November 10, 2013
Featuring The Crane Harp Ensemble
The Crane Harp Ensemble celebrates its fifteenth season with Fifteen Minutes of Fame, a composite work of fifteen one-minute pieces by fifteen different composers selected via competition. The Crane Harp Ensemble was founded in 1999 under the direction of Dr. Jessica Suchy-Pilalis, Professor of Harp and Music Theory at the Crane School of Music, SUNY-Potsdam. The ensemble enjoys playing new and unusual music for multiple harps. In addition to the Fifteen Minutes of Fame “suite”, two other works featured on this concert have been written for the Crane Harp Ensemble: Ryan Mix’s When/Where Lightning Strikes at the T and Two Brothers Dance in Spacetime: Two Amalgamating Memories of Adolescence and their Art of Deliquescing Entropy, and a newly-commissioned work by John Paul Brabant titled Soliloquy. Also on this program are Domenick Argento’s The Angel Israfil, Caroline Lizotte’s Raga, Gregoria Karides Suchy’s Save, O Lord, Thy People and Sufjan Steven’s Chicago, arranged by Mikaela Davis.
Director Jessica Suchy-Pilalis holds degrees in harp performance and music theory from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Eastman School of Music and Indiana University. Her teachers include Edward Druzinsky, Jeanne Henderson, Eileen Malone and Susan McDonald. Suchy-Pilalis was awarded a Master Fellowship by the Indiana Arts Commission/National Endowment for the Arts and has toured Greece as a soloist under the auspices of the US State Department. She is featured on several compact disc releases of new music. Prior to joining the Crane faculty, she taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Butler University. Her research specialty is the eighteenth-century harpist, Madame Delaval, with articles in the American Harp Journal and Grove Music Online. She is principal harpist of the Orchestra of Northern New York.
Emily Chevrette is a freshman at the Crane School of Music and is double majoring in music performance and music education with a concentration in special education. She was named an Honors Student at Crane Youth Music in 2012 performing Grandjany’s Aria In Classic Style (version for three harps) on the honors recital. She is the recipient of a four-year Crane Scholarship and SUNYPotsdam freshman scholarship. She lives in Troy, NY, and studied harp with Claudia Place for six years. She hopes to become a music therapist.
Mikaela Davis is a senior majoring in performance. Previously, she studied with Grace Wong, principal harpist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Mikaela was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and performed Debussy’s Danse Profane as a concerto competition winner. As her Presidential Scholar’s research project, Mikaela has arranged popular songs for harp that she is preparing for publication. As first-prize winner of the Crane Concerto Competition, she performed Concertstück by Gabriel Pierné with the Crane Symphony Orchestra. Mikaela embarked on her first tour across the country this past summer performing all original songs with her band. After graduation, she will continue to follow her dreams by touring as a harpist/singer-songwriter.
Katherine Federiconi is a junior majoring in musical studies (music history and theory). She is from Greenfield Center, NY, where she studied harp with her mother, Elizabeth Huntley. Her proposed Presidential Scholar’s project includes creating an annotated searchable database of the American Harp Journal. She hopes to pursue graduate studies in music history or music theory.
Gillian Macchia is a junior music education major with a concentration in band at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. She is from Orchard Park, NY. She has previously studied with Suzanne Thomas, principal harpist of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. She is the recipient of the Chuck and Claudia Ayers Scholarship and Crane Scholarship, both for four years. She served as an assistant harp teacher at Crane Youth Music 2012 and 2013. She would like to teach in a junior high school and high school band program, and also develop a harp program in the school district.
Kelsey M Munz is currently a senior Music Education Major and will be student teaching in the Syracuse area this spring. She hopes to have a teaching intership in Australia over the summer. Kelsey began harp lessons in third grade and has always know she wanted to teach. She studied harp with Mary Schroyer in the Camden, NY area and also plays trombone. She was the assistant harp teacher at Crane Youth Music in 2011 and then a counselor in 2012 and 2013. Upon graduation, she would like to enter Lyon & Healy’s Apprenticeship Program to become a certified regulator, then pursue a master’s degree in special education and eventually teach elementary school music.
Anna Wiegandt is a sophomore majoring in Performance. She is from Rochester, NY, and studied with Dr. Nan Gullo Bassett. Her awards include Eastman Community Music School Molly Mulligan Scholarship, Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra Above and Beyond Award, a SUNY-Potsdam Freshman Scholarship for academic achievement and a four-year Crane talent scholarship. Prior to coming to Crane, she performed with the Penfield Symphony Orchestra, Nazareth College Orchestra, Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra, Cordancia Chamber Orchestra, Rochester Women’s Orchestra and Eastman Community Division Advanced Harp Choir. She plans to continue her
Dominick Argento is considered to be America's leading composer of lyric opera. He has written thirteen operas; most have been performed in both Europe and the U.S. The majority of his music is vocal; all of it - instrumental and vocal - displays a natural dramatic impulse. In a predominantly tonal context, his music freely combines tonality, atonality and 12-tone writing. He on the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 for his song cycle From the Diary of Virginia Woolf.
John Paul Brabant composes as a means to evoke critical thought in the minds of the listeners by inspiring change within one’s own inner self, whether it be through stirring the emotions via conscious orchestration choices or piquing the intellect to spread aloha. John Paul holds degrees from the Crane School of Music, New York University, and is currently working towards a PhD at the University of Hawaii Manoa.
Caroline Lizotte has held the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s second harp chair since 2003, and the principal harp chair with the Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières since 1995. Aside from her career as a harpist, Lizotte is a Canadian Music Centre Associate Composer. Her compositions and transcriptions for harp are played in Canada, U.S.A., England, Switzerland, France, Japan and China.“Odyssée” for solo harp won the fourth place on the 2010 USA International Harp Competition Composition Contest. Born in Québec City, Lizotte graduated from the Conservatoire de Musique de Québec and studied at the Eastman School of Music. She is now professor of harp at the Conservatoire de Musique de Trois-Rivières and at the Université de Montréal’s Music Faculty.
Ryan Mix developed a passion for music as he studied the bass trombone first in Rochester, then Potsdam, NY. He was most prolific in music composition while at the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam where he earned a BM in music education before returning to Rochester to teach. When/Where Lightning Strikes at the T and Two Brothers Dance in Spacetime: Two Amalgamating Memories of Adolescence and their Art of Deliquescing Entropy was written for the Crane Harp Ensemble. Presently, Ryan is a Registered Piano Technician with the Piano Technicians Guild and enjoys the processes of both piano and house restoration.
Sufjan Stevens is an American singer-songwriter and musician born in Detroit, Michigan. Stevens first began releasing his music on Asthmatic Kitty, a label co-founded with his stepfather, beginning with the 1999 release, A Sun Came. He is best known for his 2005 album, Illinois, which hit number one in the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart, and for the song "Chicago.” Stevens has released albums of varying styles, from the electronica of Enjoy Your Rabbit and the lo-fi folk of Seven Swans to the symphonic instrumentation of Illinois and Christmas-themed Songs for Christmas. Stevens makes use of a variety of instruments, often playing many of them himself on the same recording, and writes music in various time signatures.
Gregoria Karides Suchy is Professor Emerita of Composition and Music Technology at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. She studied composition with J. Thomas Oakes, Anthony Donato, (Northwestern University), Alexander Tcherepnin (DePaul University), Rudolph Ganz (Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University) and with Ralph Shapey (University of Chicago). The recipient of numerous grants for composition, her musical output covers a variety of media, including electronic. Her compositions, many of which have received awards and prizes, have been performed by eminent artists and/or groups including the New York Contemporary Chamber Ensemble; the International Society of Contemporary Music; Rudolph Ganz, piano; Leonard Sorkin and Gerald Fischbach, violins; also, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (American Composers Festival); and the National Association of Composers-USA!"