ConverZations
Our FREE monthly lecture series dives into the world of music. This series of discussions brings you closer to the music with a different topic each month. Each topic and speaker is chosen to specifically enhance our MasterWorks concert series. The atmosphere is casual and engaging.

Bring your lunch, relax, and enjoy!

Women “In” Music: A Deeper Look at Women in Music History

November 9, 2020

What does it mean to be “in” music? While studying music history, we often give great focus to those who compose, conduct, and publicly perform music. Though some extraordinary women of the past overcame societal barriers to participate in such roles, many more women are left out of our conversations. By expanding our definition of music-makers to include all those who make music possible—from educators to patrons and more—the rich impact by women on classical music in America emerges. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, this lecture will allow listeners to explore a legacy of women in music that stretches far beyond our modern favorites.

Bio

Destinee N. Siebe is a student musicologist, set to complete the Historical Musicology M.A. program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in spring 2021. She is a graduate of the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, where she majored in Music History & Literature and studied bassoon with Mr. Jonathan Sherwin. Her research interests are best described as “all things 20th and 21st century United States,” ranging from feminist archive strategies and understudied women composers, to the 21st century wind ensemble’s responses to tragedies and violence. Her lecture will incorporate research completed as a 2018 Baldwin Wallace Summer Scholars Program participant, as well as in her 2020 appointment as research assistant to prominent feminist musicologist Dr. Susan C. Cook.

Holidays with Heather Cooper

December 14, 2020

Celebrate holiday cheer with a variety of holiday organ music provided by Heather Cooper! The program will include a wide variety of music as well as a discuss with Mrs. Cooper about the organ and the music it provides. (Program TBA)
Heather Cooper is active as a church musician, educator, and performer. She currently serves as Interim Organist and Director of Handbells and Children’s Choir at Christ Presbyterian Church, where her responsibilities include providing music for worship, as well as organizing the annual concert series. Heather frequently performs as keyboardist with the Canton Symphony Orchestra. She recently appeared as featured soloist on the CSO Masterworks series, presenting Guilmant’s Symphony No. 1 in D minor for Organ and Orchestra, as well as the beloved “Organ” Symphony No. 3 of Saint-Saëns. She previously served as accompanist for the CSO Chorus for several years. Heather is Principal Conductor for Summit Choral Society, where she directs the flagship children’s ensemble, Performance Choir. The group has performed locally with the Canton Symphony and Akron Symphony, and nationally at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Grand Ole Opry. The choir was invited to perform at the national conference of the Organization of American Kodaly Educators in 2019, as well as singing at the Ohio Choral Directors Conference in 2017. Heather spent sixteen years as an elementary and middle school music teacher in both public and private settings. Heather holds Bachelor of Music degrees in Piano Performance and Choral Music Education from the University of South Carolina. Her Master of Music degree is in Music Education from Capital University.

Musician Profile - Alyson Rzesztarski

January 11, 2021

CSO Musician, Alyson Rzesztarski, will take listeners to the instrument family at the back of the orchestra; the percussion family. She will discuss what it is like to a percussionist in the orchestra and will share several of the many instruments found in the percussion section.

Bio

Alyson Rzeszotarski joined the percussion section of the Canton Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2017. Ms. Rzeszotarski performs regularly with many local orchestras throughout the region including the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Akron Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with many other orchestras across the country including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, and the Israel Philharmonic which she travelled with on a tour of North America under the direction of music director Zubin Mehta.! ! Ms. Rzeszotarski received both her bachelor’s degree as well as a master’s degree in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Christopher Lamb, Duncan Patton, Erik Charlston, and She-e Wu. She also spent a summer in Aspen studying with Doug Howard and Tom Stubbs. Ms. Rzeszotarski has a passion for promoting and performing contemporary music and has worked closely with composers David Lang, Kevin Volans, and Andy Akiho to name a few.! ! In her spare time, Ms. Rzeszotarski is an avid distance runner and enjoys spending time outside exploring the roads and trails of Northeast Ohio. She also enjoys reading, practicing yoga and meditation, and listening to hip-hop, Brazilian music, and Tom Hamilton’s broadcasts of the Cleveland Indians games.

All About Baroque

February 8, 2021

Today, we take the value of instrumental music for granted. Orchestras across the world regularly delight audiences with complete concerts of instrument-only works, like those featured on the “Baroque Bash” program. The high status of instruments and instrumental genres in Western music, however, was a unique product of the Baroque era, which saw the significant cultivation of instrumental art music separate from vocal music for the first time in Western music history. This lecture will examine the meteoric rise of instrumental music in Western Europe during the Baroque era, focusing on the ways that instruments, in particular, help to reveal the diverse foundations of eighteenth-century European music and highlight the complex socio-economic factors that influenced musical performance—factors that continue to resonate in Western music today.

Bio

Danielle M. Kuntz is assistant professor of music history and Riemenschneider Bach Institute (RBI) Scholar-in-Residence at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music. She holds a Ph.D. and M.M. in historical musicology from the University of Minnesota, with research specializations in eighteenth-century music at European courts, especially that in Lisbon, Portugal, and the music of the Luso-Hispanic world. Her research has received the support of numerous competitive fellowships and awards, including a Fulbright Dissertation Research Fellowship, Foreign Language and Area Studies Grant (Advanced Portuguese Language Study, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, 2012), the University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, and the University of Minnesota Best Dissertation Award (Fine Arts, 2014). She has presented her research nationally and internationally, including the Annual Conference of the American Musicological Society and the Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music. Prior to her graduate work, she received a B.S. in music education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), where she studied clarinet (primary) and organ (secondary). She was the recipient of a IUP’s Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2019. At home in Cleveland, she enjoys playing accordion and and spending time with her bassoonist husband, Dr. Andrew Machamer, their music-loving toddler Louis, and two especially beautiful cats, Kitty and Barbara.

Music Education: Why We Need It

March 8, 2021

What are the benefits of music education in the schools of America beyond developing performers, educators, and improving test scores in other areas? As we prepare for Music In Our Schools month in March, Michelle Monigold will give us her perspective on music education as a career educator. Join us to discuss the many aspects and benefits of music education in the public schools and learn how you can support your local music programs.

Bio

Michele Monigold is Director of Bands and Music Department Head at Jackson High School, and was named Ohio District 8 Teacher of the Year for 2019. She holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Akron and is currently an adjunct instructor at Kent State University. Michele directs the Jackson High School Symphony Band, the “Purple Army” marching band, assists with middle school bands, and teaches Advanced Music/Composition and Music as a World Phenomenon courses. Mrs. Monigold is the Tri-M Music Honor Society advisor, an active adjudicator for the Ohio Music Education Association, a certified mentor teacher, and is a trainer for National Geographic Certified Educator Phase 1 workshops.

Art of the Soloist: Friends or Foes? The Musical Synergy between Orchestra and Soloist

April 12, 2021

What does it mean to be a soloist? This is a question that has a more convoluted answer than one may think. In this ConverZation, we will learn the good and the bad of soloist playing while learning the history of the concerto and other types of soloistic playing. What is different when playing a concerto than other types of classical playing and how can a soloist and orchestra come together to create their art?

Bio

Currently a professor of music at the University of Mount Union, pianist Dr. Maira Liliestedt has piano degrees from Bowling Green State University and the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. An active performer and teacher, and twice the recipient of the prestigious Presser Music Award, she is a regular solo and chamber pianist and concerto soloist. Her Appassionata Piano Duo with Janelle Phinney has garnered praise for “flawless, often fiery technique,” and “terrific collaboration full of grace and passion.” Liliestedt has presented solo and chamber recitals at many universities in the Midwest and abroad, as well as duo and solo concerto performances. Her most recent engagements include orchestral collaboration on Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Appassionata Piano Duo work on Brahms’s complete Hungarian Dances, and upcoming solo recitals featuring chamber-versions of Chopin’s E Minor Concerto.
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