Beginning Monday, Apr. 3, Central Valley will again host the Bridge Arts Ensemble (BAE). This is the fourth consecutive year the group has visited our schools.
The ensemble of six New York City artists (see their biographies below) will spend their first three days at Central Valley Academy leading workshops with members of the school’s vocal, band, and orchestra groups. Thursday and Friday, BAE will do the same at Jarvis Middle School.
BAE artists tailor their activities to best support a school’s curriculum and arts education needs. The ensemble exposes students to a range of musical styles including Broadway, classical, jazz and world music. BAE’s roster boasts some of New York City’s finest musicians, including graduates of The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Yale School of Music, and Cleveland Institute of Music. These are not teachers, they are experienced Teaching Artists. When not working with students, they perform with Carnegie’s Ensemble Connect (formerly ACJW), the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York Philharmonic Teaching Artists, as well as current and former cast members of Broadway, off-Broadway and National Touring productions.
BAE is anonymously funded, bringing music to over 50 school districts in the Adirondack Park Region, and impacting 50,000+ students annually.
Meet our BAE artists
Shaleah Adkisson is a singer, actress and teaching artist living in New York City. She’s been seen on Broadway (and on tour) in Hair: The American Tribal LoveRock Musical and off-Broadway in Rent , as well as in regional productions including Clybourne Park, Avenue Q, The Hot Mikado, Beehive:
The 60’s Musical, Ain’t Misbehavin, Grease, Nunsense & Children of Eden. When not working in the theatre, Shaleah works as a teaching artist with the Bridge Arts Ensemble, an organization of freelance musicians catering to school districts in upstate New York.
Additionally, she performs in NYC and on tour with Soul Picnic Productions & a blues/rock/soul band called Wednesday Night Blues. She also works as a cantor at St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic church in NYC.
Baritone Steven Herring, most recently performed Jason and Alicia Moran’s WORK SONGS, for the 56th Biennale di Venezia. Among his operatic roles, Mr. Herring has performed Amonasro in Verdi’s Aida , Sacristan in Puccini’s Tosca, Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata, the title role in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Sharpless in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Belcore in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore. Additional performances include Agwe in Once on This Island, Wandering Son in Bubblin’ Brown Sugar, Obatala in God’s Trombones, as well as the baritone love interest in Alicia Hall Moran’s the motown project.
As a featured soloist, Mr. Herring’s concert repertoire includes performances of Beethoven Choral Fantasy with The Saint Louis Symphony, Fauré Requiem with Orchestra of Saint Lukes, Peter in Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion with Musica Angelica and The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, Carmina Burana at The John F. Kennedy Center with The CUA Symphony Orchestra, Messiah with The CUA Symphony Orchestra, Mozart Festival with The Juilliard Symphony.
In addition to a busy performing schedule, Mr. Herring is the Co-director of Bridge Arts Ensemble, an organization of teaching artists which brings high quality music education to students in and around The Adirondack Park.
Mr. Herring is a recent recipient of an Olga Forrai Foundation Grant.
Karen Dryer is a vocal coach,singer/songwriter and musical director. NYC musical direction: The Christians (Drama Desk Award Winner, Playwrights Horizons), Power Balladz (Midtown Theater), Good ‘Ol Girls (Roundabout Black Box Theater) internationally known VocaPeople (West Side Theater),
Italian Bred, and Fable (NYMF 2014). She has served as assistant musical director on three Broadway National tours, including Annie, Jesus Christ Superstar and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
As a composer, Karen has produced 2 CDs of her original material.
Karen is also a vocal coach at New York University and throughout New York City.
Percussionist and educator Justin Hines, a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and Manhattan School of Music, enjoys playing a wide diversity of musical styles, including classical, Broadway, rock, jazz, and contemporary music.
As a percussionist, he has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Chamber Music Society of Detroit. He has also toured with the Jerusalem Symphony, The Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (principal percussion), and new music ensemble Alarm will Sound. Since 2006, Justin has represented the Education Dept. of the New York Philharmonic in concerts and special
programs in Japan. As a Broadway musician, Justin has played on many Tony Award winning shows, including Caroline, or Change , Disney’s TARZAN, In the Heights and Pippin
. As an educator, he has collaborated with the Saint Louis Symphony, the New World Symphony, the 92nd Street Y, the Lincoln Center Institute, Carnegie Hall, the Caramoor Center for the Arts, Midori and Friends, the New York City Opera, and Education Through Music. As a jazz musician, Justin has performed with the Leonisa
Ardizzone Quintet and the 1920s band The Hot Sardines. Currently Justin is a composition mentor for the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program, and is on the teaching faculty of New York University, the Gateway School, and Carnegie Hall. He is a founding member of Classical Jam, a chamber music quintet dedicated to bringing classical music to diverse audiences throughout the world.
Ann SunHyung Kim
Ann SunHyung Kim has appeared in prestigious concerts halls including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, collaborating with artists such as Joshua Bell, Nikolaj Znaider, Philippe Entremont, Julian Rachlin, and Sarah Chang. Ms. Kim has participated in Castleton Festival, founded by Lorin Maazel, Spoleto Festival USA, and SchleswigHolstein Musik Festival held in Germany. Ms. Kim received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Albert Markov, Isaac Malkin, and Lucie Robert. She is pursuing her Doctoral Studies at Stony Brook University, NY, as a student of Hagai Shaham, Soovin Kim and Phillip Setzer.
Cornetist and Composer Kirk Knuffke is the winner of Downbeat Magazine’s “Rising Star”critics poll for 2015. A recipient of the Jerome Foundation composers grant, Kirk has released 15 recordings as a leader or coleader.
“One of modern jazz’s most skilled navigators of the divide between inside and outside, freedom and swing”, he has “full command of his most demanding instrument” – All About Jazz. Kirk placed in the top five in the World in the El Intruso critics poll and was one of 6 nominees for Trumpeter of the year by the Jazz Journalist Association.
Matt Wilson, Allison Miller, Butch Morris, Uri Caine, Michael Formanek, and many more have hired him as a sideman for over 60 recordings, he has been called “One of New York City’s busiest musicians” New York Times.
Knuffke has been based in NYC since 2005. Shortly after his arrival Knuffke began playing with Butch Morris, this friendship resulted in 4 recordings and several European tours. Kirk joined the celebrated Matt Wilson Quartet in 2009, recording “Gathering Call” (Palmetto) featuring John Medeski and touring each year. 2016 brought Matt Wilson’s “Beginning of a memory” Palmetto, which received 5 stars in Downbeat Magazine. Michael Formaneks “The Distance” ECM was also awarded 5 stars this year. Knuffke also plays in “Sifter” with Mary Halvorson and Wilson, Ideal Bread, Allison Miller’s “Boom Tic Boom”, Todd Sickafoose’s “Tiny Resistors” and groups led by Ray Anderson, Uri Caine, Mark Helias, Bill Goodwin, Karl Berger and Ted Brown to name a few. “Arm and Hands” a recent release garnering praise from every major Jazz publication as 4 Stars in Downbeat magazine review and Sunday New York Times. The Following CDs “Little Cross” Steeplechase records and “Lamplighter” Fresh Sound Records have also received much praise.
Kirk has had feature articles in Downbeat Magazine, Jazz Times, Germany’s “Sonic”, and Denmark’s “JazzSpecial” among others.