NATIONAL ORCHESTRAL INSTITUTE + FESTIVAL RELEASES FOURTH NAXOS LABEL ALBUM
Album features Conductor James Judd and Wolf Trap Opera.
The University of Maryland’s National Orchestral Institute + Festival (NOI+F), which brings together aspiring orchestral musicians from across the country, has released its latest Naxos Records album, “Bernstein, Gershwin and Copland.” The recording, under the direction of conductor James Judd and featuring six vocalists from the 2018 Wolf Trap Opera roster, includes Leonard Bernstein's "Songfest," George Gershwin's "An American in Paris" and Aaron Copland's "An Outdoor Overture."
Launched in 2015, the partnership between Naxos and NOI+F offers a rare opportunity for young musicians to be featured on an international music label. Each year, one concert of all-American music is recorded at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.
The partnership has produced three recordings, with the album “Ruggles, Stucky, Harbison (2017)” earning a nomination for the 2019 Grammy in "Best Orchestral Performance."
“I am in awe of the artistry and talent showcased by our students on this album of iconic American music,” says NOI+F director Richard Scerbo. “It is a testament to our ongoing mission to train and mentor the next generation of orchestral musicians."
“Bernstein, Gershwin and Copland” features vocal artists Joshua Conyers, Patrick Guetti, Alexander McKissick, Kerriann Otaño, Taylor Raven and Zoie Reams, who were in residency at Wolf Trap Opera in 2018 as part of Wolf Trap’s Filene Artist Program; the program gathers emerging professional singers for rigorous training, career development and performance opportunities. Wolf Trap Opera’s long-standing partnership with NOI+F takes thrilling vocal music beyond the company's Northern Virginia home, which allows NOI+F students to experience adventurous operatic repertoire with emerging vocalists.
These talented vocalists can be heard in Bernstein’s “Songfest,” which sets American poetry to music that tells stories about creativity, love and life as a minority. The piece was written in celebration of the 1976 American Bicentennial.
The recording also features the critical edition of George Gershwin's "An American in Paris," which includes his rarely-recorded original orchestration. Written for the High School of Music and Art in New York City, Aaron Copland's “An Outdoor Overture” is a bright and joyful meditation that celebrates youth.