Under the Western Sky

Under the Western Sky
Sunday, Jun 22, 2014
2:00 PM
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall
Michael Huff, Director
Hometown Praise: Music from Utah
Cristian Grases, DCINY Debut Conductor
Music for Treble Voices
Ramon Niño III, Director
Mariachi Espuelas de Plata
Contact us about this concert and future performance opportunities.

Participating Ensembles:

Utah Voices (UT)
Bryson Middle Advanced Bulldog Choral Ensemble
Children’s Choir of Michiana
College Park Youth Choir
Discovery School Choir (Honduras)
Penrhos College Chorale (Australia)
Spokane Area Youth Choirs (WA)
Marshall Middle School Advanced Choir
VIVA Sandnes Norway
Youth Choir of Central Oregon
Mariachi Espuelas de Plata (TX)

Utah Voices (UT)

Michael Huff
Michael Huff
 
As artistic director of Utah Voices, Dr. Michael Huff is a visiting professor and director of special programs at UtahState University where he also leads the Women's Choir and teaches. For over ten years, he was  associate conductor and principal accompanist for the Utah Symphony Chorus and has led orchestras and bands in all genres. The artistic director of Heritage Festivals' Festival of Gold™ Series, he has also produced and directed the Liberty Bowl Halftime Finale in Memphis since 1989. He received  music degrees from the University of Utah and Arizona State University. He and his wife are the parents of six children.
 
 
Utah Voices is an inclusive and vibrant voluntary organization in which rehearsals are never dull, concerts never boring. Embarking on a third season, they have performed by invitation for Utah Governor Gary Herbert, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Days of '47 Sunrise Service at the famed Mormon Tabernacle, and perform four or more concerts annually. The non-auditioned choir varies in musical skill and is made up of a range of twenty-somethings to senior citizens with all sorts of career backgrounds. Utah Voices serves Utah communities by offering entertaining and inspiring performances of the greatest music from all available sources. 

Bryson Middle Advanced Bulldog Choral Ensemble

Holly Traynham Hill
Holly Hill
Holly Traynham Hill, Choral Director at Bryson Middle, graduated in 1998 with a BA in Music Education from North Greenville University.   She also currently serves as President of the Music Alumni Association at North Greenville.  She has been at Bryson for fifteen years and is a member of MENC, ACDA, and the South Carolina Middle School Association.  Mrs. Hill proudly served as Bryson Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2004-2005 and is a recipient of the “Who’s Who among American Teachers’ Award for 2003, 2004, and 2005.  She has also been the related arts team leader for 14 years.   

The Bryson Middle School Advanced Bulldog Chorus is comprised of 106 voices.  The ensemble here tonight is comprised of 12 auditioned voices for this event.  They have participated in the Six Flags Music Showcase Festival (where they have received superior ratings, superior overall, best accompanist, best soprano section, and best alto section overall), community events, Honor’s Choir at USC, and the ACDA Junior All-State Choir.  The chorus is also the proud winners of the 2012 Grand Sweepstakes Award from the Six Flags Music Festival.  They perform at the school including a musical masquerade, Veteran’s Day programs, spring musicals, and much more.

Mrs. Hill is blessed to have such an energetic and talented group of fine students and a supportive family who motivates and encourages her daily.  She is honored to have her chorus participate in this event, and it is with great anticipation that the chorus performs for you tonight.

Children’s Choir of Michiana

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Wishart Bell
Wishart Bell oversees the artistic development of Musical Arts Indiana, sponsor of Children’s Choir of Michiana. His commitment to excellence, inspiration, and education has led to collaborations across northern Indiana and southern Michigan, Washington D.C., Carnegie Hall, New York, as well as Canada, and Romania.

Bell’s research has focused on the unification of instrumental and vocal techniques in Baroque performance practice as it applies to repertoire for chorus and orchestra, in particular the music of Handel and Bach. Additionally, his published essays, academic presentations, and professional activities demonstrate his dedication to developing a love of singing young voices.
Completing its 10th season, The Children’s Choir of Michiana espouses a fundamental belief that all children can learn to sing. It holds workshops and concerts throughout north central Indiana and Southern Michigan. It has collaborated with the Goshen Community Chorus at Goshen College, and the Dowagiac Choral Festival. In commemoration of fifth anniversary, the choir performed Rutter’s Mass of the Children with Vesper Chorale and Orchestra. The choir travelled to Washington D.C. in June of 2012 for its first concert tour, and hosts an annual Invitational Choir Festival to which it invites singers from schools and churches throughout the region. 

College Park Youth Choir

Discovery School Choir (Honduras)

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Norma López and Pamela Cruz
Norma López
 
Is a music teacher graduated from the Honduran National School of Music. She has 20 years experience as a teacher in the music field. She had been part of important choral institutions in her country, such as National School of Music Choir, Honduran National Autonomous University Choir, and Opera Choir of the Musical Honduran Foundation.  She had been a Choir Director in several educational institutions in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital city. Currently, co- directs the Discovery School Choir which has participated in local and international competitions such as the “2012 Golden Gate International Choral Festival” in San Francisco, California.
 
 
Pamela Cruz
 
Pamela has been teaching music for 20 years. She studied piano with Aenne Deja, and Hernán Teruel at the Honduran National University, and with Leander Bien at Kinhaven Music School in Weston, Vermont.  She taught Piano at Francisco Ramón Díaz Zelaya National Conservatory and National School of Music for 11 years. 
 
She has performed in Honduras, Guatemala and Vermont as a soloist and accompanist.  As conductor she is working with children’s choirs and Gospel associations such as Amor y Fé Ministry.
 
Pamela Cruz is the founder director of CIMA (Metropolitan Adventist Children´s Choir) and Discovery Choir.
Founded in 2005, The Discovery Choir belongs to Discovery International School, which is a non-profit educational association in Honduras Central America.

The Discovery Choir has participated in several choir festivals in Honduras and has received numerous awards. In 2012 the choir was rated Bronze at “The Golden Gate International Choral Festival” in San Francisco California. The Choir has recorded their first CD, which includes Honduran songs. The Discovery Choir is conducted by Pamela Cruz and Norma López.

The Multicultural exchange among our participating students and the friendship ties that have developed, have been a very important part of Discovery Choir Philosophy.

Penrhos College Chorale (Australia)

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Catherine Clarnette
The Penrhos College Chorale hails from Como, Western Australia.  Paul McCarthy is the Penrhos College Director of Music, with the Chorale under the direction of Miss Catherine Clarnette. Recent tours and credits include third place at the prestigious Llangollen International Music Festival Eisteddfod in Wales, a Silver rating at the International Music Festival in Sydney, being featured at the 13th International Kodaly Society Symposium in Brisbane, and also achieving a Gold rating at the 2013 International Music Festival in Washington DC. Penrhos is honoured to have the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall in 2014.
Catherine Clarnette graduated from Edith Cowan University, Western Australia, in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts (Education) and a Bachelor of Arts (Creative Arts), completing her principal performance studies in jazz voice at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. As a violist, vocalist and conductor, Catherine has performed on international stages and studied under the wonderful tutelage of some of Western Australia’s best musical educators. Currently, Catherine teaches choral and classroom music at Penrhos College, and is a tutor with the Australian School of Performing Arts.

Spokane Area Youth Choirs (WA)

Kristina Ploeger
Kristina Ploeger
Kristina Ploeger has been part of the Spokane Arts Community for fourteen years. She is the Director of Choral Activities at Eastern Washington University and formerly taught at the high school level in various locations in Washington State. A member of ACDA, NAfME (formerly MENC), EWMEA, and WMEA, she has served on the WA ACDA Board in several positions. Kristina has presented at the state and all-northwest MENC/WMEA conventions as well as the 2004, 2007, 2009-2012 WA-ACDA Summer Institutes and Southern Division ACDA 2014.  She is proud to have co-founded the EWU Jazz Dialogue Summer Camp, and is a sought-after clinician for jazz and choral festivals.
 
The Spokane Area Youth Choirs, founded in 1987, serves singers between the ages of 7 and 18. The goal of SAYC is the pursuit of musical excellence while nurturing the artistic and personal growth of members in a joyful and supportive way.  Musicianship, vocal techniques and performance skills are emphasized. Choristers develop musical sensitivity, confidence, self-discipline and poise through mastery of the materials and public performance. Four graduated choir levels offer opportunities for continued improvement and challenge. Achievements have included regional and international tours, CD releases, and premieres of commissioned works.

Marshall Middle School Advanced Choir

Katherine Girvin
Katherine Girvin
The Marshall Middle School Advanced Choir is made up of 74 students, with 58 attending this event.  The Marshall Middle School Chamber choir also has 4 of its 17 members attending this event.  The Marshall Middle School Advanced and Chamber choirs have received First Place and Gold's in Heritage Festivals in both the concert and chamber choir categories, with Chamber Choir often receiving unanimous perfect scores.  These choirs have performed twice as part of the National Middle School Choir in Carnegie Hall and Chamber choir has additionally performed a mass in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.  Both choirs have continually received unanimous superior ratings at varying festivals and have been awarded the coveted Spirited Award both times at festivals they have attended in San Francisco.  These students have performed locally at the CMEA conference as well as for organizations and conferences across the county.  These students annually tour internationally and have produced three CD's as well as premiere over a dozen newly commissioned works.
Katherine Girvin has been the choral director at Marshall Middle School for five years.  She attended the University of Missouri, Columbia where she double majored in Music and Education and where she also completed her Masters degree in Education.  Katherine has been recognized by California Music Educators Association as a recipient of both Band and Choral teacher of the year (2009 and 2012, respectively).  Katherine was also awarded the Mackenzie-Haney award for her excellence in choral education, nominated and presented to her by her colleagues in choral education.  Katherine is dedicated to her profession and, more importantly, her students and passionately believes that all children should have exposure to a music education.

VIVA Sandnes Norway

Liv Hugstmyr Saerheim
Liv Hugstmyr Særheim
VIVA, Sandnes kulturskolekor, is a part of Sandnes school of Music and Art, one of the oldest and biggest in Norway. The choir was established in 1968 and consists of 45 girls and boys aged from 12-20. Most of them receive vocal and instrumental training.
VIVA’s objective is to be a choir on a high musical level, singing with great enthusiasm
and passion, combined with a positive social atmosphere that encourage the members’ behaviour, respect and care for each other and - good humour!
 
With Viva´s wide musical repertoire, drama is an important element. The members together face big challenges, singing opera and classical songs, as well as musicals and popular songs. VIVA performs in great concert halls as well as marked places. The most important thing is to make people happy with their song.
 
VIVA is a spearhead among choirs in Norway and is this year in the Final of Norway’s got talent. VIVA has won a lot of national and international prizes and has represented Norway at many festivals and conferences all over the world.
 
VIVA has been touring in very many countries: Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Germany, England, Scotland, Wales, Spain, USA, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and South-Africa.
Liv H Særheim has been the conductor of VIVA since 1974. She graduated as voice teacher and music nursery school teacher at the Music Conservatory of Oslo in 1970. She has studied the Kodaly-method in Hungary and Orff-method in Austria, Master classes with Doreen Rao, Canada  and Stefan Sköld, Sweden.
 
Liv H Særheim has been awarded many prizes for her choral work and was in 2005 elected “The conductor of the Year, children’s chorus” from The Norwegian Choir Association. The prize that means most to her is “Everybody-can-sing-prize” which she received in Oslo Concert Hall December 2012. Mrs Særheim is a creative conductor who loves to find new ways of doing things. She regularly gives lectures in her choir-method in Norway and abroad.

Youth Choir of Central Oregon

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Beth Basham
The Youth Choir of Central Oregon (YCCO) is a community-based choral program that provides advanced vocal experiences for talented first through twelfth grade students with unchanged singing voices in three choirs, Singers School, Debut Choir and Premiere Choir. The major goal of the YCCO is to provide an opportunity for musical expression and personal development in a supportive and joyful environment. 
Beth Basham founded the Youth Choir of Central Oregon in1990. As an experienced public school music teacher for more than thirty-eight years, she brings vision and an infectious enthusiasm for singing to the choir. Her choirs have achieved state, national and international recognition and acclaim. Beth has served as an adjudicator and clinician at choral festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest. Beth received her BA in Music Performance and Education from California State University, Northridge. Her professional musical career has included membership in the Seattle Symphony Chorale, solo experience with the Cascade Chorale and Central Oregon Symphony

Mariachi Espuelas de Plata (TX)

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Ramon Niño III
Ramon Niño is Director of Mariachi at North Side High School in Fort Worth.  He is the director of the award winning Mariachi Espuelas de Plata, where he has spent the last 10 years.  Mr. Niño was born and raised in Kingsville, Texas where he graduated from H.M. King High School and Texas A&M University- Kingsville.  His band directors and musical influences include Rolando Molina, Ronnie Rios, Eddie Benitez, Paul Hageman and Bryan Herring.  In 2014, Mr. Nino presented and co-presented 3 clinics at the TMEA convention and 1 clinic at the Texas Bandmasters Association convention on the topic of mariachi.  Mr. Nino was selected as the North Side High School Teacher of the Year for the 2013-2014 school years and was recently selected as the Bayard H. Friedman Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts.
Under the leadership of Mr. Niño, Mariachi Espuelas de Plata has represented north Texas four times at the state mariachi competition hosted by the Texas Association of Mariachi Educators and the Mexican American School Board Members Association, most recently winning 2nd place in the 5A division.  Mariachi Espuelas de Plata has attended numerous workshops and been selected as a showcase ensemble throughout the United States including events in Las Cruces, NM; San Antonio, TX; San Marcos, TX; Edinburg, TX; and Orange County, CA.  The group has won several first division, first place, second place, third place and “Best in Class” awards throughout the US. 
Mr. Nino’s professional affiliations include: Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association and Texas Association of Mariachi Educators.  Mr. Niño is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Phi Mu Alpha.  He is also the Region 7 Mariachi Coordinator.
Mr. Niño is married to Victoria, his high school sweetheart and high school band mate. Victoria is an employee of Fort Worth ISD.  Mr. and Mrs. Niño gave birth to their first child, a beautiful baby boy on May 23, 2014.  Mr. and Mrs. Nino also have 2 Chihuahuas, Tiffany and Cowboy, that are like their children. 
Artist-in-Residence William Gradante formed Mariachi “Espuelas de Plata” in 1980 under the auspices of the Texas Commission on the Arts.  The program, one of the first of its kind in the United States (and, thus, in the world) was extremely well received by the City of Fort Worth and especially by the North Side Hispanic Community. Most recently, the North Side High School Mariachi Espuelas de Plata has earned the opportunity to represent north Texas at the Mexican American School Board Members Association State Mariachi Festival Finals, for 4 consecutive years, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 when they placed 2nd in the 5A category.  In November 2011 and November 2013, the mariachi was selected to perform at the Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference Showcase.  In August 2012, Mariachi Espuelas de Plata traveled to Orange County California where they competed at the Mariachi Nationals and Summer Institute de Jose Hernandez.  In the summer of 2013, Mariachi Espuelas de Plata traveled to Albuquerque, NM for the Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque, NM, where they won 1st Place in the High School category of the mariachi showcase and competition. The North Side High School Mariachi Espuelas de Plata is currently under the direction of Ramon Nino III and Imelda Martinez.