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The Newmans Give Band of the Hour a New Look and Sound

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August 25, 2015) – The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami has received a major gift from longtime supporters for 115 new marching band instruments and a full set of newly designed uniforms with a sleek, reinvented image. The Frost Band of the Hour will debut the instruments and uniforms at the Hurricanes’ opening home game at Sun Life Stadium on September 5.

Alumna Judi Prokop Newman, who earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration in 1963, and her husband, Robert Newman, made a significant donation this summer to support the equipment and uniform purchases, Dean Shelly Berg of the Frost School of Music announced. Judi Newman is also a University of Miami trustee and Frost School of Music advisory board member. Robert Newman is an honorary alumnus and member of the University of Miami’s Entrepreneurship Programs Advisory Board.

A special recognition ceremony with the Newmans will take place on November 21, during the Frost Band of the Hour’s University of Miami football halftime show at Sun Life Stadium.

Robert and Judi Newman are longtime and beloved major supporters of the University of Miami; their gifts include one that named the 72,000-square-foot Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center. The Newman Alumni Center opened on October 10, 2010, and has become one of the most popular gathering places on the Coral Gables campus. At the Frost School of Music, the Newmans are major donors to the William Hipp Endowed Scholarship Fund, named in honor of the former music dean. They also provide substantial support to the school’s annual Winter Wonderful holiday gala, benefiting music mentoring scholarships for the Frost School’s Shalala MusicReach Program.

The 2015 Frost Band of the Hour is taking marching band to new heights with its custom musical arrangements, inventive drill choreography, and a revitalized focus and energy. The Newmans are excited to contribute to the growth of UM’s pageantry arts under the visionary leadership of Jay C. Rees, professor of music and director of athletic bands.

New York costume designer Michael Cesario fashioned the new Band of the Hour uniform for manufacturer Fred J. Miller, Inc. (Blue Devils, Carolina Crown, Cavaliers, Phantom Regiment). Cesario is a member of the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame, best known for popularizing a new era in the look of modern bands. FJM’s revolutionary “Cesario Collection” is recognized for comfort, innovation, craftsmanship, and performance.

Cesario’s distinctive look for the University of Miami highlights the school’s green and orange colors, complemented by an asymmetrical shape with crisp tailoring for impact, versatility, and shimmering style. Even the white feather plume of the shako hat is tipped in orange. The band’s drum major, also known as field conductor, is similarly outfitted in white.

Rees worked closely with Cesario to create a uniform that is “slimming, eye-catching, and representative of who we are today.” He praises the designer’s work and vast experience for Broadway, television, theatre, drum corps, and marching bands across the country.

“The Band of the Hour’s new uniform adds excitement to our field choreography, and it sparkles under the lights,” said Rees. “It is constructed with a durable, washable fabric and removable parts, making the care and cleaning much easier for our students.”

Rees not only promises to excite audiences with the band’s sleek, sophisticated appearance but with the group’s sound impression as well. “We take pride in bringing entertainment value to the college football experience,” he said.

Along with new uniforms, the Frost Band of the Hour will be marching with new instruments purchased through Jupiter Band Instruments and Mapex Marching Drums. The Frost School’s bulk order of marching brass, woodwinds, and drums is one of the largest ever placed in the history of the instrument company.

The order of 96 new Jupiter wind instruments includes marching French horns; marching trumpets; pro line trumpets; marching euphoniums; trombones; four-valve and three-valve sousaphones; and alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones. Nineteen new Mapex marching drums include snares, multi-tenors, and bass drums.

“Jay Rees is one of the most dynamic and innovative athletic band directors in the world,” said Dean Berg, “and this magnificent gift from Judi and Bob Newman will empower a sound and style befitting the great work of Professor Rees and his students.”

The Frost Band of the Hour is the marching and pep band at the University of Miami. It is the largest and one of the most exciting, visible, diverse, and involved student groups on the UM campus, performing challenging custom musical arrangements and contemporary drum corps-style drill design. For more information about the Frost Band of the Hour, visit www.bandofthehour.org.


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Frost School of Music Preparatory Program Accepting Applications for 2015-16 Academic Year

Applications are now being accepted for the Frost School of Music Preparatory Program 2015-2016 academic year. Courses include group and private instruction for students 6 to 18 years of age in piano, strings, guitar, percussion, music theory, and music history, with frequent performance opportunities. Please contact Megan Walsh at 786-853-4041 or frostprep@miami.edu for more information or to receive an application.



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Employees Receive $5 Off Festival Miami Tickets with Promo Code

Festival Miami, Florida’s premier live music festival, presented by the University of Miami Frost School of Music and UHealth—University of Miami Health System, wants you to enjoy an incredible array of live music on our beautiful Coral Gables campus. UM employees may take $5 off per ticket for up to four Festival Miami tickets per concert, available online at www.festivalmiami.com by using promo code EMP515 at check out. Tickets start at just $20, plus a $4 per ticket convenience fee.

From October 16 to November 7,  the festival will offer vibrant performances by the biggest names on the music scene from around the globe who will showcase their talents alongside the outstanding students and faculty artists from the Frost School of Music. More than 20 performances organized into four themes—Great Performances, Jazz and Beyond, Music of the Americas, and Creative American Music—will be held in the intimate setting of the 600-seat Maurice Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Drive, on the Coral Gables campus.

This promotional offer ends at midnight on Thursday, October 1, so don’t wait! Order early for the best reserved seating at www.festivalmiami.com or call 305-284-4940.

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Two New Shows Added to Festival Miami’s Stellar Lineup

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Two New Shows Added to Festival Miami’s Stellar Lineup

Special to UM News


Raquel Sofía

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (July 17, 2015)—The University of Miami Frost School of Music, with presenting sponsor UHealth—University of Miami Health System, have added two two new shows to the lineup for its annual multi-genre music festival, Festival Miami, Florida’s premier live music festival, which runs from October 16 to November 7. Joining some of the biggest names on the music scene from around the globe will be Latin pop singer and UM alumna Raquel Sofía and  three-time Latin Grammy Award-winner Natalia Lafourcade.

They and more than 20 other performers will showcase their talents alongside the outstanding students and faculty artists from the Frost School of Music for the annual festival, which is organized into four themes: Great Performances, Jazz and Beyond, Music of the Americas, and Creative American Music.

Grammy-winning producer George Noriega describes Sofía as “one of those rare artists that come along only once in a generation.” International megastar Juanes hired the talented singer for his multiple Grammy-winning “Juanes MTV Unplugged” tour, and she’s performed with Shakira. The Frost School of Music graduate will make her Festival Miami debut on October 17 with a high-energy concert that will showcase her appealing jazz-infused vocals and sonic style that ranges from rockabilly to ska to ’80s pop-rock. It will include selections from her debut album, Te Quiero Los Domingos, which was released for digital download by Sony Music Latin in June 2015.

Festival Miami will  present LaFourcade  on October 23. The three-time Latin Grammy Award winner and double Grammy nominee replaces the concert by Spanish fusion star Macaco, who was originally scheduled to perform on this date. Described by The New York Times as a “soaring and resilient free spirit,” Lafourcade is widely considered one of the most important singer-songwriters of her generation. The Mexican-born artist’s latest album, Hasta la Raíz, debuted at No. 1 on the Mexican sales charts and remains a top seller.

Festival Miami tickets and season packages will be available to the general public beginning August 1, with single tickets starting at $15. They may be purchased at http://www.festivalmiami.com or by calling 305-284-4940.

The festival’s 32nd season kicks off on a bright note on October 16 when South Florida concert-goers will be treated to an unforgettable program featuring the music of three visionary American composers. The highlight of the evening will be a riveting performance by one of America’s newest artistic treasures— the Billboard chart-topping piano sensation Simone Dinnerstein, who will perform the Florida premiere of Philip Lasser’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra – The Circle and the Child with the Frost Symphony Orchestra. Alan Hovhaness’s landmark And God Created Great Whales and Howard Hanson’s epic Symphony No. 5 complete the program of standout works.

Additional Festival Miami highlights include the annual Songwriters Showcase – Johnny Mercer Re-Imagined, held on October 20, which will place the spotlight on the remarkable talents of songwriters and performers from the Frost School’s Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music (CAM) Program. The students will give a fresh spin on classic songs by the legendary Johnny Mercer, who penned such beloved standards as “Autumn Leaves,” “Moon River,” and “Skylark,” showcasing all new versions of classic works by this brilliant writer. This event will be hosted by Rey Sanchez, CAM program director and Jon Brielle, vice president of the Johnny Mercer Foundation.

The following evening, October 21, country music fans will be treated to an “unplugged” and “in the round” evening of music by Nashville’s songwriting giants when the Nashville Country All-Stars (Craig Carothers, Tony Arata, Dave Berg, and Annie Mosher) showcase their biggest hits recorded by Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Trisha Yearwood, Rodney Atkins, and many others.

Cuban-born piano master Gonzalo Rubalcaba, who has been heralded by The New York Times as “one of the greatest musicians in jazz…a pianist of almost supernatural abilities,” will be joined by his fellow Frost School faculty artists, including percussion virtuoso and winner of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition Svet Stoyanov with trumpeter/bandleader John Daversa directing the Frost Concert Jazz Band. They will enthrall audiences with a thrilling jazz program on October 22.

The Grammy- and Emmy-winning tenor John Easterlin will thrill audiences with Broadway and opera favorites and classic arias by Mozart, Bernstein, plus more celebrated composers on October 24 on a program that features Grammy-nominated jazz arranger and dean of the Frost School of Music Shelly Berg as special guest.

On October 25, the inimitable Los Angeles Guitar Quartet — recognized as one of the nation’s most groundbreaking and virtuosic instrumental ensembles — will present music from their album New Renaissance and arrangements of classics by Ralph Towner, Pat Metheny, and Chet Atkins from their Grammy-winning project Guitar Heroes, as well as premiere works by Atanas Ourkouzounov, Tilman Hoppstock, and Dweezil Zappa.

Musical sparks will fly in a new interpretation of Brahms’s Horn Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 40 on October 28 when admired Frost horn faculty member, motion picture and solo recording artist Richard Todd performs with violin soloist and Cleveland Institute of Music’s President Joel Smirnoff and award-winning pianist and NPR’s From the Top host Christopher O’riley. Todd will also perform Olivier Messiaen’s solo horn work “Appel Interstellaire.” Solo piano and violin works by Bach and chamber music gems round out the evening’s program.

Cyrille Aimée, who is an extraordinary revelation in contemporary vocal jazz, will perform with the 2015 DownBeat Collegiate Award-winning Frost Studio Jazz Band and Jazz Vocal 1 Ensemble on October 29. The young, New York-based French singer Aimée blends standards with Gypsy swing and bossa nova. Since she won the 2012 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, she has quickly become widely acclaimed as a favorite of jazz aficionados.

Multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter and pianist Ben Folds will perform his critically acclaimed Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with the Frost School’s stellar Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra on October 30. His concerto, which he composed in 2013 and has since been performed by symphony orchestras to sold-out audiences around the globe, will be featured on his upcoming new album So There, which is slated for release in September.

On Halloween afternoon, the Frost Symphony Orchestra presents Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Children’s Suite for Orchestra) by John Williams, plus music by Saint-Saëns and Mussorgsky. Children are invited to dress in Halloween costumes and enjoy post-concert treats courtesy of Whole Foods Coral Gables.

The Festival continues on November 1 with an exhilarating sonic celebration when the violin/viola hip-hop duo Black Violin, comprised of string musicians Kev Marcus and Wil B, will once again shatter stereotypes of classical musicians by offering their fresh take on classical music, incorporating influences from R&B and soul to rock and beyond. Named one of the hottest new bands at the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW), Black Violin is sure to “wow” audiences with their high-energy, genre-bending sounds.

Grammy nominated jazz organist extraordinaire Joey DeFrancesco will entertain audiences on November 3 with his swinging style and astounding originality as he performs in the great tradition of the unforgettable Jimmy Smith. Freda Payne, who will forever be associated with her 1970 breakthrough R&B hit “Band of Gold,” returns to her musical roots as an American jazz singer in the tradition of Nancy Wilson and Ella Fitzgerald on November 5. She will captivate audiences with her artistic prowess on a program that includes “Save Your Love for Me,” plus more enthralling selections with a trio that will feature Berg, the Frost School of Music dean, on piano.

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2015 Grad Tal Cohen Is Finalist for Freedman Jazz Fellowship


2015 Grad Tal Cohen Is Finalist for Freedman Jazz Fellowship

Special to UM News

Tal Cohen

Tal Cohen

Coral Gables, Fla. (July 2, 2015) — Pianist Tal Cohen, who is from Perth, Australia, and earned his master’s degree in jazz performance from the Frost School of Music this past May, is one of four finalists who will compete for a prestigious Freedman Jazz Fellowship at the Sydney Opera House later this month.

The Freedman Music Fellowships are offered and awarded annually to Australian classical and jazz music instrumentalists. Based on an invite-only process, nominees aged 35 and under are selected by senior industry figures in each state. Those nominated for a Freedman Jazz Fellowship compiled a project proposal, and from this, four finalists were selected to perform at The Studio, Sydney Opera House on July 20. The jazz judges for 2015 are distinguished Australian musicians: bassist Zoe Hauptmann, saxophonist David Theak, and pianist Chris Cody.

Cohen’s project proposal was, in his own words, “a recording session with some of the finest musicians in the world, which I had the privilege to play with and collaborate with in my time in Miami and at the Frost School of Music. I suggested a collaboration between the finest American musicians and the finest Australian musicians to create an amazing recording with many different influences.”

At the end of the July 20 event, one finalist will be announced as the 2015 Freedman Jazz Fellow and will receive a $15,000 fellowship. ABC Jazz will cover the event with photos, interviews, and videos, as well as recording the night for later broadcast. ABC Jazz also has announced that the finalist will be offered three days of studio time in the ABC Sydney recording studios.

Cohen is excited about the opportunity, to say the least. “Leading up to this event, will be extensive media coverage about the four finalists, sharing their stories and recordings. This is a huge opportunity and honor for me,” he said. “Just to be nominated, let alone make the finals, is an amazing accomplishment and playing in the Sydney Opera House with my band is really a dream come true.”

The fellowships are funded by the Freedman Foundation and were conceived by Laurence Freedman and Richard Letts. The first fellowships were awarded in 2001 and until 2013 have been managed by the Music Council of Australia. In 2014, management passed to The Music Trust.

Awards are administered by Sydney Improvised Music Association, a nonprofit organization founded in October 2013.

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