1/14/09

Practice What You Preach

There's nobody better to learn from than the experts. And students at Carnegie Mellon interested in recording an album don't have to look far to learn from the pros. In just over a year, faculty members in the School of Music have released nine recordings of classic, contemporary and original compositions.

Talk about expertise.

A member of Boston Brass, Lance LaDuke released "Latin Nights" -- a recording of Latin classical and jazz repertoire for brass quintet with Latin percussion. The CD features guest appearances by vocalist Talita Real and Steve Gadd on drum set.

In addition to being an adjunct professor of euphonium at Carnegie Mellon, LaDuke is also the principal solo euphoniumist with the River City Brass Band -- which includes 12 other faculty and alumni members.

Another group of talented faculty comprises the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass, which recently released a new holiday album titled "A Song of Christmas." All music on the CD was either composed or arranged by group members and Carnegie Mellon trumpet faculty members Neal Berntsen and George Vosburgh.

While "A Song of Christmas" was a group effort, Stephen Schultz, associate professor in music history, does it alone.

By over-dubbing, Schultz performs all five flute parts in his recently released recording of "Boismortier: Six Concertos for Five Flutes." On his recording, Schultz - who is also head of the Carnegie Mellon Baroque Ensemble - performs the baroque works of one of the first composers to make a living without the assistance of wealthy patrons.

Also recently released was a recording of the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale's "Pittsburgh on Parade" concert, which features David Pellow as a bass player. The concert commemorated Pittsburgh's 250th birthday, as well as the birthday of Mister Rogers. Pellow is the director of jazz studies at Carnegie Mellon.

The list doesn't end there.

In July 2008, pianist Enrique Graf released a compilation of Bach, Mendelssohn and Mussorgsky. Graf is an artist lecturer and artist-in-residence at Carnegie Mellon, as well as a first-prize winner of the William Kapell International Piano Competition.

Original compositions by Marilyn Taft Thomas -- which were performed by members of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble, as well as an array of faculty and alumni soloists -- were released in a two-CD set on the Carnegie Mellon record label in April.

A featured violinist on Thomas' recording, Andrés Cárdenas also released another record this year.

Cárdenas -- Dorothy Richard Starling & Alexander Speyer Jr. University Professor of Violin - released the CD "Brahms and Mendelssohn Violin Concertos" in November 2007. Aside from teaching at Carnegie Mellon, the Grammy-nominated artist is also the concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Also released in the fall of '07 was "Sacred Songs and Interludes: The Music of Nancy Galbraith" by the Pittsburgh Camerata. The CD features a number of Carnegie Mellon faculty, alumni and graduate students. The work of Galbraith, professor of composition, is also featured on the CD "Nancy Galbraith: Cuarteto Latinoamericano."

Riccardo Schulz, recording engineer for the School of Music ties it together. He served as technical producer or lead engineer on six of these faculty recordings.

And those are just some of the recent faculty accomplishments in the School of Music, where the professors believe in practicing what they preach.

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