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RIC Music Events

Robert Franzblau and the Rhode Island College Wind Ensemble present Collaborations on Friday, December 1, 2017 - 7:30 p.m.

photo of Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant

Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant

photo of David Neves

David Neves

photo of John Knasas

John Knasas

photo of Steven Bryant

Steven Bryant

photo of Steven Laven

Steven Laven



On Friday, December 1, 7:30 pm in Roberts Auditorium, the Rhode Island College Wind Ensemble will share the stage with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Symphonic Winds and Wind Ensemble, under the direction of John Knasas and David Neves (MMEd ’81), two of Rhode Island’s finest music educators.  Each group will perform music of Steven Bryant and will work directly with the composer in rehearsals. Furthermore, Steven’s wife, Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant, will guest conduct the groups on these pieces. To close the concert, the Rhode Island College Wind Ensemble and the RIPYWE Symphonic Winds will join forces to perform John Philip Sousa’s colorful march, The Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.

The featured soloist for the evening is Steven Laven, adjunct instructor of cello at Rhode Island College and cellist in the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Laven will perform Steven Bryant’s sparkling Concerto for Cello with members of the RIC Wind Ensemble.

The composer will spend two days on campus teaching masterclasses in composition, working with RIC students in rehearsals, and will be present at the concert.

“Steven’s music always makes me smile” - Robert Franzblau, RIC Wind Ensemble Director

Steven Bryant’s music is chiseled in its structure and intent, fusing lyricism, dissonance, silence, technology, and humor into lean, skillfully-crafted works that enthrall listeners and performers alike. Winner of the ABA Ostwald award and three-time winner of the NBA Revelli Award, Steven Bryant’s music for wind ensemble has reshaped the genre. A prolific composer, his substantial catalogue of music is regularly performed throughout the world. Recently, his Ecstatic Waters was premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra to unanimous, rapturous acclaim. The son of a professional trumpeter and music educator, he strongly values music education, and his creative output includes a number of works for young and developing musicians.

Verena Mösenbichler - Bryant serves as Associate Professor of the Practice of Music, Director of the Duke University Wind Symphony, and Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Music Department. She also conducts the Durham Medical Orchestra. Verena grew up in Eberschwang, Austria. She began piano lessons at the age of 6, continuing later with church organ, flute, and bassoon.  Her conducting debut at age 16 was followed by a three-year fundamental conducting course taught by Johann Mösenbichler. Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant then studied conducting for symphony orchestra with Ingo Ingensand at the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz, Upper Austria, and received her bachelor degree, with distinction, in 2005. She completed her Master of Music in 2007 with Kevin Sedatole at Michigan State University. Verena graduated in May 2009 with her DMA in Wind Ensemble Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin where her principal conducting teacher was Jerry Junkin.

Steven Lavin cellist, a South Bend, Indiana native, appears with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra (Principal Cellist), the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Symphony and Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. He is also an adjunct instructor of cello and chamber music at Rhode Island College, performing in the faculty Proteus String Quartet. Previously, Mr. Laven has held titled positions in the Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera and Omaha Symphony Orchestras. He has earned cello performance degrees from the Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music.

David Neves has served as the Director of Fine and Performing Arts for the Public Schools in Needham, Massachusetts since 2005. Previously he served for 29 years as a music teacher in Scituate, Rhode Island. For the last 26 of those years, he was the K–12 music supervisor and high school band director. He received his B.M. in music education from the Berklee College of Music, his M.A.T. from Rhode Island College and in 2006 his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University.  

John Knasas is the Middle School Band Director at North Smithfield Middle School in North Smithfield, RI. He has been a music teacher in North Smithfield since 2003 and currently directs the Middle School Concert Band, Sixth Grade Beginner Band program, and Middle School Jazz Bands I and II. Mr. Knasas holds a B.A. in Music Education from Providence College and M.M. in Saxophone Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).

The program for this important collaboration includes:

Dances from The Nutcracker – Tschaikovsky
Miniature Suite – Steven Bryant
Concerto for Cello – Steven Bryant
Steven Lavin, cello soloist
In the Bleak Midwinter – Holst
The Machine Awakes – Steven Bryant
Joy – Joseph Curiale
Dusk – Steven Bryant
The Nobles of the Mystic Shrine – Sousa

Check out this video of Steven Bryant’s Dusk:

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Page last updated: August 14, 2018