OCTOBER 15 – 20, 2013

Thursday, October 17 at 10 a.m. in Borden Auditorium

Friday, October 18 at 5:00 p.m. in Ades Performance Space

Thursday, October 17 – Sunday, October 20

October 7, 2013
– Manhattan School of Music will be “Celebrating Our Community,” October 15 – 20, 2013. Three important events will be taking place that week.

Dr. James Gandre will be installed as Manhattan School of Music’s ninth president on Thursday, October 17 at 10:00 a.m. in the School’s Borden Auditorium. That morning, joining us will be many leaders representing cultural institutions in New York City as well as government leaders, delegates from more than eighty U.S. colleges and universities, faculty, alumni and friends. Among the speakers will be Matthew VanBesien, the Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic, Wu Zhao, Consul for Cultural Affairs, New York Chinese Consulate; Lloyd A. Williams, the CEO and President of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce; as well as Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, the granddaughter of Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt. Performances will include the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Sinfonia conducted by George Manahan performing a selection from Copland’s Appalachian Spring, as well as Mozart’s Alleluja from the motet Exsultate, jubilate (K. 165) joined by Soprano Tracy Chen (’13). A jazz trio made up of MSM alumni Ted Rosenthal (’81, piano); Ron Carter (’61, bass) and Justin DiCioccio (‘71 drums) will also be performing.

In a proclamation to President Gandre, Governor Cuomo stated:
“It is a pleasure to extend congratulations to you on the occasion of your installation as the ninth president of Manhattan School of Music. Since 1918, Manhattan School of Music has grown from a community music school to a major international conservatory. For 15 years, you served this institution in a variety of capacities, and I have every confidence you will only continue to add to your excellent reputation in your new role. I am certain that your tenure as President of Manhattan School of Music will meet with the same measure of success you bring to all your endeavors. Once again, an on behalf of all New Yorkers, I congratulate you as you begin a new chapter of your career in Manhattan. With warmest regards, and best wishes for continued success.”

Former Manhattan School of Music Presidents and Directors include:
Janet Schenck (1918 – 1956); John Brownlee (1956 – 1969); George Schick (1969 – 1976); John Crosby (1976 – 1986); Gideon W. Waldrop (1986 – 1989); Peter Simon (1989 – 1991); Marta Casals Istomin (1992 – 2005) and Robert Sirota (2005 – 2012).

Bio: Dr. James Gandre

Dr. James Gandre, an educator and musician with a deep commitment to students and the development of American conservatory learning, returned to Manhattan School of Music to assume the presidency on May 6, 2013. He had served the School for fifteen years (1985–2000), most recently as Dean of Enrollment and Alumni. In 2000, Dr. Gandre became Dean of Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where he went on to serve concurrently as the Interim Dean of the College of Education, and ultimately as the University’s Provost and Executive Vice President.

President Gandre has broad knowledge of the history and discourse of the American conservatory, the subject of his doctoral dissertation, And Then There Were Seven: An Historical Case Study of the Seven Independent Conservatories of Music that Survived the 20th Century. He has also written about conservatories and music schools in Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories that Shaped Our Culture (ABC-CLIO, September 2013). He will again present his views of conservatory education and its impact on cultural life in America in an article to appear in the 2014 Musical America Directory.

As a performer, James Gandre has appeared as a tenor soloist with The Cleveland Orchestra, London Classical Players, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and members of the San Francisco Symphony. His professional choral engagements include more than 175 performances with the New York Philharmonic, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (The Netherlands), Israel Philharmonic, Warsaw Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, New York Chamber Symphony, American Symphony, Opera Orchestra of New York, Voices of Ascension, and New York Choral Artists, and more than 20 commercial recordings and television appearances on EMI/Angel, EMI/Capital, Teldec, Delos, MusicMaster, Warner Records, and on NBC’s The Today Show, PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center, ABC, and CBS. In these performances, he has worked under such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Sir Colin Davis, James Levine, Mstislav Rostropovich, Riccardo Chailly, Robert Shaw, Edo de Waart, Christopher Hogwood, Roger Norrington, John Nelson, Carlos Kalmar, Giuseppe Patane, Dennis Russell Davies, and Eduardo Mata.

Gandre is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (GRAMMYS) and a member of the Recommendation Board of the Avery Fisher Artist Program. This November, he will be a judge for the Central Region Finals Auditions for the Metropolitan Opera National Council. He was a panelist for the William Randolph Hearst Foundation/New World Symphony’s symposium on future multicultural recruitment for the orchestra and for the joint Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/Aspen Music Festival panel about bridging the worlds of musical training and future music performance. He has also served as the first Chairperson of the Advisory Committee for National Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs presented by the National Association for College Admission Counseling and has presented numerous panels on issues affecting LGBT youth and college/high school professionals at educational conferences.

Dr. Gandre has lectured at higher education institutions throughout the country, including the Curtis Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Oberlin College, University of Michigan, Peabody Institute, Mannes College of Music, Stanford University, University of Michigan, the National Orchestral Institute at the University of Maryland, The University of the Arts, University of New Mexico, and Interlochen Arts Academy. For four years he served as the external adjudicator for graduation performance examinations at Australia’s University of Melbourne School of Music and he has been a Regional Selector for the Alberto Vilar Global Fellowship in the Performing Arts at NYU.

President Gandre has served on the Board of Directors of Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival, Chicago High School for the Arts, and the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. He has also served on the Board of Visitors of the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, the Board of Advisors for Music in the Loft, and on the Diversity Working Group sponsored by the Elizabeth Morse and Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trusts. President Gandre has been a consultant to institutions as diverse as Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music, Chicago’s Institute for Clinical Social Work, and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, and has served as a site team member for the American Bar Association’s accreditation division at City University of New York, University of Pittsburgh, University of North Dakota, and Indiana University-Purdue University. He is the co-author of a chapter in The New First Among Equals: The Role of the Chief Academic Officer (The Johns Hopkins University Press, expected 2014) on the role of the Provost and of the Chief Financial Officer.

A native of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Dr. Gandre earned his Bachelor of Music degree with honors from Lawrence University, a Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and his Doctor of Education from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He also attended the Harvard University Institute for Management and Leadership in Education and pursued postgraduate music study at the Blossom Festival School of Music/Kent State University. He is married to Dr. Boris Thomas, a psychotherapist in private practice.

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On Friday, October 18, Manhattan School of Music will be holding its annual Alumni Reunion. This year’s reunion will honor three former students with Distinguished Alumni Awards. They are Robert McGrath (MM ’59, voice) who for 44 years was “Bob” on Sesame Street; Dr. Cynthia Boxrud (BM ’78, theory) a medical specialist in Facial Ophthalmic, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and a professor at UCLA; and pianist Kirill Gerstein (BM ’99, MM ’00, piano) who is receiving the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. In addition, special recognition will be given to David Geber, Vice Provost and Dean of Artistic Affairs, and David Gilbert, the School’s Resident Conductor since 1983. Mr. Geber and Mr. Gilbert were honored in May 10, 2013 at MSM’s- 87th graduation ceremony as the recipients of the MSM Presidential Medal for Distinguished Faculty Service.

The 2013 Alumni Reunion Award‘s ceremony will take place from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the School’s Ades Performance Space.

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Thursday, October 17 - Sunday, October 20 is also Friends and Family Weekend, when MSM students’ friends and family will meet with students, staff, and faculty. Among the activities offered are tours of MSM’s Peter Jay Sharp Library as well as guided tours of Lincoln Center and NBC Studios. Parents can also visit the School’s Recording and Distance Learning Center, as well as attend an alumni career panel, with violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins (MM ’95); trumpeter and founder of the ensemble Loadbang, Andy Kozar (MM ’09); and composer/cellist/trombonist Dana Leong (BM ’01). These recent graduates will gather to discuss how they have transitioned from school to professional life, and how their career paths have unfolded in unexpected ways.

A performance by the MSM Jazz Philharmonic will also be taking place on Friday, October 18
at 7:30 p.m. in the School’s Borden Auditorium. That evening, trumpeters Tim Hagans and Jon Faddis will be featured guest soloists in a concert featuring Don Sebesky’s “Bird and Béla in B-Flat,” an imaginary meeting between Charlie “Bird” Parker and Béla Bartók in the form of a concerto for jazz quintet and orchestra; paired with a recreation of Beb Belden’s Grammy Award-winning orchestral jazz recording “Black Dahlia.” Mr. Hagans is trumpet soloist for “Bird and Béla in B-Flat” and Mr. Faddis is trumpet soloist for “Black Dahlia.” Justin DiCioccio, Associate Dean and Chair of MSM’s Jazz Arts Program is the conductor. Tickets, priced at $12, can be purchased by calling 917 493 4428 or by visiting

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Manhattan School of Music, located in New York City and a part of the Upper West Side’s academic metropolis that also includes Columbia University and Barnard College, is one of the world’s leading music conservatories. The School is dedicated to the personal, artistic, and intellectual development of aspiring musicians, beginning with the youngest members of the student body who attend the precollege all the way through those who are pursuing postgraduate studies. Manhattan School of Music provides its students the highest musical training available, offering classical music, orchestral studies, composition, opera and jazz, as well as a broad-based education in music theory, music history and the humanities. Degrees are granted for the Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in classical music and jazz, as well as the Professional Studies Certificate and Artist Diploma. The Precollege Division is a full-day Saturday music program for approximately 450 children between the ages of 5 and 18. In addition, Manhattan School of Music serves some 2,000 New York City schoolchildren through its arts-in-education program, and another 2,000 students through its critically acclaimed distance learning program.

Founded as a community music school by Janet Daniels Schenck in 1918, today it is known for its superbly talented undergraduate and graduate students who come from more than 45 countries; a world-renowned artist-teacher faculty; and innovative curricula. Public performances comprise an integral part of students’ lives at MSM. Manhattan School of Music offers more than 700 annual concerts and recitals that are recognized as some of the finest musical events in New York City. Its more than 14,000 alumni are active in every aspect of American musical life and many are among the most illustrious artists performing in opera houses, concert halls, and on jazz stages throughout the world today.

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Debra Kinzler

Director of Communications
Manhattan School of Music

917 493 4469

Presidential Installation
Alumni Reunion
Friends & Family Weekend

Full press release