Music Director, Emeritus
Mr. Humphreville retired in April, 2000 as Music Director and Conductor of the Danbury Symphony Orchestra, a position he held since 1977. Mr. Humphreville has shaped the musical activities of the Danbury Music Centre since 1955. He is credited with the development of the Nutcracker Ballet and Messiah, two highlights of the Music Centre's annual season. In 1992 the Music Centre Board of Directors established the James E. Humphreville Endowment Fund in his honor. Upon his retirement, Mr. Humphreville was named Music Director, Emeritus by the Board of Directors. He was also Director of the Danbury Opera for many years, and the Music Coordinator for the Danbury Public School System. Despite his retirement, Mr. Humphreville will continue to be a presence at the Music Centre, and directed Messiah, Nutcracker, and the Young Peoples' Concert while we searched for new conductors for the DSO and DCC during the 2000 2002 seasons.
Ariel Rudiakov, recently appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Danbury Symphony Orchestra, received his early musical training in New York City from his father, Ďcellist Michael Rudiakov, and his principal conducting study from Maestro David Gilbert. Mr. Rudiakov was a scholarship student in the Masters program at Yale University, with emphasis on viola performance, completing the degree in 1991as a full scholarship student at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
Mr. Rudiakov is active as a conductor and violist. His collaborations in both areas have included performances with many renowned musicians and ensembles. Among them; Ruth Laredo, Stanley Drucker, the Shanghai Quartet, Eudice Shapiro, Camerata New York, Andre-Michel Schub, Christopher Taylor, the New York Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Ani Kavafian, Sharon Robinson, members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Jaime Laredo and members of the Juilliard, Guarneri and Tokyo string quartets, among others. He is a founding member of the New York Piano Quartet and the String Orchestra of New York City (SONYC), and has performed extensively in the USA and abroad.
Mr. Rudiakov has served on the faculties of Bennington, Middlebury and Green Mountain Colleges, and was appointed Artistic Director of the Manchester (VT) Music Festival in 2001, succeeding his late father. He has held guest and permanent conducting posts with the Metropolitan Symphony, the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra and the Bergen Philharmonic. Currently he is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division, the Michael Rudiakov Music Academy, and the Manchester Music Festival where he has been the conductor of the Manchester Chamber Orchestra since 1989.
Ariel Rudiakov has won critical acclaim as both violist and conductor. He has been a guest on Vermont Public Radio, WAMC for Performance Today and WQXR in New York City. He is also active in bringing about the commissioning of new works for both solo viola and orchestra. Composers who have dedicated works to him include Richard Lane, Coleridge Taylor-Perkinson and Philip Lasser. He records for the Eroica and MMF labels. Mr. Rudiakov resides in Yonkers, NY and Manchester, VT with his wife, violinist Joana Genova and son Michael.
Richard Price joined the Danbury Concert Chorus as Conductor and Music Director in June of 2002. He also conducted the annual performances of Messiah, and for 2004-2006, the Nutcracker Ballet. He has enjoyed an unusually diverse musical career, spending 15 years as a professional French Horn player before entering his current field of classical recording production. He is President and Senior Producer of Candlewood Digital, a new Connecticut-based company of classical recording specialists. His work received two Grammy nominations in 2006. He has also been active as a choral conductor and baritone soloist since his first choral music directorship at age 17. Nationally recognized as an arranger, his works have been performed by such organizations as the Toronto Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, and Westmenster Choir College, as well as on TV (Inspector Lynley Mysteries) and film (Being Julia). His Christmas arrangements will be featured on an upcoming CD by the Canadian Brass, to be released this year. An alumnus of Juilliard, the University of Michigan, and the Pierre Monteux Domaine School for Conductors, he lives with his wife Meg Bowles and their daughter Hannah on Candlewood Isle.
Christine Howlett was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but grew up around Toronto, Ontario. She studied as an undergraduate at the University of Toronto, and earned both a Masterís Degree in Early Music Voice Performance and a D.M.A. in Choral Conducting from Indiana University. She has studied voice and conducting with Alan Bennett, Jan Harrington, Mary Ann Hart, Paul Hillier, Drew Minter, Helmuth Rilling, Stanley Ritchie, John Poole and Carmen Tellez.
Christine Howlett is the Director of Choral Activities at Vassar College where she conducts the Vassar College Women's Chorus, Vassar College Choir and teaches music theory and voice. Her choruses have sung at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and have toured in Italy, Turkey, Germany, Spain and in the USA. Recently, the Vassar College Women's Chorus performed at both the National Collegiate Choral Association at Yale University in November, 2009 and at the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Conference in Philadelphia in February 2010. She is the Artistic Director of Cappella Festiva, an auditioned choral ensemble with a thirty-five year history of performing in the Hudson Valley. In 2006, she co-founded the Summer Choral Festival at Vassar College and the Cappella Festiva Treble Choir, an auditioned choral ensemble for treble voices ages 10-16.
Christine Howlett is active as a soprano soloist and has performed in many works including J.S. Bach's Magnificat (BWV 243), Mass in B minor (BWV 232), St. Matthewís Passion (BWV 244), Actus Tragicus (BWV 106), Charpentier's Les Arts Florissants, Mozart's Coronation Mass, Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols, Mass by Igor Stravinsky, and most recently, Francis Poulencís Gloria. She has sung in ensembles, both as soloist and choral member, under Simon Carrington, Paul Hillier, Lorin Maazel, and Helmuth Rilling. She is a member of Kairos: A Consort of Singers, an ensemble of sixteen voices whose members are artists-in-residence at the Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY.
Stephen Michael Smith is Music Director/Conductor of the Danbury Community Orchestra, the Stephen Smith Singers in New York City, and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, NY where he conducts The Shelter Rock Chamber Orchestra and a 45 voice semi-professional choir. He also serves as Artistic Director of the professional Music at Shelter Rock Concert Series.
Mr. Smith's guest conducting credits include the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland), St. Petersburg Camerata (Russia), Karlovy Vary Philharmonic (Czech Republic), Danbury Symphony Orchestra, New Britain Symphony, St. Luke's Orchestra (San Francisco), Riverside Choral Society, Schola Cantorum of Harvard University, and Coro di Camera (Boston). He has also performed in France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, and the former Yugoslavia. In both 1997 and 2000, Mr. Smith was chosen to participate in the International Northern Baltic Festival at the historic Catherine the Great Theater of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. During his tenures as Music Director/Conductor of the Shrewsbury Chorale and the Dalton Alumni Chorale he prepared both institutions for their Carnegie Hall debuts (Verdiís Requiem and Beethovenís Symphony No. 9/Missa Solemnis).
A champion of new works, Mr. Smith has conducted numerous premieres, including the world premieres of Paula Kimperís Where Everything Is Music, Allen Hillís Toward the Light and The Gift, Larry Demingís Variations on Blackberry Blossom, the New York premiere of William Bolcomís May-Day, and US premieres of Mickelson's reconstructions of 16th century Venetian works by Gabrieli, Bassano, Obrecht, Zarlino, and Croce. Last month he conducted the world premiere of Gerald Busby's Quatrains, performed in New York City by the Stephen Smith Singers.
A native of upstate New York, Mr. Smith received his first professional appointment at the age of 11. He studied conducting with Vincent La Selva at The Juilliard School, Alexander Polishchuck at the State (Tchaikovsky) Conservatory of St. Petersburg in Russia, and Mariusz Smolij (Houston Symphony), and has participated in international master classes with Robert Shaw and Victor Yampolsky.
Mr. Smith has taught music at the University of Hawaii, Hartwick College, and the American Academy of Music. He previously served as Executive Director of the San Francisco Opera Guild, Interim Director of the Merola Opera Program and consultant with the University of California at San Francisco, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Wolf Trap Institute for the Arts, and Opera Southwest.
Mr. Lebetkin teaches at the Ridgebury Elementary School in Ridgefield, where he has taught for the past 34 years. He has directed strings, band, chorus, and general music, as well as musicals. Along with his wife Harriet, he also directs Danbury Talent Education, a Suzuki School, teaching violin and piano. Mr. Lebetkin graduated from Ithaca College, Cum Laude, with a major in music education, and received his Master of Science degree from Western Connecticut State University, also with a major in music education. Mr. Lebetkin is a recipient of the Leroy Paltrowitz and Henry Dick Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Dedication to the United Jewish Center. He has also received the Western Connecticut's Superintendents' Association and Union Carbide Corporation award of Excellence and has been a recipient of the world Hunger Media Awards, Judges' Award in the Special Achievement Award Category at the United Nations. In addition to his many school responsibilities, Mr. Lebetkin has also been a guest conductor for the Greenwich All-City Elementary Orchestra and has adjudicated for the Connecticut All-State violin auditions.
Artistic Director/Choreographer of the Nutcracker Ballet
Arthur Fredric, Artistic Director of Nutcracker since 1997, will jointly Direct and Choreograph the Ballet with his wife, Lisa Denton. As a performer in the '80's, Mr. Fredric played "Action" on Broadway in West Side Story, as directed and choreographed by Jerome Robins, and was featured with Kevin Spacey in Yeats Play at the Lucille Lortel White Barn Theater. He also worked with jazz dance innovator Ronn Forella, helping to choreograph movies and shows starring Ann Reinking, Liza Minnelli, Fred Ebb, Marc Shaiman, and Bill Murray (Stripes). Mr. Fredric's choreography was featured Off Broadway in shows for Liz Swados (The Red Sneaks), Carey Perloff (Swadosized), and Carol Hall (Ain't Love Easy). He was Resident Director and Choreographer at Albany's Park Playhouse and mounted shows at New Fairfield's Gateway Candlewood Playhouse. In 1994, he founded the New Dance Collective, a danbury based jazz dance company featuring his own works and those of David Storey, Kelly Holcombe, and James Martin. Currently, Mr. Fredric teaches and choreographs for Jacques d'Amboises and the National Dance Institute in the NYC public schools and is on the dance faculty at Manhattanvile College. His video company, Arthur Fredric Productions, taped and edited the Tony nominated show Medea, starring Fiona Shaw, last winter as well as other theater and dance events.
Lisa Denton, Co-Director/Choreographer and Costume Consultant, has worked on the costumes and staging of the Danbury Nutcracker since 1997. As a principal dancer for the New Dance Collective, she also served as the company's primary costume designer. Ms. Denton has appeared in movies (Back to School, Tonight's the Night), on television (Riptide, A-Team, As the World Turns) and on radio (NBC's Imus in the Morning). In recent years she has appeared locally on stage as Elsie Barlow in Road to Mecca and Eleanor Bachman in The Great White Hope. She minored in dance at Denison University and UCLA, and trained with the Westchester Ballet Company and in NYC with Ronn Forella and David Storey. Currently, Ms. Denton works with Speak Deep, the Heart River Healing School, and in private practice as an intuitive healer and teacher.
Larry Deming began his study of Violin in the Music Centre's Summer String Program studying violin under John Burnett. He received a B.S. Degree With Distinction from the Indiana University School of Music in 1981. He played Violin in the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra for seven years, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra for nine years, was Concertmaster of the Danbury Symphony Orchestra for five years, and is first Violinist of the Deming String Quartet. Mr. Deming has played with many musical luminaries and he loves to arrange, compose, conduct, perform and teach many types of music. His CD, "Journey to the East", was released in 2005. He is once again concertmaster of the Danbury Symphony Orchestra and has been director of the Summer Strings Program since 2002.
Summer Strings, Instructor of Beginners and Novices
Alison Corigliano holds a Bachelor of Music Cum Laude in Violin performance from Western Connecticut State University, where she studied Violin with Eric Lewis of the Manhattan String Quartet. She teaches privately in her home studio and in the New Fairfield Public Schools. She also performs with the Danbury Symphony Orchestra and is first Violinist with the Ives String Quartet. She has been an instructor in the Summer Strings Program since 1999.
Mr. LaMendola is Choral and Drama Director at Brookfield High School. He also produces and directs the Summer Musical Theatre Camp through the New Fairfield Parks and Recreation department. This is his sixth summer as music director of the Summer Chorus of the Danbury Music Centre.
Mr. Montecalvo (a.k.a. Mr. Monte), retired from the Carmel School District in 1998 where he was director of middle school and high school bands, as well as K-12 Director of Music. He has performed as a percussionist with many local orchestras, including the Ridgefield Symphony, Chappaqua Orchestra and the Danbury Symphony Orchestra; and has performed with various theater groups, including the Downtown Cabaret Theater, Seven Angels Theater, Musicals at Richter and The Pawling Players. He also performs with the Sonny Carroll Big Band and Berkshire Big Band. He conducted the Danbury Symphony Orchestra in Charles Ives' Third symphony in October 2011, and in March 2012, he conducted the orchestra in its Annual Grand Gala. He was an adjunct music professor at WCSU for five years, where he taught music education courses and conducted the WCSU Symphonic Band. He is currently the director f the Western Connecticut Youth Wind Ensemble, conductor of Broadway shows at Ridgefield High School since 2003, and served as their interim band director in 2008-2009. He has been director of the Summer Band Program since 2001.
Summer Bands, Conductor of Concert and Preparatory Bands
Anthony Nunes was born and raised in Danbury and now resides in New Fairfield. He has been teaching private trumpet lessons since 1999 and has been teaching in Norwalk Public Schools since 2011. He performs in various musical groups in the area, including the Danbury Symphony Orchestra, and just completed a Master's degree in Music education from WCSU. Mr. Nunes has directed the summer Concert and Preparatory Bands since 2008.
Ase-AmenRa Kariamu of Kariamu Afrikan Drum and Dance, affectionately known as Brother Ase, began his drumming with master drummer, Brother Keindre O'Uhuru, director of the El Shabazz Orchestra in Harlem, NY. For the past nine years, he has been teaching in the Juvenile Detention Center for the CT Ballet 'Out Reach' program. Mr. Kariamu was 'Mouse King' in the Danbury Music Centre's annual production of Nutcracker several times and has been a flutist for over 20 years. His instructors also include Yamoussa Camara, master dancer/drummer of Guinea, West Afrika; and KoKayi, an Afrikan Dance Troupe of Mt. Vernon. Mr. Kariamu hosts West Afrikan Drum workshops throughout Connecticut and teaches in the Danbury after-school program in fourteen schools. He also teaches at 'A Common Ground'. He has been director of the DMC Afrikan Drumming program since 2003.