New Music Festival ⅩⅩⅩⅠ to have Three Guest Artists
This year's Festival will host Composer Kathy Henkel of Los Angeles; Guest Pianist and Dana School of Music Alumni, Thomas Osuga of New York City, and Guest Violinist, Sho Omagari, also from New York. This is the second time Henkel will serve as Principal Guest Composer. She has been involved as a guest since the early days of the Festival. Thomas Osuga directs Aurista Chamber Music based in New York City. He is an exceptional pianist, and well known for his technical skill and ability to sight-read contemporary music. Sho Omagari, is a virtuoso violinist, as much at home in the 19th Century repertoire as in the rarified atmosphere of modern compositions.
There will be two main concert events: an 11:00am, Friday, April 24 Convocation for the students and faculty of the Dana School of Music, and the Main Concert Gala at 4:00pm, Sunday April 26 at Ss. Peter and Paul Church (Holy Apostles Parish). An after party in honor of the three Festival Guest Artists will follow the Gala. There will also be school concerts under Catholic Diocese of Youngstown to include St. Joseph the Provider Elementary School, St. Nicholas Elementary (Struthers), St. Patrick Elementary (Hubbard), and several other local schools.
Henkel holds a B.A. in History from UCLA and a B.M. and M.A. in Music Composition from California State University-Northridge. For many years she worked behind the scenes in Southern California in various capacities: scriptwriter-producer for classical music radio station KUSC-FM (300 broadcast concert scripts), music researcher at Paramount Pictures, new music reviewer for the Los Angeles Times, a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's administrative staff, as well as program annotator and pre-concert lecturer for numerous music ensembles for more than two decades. In the 1990's she wrote the liner notes for Pro Piano Records in New York and for twelve years was actively involved in the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's “Meet the Music” elementary outreach program. In spring of 2012 she served as Principal Guest Composer at the 28th New Music Festival in Youngtown, and returned in 2014 for a premiere of a piece written especially for the Festival Chamber Orchestra. Currently she devotes her time to composing and publishing as owner of Sign of the Silver Birch Music. She will be in residence for festival week.
Osuga is a piano soloist and accompanist performing at chamber and solo venues. He has a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music and doctoral studies at New York University. In addition to founding and directing Aurista Chamber Music, a flexible ensemble, he also organizes several European music festivals and oversees musical programs at the Puffin Foundation Center in Teaneck New Jersey. Osuga teaches at the Mannes School of Music Preparatory Division and maintains a large private studio with his pianist wife and Dana alumna Li Chen Hwang Osuga. His students regularly win top awards in international competitions. Osuga has specialized in researching, commissioning, and performing works by Japanese/Americans. He frequently appears as New Music Guild, Inc. guest artist and has recorded several works for inclusion in an upcoming benefit CD.
German born violinist Sho Omagari began performing at age five. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Mannes College, Master of Music from the Juilliard School of Music, and is working on his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the State University of New York at Stoney Brook. He won the 2012 International Music Competition Pforzheim, Germany and is past laureate of the Seventeenth International Youth Music Competition, Bulgaria. He has won numerous prestigious awards and scholarships, and was the first recipient of the Circle of Wind Music Scholarship Award created in memory of the victims of the 9/11 incident and the 3/11 Japan Earthquake. Omagari recently gave a recital tour of Japan, playing concerts at the evacuation shelters in one of the worst stricken areas of the Japan Quake, and master classes for the public schools in Tokyo.
New Music Festival ⅩⅩⅩⅠ
Several of Henkel's works will receive their Ohio premieres by Dana Faculty, local artists, and Thomas Osuga. Osuga will play the Piano Sonata in Two Movements (1986). Professor of Trombone John Olsson will present the solo piece, Samantha's Song. Soprano Jennifer Mosher will present four songs from The Pioneer: The Parting; Independence; The Rockies; and Evening. Pianist Diane Yazvac will accompany Professor Mosher. Local soprano Colleen McNally-Harris and harpist and Dana alumni Kirk Kupensky will perform Salve Regina (2010). Dana student Rachael Swanson will perform the second movement of Moorland Sketches, accompanied by the Howard String Quartet. The Quartet is made up of four Dana Alumni now professional musicians. The Festival Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Dana Professor Emeritus Robert Rollin, will reprise Henkel's beautiful Passing Doble (2014) premiered at last year's Festival. The Orchestra, now in its twenty-first year, will also perform works by principal cellist and Dana alumni Jason Howard, now on the faculty of Westminster College, and Robert Rollin.
All events are free of charge and the New Music Guild, Inc. cordially invites the Youngstown community to attend.