News

New Assistant Conductor and Choral Director

Naples Orchestra and Chorus Announces New Assistant Conductor and Choral Director NAPLES– The Board of Directors of the Naples Orchestra and Chorus announces the appointment of Stephen J. Parker as Assistant Conductor and Chorus Director. Mr. Parker will assume the responsibilities of his position immediately and comes to the NOC with 35 years of local and national experience as an active conductor, performer and adjudicator.

“The Naples Orchestra and Chorus has long been recognized as one of the leading semi-professional ensembles in Naples,” said Parker. “I am honored and excited to join NOC and contribute to its long history of high quality performance and support for the arts in Southwest Florida.”

Parker comes to NOC with a long history of choral conducting and vocal coaching in secular and sacred settings. Presently, he is in his 17th year as Director of Music and Worship at First United Methodist Church, Naples’ first and oldest congregation which is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2016. FUMC’s all-volunteer Chancel choir and music ministry is known for its quality vocal and instrumental presentations for generations of Naples’ longtime families. Prior to his tenure with FUMC, Parker served for 10 years as Director of Music at North Naples United Methodist, where his family were charter members and he spent his youth in some of his first musical experiences. Under his musical direction, the NNUMC music ministry grew from two choirs to fourteen multi-generational vocal and instrumental ensembles. Mr. Parker is a charter member of the Naples Philharmonic Chorale, performing with the ensemble for several seasons. In addition to his local vocal directing and coaching experience, Parker is a 25-year per service member of the Naples Philharmonic as a saxophonist and woodwindist, and performs frequently with the Southwest Florida Symphony and the Charlotte Symphony. He is in high demand as an orchestral member for annual touring Broadway shows around the state of Florida, and has performed in recent months sharing the stage with artists Renee Fleming, Bernadette Peters, Johnny Mathis, Aretha Franklin, Idina Menzel, Bebe Neuwirth, Chita Rivera, Rita Moreno, Michael Feinstein, The Temptations, and The Four Tops. His mentors and instructors have included Margaret Hillis of the Chicago Lyric Opera Chorus, Frederic Hemke, John Paynter, and Jerome Edwards.

“Steve was selected for this position from an outstanding pool of candidates,” said Gary Tincu, member of the NOC board. “His qualifications and experiences are perfect matches for the NOC chorus. I look forward to working with Steve as he brings his varied experience to strengthen the chorus program as we continue to prepare more challenging repertoire.”

Mr. Parker is a Naples native, attending Naples High School, graduating from the Interlochen Arts Academy (MI), and earning the Bachelor of Music degree in music education from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. The husband of notable local music educator Kelly Parker, Steve is also the proud father of three extraordinarily musical children, Reid (21), William (18), and Elizabeth (15), all of whom play and perform together regularly. Parker is a member of American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada – Local 427-721.

Generous Contribution

For Immediate Release – January 5, 2015

The Naples Orchestra & Chorus receives a donation to create an endowment for underwritten chairs

The Naples Orchestra and Chorus is pleased to announce it has received a generous contribution from Myra and Van Williams to create an endowment for designated chairs and voices in the orchestra and chorus.

The fund will be administered by the Community Foundation of Collier County and is earmarked for the purpose of underwriting the concertmaster and piano accompanist positions for approximately five years, beginning with the 2015-2016 season.

The Naples Orchestra and Chorus, Max Rabinovitsj, conductor, is a multi-generational volunteer organization presenting affordable concerts of classical and popular music. It provides performance opportunities for instrumentalists and vocalists of all ages, and promotes and supports music education for area students.

This NOC agency fund of the Community Foundation of Collier County accepts gifts of $10,000 or more for underwriting of specific positions. For information about how to contribute, contact Anne Wilson, NOC president, at afwilson@optonline.net or call 908-415-1655.

New Assistant Director & Choral Director – Dr. Ronald Doiron

Dr. Ronald Doiron takes over this month as choral director and assistant conductor for the Naples Orchestra and Chorus.

Dr. Doiron is known as an educator, vocal coach, and performing musician. He earned his D.M.A in conducting with secondary studies in music history and vocal pedagogy with honors from the University of Southern California.

A church and synagogue musician and music educator for more than 30 years, Dr. Doiron has served many prominent institutions in Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, He is currently director of music and organist at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Marco Island and professor of music at Florida Southwest University. He has been recognized as a “star in the arts” for his musical services in Southwest Florida. He recently retired as conductor and artistic director of the Bach Ensemble in Naples.

Rising Stars Wanted

The Naples Orchestra and Chorus is holding auditions for the 2014-15 season September 11 and October 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 250 Sixth St. S, Naples.

Play and sing under the leadership of internationally known violinist and conductor Max Rabinovitsj and FGCU Bower School of Music choral director Trent Brown. The NOC is seeking woodwinds, brass, strings and vocalists. All performances will be at Lely High School at 1 Lely High School Blvd., Naples.

Information: Orchestra audition, Michael Boudreau at 401-884-5598; choral audition, Sheila Tuthill, 239-348-1344.

New Music Director – Max Rabinovitsj

Max Rabinovitsj pictureFor release 5/29/14

The Naples Orchestra and Chorus has announced the appointment of a new music director/conductor for the 2014-15 season. Max Rabinovitsj will take the podium this fall, succeeding Robert Dale Herrema, who chose to resign after the close of last season.

Originally from Belgium, Rabinovitsj is well known throughout the U.S. and Europe as a violinist and has earned acclaim as a conductor for his interpretations of classical music and his work with youth orchestras.

Rabinovitsj attended the Royal Brussels Conservatory of Music in Belgium and is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. He has been concertmaster of the Ottawa (Canada) Philharmonic, the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra and the Gulbenkain Orchestra in Portugal.

In Europe he founded the Trio da Vinci, which toured extensively on that continent and he was Director of Festivals in Entrecasteaux, France.

Rabinovitsj performed the Bach Double Concerto at Carnegie Hall with Isaac Stern. He founded the St. Louis String Quartet and participated in the Marlboro Music Festival for six years.

Max Rabinovitsj has expressed his enthusiasm for his new position with the Naples Orchestra and Chorus and is currently working on plans and repertoire for the coming season.

2014 Scholarship recipients – Simmy Shim, Pianist & Gustavo Romero, Trombonist

2014 scholarship picFor immediate release 3/24/14

The Naples Orchestra and Chorus awarded two $1,000 scholarships to area high schools seniors to continue their musical studies in college. The Ralph Stewart Scholarships were given to Simmy Shim, pianist, and Gustavo Romero, trombonist, at the March 22 and 23 concerts at Lely High School. Funding for the awards was donated by the Jim and Linda Lee Family Foundation and by Bill and Jackie Mears.

Simmy Shim has served the Naples Orchestra and Chorus as chorus accompanist during the 2013-14 season. She came to the U.S. as an exchange student from Korea in her sophomore year and is completing her senior year at Seacrest County Day School. She is studying piano with Jodie DeSalvo, and will continue to further her music training in college. She participated last year in the Birch Creek Music Festival in Wisconsin. Gustavo Romero will graduate from Lely High School, where he was a member of the concert, marching and jazz bands. He has performed for two years with the Naples Orchestra and Chorus. He was named to the National Honor Society and plans to major in bio-chemistry and to minor in music performance in college.

The Naples Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Robert Dale Herrema, has had as many as 21 local middle school, high school, and FGCU students performing with them this season, awarding them a total of $8,700 in stipends.

Sean Stolliker press release

April 25, 2013

sean stolliker imageThe Naples Orchestra and Chorus awarded its annual Ralph Stewart Student Scholarship to percussionist Sean Stolliker on April 14 at its closing concert of the season at Golden Gate High School.

Sean, a senior at Lely High School, began performing with NOC in 2010 when he was a sophomore. In addition to performing with NOC, Sean performs in his high school Jazz Band, and he leads his own Band, Greenview as guitarist at various venues in the Naples/Fort Myers area.

This year’s scholarship was underwritten by a grant from the Jim and Linda Lee Family Foundation. The award is given to a student who has met a number of requirements to apply and has shown dedication to the organization. The award is named after Ralph Stewart, founder of the Naples Orchestra and Chorus.

When asked about his music, Sean expressed his intention to continue in a broad spectrum of music opportunities, stating, “I don’t want to limit myself. I have learned so much, and I just want to keep learning.” He is thankful for the support he has received from the members of NOC. He intends to use the $1,000 scholarship for tuition and method books. His long-term goal is to “always be performing.”

Sean’s immediate future includes studying at the Florida Gulf Coast University, Bower School of Music.