ECHOES OF DESERTS AND MOUNTAINS

ECHOES OF DESERTS AND MOUNTAINS
Saturday, Jun 11, 2016
8:30 PM
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall
Gary Nicholson, Director
Tetsuya Imai, Founder & Director
Colorado Springs Youth Symphony (CO) & Wajima Wadaiko Toranosuke​ (Ishikawa, Japan)
Steven Rash, Director
Odem High School Wind Ensemble (TX)
Jane DeLoach Morison, Director
Highlands Youth Ensemble​ (TN)
Contact us about this concert and future performance opportunities.

Participating Ensembles:

Colorado Springs Youth Symphony
Wajima Wadaiko Toranosuke
Odem High School Wind Ensemble
Highlands Youth Ensemble

Colorado Springs Youth Symphony

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Gary Nicholson
Conductor Gary Nicholson, music director of the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Association and conductor of its top orchestra, co-founded the organization in 1980. Mr. Nicholson came to Colorado Springs in 1976 after graduating from Wichita State University, Magna cum Laude, with degrees in Music Education and Music Performance with honors. Upon arrival in Colorado Springs, Mr. Nicholson began teaching in School District 11 and playing second trumpet with the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra. As a trumpeter, Mr. Nicholson has performed with the Aspen Music Festival, the Wichita Symphony, the Colorado Opera Festival, the Colorado College Conservatory of Music, the Colorado Springs Chorale, Music Theater of the Rockies, the Fine Arts Center Repertory Theater, the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra, and was a founding member of the Colorado Springs Symphony Brass Quintet and the Pikes Peak Brass Quintet. Mr. Nicholson has also performed with Abendmusik, a professional quality vocal chamber ensemble. Mr. Nicholson has served as a guest conductor/clinician in Wisconsin, Kansas, Colorado, Australia and Japan. From 1995 to 1998, he was the Music Director and Conductor of the Colorado College Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Nicholson has led Youth Symphony tours to New York City, Washington D.C., Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, China, Bulgaria, and Istanbul, Turkey. The Youth Symphony has performed in such prestigious venues as the Mozarteum in Salzburg (2000), the Kennedy Center (2001), Carnegie Hall (2005), Sydney Opera House (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010), Shanghai Oriental Art Center (2008), and Bulgaria’s National Concert Hall in Sofia (2012). In 2000, the Youth Symphony received First Place in the Full Orchestra category at the International Youth and Music Festival in Vienna, Austria. In addition to his work with the Youth Symphony, Mr. Nicholson teaches music at Broadmoor Elementary and Skyway Elementary schools in School District 12 and performs with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. He and his wife, Donna Sheldon, have a son, Aaron, and reside in Colorado Springs with their miniature dachshunds, Sydney. He enjoys skiing, reading, landscaping/gardening, hiking, camping, CC hockey, great food and going to the movies with his family.

Founded in 1980 with the purpose of providing artistic and educational development of musically talented and dedicated junior high youth within Colorado Springs' School District #11, the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Association (CSYSA) began with 70 young musicians and gave a single performance the first season. Today, the Youth Symphony is comprised of eight individual groups including two full symphony orchestras, two wind ensembles, and four string orchestras. The Youth Symphony also provides four beginning string sites around the Pikes Peak Region. Approximately 500 young musicians participate in our programs every year. Today, students from over sixty schools in the area including Pueblo, Limon, Castle Rock, Peyton and Canon City participate in our programs. The mission of the Association is to provide for the artistic and educational development of young people within the Pikes Peak region by offering high quality and diverse musical experiences which enrich the cultural environment of the community. The Association presents over 60 performances each year regionally, nationally, and internationally. The educational program features music camps, performing tours, leadership classes, a solo competition, exposure to all forms of orchestral literature, chamber music ensembles, and community collaborations. It was during a tour to New Zealand that the organization adopted its motto “Through Music We Are One,” quoting a Maori tribesman.

Wajima Wadaiko Toranosuke

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Tetsuya Imai
Tetsuya Imai, Founder and Director of Wajima Toranosuke Wadaiko
Stage Director, Composer of Taiko music
He has won the title of Yokozuna, which is the best title for the Taiko player in 2002.

The Toranosuke Wadaiko team was established in the year 2000, bringing about a new generation of Japanese Taiko drumming. It was founded on the basis of traditional festival drumming in Wajima City located in Ishikawa Prefecture.
 
In 2005, the team was crowned the winner of the World Taiko Drumming Competition, and was awarded the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology prize. Following this success, the team participated in the 8th Japanese Taiko Junior National championships the following year. Again, the team triumphed victoriously, becoming national champions and receiving the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications prize.
 
In addition, on the 25th of March the team represented Ishikawa Prefecture at the 14th Japanese Taiko Junior National championships in Maebashi City Gunma Prefecture. The team emerged victoriously for the first time in 8 appearances in this competition, taking the Prime Ministers Prize for the second time in its history.
 
We do not take our prestige for granted, and owe all of our success to those who have supported us from the very beginning. We are committed in our work to be recognized as a team, and teach as many people as possible the enjoyment and pride of Wadaiko drumming.
 

Odem High School Wind Ensemble

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Steven Rash
Steven Rash is the Director of Bands at Odem High School in Odem, TX. Since 2007, when he began teaching in Odem, his bands have successfully earned many honors and awards. Most recently in 2014 and 2015 the Odem High School Bands earned Sweepstakes Awards at the UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Contest/UIL Marching Contest. In 2010, under his direction, the Odem Junior High Symphonic Winds earned the first ever Sweepstakes Award for Odem Junior High School. Following that year they earned several more Sweepstakes Awards, as well as numerous State and local awards. Under his direction in 2014 the Odem JH Symphonic Winds earned the title of State-Runner Up in the Association of Texas Small School Bands (ATSSB) Outstanding Performance Series March Category. The band had been State Finalists for four out of the five previous years. Mr. Rash has served as a Region Clinician and has been invited to be a guest clinician for many bands. Mr. Rash is a provisional member of the Texas Music Adjudicator Association, Secretary for ATSSB Region 14, and holds memberships in the Texas Music Educator’s Association and the Texas Bandmasters Association. He earned his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Music Education from a joint program at Case Western Reserve University and The Cleveland Institute of Music. Mr. Rash studied conducting with Dr. Gary Ciepluch. His studies on his principal instrument of flute were with Andreas Tischauser, Katherine DeJongh, Joseph Juhos, and Elizabeth Nelms. He studied saxophone with Gregory Banaszak and arranging/jazz with Paul Ferguson. Mr. Rash is a member of the faculty at Hummingbird Music Camp in the summers in Jemez Springs, NM, returning each year to the state he grew up. Mr. Rash is also an alumnus of Theta Chi Fraternity. This year marks his ninth year as a director in Odem-Edroy ISD.

Odem High School is located in the small town of Odem, TX, just outside of Corpus Christi, TX. Nearly a third of Odem High School students participate in the band program that incorporates the units of The Spirit of OHS Marching Band, the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Screeching Owl Jazz Band. The bands have been featured in performances on both the East and West Coasts of the country over the years. In 2013 the Spirit of OHS Marching Contest advanced to the State Marching Contest for the first time, ultimately earning twelfth place in the State for Conference 2A. The Odem High School Wind Ensemble is made up of a select group of band students who audition in November each year for placement in the group. The group has earned Sweepstakes Awards and advancement to the Area Round of the ATSSB Outstanding Performance Series Competition in recent years. The group features many All-Region, All-Area Band Members, and several All-State Band members.

Highlands Youth Ensemble

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Jane DeLoach Morison
Jane DeLoach Morison, received the Bachelor of Music Education (summa cum laude) from East Tennessee State University where she was twice named Most Outstanding Music Student. She received the Master of Music degree in Performance Studies (piano) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and has completed further study at L’académie de musique de Sion in Switzerland. Morison is on the faculty at King University, and has directed and taught at the Montreat Worship and Music Conference, the Barter Theatre Youth Academy, the ETSU Summer Piano Camp, and the Virginia Suzuki Institute. She is the Virginia State Membership Chairman for the American Choral Directors Association and is in demand as an honor choir clinician, adjudicator, pianist, and vocalist. For her work in the performing arts and music education she was honored by Minds Wide Open: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts (2010), and Virginia Celebrates Children in the Arts (2012). Under Morison’s leadership the MECCA choirs have performed in places as diverse as Syros, Greece, ACDA conferences, Carnegie Hall and the Bristol Motor Speedway. This coming summer she will make her Carnegie Hall conducting debut as the Highlands Youth Ensemble performs a solo concert set on the world’s most famous stage!

​The Highlands Youth Ensemble, under the direction of Jane DeLoach Morison is the premier SATB choir under the auspices of the Mountain Empire Children’s Choral Academy. Singers in this auditioned group come from about a dozen public and private schools plus home schools in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia to rehearse together once a week. Many received their early training in the East Tennessee Children’s Choir, and have been awarded places in All-County, All-District, All-East, All-State, Governor’s Schools, regional, and national honor choirs. Some have been selected as national soloists. The Highlands Youth Ensemble performs a wide range of choral repertoire in several annual concerts throughout the Southern Appalachian region, and also sings every Christmas with the Symphony of the Mountains, and at the Biltmore Estate. Notable past performances include International Chamber Choir Competition, Pecs, Hungary (2007); Carnegie Hall (2006, 2010); and Festival of the Aegean, Syros, Greece (2014). Highlands Youth Ensemble was recently selected as one of sixteen performing choirs (out of one-hundred-six auditioning choirs) for the 2016 American Choral Directors Association Southern Division Conference. They are honored to return to Carnegie Hall to perform Morten Lauridsen’s “Lux Aeterna” on June 12, and also a solo concert set on June 11.