Yamaha Appoints Dave Gerhart as Product Manager, Percussion Instruments

Dave Gerhart has been appointed Product Manager of Percussion Instruments at Yamaha.

As noted in the Yamaha press release, “Dave brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and education to this position,” said Garth Gilman, general manager, Band & Orchestral Division, Yamaha Corporation of America. “As a music educator and performer, his background helps Yamaha further the goal of spreading the joys and benefits of music education and gives him the ability to talk shop with the most knowledgeable percussionists.”

Whiplash Nominated for Best Picture

Little did we know that when Jazz Studies was contacted by a Hollywood casting agency in the summer of 2013 to hire extras for a feature film about college jazz bands that “Whiplash” would go on to be nominated for an Oscar as Best Picture.

Drew Ninmer, Jason Fabus, Taylor Smith, Patrick Lenertz, and Gary Soland appeared and are credited as members of the conservatory jazz orchestra in the film, which focuses on a drummer in as he struggles to impress a merciless teacher. “Whiplash” received a total of five Oscar nominations; J.K. Simmons, who won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the teacher, is nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

Graeme Langager Prepares Pårt for Vancouver Symphony

Graeme Langager (MM Choral Conducting,1996) prepared the Phoenix Chamber Choir for a performance of Arvo Pärt’s Berliner Mass with the Vancouver Symphony and Maestro Bramwell Tovey.

Dr. Langager also serves as Director of Choral Activities at the University of British Columbia; he commutes between Vancouver and Phoenix. It is his arrangement of “Irish Blessing” that the Chamber Choir sings to end every choral concert.

Maria Lazarova Cast in Serial TV Opera

Lecturer Maria Lazarova is featured in Lisa Bielawa’s new opera, designed to be shown in serial installments on TV. “Vireo” focuses on female hysteria and the ways it has been perceived and manipulated by witch-hunters, psychiatrists and artists over the centuries.

The first installment is a 25-minute pilot episode that will be taped in February at the Yost Theatre in Santa Ana, California and will premiere in Spring 2015.

The pilot will also feature the Kronos Quartet, mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, the Orange County School of the Arts Middle School choir, baritone Gregory Purnhagen, drummer Matthias Bossi, and in the title role of Vireo, 16-year-old soprano, Rowen Sabala.

Nathan Stark Nabs Another Rave Review

Alumnus Nathan Stark received a spectacular review of his role in “The Italian Girl in Algiers” with the Opera San Jose: “In particular, there is one blow-you-away performance, by bass Nathan Stark, singing the role of Mustafa, the Bey of Algiers. At Sunday’s performance — the second of six, through Nov. 30 — his stentorian voice was impressive, for sure. But more than that, Stark, also debuting with the company, is a natural comic actor with a memorably plastic face that puts his characterization of this wildly rich, lecherous, spoiled and foolhardy ruler over the top.”

Mike Miley one of 10 Best Rock Drummers in the World

Alumnus Mike Miley (Rival Sons) was named one of the “10 best rock drummers in the world right now” by musicradar.com 2014. They mention,”The Californian rockers dropped their fifth studio album, Great Western Valkryie, which took just five weeks to record in Nashville but earned them a five-star review in Rhythm for its sweet kit sounds and Mike Miley’s unquestionably huge groove.”