Synergia NW 2011 Synergia NW 2011

About Us

As part of its fifth year anniversary, Seattle, Washington-based Synergia Northwest Announces Synergia 2014 Concerts For Music and Arts In the Schools

These premier concerts blend classical, contemporary, professional and student musicians into a singular evening of performances that unifies cultural and musical genres. Over the past four years, legendary Northwest artists have performed with the 50-piece Synergia Northwest Orchestra, including members of Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, YES, Blues Traveler, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Heart and Tracy Bonham. As part of the nights multiple performances the concerts will again highlight special musical tributes in a collaborative musical setting. Past tributes have included music from The Beatles and Sir Elton John and the Rolling Stones.

Synergia Northwest’s 2013 "Music Lessons Matter" concert was held at Seattle's Moore Theatre. The production teamed up with Seattle Music Partners, an organization that provides free after-school music lessons to underserved elementary students in Seattle's Central District. Their campaign, culminating with the concert, brought in over $56,000 for the cause — a record fundraising feat for the organization

Concert videos of the event and The Synergia Northwest Orchestra with Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) and Walking Papers have recently been featured on; and

Scott Gelband, Executive Director of SMP shared: "We were 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."

""Extending our mission — to give more kids the opportunity to create and perform music — we can bring awareness to the people and organizations who are in the trenches mentoring and giving our kids the power to see and experience the world through the heart of an artist."" said Executive Producer and Music Director Michael McMorrow. "The absolute uniqueness of these events coupled with the vast talent and community oriented business leaders are creating the perfect storm for success. "

Synergia Northwest Presents 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.

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.

Final Bow May 18, 2013 The Moore Theatre, Seattle WA
Final Bow • May 18, 2013 The Moore Theatre, Seattle WA
Photo by Jerry and Lois Photography

Who We are

Michael McMorrow - Executive Producer/Musical DirectorMichael 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 fifth year and artists performing with the 50 piece Synergia Northwest Orchestra have included members of Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Blues Traveler, Heart, 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.

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 2014 concerts 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.

Dr. Bret P. Smith - Synergia Northwest Orchestra Director 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.

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.

Curt Hare - Sound Reinforcement
Curt owns Point Source , Inc. - Point Source Inc. provides audio, video and lighting systems to a wide variety of clients. The resources of the company are regularly employed at concerts, community festivals, corporate meetings and convention centers throughout the Pacific Northwest. In addition to live event production, Point Source Inc. installs and maintains audio, video and lighting systems in venues and offers services that include system design and consultation, location Recording, professional audio, video and lighting equipment sales and the manufacture of loudspeaker systems and equipment cases for the live entertainment industry.

Mark Naficy - Sound Reinforcement
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.

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.

Synergia NW 2011   Synergia NW 2011

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See you in 2014!

John Popper
John Popper
May 6, 2011, The Moore Theatre, WA
Photo by Jerry and Lois Photography

"I truly find it thrilling and affirming to actually belong to a community so utterly resourcefull and co-operative across so many of it's own rich aspects as to keep something so important alive and funded in such a creative and substantive way... Mind you I am merely refering to living in the greater Seattle area,where Synergia Northwest's efforts to keep music education alive and well, pay off... But to get a chance to actually participate, extends the whole experience to an absolute honor!"
John Popper

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