Tag Archive | "frost school of music"

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Knight Foundation Champions Bring Art to Life


UM News

Frost School Dean Shelly Berg, at the piano, performed with outstanding Frost School students at the December 4 awards gala.

The University’s MusicReach program, Lowe Art Museum, and Flaming Classics film series are all beneficiaries of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s 2017 challenge grants and arts champions—thanks to Frost School Dean Shelly Berg, Miami-based artist Sebastian Spreng, and the manager of the Bill Cosford Cinema, Trae DeLellis.

Berg and Spreng are among the 25 arts and civic leaders the Knight Foundation honored as Knights Arts Champions this month for their vision, courage and tenacity in building Miami’s cultural community. As part of the recognition, each champion receives $10,000 to contribute to an artist or organization of their choice. Berg chose the Frost School’s Donna E. Shalala MusicReach Program, which pairs underprivileged school children and teens with music mentors, while Spreng chose the Lowe, which is planning to exhibit his Sebastian Spreng: The Dresden Files next year.

DeLellis and Flaming Classics co-creator Juan Barquin, a film critic and co-editor of Dim the House Lights, were awarded a $25,000 Knight Arts Challenge grant for their curated film series that pairs classic films from the queer canon with live performances from local drag artists. Under the requirements of the grant, they must find matching funds to continue building community, entertaining, and educating with their project.

The Knight Foundation established the Knight Arts Challenge Miami 10 years ago to enable Miamians to bring their artistic ideas to life. This year’s 43 winners, who hail from an array of backgrounds and disciplines across South Florida, will share a total of $2.5 million for projects aimed at making art general in Miami—allowing it to be seen, felt and heard throughout the city’s many neighborhoods.

DeLellis, who is a graduate student in the School of Communication, said he and Barquin are ecstatic that such a prestigious organization identified drag as a legitimate art form worthy of its investment.

“Over the last 10 years, the Knight Arts Challenge has palpably changed the cultural landscape of the city, and it’s an immense honor to now be a part of that narrative,” DeLellis said.

Berg, who performed with a combination of outstanding Frost School jazz students at the December 4 event where the awards were announced, called the Knight Foundation the true arts champion. “Over the last decade they have identified, nurtured and helped to sustain the viability of a great many deserving artists and arts organizations in Miami and elsewhere. During that time, the Frost School’s success has been substantially fueled by the generosity of the Knight Foundation,” he said.

A longtime admirer of Spreng’s, Jill Deupi, director of the Lowe, said she looks forward to featuring the Argentine-born visual artist and music journalist’s haunting mediations on the destruction of the iconic German city of Dresden during World War II next year.

“Created using cutting-edge digital technology, these evocative and captivating images bridge the present and past, and remind us of humanity’s power to both create and destroy,” she said.

And building bridges, Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen said, is what the winners of the 10th anniversary Knight Arts Challenge are all about. “They embody what the arts do: they inspire and create common experiences that connect us to each other and to home, Miami,” he said.

View a full list of the winning ideas and the arts champions.

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ACCelerating UM Creativity and Innovation


UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 30, 2017)—With dozens of national championships in multiple sports, members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, including the University of Miami, are known for their athletic prowess. But like UM, ACC institutions are also leaders in creative exploration and research occurring at the nexus of science, engineering, arts, and design, a fact that the first “ACCelerate: ACC Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival’’ will highlight this month.

ACCeerate-LogoTaking over all three floors of the west wing of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., October 13-15, ACCelerate will showcase 15 dramatic and musical student performances and 47 interdisciplinary projects developed by the ACC’s 15 universities to address a host of global challenges.

Chosen by an ACC steering committee and through a peer-review process, the projects include three from UM: the Rehabilitative Lower-Limb Orthopedic Analysis Device (ReLOAD), which uses music to help amputees and others regain or correct their disrupted walking patterns; the Echo Earth Experience, an immersive game that employs virtual reality to enable players to simulate how different species use echolocation to survive; and Digital Mapping of Informal Settlements, which combines drone-based aerial photography and computational methods to document communities that are literally off the map.

For the performances, the Frost School of Music Jazz Band and Jazz Voice Department were selected to perform two tributes to Ella Fitzgerald, commemorating the legendary vocalist’s 100th birthday. Presented in partnership with the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation, the concerts also coincide with the Smithsonian’s recently opened Ella Fitzgerald Exhibit.

The Frost School’s Lab Top Ensemble, comprised of Contemporary Media students who create dynamic electronic music via laptops and other electronic controllers, also were invited to perform at a private reception for the festival.

“This unique event will be a wonderful opportunity for us to exhibit the skills and talents that make UM unique,” William Green, senior vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, said. “We are grateful to the Frost School of Music, the School of Architecture, the School of Communication, the Center for Computational Science, and the Department of Physical Therapy for their participation in this distinctive event.”

More than a year in the making, the first-of-its kind festival will precede the annual meeting of the ACC Academic Consortium, the academic arm of the ACC, from which the idea germinated. At his first ACC meeting as Virginia Tech’s new provost and executive vice president, Thanassis Rikakis proposed the festival, which is being presented by Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology and the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.

“The ACCelerate festival is perfectly aligned with the ACC’s vision of being at the forefront in educational achievement and innovation,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “I applaud this outstanding initiative that showcases the incredible work taking place at our 15 member institutions.”

Free and open to the public, the festival’s installations, performances, and talks center around six broad themes: Civic Engagement, Arts and Technology, Sustainability and Environment, Biomimetics, Health and Body, and Making and Advanced Manufacturing.

Part of the Health and Body section, the ReLOAD installation showcases the collaborative work of researchers, students, and clinicians in UM’s Departments of Physical Therapy, Music Engineering, Athletics, and the Miami VA Hospital. Together, they developed a patent-pending device that captures and analyzes the walking patterns of a people who are recovering from a lower-limb injury or amputation, and corrects their gait with bio-feedback and music.

Part of the Biomimetic section, the Echo Earth Experience will feature the virtual reality game that School of Communication students helped develop for Samsung Gear VR. Wearing the virtual reality goggles, players transform into a beluga whale and try their hand at navigating and foraging by using echolocation. Once they master listening to find food, players advance into the next level—avoiding threats.

Part of the Civic Engagement section, the Digital Mapping of Informal Settlements showcases the work of the School of Architecture and the Center for Computational Science, which teamed up to map Las Flores, a sprawling slum outside Barranquilla, Colombia, that was not on any map, or on the minds of community decision makers, and to document historic structures in Nassau, Bahamas using drone-based aerial photography and computational methods.

For more information, visit acceleratefestival.com.

 

 

 

 

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A Rare Violin in Honor of a Rare Woman


In the prodigious hands of Frost School of Music violin student Miclen LaiPang, a 300-year-old Guarneri violin makes its University of Miami debut while honoring community leader, philanthropist, and education advocate Sue Miller.

UM News

With the Miller siblings, Jeffrey, Leslie, and Stuart, and Dean Shelly Berg behind him, senior Miclen LaiPang plays the Sue Miller Viloin, a 1714 Guarneri.  

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 31, 2017)—The moon was rising over Miami Beach on a recent Friday night as friends and family arrived at the Miller family home to pay tribute to a beloved community jewel, the late Sue Miller, who passed away in November 2016.

The highlight of the evening was the debut of a rare 1714 Giuseppe Guarneri ‘filius Andreae’ violin, purchased recently by the Frost School of Music through a major donation from the Miller family in honor of their matriarch, an avid music lover and tireless community supporter. Now called the Sue Miller Violin, the instrument will be loaned to a talented Frost School violin student each year upon the recommendation of the string faculty.

During the evening, Frost senior Miclen LaiPang played one of the most daunting pieces in the violin repertoire, Paganini’s Nel cor più non mi sento (variations on a theme from the opera La Molinara by Paisiello) on the Guarneri violin. Next, Frost faculty violin artist Charles Castleman, playing his Stradivarius, joined LaiPang on the outdoor stage. Accompanied on the piano by Wideman Piano Competition winner Asiya Korepanova, D.M.A. ’16, they performed the beautiful slow movement of J.S. Bach’s Double Violin Concerto.

“This Guarneri has silvery timbre in its high register that is so characteristic of a Stradivarius,” Castleman says. “But it also has the ability to ‘dig in’ and have a nice ‘growl’ in its low register, which devotees of Guarneri violins love. It’s got the best of both worlds in one instrument. I’m incredibly pleased that Miclen and other students of the Frost School will have such a fine instrument to help launch their careers.”

Sue Miller’s husband, the late Leonard M. Miller, who founded Lennar Homes, was a longtime member of UM’s Board of Trustees and served as its chair in the 1990s. Their three children, Stuart Miller, J.D. ’82, who also chaired the Board of Trustees; Jeffrey Miller, A.B. ’84, and Leslie Miller Saiontz, hosted the Guarneri’s unveiling, an event filled with music, laughter, and joyous reminiscing—“definitely the way our parents loved to entertain,” Jeffrey Miller said.

The Guarnari’s debut also launched the Miller Instrument Collection campaign to raise additional funds to purchase two dozen other high-end instruments for the Frost School. Before the tribute performance started, over $40,000 already had been donated or pledged for additional string, brass, and woodwind instruments.

Comedian Alonzo Bodden, who was introduced as an eminent musicologist and shared the Guarneri’s pedigree and design features with the audience, switched the rare instrument off stage with an inexpensive violin. He then proceeded to drop the instrument while handing it to Stuart Miller, who was on stage with his siblings for a close-up viewing. The move elicited big gasps and cries until his siblings revealed their ruse.

“It’s hard to pull anything over on Stuart,” said sister Leslie. Added Jeffrey, “He’s such a practical joker, the look on his face was priceless. I think it’s going to be pay-back time, big-time; I’d better be on my toes!”

Frost School of Music Dean Shelton Berg expressed his gratitude. “Thanks to a magnificent gift from the Miller family, Frost School of Music students will be privileged to play a 300-year-old masterpiece violin from one of the greatest of the Italian makers, dedicated to the memory of one of Miami’s most significant philanthropists, Sue Miller. Nothing could make me more proud.”

The Miller family’s generosity has left an indelible mark on the University of Miami, particularly its Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, with gifts totaling over $200 million since 2004, including $6 million to the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music.

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A Champion for Children and the Arts


Dean Berg, right, with University of Miami Trustee Paul DiMare, a previous Twelve Good Men honoree

Dean Berg, right, with University of Miami Trustee Paul DiMare, a previous Twelve Good Men honoree

Frost School of Music Dean Shelton G. Berg was among the dozen outstanding men honored at the 25th annual Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Twelve Good Men Luncheon, which recognizes distinguished men whose contributions and community involvement enhance the well-being of children in South Florida.

Bestowed at the Coral Gables Country Club on April 25, the award comes on the heels of another community honor for the noted jazz and classical pianist, four-time Grammy nominee, and past president of the International Association for Jazz Education. In March, Berg received the Champion of the Arts Award from Citizens Interested in Arts (CIA), a nonprofit organization of volunteers dedicated to “keeping the arts alive in South Florida.”

Now in its 25th year, the Twelve Good Men Luncheon is the premier fundraising event for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida, which provides a home away from home to families of seriously ill children undergoing treatment at Holtz Children’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial Hospital and the Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital. The event honors a dozen leading men who exemplify exceptional kindness, caring, sacrifice, and generosity for the needs and causes in our community.

“It is an honor to celebrate these men who have worked hard for the betterment of our community and who share our passion in helping those who are less fortunate,” said Soraya-Rivera Moya, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House.

Berg, who has served as dean of the Frost School for the past decade, has appeared in concert with orchestras around the world, including the Romanian National Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, and Dallas Symphony. But he is also well known for his artistic, civic, and educational contributions closer to home.

He was recently named artistic advisor for the JAZZ ROOTS series at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and was instrumental in the establishment of the Donna E. Shalala MusicReach program, which enables Frost School students to provide free, hands-on music instruction to hundreds of elementary, middle, and high school students in Miami-Dade County.

Since its 1997 inception, CIA has awarded nearly $1 million in grants to members of the arts community, including one of the first to a New World School of the Arts student who this year sang alongside Placido Domingo in Verdi’s Nabucco at the New York Metropolitan Opera House.

In honoring Berg, the organization recognized his lifelong commitment to the arts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Going Green, Earning Platinum


Special to UM News

Frost School of Music. HOK architectsCORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 19, 2017—The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami has received platinum LEED certification for the Patricia Louis Frost Music classroom/studios complex on the Coral Gables campus, making the buildings the first in Coral Gables to receive the highest level of LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Designcertification.

The buildings were designed to provide more than  770 Frost School music students and 125 faculty an upscale, state-of-the art space for teaching, learning, performing, and recording–but one that would use resources efficiently, and produce fewer greenhouse gases. The lighting, power and comfort systems alone are designed to save over 50 percent in energy. Other green features include:

    • Electrochromic windows control daylight and reduce glare and solar heat gain
    • Rooftop rainfall is captured in on‐site cisterns for graywater uses inside buildings.
    • Rooftop photovoltaic solar power.
    • Landscaping irrigation system was designed to reduce water use
    • Indoor fixtures and fittings
    • High usage of regional materials and recycled materials

“The Patricia Louise Frost Studios have transformed the life and culture of the Frost School of Music,” said Dean Shelly Berg. “The 80+ spaces are the best possible environment for music teaching, learning, and collaboration.  We are thrilled that this facility leads the way in sustainability.”

The 41,000‐square-foot facility project features two sleek buildings with a reception center and a furnished breezeway terrace. It adds a new grand entrance, highlighted by prominent structures, to act as a gateway and define the edge of the Frost School of Music campus. The buildings sport two extra‐large rehearsal halls plus 77 spacious chamber music and teaching studios. Designed with careful attention to acoustical requirements, each room is a “floating box” within a box; no two rooms share walls, floors or ceilings. This structural independence creates an acoustical isolation, allowing students to learn, practice, perform, and record without interference from other artists practicing in the next room.

Yann Weymouth, the project design director formerly with HOK Architects, said the architectural team used every strategy and cutting-edge tool at its disposal to maximize efficiency, minimize energy and optimize comfort. As he noted, spaces are filled with glare-free natural light to easily read musical scores, using electrochromic glass windows which dim automatically in direct sunlight to cut solar heat load—a first-use in the Southeast. Artificial lighting is from efficient LEDs, which only turn on when light falls below a preset level. The extremely efficient chilled-beam air-conditioning significantly economizes further electricity. The innovative exterior white precast titanium dioxide concrete skin resists mold and catalytically neutralizes outside airborne pollutants. Finally, modern rooftop photovoltaic panels harvest solar energy.

“We set out to help Frost School of Music create the very best possible teaching, practice and learning environment for students and faculty,” Weymouth said. “It was a marvelous experience to have been part of the project, and it is profoundly gratifying that the Patricia Louis Frost Studios received this recognition, setting a leading example of sustainable architecture.”

Coral Gables City Commissioner Vince Lago, a leader in sustainable practices in local government, thanked the Frost School  and the University for its leadership in recognizing the importance of environmentally friendly initiatives and for their ongoing commitment to partner with the city in bettering the community. “These new LEED Platinum buildings set the standard for new construction that teaches us—beyond the classrooms—how to create a more resilient Coral Gables,” Lago said.

In 2016, the Coral Gables City Commission passed a Green Building Ordinance to encourage sustainable and construction best practices, and next week, on Thursday April 27, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce will bestow its Green Means Green Award for a green building on the Frost School studios.

 

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