20151121_170748_resizedThe pre-Thanksgiving week performance at Christkindlmarkt is practically a tradition at Peraza Music Workshop.  For nearly a decade, students have begun the studio’s busy holiday concert schedule by playing at the annual Germania Park Christmas event on November 21.  This year was no exception.  Brand-new violinists to very advanced students played a selection of Suzuki tunes and holiday favorites, ending with the ever-popular “Jingle Bells.”

The group will play again Saturday, December 5, at the Cincinnati Art Museum, beginning at 1:00 with advanced solo pieces and ending with a festive group concert.  Take a break from your shopping, baking and decorating to get in the holiday spirit with us at the Art Museum!

imageimageStudents of Peraza Music Workshop were invited to play for guests at a reception held by WGUC preceding a concert at Music Hall by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on October 30.  Repertoire included classical works, Halloween-theme pieces, and fiddle tunes.

Bryson-Karrer-headshot-2015-300x278PMW’s Bryson Karrer, 16, performed solo during Hamilton Fairfield Symphony Orchestra’s annual Tillman Memorial Concert on October 24, at St. Maximillian Kolbe Catholic Church in Liberty Township.

Karrer received the honor as 2014 winner of the David and Marge Belew Young Artist Solo Competition for Orchestral Instrumentalists.  He performed Concerto in A minor by Alexander Glazunov.

The orchestra played The Creation by Franz Josef Haydn (Part 1), as well as Lux Aeterna, a new work by conductor Paul Stanbery, commissioned by Paul and Marion Thoms.

Congratulations to Bryson on a magnificent performance!


Congratulations to Pablo Peguero-Winters, winner of the Encore-Clermont Philharmonic Concerto Competition!  Pablo’s performance of Zigeunerweisen by Pablo Sarasate during the competition won him first place honors and the opportunity to perform as soloist with the Clermont Philharmonic Orchestra during their 2015-2016 season.  Another PMW student, Beatrice Baker, won the competition in 2014 and soloed with the orchestra last spring.

Students competing for the award “displayed maturity in their playing…all played beautifully,” according to Marion Peraza de Webb, director of the Encore Chamber Music camp (CCM) where the competition was held this summer.

PMW student Christopher Huggins was second place winner with his performance of Concerto in G minor by Max Bruch , first movement.  Third place winner was Amelia Korbitz who played Mozart’s Concerto No. 5.

Stay tuned for the date of Pablo’s upcoming performance with the Clermont Philharmonic!

Music theory is integral to the education of students at Peraza Music Workshop.  We are pleased of welcome our new, highly-qualified, theory teachers: Ellen Harrison and Chris Lennard.  Ms. Harrison is teaching theory to group classes on Wednesdays.  Mr. Lennard is teaching to the Saturday group classes.

Ellen Harrison

Born and raised in Streator, Illinois, Ellen Ruth Harrison received her doctorate in composition for the University of California, Berkeley, where her teachers included Edwin Dugger, Richard Felciano, Andrew Imbrie and Olly Wilson.  Supported by U.C. Berkeley’s Prix de Paris, Ms. Harrison spent two years studying in Paris and attending composer workshops at IRCAM.  In addition, she has studied with Milko Kelemen at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart and with Thomas Frederickson and Paul Zonn at the University of Illinois.

Penned for instrumental and vocal ensembles of various sizes, Ms. Harrison’s compositions have been inspired by diverse experiences and circumstances.  Echoing her evocatively titled movements, her music at times seems to dip into distant and antique sonic realms to portray a series of contrasting moods and atmospheres.  At other times, the tone is more jocular as she juxtaposes impetuous activity with infernal calm at multiple levels, presenting an extraordinary variety of textures, melodic materials, and expressive gestures.

Her music has been widely performed both in the United States and abroad, and her works have received numerous honors and awards from organizations such as: the American Guild of Organists, the Fromm Music Foundation, IBLA European International Competition for Composers, and the Ohio Arts Council.  She is an adjunct instructor of composition at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and chair of theory and composition at CCM’s Preparatory Department.

Chris Lennard

DSC_7065Chris Lennard began playing percussion in 1998 and started formal musical training at Bowling Green State University in 2006, where he studied with Roger B. Schu[[ and Isabelle Huang.  While there, Mr. Lennard performed as a member of Percussion Group BG and the New Music Ensemble, and frequently appeared as a marimba soloist.  During this time, he served as the principal percussionist for the Perrysburg Symphony and worked in collaboration with Nightfire Dance Studio.

In 2008, he released Compulsory Bingo with Ochar E. Lindsann, an album of improvised noise for voice and a variety of insturments.  From 2012-2013, Mr. Lennard studied with Bonnie Whiting at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he was a member of Ensemble 64.8 and the Fairbanks Symphony Orhestra.  While there, he also taught Fundamentals of Music, and undergraduate music theory course, and volunteered as the music director for the Fairbanks Shakespeare Theater’s performance of Romeo and Juliet.

From 2008-2013, he maintained a private drum set and percussion studio.  I 2014, Mr. Lennard arranged Kurt Schwitters’ hour-long sound poem Ursonata for percussion and premiered it as a duet with a performance poet.  He also revised the piece to stand alone as a percussion solo, which premiered in 2015.  In 2014, he began a master’s degree in music theory at CCM.  His research interests include rhythm and meter, electronic music, popular music, spectral music, timbral analysis, music appraisal, dissonance, and the metaphors we use to talk about music.


Summer means sleeping in and staying up late, wearing flip flops and shorts, vacationing with family and playing with friends.  For students of Peraza Music Workshop, it also means lots of practice and violin summer camp. PMW students attended a variety of string camps around the country this summer.  Some were grueling, others laid-back.  All of them helped to elevate the students’ playing, expose them to new ways of thinking, and form new or deeper friendships.

Here is a sampling of summer camps attended by PMW string players this year: Encore Advanced Chamber Orchestra (University of Cincinnati, CCM); Young Artists Chamber Music Camp (University of Cincinnati, CCM); PhoenixPhest (Arizona); Suzuki Festivals ( various states);Blue Lakes Suzuki Camp  (Michigan); and Center Stage (California).

Students also attended Master classes by Anna Reider (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra), Simon Fisher (Guildhall and Yehudi Menuhin Schools), Danielle Belen (University of Michigan/Colburn School), Stephen Shipps (University of Michigan), Thomas Wermuth (WSSTE, Illinois), Denisse Rodriguez (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra), and Rodney Farrar, among others.

Bravo to all the students on their growth and accomplishments during the summer!