Hartt School Community Division newsletter July 14, 2016
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Newsletter: July 14, 2016

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In this Issue

Elizabeth Cooper Named Dean of The Hartt School

Dean Elizabeth CooperElizabeth "Betsy" Cooper will be joining the University of Hartford as Dean of The Hartt School and as Professor of Dance. University Provost Sharon Vasquez announced that Cooper, who has extensive academic leadership and professional experience, will assume her duties as dean of the University’s performing arts conservatory on August 15.

Cooper performed with classical and contemporary dance companies and earned her MFA in Dance from the University of Washington and her BA, with honors, in Archaeological Studies from Yale University. 

For more information, visit UNotes to read a letter written by Provost Vasquez.

An Evening of Classical Ballet: July 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Buy one ticket, get one free!

And evening of ballet July 23 2016

The Hartt School Community Division Dance Department presents an evening of ballet—The Kingdom Of The Shades from the full-length ballet La BayadèreAurora’s Wedding from the ballet classic The Sleeping Beauty, and two ballets by legendary choreographer Antony Tudor—on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in Millard Auditorium at the University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased via the University Box Office at 800.274.8587 or online athartford.edu/tickets.

Buy one ticket, get one free for a limited time! Contact Amanda Kilpatrick at kilpatric@hartford.edu to claim your coupon code.

The Kingdom Of The Shades is one of the most celebrated and recognizable excerpts in all classical ballet. As part of the full-length ballet La Bayadère (The Temple Dancer), The Kingdom Of The Shades is a dream sequence in which the hero, Solor, dreams of his love Nikiya. Set in the Royal India of the past,La Bayadère is a story of eternal love. Guest artists and American Ballet Theatre members Paulina Waski and Marshall Whitely dance the leads.

Accompanying The Kingdom Of The Shades on the program is Aurora’s Wedding, from the third act of the ballet The Sleeping Beauty. First performed in 1890, The Sleeping Beauty remains one of the most popular and endearing classical ballets.  In act three, the royal wedding is underway. Fairytale characters are in attendance, including Puss in Boots and The White Cat, Princess Florine and the Bluebird, and others. A grand pas de deux is danced by Aurora and her Prince and all live happily ever after.

Rounding out this program are two pieces by famed English choreographer Antony Tudor. Little Improvisations, created in 1953, depicts two children playing in the attic on a rainy day. Tudor’s Continuo is a long continuous lyrical outpouring, a signature piece of his highly recognizable style.

This full evening of ballet culminates a concentrated month of preprofessional study during the HCD Dance Department’s From Studio to Stage (FSTS), a national summer intensive ballet program designed to provide rigorous technical coaching and intensive rehearsals. The dancers showcased represent an impressive assortment of talented preprofessionals and professionals from across the United States of America. Join us an outstanding performance of these classic love stories staged by guest directors Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner from American Ballet Theatre.

About the Guest Artistic Directors

Amanda McKerrow has enjoyed a career as one of America’s acclaimed ballerinas. She has the honor of being the first American to receive a gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1981. McKerrow joined American Ballet Theatre in 1982 under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was appointed Soloist in 1983, and became a Principal Dancer in 1987. She is married to fellow dancer and repetiteur, John Gardner.

In 1978 John Gardner joined the main company of American Ballet Theatre, and was promoted to the rank of Soloist in 1984. He is a sanctioned repetiteur for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust, and also stages the ballets of Agnes DeMille and Benjamin Millepied. He has been invited to work in these many capacities for ballet companies and schools around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, Colorado Ballet, Ballet West, Houston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, and Washington Ballet. Gardner is married to fellow dancer and repetiteur Amanda McKerrow.

About From Studio to Stage
From Studio to Stage (FSTS) is a summer preprofessional ballet program offering extensive performance experience to empower young dancers to enter today’s dance industry. This multi-faceted, rigorous, 4-week curriculum takes dancers beyond technique and leads them to improved performance both on and off-stage. For more information about FSTS, visit our website.

Photo: American Ballet Theatre in La Bayadere. Courtesy of MIRA.

Karla McClain Joins HCD as Connecticut Children's Chorus Canticum Choir Director

Karla McClainThe Hartt School Community Division’s Connecticut Children’s Chorus (CCC) will be gaining one more outstanding faculty member this fall as local music educator Karla McClain joins as director of Canticum Choir. The award-winning CCC is the region’s most comprehensive auditioned youth choral program, with leveled choral ensembles comprised of children from over forty local communities in grades one through twelve. As director of Canticum Choir, McClain will be working with vocalists in grades five through seven. 

McClain is a Connecticut native who grew up in Naugatuck. She received her Bachelor of Music in Education from Ohio Wesleyan University and then returned to Connecticut, where she obtained her Master of Science in Music Education from Central Connecticut State University. She also earned her National Board Certification in Early Adolescent/Young Adulthood Music.

Most recently, McClain has been teaching choir and music at Bristow Middle School in West Hartford, where she directs the Voices of Bristow and acts as musical director for the Bistow Players drama productions. Music is both a career and a hobby for McClain, who has also sung with the Connecticut Composer’s Choir, performs with the Connecticut Gilbert & Sullivan Society, and plays trombone with the Harmonious Brass Ensemble.

Working with the University of Hartford’s Hartt School Community Division will be a bit of a homecoming for McClain, who studied with HCD voice faculty Nancy Andersen and Susan Mardinly during high school. McClain also worked alongside CCC co-founder Sallie Ferrebee, whom McClain calls a mentor. Ferrebee passed away in January, 2016, and McClain describes feeling blessed to continue Ferrebee’s legacy by teaching for the CCC.

McClain’s love of music has been life-long. “I started performing in kindergarten in school plays and never stopped,” writes McClain. “I knew in 8th grade that I wanted to be a music teacher.”

McClain credits her middle-school music teacher, Jeanne D’Angelo, with her inspiration to become a teacher. Now McClain teaches that very age group.

“I love watching the growth that occurs between the ages of 11 and 14. It is amazing and fun. Kids this age are my favorite—they are the best of both worlds in that they are still child-like, but they are mature and skilled enough that you can challenge them with higher-level work,” writes McClain.

McClain, who was a finalist for West Hartford’s Teacher of the Year in 2011, describes her teaching style as organized and structured, but also fun-loving. “I love routine and kids thrive on it. I am organized and expect a lot out of my students, but I am also the first one to crack a joke or tell them a random story. I definitely use humor to break tension and get my point across when things are difficult.”

McClain is looking forward to working with the Canticum Choir when rehearsals begin this September. She plans to create a repertoire of music from different cultures and genres, encouraging her students to both work hard and have fun. “I cannot wait to meet my students and make amazing music with them,” says McClain. “We are going to have so much fun!”

The Connecticut Children’s Chorus rehearses Tuesday nights on the campus of the University of Hartford. Auditions for the CCC occur in September, June, and December. For more information, visit our website.

New Private-Lesson Faculty

HCD would like to welcome two new private-lesson faculty. Scott Switzer will be teaching bassoon, and Sarah Warren will be teaching traditional violin. Read more about them below.

Scott Switzer, Bassoon
Scott SwitzerScott A. Switzer is the principal bassoonist of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and an adjunct instructor of music in the Connecticut Community Colleges. He is a founding member of the New England New Music Ensemble, a community new music ensemble, and an arts provider for Hartford Performs, providing in-school workshops for elementary and middle school students in Hartford, Connecticut-area schools. Switzer regularly performs as a freelance musician on bassoon, contrabassoon, and heckelphone with Connecticut's premiere orchestras and gives regular performances as a solo musician. A renowned composer of music for bassoon, he is most notably known for his bassoon quartet concerto, Breaking Out, written for the infamous The Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet. He received degrees from both the Eastman School of Music and the Yale School of Music in bassoon performance.

Sarah Warren, Traditional Violin
Sarah WarrenSarah Warren is an enthusiastic and devoted teacher of the violin. At five years old, Warren began Suzuki violin studies with Suzanne Benson in Bettendorf, Iowa. Later she studied with Andrew Carlson and Kimberly Meier-Sims at the Preucil School of Music in Iowa City, Iowa. Warren studied Suzuki pedagogy with Meier-Sims, director of the SATO Center for Suzuki Studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and has attended several Suzuki workshops and institutes as both a student and a teacher.  

Warren holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in violin from Arizona State University, where she studied with Danwen Jiang. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Italian from the University of Illinois, which included intensive language study in Catania, Sicily. Warren has performed with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Opera Illinois, Phoenix Opera, Ballet Arizona, and Chamber Music Quad Cities. 

In addition to the violin, Warren is a trained soprano and is interested in the intersection of the voice, breath, and the violin. In 2005, she premiered a piece written for her by composer Wes Alexander titled "Canto," which is written for soprano violinist. She can also be heard singing on the album Funktasia on Centaur Records. 

Warren enjoys working with students of all ages and skill levels, guiding them and exploring with them on their journeys of musical development.

Young Composers Project: Summer Edition Deadline Extended to July 22

August 1–5, 2016
This day program runs from 1–4 p.m.

Young Composers ProjectThe Hartt School Community Division (HCD) is excited to announce the Young Composers Project: Summer Edition, an intensive workshop for students interested in writing music. For this first year, the workshop's theme will be Art Song, and all participants will create a new song for voice and piano over the course of the week. In-progress compositions will be workshopped by our professional performers, and the program will culminate in a final performance of all students' compositions.

YCP Summer is for students with an interest in . . . 

» learning to express themselves through music
» gaining a deeper understanding of how music works
» sharing their music with other students
» studying with active and enthusiastic mentor composers
» working with professional musicians
» hearing their music realized in live performance

YCP Summer Edition is designed for students both with and without any prior composing experience. New students will gain a foundation in composing, while more experienced students will improve their compositional technique and deepen their knowledge of music.

$775 per student. Registration fee: $25

New Deadline: July 22, 2016. 

For more information, please contact HCD at 860.768.4451 or email Jessica Rudman at Rudman@hartford.edu. Visit our registration page to download and print a registration form.

Fall Registration

The 2016-17 dance class schedules have been published. Visit the links below to view a schedule. Online registration is now available. Returning students should register by August 1 to avoid the registration fee. Fall 2016 dance classes begin Wednesday, September 7. 

  • Toddler and Pre-K Program
    Explorer Ballet (age 3 as of Sept. 1)
    Discovery Ballet (age 4 as of Sept 1)
    Tiny Tap (ages 3-4 years)
  • Children's Program
    Pre-Ballet (age 5, kindergarten)
    Primary Ballet (age 6, first grade)
    Secondary Ballet (age 7, second grade)
    Hip Hop (ages 6-14)
    Tap (ages 5 -14)
    Jazz (ages 9-Teen)
  • Adult Dance
    Beginner through advanced ballet
    Beginner and elementary/intermediate tap
    Intermediate/advanced lyrical jazz

Private Music Lessons
Private-lesson students have been sent their invoices via email. If you are a returning private-lesson student, please review the email and select whether to continue your lessons, change your lessons, or cancel your lessons. Fall 2016 music classes begin Tuesday, September 6.

Returning student registration fees:

  • Register by August 1: No registration fee
  • Register by August 2 to September 1: $35 registration fee
  • Register after September 1: $35.00 registration fee and $30 late fee

(New students are always assessed a $25.00 registration fee.)

Music Ensembles
Returning students should register by August 1 to avoid the registration fee. Fall 2016 music classes begin Tuesday, September 6.

In the Spotlight

» HCD Student Caroline Ma Performs at Carnegie Hall

Carolina Ma performs at Carnegie Hall June 24 2016As a winner of the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition 2016, HCD student Caroline Ma had her piano debut at Carnegie Hall in New York on June 24. Ma is a student of Maggie Francis and a freshman at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington. 

The American Protégé Competition is considered one of the most prestigious international music competitions for young musicians. Ten years since its founding, this year’s competition attracted its largest number ever of very competitive applicants, coming from over 40 countries around the world. 

Caroline’s performance at Carnegie Hall highlights a rewarding year of music success, which also includes winning the Renee B. Fisher Piano Competition, the Connecticut State Music Teachers Association (CSMTA) Eastern Piano Competition, the Musical Club of Hartford High School Piano Competition, and the Evelyn Bonar Storrs Scholarship. 

Caroline started her piano study at HCD at age six. Over the years, she has accumulated extensive performance experience through various regional and international competitions, in addition to recitals and concerts with the Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra, CSMTA and the Hartt School and CT Fryderyk Chopin Society.

» Concert Passport Contest Winners
HCD students Karlee Cummings, Monica Weidman, and Sophia St. Jean completed the Concert Passport Contest with at least 10 concerts attended during the academic year. Weidman and St. Jean tied for first place with 17 concerts attended.

This yearly concert attendance challenge will continue next year, look for passports in the Community Division office in September, or ask your teacher.  

» HCD Faculty Nadia Aguilar in American Opera Idol July 14
HCD voice faculty Nadia Aguilar will be one of the ten finalists competing in American Opera Idol on Thursday, July 14, at 7 p.m. at Elizabeth Park in West Hartford, Conn. The winner will receive $1500. Tickets for the competition must be purchased in advance. Buy tickets at www.showclix.com or call 888.718.4253.

Nadia Aguilar, winner of American Opera Idol 

» HCD Faculty Janet Jacobson Performs in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria 
HCD violin faculty Janet Jacobson performed the Beethoven violin concerto with the Stara Zagora State Opera Orchestra in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria on June 16, 2016. 

Janet Jacobson

» HCD Faculty Barbara Hopkins Now Teaching Suzuki Flute
We are excited to announce that Barbara Hopkins, a current member of the HCD flute faculty, will be joining Greig Shearer in teaching Suzuki flute students in our program. For more information about the Suzuki flute program, please visit our website or call our office at 860-768-4451. 

HCD flute faculty Barbara Hopkins

HCD e-Newsletter Submissions

The HCD e-letter is a great place to publish accolades, news, and events concerning HCD faculty, students, and staff. If you have an article or upcoming event to submit, please email hcdpr@hartford.edu and indicate “HCD e-letter submission” in the title.

The next e-letter will be published on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. The deadline for submissions for the next edition of the e-letter is Monday, August 8.

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