Although it is already February, Toomai wants to wish everyone a happy 2016! This year marks our 9th year as an ensemble, and it is a time of significant change and progress for Toomai. We would like to reflect on 2015, as well as give an update on all the changes that 2016 brings!
The Early Quintets Project was a huge success last year, as we premiered music written by ten amazing Very Young Composers (ages 10-14), alongside new works by some of the best composers of today. We plan on continuing this program to inspire even more children not only to compose, but to take their music beyond an academic setting and into the forefront of the new music scene.
In 2015, we joined the roster of Midori and Friends as part of their “Signature Concert Series.” This collaboration aligns well with Toomai’s mission, as both organizations are dedicated to bringing high quality interactive concerts into schools. Midori and Friends has projects in over 32 New York City schools–we are honored to be a part of this massive effort.
Toomai welcomes our newest member, cellist Hamilton Berry! We are incredibly excited to have him join our team! Hamilton is an amazing cellist, teaching artist, improviser, composer, and arranger. As Toomai continues to develop programs that combine creating educational workshops, playing music from a variety of cultural traditions, and premiering new works for quintet, Hamilton is a great match for our band. Click here to read more about Hamilton.
New members of the Toomai family come in all sizes! Violist Erin Wight and her husband Vince are now the proud parents of a baby boy, Nye. Nye is the first “Toomai baby,” and we look forward to days when we get to play with this great kid during our rehearsal breaks! Congratulations to Erin and Vince!
In other news, bassist Andrew Roitstein was named Senior Music Curriculum Specialist for Juilliard Global Ventures; through this project, Andrew has been creating a music curriculum that has already been piloted in 10 schools all over the world, and looks to expand in the fall of 2016.
Within the last six months, violinist Emilie-Anne Gendron has been playing solo and chamber music recitals in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Sweden, and the United States with Mattias Jacobsson Schulstad, Musicians from Marlboro, and the Momenta Quartet, among other amazing performers.
Please stay tuned for more updates as we plan new performances and educational projects in the year to come!