Jenni Brandon (b. 1977) is an award-winning composer, conductor, and mezzo-soprano who enjoys engaging with performers and audiences, travelling around the country giving talks about the business of music and the art of collaboration. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Sorel Medallion, the American Prize for Choral Composition, the Women Composers Festival of Hartford International Composition Competition, and the Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition.
Jenni’s new opera THREE PADEREWSKIS with book by USC professor Oliver Mayer is the winner of the 2017 Paderewski Cycle sponsored by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute of Poland. Premiered in November 2018, this 40 minute work for 8 singers and piano quartet is being developed into a full length show. Upcoming commissions and performances include a bassoon concerto for bassoonist Christin Schillinger, a work for mezzo-soprano, bassoon, and harp for bassoonist Darrel Hale, and a solo oboe work for Lindabeth Binkley to record on a new CD featuring Jenni’s chamber music.
Recordings of her works appear on 17 CDs on the Delos, Albany, Centaur, MSR Classics, Blue Griffin, Siegfried’s Call, and Longhorn labels. Her works are published and distributed by Boosey & Hawkes, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Graphite Publishing, TrevCo Music Publishing, Imagine Music, J.W. Pepper, and Jenni Brandon Music. Visit www.jennibrandon.com.
Hailed as a “soloist, teacher, and force of nature” by The Double Reed (Journal of the International Double Reed Society), bassoonist Christin Schillinger specializes in the accessibility of the avant-garde, aiming to broaden the audience for both new music and bassoon. American Record Guide refers to her playing as “full of life and inspiration.” “She plays [bassoon] with total mastery.” (Fanfare)
Schillinger works closely with living composers. Her newest solo album, Bassoon Unbounded (2018), highlights works from the 21st Century written in her dedication. Her prior solo albums, Bassoon Transcended (2013) and Bassoon Surrounded (2009), produced for MSR Classics by Swineshead Productions, include world-premiere recordings of new works. Collaborative composers remark on her “natural interpretation” and “perfect musical choices.”
To facilitate the demands of 21st-century compositions, Schillinger researches reed-making consistency. Her 2016 book, Bassoon Reed Making (Indiana University Press) details current and historic trends in this field. Schillinger’s groundbreaking research extends to guest lectures and residencies throughout the United States and Europe.
Schillinger is an active performer, lecturer, and writer. She has published numerous articles, and appears regularly throughout the United States and Europe. In addition, Schillinger co-hosted the 2012 Annual Conference of the International Double Reed Society and inaugural IDRS Teen Camp, the Bassoon Sessions Orchestral Festival, and is the founder of fEMPOWER social platform for female bassoonists.
Schillinger is currently on faculty at Ithaca College in New York. Previously, she has held positions with Miami University, the University of Nevada, and various orchestras throughout the west. Schillinger received her degrees from Northwestern, Michigan State, and Arizona State Universities under the guidance of Bob Barris, Barrick Stees, Michael Kroth, Albie Micklich, and Jeffrey Lyman.
Critics have described oboist Lindabeth Binkley’s playing as a “classic triumph of lightness, delicacy, and expressiveness.” She has held positions with the Colorado Symphony, Arizona Opera, Central City Opera, and performed as the Principal Oboist of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra from 1998 to 2009. Originally from Michigan, Dr. Binkley holds degrees from Central Michigan University, The University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Arizona. Her primary oboe teachers include Roger Rehm, Peter Cooper, and Dr. Neil Tatman.
Dr. Binkley is Associate Professor of Oboe at Central Michigan University (Mt. Pleasant, MI) and Principal Oboist of the Flint Symphony Orchestra (Flint, MI). Since moving to Michigan, has been active throughout the state in performances with the Ann Arbor Symphony, Lansing Symphony, Saginaw Bay Symphony, Midland Symphony, Traverse City Symphony, Jackson Symphony, West Michigan Symphony, and Lexington Bach Festival..
A passionate advocate for chamber music, Dr. Binkley was Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed St. Andrew’s Bach Society (Tucson, AZ), a summer chamber music concert series, from 2007-2011. She also performs regularly with the Powers Woodwind Quintet, a CMU faculty ensemble, and the Flint Symphony Wind Quintet, an ensemble of the principal wind players from the Flint Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Binkley performs on a Royal oboe made by F. Lorée (Paris).
|Canadian clarinetist Jana Starling is a nationally and internationally active performer and teacher. In addition to her 2 solo CDs, Inflexion and Mythos, she is involved in numerous collaborative recordings and commissions. Starling is a regularly invited artist/teacher at various festivals and institutions in China, South America, Canada and the US. She teaches at the International Music Camp-Peace Gardens and is a co-founder of the Lift Clarinet Academy, an innovative summer program in Colorado. She is the E-flat clarinetist with the trio, Ironwood Trio. In 2011, she joined the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University, London, Ontario. She previously held positions at Arizona State University (USA) and Mount Allison University (NB, Canada). Her teachers have been Ron Goddard, Connie Gitlin and Robert Spring.
Nicki Roman is the most recent first prize winner of the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) Solo Competition, the most prestigious saxophone competition in the United States. She has been a prize winner at the Music Teacher’s National Association Young Artist Solo Competition, William C. Byrd International Competition, and is the first saxophonist to be the recipient of the International Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship. Her research on the music of Bruno Mantovani has been presented at national and international conferences, including the most recent World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb, Croatia. Nicki is a member of the Fuego Quartet, gold medalists in the 44th annual Fischoff Competition and recorded their debut album under Parma Recordings, set to be released in April 2019. A strong advocate for new music, Nicki has collaborated with the Møthertung Ensemble, [Switch~ Ensemble], Ossia New Music and the Illinois Modern Ensemble.
Dr. Roman is the newly appointed Visiting Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. At UWM, she teaches applied saxophone, coaches chamber music, and is the director of the UWM Saxophone Ensemble. She recently earned her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the Eastman School of Music where she held the coveted position of
Assistant Director of the Eastman Saxophone Project. Nicki is Conn-Selmer and Vandoren Performing Artist.
Clarinetist Elizabeth Crawford is Professor of Music Performance at Ball State University. A member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra for ten years, she has also worked with numerous orchestras throughout the United States, including the Indianapolis Symphony. While living in the United Kingdom from 2002-2005, she performed extensively with virtually all of the major orchestras and recorded at Abbey Road and for the BBC. Dr. Crawford has performed and given classes throughout the United States, Europe, New Zealand and South Africa and is an active member of the International Clarinet Association.
A proponent of music for E-flat clarinet, she has commissioned solo works for the instrument by Jenni Brandon and Scott McAllister. Her editions of the complete works for E-flat and piano by Giuseppe Cappelli are available from Potenza Music and her CD, Instant Winners, a compilation of 20th and 21st century music by American composers for E-flat clarinet, was released on the Albany Records label in September 2018.
In addition, Elizabeth performs frequently with violist Dr. Katrin Meidell. Violet. Their ensemble, Violet, has commissioned over 100 works for clarinet and viola, and their CD, Violet, was released in February 2019 on the Albany Records label.
Marybeth Minnis is the Assistant Director of the School of Music and Assistant Professor of Bassoon at Central Michigan University. She has been Principal Bassoonist of the Saginaw Bay Orchestra since 1985 and frequently performs with the Midland Symphony, and other area orchestras. An active chamber musician she performs and tours with the Powers Woodwind Quintet. Professor Minnis has performed and/or presented at several International Double Reed Society Conferences, TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association), the Michigan Music Conference, regional CBDNA Conferences, and the Midwest Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago. She received degrees from Central Michigan University (BME) and the University of Michigan (Masters in Bassoon Performance). Her teachers include Lewis Hugh Cooper and Robert Barris.
MaryBeth Minnis can be heard on Flights of Fancy, (Centaur Records 2603,) Bremen Town Musicians, (Centaur Records 2774,) Gems for Woodwind Quintet, (White Pine Music,) The Clarinet Chamber Music of Alvin Etler (Centaur Records,) and Hidden Gems for Woodwind Quintet, (Centaur Records).