Melissa Wimbish wins 2014 NATS Artist Awards Competition Reply

Melissa_WimbishAt the 53rd National Conference of the National Associations of Teachers of Singing, Melissa Wimbish (GPD ’11, Voice; GPD ’14, Chamber Music) won the final round of the 43rd NATS Artist Awards competition for singers. The NATSAA is designed to help singers who are ready to launch their professional careers and comes with substantial cash prizes, scholarship, and performance opportunities.

from the press release:

BOSTON– Soprano Melissa Wimbish won the 43rd NATS Artist Awards competition for singers on Saturday evening at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, collecting more than $10,000 in cash and prizes in the process.

The NATSAA finals were held on the opening day of the 53rd National Conference. Eight finalists competed for the top award, which is funded by the NATS Foundation, AIMS in Graz, Hal Leonard Corporation, Futura Productions and Distinguished Concerts International New York.

Wimbish receives $5,000 in cash, $2,500 for a winner’s recital at the 2016 NATS Conference in Chicago, $2,500 towards personal expenses for a New York solo recital debut sponsored by DCINY, a full-tuition scholarship to AIMS, and a studio recording package from Futura Productions. Hal Leonard will also provide a $1,000 gift certificate for music.

“It was an incredible evening with outstanding performances by all singers,” NATS Executive Director Allen Henderson said. “This competition is one of the longest-standing NATS traditions, and tonight was another proud chapter in its history.”

Wimbish, of Baltimore, Md., has already enjoyed a noteworthy career. She has been praised by The New York Times for her “stylish singing” and by The Boulder Daily Camera as “simply incredible…the highlight of the entire evening,” soprano Melissa Wimbish is quickly garnering recognition for her artistry, technical prowess, and captivating stage presence.

During the 2013/14 season, Wimbish will perform the role of the History Teacher in the highly anticipated NYC-premiere of Paul’s Case by composer Gregory Spears and directed by Kevin Newbury. With Opera AACC, she will debut the role of Micaëla in George Bizet’s Carmen followed by another debut with American Modern Ensemble in Robert Paterson’s Ghost Theater. Alongside pianist and composer Tom Cipullo, she will appear in recitals presented by Urban Arias at Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C.

Her abilities as a versatile young artist have earned a number of performance engagements both on and off the opera stage. An equally compelling stage actress, her resume includes a healthy roster of theater experience.

Melissa Wimbish wins 2014 NATS Artist Awards Competition–

David Hildebrand featured in BBC Radio 4 profile of Star-Spangled Banner Reply


From BBC Radio 4:

The author and critic Erica Wagner, a New Yorker by birth, explores America’s relationship with its national anthem. The Star-Spangled Banner is embedded in American national identity and yet it only became the official national anthem in 1931. Erica returns to its origins, almost exactly two centuries ago at the Battle of Baltimore in 1814, a decisive moment in the Second War of American Independence, to find out how Francis Scott Key came to write these lyrics about the American flag. She speaks to the acclaimed American poet Mary Jo Salter about the merit of the lyrics, and to the musicologist at the Peabody Conservatory David Hildebrand about how the music changed over time to become the anthem we know today.

BBC Radio 4 – O Say Can You See?


New York Times reviews Michael Hersch’s “On the Threshold of Winter” Reply

Photo credit: Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times

Photo credit: Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times

Praise for the premiere of “On the Threshold of Winter,” the first opera by Peabody alumnus and chair of the Composition Department Michael Hersch (BM ‘95, MM ‘97) zeroes in on the music’s “dark and fragile beauty” and visceral power, leaving the audience at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in “traumatized silence” after its heart-wrenching finale. The review spotlights fellow Peabody faculty member Roger Brunyate’s staging and the “soul-baring and courageous performance” of the opera’s star, Peabody faculty and alumna, Ah Young Hong (BM ’98, MM ’01). Read the full review below.

Inner Musings on a Precarious Descent: Michael Hersch’s New Opera, ‘On the Threshold of Winter’

Other Reviews for “On the Threshold of Winter”

A wintry night in late June – The New Criterion
New Hersch opera a journey toward death – The Philadelphia Inquirer

New York Times and Baltimore Sun spotlight new opera by Michael Hersch Reply

MichaelHersch Growing anticipation for the world premiere of “On the Threshold of Winter,” the first opera by chair of the Conservatory Composition Department Michael Hersch (BM ’95, MM ’97, Composition), has prompted feature stories in both The Baltimore Sun and The New York Times this week. It was also recommended by New York magazine.

A Survivor, Inspired by Love and Loss: Michael Hersch’s New Opera Reflects on a Friend’s Death in The New York Times

Michael Hersch’s first opera an unconventional take on life and death in The Baltimore Sun

To Do: June 18–July 2, 2014 in New York magazine

Winter’ is a deeply personal debut opera for Peabody’s Michael Hersch in JHU Hub

Serap Bastepe-Gray joins International Board for Musicians’ Health and Wellness Reply

Serap_GrayFaculty artist Serap Bastepe-Gray (BM ’96, MM ’99, Guitar) has been invited to join the International Board for the Musicians’ Health and Wellness Special Interest Group of the International Society for Music Education (ISME). The special interest group aims to disseminate crucial health and wellness information worldwide to provide educators the tools to assist their students develop their musical skills in a healthy way that will enable them to maintain career longevity. Also holding a medical degree from Hacettepe University School of Medicine in Ankara, Turkey, Bastepe-Gray will resume her service with the board during the 31st ISME World Conference in Porto Allegre, Brazil in July, where she will chair a symposium examining the role of music educators in the rehabilitative process of their injured students in Europe and the U.S. Bastepe-Gray will also present a session entitled “Sing!: Enhancing melodic awareness in students of classical guitar utilizing guitar ensemble medium to develop transferable skills” during the conference. The ISME 2018 conference will be in Istanbul, Turkey – Bastepe-Gray’s native country.