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Baritone Darrell Babidge graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in the U.K. where he was

recognized with four major awards and performed lead roles. He received his master’s degree from Brigham

Young University and his professional degree in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music,

funded directly by Birgitt Nilsson. Mr. Babidge has performed with many European and US opera

companies. His concert work is extensive, working with leading orchestras and conductors. In 2004, he

made his Carnegie Hall debut, and returned the following year to sing in Mozart’s Coronation Mass.

Conductors he has worked with include Kent Nagano, John Eliot Gardiner, James Levine, Sir Andrew Davis,

Julius Rudell and Ivor Bolton. He has recorded for CD, DVD and TV productions, most recently in the title

role of The Redeemer with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Recent engagements include the title role of

Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Salt Lake Choral Artists, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro for Utah

Festival Opera, Simone in Gianni Schicchifor Intermountain Opera, and Gideon March in Little Women for

Utah Opera.

Thomas Muraco has been described as “simply one of the finest collaborative artists before the public today”

by the Boston Globe. Known for his technical virtuosity, he has been praised for his interpretations of

Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Brahms, Wolf, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, and Poulenc, and

given premieres of William Schuman and George Perle. Mr. Muraco has recorded on the Serenus, CRI, and

Musical Heritage labels and, most recently, released a Brahms “Liederabend” on CBC Records with contralto

Maureen Forrester. Mr. Muraco has trained pianists in the art of accompanying and coaching, as well as

singers, at Manhattan School of Music since 1993. He has also taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music and

State University of New York at Stony Brook and given master classes at the Aspen and Banff Music Festivals

and the St. Louis Conservatory. Influential teachers in his own training include Brooks Smith at the Eastman

School of Music, from which he graduated with distinction.

Ken Selden was appointed conductor and music director of the Symphony Orchestra and New Music

Ensemble at Portland State University in fall 2006. Under his direction, the PSU Symphony has received

three awards in Adventurous Programming from ASCAP and the League of American Orchestras.

An advocate for new music, Selden has worked with composers Pierre Boulez, John Cage and Tan Dun, and

has conducted recent world premieres of music by Peter Lieberson, Michael Nyman and Stephen Paulus.

Prior to his appointment at PSU, Selden led a series of performances as assistant conductor of two innovative

ensembles – the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Eos Orchestra. He also worked extensively with the Juilliard

Pre-College Orchestras and the New Jersey Youth Symphony, and was music director of orchestras at

Brooklyn College and Columbia University. Since arriving in Portland, Selden has appeared as guest

conductor of the Oregon Symphony, Third Angle New Music Ensemble, Portland Youth Philharmonic and

the Newport Symphony.

Cornelia Heard holds the Valere Blair Potter Chair at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University,

where she is professor of violin and chair of the string department. She has served on the artist faculty and as

co-director of the chamber music program at the Aspen Music Festival and School since 2005. As a member

of the Blair String Quartet, she has toured extensively throughout the United States. A dedicated chamber

musician and teacher, she has served as artist-in-residence at the Aspen and Sedona Music Festivals, and

also on the faculty of the Sewanee Music Festival from 1985-99 and the Killington Festival from 2002-04.

Heard has been an adjudicator for regional and national competitions and has served as a panelist for the

Creation and Presentation Grant Programs for the National Endowment for the Arts. She has given master

classes throughout the United States, and her students have won and been prizewinners in regional, national

and international competitions. Heard earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard

School, as well as a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College, studying violin with Dorothy DeLay and

chamber music with Robert Mann, Earl Carlyss and Samuel Rhodes, of the Juilliard Quartet.

The New York Times wrote about David Singer, “To describe his playing would be to enumerate a catalogue

of virtues.” His career as one of the most highly respected clarinetists in the U.S. has been established

through performances and recordings as principal clarinetist of the Grammy Award winning Orpheus

Chamber Orchestra, frequent guest appearances with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, and two

separate performances at the White House for Presidents Carter and Clinton. He has appeared on more than

100 recordings including two Grammy Award winners. Winner of the international Naumberg Competition

for chamber music in New York, David Singer, as a member of the Aulos Wind Quintet commissioned John

Harbison to write his now famous “Wind Quintet”, a piece which has become one of the most important

works in the repertoire of the woodwind quintet. Prof. Singer helped establish the now thriving chamber

music program and collaborative faculty/student performances at Montclair State University, NJ where he

served as Coordinator of Chamber Music and Woodwinds, Professor of Clarinet for twenty-three years. He

was awarded Emeritus status from the University in October 2012.

David Shea serves as Professor of Clarinet at Texas Tech University. He also serves as Principal Clarinetist for

the Lubbock Symphony and Abilene Philharmonic Orchestras, and also serves on the summer music faculty

at Rocky Ridge Summer Music in Estes Park, CO. As a member of Trio Montecino, he has toured extensively

and recorded two critically acclaimed CDs, Trio Montecino and Nuevo Sonido: Latin- American Trios. These

recordings are available on the Eroica Classical Recordings label. Recently the Trio was invited to perform

and coach chamber music at the world renown Il Sisteme Youth Orchestra Program in Caracas, Venezuela.

As a teacher, Shea has been invited to do master classes throughout the United States, South America and

Europe. He has been invited on three different occasions to teach as a sabbatical replacement at the Jacobs

School of Music at Indiana University. He has earned the Texas Tech President’s Excellence in Teaching

Award and is a member of the Teaching Academy. Shea has earned degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory

(BM), Oberlin College (BA-Mathematics), the University of Illinois (MM) and Indiana University (DM).

Derek Kealii Polischuk is associate professor of piano and director of piano pedagogy at the Michigan State

University College of Music. Originally from San Diego, Polischuk studied with Krzysztof Brzuza before

attending the University of Southern California, where he received the Doctor of Music Arts degree in Piano

Performance with distinction under the tutelage of Daniel Pollack. Polischuk’s 2013 solo piano recording

“Terra Incognita” for the Blue Griffin label has received international critical acclaim. An enthusiastic

supporter of the education of musicians at every age, ability and background, Polischuk has presented at

conferences around the world. Polischuk serves on NCKP’s Committee for Teaching Students with Special

Needs and the Advisory Board of the Orange County School of the Arts Pianist Program. Polischuk is a

founder and director of the “Celebrating the Spectrum” Piano Festival for advanced pianists on the Autism

Spectrum. Polischuk’s book “Transformational Piano Teaching,” described by Dr. Alice M. Hammel of James

Madison University as “a world of piano pedagogy where anyone and everyone is welcome and included in

the art and joy of playing the piano” is available from Oxford University Press. At Michigan State University,

Polischuk has been the recipient of the Curricular Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Award, and the

Teacher-Scholar Award, given in recognition of exceptional skill in teaching.

Ruth Rendleman was educated at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Manhattan School of Music and

Columbia University. She is a specialist in the performance of eighteenth-century music. She has been the

recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities for research and studies at the

University of Maryland and has served on the faculty of the Aston Magna Performance Institute. She has

performed as a solo artist and in chamber recitals throughout the New York metropolitan area. Her tours

abroad have included performances in Korea, China (where she was artist-in-residence at the Shanghai

Conservatory) and Australia. In the New York Times, Joseph Horowitz wrote that: “The performance showed

force and fluency, consistently communicative. Her work had a firmness of design and continuity of

emotion.” Her interest in contemporary music led her to commission her colleague, Ting Ho, to write a

piano sonata for her. She has received two major commissions from the New Jersey State Arts Council for

new piano works. Prof. Rendleman founded Montclair State’s Preparatory Center for the Arts and Stokes

Forest Music Camp. She has served as the music coordinator of the New Jersey School of the Arts and served

on the board of the College Music Society. She also served as chair of the Committee on the Status of

Women for the College Music Society.

Meet our 2019 Finals Judges

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