November 23, 2015

NWS Alumni News

Mallets session at PASIC Nov. 12, 2015

New World Symphony alumni participate in a variety of 'extracurricular' activities. Here are several highlights from this past month.

Will James (2006-2008) is Principal Percussion at the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, won the position at the age of 25 and is still one of the youngest principal percussionists in the country. Rob Knopper (2010-2011) is percussionist for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. They both were part of the recent Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in San Antonio, Texas.

Will moderated the session "Mallets Lab - How to Select and Prepare a Mallet Solo for an Audition" on November 12. And later that day, Will and Rob participated in a cymbal selection event.



Tddy Abrams at NPR

NWS conducting alumnus Teddy Abrams (2008-2011) is Music Director of the Louisville (KY) Orchestra. On a recent trip to Washington DC, he went to the studios of National Public Radio for one of their Tiny Desk concerts. While there, he stopped by the desk of NWS audio engineering alumnus Gene Gerhiser (2006-2009) for a visit. He also visited the White House.

Additionally, Teddy will be conducting a couple of holiday concerts of the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall on December 9/10, 2015.

Last week, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra announced that as a result of completing a large part of its Musicians' Endowment Campaign fundraising goal, it has appointed several new musicians for the 2015-2016 season. One of those is NWS alumnus Karl Fenner (2007) who has started a position as section bass. He made the musical headlines in September when his instru­ment and case were seri­ously bro­ken dur­ing a flight from Atlanta back to Den­ver where he was a mem­ber of the Col­orado Symphony.

Violin alumna Kristine (Kolbinger) Papillon (1992-1995) is the author and illustrator of the 2015 children’s book Crumpet the Trumpet. It’s the story of a trumpet baby who is having difficulty falling asleep. His mother asks her other instrument friends to try to help, with various levels of success. It’s an audio story book, which means it has an accompanying CD soundtrack. It features music played by 32 colleagues from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and narration by FWP Maestro Andrew Constantine. Papillon also offers a live symphonic production package to orchestras who want to feature the story in a live event.

This month Crumpet the Trumpet has been placed in the shops of the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony, among others. And most recently Crumpet the Trumpet earned top position on the list of the five best music gifts for kids for 2015 on Click here to visit the Crumpet the Trumpet website and click here to visit their Facebook page. Profits from the sale of the book help support the Fort Wayne Philharmonic's music education program for children.

Maria (Harrold) Serkin (horn 2005-2006) has taken up a new position as Assistant Professor of Horn at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. She was previously the lecturer of horn at the University of Virginia and the principal horn of the Charlottesville Symphony. Serkin has also held the positions of principal horn with the Florida Grand Opera and Palm Beach Symphony, horn professor of the New World School of the Arts, and co-principal horn of the Sarasota Orchestra. An avid educator, Serkin has taught horn master classes extending from the Eastman School of Music and The Juilliard School, to the Crescendo Summer Institute in Hungary. Her doctoral research established a progressive method of transposition — a first in the advancement of horn methodology.

And NWS violin alumnus Tomas Cotik (2005–2007), currently a member of the Amernet String Quartet, announces the release of another recording (the 4th over the past 2 years), actually his debut album, recorded in 2009 when he was living in Texas. Centaur Records releases an album of Mendelssohn string quintets recorded by the Harrington String Quartet with guest violist James Dunham, from the legendary Cleveland Quartet. Click here for information.

Finally, recent NWS clarinet alumnus Brad Whitfield (2011-2015) reports that he was just offered the Assistant Principal/Second Clarinet position with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra (his hometown orchestra).

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Posted in: Alumni

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