Shields-Collins (Buddy) Bray
Shields-Collins (Buddy) Bray has been visiting schools with the
Musical Awakenings® series for over ten years,
and he says it is the most enjoyable work he does.
When he is not in the schools talking about music, Mr. Bray
serves as artistic director of the Cliburn Foundation's Cliburn at
the Modern series, and he is the principal keyboardist for the Fort
Worth Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Bray also hosts the Fort Worth
Symphony Orchestra's pre-concert discussion series, where he does
much the same thing as in the schools - he tries to make his
audience comfortable with the music they will hear, and he does it
with a spirit of discovery and fun.
Mr. Bray comes from a family of teachers, and he is glad to be
carrying on the family tradition.
Singer, actress, and comedienne Colleen Mallette has charmed
audiences across the United States and abroad with her one-woman
spoof The Lamaze School of Singing Presents: How to Birth a
Song! originally created with Buddy Bray. After years of
serious study and numerous roles on the musical theatre and
operatic stages, Ms. Mallette has combined her love for traditional
singing with her love of having a good time into a career art form.
She has performed in various venues around the world including the
Edinburgh Fringe, Liszt Academy, Winchester England Concert Series,
and Philly Fringe, as well as Duplex Cabaret and Birdland in
Ms. Mallette has produced, written, and performed children's
programming for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Beaumont Opera,
Shreveport Opera, Young Audiences of Houston, and Suzuki Camps. She
currently tours for Mid-America Arts performing concerts to enhance
nationally recognized art exhibits. She has toured extensively for
Texas Commission on the Arts. Her latest venture is her
instructional Web site VocalUniversity.org for singers and speakers.
This summer she received grants from Arts Council North East
to present her French cabaret concert and a vocal
wellness seminar. Ms. Mallette is a faculty member at Texas
Christian University and will perform this January at the Cliburn
at the Modern series, featuring composer John Bucchino. Her Web
site is www.highcdiva.com.
Candace Bawcombe has been a pianist since age 4. She grew
up in a small town south of Fort Worth and was influenced by the
classical music recordings her parents played each day. She
studied piano for three years with Dr. Grace Ward Lankford,
co-founder of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. At
age 11, she was accepted into the studio of Hungarian pianist, Mme.
Lili Kraus - who served as a juror of the Cliburn Competition until
the mid-1980s - and remained in her studio as a student of piano
and music theory at TCU.
Today, Ms. Bawcombe is artistic director of Dallas Chamber Music
and hosts a radio show called "Spotlight on Chamber Music" on WRR,
Classical 101.1. She performs recitals with violinists around the
United States and will perform on a Mozart Series at Lincoln Center
in April 2013. She is an accomplished organist and choir director
and holds a position as organist and music director at St.
Vincent's Anglican Cathedral in Bedford, Texas. She will
perform as organist-in-residence at Yorkminster Cathedral in
Ms. Bawcombe graduated from The Juilliard School in New York
where she met her husband, violinist Andrew Schast, who performs
with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
José Cubela was raised in Miami, Florida. He received an
Associate of Arts with honors from Miami Dade Community College,
then graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music from the
University of Central Florida in Orlando. In 2004, he graduated
with a Master of Music in piano performance from Texas Christian
University. Mr. Cubela teaches piano to students at Texas Christian
University and through the Musical Awakenings program. Mr.
Cubela is also on staff at Texas Wesleyan University and is the
music director at Christ the King Episcopal Church. Mr. Cubela
performs regularly in Fort Worth and in other Texas cities.
Mr. Cubela has received many honors and awards, including first
place in the University of Central Florida Piano Concerto
Competition; performer at the TCU/Cliburn Piano Institute (now
known as PianoTexas); and placement in the Gray Perry Young
Collegiate Piano Competition in Orlando, Florida. Mr. Cubela has
been a juror for both the Sonata Club Piano Competition and the
Fort Worth Music Teachers Association's Piano Competition.
Twelfth-grade, honor-roll student Aaron Kurz began studying
piano at the age of 3 and is currently a student of Dr. Carol
Leone, chair of the keyboard department and associate professor of
piano at SMU Meadows School of the Arts.
Mr. Kurz has been a prizewinner in many state, regional, and
international competitions. He is the 2011-2012 first-place winner
of both the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) Regional and
TMTA (Texas Music Teachers Association) State Competitions for
Senior Piano and also held both titles for Junior Piano. He has
been a prizewinner in the Virginia Waring, Bradshaw and Buono, and
Viardo International Piano Competitions; a finalist in two MTNA
National Piano Competitions; as well as semifinalist in the
Schmidbauer International Piano Competition. Mr. Kurz has played at
Carnegie Hall, Salle Cortot in Paris, the Winspear Opera House in
Dallas, and has attended and performed in festivals in Vienna,
Valencia, and New York City.
Evan Mitchell performs both piano solo and collaborative
performances and has been heard in New York's Steinway Hall, Weill
Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and through broadcasts on WFHB radio
(Bloomington, Indiana). He has played concerti with orchestras
including the Fort Worth and Victoria Symphonies. Among other
honors, Mr. Mitchell has been awarded first prize in the Kingsville
International Competition, Five Towns Music Competition, and the
Lima Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. Mr. Mitchell's
recording of Claudio Santoro's Sonata No. 4, "Fantasia" (1957) is
featured on the 2012 CD release, Piano de Pampa y Jungla: A
Collection of Latin American Piano Music.
Mr. Mitchell earned both master's and bachelor's degrees from
the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He is currently
working with Cliburn Gold Medalist José Feghali at Texas Christian
University. Other interests include sailing and writing concert
reviews for the Web site www.Bachtrack.com.
A 2009 Cliburn Competition competitor, Spencer Myer was also
gold medalist at the 2008 New Orleans International Piano
Competition and winner of the 2006 Christel DeHaan Classical
Fellowship from the American Pianists Association. He has performed
in major venues in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Mr.
Myer has been a featured soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, the
Louisiana, Johannesburg and Cape Town Philharmonics, and the
Knoxville, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Tucson, and Santa Fe Symphony
Orchestras. Since winning the 2000 Marilyn Horne Foundation
Competition, he has enjoyed a growing reputation as a vocal
collaborator. He has had four return tours to South Africa
since winning the 2004 UNISA International Piano Competition in
Pretoria, highlighted by a performance of the five Beethoven
Concerti with the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa in 2005. Mr.
Myer's debut solo CD is available on harmonia mundi usa.
A native of Tacoma, Washington, Kimberly Torgul joined the Fort
Worth Symphony Orchestra in 1996. She holds a degree in violin
performance from the University of Southern California, where she
studied with acclaimed violinist and teacher Eudice Shapiro. She
went on to receive a Master of Music from Rice University. As an
active chamber musician, Ms. Torgul was a founding member of the
Pacific Chamber Soloists of Seattle and regularly performs with
Spectrum Chamber Players of Fort Worth. She has also collaborated
with the Fine Arts Chamber Players of Dallas and Camerata San
Antonio. Summer guest appearances include the Manchester Chamber
Music Festival in Vermont, Music in the Mountains Chamber Music
Series in Durango, Colorado, Great Music West Chamber Festival in
Utah, and Sun Valley Summer Symphony. Ms. Torgul has also performed
in Spoleto, Italy and the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South
Carolina. She is happily married to Ertan Torgul, associate
concertmaster with the San Antonio Symphony.
PIANIST & PROGRAM HOST
Jonathan Tsay earned a Bachelor of Music with honors from the
Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University and
earned his doctorate at l'Université de Montréal in Canada. He is a
faculty member at the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas and at the
Conservatory Music in the Mountains (Colorado). Dr. Tsay is also
the artistic director of ensemble75.
Dr. Tsay's musical studies include violin, percussion,
composition, and conducting lessons. He served as pianist,
violinist, violist, and percussionist for the Fort Worth Youth
Orchestra, where he also won the Young Artists' Award. He has
composed scores for multiple documentaries.
Dr. Tsay has remained active as a chamber musician and was the
first pianist to participate in the Institute for Strings, an
intensive chamber music program founded by Dallas Symphony
Orchestra violinist Jan Sloman. Dr. Tsay has also been a featured
soloist with the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra, the Houston School for
the Performing and Visual Arts Orchestra, and the Meadows Symphony
Orchestra at SMU.
Dr. Tsay has been a top prize winner in several piano
competitions and presents concerts throughout the United States and
Canada. He has performed as guest artist for several Musical
At only 15-years old, Lewis Warren, Jr. has established a
reputation as an accomplished pianist. As a 5-year old he was
composing many of his own pieces, and by age 8 he was performing in
piano competitions and recitals across the Dallas/Fort Worth
Metroplex. Mr. Warren is a frequent top prizewinner in local and
international piano competitions and is often called on to perform
at local charity events. His unique ability to connect with people
through music has led to invitations to perform for several Cliburn
Musical Awakenings children's presentations and as guest for the
Cliburn's 180º, a social group for people in their 20s and 30s. Mr.
Warren currently studies with Dr. Carol Leone, chair of the
keyboard department and associate professor of piano at SMU Meadows
School of the Arts, where he is a member of their Piano Preparatory