Monday, July 3, 2017

Allen Memorial Library Moves Into New Space

The Allen Memorial Library, a/k/a the Hartt Music Library, has moved into a new space.  What was formerly known as the main library on campus, the Mortensen Library, has been renamed the Walter Harrison Libraries, which now includes a section called Mortensen Library.  The Harrison Libraries now houses the Allen Library in what used to be the lower level of Mortensen.  The back wall of this space was blown out, new floor to ceiling windows were installed, and the space was reconfigured to serve Hartt's music, dance and theatre students and faculty.  Although still a work in progress, here are some photos.

Did you know that Hartt alumni have use and borrowing privileges in the Allen Library?  See the library website for details.

Here is your mini virtual tour.

As you walk down the stairs from the main level of Mortensen, here is the entrance signage to the new Allen Library.
Turn left and a staff workspace is visible through the window and you can see through the library space out the back windows.
In we go through the entrance and turn right to the circulation desk.

Looking past the work tables and the computer study stations.  (Bonus if you can identify the Hartt alumnus just beyond the computers from the back of his head.)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Two Hartt Alumni to Be Featured at Tanglewood

A pair of Hartt alumni, Phillip Boykin and Ryan Speedo Green, will be among the featured soloists at this seasons' Tanglewood performances.

On July 8, Phillip will perform with the Boston Pops Orchestra in a program titled Sondheim on Sondheim.  This follows Phillip's recent run on Broadway in Sunday in the Park with George.  More information on this performance can be found here.  Boykin Performance

PHILLIP BOYKIN (Bass-Baritone) is a 2012 Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards Nominee for his work in THE GERSHWIN'S PORGY AND BESS. He is the 2012 Winner of a Theatre World Award as well as the International Reviewers of New England Awards and The Distinguished Alumni Award from The Hartt School. Phillip is a native of Greenville, SC who now resides in NJ. Other performances include; the Broadway Revivals of ON THE TOWN and SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, the roles of Joe in the National Tour SHOW BOAT and at several Regional theaters including Sacramento Music Theater, The Pirate King/Samuel in PIRATES OF PENZANCE NY City Center and Barrington Stage, Ken in AIN'T MISBEHAVIN', Crown/Jake in the Opera PORGY AND BESS, Tarquinius in THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA, Caiaphas in JCS, and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR GOSPEL, the HARLEM GOSPEL SINGERS, Fred in SMOKEY JOE'S CAFÉ, and Don Alfonso in COSI FAN TUTTI to name a few. Phillip performed as Booker T. Washington in the Anniversary Concert of RAGTIME at Lincoln Center. He also made is Carnegie Hall debut in BROADWAY CLASSICS. Mr. Boykin portrayed the role of Big Hand in the movie FREEDOM starring Cuba Gooding Jr., and Sharon Leal. Recently The Driver in TOP FIVE a movie starring, written and directed by Chris Rock, Caiaphas in John O'Boyle's EASTER MYSTERIES and was featured as the cover story of Classical Singer Magazine. He's a graduate of the University of Hartford's Hartt School of Music in CT; he also studied Jazz and Vocal Performance at SC State University, Howard University and the NC School of the Arts. Phillip has toured throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, Russia, Poland and North America. Mr. Boykin is the Founder, Director and Manager of the NYGOSPEL BROTHERS. For more information or to purchase his CD/DVD entitled "You Believed In Me" please visit


Ryan Speedo Green will perform on July 30 with the BSO Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus as a featured soloist in William Walton's Belshazzar's Feast.  Additional information on this performance can be found here. Green Performance 

Bass-Baritone Ryan Speedo Green, a native of Suffolk, Virginia, recently completed the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera. Praised by Anothony Tommasini for his "robust voice," Ryan will join the Wiener Staatsoper as a company member in the 2014 - 2015 season member and will be featured as Sparafucile in a new production of Rigoletto, as well as Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia among several other assignments. He will also appear as Rambo in the Met premier of The Death of Klinghoffer conducted by David Robertson. The 2013-2014 season saw a return to the stage of the Met to sing the Bonze in Madama Butterfly and the Jailer in Tosca. The same season also saw his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Second Soldier in Salome under the baton of Andris Nelsons and a debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra singing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Other appearances included Son Beau-Pere in a new production of Milhaud's Le pauvre matelot and Zuniga in Carmen with the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap Opera. Ryan made his Metropolitan Opera stage debut in the 2012-2013 season.

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.