KARL HIRZER - ORCHESTRA

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Canadian musician Karl Hirzer is a conductor, pianist and composer from New Westminster, British Columbia. He has held the position of Resident, then Associate Conductor with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra since 2016. Active internationally, Hirzer has led performances with ensembles such as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Sczcecin Philharmonic, Symphony Nova Scotia, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Gstaad Festival Orchestra, Orchestra Senzaspine and the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana. He works regularly with new music titans Land’s End Ensemble, having collaborated on a number of critically acclaimed commercial recordings.Mr. Hirzer has previously acted as Assistant Conductor for the National Academy Orchestra of Canada and the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble, as well as Assistant Chorus Master of the Calgary Philharmonic Chorus. A steadfast educator, Hirzer was a faculty member at the 22nd Morningside Music Bridge program in Warsaw. Trained as a pianist, Hirzer holds bachelor’s (University of Victoria) and master’s (McGill University) degrees in performance, as well as an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto diploma, obtained at age seventeen. More information on Mr. Hirzer can be found HERE.

CRAIG KNAPP - CHILDREN'S CHORUS

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Craig B. Knapp is an elementary choral and classroom music specialist. He has been teaching Classroom Music and Chorus, grades 3 through 5, at the Joseph A. Edgar Intermediate School in the Rocky Point School District since 1998. He is the current Rocky Point Elementary Music Department Chairperson. A graduate of the Crane School of Music, Mr. Knapp has also studied with distinguished educators and musicians including John Feierabend, Jos Wuytack, Henry Leck, Francisco Núñez, Janet Galván, Will Schmid and Bobby McFerrin. Craig is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Hofstra University where he teaches “Conversational Solfege,” and he is the co-author of the book, “First Steps in Music with Orff Schulwerk: Sing, Say, Dance, Play" and a contributing author for the book "Feierabend Fundamentals." More information on Mr. Knapp can be found HERE.

JACK STAMP - BAND

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Currently serving as “International Composer in Association” to the world-renowned Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band, Dr. Stamp recently served as visiting professor of music at Luther College (Fall, 2018), where he was acting director of bands and taught conducting. He spent the prior three years as adjunct faculty at UW-River Falls. He recently retired from full-time employment as Professor of Music and Director of Band Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) where he conducted the Wind Ensemble and taught courses in graduate conducting. Dr. Stamp received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education degree from IUP, a Master's in Percussion Performance from East Carolina University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Conducting from Michigan State University where he studied with Eugene Corporon. More information on Mr. Stamp can be found HERE.

PHAREZ WITTED - JAZZ ENSEMBLE

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Whitted is humble with his legacy and his deep roots in music go as far back as the 1930’s in Indianapolis where the Hampton Family Band first began performing. His mother VIrtue, his uncle Slide Hampton and the other 10 siblings laid the foundation with their self-educated and courageous father, Clarke “Deacon” Hampton at the helm. Whitted was destined to inherit the gift of music. He began his career in 1982 not long after earning his Master’s Degree at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He’s been on staff at Chicago State University The Ohio State University and Wabash College. He recorded his first self-entitled album, ‘Pharez Whitted’ with Motown in 1994 and continued recording solo albums ever since. He’s performed with Nancy Wilson, Freddie Hubbard, Slide Hampton, John Mellencamp, Chaka Khan, Ahmad Jamal, George Duke, Kirk Whalum, Elvin Jones, Branford Marsalis and Meshell Ndegeocello to name a few. He is currently a clinician Jazz at Lincoln Center youth outreach program, a staple at Rivinia’s Jazz Scholar program in Chicago, and Chicago’s Youth Symphony Orchestra Jazz Director. More information on Mr. Whitted can be found HERE.

JULIE YU - CHOIR

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Dr. Julie Yu (She/Her/Hers) is Professor of Music and Co-Director of Choral Studies at Kansas State University where she oversees and conducts the undergraduate choral ensembles and the Masters in Music choral program. Her choirs have performed in Carnegie Hall, in Hawaii, the National Cathedral in Washington DC, as well as in Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Ireland, and Italy. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the University of Central Oklahoma, Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Oklahoma State University, and the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from the University of North Texas. Before joining the Kansas State faculty, she taught at Norman North High School in Norman, Oklahoma and San José State University. More information on Dr. Yu can be found HERE.