I’m excited to announce my new podcast: “Colette’s Music Hour!” Over the last few months I’ve had many hour long conversations with music educators, musicians, teachers and arts advocates. These conversations have included topics such as teaching through a pandemic, how to be creative as a musician and teacher through this time, how we can stay positive and ideas for music education in the future and what that may look like. If you are a music educator, musician, teacher or arts advocate and are interested in being interviewed by me for my show, please let me know!
Jennifer Wharton is a low brass specialist based in New York City. Though getting her start classically, Jen has deep roots in jazz, commercial, chamber and Broadway music. Jennifer can be found leading her trombone-forward ensemble, Bonegasm, and performing in West Side Story when Broadway reopens. She has also held positions at King Kong, Beautiful, The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Jekyll and Hyde, Scandalous, Wonderland, 9 to 5 and Curtains, and has performed as a substitute in over a dozen other Broadway productions. Jen is a member of two multiple Grammy-nominated ensembles. She has also performed on the Grammy-nominated cast albums for The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess, 9 to 5 The Musical and Curtains The Musical as well as the Grammy-winning recording of Beautiful The Carole King Musical. She has performed with many very well known ensembles including the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band, Ken Peplowski Big Band, Miggy Augmented Jazz Orchestra, DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Birdland Big Band, Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, Woody Herman Orchestra, Terraza 7 Big Band, John Yao and His 17 Piece Instrument, Walking Distance, South Florida Jazz Orchestra, new Alchemy Jazz Orchestra, Steven Feifke Big Band, and the BMI Jazz Composers’ Workshop. Jennifer is an XO Professional Brass artist and plays the 1240-LT bass trombone, and she teaches bass trombone at Montclair State University in New Jersey.
Sara Silva was born in Bogota, Colombia, where she studied violin at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. She later continued her studies at the Frederic Chopin Conservatory in Paris, France where she earned her Bachelor's Degree. In France, she took part at “Les Arcs'' Music Festival as a member of the International Orchestra of UNESCO in Paris. After her graduation from the conservatory, she returned to Bogota and became a member of The National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia with which she worked for 6 years. In 2003, she came to the USA and earned her Master's Degree in Violin Performance from Syracuse University. Since her arrival onto the music scene in upstate New York she had performed with many orchestras and chamber music collectives in the area, including the Syracuse Symphony, Binghamton Philharmonic, Tri-City Opera, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Catskills Symphony and Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, among others. Currently she resides in New York City and is a tenured member of Symphoria Orchestra (formerly Syracuse Symphony). She regularly performs with many leading orchestras in New York City and State, such as DCINY Orchestra, New England Symphonic Ensemble, Chelsea Symphony Orchestra in NYC and Albany Symphony, New Westchester Symphony, Alzo Symphony, The Hudson Valley Philharmonic statewide. She is a founding member of the NYC-based Tango sextet Abaddon. In addition, she is an avid educator and teaches violin at The Music Conservatory of Westchester.
Professor Margaret Flood is the Coordinator of Music Education at Florida Southern College. She a doctoral candidate in music education at The Frost School of Music—University of Miami. Previously, she served as a teaching assistant and guest lecturer on women in music for the musicology department. As a clarinetist, she was an active performer with the Frost Wind Ensemble as well as other Florida ensembles.
Margaret has twelve years’ experience teaching music in New York and Florida, predominantly as a secondary band director. She is founder of Sinfonia Nobilis honor band for private school students in Southwest Florida. Recently, she received the Florida Music Educators Association Enrollment Award for rebuilding a band program at the Seacrest Country Day School in Naples, Florida. She is an active woodwind clinician, studio instructor, and adjudicator for the Florida Bandmasters’ Association.
Margaret holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Syracuse University and a Master of Music Education with a Graduate Certificate in World Music from The Florida State University. Her research interests include gender discourse in band, the biographies of woman band director leadership of the Florida Bandmasters’ Association, the code-switching tendencies of secondary band directors, and the documentation of the lives of woman musicians of the social-cultural projects in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.
While at FSU, she received the Ada Belle Winthrop-King Scholarship for studies in Portuguese language and culture to complete her master’s thesis research on the women and children of Projeto Didá. At the Frost School, she was awarded the Theodore Presser Graduate Award and a National Band Association Project Grant that allowed for the creation of the Frost Young Women Conductors’ Symposium.
Professor Flood has published in the Florida Music Director, presented research and practitioner clinics at the International Society for Music Education Research Commission, the National Association for Music Education Annual In-service Conference, the Florida Music Educators Association Annual Conference, the Desert Skies Symposium, and the International Women and/in Musical Leadership Conference in London, England. She has an upcoming book chapter titled, “It’s not about me! The Life and Leadership of Cathi Leibinger,” in the Routledge Companion to Women and Musical Leadership: The Nineteenth Century and Beyond.
An award-winning and versatile Pianist and Music Educator, Emma Liu has performed and taught throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. She is experienced in teaching private lessons as well as classroom music. Her pedagogy is influenced by the methodologies of Orff and Kodaly as well as the theories of John Dewey and Maxine Greene. Highlights of her classroom teaching experience include implementing musical activities for the Very Young People’s concert of the New York Philharmonic and developing curriculum for K-5 Elementary General Music, Chorus, and Concert Band. A native of Taiwan, Emma holds degrees from Columbia University, Eastman School of Music, and Cleveland Institute of Music.
Robert West started his musical career as a chorus member with The San Francisco Boys Chorus at the age of nine. Despite being the country’s only boy’s opera repertory chorus at the time, the productions were a huge success. Rob not only had the chance to perform with the San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and the San Francisco Ballet Company numerous times. Rob attended the University of the Pacific where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. Rob also studied at the Boston Conservatory and he received a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of New Mexico. He was on the fast track to becoming an opera singer and was in line to audition for an internship with the Santa Fe Opera company. However, the closer he got to this goal, the more he realized how much he loved working with children. He has been a choral conductor in the public education program for the past 21 years. He has continued to perform with regional companies such as The Gilbert and Sullivan Society in Seattle, Washington. Rob’s students have received Command Performance invitations at the All-State level and have participated in Honor Choir and All-State Choir performances. His choir is incredibly diverse in regards to socio-economic status, racial components, and gender. In his choir, athletes and cheerleaders associate with future teachers and scientists equally.
On today’s show, I will be speaking with Kevin Blancq, a NYC music teacher, whose original roots are from New Orleans. Kevin began his musical life listening to his parents, both teachers and performers, Betty, a pianist, and Charlie, a percussionist. At the age of 10, Kevin started trumpet lessons with George Jansen, the man who would change his life. With instruction from a very passionate and dedicated educator, Kevin flourished under Jansen’s tutelage and was accepted to attend the prestigious New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, where he received classical and jazz training from Ellis Marsalis and Bert Braud. At the age of 17, Kevin was awarded a full scholarship to the Tanglewood Summer Music Institute where he performed under the batons of Leonard Bernstein and Gunther Schuller in the Tanglewood orchestras, and he studied privately with Boston Symphony trumpet legend Roger Voisin. Following his undergraduate work at the University of North Texas on scholarship, Kevin settled in New York City and has since worked with jazz greats including Frank Foster, Benny Golson, Wynton Marsalis, Slide Hampton, Sahib Shihab, Doc Cheatham, Bob Dorough, Eddie Bert, and Jimmy Heath, among others. His graduate work at the Manhattan School of Music with Justin DiCioccio, Chris Gekker, and Cecil Bridgewater was completed in 1998. As a trumpeter, conductor, and educator Kevin has appeared at Birdland, Iridium, Symphony Space, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, WKCR and WBGO.
On today’s podcast, I will be speaking to Dr. Ulf Oesterle. Ulf teaches classes focused on music business, media industry and emerging technology for Syracuse University as a faculty member within The Bandier Program of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He completed his doctorate from SU in 2007 before joining the faculty ranks where he became the Music and Entertainment Industries Department Chair for four years, was the Interim Director for The Bandier Program and Interim Director for the Audio Arts Masters program. Ulf is an educator and practitioner, spending time operating a small record label and artist management company while teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. For two years, Ulf also spent time as a radio programmer and host of a commercial specialty radio program on KRock (WKRL) Syracuse. He has extensive speaking experience with solo and panel presentations at SXSW, the Music and Entertainment Industries Educators Association (MEIEA) Summit, Launch Music Conference, CMJ, Vegas Music Summit, University of New Mexico Mentoring Institute and others. He currently serves on the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Associationboard. His graduates have taken on roles in all aspects of the music industry.
Brian Doherty is an American drummer, singer-songwriter, composer, music producer, and educator based in New York City. After starting his career as a member of the rock bands The Silos and They Might Be Giants, he has also worked with artists such as XTC, Freedy Johnston, and Ben Folds and contributed to movie soundtracks. As of 2014 he has released three albums of royalty-free drum tracks for songwriters, and in 2012 released his debut solo project, Treat + Release.
For our first podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking to Garrett Heater. Garrett Heater has been a music educator for 13 years, currently teaching in NYC while pursuing a Theatre MA from CUNY Hunter College. As artistic director of Syracuse Summer Theatre at The Oncenter, he has directed Damn Yankees, Pippin, Spring Awakening, and Cabaret. Also a playwright, three of his original productions have been produced at the International New York Fringe Festival - FringeNYC, including Playing God, Lizzie Borden Took an Axe, and Lincoln's Blood. His short plays The Drop and Beige is the New Plum Crazy have received national festival productions. He has produced 10 original youth musicals, including Gumshoe Louie and the Case of the Missing Vase and Queen Hippolyta and the Movie Martians from Mars. He resides in Syracuse, New York and received his Masters in Music Education from Syracuse University.