MEET THE ARTISTS
Praised for his “impeccable accuracy and demonstrated versatility and sensitivity” (ITG Journal), Joshua Ganger performs as a chamber musician, soloist, and ensemble member throughout the Midwest and East Coast. In November 2017, his debut solo album, “Songs of a Sojourner,” was released on Summit Records. Ganger has performed at the 2017 and 2018 International Trumpet Guild Conferences and has given guest artist recitals at multiple colleges throughout the United States. In November 2016, he gave the world premiere for James Stephenson’s “Concerto for Piccolo Trumpet and Wind Ensemble” with the Indiana Wesleyan University Wind Ensemble and later performed the same work with the Peabody Conservatory Wind Ensemble. Since 2016, Dr. Ganger has been Principal Trumpet of Symphony of the Lakes and has performed with many orchestras in Northern Indiana and Michigan.
Ganger is a Powell Trumpet Artist and plays on a Powell Custom B-flat Trumpet, C Trumpet, and Flugelhorn.
Dr. James Kraft holds degrees from Florida State University (BS), and Catholic University of America (MM, DMA). From 1976-2005 Dr. Kraft was a member of the National Symphony Orchestra trombone section. He has also performed as a trombonist, euphonium player, and bass trumpeter with the New York Philharmonic, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, New Orleans Philharmonic, United States Navy Band, and the Eastern Music Festival. Formerly the Assistant Dean of the School of Music at Grace College, Dr. Kraft has taught trombone and euphonium at Catholic University of America, Howard University, America University, University of Maryland, Eastern Music Festival, Masterworks Festival, and at Indiana Wesleyan University.
Born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas, Dion Cunningham completed his M.M. at the Peabody Conservatory and his D.M.A. at the University of Maryland. In 2015, Dion was recognized nationally when was awarded 2nd prize in the American Protégé International Piano and Strings competition, making his debut in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in November of that year. To date, Dion has performed throughout the US and Canada, the Caribbean and Europe.
Dion's recent teaching appointments include the University of the Bahamas and Lyford Cay International School. He obtained his Dip. Ed. from the, then, College of the Bahamas and his M.M. Ed from Vandercook College (Chicago, IL. Service activities remain close to Dion’s heart and he hopes to use his career as a performer and educator to inspire those from non-traditional backgrounds to pursue careers in music.
American pianist CHRISTINE WU has performed on stages throughout the U.S. and Europe, in venues including Lincoln Center and Merkin Hall, (New York), the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater (Washington D.C.), Benaroya Hall (Seattle), Teatro San Rocco (Seregno), Petit Palau de la Música Catalana (Barcelona) and Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris).
Christine has won top prizes in the Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competition (Italy), the Chautauqua Institute Piano Competition, and the Fite Family National Competition.
She was also an award-winner in the Oneppo Chamber Music Competition, the Washington International Competition and the American International Paderewski Piano Competition. She has also performed in music festivals across North America and Europe. Upcoming projects include a debut album to be recorded by the Sheva Collection, featuring works by Schubert, Liszt, and Schumann, as well as a second album to be produced Blue Griffin Recordings.
Born and raised in Troy, Michigan, Christine’s received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School, where her principal teachers included Julian Martin, Choong-Mo Kang, and Hung-Kuan Chen. Currently, she is enrolled in the prestigious Doctor of Musical Arts program at the Yale School of Music, where her teachers have included Peter Frankl, Christopher Elton and Peter Serkin. Christine is currently based in New York City. When not at the piano, Christine enjoys learning languages and attempting (often unsuccessfully) to complete New York Times Sunday crossword puzzles.
Bahamas Music Academy
Founded in 2014, the Bahamas Music Academy (BMA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of young musicians in The Bahamas. Emphasis is placed on providing access to high quality instrumental, orchestra and theory training at affordable rates to propagate music education in The Bahamas.
Collectively, the BMA has the largest and youngest string orchestra in The Bahamas. The ages of its members begin at five years old and its roster comprises some seventy musicians.
Currently, the BMA offers instruction in strings (violin, viola, cello) and woodwind, and its students are prepared to take the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) Exams. Annually, BMA students receive some of the highest scores in the country. In 2018, they received over one quarter of the distinctions awarded in the practical exams, and of the ten strings students nation-wide who received distinctions, nine were students of the BMA.
The BMA has performed at many notable events including the IAAF World Relays Opening Ceremonies, for the Governor General of The Bahamas, her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, during the Centennial Celebration of the Bahamas Girl Guides Association in 2015. Most recent performances include the YWCA Cultural Evening and Light It Up Blue Ceremonies earlier this year.
Shakespeare In Paradise
Designed to expose locals and visitors to the best in World, Caribbean, African, and African American theatre, Shakespeare in Paradise (SiP) celebrates theatre in all its forms, not just Shakespeare. For the last three years SIP has included, to great popular appeal, a musical in its annual Festival and this season’s Ain’t Misbehavin’ did not disappoint!
Reuniting the team of Philip Burrows (Director) and Adrian Archer (Musical Director), the production romped through a five-night sold out run in October, celebrating the music of Fats Waller and thrilling audiences with a fast-paced, entertaining evening that was joyous and tragic and not a little raunchy.
Reprising their recent roles, we are delighted to present Sonovia Pierrre (Nell Carter), Fabienne Bailey-Brown (Amelia McQueen), Anja Bowe (Charlayne Woodward) and Randel Johnson (Ken Page) in a presentation of The Highlights of Ain’t Misbehavin’
Rhythm N’ Youth is a professional musical and cultural program that is predicated on the education and preservation of authentic Bahamian culture with specialty in Rake N’ Scrape music. Students gain exposure, experience and enrichment through the program and become Bahamian Ambassadors through travel and cultural representation.
In 2009, a Rake N’ Scrape journey began at the Gerald Cash Primary School through the genesis of a children’s Rake N’ Scrape band. After many victories in National Festivals, successful performances and trips, there became the desire by Mr. Nathaniel J. Adams Jr, the band’s leader, to open the doors of the program. The goal would be to benefit more children who were not enrolled at the school, and enlarge the footprint and impact of the cultural program. The group eventually evolved into Rhythm N’ Youth in 2012. With the support of The Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture, Corporate Bahamas and private benefactors the group has performed extensively in The Bahamas as well as internationally (New York City – including the United Nations Headquarters – Poughkeepsie, NY, Tallahassee, Florida, Greensboro, North Caroling, Washington DC and Norfolk Virginia)
University of The Bahamas Concert Choir
The UB Concert Choir was founded in 1998 by the late Audrey Dean-Wright. Consisting of students and a few alumni and faculty members from more than a dozen disciplines, the group strives to be a good ambassador for UB and for The Bahamas at large. Audiences have been thrilled with the choir’s diverse repertoire, including its vibrant Bahamian folk music full of syncopated rhythms, choreography and storytelling. It has sung under outstanding composers Moses Hogan, Lena McLin, Mark Butler, Uzee Brown and Rosephanye Powell.
Under the direction of acclaimed Canadian conductor Dr. Paul Jones since 2016, the UB Concert Choir has continued its tradition of excellence while expanding the range of its repertoire, increasing its membership by 25%, and performing all music from memory. The choir performs both on campus and at churches throughout New Providence. In 2018, the Choir undertook a highly successful tour to Alberta, Canada with performances in Calgary, Canmore, Banff and Edmonton and will travel internationally again in 2020.
Rhythm n' Youth
Pianist Mikael Darmanie has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean playing the role of soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral conductor.
As a chamber musician, he won First Prize in the North Carolina MTNA Chamber Music Competition (with the Transverse Trio), has performed at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music as part of the Apple Hill Fellowship Trio, and in 2010 he performed in programs of Brazilian and French music for violin and piano at Lincoln Center Institute’s Kenan Fellowship performance series. In 2012, he performed on the Taft Museum of Art Chamber Music Series (Cincinnati) with members of the Cincinnati Orchestra.
Since his conducting debut with the Carolina Chamber Orchestra in 2008, he has conducted various piano concerti from the keyboard and symphonic works by Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Haydn and Liszt. An active composer, primarily for piano, he has performed his music throughout the United States, the Caribbean and Western Europe.
Mikael is currently a doctoral student of Gilbert Kalish at SUNY Stony Brook, where he also instructs undergraduate piano and music history, and coaches chamber music.
is enjoying a multi-faceted career as a cross-genre violinist, electric bassist, and composer. As a Classical musician, he has performed as soloist with major American and international orchestras and in venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Munich’s Gasteig, and The Forbidden City Concert Hall of Beijing.
He has additionally built a reputation for his high-energy electric violin performances in genres such as Rock, Jazz, Hip-Hop and Country Fiddle and is a member of several national and international touring groups including of course the genre-bending chamber group Warp Trio.
Josh has served as music director for the Emmy award-winning Damien Escobar, pop singer Zahra Unverse and to rapper LikWUid Stylez. A sought-after freelance musician, Josh has also performed, recorded and collaborated with popular artists such as Chris Brown, Bilal, Solange, The Sugar Hill Gang, Jherek Bischoff and others.
As a composer, he has written for films and had several of his works performed, including a Carnegie Hall premier of chamber works, a full-length ballet ballet, which was premiered by Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in 2012, the premier of his viola concerto by the Chelsea Symphony and the 2017 premier of his co-written Triple Concerto for Warp Trio and Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra.
Josh studied at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and at New York University. He has instructed courses on improvisation for classical string majors and chamber music at NYU and held faculty positions for the contemporary music for youth program, “Face the Music” and Montserrat Music Festival.
New York City based cellist, Ju-Young Lee, has captivated audiences throughout Asia, Europe and North and South America with his passionate performances and intelligent music making. With a yearly schedule of some 200 performances, and having given masterclasses and concerts in hundreds of colleges and universities, his musicality is no stranger to any corner of the globe.
Currently Ju Young is founder and cellist of warp trio. Principal cellist of Core Ensemble, and guest principal cellist with the Cape Cod Symphony.
Not only versed in the field of classical, Mr Lee is in demand as a recording artist and performer of popular music as well. He has collaborated on jazz, rock and country music albums and also performs internationally with Emmy award winning Damien Escobar and his quartet, including performance at the 2013 Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball honoring Barack Obama.
Mr Lee is a graduate of the Juilliard School.
New York City drummer, percussionist and composer Rick Martinez is enjoying a diverse career fusing together and performing countless different genres and styles. Having studied classical percussion in youth at Baltimore’s prestigious Peabody Conservatory, he has performed as principal timpanist with the Peabody Youth Sinfonietta, percussion and timpanist at Tanglewood Music Festival and has also performed in the Berklee World Percussion Festival among others.
He has performed genres ranging from classical to jazz and heavy metal throughout the United States, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean.
Rick holds a degree in jazz performance from New Yord University and has had the privilege of studying with jazz greats as well as pillars in classical percussion.
Rick is endorsed by Anchor Drums.
Special Guest Appearance, Spoken Word "Black Voices"
Acclaimed Bahamian teacher and thespian Dion Johnson always knew he wanted to be an actor and an educator. A graduate of Saint Augustine’s College and The College of The Bahamas, Dion has been a teacher with the Ministry of Education for 13 years and is now Acting Senior Master at T.G. Glover Primary School.
Mr. Johnson has also performed in theatre productions, commercials, radio ads, and short films for the last 15 years. He is perhaps best known to Bahamian audiences for his regular performances in Ringplay and Shakespeare in Paradise productions. He brought down the house as Mike Williams in the Shakespeare in Paradise production of “Der Real Ting” and, most recently, mesmerized audiences with his spellbinding portrayal of the enigmatic Father Flynn in Doubt: A Parable.
This is Mr Johnson’s second performance for NMS, having taken on the role of emcee and narrator of “Carnival of the Animals” in ‘Classic Sonic Safari!” last season.