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Orchestra Institute Napa Valley Fellowship Program Partners with PUC

Emily Mathe and James Shim, February 11, 2014
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Orchestra Institute Fellow and virtuoso clarinet performer Matthew Boyles provides one-on-one instruction to a PUC student musician.

Pacific Union College is collaborating with the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center (NVPAC) at Lincoln Theater in the inaugural year of the Orchestra Institute of Napa Valley Fellowship Program. This new partnership is helping PUC’s young musicians hone their talents while allowing graduate artists to pursue valuable teaching and performing experience. By serving as the primary sponsor and sole housing sponsor for the Orchestra Institute Napa Valley Fellowship Program, the ensembles and instrumentalists of the department of music are benefitting from a group of talented “artists-in-residence.”

The Orchestra Institute Napa Valley Fellowship Program at the NVPAC is an innovative, tuition-free, full-year performance and professional-growth program for the most exceptional post-graduate music and conservatory students in the country. The musicians enrolled in the program are provided tools to aid them in developing music careers in the 21st century: performance opportunities (including playing with the Symphony Napa Valley), service as musical ambassadors, development as self-managers, and the ability to provide music education.

“We are delighted to have the Fellows on campus and hope that this partnership with NVPAC will continue as it is enriching our department and allowing us to take the study of music for the major and general student to the next level,” shares Rachelle Berthlesen Davis, chair of the department of music.

The Fellows are already integrated with PUC’s campus and musical life. PUC is serving as the residence for the Fellows, housing them in the College’s Brookside and providing access to the facilities of Paulin Hall, home to the department of music. By supporting and collaborating with the department of music at PUC, the campus is benefitting from professional artists with incredible talent and skill.

“PUC is one of the Orchestra Institute Napa Valley Fellowship’s strongest partnerships, because not only are we serving as teaching artists in the music department, we are also living on campus in the PUC community,” says Glenda Bates, an oboist for the Fellows and PUC’s jazz ensemble director. “We are gaining valuable teaching experience at a critical time in our careers, and the music students have the opportunity to learn from professional musician performers.”

Walter E. Collins, PUC’s vice president for advancement, has spent much of his career working with professional orchestras and understands the cultural capital created by the new partnership with NVPAC. “Hosting the Orchestra Fellows on the PUC campus has been a blessing. Our campus and community has been inspired by their world-class performances,” Collins shares.

The practice habits and presence of the Fellows are energizing Paulin Hall. The Fellows participate in PUC’s major instrumental ensembles and perform at College functions. They also have an impact on smaller groups as they give demonstrations, lectures, and recitals. Percussionist James Deitz, who has taught in programs at Carnegie Hall, The Julliard School, and The Weill Music Institute, has started a percussion ensemble and is teaching a percussion methods/techniques class; oboist Bates, a doctoral candidate at Stony Brook University, is building and directing a jazz ensemble; Sadie Glass, who recently completed her Master’s degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is teaching music majors; and Jennifer Hunt, a flautist who has been featured on National Public Radio and was a second-place winner at the Music Teachers’ National Association Chamber Music Competition, leads flute sectionals for the College’s orchestra.

“The Orchestra Institute Fellows are providing our students with learning opportunities they might not be exposed to otherwise, and giving the music majors an opportunity to connect with musicians who have recently graduated with advanced degrees from some of the most prestigious music schools in the country,” Davis states.

Living at Pacific Union College provides a unique environment for the Fellows as well, one that is helping them hone their talents as performers, musical ambassadors, and educators. “The environment of PUC values the fundamental knowledge that leads to learning how to learn,” shares percussionist Deitz. “The students and fellow faculty seem like a team that propels the musical art form even further.”

“This important collaboration further underscores PUC’s commitment to the finest arts, and firmly places our college on the international musical map. We look forward to a growing partnership with the Orchestra Institute Napa Valley as we expand our community presence through the arts,” concludes Collins.