Performances by Andy Hudson
have been hailed as “a treat for the listener” and have been praised for “an uncommon singularity of purpose, technical virtuosity, youthful vigor and a mature sensitivity.” He has appeared in Carnegie Hall’s ‘Weill Recital Hall,’ at Chicago’s ‘Symphony Center,’ and at the World Congress of the International Alliance for Women in Music, College Music Society conferences in both Canada and the US, and gatherings of the International Clarinet Association in Los Angeles, Orlando, Knoxville, and Ostend, Belgium. Andy won top honors at the 2008 MTNA National Senior Woodwind Competition and has received other prizes in the National Collegiate Solo Competition, the Vandoren Emerging Artists Competition, the Luminarts Foundation Fellowship Competition, and the Ariel Artists ‘Impact Performance’ Competition. Andy has recently performed as guest principal clarinet of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and the North Carolina Opera, and he was appointed Bass Clarinet/III Clarinetist of the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra in 2020. Other festival appearances include the Lucerne, Bang on a Can, Sewanee, Hot Springs, and Great Lakes Chamber Music festivals.
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A noted interpreter of contemporary music, Andy has premiered and commissioned dozens of works to date and has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on their MusicNOW series, at the New Music Gathering, and with Ensemble Dal Niente, the Chicago Composer’s Orchestra, and the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition’s Grossman Ensemble (with whom he is featured on the 2020 release FOUNTAIN OF TIME). In 2018, he was clarinetist for the workshop performance of Augusta Read Thomas’s opera “Sweet Potato Kicks the Sun,” sponsored by the Santa Fe Opera. Andy also performs with the Zafa Collective and earspace, and was a founding member of the trio F-PLUS. Andy is clarinetist with the mixed sextet Latitude 49, which recently released its sophomore album WAX AND WIRE on New Amsterdam Records. Latitude 49 has held residencies at Princeton University and Baylor University, and has been the recipient of grants from the Barlow Endowment, the Fromm Foundation, Chamber Music America, and the Aaron Copland Fund.
Andy is currently Assistant Professor of Clarinet at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and each summer joins the Artist-Faculty of the Tennessee Valley Music Festival. Previously, he held teaching positions at Northwestern University and Lake Forest College, and he has been the North Carolina State Chair for the International Clarinet Association since 2019. Andy earned his DMA in Clarinet Performance with a Cognate Certification in Music Theory from Northwestern University, where he also earned his Master of Music degree. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music. His primary teachers have included Steve Cohen, J. Lawrie Bloom, and Lisa Oberlander. Andy is an Artist-Clinician for Buffet Crampon and an Ambassador for Rovner Products. He performs exclusively on Buffet clarinets and Rovner ligatures.
1st Lieutenant Darren Y. Lin joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in July 2019 as a percussionist. He was appointed Assistant Director in July 2021 and commissioned to his current rank in January 2022. 1st Lt. Lin is a 2009 graduate of Hershey High School in Pennsylvania. He earned a bachelor’s degree in percussion performance and a teacher’s certificate in 2014 from the University of Michigan (U-M) in Ann Arbor; a master’s degree in percussion performance and literature in 2016 from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester in New York; and pursued additional studies at the New England Conservatory in Boston. His principal percussion teachers were J. William Hudgins of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Michael Burritt of the Eastman School of Music, and Joseph Gramley and Jonathan Ovalle of U-M. He also has studied conducting with Christopher James Lees, Michael Haithcock, and Rodney Dorsey.
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Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” 1st Lt. Lin was an active educator and performer. He was the adjunct instructor of percussion at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa., and performed frequently with the Buffalo Philharmonic in Buffalo, N.Y., the New Haven Symphony in Connecticut, and the New World Symphony in Miami. He has performed under the batons of conductors like Valery Gergiev, Michael Tilson Thomas, Andris Nelsons, and JoAnn Falletta. He is equally at home performing contemporary music, having performed with the NakedEye Ensemble and both founding and leading the group [sunflower]. He has worked closely with composers Steve Reich and John Luther Adams, and has premiered works by Dave Hollinden, Molly Joyce, Angélica Negrón, Randall Woolf, and Chris Vu.
As Assistant Director, 1st Lt. Lin’s responsibilities include conducting the Marine Band and Chamber Orchestra in their winter and spring concert series and summer concerts on the National Mall as well as at ceremonies in the national capital region and at the White House. Additionally, he serves as a supervisor for the acclaimed fall and winter Chamber Music Series, which features the virtuoso musicians of “The President’s Own,” as well as all pre-concert music.
Described as “elegant, beautiful, sophisticated, intense, and crystal clear in emotional intent,” the music of Omar Thomas continues to move listeners everywhere it is performed. Born to Guyanese parents in Brooklyn, New York in 1984, Omar moved to Boston in 2006 to pursue a Master of Music in Jazz Composition at the New England Conservatory of Music after studying Music Education at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He is the protégé of lauded composers and educators Ken Schaphorst and Frank Carlberg, and has studied under multiple Grammy-winning composer and bandleader Maria Schneider.
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Hailed by Herbie Hancock as showing “great promise as a new voice in the further development of jazz in the future,” educator, arranger, and award-winning composer Omar Thomas has created music extensively in the contemporary jazz ensemble idiom. It was while completing his Master of Music Degree that he was appointed the position of Assistant Professor of Harmony at Berklee College of Music at the surprisingly young age of 23. Following his Berklee tenure, he served on faculty of the Music Theory department at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Now a Yamaha Master Educator, he is currently an Assistant Professor of Composition and Jazz Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. He was awarded the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award in 2008, and invited by the ASCAP Association to perform his music in their highly exclusive JaZzCap Showcase, held in New York City. In 2012, Omar was named the Boston Music Award’s “Jazz Artist of the Year.” In 2019, he was awarded the National Bandmasters Association/Revelli Award for his wind composition “Come Sunday,” becoming the first Black composer awarded the honor in the contest’s 42-year history.
Now a Yamaha Master Educator, Omar’s music has been performed in concert halls the world over. He has been commissioned to create works in both jazz and classical styles. His work has been performed by such diverse groups as the Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, the San Francisco and Boston Gay Mens’ Choruses, The United States Marine Band, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and the Showa Wind Symphony, in addition to a number of the country’s top collegiate music ensembles. Omar has had a number of celebrated singers perform over his arrangements, including Stephanie Mills, Yolanda Adams, Nona Hendryx, BeBe Winans, Kenny Lattimore, Marsha Ambrosius, Sheila E., Raul Midon, Leela James, Dionne Warwick, and Chaka Khan. His work is featured on Dianne Reeves’s Grammy Award-winning album, “Beautiful Life.”
Omar’s first album, “I AM,” debuted at #1 on iTunes Jazz Charts and peaked at #13 on the Billboard Traditional Jazz Albums Chart. His second release, ” We Will Know: An LGBT Civil Rigths Piece in Four Movements,” has been hailed by Grammy Award-wining drummer, composer, and producer Terri Lyne Carrington as being a “thought provoking, multi-layered masterpiece” which has “put him in the esteemed category of great artists.” “We Will Know” was awarded two OUTMusic Awards, including “Album of the Year.” For this work, Omar was named the 2014 Lavender Rhino Award recipient by The History Project, acknowledging his work as an up-and-coming activist in the Boston LGBTQ community. Says Terri Lyne: “Omar Thomas will prove to be one of the more important composer/arrangers of his time.”
The UNCG Wind Ensemble is a highly select concert band of fifty performers majoring in music at the UNCG School of Music. Performers in the current Wind Ensemble are drawn from sixteen states, Slovenia, and Hong Kong. The ensemble has enjoyed a distinguished record of performance throughout its history. In January 1992, the UNCG Wind Ensemble performed “A Tribute to John Philip Sousa” to a capacity crowd of 2,700 at the Concert Hall of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Twice, the Wind Ensemble earned critical acclaim from The Washington Post following concerts in the nation’s capital. The Wind Ensemble has performed throughout the eastern United States in recent years including the first-ever performance, in 1987, by a North Carolina collegiate ensemble in Lincoln Center, New York City. The Wind Ensemble performed that same year in West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. The Wind Ensemble has recorded nineteen commercially-available albums which have received widespread praise.
In 1985, the Wind Ensemble performed a series of concerts with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer-conductor Karel Husa. In 1988, the UNCG Wind Ensemble performed in New Orleans, Louisiana by invitation of the College Band Directors National Association for the Southern Division convention. On a number of occasions, the Wind Ensemble has commissioned and premiered works from leading band composers. In November of 1990, the Wind Ensemble performed for the Southern Division of MENC convention. In February 1994, the UNCG Wind Ensemble performed for a convention of the CBDNA and NBA in Williamsburg, Virginia. In March 1999, the Wind Ensemble performed for the national convention of the American Bandmasters Association in Melbourne, Florida. In February 2000, the Wind Ensemble performed for the CBDNA Southern Division Convention hosted at UNCG. In 2006, the Wind Ensemble performed in The Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland, shared a concert with the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Arlington, Virginia, and collaborated with Karel Husa, David Dzubay, and Carter Pann in the performaces of their music, including two commissions. In 2009, the Wind Ensemble performed at the CBDNA National Convention at the University of Texas at Austin and performed additional concerts in Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas as part of a week-long tour. The Wind Ensemble performed at the 2011 National Convention of the American Bandmasters Association and the 2013 National Conference of the College Band Directors National Association hosted in Greensboro. Most recently, the UNCG took a twelve day concert tour through the Czech Republic, Austria, and Italy, the highlight of which was a concert in Prague’s famed Dvořák Hall.