It's been a jam packed Spring season! So much so that I wanted to put together a recap of all that happened in my performance/education world. While this only represents performances or larger events, there were countless rehearsals, meetings, miles driven and hours on the subway which are reflected in the end product.
In addition to what is listed below, I couldn't have been happier to have completed my first full season as Education Coordinator with the New Jersey Symphony. From logistic details relating to our Youth Orchestra to various educational initiatives for the main stage performances, the experience of having the Symphony as my first full time employer has been truly second to none.
If you haven't heard the recordings or heard OF the ensemble's I've performed with, click the links attached to learn/hear more!
If you aren't familiar with the ensembles, venues, collaborators or recordings that I've had the pleasure of working with, click the links to learn more!
Room to Breathe Album Endorsements
January marked the beginning of the final stage of my Room to Breathe project, production of the recordings and subsequent album. I am so fortunate to have four(!) wonderful businesses within the bassoon and larger double reed community as sponsors for my album. Please click the business below to learn more!
7th - Continuum Wind Quintet Personnel Finalized
My friend and colleague, Danny Mui, and I had been planning to start and grow a chamber music collective to serve the tri-state area of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut since we both moved from Michigan a few years ago. With COVID (at the time) dying down and the music world opening back up, we figured now is a good time to take the first step in that venture.
This started with the formation of a wind quintet to enter the performance market in New York City, we are so happy to be collaborating and performing with KaiChen Cheng, Flute; Noah Kay, Oboe; and William de Vos, Horn.
11th - Key Leaves Endorsement
I'm beyond excited to join the Key Leaves Artist roster as their first endorsed bassoon artist! I look forward to growing both of our reputations within the bassoon community, and helping to test future bassoon instrument care products. Check out my blog post for products that I'd recommend!
14th - Detroit Symphony Orchestra Audition
This was my first experience back on the audition circuit since the first pandemic shut down. While I was bummed not to advance, I was very happy with my preparation and performance within the audition. Also, having an excuse to fly back home and see family/friends while in town is always a good experience.
19, 20, 25, 26 & 27th - Light Opera of New Jersey Performances
Along with my first audition experience came my first gig since the first pandemic shut down!
I was delighted to have joined the Light Opera of New Jersey as principal bassoon for 5 performances of Puccini's "La Boheme", 4 of which were held at the Fellowship Cultural Arts Center in Basking Ridge, NJ, culminating in the final performance at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC - featured here).
Thank you so much to Maestro Jason Tramm for having me, and to my colleagues in the pit for performing with me!
31st - Continuum Wind Quintet Performance
The first performance for our Continuum Wind Quintet came as part of a Serenity Hour concert series through the St. Frances Cabrini Shrine NYC. We performed in a "non-traditional" concert setting allowing for the audience to walk about freely, and holding applause until the end of the performance to allow full musical immersion. We performed the following repertoire:
Ukrainian National Anthem
Valerie Coleman, Umoja
Paul Hindemith, Kleine Kammermusik für fünf Bläser
Carl Nielsen, Wind Quintet, Op. 43 (Movements I & II)
Endre Szervanszky, Quintet for Winds "Fúvósötös" (Movements I & IV
Thank you so much to Kathryn Vetter for subbing in at the last minute for Danny after he was called to play with the New York Philharmonic!!
8th - Continuum Wind Quintet Performance
We followed up our first performance one week later with a benefit concert for healthcare workers. This concert featured the same repertoire, and sought to serve the healthcare worker community by giving back through a performance for local doctors & nurses while also donating a portion of the concert proceeds to the NYC Health + Hospitals fund.
As in the previous concert, Kathryn Vetter subbed in for Danny on clarinet while Eric Huckins subbed for Will on horn. I want to thank both of these two musicians for stepping in and being complete joys to work with in both a professional and personal capacity.
Thank you also to the St. Frances Cabrini Shrine NYC for hosting both of our performances and rehearsals for our events, along with helping to promote and live stream both concerts as well!
22, 23 & 24th - Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Performances
I was fortunate to also join the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra for 3 performances of Brahms' Symphony No. 2, Weber's Overture to Euryanthe, and Mozart's Clarinet Concerto accompanying the fantastic soloist YaoGuang Zhai, Principal Clarinet of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
I joined the MSO playing 2nd bassoon across these performances in Easton, MD; Cape Henelopen, DE; and Ocean City, MD.
What a fantastic experience playing with such a fine ensemble, wonderful colleagues, and beautiful performance venues across both states.
30th & 1st - Studio Recording Session for Room to Breathe
The long awaited studio session for my project Room to Breathe took place across 2 days amassing 8 total hours in Skillman Music's Studio A.
Thank you to Calvin Hu for collaborating with me on piano, Rod Shepard for leading our audio production, Dillon Meacham for producing and assisting with audio production, and Wei Wang for hosting us at Skillman.
To learn more about this project, including the composers, sponsors, and project information, please visit the Project Landing Page.
8th - Fourth Doctoral Recital
My fourth of five total contract recitals for the Stony Brook DMA was presented on May 8th. I was fortunate to be joined by so many wonderful colleagues: Adam Beard, Percussion; YiFan Shao, Piano: Dillon Meacham & Bridget Piccirilli, Bassoon; and Miguel Posadas, Contrabassoon.
The concert program is linked through this playlist, or via the individual works listed below:
Special shoutout to Logan Rutledge! Logan flew out to hear the live performance of his bassoon quartet (pictured middle below), and hung out with us afterward! It was a pleasure to meet in person as we look towards future projects together.
9th - Seton Hall University Performance
It was a pleasure to join the Seton Hall University Orchestra as a ringer for their end of semester concert. I also played with them back in December, and enjoyed getting to reconnect with some of the students I had met last time! I also wanted to thank Jason Tramm for having me out, it was thanks to him that I was called to play here and with the Light Opera of New Jersey.
10th - Livingston Symphony Orchestra Performance
We musicians always enjoy performing with new ensembles and new repertoire, so it was a true joy for me to join the Livingston Symphony Orchestra on 2nd bassoon for their performance of Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 "From the New World", Horatio Parker's "Northern Ballad", and Brahms' "Tragic Overture".
11th - Joined as Bassoon Faculty Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts
Wrapping up a wonderful Spring season and return to in person activities, I was delighted to join the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts as their new Bassoon Faculty. I'll be working with the Performing Arts School and New Jersey Youth Symphony to help grow a strong bassoon program in central and north NJ.
It was such a pleasure to give a demo lesson and return to teaching. A passion of mine that has been missing since our initial pandemic shutdown.
18th - Adjudicate New Jersey Youth Symphony Auditions
After joining as bassoon faculty at the link Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, I was asked to adjudicate the New Jersey Youth Symphony's clarinet, oboe, and bassoon seating auditions! A wonderful end to a jam packed Spring season, and one which has provided some career momentum that I'm looking to build off of into the remainder of the year.
Here's to more exciting opportunities and experiences in the near future!