Nothing is more gratifying to me professionally than sharing my music with those in my neighborhood, community, and hometown. As a result, throughout my careerI have developed numerous musical outreach projects designed to share the power of music by encouraging children, adults and seniors to perform, create, and experience music in ways meant to enrich their lives and their minds. In particular, I have focused upon exploring the ways music can bridge the gaps between those of different backgrounds, ages, and ability levels.
Four statements summarize the elements that inform my outreach activities:
1.) Everyone can perform, create, and enjoy music - no matter their background or degree of experience.
2.) Music has the extraordinary ability to create community by fostering co-operation and mutual respect among all kinds of people.
3.) Our musical lives are fundamentally multi-cultural. Thus, when we perform or listen, we experience first-hand the incredible richness and variety of American - and human - culture.
4.) Music (and the arts in general) play a central role in the development of a healthy community, especially when they are approached in a manner that recognizes this power and responsibility.
Current and past community-engagement projects:
FIRE IN THE BIG-TOP! and LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER: THE STORY OF ABBIE BURGESS
Two educational-outreach chamber works commissioned by the Portland Symphony Orchestra for the KinderKonzert program. In addition to performance for our 5000 children at schools and community centers in the state of Maine, I subsequently organized performance of each of these pieces for children in the Greater Boston area.
THE PRIORESS’S TALE Link to Boston Globe preview article
A touring production of my one-act chamber opera, which deals with issues of religious tolerance and forgiveness within the context of Jewish-Christian relations. Performances are often followed by panel discussions about anti-Semitism, peace-making, and interfaith dialogue. Past performances were sponsored by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Andover-Newton Theological School, Hebrew College, First Church in Cambridge, Quincy's Thomas Crane Public Library, Wheaton College, Brooksby Community Village Jewish retirment center, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Eastern Nazarene College. Click here to download the archived opera website, which includes a synopsis and live links to a YouTube channel featuring highlights from the opera.
GREAT WOODS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, Music Director, 2010- Click to visit GWSO homepage
I opened up membership in Wheaton's college orchestra to members of the public. Now the group includes 50 members from throughout the local community who come together weekly to rehearse and perform concerts at Wheaton. The orchestra's programming emphasizes diversity and inclusion, and has featured concerts devoted to the music of Latin American and African-American composers, as well as exciting collaborations with DJ Spooky and Daniel Bernard Roumain. In 2015, as the culmination of a year-long collaborating with Providence's Community MusicWorks, the GWCO presented a joint concert in which CMW students played alongside with Wheaton students, faculty, and community members. In the fall of 2011, the GWCO presented a Saturday morning concert for local children, featuring Carnival of the Animals and Beethoven Symphony no. 1.
QUINCY BAY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, Founder, Music Director, 2008-2010
The QBCO is the city's only full-professional orchestra, but it's an orchestra with a twist: it's mission is to collaborate with local institutions and organizations in order to bring performances to venues that do not normally feature classical music. A Highlights of past seasons was an exciting collaboration with elementary schools students at the Beechwood Knoll School, in which students created artwork to accompany our live performance of Copland's Appalachian Spring. The artworks were projected above the orchestra while we performed! Our concerts at the Quincy Council on Aging’s Kennedy Senior Center Quincy's 1000 Southern Artery Retirement Home featured violinist Gabby Diaz performing Winter from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, concertos for piano, trumpet, and clarinet, and Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings.
QUINCY SUMMER SINGERS, Founder, Music Director, 2009-2010
A community choir open to everyone! In its first two seasons, the QSS brought together over 50 members of the public, ranging in age for 8 to 80, to sing classical pieces, gospel songs, Broadway tunes, jazz charts, and folk songs from around the world. Our annual performances were attended by over 300 people, including Quincy mayor Thomas P. Koch, and were broadcast on Quincy Access Television.
EASTERN NAZARENE COLLEGE CHORAL UNION, Music Director, 2005-2011
In 2005 I opened up membership in the Choral Union to members of the public. By 2011, the Choral Union had grown in size to 80 singers, preparing performances of major choral masterworks like the Requiems of Brahms and Mozart, Honegger's King David, Handel's Messiah, and Haydn's Creation. We welcomed all members of the public, regardless of musical background or age, to sing with us for free - with no auditions. The Choral Union performed outreach concerts at public schools in Quincy and collaborated with the Kallistos Chamber Orchestra and Quincy Symphony for various concert. For the Mozart Requiem performance in 2005, the performance was preceded by an interfaith prayer service honoring victims of war, led by a priest, minister, rabbi, and Imam from Quincy.
MUSICA ECLECTICA CONCERT SERIES at EASTERN NAZARENE COLLEGE, Founder and Artistic Director, 2005-2010
This concert series presented over 100 free and low-cost concerts to the people of Quincy, featuring an extraordinarily wide range of artistic from across the United States. The performers were drawn from the classical, jazz, world, folk, and avant-garde traditions, and included the Grammy-nominated jazz ensemble Either/Orchestra and pianist Charles Abramovic.
CITY OF QUINCY SUMMERFEST CONCERT SERIES, Artistic Director, 2009
Curated and secured funding for the city's series of free outdoor concerts.
BENEFIT CONCERT ORGANIZER
Partnered with various local organizations to raise funds and visibility, including the Quincy Crisis Center, Quincy Teen Monthers' Program, and Housing for All.