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December, 16, 2021
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM


W 179


Weston Sprott

Weston Sprott
Jasmine Britt

Jasmine Britt
Jonathan Villela

Jonathan Villela
Jennifer Jolley

Jennifer Jolley

What About the Composer?

Clinic Synopsis:

We already know how influential the experience of playing in a band can be for a kid, college student, or adult. The opportunities to be part of a community, to make music together, and to perform for others have a tremendous impact on each individual. But what about the composer? What if the piece you were playing was written by someone in your community? What if it was written by someone who looks like the people playing the music (i.e. the same race)? Imagine what that impact could be.

Vanessa Rose - Biographical Information

President & CEO of the American Composers Forum, Vanessa Rose oversees the national advocacy organization’s strategic vision, programs, and financial health. She has led organizations through significant transitions, including The Knights orchestra collective, International Contemporary Ensemble, Arco Collaborative, and the Lark Play Development Center. Her focus on change management has enabled her to establish new executive positions, build effective governance structures, clarify mission-driven priorities, and strengthen communication and fundraising strategies. Rose completed the League of American Orchestra’s year-long Orchestra Management Fellowship Program, which included residencies with the Dallas Symphony, Elgin Symphony, Aspen Music Festival and School, and San Francisco Symphony. She has held fundraising positions at The Metropolitan Opera and the League of American Orchestras as well. Trained as a violinist, Vanessa Rose studied at Indiana University, Eastman School of Music, Mannes College of Music and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Weston Sprott - Biographical Information

Weston Sprott enjoys an exciting career that includes orchestral, chamber, and solo performances, as well as numerous educational and outreach efforts. He is Dean of the Preparatory Division at The Juilliard School, leading Juilliard Pre-College and the Music Advancement Program, and a trombonist in New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, of which he has been a member since 2005. He is a recipient of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence and the Atlanta Symphony Talent Development Program Aspire Award. Sprott has performed frequently with the Philadelphia Orchestra, held a position with the Zurich Opera/Philharmonia, and has appeared with numerous other major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, and Oslo Philharmonic. A dedicated and tireless teacher, Sprott holds faculty positions at Juilliard Pre-College and Bard College. He previously led the brass department at Mannes College and held faculty positions at Rutgers University, Purchase College, and the Juilliard Music Advancement Program. He also works with organizations like Play On Philly and Music Kitchen, and has sponsored educational opportunities and solicited instrument donations for disadvantaged students. He is the Board Chair of the Friends of SICMF, a member of the Bronx Arts Ensemble’s Artistsic Advisory Board, and a member of the Avery Fisher Artist Program's Recommendation Board. Weston is an active speaker, writer, and advisor for diversity and inclusion efforts in classical music.

Christopher Yee - Biographical Information

Christopher Yee is an Assistant Band Director at Cedar Park High School and the co-founder of the Cedar Park Winds Community Band. Born and raised in Klein, Texas, Christopher received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York where he studied trumpet with Frank Campos. Upon graduation in 2005, he began teaching middle school band in Austin, Texas as an assistant band director at Canyon Ridge Middle School. In 2010, Christopher opened Four Points Middle School as its Director of Bands and served in that position until 2017. The Four Points Middle School Wind Ensemble, under Mr. Yee’s leadership, was invited to perform at the 2015 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. He is now thrilled to serve as the Director of Bands at Cedar Park High School beginning in the Fall of 2020.

Jasmine Britt - Biographical Information

Jasmine Britt resides in Brooklyn NY and currently serves as Artistic Director of the Metropolitan Music Community, conductor of the Kings County Concert Band and as associate of conductor of the New York City “All City” Concert Band. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Florida State University and her Master’s in Music Education from Ithaca College. Upon graduating with honors from FSU in 2004 Ms. Britt taught band at Olsen Middle School in Dania Beach, Florida where her students participated in the Broward All-County Band and Florida All-State Bands. In 2007 she became the band director at Middle School 50 in Brooklyn, leading the symphonic band to its first Gold Medal Rating at NYSSMA evaluation in 2009 then again in 2010 and 2011. Ms. Britt is currently a band director at the Grand Street Campus High Schools, directing the Symphonic Band, Jazz Band B, the Concert Band and several chamber ensembles.

Jonathan Villela - Biographical Information

Jonathan M. Villela began his teaching career at Four Points Middle School following his graduation from Oklahoma State University in 2015 as a Velma Forbes Scholar. During his time at Oklahoma State University, Villela studied saxophone, chamber music, and pedagogy under Dr. Jeffrey Loeffert. On several occasions, Villela traveled to Singapore as a guest clinician of the Wind Bands Association of Singapore. Additionally, Villela was a National Chamber Music Finalist in the Music Teachers National Association Competition, a drum major of the OSU Cowboy Marching Band, and remains a clinician at public schools, university music camps, professional conventions in Texas, the Midwest Clinic, and most recently, The Conn-Selmer Institute. Villela served as Assistant Director of Bands at Four Points Middle School. There, he helped prepare the Four Points Wind Ensemble for their performance at the 69th Annual Midwest Clinic. The Concert and Symphonic Ensembles consistently received highest ratings in competitions and state evaluations under his direction.

Jennifer Jolley - Biographical Information

Jennifer Jolley is a West Texas-_based composer of vocal, orchestral, wind ensemble, chamber, and electronic works. Jennifer’s work draws toward subjects that are political and even provocative. Her collaboration with librettist Kendall A, Prisoner of Conscience, has been described as “the ideal soundtrack and perhaps balm for our current ‘toxic’…times” by Frank J. Oteri of NewMusicBox. Her piece Blue Glacier Decoy, written as a musical response to the Olympic National Park, depicts the melting glaciers of the Pacific Northwest. Her partnership with writer Scott Woods, You Are Not Alone, evokes the fallout of the #MeToo Movement. Jennifer’s works have been performed by ensembles worldwide, including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony, Dulciana (_Dublin, Ireland)_, Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra (_New York, NY)_, and the SOLI Chamber Ensemble (_Alba, Italy residency)_. She has received commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, University of Texas Wind Ensemble, the Quince Ensemble, and many others. Her music can be found on various albums, including flautist Lindsey Goodman’s Etero with Navona Records, Quince Ensemble’s Motherland with New Focus Recordings, Ohio University Wind Symphony’s Ampersand and Bowling Green State University Wind Symphony’s New Music for Wind Band Vol. 1, both released with Mark Records.