ORMTA 2020 Convention

Clinicians, Presenters and Adjudicators

Tony Caramia: Workshop and Master Class Clinician and Adjudicator

Tony Caramia is Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music, where he is Director of Piano Pedagogy Studies, Coordinator of the Class Piano Program and Affiliate faculty member for Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media.

He has conducted numerous workshops in jazz piano for teachers at MTNA National and State Conventions; the International Association for Jazz Educators (IAJE) Teacher Training Institutes; the National Piano Teachers Institute, and the International Workshops; as well as the European Piano Teachers Association International Conference in London, the Australian Piano Pedagogy Conference in Adelaide, and the Institute of Registered Music Teachers National Conference in New Zealand.

Tony Caramia continues to explore the full spectrum of the ragtime tradition. His debut album, Nimble Fingered Gentleman, released in 1996, paid homage to the intricate, syncopated, and novelty piano playing of British composer and pianist Billy Mayerl while his second album, Brass Knuckles, released a year later, took a modern approach to ragtime playing. Zebra Stripes, released in 1998, examined the syncopated solo piano music of European and women composers

Recent solo piano publications include Mixed-Up Rag (Celebration Series 2015, Piano Etudes, Level 7); Shoo-fly Shuffle, and American Treasures (Alfred Music Publishing); Suite Dreams and Jazz Moods (Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation)

Brett Polegato: Master Classes Clinician and Adjudicator

Brett Polegato's artistic sensibility has earned him the highest praise from audiences and critics: He appears regularly on the world's most distinguished stages including those of Lincoln Center, La Scala, the Concertgebouw, the Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, the Teatro Real, Roy Thomson Hall, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.

Brett's 2018/2019 season began in Ireland where he made his role debut as Dr. Joseph Talbot in the European premiere of William Bolcolm's new opera, Dinner At Eight for Wexford Festival Opera. In November, he made a rare appearance in his native Toronto singing Albert in a concert performance of Massenet's Werther for Opera In Concert. After spending the holidays at home, he travelled to Montreal for another debut: Howie Albert in the Canadian premiere of Terence Blanchard's Champion for the Opéra de Montréal. In March, Mr. Polegato returned to Ireland to sing one of his signature roles, Sharpless, in Puccini's Madama Butterfly for the Irish National Opera and then travelled immediately to the United Kingdom to reprise Rodrigo in Verdi's Don Carlo for Grange Park Opera. He finished an already impressive season in July, when he made his Wigmore Hall recital debut with pianist, Iain Burnside.

One of today’s most sought-after lyric baritones on the operatic stage, Brett has made a name for himself in a number of dramatic roles, most notably the title roles in Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin, which his has sung at the Canadian Opera Company, the New Israeli Opera, Grange Park Opera and Vancouver Opera.

Colin Maier: Workshop Clinician and Performer with Quartetto Gelato and Adjudicator

Born and raised in Calgary, Colin Maier graduated from the University of Calgary in 1997 with a degree in oboe performance studying with David Sussman. Colin is currently the oboist for the internationally renowned and critically acclaimed ensemble “Quartetto Gelato” playing 50-70 international concerts a year. He has also played with orchestras such as the Calgary Philharmonic and the National Ballet Orchestra. He has performed in orchestra pits for mega musicals across Canada. As well as being a guest lecturer/recitalist at universities across North America, Colin is currently the oboe professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.

In addition to oboe, Colin also plays clarinet, english horn, violin, 5-string banjo, acoustic/electric bass, piano, saxophone, flute, guitar and musical saw.

Colin has also worked for over 20 years as a dancer, actor, stuntman, singer, choreographer, acrobat and martial- artist. Colin had the honor of playing the devil fiddler in the flying blue canoe for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremonies.” Colin had also been seen in; “Lord of the Rings” (Mirvish), “KA” (Cirque du Soleil), “Amadeus” (Alberta Theatre Projects), “Cats” (Neptune Theatre), Joseph’s Dreamcoat (StageWest/Drayton), “A Chorus Line” (StageWest), Sarah Brightman’s World Tour, and TV’s “Honey I Shrunk the Kids!”.

This combination of music and theatre is quite unique and he continues to find new, exciting and ground breaking ways to combine his two passions.

Quartetto Gelato: Workshop Clinicians and Performers

Virtuosic showpieces, romantic tenor arias, pyrotechnical solos, blazing gypsy show pieces, multi-instrument mastery and a World Accordion Champion – this is Quartetto Gelato.

For 25 years, this dazzling ensemble has enchanted audiences and critics worldwide with their exotic blend of musical virtuosity, artistic passion and humor. Classical in training – eclectic by design – Quartetto Gelato (QG) not only thrills its audiences with its multi-instrument mastery, but also offers the bonus of a brilliant operatic tenor. With a performance repertoire that spans the globe including classical masterworks, operatic arias, the sizzling energy of tangos, gypsy and folk songs, the group’s theatrical stage presence and relaxed humor establishes an intimate rapport with audiences worldwide.

Quartetto Gelato is a Canadian classical crossover quartet with current members Peter DeSotto, Kirk Starkey, Charles Cozens and Colin Maier based in Toronto, Ontario.

Christopher Norton: Presenter

Composer, arranger, educationalist and producer, Christopher Norton is universally regarded as the leader in his field. Born in 1953, he is a New Zealand-born UK-based pianist and composer.

His long and fruitful association with Boosey & Hawkes has resulted in the world-famous Microjazz series ranked as one of the biggest selling music series world-wide.

In 2007 Frederick Harris Music in Canada published Christopher Norton’s Connections for Piano, a collection of 180 new, original piano pieces in popular styles ... “ideal for students and teachers looking for a sound pedagogical supplement or alternative to the study of classical piano literature." Christopher is now the owner of Connections for Piano.

He is in high demand for his unique and creative presentations. He offers sessions ranging from improvisation coaching for private teachers to adjudicating non-competitive piano festivals with literally thousands of student entries.

Norton lectures all over the world on aspects of his work and likes to integrate traditional teaching methods with aspects of modern technology. His most recent series, American Popular Piano, is a unique step-by-step approach to the teaching of improvisation.

Most recently, Norton has produced a series of stunning Micro Musicals for junior school. These include Shakespeare musicals, musicals on mythological themes, Dickens and both World War 1 and World War 2 musicals.

Laura Thomas: Presenter

Laura Thomas is a conductor, arranger, composer, percussionist and teacher. She is Music Director of the Niagara Youth Orchestra and the Dundas Valley Orchestra, as well as Artistic Director of the Hamilton/Niagara area WomEnchant Chorus. She is the Principal Percussionist of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra where she also served as Associate Conductor for thirteen years.

Ms. Thomas holds a masters degree in conducting from New York’s prestigious Bard College, where she studied with Harold Farberman. She is also a graduate of Hamilton’s Mohawk College and McMaster University, where she studied percussion and composition.

In addition to playing with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, she has performed with many ensembles throughout Southern Ontario and Western New York, including the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Te Deum Orchestra, and the Aradia Ensemble. She is a member of Niagara’s popular eclectic folk/blues band BroadBand, and performs regularly with her Vintage Jazz ensembles.

Ms. Thomas has written music for symphony orchestras, choirs, small ensembles, jazz groups and solos.

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