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.

New Choral Director – Dr. Trent Brown

Dr. Trent Brown

Dr. Trent Brown

For immediate release 6/17/14

Dr. Trent R. Brown has been named as the new choral director and assistant conductor for the Naples Orchestra and Chorus. He will be responsible for preparing and rehearsing the chorus and will be assisting the new music director, Max Rabinovitsj.

Dr. Brown is assistant professor of music at Florida Gulf Coast University, having joined the Bower School of Music faculty in 2010. He teaches courses in choral literature, conducting, and secondary vocal methods.

For eight years, Dr. Brown taught in public schools in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He has served as director of music at several churches and currently holds that position at Lamb of God Church in Fort Myers. As a bass/baritone soloist he frequently performs recital and oratorio works with the church, the community, and in professional ensembles. Recently, he performed as a baritone soloist with the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Brown attended the University of Arizona, earning his Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting and served as a faculty member after receiving his degree. He now resides in southwest Florida with his wife and two children.

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.