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A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Andre Myers (b. 1973) received his B.Mus. in composition from the Eastman School of Music, and his M.Mus. and A.Mus.D. from the University of Michigan. His principal teachers in composition were William Banfield, Warren Benson, Samuel Adler, Joseph Schwantner, David Liptak, Robert Morris, Bright Sheng, William Bolcom, Evan Chambers and Erik Santos. Recent commissions include two works for the Michigan Philharmonic, where he served as Composer-in-Residence for the orchestra's CLASSical music outreach program, works for the new music groups Prime Directive and Warped Consort, and music for theater and multi-media installations. His works have been played by the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Plymouth, University of Michigan, and Occidental/Cal-Tech, featured on Minnesota public radio, and performed in conferences across the United States and in Europe. Honors include the University of Michigan's Rackham Merit Fellowship and King Spirit Award, the inaugural awarding of the University of Michigan's Willis Patterson Medal, and an associate artist residency at the Atlantic
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Alexis Alrich travels frequently between Hong Kong and the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is the director of the John Adams Young Composers Program. Her music, which has been called "California Impressionism" is often inspired by natural landscapes and, conversely, modern urban sounds.

Her first orchestra piece was performed by the Women's Philharmonic and has since been played multiple times around the US. The American Composers Forum selected her for the Millenium Continental Harmony project, for which she composed a major piece for orchestra, chorus and soloists.

Recent pieces include Hong Kong Email for flute, clarinet, cello and piano, Marimba Concerto, Fragile Forests II: Cambodia for chamber orchestra, Route 101 for string quartet and Cary Tennis Songs with words by Cary Tennis, columnist for Salon.com. composer's website

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A native of Wisconsin, Janika Vandervelde has written more than 90 works for orchestras, choirs, chamber ensembles, soloists, and the stage, including the operas Hildegard (1989) and Seven Sevens (1993). She has twice been a Bush Artist Fellow and a McKnight Foundation Composer Fellow, has been honored with the Boulanger Award of the Women’s Philharmonic in San Francisco, and has received grants and fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board, ASCAP, and the American Composers Forum. She has been commissioned by such organizations as The Minnesota Orchestra, The Guthrie Theater, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Women’s Philharmonic, the Minnesota Chorale, the Dale Warland Singers, Chanticleer, the Oregon Repertory Singers, and Zeitgeist. She has been profiled in the New Grove Dictionary of Music (2nd ed.) and the International Who's Who of Classical Musicians.

During the period 1999-2002, Ms. Vandervelde served as Composer-in-Residence for three Twin Cities organizations — the Minnesota Chorale, the Minnesota Center for Arts Education, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom — under a New Residencies grant from New York City-based Meet the Composer, Inc. In this capacity, she acted as a musical ambassador to the wider community, offering presentations in neighborhood venues, pre-concert talks, and school residencies, organizing reading sessions, coaching local performers, and teaching classes for student composers and other young artists.

Since completing her three-year New Residencies grant, Ms. Vandervelde has worked on a steady stream of choral commissions for groups at all levels, from professionals to children. In 2006, she designed a composition curriculum using music technology—Music By Kids For Kids—available from the American Composers Forum. She currently teaches orchestration at the University of Minnesota, and serves on the faculty of the Perpich Center for Arts Education—a state-wide, innovative arts high school with a cutting-edge, composition-based music program. composer's website

Chen Yi grew up in Guangzhou, China, into a talented family. Her parents were doctors and musicians; her mother played the piano, and her father the violin. Her older sister was a child prodigy, and even today Chen's older sister and younger brother work as professional musicians in China.

Chen began studying piano at the age of three, studying the music of Western composers such as Bach and Mozart. However, once the Cultural Revolution began in 1966, Western influences were severely shunned and the arts were attacked. For ten years, education came to a halt and people were relocated to work in large communes in countryside. Chen's father and older sister were the first to be sent away, but Chen managed to hide in her hometown a while longer, and continued to practice music, but with some impediments: she was forced to stuff a blanket inside her piano in order to dampen the sound, and play her violin with a mute. At age fifteen, she could hide no more. Her house was searched, her possessions were taken, and the rest of her family was dispersed to different locations to perform compulsory labor in the countryside.

Chen used her time spent laboring in the countryside to learn and appreciate the Chinese folk culture. Her connection with Chinese music would prove a useful tool in finding her own voice for her musical compositions in later life. At age seventeen, she returned to Guangzhou and began working as concertmaster in the orchestra of the Beijing Opera Troupe in Guangzhou.

Chen lived for many years in New York City, and studied composition with Chou Wen-chung and Mario Davidovsky at Columbia University, earning a DMA with distinction. Her husband is the composer Zhou Long. As of 2006, both Chen and Zhou are professors of composition at the University of Missouri–Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Alongside a great number of orchestral works, Chen has also made many contributions to the choral repertoire and the chamber music repertoire, including works written for traditional Chinese instruments. composer's website

Alice Gomez (b. 1960) Drawing on her multi-cultural background, she has become internationally recognized for her Latino and Native American influenced compositions. She grew up in San Antonio, Texas, a city rich in cultural diversity, playing the drums in her father's Latin dance band. She served as Composer-in-Residence with the award winning San Antonio Symphony from 1993-96, creating new works to unite the symphony with the largely Hispanic community of San Antonio. She has had the opportunity to compose and arrange for various professional orchestras, bands, and soloists throughout the United States, including The Minnesota Orchestra, The Plymouth Symphony, Texas Lutheran University, Velvet Brown, Deanna Swoboda, Lauraine Carpenter, and the Southwest Guitar Festival. I have also received several ASCAP Composer's Awards. She is an Associate Professor of Music at San Antonio Community College where I teach The History of American Music, Basic Composition, Improvisation, Percussion Lessons and Class Percussion, and direct and arrange music for the Estudiantina and Latin jazz ensembles. In the Fall of 2009, she will begin a new Mariachi program at San Antonio College. As a percussionist, she has performed professionally with a variety of musical groups including The San Antonio Early Music Ensemble, The San Quilmas Consort, as an extra percussionist with the San Antonio Symphony, and as a sought after marimba and steel drum player in the San Antonio area. In addition to performing, she has lectured at many national conferences, and at several schools and universities throughout the United States. Her music is featured on several recordings on San Antonio's Talking Taco and Iago labels, Crystal Records, and Silver Wave Records. Her music has also been featured regularly on several radio stations, as well as on television programs such as 20/20, and public television programs Heritage and ArtBeat. composer's website

Sandra Schlechter has been performing as an actor and singer in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 30 years. Theatrical credits include SF Playhouse (Reckless); Central Works (Every Inch a King, The Wyrd Sisters); TheatreFIRST (Nathan the Wise, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook); 42nd Street Moon (Coco); and Theatre Rhinoceros (The A.I.D.S. Show-- original cast and touring company, Whatever Happened to Sister George?, Cleopatra: The Musical). She performs short story readings with Actors Reading Writers in Berkeley and will appear in an adaption of Anton Chekhov's An Anonymous Story early next year. She is thrilled to have been a part of Magical Tunes, Marvelous Tales. Many thanks to Nan Washburn and the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra for their extraordinary talent and gracious welcome.

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A reporter for National Public Radio and WDET, Detroit Public Radio, Celeste Headlee is currently co-host of The Takeaway from PRI and WNYC. She is also the former local Morning Edition host at public radio station KNAU in Flagstaff, Arizona. Her news reports have aired on NPR, the Pacifica Network, National Native News and Public Radio International and has received a number of awards in journalism.

Ms. Headlee is also a professional soprano who has sung with Michigan Opera Theatre, and given recitals throughout the country. She received her Masters of Music from the University of Michigan in 1998.

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