Sunday, June 29, 2008

Robert Washburn

The Taffanel Wind Ensemble continues with a busy schedule of rehearsals and performances. On June 24, the group performed at the preview concert for Plein Air concerts. The group was well received and looks forward to performing on July 16th.

One of the works that the group performed was Three Pieces for Three Woodwinds by Robert Washburn. Born in 1928, Washburn is still actively writing and composing and the group hopes that he will compose works for our combination,flute, clarinet and bassoon.

For those readers, who are interested in Washburn, we have included more information about the composer:

Robert Washburn
Robert Washburn is Dean and Professor Emeritus and Senior Fellow in Music at the Crane School of Music of the State University of New York at Potsdam. After completing his undergraduate studies at Potsdam he was awarded a Danforth Foundation Fellowship to complete a Ph.D. in composition at the Eastman School of Music where he worked with Howard Hanson, Bernard Rogers and Alan Hovhaness. Further studies included a summer at the Aspen Music School where he studied with Darius Milhaud, and a season in Paris with Nadia Boulanger. He also participated in seminars at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the University of Oxford in England.
Washburn later received a Ford Foundation Grant which permitted him to devote a year to composition and has received grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Juilliard Repertory Project, and Meet the Composer. He is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony and held a scholarship at the Bennington Composers Conference. Subsequently he was awarded a SUNY Foundation Summer Fellowship to compose Symphony for Band. Other honors have included the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Potsdam College Alumni Association's Minerva Award, and a SUNY Faculty Exchange Scholar appointment. His military service in the USAF included duty as chief arranger for the Air Force Band of the West and the Air Force Sinfonietta and he spent a year as a member of the San Antonio Symphony.
Among the many orchestras which have performed Washburn's works are the Baltimore Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Denver Symphony, Eastman-Rochester Symphony, Florida West Coast Symphony, Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Nashville Symphony, National Gallery Orchestra, Oklahoma City Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, Tucson Symphony, Vancouver (BC) Symphony, and the Wichita Symphony. Wind/Percussion groups have included the Dallas Wind Symphony, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Crane Wind Ensemble, Osaka Municipal Concert Band, Tokyo Wind Symphony, Washington D.C. Military Services Bands and numerous college and university groups. Many of the performances have been under the composer's direction, including those of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Guadalajara (Mexico), the Cairo Symphony, Cairo National Conservatory Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the American University in Cairo, Youth Symphony of the Ile de France, and, in the UK, The Royal Air Force Band, Band of the Royal Marines, Royal Military School of Music Band, the band of the Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and the Birmingham Conservatory. He conducted a number of his works at the Brevard Music Center where he was composer-in-residence.
Since 1961 Washburn has been the recipient of annual awards from ASCAP. He has received a number of commissions for works which have been heard at such events as the American Music Festival of the Eastman School, the American Music Festival of the National Gallery, the Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival, the Spring Festival of the Arts at SUNY Potsdam, the Inter-American Symposium of the University of Texas, the San Jose Festival, Expo '67 in Montreal, the Farnham Festival in England, and the St. Moritz Festival in Switzerland. His works have appeared on programs in Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Symphony Hall in Boston, the Philadelphia Academy of Music, and at the White House, where he was the guest of Mrs. John Kennedy and the Royal Cultural Center in Amman, Jordan, where he was the guest of Queen Noor. In 1980 he was commissioned to compose music for the opening ceremonies of the Lake Placid Winter Olympics which were broadcast over ABC, CBC and BBC television.
More than 150 of Washburn's compositions have been published by Warner Bros./Belwin, Boosey and Hawkes, Oxford University Press, G. Schirmer, Theodore Presser, Shawnee Press and Thompson Edition. As well as orchestral and concert band works, they include many choral works and chamber instrumental ensembles which are widely performed. His works are recorded on the Toshiba-EMI, Golden Crest, Crystal, Mark, and Citadel labels. He has written articles for Music Journal, Journal for Research in Music Education, Woodwind, Brass & Percussion, The Composer, The Instrumentalist, Music Educators Journal and the New York State School Music News. He has served on the editorial board of the Music Educators Journal, on the Advisory Committee of the N.Y. State School Music Association, and as music consultant for the N.Y. State Department of Education, the U.S. Office of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is listed as a biographee in Grove's Dictionary of American Music and Musicians, Baker's Biographical Dictionary, International Who's Who in Music, Who's Who in America, the ASCAP Biographical Dictionary, Machlis' Introduction to Contemporary Music, and other reference resources.
In addition to his activities as composer and teacher, Washburn is a specialist in the musics of Africa and Asia and has made a number of field study trips to those areas, including a sabbatical leave spent in North Africa and the Middle East, a Fulbright Senior Fellowship in Cairo, Egypt, and an African Comparative Cross Culture Study Program in Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Ethiopia. He has participated in seminars in ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University and York University in England. Currently he is authoring the portion of a college music text dealing with non-western music. The book is under contract with Harcourt-Brace Publishing Co.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Plein Air Concert

For those people looking for an interesting and exciting way to spend their evening next Tuesday, June 24, join the Taffanel Wind Ensemble at the Plein Air Concert preview from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Come for food, music and good conversation with the performers and guests.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bill Krangle

Bill Krangle (CLARINET) has been playing since he was 8 years old… he studied initially with Bernard Temoin (TSO) and later at the Royal Conservatory with Harold Gomez (National Ballet Orchestra). In 1959 Bill was the principal clarinetist in the very first National Youth Orchestra of Canada. At Michigan’s famed Interlochen Music Camp he joined the clarinet section of the recording orchestra for several seasons. Later,while studying at Cornell, he led the University Concert Band as Concertmaster in a concert date at New York’s Lincoln Center.

He currently is a member of the North York Concert Orchestra and the Ottetto Prosciutto, as well as playing in the Royal Canadian Artillery and Encore Concert bands. Chamber music
In his youth Bill played saxophone and clarinet with various professional bands in Toronto, including a stint with Bobby Gimby (“Canada”) in La Malbaie, Quebec

Nora Mular-Richards

Nora, the bassoonist of the group has been playing the bassoon since I was first introduced to the instrument in grade 9. In a recent article, I wrote about how it found me and about my high school music teacher, John Drewniak. It was a wonderful to have the chance to pay tribute to someone who had such a positive impact on my musical life and subsequent career as a music teacher for 32 years.
After high school, when I managed to have a few lessons with Wayland Mosher, a very kind and talented musician, I had the privilege of studying privately with James McKay who was a member of the York Winds, wind quintet and professor at York University. He had a great influence on my playing and desire to constantly work on improving my playing skills.

Over the years, I have performed with nearly all the community orchestras in the GTA. Presently, I am a member of the North York Concert Orchestra where I hold the principal bassoon position. In addition to orchestral playing, I have enjoyed playing in chamber ensembles since high school. The Taffanel Wind Ensemble has been my chamber music focus for over 10 years and each summer,I also play with Otteto Prosciutto . We had our first rehearsal last Thursday. I have also played with the Elm Winds and Canzona which recently played Mozart's Gran Partita at the Arts and Letters Club's 100th anniversary celebration during Doors Open.

Music is a vocation and avocation which brings great joy and satisfaction to my days.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Zach Moss

Finally, you will get to meet the members of the Taffanel Wind Ensemble. Our photographer is being kept very busy recording our performances and the group members enjoy posing.

Yesterday, we endured the heat wave and performed outdoors for Spadina House's annual Music in the Orchard.

The group's members are very active musicians as you will learn from the bios. Zach Moss, flutist in the Taffanel Wind Ensemble has a busy performing schedule in addition to planning our programmes.

Flutist, Zachary Moss studied music at Humber College, University of Toronto and the Royal Conservatory of Music, in the Resident A.R.C.T. Program with Julie Ranti and Margot Rydall. He won the Arthur Minden Scholarship at the Conservatory and performed in master classes for Nora Schulman, Susan Prior, Jose Louis Garcia and Aurele Nicolet. Zachary is a co-founder of several chamber groups playing in Toronto and GTA, including Moss Ensembles, The Aubergine Wind Quintet and Duo Boheme. He has performed at the McMichael Gallery, Hart House, the Roy Thomson Hall Concert Series, and with many orchestras and musical productions in Toronto. Zachary has appeared many times as a soloist with the Valley Festival Orchestra and the Peel Choral Society. Zachary has premiered solo works for the flute by Canadian composers Penelope Walcott and David Bird, and in ensemble works by Maria Molinari and Nancy Telfer. He has received first prize in the Kiwanis music festival, three times and participated in Contemporary Showcase. He was also the Student Coordinator of The Glenn Gould School, of The Royal Conservatory of Music from 2001-2003. Zachary has served as wind adjudicator for the Milton Music Teacher’s Competition. Zachary resides in Richmond Hill, Ontario, where he teaches flute and theory and coordinates a music service business. He shares his life with his partner Chris and Benny (the cat!!)
Zach can be contacted at this blog or visit his website:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

McMichael Gallery concert

Last Sunday, the Taffanel Wind Ensemble performed at the McMichael Gallery, an annual event for the group. The group choose to play a very challenging set of pieces which the audience enjoyed. Beethoven's Variations on a theme by Mozart based on La Ci Darem La Mano from Don Giovanni as well as Three Pieces for Three Woodwinds by Robert Washburn were two of the favourites. Robert Washburn, an American composer wrote music for the opening ceremonies of the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.
The group is looking to returning in May 2009 for its next concert on the Sunday afternoon series.
Now that you have seen the group, I am sure that you are looking forward to reading more about the individual members: Zach Moss, flute,:Nora Mular-Richards, bassoon and Bill Krangle, clarinet. Look for the next installment.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Music in the Orchard

One of the favourite concerts in the Taffanel Wind Ensemble's season is the Music at the Orchard at Spadina House. The trio has been performing at this venue for ten years. Last year, we had the pleasure of performing for about 50 people who were scattered around the orchard on blankets and benches. It was a glorious day and we enjoyed the experience. We are hoping to have the same weather this year and promise to post pictures of the group and the gardens.

If you would like to join us, the concert will be at 1:30 in the orchard and it is free for all the visitors. Make sure that you leave time to visit the gardens as well.

Paul Taffanel

Yesterday, during the intermission at the McMichael Gallery, someone asked where the name Taffanel came from. Many years ago, over ten, when the group was first formed, the problem of a name came up. It is not always easy coming up with a catchy name. We were a quintet at the time and exploring the music of the Taffanel Quintet. We tossed around a number of ideas and finally settled upon the name Taffanel. As you will discover while reading his biography, the name is quite fitting since he was a strong proponent of chamber music.

Claude-Paul Taffanel (1844-1908)

Paul Taffanel is usually considered the founder of the French Flute School that became dominant in mid-20th century western Europe and America. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Louis Dorus, who introduced the Boehm flute there, graduating in 1860. For the next 30 years he pursued a brilliant career as a soloist and as an orchestral player, as one of a group of French musicians who made strenuous efforts to develop a national musical style.
When Taffanel became Professor of Flute at the Conservatoire in 1893 he revised the institute's repertoire and teaching methods, reintroducing works by foreign composers and by those of earlier generations, including Bach. Taffanel's pupils learned to play in a new, smoother style that included a light and carefully-modulated vibrato.
Taffanel began work on a history of the flute and a method book, both of which were completed after his death by his pupils Louis Fleury and Philippe Gaubert.