU course instructional fees ($203.59/credit), or the $175 non-refundable study abroad fee.


Dr. Orlando Jacinto Garcia Professor of Music

Program Coordinator for Music Composition

Composer in Residence, FIU School of Music

FIU College of Architecture & The Arts Miami Beach Urban Studios 420 Lincoln Road, Room 439, Miami Beach, Florida 33139

Tel: 305-535-2617 or Email: garciao@fiu.edu

OSA scholarships available.


To contact the FIU Office of Study Abroad, click here. 

To learn more about funding your study abroad experience, click here.

To download the flyer, click here.


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FIU Jazzist Robert “Be Bob” Grabowski Named Top Ten Jazz Musician by Miami New Times

Contributing Editor of Miami New Times Abel Folgar recently ranked FIU jazz musician Robert “Be Bop” Grabowski” as #3 on his “Miami’s Top Ten Jazz Musicians” list. According to Folgar, “South Florida used to be a jazz mecca. These musicians helped ensure that distinction.”

Robert “Be-Bob” Grabowski is a bassist, composer, educator, and jazz radio personality and has been an Adjunct Professor in Jazz Studies at Florida International University School of Music for the last twenty one years. Active as a bassist in the Miami jazz scene, he has also produced major concerts and festivals for both academic and public venues.

He has composed a large amount of music, resulting in his first solo efforts, The Bob Grabowski Group, Gecko Island, Darwin’s Dance, Midnight Samba, and Deepest Blue, as well as playing on many other’s recordings. A sixth CD of his work is underway and as part of the Absinthe Trio, he released the Absinthe Trio “Live” CD in January 2006. He finished the Fifth Edition of his textbook, “The Evolution Of Jazz” and was a  Jazz Educator in residence at the Larry Rosen Jazz Roots Concert Series at the Arsht Center. He is also an avid diver and underwater art photographer and opened his new gallery space in Miami in February 2011.

Others musicians listed include:

1. Arturo Sandoval

2. Robert Thomas Jr.

3. Bob Grabowski

4. Billy Rolle

5. Melton Mustafa

6. Jesse Jones Jr.

7. Don Wilner

8. William T. Peeples

9. Ira Sullivan

10. Pete Minger

To read the Miami New Times article, click here.



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Music in France: Summer 2015 Study Abroad Program

The FIU School of Music is pleased to announce its first Study Abroad Program. Participating students will have the opportunity to experience music study outside of the traditional classroom led by FIU School of Music faculty Dr. David Dolata and Dr. Joel Galand.

Students will explore the art of music editing and analysis with a special emphasis on the music of France. While in France, students will experience life in Tours, a historical medieval university town and visit Loire Valley chateaux, including the Chateau de Chambord, where they will attend a festive evening of music, dance, acrobatics, and period costumes to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the ascension of François I to the throne. The visit will be capped with the Bastille Day celebration at the Tours city hall, the Hôtel de Ville. The program includes a long weekend in Paris to experience the milieu in which the music students study was created and to take in the diverse contemporary Parisian musical scene. Highlights of the Paris visit will be a tour of the Paris Garnier Opera House, Montmartre, and the Gregorian Chant Mass at Notre Dame de Paris.

 Location Description

Classes in Tours will take place in a classroom within a 12th-century tower with vaulted ceiling, stained glass windows, carved wood furniture, and original tapestries within the Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance (CESR) at the Université François-Rabelais de Tours—CNRS, one of Europe’s leading research institutes. Additional visits by train or chartered bus will transfer students to Paris, the Chateau de Chenonceau and Chambord.


In Tours, students will be housed at “La Croix Montoire,” a university dormitory in the historic center of town within easy walking distance of CESR, dining, shopping, and the train station. In Paris, students will stay at a hotel with breakfast included within walking distance of the Gare Montparnasse rail station.

 Semester & Dates

Summer C

On Campus: June 3—26, 2015

Abroad: July 1—15, 2015

 Courses & Credits

This course is a 6-credit program. Students must sign up for two 3-credit courses as listed below:


MUH 4680 Music History Seminar

MUT 3611 Form and Analysis


MUH 6937 Special Topics in Music History

MUT 5629 Analytical Techniques



To contact the FIU Office of Study Abroad, click here. 

To learn more about funding your study abroad experience, click here.

To download the flyer, click here.


FIU School of Music, Modesto A. Maidique Campus, WPAC 140

Telephone: 305-348-2076

Email: david.dolata@fiu.edu





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Music Student Karla Gutierrez Shares Her “Fearless Journey” at TedXFIU

On November 13th, music student Karla Gutierrez took to the stage to share her “Fearless Journey” with audiences at TedXFIU.  

Originally from Cartago, Costa Rica, she has a master’s in business administration and for many years worked as a human resources coordinator at a Swiss corporation. Unfulfilled and yearning for a life in which she could explore her passion for music, she encountered grief and obstacles that prevented her from furthering her talents in the arts. Before passing away, Gutierrez’s mom urged her to pursue her dream of becoming a professional singer. Gutierrez quit her job and moved to Argentina to study jazz, so she could enroll at the FIU School of Music in order to hone her performing and composing skills as a Music Technology/Voice major.

She has since performed in classical choirs, salsa orchestras, jazz combos, symphony orchestras, and musical theater ensembles. She is currently working on a indiepop record with FIU alumnus and Costa Rican composer Fabrizio Montero. An active member of the FIU community, Gutierrez is founder of the student chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the president of the Electro­Acoustic Research Society and participates in the International Student Peer Mentor Program.

“I like Ted Talks because I feel connected to the idea of sharing stories that would encourage others to focus on the joy and continuous discovery of life, accepting challenges and overcoming fears. I’ve seen many Ted Talks that have moved me and inspired me in this way, such as My Creations, A New Form of Life by Theo Jansen, The Creative Genius by Elizabeth Gilbert, How the Worst Moments in Our Lives Makes Us Who We Are by Andrew Solomon, among many others.” Gutierrez continues “I thought that this year’s theme, “Fearless Journey,” would apply to my story about the transition from a business career to one of music. Receiving this opportunity is a great chance for me to hopefully inspire others to follow their passion.” 

To read more about TedXFIU 2014 “Fearless Journey,” click here.



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ARTS@FIU Expands Creativity in Miami-Dade Public Schools

The story was posted by FIU Student Media Staff Writer Samantha Davis and is available by clicking here.

On Tuesday, Nov. 4, teachers from all over Miami-Dade County flocked to the Wertheim Performing Arts Center for one of the biggest art events of the year. ARTS@FIU was a professional development day for any and all arts teachers to gain knowledge and learn techniques to engage the students in their classes.

Bryan Petorak, District Supervisor of the Performing Arts Division of Academic Support and the Office of Academics and Transportation for the Miami-Dade Public Schools system, was the man behind the event. Petorak oversees professional development for teachers, curriculum related to the performing arts, implementation of legislation that affects the performing arts, scheduling district performances and much more, so it was important to him that ARTS@FIU be engaging and informative.

Petorak met with FIU faculty prior to the event to shape ARTS@FIU into a day that would benefit Miami-Dade County teachers.

“I wanted to identify sessions that we could offer for all of the disciplines that we have here with art, music and theatre,” Petorak said.

According to Petorak, ARTS@FIU has just focused on music education the last two years but expanded to include theatre and art this year.

The event began at 8:30 a.m. with an introduction by Petorak and a video he showed in which Dr. Maya Angelou directly spoke about how to have a positive impact on peoples’ lives. Petorak then read one of his favorite poems by Dr. Angelou, “On the Pulse of Morning” to prepare the teachers for a day of learning how to impact their students’ lives.

At around 9 a.m. the teachers broke off into music, art, and theatre sessions.

“Teachers are participating in these sessions just as students participate in classes and courses. They can then take new information to their classes that will be useful,” Petorak said.

One session, “Participatory Culture: Creativity in Music Programs” led by Evan Tobias, Assistant Professor of Education at Arizona State University, analyzed the song “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons to reveal the ways in which society interprets music. The session featured a variety of covers, parodies, remixes and mashups of the song as a way to get music teachers thinking about how they can spark creativity in their classrooms and encourage students to share ideas with each other.

“My favorite part about today is getting together with colleagues and learning new techniques for the classroom,” said Ana Maria, a music teacher at Laura C. Saunders Elementary School.

David Cruz, an orchestra, chorus, and theater teacher at South Miami Senior High, enjoys connecting with his students.

“The greatest thing about teaching music is watching the growth of the students, sharing music with them, and influencing their lives,” Cruz said.

Other sessions at the arts event included Directing and Playwriting, an orchestra session in which teachers practiced playing their violins, and more.

FIU students played an integral role throughout the day.

“We made sure that we met and greeted the teachers and assisted with the workshops. It was beneficial for me to see how teachers think,” said Namdzy Marcelin, a freshman majoring in Music Education.

ARTS@FIU was a chance for students to see what their work as future teachers will be like.

“The best part about today was being able to interact with people who will eventually be my peers and getting an idea of what I can bring to the school system,” said Alex Toussaint, a sophomore majoring in Music Education.

ARTS@FIU is one of several professional development days for Miami-Dade County teachers and brought in a significant number of teachers this year.

The FIU School of Music would like to thank the Johnny Mercer Foundation for their generous and continual support of music initiatives throughout Miami-Dade County. This year, they have provided over 30,000 enrichment program guides for public school teachers and their students, in addition to awarding fellowships to four School of Music students. For more information, click here.




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Amernet String Quartet Receives Glowing Review in Jewish Program

On November 9th, the Amernet String Quartet, FIU’s Ensemble-in-Residence, performed with Cantor Daniel Gross in a program of Jewish works to commemorate the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Writer Lawrence Budman of South Florida Classical Review offers his critique.

As part of an ambitious series of music and dance performances, the hall (Bailey Hall) hosted a concert of Jewish music Sunday afternoon marking the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass).

On the night of November 9, 1938, supposedly in response to the killing of a German diplomat in Paris by a Jewish youth, over a thousand synagogues were torched and homes and businesses of Jews were looted and destroyed. Nearly one hundred people were killed and thirty thousand were arrested by the Gestapo and taken to concentration camps. It was a prelude to the Holocaust, the annihilation of Europe’s Jewish population (as well as gypsies and homosexuals) on a scale difficult to perceive even today.

The Amernet String Quartet was featured in a program of rarely heard chamber and vocal works. For Michael Klotz, the group’s violist, the concert had a personal dimension: his grandparents were survivors of Auschwitz.

When composer Viktor Ullmann was murdered at Auschwitz, the world lost a genius. A pupil of Schoenberg, Ullmann composed his String Quartet No. 3 in 1943 at the Theresienstadt concentration camp. (Ullmann wrote over 20 works at Terezin, not all of which have survived.)

Lasting just over ten minutes, the compact score is in four continuous movements. Opening in the romantic vein of Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, a Presto turns harsh with over lapping instrumental lines. The desolate Largo is the heart and soul of the score, deeply imbued with tones of impending tragedy.  A concluding Allegro vivace is at times playful but also dark and angular. The superbly crafted score brought out the Amernet’s plush tonal sonority and lithe blending of timbres.

The quartet also gave a forceful performance of Ernest Bloch’s Paysages. A multifaceted composer, this three movement suite comes not from Bloch’s Judaic, neo-classical or modernist periods but is a musicological exploration of the sounds of Alaska, the Swiss Alps and the Congo. From the high harmonics of “Alpestre” to the wild dance rhythms of “Tongataboo,” this is a highly imaginative work that poses instrumental challenges, easily handled by the Amernet foursome.

Cantor Daniel Gross was the featured vocal soloist in a series of Yiddish and Hebrew texts. Resident cantor at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills, Michigan, Gross has sung baritone roles with leading regional opera companies. His deep bass-baritone resounded in the opening Esa Enai (I Will Lift Up My Eyes) by Israel composer Mordechai Yardeini. Four Yiddish Songs in luminous arrangements by Leo Zeitlin prominently featured Klotz’s mellow viola. Devoid of vibrato and strong in the lowest depths, Gross was vociferous and moving in the traditional Eyli, eyli (My God, My God), light and witty in the child’s play of Pattycake, pattycake and strongly reverent in the Kaddish Prayer of Rabbi Levi-Isaac.

Incisively accompanied by Alan Mason on piano, Gross encompassed the operatic histrionics ofRachem (Have Mercy) by the late Miami-based composer Mana Zucca. A pop infused setting by Ofer Barnoy of L’Or Vador displayed Gross’ smooth legato while he turned Yiddish theater entertainer for Abraham Ellstein’s hilatious Yidl Mitn Fidl.

Grossd concluded with a stirring rendition in Hebrew of the traditional Im Eshkachech (If I Forgot You Jerusalem). As an interlude Amernet violinist Misha Vitenson and Mason sweetly conveyed the Viennese schmaltz and sadness of Fritz Kreisler Liebeslied (Love’s Sorrows).

To read more on South Florida Classical Reviewclick here. 

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FIU Vocal & Choral Festival Attracts Over 300 Miami-Dade Students

On Friday, November 7th, roughly 300 high school choral students from seven Miami-Dade County Schools will partake in a the FIU Choral and Vocal Festival located at the Herbert and Nicole Performing Arts Center. Throughout the day, students will be participating in rehearsals, masterclasses with vocal faculty, and choral clinics with special guest conductor Dr. Ann Howard Jones of Boston University.

Ann Howard Jones aAt Boston University, Dr. Jones is professor of music and director of choral activities. She conducts the Symphonic and Chamber Choruses, supervises conducting students in the Concert Chorus and the Women’s Chorale, teaches graduate choral conducting, and administers the MM and DMA programs in Choral Conducting. Dr. Jones is also the conductor of the BU Tanglewood Institute Young Artists’ Vocal Program Chorus, an auditioned ensemble of high school singers who rehearse and perform at Tanglewood in the summer. Recognized as a distinguished clinician, adjudicator, teacher, and conductor, she has led many all-state and regional choruses, workshops, and masterclasses in the U.S., Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. From 1984 to 1998, Dr. Jones was the assistant conductor to the late Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony choruses, where she was the assistant conductor for choruses, sang in the alto section, assisted with the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers and helped to organize the Robert Shaw Institute.

According to newly appointed FIU Choral Director Dr. Kathryn Longo, “the FIU Choral Festival began last year with three area schools. This year, we are expanding the event to offer more students a chance to work with an excellent clinician and experience some of what the choral and vocal program at FIU has to offer.”

Participating schools include Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, South Miami Middle School, South Miami High School, Ronald Reagan/Doral Senior High School, Young Men’s Preparatory Academy, Miami Arts Charter School in Homestead, and John A. Ferguson High School.

The festival activities will culminate in an evening performance at 7:30pm featuring choral ensembles from each school and the FIU Concert Choir. The concert will close with a combined chorus of over three hundred singers led by FIU Vocal Director Robert B. Dundas, FIU Professor Mark Aliapoulios, and Dr. Howard Jones. To learn more, click here.

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