Guest Artists: 2014-2015 Season

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Stanley Drucker, clarinet

Sunday, March 15, 2015
"Music from a Clarinet Legend"
McAfee Performing Arts Center, Saratoga

Stanley Drucker is the most prominent orchestral clarinetist in the United States and one of the best-known of all orchestral musicians in the country.

He studied clarinet with Leon Russianoff and quickly became an outstanding player. At the age of 16 he became one of the youngest principal players in U.S. orchestral history when the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra appointed him first clarinetist. He returned to his native city in 1949 to join the New York Philharmonic. In 1960 he became its principal clarinetist. In 1968 he joined the faculty of the Juilliard School of Music.

His tone is known for its adherence to classical ideals of purity. He has made over 150 solo performances with the New York Philharmonic in his 50 years of service with it. In 1999 he was named Instrumentalist of the Year by the leading magazine Musical America. He has recorded frequently and has twice been nominated for a Grammy Award.

His wife, Naomi Drucker, is also a prominent clarinetist. Together they have recorded clarinet duet works, including Krommer's Concerto for Two Clarinets and Orchestra, Op. 35.


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Premiere Saxophone Quartet

Sunday, February 8, 2015
"Music from America"
McAfee Performing Arts Center, Saratoga

The Premiere Saxophone Quartet is an exciting chamber ensemble that is actively encouraging composers to write new works for the saxophone quartet. Since their founding in 2005 they have premiered several new works written for the quartet, including Laura Karpman’s “Take Four” for saxophone quartet and chamber orchestra, and French composer Lucie Robert-Diessel’s “Issos” for saxophone quartet and piano which you will find on the “premiere” recording by the quartet. The PSQ regularly collaborates with other musicians, including the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and pianist Victoria DiMaggio-Lington.

The members — Dale Wolford-soprano sax, Kevin Stewart-alto sax, David Henderson-tenor sax, and Aaron Lington-baritone sax — are all San Francisco Bay Area freelance musicians, performing in a wide variety of settings including the San Francisco Symphony, Ballet and Opera, Symphony Silicon Valley, Opera San Jose, George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch Orchestra, as well as more commercial groups like the Temptations, Chaka Khan and others.

The PSQ performs extensively in numerous capacities, including recitals, educational concerts and residencies, formal affairs, and collaborative endeavors. Please visit their website for more information:  psquartet.com


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Vivace Youth Chorus

Sunday, December 14, 2014
"Music for the Holidays"
McAfee Performing Arts Center, Saratoga

Now in its second decade, Vivace Youth Chorus of San José welcomes young singers from all areas of the community. Led by Artistic Director Peggy Spool, the core values of the chorus are commitment to choral excellence, regard for each child, kinship among choristers and their families, and respect for the cultures that comprise our diverse community.

Founded in 2003, by Peggy Spool and a group of dedicated parents, Vivace Youth Chorus is a high-quality choral program for children ages four to eighteen. The chorus collaborates with area composers and musicians, as well as with other ensembles including San Jose Symphonic Choir, Opera San José and Mission City Opera. In addition to weekly rehearsals at all levels, intensive semester workshops and retreats that feature guest clinicians are provided for the upper levels.

Vivace singers have performed throughout Silicon Valley. Local venues have included the Rotunda at San José City Hall, the 01SJ Festival at St. James Park, Le Petit Trianon, the San José Museum of Art, Villa Montalvo's Carriage House Theatre, the Children's Discovery Museum, the California Theatre, SAP Center and other community venues. They have also participated in festival tours which have included the "Sing A Mile High" Festival in Colorado, the Pacific Rim Children's Chorus Festival in Hawaii, the Pacific International Children's Choir Festival in Oregon and the International Children's Choir Festival in Canterbury Cathedral and London, England.


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Walter M. Mayes, narrator

Sunday, October 26, 2014
"Music from the Written Word"
McAfee Performing Arts Center, Saratogaa

Saturday, July 4, 2015
"Fantastic Fourth!"
TBA, Los Gatos

Walter M. Mayes is a regular performer with various Bay Area theatre companies, appearing in Carnival for 42nd Street Moon; The Sound of Music for Woodside Community Players; Hamlet for City Lights; Gypsy! for Broadway by the Bay; How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Curtains and Anything Goes for Foothill Music Theatre; and as the title characters in Man of La Mancha and Mack & Mabel for South Bay Musical Theatre (SBMT) and Sweeny Todd for Sunnyvale Community Players. In addition, he works frequently as a director, most recently helming Promises, Promises for SBMT. As Walter the Giant Storyteller, he has made hundreds of appearances at libraries, schools and bookstores throughout the country. Walter is currently the librarian and drama teacher at The Girls' Middle School in Palo Alto.