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New Music Guild, Inc. Festival XXXIV, May 25-26, 2018, with Dana Alumni Pianist Thomas Osuga, & Violinists Sho Omagari & Wanda Sobieska
On Friday, May 25th Osuga and Omagari will kick off the Festival by playing three Catholic School Children’s Concerts. At 9:00 a.m. they will perform at St. Charles Church in Boardman; at 10:15 a.m. they stop at St. Joseph the Provider School in Brier Hill; and at 1:00 p.m. they will visit Holy Family School in Poland.
The two performers have delighted area school children with their inventive and imaginative programs for the past five years and frequently play children’s concerts in metropolitan New York. They will play music by Japanese and American composers and recent pieces from the virtuoso violin and piano literature.
They will also play at the Festival Gala at Sts. Peter & Paul Church, Holy Apostles Parish, on Friday evening, and a duo recital on Saturday night at Jefferson Congregational Church in Jefferson, Ohio, both at 7:00p.m.
Thomas Osuga has been a respected teacher on the Piano Preparatory Department Faculty at New York’s Mannes College of Music since 1994. He performs new works on concerts in major New York venues. He maintains a large private piano studio in upper Manhattan. This year he is also directing musical performances at Hunter Elementary, a school for gifted children. His facility at the piano is legendary.
A graduate of Mannes College of Music and the Juilliard School of Music, violin virtuoso Sho Omagari recently completed requirements for the Violin Performance Doctorate at the State University of New York at Stoneybrook with a specialty in Japanese Music. He has toured all over Japan, and performs frequently in the New York metropolitan area.
Born in Warsaw, Poland, Wanda Sobieska belongs to the fifth generation of a family of musicians and musicologists. She studied at the Warsaw Conservatory, and the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. She has worked for the San Francisco Chamber and the English Symphony Orchestras and has her own website, www.freegigmusic.com featuring her practical arrangements.
The Festival Concert Gala will take place 7:00 p.m. Friday, May 25th, 2018 at Sts. Peter & Paul Church, Holy Apostles Parish, in Downtown Youngstown and will have three premieres by the Festival Chamber Orchestra: Kent State grad student, Galo Arboleto Solzano’ s Adagietto for Strings, a slow, lyrical piece; Westminster College faculty member, Jason Tad Howard’s Suite for K No. 2, a minimalist composition in eight short movements; and YSU Professor Emeritus, Robert Rollin’s Elijah, the Prophet, a setting based on two Hebrew melodies with Sho Omagari as violin soloist.
The Orchestra will also play Rollin’s Fantasy on Polish Folk Songs with Wanda Sobieska as soloist. It presents variations on the old Polish song, Sleep Sweet Little Jesus (also used by Chopin in his B Minor Scherzo), alternating with songs from the Polish Carpathian Mountains originally collected by Sobieska’s, grandparents.
The New Music Guild’s Annual Winter Concerts will take place at 7:00 p.m. Friday, January 26th, 2017 at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Holy Apostles Parish, 421 Covington Street in downtown Youngstown, and at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, January 27th, 2017 at the First Congregational Church of Jefferson, Ohio (an attractive small red brick church built in 1828). If you take Lincoln Ave. west from 5th Ave. on the YSU campus, it intersects Covington Street after about half a mile. The brown brick Art Nouveau church has a steeple and will be on your right. It is a beautiful acoustic space.
The free admission events will feature violinist/violist, Wanda Sobieska, assisted by
Dana pianist, Anthony Ruggiero, and violist, Jamie Thornburg. Both churches will sponsor special receptions with refreshments in honor of Sobieska and the other musicians.
Born in Warsaw, Poland, Sobieska belongs to the fifth generation of a family of musicians and musicologists. She has appeared as solo and chamber musician in the United States, Poland, and Canada. She regularly plays in many professional orchestras.
She began studying violin at the age of five, and attended the Grazyna Bacewicz School of Music in Warsaw, the Cleveland Music School Settlement, and the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where she earned her Bachelor’s in Violin Performance summa cum laude.
Sobieska is also a gifted arranger and has studied composition for many years. Recent arranging engagements include commissions by the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and the English Symphony Orchestra. In 2009 she launched http://www.freegigmusic.com, a website dedicated to making much-needed sheet music available to working musicians. Featuring her own practical arrangements of commonly requested pieces available for free while adhering to standards of high quality, the site has a surprisingly large following worldwide.
Dana alumni Anthony Ruggiero is an exceptionally talented pianist, organist, and choir director who has worked at many churches in Northeast Ohio and Florida.
He is know for his accuracy and expressiveness as a performer.
Violist Jamie Thornburg plays regularly with the Ashland Symphony, the Chagrin Studio Orchestra, the Tuscarawas Symphony, and the Black River String Quartet. She has an active viola studio, and helps in local schools.
Sobieska and Thornburg will perform a realization of Der Spiegel Duet, a mirror cannon attributed to Mozart; YSU Emeritus Professor Robert Rollin’s Celtic Duo, with special rhythmic folksong treatments; and his Three English Duos. The latter are paraphrases of English folk songs set with original invertible counterpoint.
Violinist Gwyneth Rollin will begin the concert with the premiere of Rollin’s Margeritkelach Variations accompanied by the composer at the piano. The melody, known worldwide, is an old Jewish folk song definitively recorded in the sixties by singer Theodore Bikel. Gwyneth Rollin studied Violin and Music Theory at the University of Alberta, Calgary and Indiana University (PhD). She played in the National Youth Symphony of Canada, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Youngstown Symphony, and the Warren Philharmonic.
Wanda Sobieska will join Ruggiero for a reading of Adam’s and Aidan’s Reverie, a piece written for her which she premiered this past summer. Aidan is Rollin’s youngest grandchild and Adam, his son-in-law. Rollin wrote it while visiting his family in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Sobieska will also perform the world premiere of Rollin’s Rhapsody on Themes by Rachmaninoff accompanied by Ruggiero. The violin and piano piece is based on themes from Rachmaninoff’s piano concertos.