Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dr. Macbride to Receive the Humphrey R. Tonkin Award for Scholarly and/or Artistic Creativity

At the 2017 Undergraduate Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 21, Professor David Macbride '73, Professor of Composition and Music Theory, will be presented with the Humphrey R. Tonkin Award for Scholarly and/or Artistic Creativity.

Composer and pianist David Macbride ’73, DMA, has written numerous works, ranging from solo, chamber, and orchestral music to music for film, TV, dance, and theatre, with an emphasis on percussion. During his more than 30 years teaching composition and music theory at The Hartt School, he has inspired and mentored hundreds of students, many of whom have gone on to become noted professional musicians.

An alumnus of The Hartt School, Macbride is universally recognized as one of the world’s most important composers of percussion music. The Humphrey R. Tonkin Award for Scholarly and/or Artist Creativity recognizes his works that challenge musicians technically, musically, and emotionally. His ability to embrace life’s issues and struggles is evident in pieces such as “Staying the Course,” a composition known to “shake the listeners to their core,” as it presents one note for every soldier who died in the Iraq war.

As a pianist, Macbride has toured much of the world performing recitals and is also known for his innovative audience-centered compositions. A recent work, “Percussion Park,” is a musical landscape where the audience is invited to freely roam the performance site in search of the music. The commissioned piece “Silent Hands” features an American Sign Language interpreter as part of the ensemble, and is intended to show connections between the expressiveness of sign language and musical gestures.

Macbride’s artistic endeavors have had a major influence on his teaching. He founded The Hartt School’s “Composers Ensemble,” providing an outlet for student composers to perform their own works, and initiated a course encouraging students to perform locally, having presented countless concerts himself throughout the Greater Hartford area and earning the University of Hartford’s Community Service Award in 2001.

Reflecting on his career at the University, Macbride acknowledges his mentor, Professor Emeritus Edward Diemente: “He provided me with positive experiences that set the stage for my composing to develop into a lifelong habit… I often remind my students that we are blessed to be in this world, the world of music, the world we live in.”     

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bert Lucarelli's Memiors

I had the pleasure to read Bert Lucarelli's memoirs.  Styled as "conversations," anyone who had the pleasure of working with or spending time with the professor would really enjoy reading about his philosophy and approach to music and life. 

There are lots of ways for young musicians to get their career going.  Bert made the decision not to take non-music jobs.  His view was that if he was going to be a musician, he was going to be a musician.  That being said, he also was clear that performing is performing, regardless of whether that is as a soloist, ensemble member, chamber music, or playing Ice Capades (yup, look for that story in here).  Even the title - We Can't Always Play Waltzes - is charming when you read that vignette. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Great Performances to Feature Ellis Island: The Dream of America by Peter Boyer

PBS’s Great Performances will be recording Ellis Island: The Dream of America by Peter Boyer (MM, DMA in Composition from Hartt) for an upcoming broadcast.  This performance by the Pacific Symphony’s American Composers Festival has been in the planning phase for two years.  This is definitely and exciting and well-deserved performance for Peter.
Here is a story in the Orange County Register.
This wonderful work is for orchestra, narrators and projected images.  The case for this performance includes:
  • Tony Award-winning Barry Bostwick (“Spin City,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” the original Broadway “Grease”)
  • Emmy- and Golden-winning Camryn Manhein (”The Practice,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Elvis”)
  • Michael Nouri (“Flashdance,” “The Proposal,” “Finding Forrester,” “Damages”)
  • Lesley Fera (“Pretty Little Liars,” “24,” “CSI Miami”)
  • Samantha Sloyan (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Hush”)
  • Lucas Near-Verbrugghe (“Our Idiot Brother,” “Lazy Eye”)
  • Kira Sternbach (“Neighbors,” “My Normal”)

Monday, March 27, 2017

In memorial - James Sellars

James Edward Sellars, the imaginative and original composer, outspoken commentator on music and art, and demanding but inspiring teacher of hundreds of students at The Hartt School, University of Hartford, died at his Hartford home on February 26, 2017. He was 76. In the last years of his life, he suffered from a degenerative nerve disease, which left him increasingly immobile and unable to read or listen to music, though he retained his incisive and sometimes cutting wit to the end.

Sellars was born at the Sparks Memorial Hospital in Fort Smith Arkansas on October 8, 1940 to Wayne Edward Sellars and Omah Dodson Sellars. Known as "Buddy" to his friends and family until he was in his thirties, he was drawn to music at an early age. He remembered Beethoven's Fur Elise as an early favorite. When his father took him as a boy to a record store to buy his first record of classical music, he asked the clerk for something sad - the clerk recommended the Pathetique Symphony by Tchaikovsky, who remained a favorite composer of his for the rest of his life. In Fort Smith he studied piano with Ester Graham who recognized his musical talent and recommended that he study music composition.

After high school, he moved to New York City. He first attended Julliard but quickly switched to the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Ludmila Ulehla and David Diamond. During the 1960's he lived with his life partner Gary Knoble in Brooklyn Heights where, in addition to his musical studies, he was music critic for the Brooklyn Heights Press, choral director of the First Unitarian Congregation Society, and owner of a photographic studio on Montague Street. He took a Masters Degree in Music at Southern Methodist University and a PhD in Composition and Theory at the University of North Texas.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

In memorial - Joan Glazier

Joan Leopold Glazier was an icon to generations of The Hartt School family.
She passed away peacefully at her home Saturday, March 25, 2017.

 The Daughter of Kurt A. and Henriette Leopold, Joan was born on November 4, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York and resided in West Hartford, CT. for much of her life.

 Joan was a graduate of Hall High School, class of 1953 and attended the University of Connecticut and The Hartt School (then Hartt College) receiving her Bachelor of Music Education in 1958.
A noted performer for over 50 years, Joan was a soloist with the Hartford Symphony and had leading roles in opera productions with the Hartt Opera Theater and the Connecticut Opera Association. She also performed with the Chamber Song Ensemble, summer stock music theater and appeared in concerts on radio and television. She was church soloist for 23 years, and sang in the Emanuel Synagogue High Holiday choir.

In addition to her performing career, Joan was member of the voice faculty of the Hartt School at The University of Hartford from 1964 until 2000, and also served as their academic advisor/evaluator for undergraduate studies from 1980 until her retirement. Joan was a devoted and beloved teacher and mentor at Hartt for decades and is fondly remembered as "Mother Glazier". Her legacy and voice will live on in all of her students.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2017 Alumni Award - Martha Summa

Martha Summa ('83) has been selected to receive the 2017 Hartt Alumni Award. Dr. Summa's career combines her passions for performance, education and music therapy. This honor will be awarded to Martha at the 2017 Commencement exercises in May.  Congratulations to Martha!

For additional information on Martha, see her website.
Here is a Ted Talk that Martha gave.