Newsletter: July 18, 2017
Utility NavTop NavContentLeft NavSite SearchSite SearchSite Search

Newsletter: July 18, 2017

HCD on Facebook HCD on Twitter HCD on Instagram HCD on YouTube HCD Blog

The eletter is on a once-monthly schedule June–August. The next issue will be published August 15, 2017. The deadline for submissions is August 7.





HCD Alumna Chelsea Knox Named Principal Flute with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Chelsea Knox flutistChelsea Knox of New York City has been named principal flute with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (MET Orchestra). Knox began playing the flute in fourth grade through the public school system in Litchfield, Conn., where she grew up. During her sophomore year of high school, she began studying with HCD Winds Department Chair Greig Shearer. “After switching to [studying with] Greig, everything started moving really fast for me musically,” says Knox, who also joined HCD’s chamber music program, Connecticut Youth Symphony, and pre-college Performer’s Certificate Program. Knox credits HCD with preparing her for study at The Juilliard School, where she earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees in flute performance, and for her professional career.

It was an HCD field trip that first brought Knox to the Metropolitan Opera as an audience member. “It was an overwhelming and amazing experience,” Knox says, reflecting on youth field trips to The Met. “I feel truly honored that I can be a part of that experience for other people now. I hope any Hartt students that come see an opera will come say hello down in the orchestra pit!”

Prior to her current position with the MET Opera, Knox held positions as assistant principal flute of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and principal flute of the New Haven Symphony, Princeton Symphony, and Chamber Orchestra of New York. She has also performed with the IRIS Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, and San Diego Symphonies. For more information about Knox, visit

Save the Date: 16th Annual Hartt Celebration

Hartt Celebration Banner

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Hartt School's annual celebration is on the move! Mark your calendars for the re-imagined Hartt Gala. New time of year. New location. New experience.

Experience our community of inspired performing artists, educators, and scholars. More details to be announced soon! 

Welcome New Faculty: Sooran Lee and Liz Seidel

Sooran LeeKorean-born pianist Sooran Lee began her musical studies at the age of four under her mother’s tutelage. After graduating from Seoul Arts High School (the prestigious school for the talented kids in Korea), Lee received her bachelor's degree from the Ewha Women’s University and a Master of Music and Artist diploma from the University of Hartford's The Hartt School.

Lee has enjoyed her musical career with numerous appearances in recital and chamber music throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Most recently, Lee appeared at Chicago Cultural Center for the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts Series, which was broadcasted live through Chicago Radio WFMT 98.7. In 2005, she made her New York debut recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Also, she performed with Hartt Symphony Orchestra as a soloist. As a winner of the Miami String Quartet Competition, she had honor of performing with the Miami String Quartet.

Sooran Lee’s teaching philosophy is

  • To maximize students’ potential talents
  • To teach with high standard
  • To commit to quality music
  • To offer resources for performance opportunities

Liz SeidelPianist, teacher, and chamber musician Liz Seidel, D.A., maintained The Seidel Studio, a highly successful private piano studio in Muncie, Ind., for 25 years. She was founder of Pianoforte, Inc. (now Carmel Klavier, Inc.), which provided educational opportunities for young musicians and hosted the annual Young Artists’ Achievement FestivalCarmel Klavier, Inc. now hosts the Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition for Young Artists (Carmel, Ind.), of which Seidel is a co-founder.

Seidel holds a Bachelor of Music from Ithaca College and Master of Music from Temple University, both in piano performance, and Doctor of Arts in piano performance, music history, and musicology from Ball State University. She has held adjunct faculty positions at Miami University (Ohio), University of Wisconsin (Superior), University of Minnesota (Duluth) and Ball State University (Ind.). She was a member of the summer piano faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (Mich.) for 13 years, has served on the board of the Indiana Music Teachers Association, and was the recipient of a Teacher Enrichment Grant awarded by the Music Teachers National Association.

Seidel’s passion is teaching. Her students have placed as international semi-finalists and performance majors to prominent universities and summer festivals. Seidel’s lecture topics include “The Schumann and Tchaikovsky Albums for the Young as Piano Method,” “Chamber Music in the Piano Studio, and “Teaching Technique: It’s All About the Wrist!” Her most recent topic, “The Impact of the Arts on a Disabled Brain” (presented with her daughter, Christine), was introduced at the 2014 National Conference for Disorders of the Corpus Callosum in Boston. 

Seidel believes each student is unique—each student has a gift; it is her job to discover the pathway through which each gift of expression and creativity will flourish.

Garmany Series Subscriptions Available Now. Free for HCD Students

2017 Garmany Series

Join The Hartt School for the 2017–18 Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series, and become a subscriber. Series subscriptions are available through the University of Hartford Box Office. This year's performers are:

Hartt faculty, staff, and students are eligible for FREE tickets while supplies last. Please note that HCD students must present their HCD ID or proof of registration in person at the box office, located in Lincoln Theater, to obtain tickets. Tickets are not available to HCD students over the phone or online. Box office hours are generally Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., but may be altered for holidays. Call the box office at 860.768.4228 for ticketing information.

Visit for more on this year's Garmany Series performers.

Harmony Winds Collaborates with Collegiate Composer

by Jessica Rudman, Creative Studies Chair

In 2016–17, The Hartt School Community Division premiered almost 20 new musical compositions written by student composers for our student performers. These collaborations involved soloists, chamber groups, large ensembles, and even dancers. We have featured most of these projects in newsletter articles in the spring and will be telling you a bit about the final two in our July and August newsletters. Here, we will focus on John Prevedini’s new work Canon for Wind Band, which was written for Harmony Winds.

John PrevendiniJohn is a doctoral student in composition here at The Hartt School. He was interested in working with HCD to continue building his skills writing music for students who are learning their instruments. This piece in particular had a specific pedagogical goal, in that he “wanted to compose a piece for young players that would be an introduction to the canon as a musical form, something simple in its main theme but varied, balanced, and engaging in its orchestration.”

John was paired up with Alan Francis, the director of Harmony Winds, to create a new work for their May 14 concert. He worked closely with Francis to tailor the music to the students’ abilities and observed rehearsals before he started composing. He explains that in the rehearsals, “[I] took note of which instruments were present and in what number, to get a sense of an ideal scoring for the new piece. Furthermore, I observed the characteristics of some other pieces the ensemble was rehearsing, to determine the range of techniques already familiar to the players. My overall goal in writing for Harmony Winds was to create something that equally engaged every performer while still playing to the overall strengths of the ensemble.” He turned to Francis for advice about revisions throughout the process, recognizing that “a director [who knows their ensemble] will be the best source of insight as to how to create an effective piece for the occasion.”  

Reflecting on the experience, John writes: “As with all collaborations, this project gave me some valuable learning experiences. In this case I had the chance to practice writing for an ensemble whose precise makeup could change for any given semester or indeed any given rehearsal, depending on who was absent, who recently joined, etc. As a result, I had to focus on anticipating which personnel changes were likely to occur on a regular basis and score the work accordingly so parts could be doubled and/or dropped to accommodate the players as needed, without sacrificing the integrity of the music. It's a useful skill for any composer working with student ensembles, and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to further hone it here in this collaboration.”

The work was premiered on May 14, and the students did a wonderful job. Congratulations to them on sharing this work and their other repertoire with a packed house! 

Photos from Creative Studies Day 2017

HCD held our annual Creative Studies Day on May 20. Students from our musicianship classes, composition programs, Hot Club, jazz combo, and Performer’s Certificate program—along with siblings and parents—participated in a variety of activities to highlight the great work the students have done and to build a sense of community. A number of students presented research they had done and compositions they wrote. Some performed their own music in our first-ever All-School Composition Recital. Many created short variations on “My Country Tis of Thee,” which were read by a trio of HCD and Hartt collegiate performers. Additionally, faculty members led games and other group activities. We had a blast and we hope you will join us next year. View more photos on Facebook.

2017 Creative Studies Day


RagsCalling all boys! Here’s your chance to join a professional acting company. Goodspeed Musicals is holding auditions for local Non-Equity child actors (boys between ages 8–10) for its upcoming production of Rags. Auditions will be held on Saturday, July 22 from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Alice Hammerstein Mathias Rehearsal Studio in East Haddam, Conn.

Auditions are for the David Herskowitz role and understudy, a small 8–10 year old with dark hair, full of hope and wonder. Comes over on the boat with his mother Rebecca. Fearless, but unaware of the unwritten rules of navigating the specific neighborhoods of NYC safely, too young to understand bigotry and prejudice that thrive outside of his community. Must be a strong actor with a solid unchanged singing voice.

All auditions are by appointment only. Appointments may be made starting immediately. Please call Company Management at 860.873.0021, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Interested performers should prepare one short up-tempo song. Bring a resume, photo, and sheet music. Music must be legible and in the proper key (no lead sheets please). An accompanist will be provided.

Candidates must be available for rehearsals, September 5– October 5, and performances, October 6– December 10. Rehearsals and performances occur in East Haddam, Conn. 

Performers of all ethnicities are strongly encouraged to audition.  


Connecticut Children's Chorus Returns from Disney Trip

CCC Disney trophy

On June 25, the Senior Division of the Connecticut Children’s Chorus departed for Orlando, Florida. The choirs had the opportunity to perform in Walt Disney World, earning the coveted Golden Mickey! They also had a special workshop right in Epcot where they provided the soundtrack and voiceovers for a Disney film. In addition to their Disney engagements, they sang at the Orlando Community Arts Center, performing for local under-served children who were learning about careers in the arts. While in the parks, singers had a chance to see the new Pandora land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and rode Expedition Everest as a group before the park opened. It was an incredible trip of music-making, bonding, and adventure, and we can’t wait to start singing again in the fall.

See more photos on our Instagram under the hashtag #CCCDisney.

HCD Students Win at Connecticut string teachers association Statewide Competition

Congratulations to the winners of the first Connecticut String Teachers Association (CSTA) statewide competition, violinists Abigail Sunde, Senior Division; and Samantha Kramer, Junior Division. Sam and Abby were among 12 finalists chosen by video audition to perform on a recital June 3 at Founder’s Hall at Central Connecticut State University. Both are students of Hartt Community Division’s Suzuki Chair Teri Einfeldt. Samantha is a rising eighth grader at Sedgwick Middle School, where she is a member of First Strings. She has also been a member of the "16 Strings Quartet" for 3 years and plays in the Opus ’89 string orchestra at The Hartt School. Abigail has just finished her freshman year at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington. She participated in both the Northern Regional Orchestra as well as the All-State Orchestra this year and plays in the Connecticut Youth Symphony at The Hartt School. Both girls participated in String Honors Recitals this spring as well.

CSTA WinnerCSTA winner

Honors Students Win Scholarships


2017 Vocal Honors Award Winners

Emily Steele (left), vocal honors student of Nancy Andersen, was awarded the 2017 Bel canto Scholarship Award, and "Most Promising Sophomore" Award from the 2017 Schmidt Vocal Competition. Sydney Weiser (right), vocal honors student of Nancy Andersen, was awarded the 2017 HCD Director's Award, the 2017 Elizabeth Anne Carlson Foundation Scholarship Award, and the 2017 Vocal Honors Senior Award. In past years Weiser had been awarded the Andersen Vocal Fund Award and the Bel canto Scholarship Award.

2017 Vocal Honors Seniors

Graduating students of Nancy Andersen and Jack Pott: (left to right) Alexander Niatopsky, Bel canto Scholarship recipient 2016, will be attending Western Connecticut State University; Sydney Weiser will attend Marymount Manhattan College; Lucia Palladino will attend Belmont University; Kenneth Galm will attend Western Connecticut State University.


The following students won scholarships at the May 24 Chamber Music competition:

  • Fibonacci Trio coached by Sima Brodsky: Kate Jessen, Karlee Cummings, and Gabe Galley
  • Viola Quintet coached by Mickey Reisman: Navretta Singh, Maria Hodson, Patrick Ding, Katrina Mason, and Lillian Yim


Jessica RudmanCreative Studies Dept. Chair Jessica Rudman was recently featured on Anthony Joseph Lanman's 1 Track Podcast. The show presents musicians with the basic question: If you could introduce listeners to your music by playing them just one piece, what would it be and why? In episode 11 of Season 2, Jessica discusses “Trigger," her mini-opera about domestic violence. The work was composed in 2016, and since its premiere last August, it has been performed by groups across the U.S. and in Canada. The podcast is available through iTunes or at

Faculty Karla McClain Selected to Give NAFME Webinar

Karla McClain

HCD faculty Karla McClain, conductor of the Connecticut Children’s Chorus’s Canticum Choir, was chosen to present a webinar for the National Association of Music Education Academy. Her webinar, “Fostering Independent Musicianship in the Choral Classroom,” is available online. McClain presents classroom-tested ideas to help students on their path to being independent musicians. Topics such as tools for music literacy, student engagement, assessment and self-evaluation tools, and incorporating the new Core Arts Standards are covered.

Young HCD Student Practices Daily for 265+ Days

Katie Kennedy cello student

Six-year-old student Nora Gerrits started taking cello lessons from Katie Kennedy in September, 2016 and hasn't missed a single day of practice since! When Nora began lessons, Kennedy shared this advice about practicing: never miss a day. Nora's mother took this to heart. "It became part of our day: brush your teeth, comb your hair, play cello. It is now a Gerrits household habit," said her mother, Jamie Gerrits. When asked if she likes practicing, Nora responded, "kinda."

Keep up the good work, Nora!

Highlights from the Meet the Masters Final Performance

The students in the Meet the Masters Summer Jazz Workshop performed in a program-end recital on June 30, 2017. The week-long summer program is for students in grades 9 through adults.


Aug. 2–5: On the Town musical

On the Town musical flyerWednesday–Saturday, August 2–5, at 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 5, at 1 p.m.
Location: Werner Centennial Theatre at Westminster School, 995 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, Conn.

HCD student Charlie Uthgenannt stars as Gabey in the Simsbury Summer Theatre's production of On the Town. Tickets are $15 for children and seniors (65+), and $18 for adults. Read more about the storyline.

On the Town cast

Photo: Anna Vdovenko


From Studio to StageSaturday, August 5, 2 p.m.
Location: University of Hartford's Lincoln Theater

Students in the From Studio to Stage summer dance intensive will present a final performance to showcase their work over the past several weeks of training. Tickets: $10. Purchase tickets.


Saturday, August 19, 6 p.m.
Location: The Hartt School, Berkman Recital Hall

Join us for a benefit recital featuring HCD alumna Karlee Cummings, HCD student Gabe Galley, Vincent Kaverus, and others. Performances include piano, violin, viola, string trio, voice, and more, along with artwork by Cummings and friends. Cummings is raising money for a variety of charities supported by her church, including Wells for Life, Tupelo Children's Mansion, Sheaves for Christ, New Beginnings, and Lighthouse Ranch for Boys. Donations are accepted at the door.

HCD e-letter 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 and indicate “HCD e-letter submission” in the title. 

June–August the eletter is on a once-monthly schedule. The submission deadline for the August 15 edition is August 7.