Dr. Tara O’Connor lit up the studio (as she does every place she goes) with her joviality and quick wit. In the interview it became apparent that if you really love what you do, you never need a “vacation”. Aside from teaching at numerous high-level music programs and performing in many prestigious professional performance ensembles, she makes time for personal music projects she believes in. As a flutist (not “flout-ist”) she had never felt the gravitational pull of the orchestral establishment being artistically fulfilled and free to blaze her own path as she has done so successfully. In our interview, you will not be able to help but be inspired and energized by her apparent love of music and the flute. And cooking. And photography.
Woodwind Quintet – “Windscape” members, Tara Helen O’Connor, Randall Ellis, Alan R. Kay, David Jolley and Frank Morelli joined us for a lively conversations about their collaboration for over two decades of performing. We talked about their start, their first program and how they became associated with the Manhattan School of Music. Known for their thematic programing, they discuss how they; create arrangements, the process in road testing their new arrangements, finding new music, create programs and how to talk to an audience. We also spent time on the mundane logistics of getting five busy people together for rehearsals and how they have learned to rehearse efficiently. Throughout our conversation they focused on the importance of offering great music to audiences and focusing on the audience’s experience. From our conversation you can hear how much “joy” they have working together and their mutual esteem as colleagues allow them to work together so effectively.
Bassoonist/Master Teacher, Frank Morelli, talks about his mentors/role models and how he came to classical music through the back door. While in high school playing the saxophone, he first thought he was going to be an engineer, later he went off to college pursuing a major in music education. His focus and determination on self-improvement lead him to write a letter to the professor of bassoon and transferring to the Manhattan School of Music (MSM). While at MSM his focus changed and his abilities grew. Dr. Morelli shares the secret of his success as a student and the tools for all students to be successful. As a master teacher he discusses his student-centered teaching philosophy and how he continues to focus on improving his teaching skills. He talks about the audition process for schools, the purpose for taking a lesson before the audition with possible teachers, and what he looks and listens for in a student. He offers timeless advice to all musicians for finding their own career path and how he measures his own success as a teacher.
Oboist and Photographer Matt Dine shares his story on how a physical injury launched his career as a New York Times Freelance Photographer. As an oboist for American Ballet Theater and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, most of his time is spent as a photographer and filmmaker. He shares his stories about his love for the Oboe and the Oboe community, including the movie he made of “Delmar.” Melting his love of the visual and musical, he has created interesting projects blending the two. Matt’s choices were clear from the start after graduation as he forged his own way in creating an active career in Manhattan.