College of Performing Arts Faculty Release Holiday and End of Year Projects
Every year, faculty members from the College of Performing Arts, which includes Mannes School of Music, the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the School of Drama, release celebrated music, premiere acclaimed performances, and make other positive contributions in their fields.
This year, a number of faculty members released holiday themed music, which New School News has collected below, in addition to a few non-holiday projects and performances. All of this builds on another successful year for the College of Performing Arts, where recently, a number of faculty and alumni were nominated for Grammy awards in a wide range of categories.
Mark Shapiro – Mannes School of Music
On December 16, Mark Shapiro conducted the world premiere, in Carnegie Hall, of the human rights cantata “Everyone, Everywhere” by Daron Hagen. Performers included The Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra of New York, Gabrielle Barkididja, mezzo-soprano, Shavon Lloyd, baritone, and Every Voice Children’s Choir. The concert, which paid tribute to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (which turned 75 in 2023), was introduced from the stage by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk and US Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Human Rights Council Michèle Taylor. Hagen’s cantata sets articles of the Declaration alongside quotes from human rights luminaries including Eleanor Roosevelt, Mahatma Gandhi, John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer, and others.
Kate Maroney – Mannes School of Music
Kate Maroney is featured on a newly released recording of “the little match girl passion” by (and with) David Lang.
Gene Perla – School of Jazz and Contemporary Music
Gene Perla and Ryan Devlin are gearing up for a cross-country driving tour in Fall, 2024, where they will drive from the East Coast to the West Coast and back, performing in different venues along the way.
Ralph Evans – Mannes School of Music
Ralph Evans serves as the first violinist for the Fine Arts Quartet, who recently released three recordings via the Naxos label.
Richard Barone – School of Jazz and Contemporary Music
Richard Barone wrote a new song this holiday season, “Rock the Christmas Cheer” which has just been released by RCA Records, and marks Barone’s group, The Bongos, 40th year on RCA.
“I was thinking about the Christmas and Hanukkah seasons and how, coming as they do, during the dark days of winter, the holidays bring joy and hope and light to people. It’s a call to action, to bring all the optimism and happiness and love of the season into the New Year. It’s really a song about togetherness with family and loved ones, shared experiences, and hoping for better days ahead. The music for the song was inspired by 1950s rock & roll, especially, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and a dash of Bo Diddley.”
Mike Errico – School of Jazz and Contemporary Music
Mike Errico’s latest release is a lush, meditative pop song called “Familiar Blue” that is available to listen to on all platforms now.
Irina Kruzhilina – School of Drama
Irina Kruzhilina recently presented a work-in-progress in collaboration with Russian refugee children who were forced to leave Russia due to their families’ anti-war stances.
Peiwin Chen – Mannes School of Music
Peinwin Chen will perform concerts featuring major works by famous Lithuanian pianist/composer Stasys Vainiunas, including songs with a prominent Lithuanian soprano Raminta Vaicekauskaite and music for two pianos and string quartet this December in Lithuania which marks the importance in composer’s retrospective as his works are rarely performed over decades.