Tuesday, May 10, 2016

MYAC Captures Gold Medal for 2nd Time in 3 Years!

Photo by Josef Samuel 

It was an exciting weekend at the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition at Notre Dame this weekend.  It was the 43rd year of this competition started by an amateur chamber musician, Joseph E. Fischoff, and now a cultural asset which brings musicians from around the world to South Bend each Mother's Day weekend.  Allan and I look forward to this weekend which we have been attending for 26 years. . . I with a passion for listening to chamber music, and Allan as a coach and leader of MYAC whose focus has been on ensemble playing since we began in 1993.

This weekend was a surprise victory.  In recent years, the competition quality and consistency has been higher than ever.  As Artistic Director, Tom Rosenberg, always tells the students in the Junior Division, on another day, with another panel of judges, there could be a different result.  

Three MYAC ensembles were invited to the quarter-finals on Friday after a taped audition round of 70 applicants.  Two were selected to compete in the semi-finals on Saturday, and one learned on Saturday evening that they would be in the medal round on Sunday.  

Quartet Diamant who captured the Gold on Sunday includes Masha Lakisova (violin), Rebecca Moy (violin), Natalie Clarke (viola), and Adam Lee (cello).  From the moment they walked on stage, poised and confident, and then performed a great program with an incredible blended sound where they really felt the music, they did their best and their hard work paid off.  Thank you to their coaches, Robert Bassill and Lyudmila Lakisova!  We're proud of all of them!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

MYA Alum Carrie Dennis Returns as Guest Artist


Midwest Young Artists presents Inspire EXCELLENCE concert, on April 24th at 6 pm at Northwestern University’s Pick-Staiger Concert Hall featuring our internationally recognized Symphony Orchestra, heralded as one of the finest youth orchestras in the country. The program will include guest artist, Carrie Dennis, viola soloist in Bartok's Viola Concerto and Beethoven's Overture to Leonora #3 and Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.
Carrie Dennis has been the Principal Viola of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2008, after being awarded the position by Esa-Pekka Salonen.  She graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1994, attended the Curtis Institute of Music on two occasions, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Violin and an Artists’ diploma in Viola. After studying with Michael Tree and Joseph de Pasquale, she became Assistant Principal Viola in the Philadelphia Orchestra for four years. Dennis became Principal Viola of the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Simon Rattle, where she stayed for two years. She has participated in the Verbier Festival, Switzerland; at Tanglewood as a fellow; and at the Barga Chamber Music Festival, Italy; the Grand Tetons Music Festival; and the Moritzburg Festival in Germany.

She has taught and conducted master classes at Northwestern University, USC, UCLA, the Colburn School, and the Juilliard School, as well as the American Viola Society and the Orchestra of the Pacific in Vancouver. When not playing classical music, Carrie Dennis enjoys her two identical twin sons – Atticus and Finneas – as well as improvising and collaborating in an ambient electronic music group, Mico Nonet.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Lights! Camera! Music! MYA Conservatory Gala a Big Success

Toni-Marie Montgomery & Patrick Pearson
Photo Credit: Andrea Cowell of She Finally Snapped Photography
Lights! Camera! Music! Movies were the theme of the night at Midwest Young Artist Conservatory's Annual Gala on March 5th. Held at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort, the event featured several of the organization's talented student ensembles, playing famous movie music from Star Wars to Schindler's List.

MYAC Board Chairman Dale Rudy Photo Credit: Andrea Cowell of She Finally Snapped Photography
MYA Conservatory, a national leader in ensemble training, hosts a variety of ensembles, as was demonstrated that night. The cocktail hour featured performances by the Concertino Orchestra, made up primarily of middle schoolers, two vocal ensembles, and a jazz combo. The full Symphony Orchestra with over 90 students was the highlight of the night during dinner, playing epic move music and featuring a moving violin solo from 13 year old virtuoso, Masha Lakisova of Vernon Hills.

MYAC Board Members Patrick Burke & Karee Buerger
Photo Credit: Andrea Cowell of She Finally Snapped Photography
MYAC Jazz Merit Combo performing
Photo Credit: Andrea Cowell of She Finally Snapped Photography
The program of the night featured the MYA board chairman, Dale Rudy, as well as founder, president and conductor Dr. Allan Dennis. Former board chairman Tom Sharp was also featured, showcasing the live auction and paddle raise for scholarship donations. Pianist and violinist Kimie Han of Lake Forest and bassist Alec Elston of Bannockburn also gave emotional speeches about their experiences growing up attending MYA Conservatory.

Left to right: Karen Dennis, Jeff Andreasen, Susan & Steve Wright
Photo Credit: Andrea Cowell of She Finally Snapped Photography
Left to right: Thomas Sharp, Roger Manka, John Sharp, David Biggins
Photo Credit: Andrea Cowell of She Finally Snapped Photography
MYA Conservatory celebrated honorees Toni-Marie Montgomery and Patrick Pearson. Ms. Montgomery, Dean of the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, was presented with the Golden Baton Award for her dedication to music education. The Take Note Award was presented to Mr. Pearson in honor of his 20 years with MYA Conservatory as a faculty member.

MYAC Benefit Committee Chairs (left to right): Sharon Mullins, Karee Buerger, Cathy Popp, Carol Mavrakis
Photo Credit: Andrea Cowell of She Finally Snapped Photography
The event successfully raised over $100,000 for MYA Conservatory and included over 200 attendees. Noted table sponsors included Mesirow Financial, Northern Trust, Franczek Radelet and Hollister. The money will contribute to financial aid and scholarship for students to allow all students access to the rich music learning environment MYA offers.

The night was considered a wonderful success and the guests enjoyed hearing the wide array of MYA ensembles. 

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