Aspen Institute Hosts Peabody Conservatory Honors Ensemble Concert

Trio ex Animo members from L to R, Ethan Sandman, cello; Helen Wong, violin; and Timothy Jones, piano.

The Aspen Institute will host a concert on Sunday, April 23, at 3:00 PM at the Inn at River House on the Institute’s Wye River campus off Carmichael Road in Queenstown. The concert will feature Trio ex Animo, comprised of Helen Wong (Violin), Ethan Sandman (Cello), and Timothy Jones (Piano). The three musicians are currently pursuing studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore and were named an “Honors Ensemble” for 2016-2017 via audition. The concert program will include Anton Arensky, Piano Trio in d-minor, Op. 32 and Beethoven’s Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97. A reception will follow.

“We are excited to bring these three outstanding young musicians to the Aspen Institute’s Wye River campus,” said Judy Price, Aspen Wye Campus Manager. “These concerts are an important part of the Wye Fellows annual programming, complementing monthly dialogues with world thought leaders and opportunities to attend the Institute’s events in Washington, DC. We are pleased to host this event for friends of the Institute’s Wye campus and members of the public.”

Helen Wong began studying the violin at age six, has won several competitions in upstate New York, and has performed as a soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, she was a member of Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra and toured across the United States and China under the batons of Maestro David Robertson and Maestro Charles Dutoit, respectively.

Ethan Sandman is a cellist from Southern California. He was a recipient of the Young Artists Foundation’s David Weiss scholarship and was named the Grand Prizewinner in the Los Angeles Violoncello Society’s Scholarship Audition. Ethan was a frequent guest on the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art’s radio broadcast classical music series, Sundays Live. He has also been featured on Israeli Public Radio as part of a live broadcast at the Tel-Aviv Opera House, and was awarded a scholarship to participate in Kronberg Academy’s biennial cello mastercourse, Cello Without Borders, in Germany.

Pianist Timothy Jones has taken prizes and participated in a variety of competitions. He was a prizewinner in the 2012 Austrian International Piano Festival Competition. While on tour in Austria, he participated in a benefit concert playing Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 in D-flat major, raising enough money for a young girl to receive a complex medical procedure. Timothy has performed and participated in many festivals, including Meadowmount School of Music, Southeastern Piano Festival and Summit Music Festival.

The talented members of this ensemble have appeared at numerous concert venues around the world, some of which include Stadthalle Kronberg, Carnegie, and Shenzen as well as the Hong Kong and Tel Aviv Cultural Centers.

The concert is sponsored by the Aspen Wye Fellows and the Friends of Wye, support groups of the Institute and its Wye River campus.

The event is free with a limited number of seats available to the general public. Seats may be reserved by calling Mary Ann Dodd at 410-820-5433. To learn more about the Aspen Wye Fellows Program, which features monthly discussions with diplomats, influential policymakers and world thought leaders, contact Judy Price at judy.price@aspeninstitute.org or by calling 410-820-5432.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, CO; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.  

Wye History Project Invites Local Participation

whaley-reid

Wye Angus cattle herd manager Jim Reid (left) and then assistant manager J.R. “Dick” Whaley, both now deceased, discuss the Wye herd in 1966.

The Aspen Institute at Wye River is launching an exciting project to document the evolution of its property and surrounding communities along the Wye River in Queen Anne’s County and is inviting those with a connection to the property to participate. A key focus will be the people who have lived, worked, and played there. Research will span the estate’s early years as the William Paca family’s 18th-century weekend home, Arthur Houghton, Jr.’s 20th century ownership, the creation of the Wye Institute Camp at Wye Woods, changes to the properties and donations of the land and Wye Angus cattle herd to the University of Maryland and the Institute. The project will showcase the estate’s impact in world affairs, nationally, and in Maryland.

The project will preserve the voices, faces, and landscapes that have made Wye the fascinating property it is today.  This account of daily routines and singular events will serve as a lasting archive and a living resource for the future, and will also help to demystify questions surrounding the property that help developed over the years.

Judy Price, Manager of the Institute’s Wye River campus, commented “The Aspen Institute is excited to be undertaking this project which we hope will illuminate vital aspects of the property’s history through the stories of the many individuals who have had some relationship with this significant site on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.”

If you have lived, worked, summered, or otherwise spent time at the Institute’s Wye River property, or can suggest others who have, you could be part of this living oral historical record. For more information or to share photographs or related materials, schedule an interview and tell your story, please contact Charlene Costello at 410-820-5374 or email charlene.costello@ aspeninstitute.org.

The Wye History Project is being supported with funding from the Aspen Institute, the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and donations from local businesses and individuals.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is located in Washington, D.C; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

National Trust for Historic Preservation Awards the Aspen Institute a Preservation Grant

The Aspen Institute was recently awarded a $6,050 grant by the National Trust for Historic Preservation from the Henry A. Jordan, M.D. Preservation Excellence Fund for the Mid-Atlantic States. These grant funds will be used to support the Institute’s Wye River Campus Historical Documentation and Interpretation Project. 

The project will span highlights from the 18  century farm’s ownership by the family of William Paca, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, through the internationally renowned programs of its current owners, the Aspen Institute and the University of Maryland. The undertaking will produce a video documentary, including oral personal accounts, as well as written products that will expand the public’s knowledge of the property’s historical values and rich cultural heritage.

“Organizations like the Aspen Institute help to ensure that communities and towns all across America retain their unique sense of place,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We are honored to provide a grant to the Institute, which will use the funds to help preserve an important piece of our shared national heritage.” 

Grants from the National Trust Preservation Funds range from $2,500 to $5,000 and have provided over $15 million since 2003. These matching grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the country to support wide-ranging activities including consultant services for rehabilitating buildings, technical assistance for tourism that promotes historic resources, and the development of materials for education and outreach campaigns.

For more information on National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Fund grants, visit: www.PreservationNation.org/ funding

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is located in Washington, D.C; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately-funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places to enrich our future. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is committed to protecting America’s rich cultural legacy and helping build vibrant, sustainable communities that reflect our nation’s diversity. Follow us on Twitter @savingplaces. 

Aspen Institute Hosts Bluegrass Concert

The Aspen Institute will host its Fall Concert on Sunday, September 18, at 3:00 PM at the Inn at River House on the Institute’s Wye River campus off Carmichael Road in Queenstown. The concert will feature Blue Octane Bluegrass Band, a Maryland-based acoustical group of five artists with over 100 combined years of performing bluegrass music. Blue Octane’s band members hail from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland and include fiddler Jeff Westerinen, guitarist John Brown, mandolin player David Robertson, bassist Andrea Westerinen and banjoist Dean Phillips.

blue-octane

Blue Octane Bluegrass Band performs at a recent concert at Westminster Hall in Baltimore City.

“We are excited to welcome the Blue Octane Bluegrass Band to the Institute’s Wye River campus,” said Judy Price, Aspen Wye Campus Manager. “Our guests are sure to enjoy the powerhouse vocals, expressive ballad singing and lively banjo, mandolin and fiddle instrumental performances of these extremely talented musicians.”

The concert program will include the group’s original works as well as pieces written and originally performed by bluegrass greats like Bill Monroe, often considered to be the “father of bluegrass music.” More contemporary numbers from renowned musicians such as Doyle Lawson and J.D. Crowe will also be performed.  

Fiddler Jeff Westerinen played extensively in regional bands from New York, South Carolina and Washington State before returning to his native Maryland in 2014. He is a veteran of the five-time New York State champion Yankee Rebels, and the International Bluegrass Music Champion of 2000, the Ohop Valley Boys.

Guitarist John Brown grew up around bluegrass music, having acquired his first guitar at age 8. Two years later he started playing bass with his father’s band, The One Way Express Bluegrass Gospel Band. Brown has been a member of the well-known bluegrass band Ivan Sexton and the Delaware Valley Boys and has performed several times at the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival.

David Robertson also started playing music at a young age, singing in church and playing the mandolin with his father in West Virginia. Considered one of the foremost tenors in the region, he has recently joined Blue Octane Bluegrass Band.

Bassist Andrea Westerinen has performed in Florida, South Carolina, Washington State and Maryland for over 25 years, and also contributes heartfelt vocals to the group’s performances. She has played with award-winning groups at numerous bluegrass festivals throughout the country.

Banjoist Dean Phillips is known for playing the five-string banjo in the style of bluegrass greats J.D. Crowe and Earl Scruggs. He performs throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania and is a frequent guest banjoist with the renowned bluegrass band, Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass.

Bluegrass music is known for its percussive backbeat, syncopated three-finger method of banjo playing and precision three- and four-part vocal harmonies. A dynamic genre of music, it draws influences from African-American blues, Scots-Irish fiddling and American country music.

The concert is sponsored by the Aspen Wye Fellows and the Friends of Wye, support groups of the Institute and its Wye River campus. A reception will follow.

The concert is free with a limited number of seats available to the general public. Seats may be reserved by calling Mary Ann Dodd at 410-820-5433. To learn more about the Aspen Wye Fellows Program, which features monthly discussions with diplomats, influential policymakers and world thought leaders, contact Judy Price at judy.price@aspeninst.org or by calling 410-820-5432.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, D.C.; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

Aspen Institute Hosts Peabody Conservatory Honors Ensemble Concert

The Aspen Institute will host a concert on Sunday, April 17, at 3:00 PM at the Inn at River House on the Institute’s Wye River campus off Carmichael Road in Queenstown. The concert will feature Trio Mesama, comprised of clarinetist Melissa Johnson Lander, pianist Sahun “Sam” Hong and cellist Mauricio Rey Gallego. Currently pursuing graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, the three musicians were chosen as an Honors Ensemble to represent the conservatory’s highest level of chamber music. The concert program will include the Beethoven Trio, Op. 38 and Brahms’ Clarinet Trio. A reception will follow.

Trio Mesama members from left to right: Sahun “Sam” Hong, piano; Mauricio Rey Gallego, cello; Melissa Johnson Lander, clarinet.

Trio Mesama members from left to right: Sahun “Sam” Hong, piano; Mauricio Rey Gallego, cello; Melissa Johnson Lander, clarinet.

“We are delighted to bring these three outstanding young musicians to the Wye River campus,” said Judy Price, Aspen Wye Campus Manager. “These concerts are an important part of the Wye Fellows programming, complementing monthly dialogues with world thought leaders and opportunities to attend the Institute’s events in Washington, DC. Now in our tenth season, Fellows take part in a rich and rewarding program throughout the year. We are excited to host this event for friends of the Institute’s Wye campus and members of the public.”

Clarinetist Melissa Johnson Lander gave her solo recital debut at the age of 21 with a live broadcast on NPR after winning the Neale-Silva Young Artist Competition. Ms. Lander currently serves as Clarinetist and Education Director with Symphony Number One. She has served with the US Army Field Band and other international groups, performing in more than 800 concerts around the world.

Pianist Sahun “Sam” Hong was praised by the New York Concert Review for his “excellent combination of virtuosity and musicality” and “clarity, confidence, and wisdom.” He has been awarded several international prizes, and been featured as a guest soloist with symphony orchestras such as those of Milwaukee, Fort Worth, and Camerata New York.

Cellist Mauricio Rey Gallego is a native of Madrid, Spain, and began his studies at the Conservatorio Profesional de Música in Valladolid, Spain. Currently completing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree, he has been an active member of the National Youth Orchestra of Spain and the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, and has participated in festivals and music courses throughout Europe and the United States.

As individual artists, the three have performed in countries around the world including Japan, Canada, Spain, France, Germany, Finland and Norway. Between them they have performed with numerous famed international orchestras, including those of Heidelberg and the Boston and Cincinnati Pops.

The concert is sponsored by the Aspen Wye Fellows and the Friends of Wye, support groups of the Institute and its Wye River campus.

The concert is free with a limited number of seats available to the general public. Seats may be reserved by calling Mary Ann Dodd at 410-820-5433. To learn more about the Aspen Wye Fellows, contact Judy Price at judy.price@aspeninstitute.org or by calling 410-820-5432.

Former CIA’s Michael Morell Talked Terrorism to Aspen Wye Fellows

Michael Morrell, former Deputy Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency and twice its Acting Director, briefed 130 Aspen Wye Fellows Sunday, December 13, on America’s fight against terrorism from Al Qaida to ISIS, considered the greatest national security threat facing the US since the Cold War. The discussion took place at the Aspen Institute’s 1,000-acre campus in Queenstown.

Michael Morrell is one of the country’s most prominent national security professionals, and spent 33 years with the Central Intelligence Agency. In his remarks, he described being at President Bush’s side on 9/11/2001 when terrorists struck America, and advising President Obama in the White House Situation Room on 5/1/2011 when America struck back killing Osama bin Ladin. For several years, Mr. Morrell briefed the President every morning on international security issues, travelling with the President throughout the world. In his dialogue with the Fellows, Morrell looked retrospectively over the last twenty years with the CIA and forward to what comes next in America’s and the world’s struggle with international terrorism.

The presentation was part of the Aspen Institute’s program to expose the Aspen Wye Fellows to world thought leaders in a variety of disciplines.In addition to Morell, speakers during the Fellows’ current Tenth Year Season include Admiral Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.), former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff; Peter Wittig, Germany’s ambassador to the United States, Dr. William Adams, Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities; Lisa Mensah, US under secretary of agriculture for rural development; Nina Khrushcheva, professor of international affairs and associate dean for academic affairs at The Milano School of International Affairs, The New School; Judge S. Jay Plager, senior circuit judge for the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, and Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., USCG (Ret.), US State Department Special Representative for the Arctic.

The Aspen Wye Fellows are a group of Eastern Shore residents who provide support to the Aspen Institute, its Wye River Campus, and its international program of fostering leadership based on enduring values. The Institute, based in Washington, DC, provides a nonpartisan venue for discussing and acting on critical issues through its policy programs, public conferences and events, seminars and young leader fellowships around the globe.

For information regarding Aspen Wye Fellows membership, interested individuals may contact Judy Price, Manager of the Aspen Wye Campus, at 410-820-5432 or judy.price@aspeninstitute.org.

Concert at Aspen Wye River Campus to Feature Stef Scaggiari & Rick Whitehead

The Aspen Institute will host a jazz concert on Sunday, November 8, at 3:00 p.m. at the Inn adjacent to River House on the Institute’s Wye River campus off Carmichael Road in Queenstown, MD. The theme of the concert, which features pianist Stef Scaggiari and Rick Whitehead on guitar, is “From Ellington to Brubeck; The Beatles and Beyond.”

Stef Scaggiari

Stef Scaggiari

Every week, millions hear jazz pianist Stef Scaggiari on NPR’s “Weekend Edition Sunday.” He has over 30 recordings and has performed worldwide in Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Japan. In North America, he has appeared either as a classical or jazz piano soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Calgary Symphony, and Evansville Philharmonic.

Scaggiari has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Shriver Hall Series at Johns Hopkins University, and the Concord/Fujitsu Festival. An Eastman School of Music graduate with a master’s degree from the Peabody Conservatory, Scaggiari is a former member of the US Marine Band (The President’s Own).

Rick Whitehead

Rick Whitehead

Jazz guitarist Rick Whitehead is the recipient of the 2006 Washington Area Musician’s Association Award (WAMMIE) as Best Jazz Instrumentalist. The Rick Whitehead Trio won WAMMIEs in 1998 and 2007, and was nominated several times. Whitehead started playing guitar at age 11, performing professionally from age 18. He served as the featured guitar soloist for 22 years with the US Air Force Band’s Airmen of Note, touring the United States, Asia, and South America. Retired from the Air Force in 1991, Whitehead is in constant demand as a guitarist. As an educator, he teaches jazz guitar at Shenandoah Conservatory, George Mason University, and in his own studio.

Whitehead has performed with such noted artists as Connie Francis, Sandler and Young, Glen Campbell, Sarah Vaughan, and Charlie Byrd, and has appeared at venues ranging from The White House and Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to the Washington National Cathedral.

The concert is sponsored by the Aspen Wye Fellows and the Friends of Wye with a limited number of seats available to the general public. Seats may be reserved by calling Mary Ann Dodd at 410-820-5433. The deadline to register for this event is Monday, November 2, 2015.

To learn more about the Aspen Wye Fellows, contact Judy Price at judy.price@aspeninstitute.org or by calling 410-820-5432.

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Adm. Papp to Open 10th Season of Aspen Wye Fellows Programming, September 21

The Aspen Wye Fellows, a support organization of the Aspen Institute’s Wye River Campus in Queenstown, MD, opens its 10th season of programming the evening of September 21 with a dialogue on “The Challenges of a Changing Arctic” with Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., USCG (Ret.), US State Department Special Representative for the Arctic and 24th Commandant of the US Coast Guard.

Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., Special Representative for the Arctic, surveys coastal erosion from a beach in Barrow, Alaska (May 28, 2015).  Photo courtesy of Erin Robertson, U.S. Department of State.

Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., Special Representative for the Arctic, surveys coastal erosion from a beach in Barrow, Alaska (May 28, 2015). Photo courtesy of Erin Robertson, U.S. Department of State.

The Arctic icepack is melting, opening up the top of the world to ocean shipping and mineral, gas, and oil exploration. Admiral Papp will discuss why the Arctic region is the last global frontier and a region with enormous geostrategic, economic, climate, environmental, and national strategic implications for the United States and the world.

In addition to Admiral Papp, the Aspen Wye Fellows will meet this season with Hon. S. Jay Plager, senior circuit judge for the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, on “The Changing Nature of the Federal Judiciary” and Michael Morell, former deputy director and acting director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, about “The Great War of Our Time.” Nina Khrushcheva, associate professor of international affairs and associate dean for academic affairs at The Milano School of International Affairs, The New School, and granddaughter of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, will speak on “A Unique Perspective: US Policy on Putin’s Russia.” Admiral Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.), former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff will discuss “America’s Changing Defense Posture” and Lisa Mensah, US under secretary of agriculture for rural development, will speak about “Challenges to the Economic Well-Being of Rural America.” Peter Wittig, Germany’s ambassador to the United States, will join the Fellows to discuss “America’s Relationship with the European Union.”

The Fellows will also take part in luncheon book talks at the Wye River Campus and in Washington, DC, the two day Washington Ideas Forum with over 40 domestic thought leaders, a unique two-day symposium in Queenstown, MD, and special Aspen Around Town events in Washington, DC.

These speakers join more than 55 others who have met with the Aspen Wye Fellows since the group was founded in 2006 to connect the Wye River Campus with Chesapeake Bay Area residents interested in meaningful and inspiring dialogue with world thought leaders. Notable speakers at the Wye River campus have included Queen Noor of Jordan, US Secretaries of State, Defense, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, Agriculture, and a US Attorney General, as well as the ambassadors of Afghanistan, Egypt, Mexico, and Austria, along with America’s ambassadors to several countries. Authors including Khalid Hosseini, Walter Isaacson, and Cokie Roberts have spoken to the group, as well as leaders from the White House, Federal Communications Commission, National Park Service, General Services Administration, and National Endowment for the Arts. Major journalists, university presidents, corporate chief executive officers, a United Nations Under Secretary General, explorers, scientists, military officers, cultural leaders, and civil rights icons have also all met with the Aspen Wye Fellows.

Individuals interested in joining the Aspen Wye Fellows may contact Judy Price, Manager of the Aspen Wye Campus, at 410-820-5432 or judy.price@aspeninstitute.org.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC

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