Tag Archive | "frost school of music"

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Explore Mindfulness Using Sound at the Herbert Wellness Center

 CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 16, 2016) – Explore the innate capacity to focus, pay attention, and expand your awareness through sound at Mindfulness & U: Sound of the Bell. The free workshop , beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 24 at the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center offers an engaging introduction and immersion into mindfulness practice and is open to all University of Miami students, faculty, and staff.

“Mindfulness can be used to relieve stress and experience life in the moment,” said Ashley Falcon, assistant director of wellness at the Herbert Wellness Center. “Each workshop introduces the UM community to different aspects in the world of mindfulness.”

Mindfulness & U: Sound of the Bell is led by Timothy Conner, a professor in the Frost School of Music and former principal trombonist in the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. Conner conducts mindfulness and music workshops at the Frost School of Music and is also a member of UMindfulness, the interdisciplinary collaboration that brings together brain researchers and mindfulness practice training faculty.

This workshop is free and open to all UM students, faculty, and staff. To reserve your spot, contact the sales office at 305-284-5433. The last UMindfulness workshop this semester, Moving into Mindfulness, will be held on Wednesday, April 6.

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Mancini Institute and Arsht Center Pair Music and Movies to Reach New Audiences

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Mancini Institute and Arsht Center Pair Music and Movies to Reach New Audiences

Adrienne Arsht Center and Frost School of Music collaborate on a concert series that brings movie music to the community.

By UM News

Henry.ManciniThe Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and the University of Miami Frost School of Music have forged a new community collaboration to showcase exciting music from iconic motion pictures, in a “live-to-picture format” performed by the Frost School’s Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.

The inaugural concert, From The Dark Knight to The Hunger Games—The Movie Music of James Newton Howard, will be presented on Friday, February 19 in the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall at the Arsht Center. James Newton Howard, who began his term as the new artistic director of the Henry Mancini Institute in January, will conduct. It is his first appearance with the orchestra since the institute moved to Miami in 2008. In addition, filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan will make a guest appearance at the concert, in conjunction with music to The Sixth Sense, composed by Howard. The dean of the Frost School of Music, pianist Shelly Berg, also will make a cameo appearance.

Howard is a Grammy-winning and eight-time Oscar-nominated composer whose music resonates with young moviegoers. The new movie music concert series aims to introduce younger audience members to orchestral music in an exciting new format with scene excerpts from iconic movies such as The Hunger Games, The Dark Knight, Snow White and the Huntsman, King Kong, Water for Elephants, and Pretty Woman, shown on a large screen while the music is performed live by a vibrant, youthful orchestra.

The average age of students performing in the Henry Mancini Institute is 24.

“Most of our orchestra members grew up with these movies, and love the music,” said Berg. “They are eager to perform it, especially with the composer on the podium. The opportunity to learn first hand from a film composer about the recording process, and the protocol in the studio, will be invaluable. For this concert, James also plans to debut several medleys of themes presented in new suites, which will also be an amazing experience for the performers, and the community.”

Liz Wallace, vice president of programming at the Arsht Center, said it’s the center’s mission “to present innovative programming that is unique to attract new audiences and to keep our loyal arts patrons interested, entertained, and excited. Concerts such as The Movie Music of James Newton Howard allow audiences to experience something they already love in a brand new way. It is an opportunity for film buffs, symphony lovers. and fans of all ages to reconnect with their favorite movies and listen to stirring scores of music in a natural setting such as the acoustically superb Knight Concert Hall.”

“The pairing of music with motion pictures is powerful, emotional and memorable,” Howard said. “I’m looking forward to sharing a retrospective of some of my most popular film scores with the community, and helping to create a new audience for live music through my life’s work. I hope this community collaboration with the Arsht Center and the Henry Mancini Institute will inspire a new generation of concert goers to discover live orchestral music, perhaps for some for the very first time. I’m looking forward to experiencing this new live-to-picture format myself. My goal is to impart the same excitement I feel when I hear and see my music synced with the film footage for the very first time. It is indescribable.”

The Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra is highly popular throughout South Florida for its outstanding musicianship and genre-blending focus. It is the resident orchestra of the highly popular Jazz Roots series at the Adrienne Arsht Center, founded by producer Larry Rosen, and also has appeared several times at the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando and at the Boca Festival of the Arts at the Mizner Park Ampitheater. It has appeared on several PBS television specials including the acclaimed Jazz and the Philharmonic concert, produced in conjunction with the National YoungArts Foundation, Frost School of Music, Larry Rosen Productions, and the Arsht Center.

The Arsht Center is currently celebrating its momentous 10th anniversary season. Spotlighting legends and serving as a launch pad for local artists to make their mark on the international stage, the Arsht Center presents nearly 500 events each year across its eight flexible, state-of-the-art performance spaces. The center programs 12 signature series, including the largest jazz series in South Florida, the biggest flamenco festival on the East Coast, and a robust program of new theatrical works as well as free programming for the community and an arts education program that serves nearly 30,000 children each year.

The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami is one of the largest, most comprehensive and relevant in all of higher education. With over 700 students and 100 faculty it a top choice for instrumental, keyboard, contemporary, jazz, and vocal performance as well as composition, music business, music education, music engineering technology, music therapy, and more. The mission of the Frost School of Music is to foster musical leadership by providing an innovative, relevant, and inspiring education; advance performance, creativity and scholarship; and enrich the world community with meaningful outreach and brilliant cultural offerings.



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Frost Online Among Musical America’s Best

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Frost Online Among Musical America’s Best

By Andres Tamayo
UM News

 Frost.OnlineCORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 8, 2016)—For the second year in a row, Musical America has included the Frost School of Music in its annual “Special Report: A Guide to Music Schools.” The Frost School joins 37 other distinguished music schools and conservatories from around the world in the 2015-16 guide.

The list, which was compiled based on online education in music schools, highlights the Frost Online program. The program, which started with three students in August 2014, will graduate its first class in May. “My colleagues and I are thrilled to be a part of this distinguished list and enthusiastic about the future growth of the Frost Online program,” Frost School Dean Shelly Berg said.

Frost Online has grown rapidly and now offers two complete master’s degrees in music business—a Master of Music in Music Business and Entertainment Industries and a Master of Arts in Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment Management. Both programs draw industry professionals from around the U.S. Soon, offerings will continue to grow with certificate programs and additional degree tracks.

“Since our inception in 1926, students have looked to the Frost School of Music as a place where they can grow and learn from some of the best music professors in the world,” Dean Berg said. “The Frost Online program provides those same high-quality, high-touch experiences in the online space.”

For more than 100 years, Musical America Worldwide has been the voice of the performing arts industry. Musical America provides the digital and print touch points for performing arts professionals to reach out to each other to further their art and their businesses.



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Frost School of Music’s Kaleidoscope Piano Concert Series Begins Spring Season

KalidescopeThe Kaleidoscope Piano Concert Series, which is presented by Frost School of Music students and alumni Akina Yura, Inesa Gegprifti, Maria Sumareva, Redi Llupa, and Rodrigo Bussad to introduce new or rarely heard works along with established masterpieces of piano repertory in eclectic programs linked by an underlying theme, will present four programs this season: Fantasia I, Fantasia II, Prisme Russe, and Music of the Americas, which will take place on February 11, February 25, March 31, and April 28, respectively.

All four concerts will be hosted by The Steinway Piano Gallery Miami (4104 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables, 33146), and will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free. The programs will showcase Frost School of Music award-winning pianists presenting an amalgam of music spread across four centuries and three continents. Living composers featured in this season include J. Corigliano, G. Walker (USA), G. Guevara (Ecuador) S. Korepanov (Russia), A. Peci (Albania), UM alumnus Matthew Taylor, and Frost School composition faculty member Dorothy Hindman.

A complete list of concerts with details about each program is available below. For more details about each event, visit the Kaleidoscope Piano Concert Series Facebook page.

Fantasia I : February 11, at 7 p.m.
Program: works by Mozart, Schumann, and Scriabin
Performers: Maria Sumareva, Deyana Valchinova, and Larisa Soboleva

Fantasia II : February 25, at 7 p.m.
Program: works by C.P.E. Bach, Busoni, Corigliano, De Falla, Peci, and Ravel
Performers: Inesa Gegprifti, Redi Llupa, Akina Yura, Luca Cubisino, and Dan Sato

Prisme Russe: March 31, at 7 p.m.
Program: Rachmaninoff (original works and transcriptions), Balakirev, and Korepanov
Performers: Ana Cristea, Anastasiya Naplekova, Asiya Korepanova

Music of the Americas: April 28, at 7 p.m.
Program: works by Barber, Cowell, Gershwin/Wild, Ginastera, Guevara, Hindman, Lecuona, Villa-Lobos, Taylor, and Walker
Performers: Asiya Korepanova, Emiri Nourishirazi, Takako Tokuda, Priscila Navarro, David Encalada, Jacob Mason, Rosangel Perez, Joao Campos, and Redi Llupa

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UM’s Brothers Grim Are Sundance Bound

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UM’s Brothers Grim Are Sundance Bound

By Julia D. Berg
UM News


From left, co-directors Eric Mainade, Andres Meza-Valdes, and Diego Meza-Valdes are headed to the 2016 Sundance Film Festival to screen their horror short.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 13, 2016) – University of Miami School of Communication alumni The Meza Brothers, a.k.a. Andres Meza-Valdes, B.S.C. ’09, and Diego Meza-Valdes, B.S.C. ’09, are headed to the 2016 Sundance Film Festival to showcase Boniato, their 23-minute short horror film featuring migrant workers on a boniato (sweet potato) farm who cross borders into a supernatural world, a metaphor for the murky underground network into which many undocumented workers fall.

This is the Meza Brothers’ eighth short in the horror genre and the first they’ve co-directed with seasoned stuntman/action director Eric Mainade, who came up with the initial story concept.

Excitement was running high in December as news of Boniato’s selection by Sundance—launched by Hollywood legend Robert Redford and held annually in January in Park City, Utah—rippled through Miami’s indie film community.

“All I kept yelling was ‘No! No!,” recounts Andres Meza-Valdes, 31, about the moment he heard the official news by phone from Lucas Leyva of the Borscht Corp., an open-source collaborative funded in part by the Knight Foundation to help seed interdisciplinary collaboration and regional filmmaking in Miami.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Meza-Valdes said. “I was with my parents, so they got the scoop firsthand, which is cool because it was nice to share the moment with them. Then, I called my girlfriend. You know, the important people in my life who have contributed for so many years and had to put up with the craziness and stress that come with making an independent film in Miami!”

His co-director and younger brother, Diego, 30, admits he “cried, for real” upon receiving the news. “It’s the coolest thing to happen to our career so far.”

Boniato is one of just eight short films selected for screening January 22-29 in the Midnight Shorts category at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. A total of 72 short films will be screened, selected from 8,712 short film submissions; 123 feature-length films were selected from 12,793 submissions.

The siblings had to wait a few weeks for the official announcement. “It was a bit of torture,” said Andres. “We even thought at any minute one of our friends was going to reveal it was all a big prank. When it became public, it felt like a sigh of relief. We called everyone: the actors (Carmela Zumbado, Felix Cortes, Alex Garay), our DP, ADs, PAs, friends, extended family, haters on the Internet. I even wrote to one of my heroes, [director/producer] Michael Bay. He doesn’t know who I am, but I wanted to tell everyone who inspired and/or helped me out.”

The Boniato project—singled out for awards last year at the Diabolique International Film Festival, the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, Fright Night Horror Weekend, and Freakshow Film Festivalbenefitted from having an experienced producer, fellow alumnus Cory Czajkowski, B.S.C. ’07, on the team. “Cory is a special dude,” said Andres. “On top of being producer, he works on the sound, and with horror/action this is so important.”

In addition, two UM Frost School of Music jazz alumni, Adam Robl, ’07, and Shawn Sutta, B.M. ’09, composed the music tracks for the film. “These guys are just A-plus talent,” said Andres. “They really helped make the whole movie feel ‘big’ and delivered a production value we could only dream of achieving.”

For those squeamish about watching horror films, Diego suggests the genre is innate in fairy tales. “Our culture has always been fascinated with dipping our toes in fear. So when people say they aren’t fans of horror, I always ask if they’ve seen Snow White or Sleeping Beauty.”

Diego explains that when shooting Boniato, the team was striving to create a plot that is more similar to the European or Asian style, where tension builds more gradually than in typical American horror flicks. “We wanted to create an entertaining horror roller coaster, using socially relevant content, driven by fantasy.” To add to the film’s intrigue, there is purposely very little dialogue during the first five minutes; then all of the dialogue is in Spanish, with English subtitles.

“We like to call it ‘theater in front of the lens,’ ” said Diego. “For Boniato, Eric Mainade brought in his amazing stunt team to perform acrobatic action, high-flying choreography, and horror sequences—but he was also making sure to give the characters true motivations, and making them feel grounded. That way, the audience cares about what they’re watching.”

Mainade came up with the original script concept while driving to a movie shoot on the small ranch he and a fellow stuntman lease amid the massive, commercial fields in southwest Miami-Dade County.

“Day after day, I witness all sorts of surreal moments out in the fields—from barefoot Haitians working in horrid conditions, to little kids working all day in the elements. Every character in this movie was inspired by the countless faces in these very fields,” he said.

The Miami-based Borscht Corp. hooked him up with The Meza Brothers, and the three fleshed out the script, with a production estimate of $14,000. Borscht Corp. provided some initial financing and a few production aides, and introduced them to cinematographer Antal El Hungaro. “Beyond that,” Mainade explains, “it was a family affair, with my wife, Kristina, as the production manager; Diego’s wife, Veronica, in charge of wardrobe; as well as numerous other friends and family doing whatever needed to be done.”

After Sundance, the team plans to adapt Boniato into a feature.

As a youngster, Andres was drawn to exploring the horror genre. Diego was quick to join in his brother’s pursuit. “I’m the classic little brother who tailed after my big brother. My brother and I have been directing films together for so long, it’s almost as if each of us has evolved into the counterpart of the other. He was always including me in his love, so as a brother I am forever grateful for that.”

Andres describes his younger brother as relentless, honest, and giving. “Diego is an editing machine,” Andres said. “He looks at film in a radically different way than me, and I love that. He puts the film together in his head when on set.”

Reflecting on how the School of Communication prepared them for a career in motion pictures, Andres is effusive. “Oh my God—in so many ways. Ed Talavera, Christina Lane, Jeffery Stern, Tom Musca—these professors changed our lives.” Diego has continued his connection to the University and works as a videographer in University Communications.

This is not their first award-winning work, but it is their first time at Sundance.

“We were not expecting this at all,” said Andres. “Horror isn’t the most respected of genres and after making eight shorts we’ve sort of made peace with the fact that a lot of mainstream outlets just aren’t interested in these types of films. On the other hand, the genre also has it’s own ecosystem and community that we love being a part of.”


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