Fredonia Summer Music Festival pivots online with much success
The annual Fredonia Summer Music Festival was held online on July 1 and 2, with middle and high school band students participating in the free event.
A total of 266 students and 15 teachers preregistered to participate, with a few latecomers, bringing the total to nearly 300.
School of Music organizers enthusiastically promoted the event. “We're bringing together some of our best and brightest alumni who have created incredibly successful careers in the music industry, along with our acclaimed Fredonia music faculty, for this unique two-day online experience and are thrilled to be offering it at no charge,” said Assistant Professor Leonidas Lagrimas, who served as festival director.
Credentials of the alumni were impressive. Brian Usifer, who received an undergraduate degree in Music Performance in 2003, led the session, “Being a Musician on Broadway.” Participating alumni also performed with The President’s Own United States Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, United States Navy Band, New World Symphony and Civic Orchestra of Chicago. In addition to Usifer, alumni participants included Lisa Stoneham, Sarah Lewandowski, Luca Farina, Kelsey Williams, U.S. Navy Musician 1st Class Vincent Moody II, Steve Rudman, Dr. Ben Albright and Sean Perlham. Current Fredonia student musicians also participated in the festival including session host Daryl Warren and presenters Devin Vogel, Jeremiah Rogers, Krissy Teranova and Allison Dana. Alumnus Bobby Brozowski served as Zoom session host/moderator for the entire two days.
Zoom sessions lasting 50 minutes each explored a variety of topics. For middle school, sessions included “How Does a Conductor Conduct? The I’s have it!” with Dr. Paula Holcomb, who serves as Director of Bands; “Music in Everything” with Mr. Perlham, a Broadway performer in STOMP; and “Life as a Musician: Exploring the Opportunities Music Can Give You” with alumnus Rudman, a bassoonist with “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra. For high school, sessions included “Do You Know Where Your Sticks Are?” with SUNY Distinguished Professor Kay Stonefelt, a professor of percussion; “Navigating the Waters of Stage Fright and Performance Anxiety” with Dr. Albright, who plays trumpet with The “Presidents Own” Marine Band,” and “Thinking of Becoming a Music Major? Applying and Auditioning for a College Music Program” with Assistant Director of the School of Music Barry Kilpatrick, who is also a professor of euphonium.
In addition to Professor Kilpatrick and Drs. Holcomb and Stonefelt, faculty presenters included Dr. Nick Weiser, Dr. Sarah Hamilton, Barry Crawford and Jonathan Lombardo. Students were invited to join as many Zoom sessions as they wished.
In addition, 30-minute private lessons taught by School of Music faculty were offered on both days. Ninety-seven students registered for a free lesson, with some going to a waiting list due to capacity. Faculty offering lessons included Professor Kilpatrick, Mr. Lombardo, Mr. Crawford, Drs. Stonefelt, Hamilton and Lagrimas, Raymond Stewart, Alex Jokipii, Drs. Marc Guy and Andrew Seigel, and Laura Koepke.
Later in the summer, in lieu of the summer string camp, School of Music string faculty including violinist Jessica Tong, violist David Rose, cellist Dr. Natasha Farny and double bassist Kieran Hanlon also offered free Zoom sessions/master classes for middle and high school string students and teachers.