Last week we held the final round of the 2015 Student Artist Competition, in which we heard 15 strong performances by very talented students. Congratulations to all of their studio teachers and coaches, who helped in their preparation, and to those who participated in screening the preliminary rounds.
We have three winners to announce:
- Kelsey Paquin, clarinet – GRAND PRIZE WINNER (student of Anthony Taylor and Kelly Burke)
- Lydia Pion, soprano (student of Clara O’Brien)
- Mengfei Xu, piano (student of Andrew Willis)
For more information on the Student Artist Competition, please visit the Student Artist Competition webpage.
Kelsey Paquin is a second year master’s student at UNC Greensboro. A native of New Jersey, she began playing clarinet at the age of eight, and went on to attend the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Program, where she studied with Miriam Lockhart and Pascal Archer. During her undergraduate studies, Kelsey briefly lived in Milan, Italy, where she studied at Il Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi under the tutelage of Luigi Magistrelli and performed at Casa Verdi. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Ithaca College, where she studied under Michael Galván. She currently studies with Dr. Anthony Taylor and is a former student of Dr. Kelly Burke. Kelsey performs as Co-Principal of the UNCG Wind Ensemble, and as a member of the UNCG Symphony Orchestra and Gate City Winds.
Lydia Pion, soprano, most recently received the Recognition Award at the North Carolina District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. This spring she will appear as Sagredo/Marie de’Medici/Eos in Phillip Glass’ Galileo Galilei with UNCG Opera Theatre. Her other operatic credits include Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro), The Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors), and Nancy (Albert Herring). The National Opera Association selected Ms. Pion to sing in a master class with internationally renowned mezzo-soprano, Stephanie Blythe at their annual Convention. She also recently appeared in Greensboro Opera’s production of La fille du Régiment and was a featured artist for their Fall 2014 Opera Gala “GO to the Movies.” While attending the voice program at The Chautauqua Institution under the direction of Marlena Malas, she sang Micaëla in scenes from Carmen and First Ladyin scenes from Die Zauberflöte. She has also performed in scenes with the Crittenden Summer Opera Workshop, and participated in Greensboro Light Opera and Song. Last spring she competed as a finalist at the Orpheus National Competition for Vocalists where she received the Strauss Award. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro under the tutelage of Professor Clara O’Brien.
Mengfei Xu, a student of Dr. Andrew Willis, is currently pursuing the DMA degree in piano performance at the UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance, simultaneously earning a cognate in organ performance with Dr. André Lash. She received the M.M. in Piano Performance from Ithaca College in 2013 and Organ Performance in 2014, studying piano with Dr. Charis Dimaras and organ with Jean Radice. As winner of the concerto competition at IC, she performed Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto #3 with the IC Symphony Orchestra in March 2013. In February of 2012 she was awarded the first prize in the Bach Performance category at the United States Open Music Competition (USOMC) in San Francisco. She received the B.A. from the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Canton, China in 2011. Throughout her studies, she has presented numerous solo and collaborative recitals and chamber music performances both on and off campus. She has been cultivating her passion for playing the piano since the age of eight.
UNCG Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kevin M. Geraldi, the first half of the concert featured the Watauga High School Honors Orchestra, from Boone, NC, directed by William Selle. During his introductory comments, Geraldi explained it has become a tradition to invite outstanding youth orchestras to perform on campus and to attend master classes…
Excerpt from William Thomas Walker‘s review (CVNC)
We would like to get to know you and share our vision of clarinetistry, music-making, and collaborative leadership with you!
The clarinet studio at UNCG is like a large family, usually about 35 students, and at least 25 of these are undergraduates. We emphasize the development of clarinet skills, overall physical and emotional awareness, and artistic presence and leadership skills in equal amounts. Dr. Burke and I each have had a lifelong interest in pedagogy and more than 60 years combined of teaching experience.
These pages are under development, so check back soon for more content.
For now, I would like to share links to two places where I have bounced philosophical ideas around. I haven’t been writing much lately, but these will give you an idea of the kind of all-emcompassing education we aim for in the clarinet studio.
David Sullivan is a theater educator, stage director and producer. He has served as Associate Professor & the director of the Theatre Program at Lehman College – City University of New York in the Bronx and as Chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ. Since 2004 David has directed the Off Broadway premieres of The Atheist, The Blowin of Baile Gall, and Swansong and staged the site-specific “Bloomsday in Bryant Park, NYC” and a “Tribute to Friel” for the Irish Arts Center. He has directed at Origin Theater Company, Irish Repertory Theatre, Irish Arts Center, the Williamstown Theater Festival Act One Company, the Huntington Theatre Company’s Breaking Ground Reading Festival, the Gloucester Stage Company, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Boston Playwrights Theatre, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In 2012 he co-founded Fat Violet Theater, a new play development company, with playwright Ronan Noone and has directed Brendan and The Compass Rose for the 1st Irish Theater Festival (2013 Best Director nomination) for the NYC-based company. David earned an MFA in Directing from Boston University, in residence at the Huntington Theater Company, and holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Boston University, a Master of Arts in Theatre from Brown University, and a BA in Theatre from Providence College.
The Dancers Connect program is hosting a final Dancers Connect KIDS CREATE performance on Sunday, April 13 at the Studio Theater located in the Health and Human Performance (HHP) Building at 1408 Walker Avenue Greensboro, NC 27402. Shows at 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm – Tickets are $7 per person.
UNCG Dancers Connect a free creative dance class for students age 7 to 18. The Dancers Connect dance classes focus on creativity, self-expression, and imagination, and promote critical thinking and creative problem solving skills and celebrate dance as a unique medium for expression and communication of ideas. This spring 75 young dance students have had the opportunity to learn from master dance educators be mentored by a dynamic group of twelve undergraduate dance education students and to collaborate with other Guilford County elementary, middle and high school students.
The KIDS CREATE performance is $7 and open to the public and will be held at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro located at 1408 Walker Avenue, Greensboro.
The performance starts at 2:00pm and 4:00pm; tickets: $7.00
Tickets can be purchased from the dance department box office on the day of the show. Box office doors open at 12:00. Seating is limited.
For more information about the program email Dr. Mila Parrish – Dancers Connect Director [email protected] or call Jeff Aguiar – Administrative Associate Department of Dance (336.334.5570) or visit the Dancers Connect web page at https://vpa.uncg.edu/dancers-connect/