Synergia Northwest Presents announces its 2013 event "Music Lessons Matter" scheduled for May 18, 2013 at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, Washington, to benefit free after-school music programs for elementary school students in Seattle's Central District.
The concert will feature the Synergia Northwest Orchestra alongside some of the Pacific Northwest's most high profile rock and pop recording artists and student musicians. This year's initial line up includes Walking Papers (Jeff Angell, Duff McKagan, Barrett Martin, Ben Anderson), blue-eyed soul sensation Mycle Wastman (2012 The Voice), legendary Santana drummer Michael Shrieve and Friends, Seattle's world famous break crew Massive Monkees with DJ Kaz featuring Shyan Selah and the Garfield High School Drum Line as well as special guests Selene Vigil-Wilk (7 Year Bitch), Shawn Smith (BRAD, Satchel, Pigeonhed), Brendan Hill (Blues Traveler), Justin S. Davis (Strong Suit, Star Anna & The Laughing Dogs), Seattle student and guitar prodigy Caspian Coberly and others to be announced. The night will also include some surprise guests. Northwest radio personality Marty Riemer will return to emcee this years event. As part of the nights multiple performances the concert will again highlight a special musical tribute. "Music Lessons Matter" will feature a tribute to the music of The Rolling Stones; past tributes have included music from The Beatles and Sir Elton John.
The series is now in its fourth year and artists performing with the Synergia Northwest Orchestra have included members of Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Alan White, Blues Traveler, Heart, Tracy Bonham, Queensryche and other internationally recognized artists who call Washington State their home. The concerts have also given a showcase to the area's heritage rich, diverse music community such as the groundbreaking music of the late artist and Northwest Native American Beaver Chief, KOKON Taiko with the Seattle Seahawk's Blue Thunder Drum Line and acclaimed drummer Alan White and Dora Oliveira's Samba Reggae Revolution.
The efforts of Synergia Northwest events over the past few years have helped Music Aid Northwest in bringing its "Music Matters" license plate fundraising proposal to fruition by raising capital needed to create a music-themed license plate that helps support school music programs through its sales. Music Matters license plates can be purchased through any Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) office.
This year Synergia Northwest is expanding its focus to direct service agencies in particular Seattle Music Partners who provide a free after-school music program for underserved elementary school students in Seattle's Central District. SMP recruits, trains and supports skilled high school, college-aged and community musicians as volunteer music tutors and mentors who lead one-on-one music lessons each week. These lessons are supplemented with a second afternoon of group instruction and ensemble work. It also provides instruments to participants as well as transportation when needed.
"We definitely are making an impact and as we grow this thing year to year we foresee more opportunity for young kids to be involved in music programs." said Executive Producer and Music Director Michael McMorrow. "The absolute uniqueness of this event coupled with the vast talent and community oriented business leaders right here in the northwest are creating the perfect storm for success. 2013 will be a banner year for Synergia Northwest." Seattle musician McMorrow also has hinted to other projects involving student musicians that are in various stages of development.
Like Synergia Northwest Presents, Seattle Music Partners believe that providing a child with the opportunity to build a foundation of musical skills, coupled with the strength of a mentoring relationship, help foster self-confidence and an overall engagement in learning.
Scott Gelband, Executive Director of SMP shared: "We are thrilled to partner with Synergia Northwest for this year's show. SMP has been working with students in low-income schools for more than a dozen years and the opportunity to trumpet our program as part of a community event of this scale is fantastic! Thank you for shining a spotlight on our organization and those we serve."
This also marks the first year that Synergia Northwest will participate with The Melodic Caring Project, an organization that combines music and technology to stream live concerts to hospitalized kids and teens.
Synergia Northwest Presents blends classical, contemporary, professional and student musicians into one evening of performances that unifies cultures and musical genres. The caliber of these artists, all with Washington State ties, along with a world-class conductor and orchestra has promised an evening of unforgettable musical moments that have left audiences knowing they've just experienced a magical event.
May 12, 2012, Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA - Photo by Jerry and Lois Levin
Who We are
Michael McMorrow - Executive Producer/Musical Director
Michael McMorrow is a composer, recording artist and producer of some of Washington State's most prestigious and beneficial music events. As executive producer and musical director, Michael produces Synergia Northwest Presents, an annual concert event to raise funds and awareness for youth music in the Pacific Northwest. The series is now in its fourth year and artists performing with the 50 piece Synergia Northwest Orchestra have included members of Heart, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Blues Traveler, Tracy Bonham, Queensryche, YES and others. He was a main proponent in getting legislation passed in Washington State clearing the way for Music Aid Northwest's Music Matters License plate fundraising initiative that helps support school music programs in Washington State through its sales. Michael is a member of the Recording Academy of Arts and Sciences, a voting member of the GRAMMYS and sits on the advisory boards of Music Aid Northwest and Northwest Music Experience.
He was most recently appointed to the Board of Directors for Seattle Music Partners which follow the same philosophy as Synergia Northwest. Because music-learning opportunities are often limited or inaccessible, Seattle Music Partners provides a free after school music program for under-served elementary school students in Seattle's Central District.
Michael McMorrow is currently underway with the planning of Synergia Northwest Present's 2013 concert and continues to write, record and perform on various projects as well as work on his new musical project "Idlewood". And as always with McMorrow, new musical threads are woven and the good outcome continues. www.michaelmcmorrow.com
Mark Naficy - Sound Reinforcement
Dr. Bret P. Smith - Synergia Northwest Orchestra Director
Assistant Professor of Music Education (B.A., B.M. with honors, University of Washington; M.M., Ph.D., University of Michigan) Bret Smith is a teacher educator, conductor, and cellist who specializes in instrumental music education. He holds degrees in music and systematic musicology from the University of Washington, where he worked with James C. Carlsen and Barbara Reeder Lundquist, and a Master of Music and Doctor of Philosophy in music education from the University of Michigan, where his mentors were Robert L. Culver, James O. Froseth, Richard J. Colwell, and Anthony Elliott. www.cwu.edu/~music/musiced/bpsmith.html
Guest Conductor - Dr. Nikolas Caoile
Nikolas Caoile is Music Director and Conductor of the Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra and Director of Orchestral Activities at Central Washington University. There, he has grown the orchestras into one of the preeminent collegiate orchestra programs of the Northwest. The CWU Symphony Orchestra has consistently won invitations to perform at the Washington Music Educators Association Conferences. A passionate believer in music education for all ages, Caoile has conducted numerous educational and community engagement concerts. In October 2009, Caoile made his New York City debut with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in collaboration with the Morphoses Dance Company. He is a faculty member of the Kairos Chamber Music Lyceum.
William Boyd - Concertmaster:
William Boyd credits include concertmaster for the 5th Avenue and Paramount Theater Orchestras as well as violinist in the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra. He has been acting principle second of the Seattle Symphony (including European Tour), co-concertmaster of the Little Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, violist with the Opus 4 Quartet, member of the Temple Quartet, concertmaster for such notables as Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, Rod Stewart among others and has numerous recording credits in radio, television and film. As a conductor, Mr. Boyd has directed the Philadelphia Junior Symphony, the Alaska Fairbanks Region Orchestra, and a variety of other orchestras and has taught in the Philadelphia Public Schools, the Federal Way, Tacoma, and Shoreline School Districts in Washington State. He is a member of the faculties of Temple University and University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Phillip (Phil) Peterson - Orchestrator/Arranger:
Phil Peterson is professional cellist as well as a sought after string arranger. A student of Richard Aaron (Cleveland Institute) and Raymond Davis (Seattle Symphony Principal cellist for 40+ years). By the age of 17 he was touring Europe with his cello. Phil is a producer who owns and operates his own studio, “The House of Breaking Glass”, and has worked with Nada Surf, Brandi Carlile, Ken Stringfellow, Chris Ballew (Presidents of the United States of America), The Grace Seattle Experimental Orchestra, LeRoy Bell, The Chronicles of Narnia (soundtrack), Steve Fisk, John Goodmanson, Tom Pfaeffle, Epitaph Records, Columbia Records, Sub Pop Records, Disney, EMI, and many more.
Beth Chandler - Orchestrator/Arranger:
Beth Chandler is a longtime performer/teacher of violin and piano/keyboards in the Northwest. After early musical opportunities with the Everett Junior and Youth Symphonies and Thalia Symphonies, she went on to graduate from the University of Washington with a music degree. She has toured, recorded, arranged and performed with artists such as the Northwest's own Danny O'Keefe, Roger Fisher and Alice Stuart and others including Ben Vereen and Bonnie Raitt. She has also toured for our troops via USO tours around the world. Chandler has been a tenured member of the Yakima Symphony for 10 years, but plays in many other musical genres as well. Her teaching and producing hundreds of young (& old!) violinists in her studio has been her way of giving back musically, and she has watched many of them pursue and enjoy music as a major part of their lives. She's thrilled to be a part of SYNERGIA NW to further contribute to the cause of musical education in Washington.
Amy Elyse - Production & Logistics Coordinator
Elyse joins the project with a long list of credentials of music industry events and productions. Since entering the national arena on the H.O.R.D.E tour working as music industry veteran Heidi Kelso's assistant, she has had various responsibilities on Live Nation's Pemberton Festival, House of Blues' Gorge Summer Concert Series, the European tour of Alanna Myles and the Canadian tours of Jann Arden and Melanie Doane. Her expertise also includes serving as production assistant and overseeing all performance related aspects of Phaneuf Production's DuMaurier Concert Series with The Tea Party and Orchestra and The Tea Party and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mark owns NAF Productions, Inc., supplier of sound, lighting and video systems for large concerts, touring bands and corporate events, and has mixed sound for artists like Soundgarden and Jeff Buckley. Mark is also known for his 17 years as a club owner, producing countless national acts and supplying rehearsal rooms as well as recording studios for the Washington music scene.
Brenna Davenport-Leigh, Hellbender Marketing/Media - Publicity
Prior to opening Hellbender in 2003, Davenport-Leigh worked for Titley & Associates Management, whose roster included nationally recognized touring and recording artists. Before joining that firm, she was head of the Artist Development/Media department for RCA/Nashville.
Carolyn Douglas-Broadcast Media
Carolyn Douglas is an Emmy award-winning broadcast news journalist and communications expert with two decades of experience in broadcast news, public speaking, and media consulting. As a fourth generation Washingtonian and a former anchor and reporter for KING TV, Carolyn has forged powerful connections to the Northwest community. Through Carolyn Douglas Communications, she and her partners are dedicated to helping people and organizations tell their stories to the world through exclusive media connections and community ties.
Shawn Stewart-Artist Relations
Shaw Stewart has worked at 3 of the best radio stations in America: Rev105 in Minneapolis, WXPN in Philadelphia, and most recently the Music Director at 103.7 FM The Mountain in Seattle. She's produced nationally syndicated radio shows including Revolution Radio, The Spin Radio Network, The Request Radio Hour, and The World Cafe. Among others Shawn has interview Adele and Allen Ginsberg, Heart, Metallica, and rage Against The Machine, just to name a few, hosted Spin TV for Spin Magazine and now... a blogger.
Bob Minkin, Minkin Design & Marketing – Website Development, Branding, Print Media
Bob is a partner in Minkin Design, a strategic marketing and design firm located in the San Francisco Bay Area. For over 20 years, he has designed and produced all forms of print and online media for clients nationally, from startups to Fortune 500 — with special emphasis on the music industry. Bob developed a breadth of CD and DVD packaging for Grateful Dead Productions, and has helped other artists and non-profits promote their music and their causes. Additionally, Bob is a renowned rock photographer with a prolific portfolio spanning 30+ years of capturing music icons such as Muddy Waters, Frank Zappa and the Grateful Dead. www.minkindesign.com