Fall 2020 Masterclass Announcement
The Department of Music is excited to announce some of our special lecturers and master class leaders who will work with music students in all areas including voice, instruments, and composition. This incredible group of professionals has been recruited by our dedicated faculty for the benefit of music students.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has made some aspects of teaching and learning more challenging, it has also given faculty and staff opportunities to think creatively to build dynamic, interesting courses for students studying all areas of music. Masterclasses are one element of this. We look forward to students deepening their craft with new ideas, concepts, and practices presented by this diverse cohort of musicians, singers, composers, and educators.
The British a capella group, which performs alone and with orchestras around the world, will be coaching our Vocal Ensemble students all semester long. VOCES8 celebrates diverse musical expression and has premiered commissions internationally with their classical recordings reaching the top of the charts. They are very involved in music education through their charity, the VOCES8 Foundation.
Mr. Brownlee is an American opera singer, known for bel canto techniques. An award-wining tenor, Mr. Brownlee has performed in operas, recitals, and concerts globally in the world’s finest venues. Originally from Ohio, Mr. Brownlee is a passionate advocate for diversity in the arts, especially opera. He is an artistic advisor for Opera Philadelphia and Lyric Opera of Chicago and a Peace Ambassador for Opera for Peace.
Tacoma-born Cindy McTee has received numerous awards for her music, including Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships. Her works have been performed at Carnegie Hall five separate times and are described as fresh and imaginative, with music that reflects a “charging, churning celebration of modern-day America.” In addition to composing, Ms. McTee taught at PLU and the University of North Texas and retired as a Regents Professor Emerita after 27 years. For the benefit of PLU music students, Ms. McTee will share insights on leading musical lives and careers.
Alex Shapiro is known for melding live and recorded sounds with striking visual and physical elements. Ms. Shapiro composes genre-blind acoustic and electroacoustic solo, chamber, choral, and symphonic pieces. She uses technology in innovative ways throughout the composing, rehearsing, and performance of her works. After living in Manhattan and Los Angeles, Ms. Shapiro now resides in the San Juan Islands. She will lead a lecture with digital breakout sessions for PLU students involved in ensembles or music composition.
Since 1985, Joseph Alessi has been the Principal Trombone with the New York Philharmonic. He is an active soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. A faculty member at The Juilliard School, he also founded the Summit Brass Ensemble. This fall at PLU Mr. Alessi will lead a virtual masterclass on audition preparation for all music students.
From the White House to the Hollywood Bowl, Patrick Sheridan has had a diverse career as a tuba soloist, guest conductor, instrument design consultant, and band leader. Mr. Sheridan has performed in more than 50 countries with concerts that transcend genres to grow more tuba fans worldwide. Students participating in an ensemble this fall will learn more about music practice and psychology directly from Mr. Sheridan.
On today’s concert stage, one of the most respected and sought-after artists is American pianist Spencer Myer. Mr. Myer has performed orchestral, recital and chamber works on four continents. He is passionate about music education for young people and has taught at a variety of music conservatoires and colleges. Since 2017, Mr. Myer has released four recordings on the Steinway & Sons label. Fall piano students will participate in a digital masterclass with Mr. Myer.
Composer, arranger, educator, band and director Patty Darling does it all. Ms. Darling has composed music for a wide variety of mediums, including works for orchestra, wind ensemble, chamber groups, jazz ensembles, and numerous instrumental soloists. She directs the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble while teaching classes in jazz composition, arranging and functional jazz piano. Jazz students at PLU will take her masterclass with a focus on band, composition and arranging for jazz.