OCT 23–27: JOIN US for the 2nd Annual Manhattan School of Music / Detroit Symphony Orchestra Conductors’ Project with Conductor Leonard Slatkin

The public is welcome to attend a special week of orchestra rehearsals, a panel discussion and a final concert in the Conductors’ Project, a special week-long residency at MSM in New York City by Detroit Symphony Orchestra Music Director Leonard Slatkin.

slatkinOct2016-0023        Rehearsal with the MSM Symphony Orchestra, October 2016: Leonard Slatkin is MSM’s Distinguished Visiting Artist in Conducting and Orchestral Studies.


Two recent MSM conducting graduates —  Malcolm J. Merriweather (DMA ’15) and Yoon Sang Timothy Cho (DMA ’20) —  are the selected Conducting Fellows for the second annual Conductors’ Project. During the week of Oct 23-27, they’ll work closely under the direction of Maestro Slatkin with the MSM Symphony Orchestra.

The week of orchestra rehearsals, a public talk, and book-signing by Leonard Slatkin, culminates in a final concert on Friday, Oct 27 at the magnificent Riverside Church, with music by Wagner, Barber and Elgar.

Rehearsals are free and open to the public. Tickets for the final concert are available at Riverside Church (details for rehearsals and performance below).

The Conducting Fellows will travel to Detroit in early 2017 to spend a week Maestro Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, as the second and concluding part of the Conductors’ Project.


On Wednesday, Oct 25 from 5:00-6:30 PM in Miller Theatre at MSM at 120 Claremont Avenue, Maestro Slatkin will take part in a spirited conversational exchange with MSM President James Gandre on the topic “Creating a Symphonic Life.”  The discussion, free and open to the public, is hosted by MSM’s Center for Music Entrepreneurship; please arrive early to ensure seating.

Following the event, Maestro Slatkin will sign copies of his latest critically-acclaimed book, “Leading Tones” (Amadeus Press), in which he examines the many facets of the contemporary music industry through the lens of his illustrious and varied career.

Slatkin Book.png


MSM Symphony Orchestra performs works by Wagner, Barber, and Elgar working under Leonard Slatkin, (Hon. DMA ’13, Board of Trustees), Conductor

Conducting Fellows:

Malcolm J. Merriweather (DMA ’15)
Yoon Sang Timothy Cho (DMA ’20)

WHEN: October 27, 2017 at 7:30 PM
WHERE: The Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive
TICKETS: $15, Free with presentation of valid MSM I.D. Purchase here.

THE REHEARSALS (Free of Charge):

OCT 23 & 25 at 9:30 AM: Ades Performance Space, MSM, 120 Claremont Avenue New York (122nd St and Broadway)
OCT 24 & 26 at 7:00 PM Ades Performance Space, MSM,
OCT 27: The Riverside Church, 4 PM

Questions? Communications@msmnyc.edu

DSC_2994corr_wMaestro Leonard Slatkin with Olga Kern, who sits on Manhattan School of Music’s Board of Directors, posing backstage following the inaugural concert of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in October, 2017



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Applications now available for the 2018 Robert Mann String Quartet Institute

Manhattan School of Music will be hosting the 7th Annual Robert Mann String Quartet Institute to take place Wednesday, January 3 through Sunday, January 7, 2018.

Up to six of North America’s most promising young string quartets are being invited to participate (link to application below.)


Many previous participants have gone on to win prestigious competitions and coveted residencies, and are performing exciting programs at notable venues all around the world.

String quartets and special guests will take part in a series of master classes given by a faculty that includes David Geber, Nicholas Mann, members of the American String Quartet, and Kazuhide Isomura of the Tokyo String Quartet, Samuel Rhodes, and Mark Steinberg. 

Through invaluable artistic and professional mentorship, the Robert Mann String Quartet Institute provides young string quartets with a crucial career stepping stone.

Members of the Verona Quartet receive instruction at the 2017 Institute.

For more information and a link to the application, please visit www.msmnyc.edu/MannInstitute

In addition to master classes and instruction during the Institute:

  • On the Sunday January 7, a public performance at Manhattan School of Music will showcase the week’s accomplishments of all of the quartets.
  • A screening of Speak The Music: Robert Mann and the Mysteries of Chamber Music by Academy Award winning director Allan Miller will be shown Friday evening. 

Alumni of the Institute include the Verona Quartet, the Rolston String Quartet, the Aeolus Quartet, the Dover String Quartet, and PUBLIQuartet.




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RSVP for “Re-Thinking Re-Entry II” Conference

Re-thinking, Re-Entry II: An examination of NYC Services & Needs for the formerly Incarcerated
On Wednesday, September 20, 2017, the formerly incarcerated will gather with expert panelists representing the city and state levels, services providers, and leaders of faith based organizations at an all-day conference to discuss the pressing need for services for formerly incarcerated men and women.
The conference is being convened and hosted by:
The Interchurch Center in cooperation with Positive Community Magazine.
Keynote Speaker
New York State Senator

Velmanette Montgomery
Break out Workshops on:
Housing, Employment, and Educational Opportunities for the formerly incarcerated.
Co-Convening Partners:
• Bard Prison Initiative • The Redemption Center, Inc. • Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions • Greenhope Services for Women, Inc. • The Osborne Association • College & Community Fellowship • Providence House, Inc. • Hour Children, Inc. • The Riverside Church in the City of New York • Women’s Prison Association • New York Theological Seminary • The Fortune Society
The Interchurch Center
475 Riverside Drive @ 120th Street
New York, NY 10115
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Free & Open to the Public.
For more information call: 212-870-2945
To RSVP, Email: RSVP@interchurch-center.org
The post RSVP for “Re-Thinking Re-Entry II” Conference appeared first on The Interchurch Center.


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MSM is coming to Asia in October!



MSM’s Admissions team will be traveling to Asia in October to meet students interested in enrolling in our programs.

We’ll be in:

  • Seoul
  • South Korea
  • Taipei
  • Taiwan
  • Hong Kong

And in Mainland China:

  • Guangzhou
  • Shanghai
  • Beijing

For the schedule and to find out how to register, visit USA Schools of Music.

See you there!

Questions? Admission@msmnyc.edu





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MSM Students and Alumni Shine at the Aspen Music Festival

This summer, numerous recent graduates and current students of Manhattan School of Music’s voice program appeared in high-level operatic performances at the Aspen Music Festival.

A summer of study at the Aspen Opera Center offers young singers a variety of performance opportunities, including two fully-staged operas, opera scenes, master classes, and chamber recitals.

Aspen Opera Center’s production of Verdi’s La Traviata featured several current MSM students and recent alumni in prominent roles. Anna Dugan (MM ’16) made her role debut as Violetta, and both SeokJong Baek (MM ’18) and Sol Jin (MM ’15) appeared as Germont. Sol Jin will return to Houston Grand Opera Studio as a young artist this fall.

Anna Dugan in MSM’s 2015 production of The Dangerous Liaisons

La Clemenza di Tito, conducted by Jane Glover (a recent guest conductor at MSM), gave two singers from Manhattan School of Music the opportunity to revisit familiar roles. Abigail Shapiro (MM ’17, PS ’18) sang the role of Vitellia, and Hayan Kim (MM ’17) appeared as Servilia.

Both singers had previously appeared in same roles in MSM’s Fall 2016 production of the opera, and the two even wore the same costumes designed by Tracy Dorman. Brian Michael Moore (MM ’17) covered the title role. Following the Aspen Music Festival, Moore will return Los Angeles for his second season in LA Opera’s Young Artist Program.

Abigail Shapiro as Vitellia in MSM’s 2016 production of La Clemenza di Tito

Several MSM singers appeared in Aspen Opera Center’s scenes program. Most notably, SeokJong Baek gave an astounding performance of “Nedda! Silvio!” from Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Tenor Yang Chen (MM ’17) and soprano Caroline Dunigan (BM ’14) appeared in scenes programs, concerts, and in the opera chorus.

Pianist Jonathan Gmeinder (MM ’16) returned to the Aspen Opera Center this summer as a Fellowship Pianist. This fall, he will join the prestigious Houston Grand Opera Studio as a young artist focusing on vocal accompaniment and coaching.

Many Manhattan School of Music students spend all or part of their summers at festivals, learning from new teachers and performing with new colleagues. Others choose to travel, visit family, or work.

We hope that everyone had a productive summer, and we look forward to greeting all Manhattan School of Music students next week!


Top photo: from MSM’s 2016 production of La Clemenza di Tito


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Seventh Annual Judith Davidson Moyers Women of Spirit Lecture

Featuring Winona LaDuke
The post Seventh Annual Judith Davidson Moyers Women of Spirit Lecture appeared first on Union Theological Seminary.


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Expanding Our Global Partnerships:Union Faculty Travels to China

Earlier this summer, six Union faculty members traveled to China to visit Nanjing Union Theological Seminary and learn about China’s growing Christian population. The trip offered an opportunity for Union to strengthen our ecumenical ties and to forge new, mutually beneficial relationships. The delegation’s warm reception is a product of China’s rapidly shifting religious demography, but also reveals a significant evolution in the relationship between China and the West.
From left: Dr. Jeremy Hultin, Dr. Brigitte Kahl, Dr. Chung Hyun Kyung, Dr. Su Pak, Sensei Greg Snyder, Rev. Dr. Claudio Carvalhaes
When the Union delegation arrived in China, they were overwhelmed by the unparalleled hospitality. Everywhere they traveled, remarked Rev. Dr. Claudio Carvalhaes, Union’s faculty ambassadors were greeted with “enormous banquets.” Indeed, “any meal was easily three hours,” he laughed, adding, “When I was completely full, they said ‘now the main course is coming.’” Dr. Su Yon Pak was similarly overwhelmed, noting how at one Buddhist temple, they “were treated to over twenty-four dishes. The taste and the beauty of these dishes were truly a feast!” The delegation’s experience at the Chan Buddhist provided a fruitful opportunity to learn about Chinese interreligious engagement.” Sensei Greg Snyder says he feels that “Union students would benefit greatly from…exposure to the way China has historically cultivated a multi-religious environment.” Particularly, he says, as we strive to create a more harmonious environment of religious pluralism in the United states, “it behooves us to remember and explore other traditions that have long been comfortable with practicing many paths


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“My Funny Valentine” music video by MSM Master’s graduate Jonathan Dely features more than two dozen MSM students

On a snowy day in March 2017, more than 30 young music students and recent graduates  — including 21 from MSM – set up their instruments in the sprawling wood-paneled Studio A at Avatar Studios, one of New York City’s most famous recording studios.

This is the room where Bruce Springsteen recorded “Born in the USA,” Madonna “Like a Virgin,” David Bowie “Scary Monsters,” and where dozens of Broadway casts have recorded their albums.

It took trumpeter and MSM Jazz Arts Master’s Degree student (now graduate) Jonathan Dely months of outreach to find the right place for his recording of a full orchestra version of the 1937 jazz standard, “My Funny Valentine.”

The session would be videotaped live by two cameras and recorded by GRAMMY-award-winning sound engineer John Kilgore.

Picture1Jonathan Dely warming up in Studio A of Avatar Studios

IMG_7043Jon Snell, a jazz composer, piano player and recent MSM graduate, who arranged this version of “My Funny Valentine” —  conducting the 30-piece orchestra, of which 21 are MSM students and recent graduates

“It’s rare to find a studio that can accommodate a full orchestra because very few people are recording with live orchestra today,” explains Dely. “We wanted to capture the richness of a live-off-the-floor sound with a large ensemble and to feature an array of up-and-coming classical and jazz talent.”

“And what an honor to perform an American Standard in a place where so many legends have recorded,” he adds. “You can really feel the presence of musical history here.”

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 5.21.36 PM.pngJonathan Dely and recording engineer John Kilgore listen to the sound check

“My Funny Valentine” was written in 1937 by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart for the Broadway musical Babes in Arms, and has now been recorded more than 1,300 times by 600 artists including Chet Baker, Chris Botti, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Jonathan’s rendition features his solo trumpet and flugelhorn, along with jazz and classical instrumentation, harmonies, rhythms, and styles.

It was arranged by MSM Jazz Arts Master’s student, jazz pianist and composer, Jon Snell, who graduated this spring alongside Jonathan, and who directed the orchestra in studio.

Along with the 21 MSM students on the project are students and recent alumni from Juilliard, Williams College, and the University of Michigan. The musicians come from the US, France, Estonia, New Zealand and China; more than one third of the orchestra are people of color and about one-third are women.

IMG_7039Studio A at Avatar Studios: Springsteen recorded ‘Born in the USA’ here in 1984

“Our recording of ‘My Funny Valentine’ not only celebrates an American standard through the eyes – and ears – of a diverse group of highly-talented musicians and recent graduates, but it also shows how jazz and classical music can intermingle to create something truly special,” says Jonathan.

“That taste for artistic adventure and the belief that you can inhabit multiple musical rooms simultaneously are among the many core values that were reinforced for us at Manhattan School of Music.”

The orchestra also recorded “Pure Imagination” written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley for the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, with an arrangement by another MSM student, Steven Feifke, also featuring Jonathan Dely on trumpet.

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 5.24.06 PM.pngFrom left to right: John Kilgore, Steven Feifke, Jon Snell and Jonathan Dely listen to a playback

What makes the project all the more special for Jonathan is the discovery in the final days of production that ‘My Funny Valentine’ composer Richard Rodgers was born less than 20 miles from the recording studio, and that the scheduled release date of June 28th was actually the 115th anniversary of composer Richard Rodgers’ birthday.




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Women of Spirit Lecture: Live Stream

Tune in for a live Stream of The Seventh Annual Judith Davidson Moyers Women of Spirit Lecture featuring Winona LaDuke. Ms. LaDuke is a rural development economist and author working on issues of indigenous economics, food, and energy policy. She is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project and maintains a significant international role raising awareness for indigenous peoples. For the greater part of 2016, Ms. LaDuke lived at the Red Warrior Camp in the Standing Rock Indian Reservation where she advocated for the dismantling of the fossil fuel infrastructure. The author of six books, including Recovering the Sacred and The Winona LaDuke Chronicles, Ms. LaDuke is widely recognized for her work on environmental and human rights issues.
Ms. LaDuke’s lecture will begin at 6:30 pm on April 26, 2017.

The Judith Davidson Moyers Women of Spirit Lectures provide a public forum to discuss the most pressing global issues faced by present-day women leaders of faith. In addition to exploring enduring questions of human value and meaning, the Women of Spirit Lecture reflects on topics ranging from environmental justice, poverty, war, and education.


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2017 Commencement Exercises

Scheduled Events
Monday, May 15th
Retirement Party for Professor John McGuckin
James Memorial Chapel & Social Hall
5:30 pm
Tuesday, May 16th
Unitarian Universalists Commissioning
Lampman Chapel
6 pm
Wednesday, May 17th
Students of Color Commissioning
James Memorial Chapel
7 pm
Thursday, May 18th
PhD Rehearsal
Seminary Quadrangle
5:40 pm
PhD Dinner
(for PhD Graduates & their Partners only)
with President Serene Jones, Dean Mary C. Boys and Faculty Advisors
Social Hall
6 pm
FIERCE & Queer Commissioning
James Memorial Chapel
7 pm
2017 Commencement Day Live Stream
Friday, May 19th
Commencement Communion Service
(planned and led by graduating students)
James Memorial Chapel
10:30 am
Commencement Day Brunch
11:30 am
Class Photograph
Room 207
3 pm (SHARP!)
Students and Faculty Line-Up for Procession
Administration Hall
3:30 pm (SHARP!)
Commencement Exercises
Seminary Quadrangle
(rain location: James Memorial Chapel)
4 pm
Reception Following the Commencement
Seminary Quadrangle
6 pm
2017 Commencement Day Live Stream


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