Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies Names Mark Russell Smith Artistic Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2013
Contact: Megen Balda
651.602.6802 or email@example.com
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS), one of the largest and most comprehensive youth orchestra programs in the country, has named Mark Russell Smith as its new artistic director effective June 2013.
Smith, a Juilliard School and Curtis School of Music graduate, is well-known and respected in the music community, having previously held conducting positions with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and Phoenix Symphony. He is also artistic director of orchestral studies at the University of Minnesota’s School of Music and music director of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra in Davenport, Iowa.
A consummate educator, visionary, and collaborator, Smith is a proven leader with GTCYS students and constituents. He currently serves as GTCYS’ interim artistic advisor and Symphony conductor and has led the organization’s educational activities with great success this program year.
The appointment comes after a nationwide search which attracted a highly qualified pool of applicants. GTCYS’ search committee – comprised of staff, board members, parents, alumni, and music educators from across the Twin Cities – identified Smith as the ideal leader.
“Mark is an extremely talented educator and musician,” said Megen Balda, executive director. “His passion and talents align with our mission of promoting excellence, access, and developing well-rounded individuals. Fresh off the momentum of GTCYS’ 40-year anniversary, we are thrilled to have Mark’s leadership and vision to help propel our organization into an even greater future.”
As artistic director, Smith will lead the organization’s premier Symphony orchestra, guide the organization’s artistic and educational vision, oversee the program’s success, and serve as a champion for music education.
“As an educator and musician, leading and sharing music with these students is an invaluable part of our work in the community,” said Mark Russell Smith. “I am honored to be entrusted with the artistic leadership of this unique and impressive organization, and am grateful to all those who have worked to enable me to continue the incredible momentum that we have experienced this year.”
Smith, an accomplished cellist, and his wife Ellen Dinwiddie Smith, a French horn player with the Minnesota Orchestra, are long-time Twin Cities residents.
Founded in 1971, the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) provides an inspiring orchestral experience for young musicians of all ages and abilities, and aids in their development both as young artists and young adults. Serving 600 students each year, GTCYS’ educational programs are rigorous and comprehensive, and include seven academic-year orchestras, two summer orchestras and a string camp, and a chamber music program. Dedicated to sharing music with seven audiences, GTCYS presents 20 annual concerts for 8,000 audience members at venues ranging from Orchestra Hall to Union Gospel Mission. GTCYS forges strong relationships with music educators across Minnesota and provides pro bono coaching to 2,000 students at school ensembles each year.
Renowned for its rich touring history, GTCYS was the first western orchestra to perform in Fiji in 1992. Artistic collaborations include projects with the Minnesota Chorale, Minnesota Orchestra, SPCO, and conductors Roberto Abbado, Leonard Slatkin, and Osmo Vänskä. In addition, GTCYS and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra share a unique administrative alliance dedicated to strengthening both organizations. Committed to increasing access to music education, GTCYS awards more than $23,000 in need-based scholarships each year and recently expanded its programs to the east metro.
For more information, visit www.gtcys.org.
TEENS WIN SOLOIST COMPETITION, TO PERFORM AT TED MANN CONCERT HALL IN MARCH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2013
Contact: Megen Balda
651-602-6802 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Seventeen-year-old Anna Humphrey from Rogers and sixteen-year-old Lydia Gillett Sadoff of St. Paul will soon experience something few teens or adults ever do – a chance to perform a solo concerto accompanied by an 80-member orchestra.
Humphrey and Sadoff were selected during a competition in October to perform with the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS), one of the largest and most comprehensive youth orchestra programs in the country. Both girls are long-term GTCYS members and highly accomplished musicians, having won numerous competitions and awards.
Humphrey will perform the first movement of Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto in D Minor on Sunday, March 3, at 2 p.m., at Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis. Sadoff will perform a movement from Stamitz’s Clarinet Concerto No. 6. Led by conductor Mark Russell Smith, the concert also includes Tchaikovsky’s dramatic Symphony No. 4 in its entirety. Tickets are available through the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s online ticket office at 651-291-1144 or at the door.
Humphrey, a junior at Buffalo High School, has played the violin since age 3. She recently served as the concertmaster for the GTCYS Symphony and is the current concertmaster for the Minnesota All-State Orchestra. Humphrey was a 2011 junior division co-winner of the Mary West competition and finalist in the 2011 GTCYS Concerto Competition. She is a member of the Artaria Chamber Music School in St. Paul, where she is the first violinist in the Luna String Quartet. She studies privately with Mary Sorlie. In addition to the violin, Humphrey plays piano and oboe and sings in choir and chamber choir at school. Humphrey also enjoys dance, theater and serving on the Arts Magnet Student Council.
A junior at St. Paul Central High School, Sadoff is a student of Rena Kraut at the St. Paul Conservatory of Music. She also plays in her high school band and orchestra under the direction of Matthew Oyen. Sadoff placed second in the junior high winds division of the Thursday Musical Young Artists Competition in 2010 and placed first in 2011. She was a finalist in the GTCYS Concerto Competition in 2010 and 2011. She took second place in the instrumental division of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra Rising Stars Concerto Competition in 2012. And as winner of the 2012 Lakes Area Music Festival Young Artist Competition, she was a soloist with the Lakes Area Festival Orchestra. When she is not practicing clarinet, Sadoff enjoys theater, current music, bicycling, horseback riding, and all things French.
October 28 – Congratulations, GTCYS Concerto Competition Winners!
We are delighted to announce the winners of GTCYS’ 41st annual Young Soloists Concerto Competition. Anna Humphrey (violin) and Lydia Gillett Sadoff (clarinet) will have the distinct honor of performing Khachaturian’s Concerto in D minor (movement I) and Stamitz’s Concerto No. 6 (movement I), respectively at Symphony’s March 3 performance at Ted Mann Concert Hall!
Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies Announces Mark Russell Smith as Interim Artistic Advisor and Symphony Conductor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jennifer Hellman
July 24, 2012 612.202.3468 or Jennifer@goffpublic.com
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS), one of the largest and most comprehensive youth orchestra programs in America, has appointed Mark Russell Smith Interim Artistic Advisor and Symphony conductor for the 2012-2013 season.
Smith, currently artistic director of orchestral studies at the University of Minnesota’s School of Music and music director of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, will lead GTCYS’ Symphony orchestra in its series at Ted Mann Concert Hall and other special projects during the year. In addition, he will provide artistic direction for the organization’s program-wide activities, while upholding its highest artistic standards, promoting music education and working closely with GTCYS’ conductors and administrators.
The appointment comes after GTCYS’ current artistic director Amir Kats, a five-year veteran of the organization, announced his resignation earlier in July. GTCYS will launch a nationwide search in September for a permanent artistic director and symphony conductor, to lead the 600-student organization.
“Mark’s impressive credentials, dynamic personality, and background as an educator make him a perfect fit for this interim role at GTCYS,” said Megen Balda, executive director. “We are thrilled to have someone of his caliber who can inspire our students to a high level of artistry, while upholding GTCYS’ student-focused values.”
A graduate of the Juilliard School and Curtis Institute of Music, Mark is highly revered for his work as a professional conductor, having held positions at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony and others. A long-time cellist, Mark and his wife Ellen Dinwiddie Smith, a French Horn player with Minnesota Orchestra, are long-time Twin Cities residents.
“Symphony has an impressive season planned and I am excited to collaborate with GTCYS’ young musicians in this capacity,” said Smith. “I look forward to delving into some of the great orchestral masterpieces and helping students achieve their best, while having fun in the process.”