Celebrate Independence Day at Caramoor! The Westchester Symphonic Winds perform a selection of works that pay tribute to America’s independence. The evening includes a medley of Rodgers and Hammerstein songs performed by Caramoor Schwab Vocal Rising Star alums Madison Leonard and Shea Owens, and ends with a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, followed by a spectacular fireworks display!
Westchester Symphonic Winds
Curt Ebersole, conductor
Madison Leonard, soprano
Shea Owens, baritone
Covered picnicking for all Membership levels in the Members’ Reception Tent
In case of inclement weather, the concert will be held as planned on Thursday, July 4 and fireworks will be held at 9:00pm Sunday, July 7.
Westchester Symphonic Winds
Westchester Symphonic Winds, an adult community-based 60-piece wind and percussion ensemble, celebrates its 31st season in 2018–2019. We strive to promote music in our area, instill pride in our nation and heritage, provide opportunities for personal expression and growth within our membership, and nurture the love of music by offering an exceptional musical experience for people of all ages.
The ensemble was founded by Rachel Eckhaus, Robert LaPorta, and the group’s first conductor, James D. Wayne, who conducted the band from 1988–2004. Dr. Luis Fernando Jimenez was conductor from 2005–2008. Curt Ebersole was invited to conduct the 20th Anniversary Gala Concert in 2008, and was subsequently invited to stay on permanently as Conductor and Music Director. Since 2008, guest conductors and clinicians have included Dr. Mallory Thompson, Dr. John Lynch, Dr. Tom McCauley, Dr. Shelley Axelson, Travis Cross, and Joseph Greco.
Over the years, we have given benefit concerts for many groups, including the Food Bank for Westchester, Student Assistance Services, Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation, Irvington Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Rotary Club of Briarcliff Manor, Emergency Ecumenical Food Pantry, Family Services of Westchester, Yonkers Arts Education, and others.
The ensemble made its New York City debut at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in March of 2010, its national debut at the 2012 Association of Concert Bands National Convention, and will perform for the sixth time at Caramoor in July, 2019. The organization is an Ensemble-in-Residence at the historic Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, New York, and rehearses there on Monday evenings from September through June.
Curt Ebersole, conductor
Curt Ebersole has served as the Conductor/Music Director of the Westchester Symphonic Winds (John P. Paynter Memorial Conductor’s Chair) in Tarrytown, NY since 2008. He is currently a member of the Music Department faculty at the Masters School (Dobbs Ferry, NY). In 2013, he retired from Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan, NJ (NVOT), where he served as Director of Instrumental Music for 31 years. At NVOT, he conducted the String Ensemble, Wind Symphony, Concert Band, and Marching Band, earning recurring accolades, and firmly establishing the annual Prism Concert as a local rite of spring. He also acted as Producer/Conductor of the school’s award-winning musical theater program.
He earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Music in Conducting degree from Northwestern University, where he studied conducting with John P. Paynter and clarinet with Larry Combs, and a Master of Fine Arts in Clarinet Performance from SUNY-Purchase, where he studied with Ben Armato.
Mr. Ebersole has served as a guest conductor and clinician for numerous county, region, all-state bands and orchestras, and adult community ensembles across the nation, including performances in Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Caramoor Festival, as well as appearances in South Korea and Australia. He is the founding coordinator of the Music Educators of Bergen County Wind Conducting Symposium, and served as a clinician at the 2009 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, IL, and the 2015 Temple University Wind Conducting and Teaching Workshop in Philadelphia, PA. He is a practitioner of both Positive Psychology and the Harkness Method.
He was selected as the Northern Valley District Teacher of the Year in 1994 and the Bergen County Teacher of the Year in 1995. The NJ Music Educators Association chose him as the recipient of the 2003 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, and he received the Governor’s Award in Arts Education later that year. In 2009 he was the NVOT recipient of the NJ Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award. Yale University presented him with their Distinguished Music Educator Award in June 2011.
Mr. Ebersole is a native of Lancaster County, PA, and resides in White Plains, NY. In addition to his busy musical life, he also enjoys riding America’s fastest and tallest roller coasters.
Madison Leonard, soprano
Rising young soprano Madison Leonard is a 2018 winner of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions, at which she sang arias from Rigoletto and Hänsel und Gretel with Bertrand de Billy conducting. This season, she joins Seattle Opera as Chrisann Brennan in Bates’ The [R]evolution of Steve Jobs and Frasquita in Carmen. She sings Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro in a return to Inland Northwest Opera, her hometown company. She returns to the Florida Orchestra for her first performances of Haydn’s Creation and offers a solo recital at Washington Adventist University. In the summer, she will return to Seattle Opera to debut a bel canto heroine that she will repeat in future seasons with Austin Opera. Last season, she returned to Wolf Trap Opera for two role debuts: Ilia in Idomeneo and Juliette in Roméo et Juliette in the summer following a season at Washington National Opera at which she sang the High Priestess in Aida, The Rose in Portman’s The Little Prince, Morgana in the young artist performance of Alcina, and Little Zegner Sister in Missy Mazzoli’s new opera, Proving Up as a part of the American Opera Initiative Festival, all while a member of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. She also made her National Symphony Orchestra debut with Music Director Gianandrea Noseda conducting Stravinsky’s Pulcinella as part of the SHIFT Festival and made an immediate return soloist in Vaughan William’s Symphony No. 3 (A Pastoral Symphony) under the baton of Sir Mark Elder. Also last season, she sang her first performances of Fauré’s Requiem with the Apollo Orchestra in Washington, D.C., returned to the Florida Orchestra for Orff’s Carmina Burana, sang on a program of music from the British Isles with New York Festival of Song at Caramoor and Merkin Hall in New York City, and joined Dallas Opera for its production of Der Ring des Polykrates.
She previously joined Wolf Trap Opera as a Filene Young Artist and sang Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the National Orchestral Institute as well as Madeline in Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher and the Daughter in Glass’ The Juniper Tree. Other recent highlights for the soprano include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Amarillo Opera, Adele in Die Fledermaus with Opera Idaho, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Inland Northwest Opera, and a concert of opera favorites with the Florida Orchestra.
With the Merola Opera Program in association with San Francisco Opera, she sang Monica in Menotti’s The Medium as well as Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel for the program’s annual Grand Finale Concert while also covering Norina in Don Pasquale. She is also a former young artist of Des Moines Metro Opera, for which she covered Nannetta in Falstaff and sang Musetta in scenes of La bohème. She has also sung Handel’s Messiah in Neenah, Wisconsin.
She is a previous first place winner of the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition. Additionally, she received the Women’s Voice Fellowship from the Luminarts Cultural Foundation and scholarships from the Lynn Harvey Foundation and the Musicians Club of Women. The soprano earned her Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Arts from Pepperdine University.
Shea Owens, baritone
With a vocal quality described by Opera Today as “stunning … with a striking brightness that thrills,” American baritone Shea Owens is quickly gaining a reputation as a confident and charismatic performer. In the 2018–2019 season, Shea Owens will join the Theater St. Gallen as an Ensemble member, performing Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore, Ottone in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Prinz Iwan and Des Kaisers Kammerherr in a double bill of Rimsky-Korsakov and Stravinsky’s Der unsterbliche Kaschtschei and Die Nachtigall, respectively, and staged performances of Haydn’s The Seasons.
In the 2017–2018 season, Mr. Owens performed Marcello in La bohème at Theater St. Gallen in Switzerland, and returned to the Grand Théâtre de Genève for Wagner in Faust, also covering the role of Silvio in Pagliacci. Additional projects included Charlie in Three Decembers opposite Frederica von Stade with Livermore Valley Opera, Seneca in Jonathan Dawe’s Nero and the Fall of Lehman Brothers with the Montréal-based company Ballet-Opéra-Pantomime, and Carmina Burana with the Altoona Symphony in Pennsylvania.
In the 2016–2017 season, Mr. Owens returned to Europe, performing Marcello with the Grand Théâtre de Genève in Switzerland, the role of Egisto in Vittorio Gnecchi’s rarely-heard opera Cassandra with Teatro Grattacielo in New York City, and the role of Edward Kynaston in Carlisle Floyd’s The Prince of Players with the Little Opera Theatre of New York. In the summer of 2017, Shea Owens returned to Wolf Trap Opera as the title role in John Musto’s Bastianello and in Rossini’s La pietra del paragone as Pacuvio.
Recent projects included his European debut as Colonel Ricci in Sondheim’s Passion with Natalie Dessay at Théâtre du Châtelet, Junius in The Rape of Lucretia with Wolf Trap Opera, a return to Utah Opera for his role debut as Cascada in The Merry Widow, as well as a duo recital with Dina Kuznetsova entitled “From Russia to Riverside Drive: Rachmaninoff and Friends” under the auspices of the New York Festival of Song and the New York Philharmonic.
In addition to operatic and concert work, Mr. Owens also enjoys doing community outreach performances. He performed hundreds of shows for school children as a young artist with Utah Opera from 2012–2014. One of his most memorable outreach concerts was in 2016 in collaboration with Wolf Trap Opera and Taffety Punk Theater Company in order to raise awareness about violence against women.