Florida Atlantic University Hoot/Wisdom Recording’s 15 Year Anniversary Celebration Artist Highlight

On Saturday, February 10th, Florida Atlantic University will be hosting the 15 year anniversary celebration of the university label Hoot/Wisdom Recordings. We will be hosting a lovely evening of music and celebration, including performances by students and faculty. Below I have listed the performances for the event and a bio to highlight each artist. It will be a night to remember!

Dr. Kofman is currently an Assistant Professor and the Director of Keyboard Studies at Florida Atlantic University. The renowned Russian-American pianist holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Miami, where she studied under tutelage of Dr. Sackstein, a pupil of the legendary Claudio Arrau. Dr. Kofman is the founder of the Arcangelo Piano Quartet, a distinguished American chamber ensemble. With them she toured Guatemala, China and the United States—all to rave reviews. In addition to her highly renowned chamber group, Irena Kofman formed a duo with the eminent Belgian pianist André De Groote. The year 2006 saw this duo perform Beethoven’s complete works for piano duet. Their album “Russian Treasures,” under Hoot/Wisdom Recordings, was released in 2007 to high critical praise. The second collaboration of the Kofman-De Groote duo is a profound interpretation of the four most significant works of Schubert’s piano duet literature; released in December 2009, it celebrates the 25th anniversary of the European recording label “Talent.” A 2014 collaboration between Andre De Groote and Irena Kofman brought the previously unknown composer Theodore Gouvy into the spotlight.The recording received critical acclaim, bringing high words of praise. The MusicWeb International critic Philip R. Buttall notes, “The performance, too, is absolutely first-rate. The De Groote/Kofman team showing not only great empathy for the style, and clearly sounding as if they enjoyed every single note, but in pure terms of balance and ensemble, their playing can simply not be faulted.” Since the release of the recording, the Gouvy estate has invited De Groote and Kofman to perform at the Gouvy museum in France. Dr. Kofman continues to collaborate with other outstanding musicians, such as Japanese violinist Junko Outsu. A recent concert, hosted by the Japanese Consulate, was performed in dedication to the victims of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. As a solo artist, Dr. Kofman performs to wide audiences locally and abroad. Notably, she was invited to perform for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet at his Compassion as a Pillar of World Peace presentation and the next year she appeared at the TEDxBocaRaton event. As a pedagogue, Dr. Kofman is superb as demonstrated by awards and student outcomes. She received a Diploma of Recognition from the American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music 2011 and the American Protégé International Music Talent Competition 2012 and 2016 for “extraordinary dedication and achievement in the field of teaching music and presenting students to perform at Carnegie Hall.” In 2015 she again received recognition from Carnegie Hall in the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition. Chosen among the country’s best teachers, Dr. Kofman demonstrated master classes and spoke at Florida State University’s Piano Symposium, thereafter awarded their Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Kofman also performed and presented master classes in Salzburg at the prestigious Salzburg Summer Program, International Concerto Festival in Russia in 2014, World Piano Conference in Slovenia and Cremona International Music Academy in Italy in 2016. She was heard in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Italy, Poland, China, Guatemala, Bahamas and Curacao. Many of Dr. Kofman’s former piano students are distinguished performers and educators throughout the Americas, Former Soviet Union, and Europe.

A native of Florida, Dr. Rossow has been a member of the faculty at Florida Atlantic University since 2000. Dr. Rossow holds the Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and the Master of Arts with an emphasis in Choral Conducting degrees from Florida Atlantic University and received the Doctorate in Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Miami. Her thesis, entitled The Choral Music of Irish Composer Michael McGlynn, was the first on Mr. McGlynn and is currently held in the Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin. In addition, she was awarded the Theodore Presser Award for Research in Music for her work in the area of Irish choral music and was named the Florida Atlantic University 2015 Faculty Talon Award Recipient. A faculty member at the inaugural Anúna Summer School in Dublin during the Summer of 2011, Dr. Rossow returned in 2013 as a featured clinician and facilitator and to the faculty in June of 2015 when she was named as a co-director for the now annual workshop. She has also served as the studio conductor for three Anúna recordings, the 2012 Illuminations, the 2015 Revelation, and the 2016 EP release Sunshine | Shadows. Stephen Eddins of the All-Music Guide said of her work on the 2012 Anúna CD Illuminations, “…, in her debut recording conducting the group, [she] conveys a thorough understanding of the various musical styles and draws sensitive performances from the singers.” Dr. Rossow has also premiered several of Mr. McGlynn’s works including: My Songs Shall Rise, the Women’s Chorus and orchestral version of the Behind the Closed Eye Suite, Incantations, and Flowers, Sunshine, and Shadows. In addition to her work with Anúna, Dr. Rossow is the founding director of Sirenia, a six-member female choral ensemble who recorded their first CD with Hoot Wisdom Recordings in August of 2015 to be released in late 2016. Dr. Rossow is an active vocal performer, choral and vocal adjudicator, and choral clinician. She is an avid researcher and has presented lectures and papers regionally and nationally on such topics as The Choral Music of Ireland, The History of Irish choral music, The Music of Irish composer Michael McGlynn, Choral Repertoire, Braille Music Notation for Music Students, and Proper Use of Linguistic Stress in Music. Most recently, she began to identify a nationalist school of choral composition in Ireland and its association with sean-nós singing. Her current research has begun to identify a nationalist school of choral composition in Ireland and its association with sean-nós singing. Most recently, her research has been chosen for presentation at the National Association for Music Education’s and National Collegiate Choral Organization’s national conferences in fall of 2017. In addition, the Florida Atlantic University Women’s Chorus, under Dr. Rossow’s direction, was selected to perform at the Florida ACDA Conference, November 2017.

This Colombian group is dedicated to performing the most representative styles of Tango and they formed in 2011 by musicians from Bogotá with wide experience in differents musical genres: Alberto Tamayo (Piano), Daniel Plazas (Violin), Kike Harker (Contrabass), Francisco Avellaneda (Guitar) and Giovanni Parra (Bandoneón). Their projects have become popular in their country to share, listen, play and learn with the greatest masters of Tango in the world. The master of tango, Leopoldo Federico, who sponsored this initiative from Buenos Aires. From its school project, the Quinteto have realized didactic concerts in the National University of Colombia, Pedagogic University, University of Los Andes and University Inca. Furthermore have received master classes with masters like Daniel Binelli, Hernán Possetti, Pablo Agri and Esteban Falabella, all of them argentine masters with wide trajectory in tango. The Quinteto have realized successful recitals in acknowledged halls and music schools from Bogotá and Colombia: Fabio Lozano Auditory, Leonardus Auditory, Jorge Eliecer Gaitán Theatre, Roberto Arias Pérez Theatre, La media Torta Open Air Theatre, Bellas Artes from Bogotá Theatre, Skandia Auditory, Julio Mario Santo Domingo Library, El Tunal Library, El Tintal Library, Virgilio Barco Library, Theatre Luis A Calvo (Bucaramanga), Tolima Theatre (Ibagué), Lido Theatre (Medellín,) Pablo Tobón Uribe Theatre (Medellín). They have participated in the Didactic Concerts Cycle organized by the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra, and have been invited twice to the International Festival of Tango from Medellín and to the Bucaratango Festival in Bucaramaga city. They also have played recently in Duitama city within the framework of the International Week of Bolivarian Culture. The Quinteto is part of the dance companies Alma de Tango and Tango Embrujo, where they performed with the biggest tango dancers in the country. Today they have shows with Alma de Tango in the play “Páprika” in Bellas Artes from Bogotá Theatre season.They are currently recording their first album, where they will interpret traditional tangos with arrangements by severals masters from Argentina and Colombian music, adapted for the first time to this kind of musical format.

Kevin Wilt is an Assistant Professor of Music and Composer-in-Residence at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. His works are published by Whistling Vine Music. He composes music for a variety of ensembles that balances sophistication with accessibility, and experimentation with solid craftsmanship. Composer John Corigliano praised his expert orchestration and beautiful writing, while the Bloomington Herald wrote, “[his music] has a keen sense of mood and tonal balance.” Recent performances include those by the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra, the Boston New Music Initiative, Fifth House Ensemble, the h2 Quartet, Project Fusion, the Apollo Fund, SHUFFLE Concert, the Mexico City Woodwind Quintet, ensembles at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, the University of Texas at Austin, Florida State University, the University of Kansas, the University of Oklahoma, Michigan State University, Kennesaw State University, as well as a reading by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Leonard Slatkin. Kevin is equally at home composing for film and television, earning him a Michigan Emmy® Award Nomination for Best Musical Composition. Other film projects include The Inevitable, The Happy Couple, a string quartet for the short film Renegade, and The Wars of Other Men. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition from Michigan State University, where he studied with Ricardo Lorenz. He completed his Masters Degree in Music Composition at MSU, working with Jere Hutcheson and Charles Ruggiero, and his Bachelors Degree in Music Composition and Theory from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, where he studied with James Hartway.

Founded in 1986, the Trio Nueva Colombia presents a work whose main objective is to promote and disseminate Colombian Andean Instrumental Music. Germán Darío Pérez Salazar, director, composer, pianist and arranger of the Trio Nueva Colombia has strived to open new perspectives for Colombian Andean Music through clearly defined sonority. This vision is supported through an excellent interpretive level combining well-made music with years of careful work and the talent of each one of its members. With 30 years of experience, the Trio Nueva Colombia is considered by experts as a breakpoint in Colombian music in the Andean region, and as an inescapable reference in the musical history of the country. There are innumerable concerts that have been offered inside and outside the country, throughout their artistic career. Its director has received on several occasions tributes in life, as one of the most outstanding musicians of the Colombian music of the Andean region. His composing work has been widely awarded at the national level, reaching the top 23 in composition at the most important contests and festivals throughout the country. Considered by experts as a group of the highest artistic level, the Trio’s music exerts excellence, interpretative sensibility, good taste in the arrangements and mastery in the execution of each instrument.

Alexa Ehrlich is a senior at Florida Atlantic University and is an Interdisciplinary Studies major with a focus on Music Business. No stranger to the entertainment industry, Alexa Ehrlich, 23, is a Pop singer/songwriter making her way back to music with her latest single, “Warrior.” Born and raised in South Florida, Alexa quickly developed a passion for performing on stage. She began a career as a professional actress at the age of six in 2000 after moving to Canton, Georgia. With the support of her parents, she auditioned and landed a role for the play A Christmas Carol at the Alliance Theater which was produced by award winning director, Kenny Leon. She followed that up with an audition for Theater of the Stars Touring Company (Fox Theater in Atlanta). From there, she debuted in national tours from 2001 through 2004. Starring in plays such as Annie, The Sound of Music, and The King and I. From there, she moved ‘Off Broadway’ to New York City to star in Kathie Lee Gifford’s Under The Bridge in 2005, directed by Eric Schaeffer. While developing her voice, Alexa began to write songs and explore the world of Pop music. She reached out to Jan Smith Studios in Atlanta and began honing in on her craft, making her voice and her writing stronger. Alexa has worked with producers such as Tank, R.City, Paul Dawson aka Hollywood Hot sauce, Guitarboy, and more to find her voice and craft her unique sound. Now, she is gearing up for the release of her latest single, “Warrior,” a song about empowerment and self-esteem which will be released soon.

Josh Hollin is a junior at Florida Atlantic University with a major in Commercial Music. In a time when pop stars come a dime a dozen, 20 year old singer/songwriter, Josh Hollin, under the moniker PAJAMA JOSH is anything but ordinary. After having spent most of his formative years growing up in the western family oriented town known as Missoula, Montana, Josh found himself traveling back to his home state of Maryland. It is here where he rekindled his passion for RnB/Hip Hop and began to establish himself as an artist in his own right. Josh attended the prestigious Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, in Hagerstown Maryland where he was classically trained as an upright bassist and also served as the assistant principal bassist in the Maryland All-State Orchestra. Josh continues his studies as a Commercial Music major at Florida Atlantic University, and serves as Vice President of the student-run record label, Hoot/Wisdom Recordings. In addition, Josh has worked behind the scenes as a Channel Kindness reporter for Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation and has also worked as a College Rep at RED Music which is a distribution service that exists under the Sony Music umbrella.
Josh describes his stage name “PAJAMA JOSH,” as a way to feel more like himself, similar to how one would feel after putting on their pajamas after a long day of work. He says, “The second I get home, I’m in my boxers and white robe because it’s how I get back a sense of freedom in my life. This is exactly how I want people to feel when they listen to my music.” His latest single “Home,” is available on all music platforms worldwide. No matter where his music may take him next, one thing is for certain: His old soul, sick beats and unconventional approach to making what some may consider conventional music is what makes PAJAMA JOSH Pop Music’s latest guilty pleasure.

Kyle Prescott is the Director of Bands at Florida Atlantic University. His responsibilities include conducting the University Wind Ensemble and Chamber Winds, teaching the graduate instrumental conducting sequence and coordinating all aspects of FAU’s comprehensive university bands program. He holds his undergraduate degree from the University of Idaho, and the Master of Music and the Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Wind Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin, where his principal conducting teacher was Jerry F. Junkin. Additionally, he has studied with exemplary conductors through fourteen international conducting symposia. In the summer of 2013, Dr Prescott was appointed Coordinator of Community Engagement in the Performing Arts for the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. In this administrative capacity, he works to foster artistic relationships between the university and various agencies, including non-profit, public, and private. Prior to his work at The University of Texas, Dr. Prescott conducted bands and orchestras in the Pacific Northwest. Ensembles under his direction have been invited to perform at the Northwest Regional Conference of the National Association for Music Education in 1997 and 1999, the Florida Music Educators Association Conference in 2009, and the Southern Conference of the College Band Directors National Association in 2008 and 2016 . A strong proponent of new music for wind ensemble, Dr. Prescott has conducted nine world premieres in recent years, including works by Arthur Weisberg and Libby Larsen. In 2016, Dr Prescott will serve as the conductor of the Florida All State Concert Orchestra, in Tampa. His research in score analysis and rehearsal has been published in five separate volumes of the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series. He is the past Florida State Chair of CBDNA, Conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Palm Beach Youth Orchestras, President-elect of The Symphonia: Boca Raton, and Conductor and Music Director of South Florida’s professional wind band, the Florida Wind Symphony, and its affiliate, the FWS Jazz Orchestra.

Blog Post by: Brianna Guinn

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