Dare to dream at Manhattan School of Music.

For Coreisa Lee, a sophomore flute student at MSM, dreams are coming true right in the midst of her studies—with some help from the wonderful television host Meredith Vieira. In an inspiring segment on her new NBC talk show, the host discovered that Coreisa, despite her innate talent, her discipline and dedication to her MSM studies, not to mention her winning personality, was being held back by a beloved but old flute she calls Mercedes. What happens to Coreisa will make you believe in the power of dreams—watch the segment:

...and the follow-up segment:

Coreisa was extraordinarily fortunate, and deeply grateful, for her good fortune, but dreams come true everyday at MSM. In fact, dream-making is woven into the fabric of an MSM education. What is the dream of an MSM student? Certainly to become the best musician she or he can be, to soak in knowledge and wisdom, to cultivate and hone the talent they arrive with, to practice undisturbed, to take advantage of every resource, teacher, and muse available during their time here. Finally, there is one dream above all that every MSM student shares—to make music. That’s why performance and composition—in the middle of a myriad other studies—is crucial to the MSM experience.

I’m sure you’re aware that the MSM Opera Theater productions are part of the performance vernacular of the city. New Yorkers refer to the “Fall Opera” at MSM with high expectations, and get the dates onto their busy cultural calendars early. This year, on December 10, 12, and 14, we present Macbeth, by Ernest Bloch. Some might call the work obscure, and it has undoubtedly lived in the shadows of Verdi’s better-known operatic rendering of the Shakespearean tragedy, which the Metropolitan Opera presented over the past month. We call Bloch’s Macbeth an enormously worthy early 20th-century work, and the controversial road it’s traveled since its 1911 Paris premiere, interesting. This Macbeth is a rare chance for comparison to the Verdi, and a challenging, dream-making opportunity for the students and artistic collaborators who will bring it to life. Don’t miss it! Buy tickets for Macbeth now, and plan ahead for the Spring Opera, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, in April!

There are many more moments throughout the year when students step into the dream of the spotlight and present highly polished performances. This year, we’re introducing a major policy change: nearly all of the hundreds of other performances in various spaces on campus are now free, no tickets required. We want MSM students to begin living the dream of public performance in front of large, nurturing audiences from their earliest days, and we think that bringing in more of the NY community into our concert halls and performance spaces is the perfect way to both bring more music to more people and provide enthusiastic listeners for our students.

We also want to push students out of the nest and into the professional arena without hesitation. It’s fair to say there is no more thriving market for public performance than New York. This year we’re thrilled to have students from across a wide array of disciplines, genres, styles, and programs appearing in key venues around the city.

On October 20, at Merkin Hall, the Kaufman Music Center presented our Chamber Sinfonia in a fascinating program on Vivaldi’s legendary Four Seasons. Did you know that the now ubiquitous composition was originally attached to a sonnet, which the music illustrates line by line? Conductor and NPR commentator Rob Kapilow unraveled the mystery in this season opener of his popular What Makes It Great? series.

Tickets are selling quickly to the Met Museum Presents production of Little Match Girl Passion, by David Lang, on December 3 at the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kent Tritle will lead the MSM Chamber Choir in this Pulitzer Prize-winning composition, the story of a young girl’s struggles on New Year’s Eve. Buy tickets now (and explore the museum, one of the cultural jewels of New York, free on the day of the performance).

The Concert Jazz Band appeared this month at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and on December 9 the Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra takes that stage again—with Bobby Sanabria. The award-winning MSM ensemble will perform three sets, and students get a discount. Buy tickets now.

That, of course, is just a taste of what we do each semester! Dare to dream at Manhattan School of Music, and witness the dreams of students coming true!

Best wishes for a beautiful Fall,


President's Notes Archive

November/December 2013


James Gandre, President
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President Gandre's Biography