CARNEGIE MELLON PHILHARMONIC
Ronald Zollman, Music Director
The Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic is comprised of student musicians from across the United States and 19 foreign countries. Philharmonic performances have been received enthusiastically by audiences and critics at such prestigious institutions as New York City’s Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Boston’s Symphony Hall, and Severance Hall in Cleveland. Recordings of the Philharmonic appear on the Mode Records, New World Records, New Albion and Carnegie Mellon record labels. Distinguished guest conductors have included classical music luminaries like alumnus Keith Lockhart (MM ’83) and Sir Andrew Davis. The School boasts alumni in the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Seattle Symphony, among many others. Led by Maestro Ronald Zollman, the Philharmonic typically performs close to campus in Oakland’s historic Carnegie Music Hall.
Ronald Zollman, Music Director
In 2010, Carnegie Mellon School of Music introduced its newest variation of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic: the Symphony Orchestra. Led by Maestro Ronald Zollman, this ensemble is designed to highlight repertoire that does not require the full forces of a philharmonic, yet also requires additional players than that of a chamber orchestra. These large, mainly string works, include Bartok’s Music for Strings, Piano and Percussion, Strauss’ Metamorphosen or Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, and symphonies by Beethoven. Symphony Orchestra performances typically take place close to campus in Oakland’s historic Carnegie Music Hall.
Ronald Zollman, Music Director
Select members of the Carnegie Mellon larger ensembles are also invited to perform in the University’s Chamber Orchestra, which presents smaller orchestral works in historic spaces such as Shadyside’s Third Presbyterian Church, Hillman Center for Performing Arts, Carnegie Music Hall along with other locations. The orchestra performs a wide range of works by masters of the 18th century through those of today’s leading composers. Maestro Ronald Zollman leads this ensemble along with guest conductors.
CARNEGIE MELLON CONTEMPORARY ENSEMBLE
Daniel Nesta Curtis, Music Director
Founded by composer Leonardo Balada in 1972, the Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble is led by Daniel Nesta Curtis. Its distinguished list of past directors includes Mr. Balada, Eduardo Alonso Crespo, Efrain Amaya, Sidney Harth, Gil Rose and Keith Lockhart. The ensemble’s rich history includes regional, national and world premieres of major compositions along with student works, as well as major works from the 20th and 21st century. The Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble has presented collaborative performances with CMU School of Drama. Student conductors also have the opportunity to lead the ensemble, often debuting new music to the community at large.
CARNEGIE MELLON WIND ENSEMBLE
Thomas Thompson & George Vosburgh, Co-Directors
Stephen Story, Associate Director
The Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble is designed to have a single performer on each instrumental part, emulating the orchestral wind section. This helps musicians develop an orchestral tone color, maximizes personal responsibility, and encourages a chamber music style of playing even in a large ensemble setting. The Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble has the advantage of utilizing flexible instrumentations that allow it to perform a wide variety of great wind music.
CARNEGIE MELLON BAROQUE ENSEMBLE
Stephen Schultz, Director
Since its debut in the fall of 2002, Carnegie Mellon Baroque Ensemble has performed on the Carnegie Mellon campus. In addition, the Ensemble does pre-concert performances at Carnegie Music Hall for the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society Concerts Series. The ensemble is dedicated to the playing of 18th century music on modern instruments while remaining true to the principles of historically informed performance. In the Spring of 2006, the ensemble gave a special Royal Performance for the Prince and Princess of Chimay, Belgium.
CARNEGIE MELLON GUITAR ENSEMBLE
James Ferla, Director
The Carnegie Mellon Guitar Ensemble is a classical guitar performance group open to music majors and non-majors by audition. Students present historically informed and creatively expressive performances of duos, trios, quartets, and larger ensemble music from every major style period. Four concerts a year are presented in one of the School of Music’s performance spaces. Additional performances include community outreach programs at Pittsburgh area schools, retirement communities, and museums. The Guitar Ensemble has also presented pre-concert performances for the Guitar Society of Fine Arts and the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society. A recent program highlight was a performance of Ben Verdery’s Scenes of Ellis Island with the composer as soloist.
CONCERT CHOIR & REPERTORY CHORUS
Robert Page, Conductor
There are two major choral ensembles at CMU: the Concert Choir and the Repertory Chorus. They are traditionally combined twice during the school year, performing with the CMU Philharmonic: in December for the Holiday Concert and in the spring at Carnegie Music Hall. Both are conducted by Professor Robert Page.
The Concert Choir is an elite, carefully auditioned ensemble of 40-50 of the best singing musicians on the campus. Although most of the members are music majors, admission is open to the entire student body, undergraduate and graduate. Membership requirements include superior musical skills and viable vocal technique and especially a positive attitude and serious work ethic. Besides campus appearances, the Concert Choir has performed in many area concert series and has been featured with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Open to the entire campus community (student body and staff), the Repertory Chorus studies, and performs, a wide spectrum of choral literature from major choral/orchestral works to informal folk and contemporary genres. Great emphasis in rehearsal is placed on improving musical skills: meter, intervals, vocal awareness and ear training.
Representative works performed by the choral ensembles in recent years include:
- An American Oratorio(Ned Rorem)
- Flower Songs (Vincent Persichetti)
- The Lovers (Samuel Barber)
- The Creation (Haydn)
- Polovetzian Dances (Borodin)
- Schicksalslied (Brahms)
- Magnificat (Bach)
- Mass In G (Schubert)
- Gloria (Vivaldi)
Chamber Works by Hailstork, Ravel, Brahms, Bruckner, Handel, Vecchi, Jannequin, Bartok, Whitacre, Copland, etc., and arrangements of Sondheim, Gershwin, Hamlisch, etc.
OPERA/MUSIC THEATRE PRODUCTIONS
The School of Music mounts two full productions, one in October and one in January, plus a series of opera scenes. The October production usually is a music theatre work and the January production an opera. Participation is open only to music majors and required for voice majors in their junior and senior years. Casting of both productions and the scenes program is done in the spring for the following year. Music supervision is handled by Professor Robert Page and one of the productions is directed by Professor Greg Lehane, a joint appointment in the Schools of Music and Drama. The other production is directed by a visiting director, a list of which includes Dorothy Danner, Linda Brodsky, Elizabeth Bachmann, Francis Cullinan, David Pfeiffer and Carolann Page. All performances are in the Chosky Theatre of the Purnell Center for the Arts, with full orchestra.
Productions of the past few seasons include:
- Dialogues Of The Carmelites
- Street Scene
- Mahagonny Songspeil
- Merrily We Roll Along
- A Little Night Music
- A Chorus Line
- Suor Angelica
- The Consul
- L’incoronazione di Poppea
2012-2013 productions will be Into The Woods (directed by visiting director Dominic Missimi) and The Tender Land. Casting was done in April 2012.
The Opera Scenes performances are in late spring. As with the staged productions, there is an announced schedule for coaching and staging. The main thrust of the scenes program is concentration on individual development in body, movement and vocal characterization, with minimum props and costumes. The two performances are with piano and in the “black box” theatre. Music supervision is by Raymond Blackwell of the vocal coaching faculty and the Spring-2013 scenes will be directed by visiting director Chuck Hudson.
Eric DeFade, Director
This Big Band provides students access to America’s greatest musical contribution. These ensembles explore a variety of jazz genres, from traditional Swing to current trends in Jazz Fusion and Jazz Chamber Music. Performances both on campus and in Pittsburgh communities, as well as opportunities to work with distinguished guest artists, broaden the spectrum of experiences for Jazz Ensemble participants.
CARNEGIE MELLON TRIO
The Carnegie Mellon Trio was founded in 1947 by faculty from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music. Its current members, violinist Andrés Cárdenes, cellist Anne Martindale Williams and pianist David Deveau have been together since 1991. The Trio has performed concerts throughout the United States and Canada, and has appeared at many prestigious music festivals including Rockport (MA), Mainly Mozart (CA) and Strings Music Festival (CO). Recent appearances performing Beethoven’s Triple concerto with the Pacific and Pittsburgh Symphonies drew rave reviews for their “dynamic virtuosity and passionate music-making (Los Angeles Times).”