Friday, March 30, 2018

Doreen Ketchens Performing as Soloist with Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

Doreen Ketchens' Performance of "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in March 21, 2018

Master of Music in Jazz Studies approved as a new degree program

Among the recent changes to Hartt's programs of study is a new degree in jazz studies.  The Univeristy of Hartford recently approved the Master of Music in Jazz Studies.

Here is the program curriculum.

First Year

Semester 1 (12 credits) 
  • HLM 615*: Pro-seminar in Music History (3 cr.)
  • AXX 999: Instrumental/Vocal Lesson (2 cr.)
  • ENS 502: Jazz Ensemble (1 cr.)
  • AFR 602: Duke Ellington (3 cr.)
  • AFR 623: 20th Century Jazz Analysis and History (3 cr.)
Semester 2 (10 credits)
  • AXX 999: Instrumental/Vocal Lesson (2 cr.)
  • ENS 503: Jazz Ensemble (1 cr.)
  • AFR 603: Analysis of American Songbook (3 cr.)
  • TH 645**: Graduate Ear Training (3 cr.)
  • REC 671: Master's Recital (1 cr.)

Second Year

Semester 3 (10 Credits)
  • AXX 999: Instrumental/Vocal Lesson (4 cr.)
  • ENS 502: Jazz Ensemble (1 cr.)
  • AFR 655: Graduate Jazz Arranging (2 cr.)
  • TH XXX: Graduate Theory elective (3 cr.)
Semester 4 (9 credits)
  • AXX 999: Instrumental/Vocal Lesson (4 cr.)
  • ENS 503: Jazz Ensemble (1 cr.)
  • AFR 657: Graduate Business Seminar (3 cr.)
  • REC 672: Master's Recital (1 cr.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

2018 Hartt Alumni Award - Shane Shanahan

The Hartt School's Alumni Award Committee has selected Shane Shanahan as the 2018 award recipient.  Shane will receive the award at this year's commencement ceremony for Hartt undergraduates.  Congratulations, Shane! 


Grammy Award winning percussionist Shane Shanahan has cultivated his own unique and highly sought after sound by combining his studies of drumming traditions from around the world with his background in jazz, rock and Western art music.   His interest in other cultures has lead to extended visits to Turkey, India, and Tajikistan, among others.  Shane’s rare set of diverse skills is what attracted Yo-Yo Ma when he was forming the Silk Road Ensemble.  In the summer of 2000, Shane was invited to Tanglewood where he played an important role in the formation of the group.  Ever since, he has been touring around the globe performing side-by-side with Mr. Ma as an original member of the award-winning Silk Road Ensemble.  Shane's playing can be heard on all four of the ensemble's top-selling recordings for the Sony/BMG label.  The most recent was nominated for a Grammy and two of them feature his arranging skills. These arrangements have brought ecstatic audience to their feet in the top concert halls of North America, Europe and Asia. Shane can also be seen and heard on Mr. Ma's CD/DVD release "Songs of Joy."

He is also a member of frame drum master Glen Velez' TaKaDiMi Ensemble and cellist Maya Beiser's Provenance Project.  He has performed and/or recorded with Bobby McFerrin, Aretha Frankin, Philip Glass, Alison Krause, Sonny Fortune, Deep Purple, Jordi Savall, Fantasia, Chaka Khan, G. E. Smith, Simon Shaheen, Jamey Haddad, Cyro Baptista, Anindo Chaterjee, Sandeep Das, Shahram Nazeri, Alim Qasimov, Kayhan Kalhor, Howard Levy and Steve Gorn, among others.

During the 2009-2010 season, Shane co-curated a 40 week concert series at The Museum of Natural History for the Traveling the Silk Road Exhibit.  He was also highly involved in The Bridge Project, a three-year trans-Atlantic partnership uniting The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Old Vic Theatre of London, and Neal Street Productions.  Shane was one of two featured musician in Shakespeare's "As You Like It" and "The Tempest," directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes ("American Beauty"/"Skyfall.")  After two months of performances in New York, the production commenced an extensive tour of Asia and Europe.  On Broadway, Shane has played for Caroline, Or Change, The Color Purple, Shrek, and Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Phillip Boykin starring in Broadway revival of Once on this Island

After appearing on Broadway in Sunday in the Park with George, On the Town, etc., Phillip Boykin is currently starring as TonTon in the revival of Once on this Island.  I saw the performance and can say from firsthand experience that he is terrific and the cast is wonderful.

Congratulations, Phillip!


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Conversation with Peter Furlong on His New Recording

Thanks for taking the time to converse with me, again, Peter.

Q. First question - it has been a little while since you participated in the 5 Questions interview series. What have you been doing professionally since then?


A. Really? Only a little while? Well, it feels like 2015 was only a short while ago, that’s for sure. 


Back to the question, what have I been doing... Most recently I recorded a CD of Mahler’s piano version of Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) which was just released in August 2017 in the US and is getting some nice reviews and I’m quite proud of this little CD. 


I have been training for some heavy duty Wagner roles. There’s been quite a buzz going around Berlin and Germany in general about me being a ‘real’ Heldentenor (Heroic tenor), which is both exciting and utterly frightening. 


I’m going to auditions in New York and Boston this winter to get some buzz happening in the US as well. 


I’ve sung quite a few concerts and Liederabends, the most recent being a Liederabend of Beethoven’s ‘An die ferne Geliebte’ (To the distant beloved) which was quite nicely received, and all of Copland’s 'Old American Songs' which I sang with my wife, Julie Wyma (who also sang Debussy’s ‘Ariettes Oubliées). A  hometown concert I did in Framingham, Mass in 2016 was great fun (especially as I hadn’t sung in Framingham in 29 years). Seeing one’s High School Music teacher and realizing he has somehow not aged at all is an amazing/humbling feeling. Doing concerts in the US also allows me to return to being a grease monkey, repairing the old cars and various motorbikes my family has accumulated and cared for.


Reaching further back, I performed the roles of Max in ‘Der Freischütz’ and Adam in “Der Vogelhändler’ at Kloster Chorin here on the outskirts of Berlin. 


Add to that being a dad to an amazing little violinist (who attended River’s School Conservatory Summer Camp this past summer) and all around smart cookie, and the husband to my wonderfully amazing wife - life has been good. 


Q. This is all very exciting.  I want to circle back to the performances in a bit, but first a few questions about the recording.  I recall studying Das Lied von der Erde in 20th Century Lit. class with the late James Sellers – a terrific work.  That was the version with full orchestration.  Tell me a little more about the piano version and how you came to select that work in particular for this recording.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

James Sellars Memorial Celebration

On December 6, 7, and 8, 2017, The Hartt School celebrated the musical life and legacy of James Sellars, Professor of Composition 1978 - 2002.  Composers, performers, faculty, alumni, current students, and friends gathered for a series of performances of James' music and music composed in his honor.  Robert Black organized the effort with the help of many others.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Original School Brochure 1920-21

1920 - World War I had ended.  Jazz was just emerging.  Warren G. Harding was elected President of the United States.  Prohibition began.  Women attained the right to vote.  Mass media was born with a license given to the first commercial radio station.  America was about to start Roaring. 

And, The Hartt School was officially formed.  1920 is the founding date of our school and, thanks to the University of Hartford archives and Prof. Dee Hansen (leading the committee planning Hartt's centennial celebrations), below is the original brochure for the school.

Contained in these several pages is the philosophy on which our founders built their legacy.  The prose is elevated and contained within are a few surprises.

How many of us had heard of "Boris" Paranov?  Most of know Morris Perlmutter changed his named for professional reasons to Moshe Paranov, but I had never know that Uncle Moshe once went by Boris.  Ernest Bloch as a faculty member.

Citation - Julius Hartt Musical Foundation, Inc. records (ARCH161). University of Hartford Archives and Special Collections.