Renowned Maestro Jung Ho Pak To Conduct the Fine Arts Summer Academy

World renowned Maestro Jung Ho Pak of Los Angeles will be joining the Fine Arts Summer Academy as the conductor for this year’s Gala performance at the Grand Ole Opry! The Cape Cod Times calls him the “Electricity Conductor.” The New York Times says he “radiates enthusiasm,” and the Los Angeles Times describes him as “a real grabber.” And that suits Jung-Ho Pak, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, just fine. He firmly believes the orchestra doesn’t exist to simply play notes, but to “grab souls.”

This desire to create a “passionate synergy” between himself and the orchestra has earned him a reputation as a revolutionary thinker in the world of classical music. His mission is to inspire and entertain all generations—onstage and off.

As a passionate advocate for arts in education, he is dedicated to making classical music more accessible to the younger generation. He was drawn to the Cape because of the orchestra’s talent, courage and resources. He was compelled to come because the musicians, staff and board here share his educational dreams.

In addition to his role with the CCSO, Pak currently leads Orchestra Nova San Diego, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Summer Orchestras at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is also music director emeritus of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.

He has been the music director at the San Diego Symphony, University of Southern California, San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the University of California, Berkeley. For eight years, he served as the principal conductor of the Emmy-nominated Disney Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra and has been on national television (60 Minutes, Disney Channel) and radio (NPR) for many years. As a Guest Conductor for a variety of well-known orchestras, he has travelled to Europe, the Soviet Union, South America and Asia.

While he’s crazy about the Classics, there’s more than Bach and Beethoven on this conductor’s iPod. His tastes are encompassing and eclectic. His favorite piece is “whatever I’m listening to or conducting that moment!”

AMB Heading Out West!

Over the next three weeks, the AMB will be touring through Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and California. The music strikes up in Comanche OK and plays through Phoenix, Flagstaff, Inglewood CA, La Jolla, Long Beach, North Loma Linda, Tucson AZ, Snyder TX and closes out in Longview. Be sure and check out the Tour page for more info on where, when, and how to get there. See you on the other side of the Rockies!

"Rhapsody In Bluegrass" Marks FASA's Opry House Debut

The excitement generated by the 2013 Fine Arts Summer Academy is still reverberating.  FASA's debut at the Grand Ole Opry House signaled a new era for the Academy, capping off ten years of enormous growth.  2013 has been the best year yet, joining 300+ students and faculty from all over the United States and beyond for a 2-week-long extravaganza culminating in the spectacular gala show Rhapsody in Bluegrass at the Grand Ole Opry House. Coming alongside FASA in this awesome journey was Grammy-award-winner Ron Block of Alison Krauss & Union Station, performing the bluegrass single 'Ivy' from  his new album 'Walking Song'.   Jimmy Wayne closed out Rhapsody in Bluegrass with his heart-warming, powerful testimonial, 'How Jesus Felt' and  the Summer Pops Symphony & Chorus, directed by Maestro Kyunghun Kim of Curtis Institute and The Juilliard School, poured heart and hard-earned skill into a genre bending presentation that spanned Hank Williams to Dvorak.  One audience member said it best: "I just witnessed a miracle."  The 2013 Rhapsody in Bluegrass Gala was an incredible moment that none of us will forget.

Thanks to the outstanding work of our live film crew, the magic of Rhapsody in Bluegrass is available on DVD! Just call 615.656.5739 and relive FASA's Opry debut.  Also check out FASA 2014 dates and info at http://www.fineartssummeracademy.com!

Annie Moses Band Receives Prestigious Award

On Friday, May 10th, the Annie Moses Band was honored to receive the Bennet Recognition Award, also known as “The Macedonian Call”, an annual award presented by Trinity College of Florida.  This unique award is given to select individuals who through speech, life, love, faith and purity exemplify the shared core values of Trinity College of Florida in serving humanity. Recipients of this recognition award have modeled personal integrity, global influence, and spiritual impact at the highest levels of society.  Previous recipients have included Billy Graham; the award has only been presented three times in the College’s history.  The President of Trinity College of Florida, in consultation with the College community, selects the recipient.  The award was given at Trinity College’s Celebration Banquet, an event celebrating 80 years since the founding of the College.

Annie Moses Band Performs At The National Day of Prayer

This past week, the Annie Moses Band was privileged to perform at the Annual National Day of Prayer in Washington, D.C.  Alongside patriots and speakers such as Senate Chaplain Barry Black, Rear Admiral William D. Lee (United States Coast Guard), Dr. James Dobson, Pastor Greg Laurie, Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL), Father Jerome A. Magat, and Congressman Frank Wolf, (VA), those assembled prayed for the future of our country, joining with hundreds of similar events across America.  To learn more about the National Day of Prayer, visit www.nationaldayofprayer.org and continue to pray for our nation.

Application for FASA 2013 is Now Open!

Application for the 10th Fine Arts Summer Academy is now available!  This spectacular experience will take place at Lipscomb University July 13-27, 2013.  Participants of the Academy will study and perform all styles of music and art, culminating in a Broadway-style extravaganza in the Allen Arena on July 27, 2013. This year the Academy is proud to announce new tracks, including Composition, Creative Writing, Fine Arts, and Musical Theater for ages 10-13.  Please visit www.FineArtsSummerAcademy.com for more details!

We hope you will join us this summer as we follow the call to make His praise glorious!

Annie Moses Band Announces New Partnership with JRA Fine Arts

Annie Moses Band is proud to announce a new partnership with JRA Fine Arts, a premier booking agency in the Christian/Classical Crossover market. "JRA Fine Arts is an ideal fit for what we do as the Annie Moses Band," says Annie. "By bridging the gap between the faith based community and the performing arts, JRA Fine Arts has been a leader in the mission we see at the heart of our calling - reviving the world of the arts through exceptional talent with a spiritual message. We're excited to see what the future holds." JRA was founded by Jeff Roberts in 1985. From its beginnings as a small start up, the agency has grown to represent some of the best names in Christian music including Casting Crowns, Francesca Battistelli, and Matthew West. A new endeavor launched in 2010, JRA Fine Arts has forged new ground in the classical crossover market, making JRA Fine Arts a unique presence in the performing arts.

Annie Moses Band Wraps Filming on New Music Video

September 21, 2012 - With the upcoming release of their new album, Pilgrims & Prodigals, on the horizon, the Annie Moses Band wrapped filming on the new music video for their first single, "Blush". Directed by award winning filmmaker, David Kiern, the music video for "Blush" is set inside the glamorous Rippavilla Plantation, a historic mansion infamous for its ghosts. "We shot the music video from sunset to pre-dawn," says Annie, the Band's lead singer. "It was a little spooky, but also magical. The mansion at night is a beautiful place to capture on film." The historic setting provided the perfect backdrop for the radio single which marries a nostalgic message to a modern edge. The song "Blush" was inspired by a quote. "I read this phrase 'they've forgotten how to blush', and the poetry of it hit me," said Ben, the Band's cellist. "I thought, "Wow. Doesn't that describe the magazine racks in the checkout line?" After he shared the idea with the rest of the group, the Band's lyricist, Robin, with the help of her husband, Bill, crafted a song that married nostalgic images to a modern aesthetic. "Blush questions our culture's cynicism and speaks a timeless truth with powerful relevance," says Annie. "It's a song that yearns for a return to the beauty and dignity of innocence."

Annie Moses Band Poised to Release New Album, Pilgrims & Prodigals

Cover

On September 25th, Annie Moses Band will release a new concept album a decade in the making: Pilgrims & Prodigals, a two-disc CD/DVD package that explores the timeless theme of roaming and redemption. With breathtaking instrumental virtuosity and shimmering layered vocals, Pilgrims & Prodigals features 13 diverse tracks that blend the captivating styles of classical, jazz, folk and even a frisson of Celtic thrown in for good measure. Eight songs on the album were written or co-written by members of the group. Five other tunes receive inventive re-imaginings that bring fresh new seasonings to familiar standards like “Poor Wayfaring Pilgrim” and “Girl of Constant Sorrow.” “Pilgrims & Prodigals is based on the idea that everyone in the world is going somewhere,” observes Alex Wolaver, who for the first time shares lead vocalist duties with his sister Annie. “We’re all on a personal journey. We are all either someone who’s finding our way back home or we’re someone who’s running away from home. Every song on this album tells one of those two stories.”

Recorded in the heart of Music City, Nashville, TN., Alex teamed up with award-winning producer Michael Omartian (Christopher Cross, Michael Bolton, Amy Grant,) to produce the new project that was originally imagined nearly a decade ago. Pilgrims & Prodigals will be marketed and distributed in partnership with Dream Journey, the television production company behind the many highly-popular Public Television Specials. The album is being packaged as a double-disc set, containing the CD plus a companion DVD showcasing the Annie Moses Band performing the entire album in concert.

“Video is very important to us, because what we do as the Annie Moses Band is very visual,” explains Annie. “By including the live concert DVD with the album, people can see us performing and playing each song on the album.” The band will be seen on PBS stations around the U.S. starting in October for their brand new Pilgrims & Prodigals Public Television concert that will air throughout the fall. The two disc set will be available in stores nationwide.

Annie Moses Band to perform live on Good Morning Texas!

The Annie Moses Band, America's premier string pop group, will be performing live on Good Morning Texas, ABC, June 7th at 10:00 AM. On the heels of their smash PBS debut, Christmas with the Annie Moses Band, which set the record for most airings ever for a new artist, Annie Moses Band is poised to release their first mainstream album, Pilgrims and Prodigals, September 18, 2012, currently available for pre-order on iTunes. Annie Moses Band is a family group of Juilliard trained string players with a trademark pop style with jazz and fiddle influences. Fans who pre-order Pilgrims and Prodigals get special access to an online streaming version of the new album.

A February To Remember

Well, we're at home. Despite several rather serious attacks of bronchitis, pneumonia, and the like, we're all doing very well. Benjamin is still rather weak but steadily climbing the hill to health. The weather in Nashville on this Monday is very bright and lovely. February and March like to tickle our hopes with false Springs; I hope I've learned their tricks by now…. maybe.

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of getting to play on FamilyLife's 'Love LIke You Mean It' marriage cruise. It was a ton of fun. Unfortunately, because of cruise rules, Mr. Chubby—otherwise known as David Dupre the cutest, sweetest baby on earth—wasn't able to come with us. Babies have to be at least 6 months to go aboard. So, to Grandma Robin's joy, she watched the munchkin while Annie and Scott were away. Annie flew out to make it on the ship, played a concert that night, then flew back to Nashville with Scott the next day when we reached the Bahamas to be reunited with their little joy.

The only problem with this picture was one thing… that we had another concert on the last night of the cruise…. and Annie wouldn't be there. When I first knew of this plan several weeks ago, my mental picture was of all of us on stage in normal assembly, with one giant hole center front stage.

Do a show without Annie? How could that be???

Thankfully, however, we have a few creative minds in the house. So, to our delight, some friends came with us. Joshua Carswell and Julian Kaplan, two very dear friends who have been part of the Fine Arts Summer Academy for many, many years, are starting a new group. Trust me, it's one of the most fun vocal—jazz groups I've ever heard: it's an awesome mix of clear, beautiful trumpet (played by Mr. Kaplan), Joshua's amazing tenor vocals, and really, really fun arrangements of wow-some classics.

So, on the last evening of the cruise, outside with a mild oceanic sky above us, Alex and I pulled out all the stops playing some gypsy fiddle (it was SO much FUN!!), and we all listened as Joshua, Julian, and their awesome band, blew it out of the ballpark. It was a wonderful evening. Plus, the ladies in our entourage got to sing backup to one of their songs written by the Annie Moses Band's Bill and Robin Wolaver. 'You Look Good In Love' is a peppy Diana Krall-ish jingle. A total blast.

In a word, we all had a wonderful time. During the five days of sea freedom, a few of us tried our hand at a little golf…. let's just say that not all golfers are created equal. We also got a chance to snorkel with a very large school of very colorful fish. I always expect to be gazing at a fish, look up, see a shark, and faint… but it never happens, so I guess I'll repeat the sequence next time.

It was nice to get away from the rain for a while, but also nice to come back home. Funny how that works, huh? I simply can't wait for Joshua and Julian to release their first record - and you should be excited too, believe me.

Well, that's the update for now!

And, one more thing, if you ever have the opportunity to have a crepe with honey and whipped cream - do it!

Gretchen

The Annie Moses Band and the New American Choir and Orchestra make their Carnegie Hall debut!

Annie Moses Band @ Carnegie Hall

"Wow," echoed a voice from the back of the hall. In any other hall, Mr. Hall's comment would not have been heard, but in the perfect acoustics of Carnegie Hall you can literally hear a pin drop. And as a description of what the debut performance of the Annie Moses Band and the New American Choir and Orchestra at Carnegie Hall was like, Mr. Hall's exclamation sums up the experience for everyone: "Wow". From January 12 through the 15th, four hundred people from every corner of the United States converged on the Sheraton Hotel near Times Square, NYC to prepare a night of outstanding music. Every generation was represented from 12 year old violinists from the Annie Moses Band's annual Fine Arts Summer Academy to experienced choral vocalists entering their 80th decade. What united everyone was a common goal: to obey the command of the Psalmist to 'make His praise glorious!'.

Hours of feverish preparations (and two evenings of great fun and fellowship) bonded this wonderful group of musicians and singers into a outstanding choir and orchestra led by the legendary conductor, Camp Kirkland.

Headlining the event were the Juilliard trained performers of the Annie Moses Band in their Carnegie Hall debut. 'It has been a long journey for us,' said Robin, the mother and visionary of the Annie Moses Band. 'I can remember arriving in New York City for the first time in 1999. Even then, the Lord was moving to bring us to this place and time.'

A distinctive calling set this performance apart for the Band and the musicians and vocalists joining them: to send a message to the world that the arts exist to glorify the Creator. "We see this as the first night of many nights to come when the truth of God and the good news of Jesus will be presented with excellence on the most renowned stages in the world,' said Alex, the Band's violist. 'The performers here are on the front line, bringing an artistically and spiritual profound presentation of Jesus' Kingdom to New York City and the world.'

The concert itself proved spectacular, ending with two encores and a standing ovation. A litany of FASA alumni were also featured in a rollicking medley entitled "FASA Follies" that climaxed in a rousing version of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken?". From the powerful opening song "Glory Giver", accompanied by full choir and orchestra, to the spell binding Ralph Vaughan Williams inspired "Ancient Paths" to the climactic reprise of the theme song, "Make His Praise Glorious", the Annie Moses Band and the New American Choir and Orchestra electrified the most legendary hall in music.

Behind the scenes, watching with satisfaction was the indispensable man, Roy Hayes and his team at True North Productions who organized and planned the event. True North Productions exists to bring outstanding talent to outstanding venues in order to edify the Church and bring the Gospel to an ever wider audience. After the rousing performance at Carnegie, everyone could agree: "Mission Accomplished".

FASA 2011: "Raising Ebenezer" in Review

The Fine Arts Summer Academy 2011 gathered over 250 students, teachers, and parents from as far as Canada and Jamaica to Music City, USA for our best year yet. 2011's Upper Division theme, Raising Ebenezer, took its name from the rock Samuel raised in the Old Testament as a "rock of remembrance" to the salvation of God while in the Lower Division, our young students celebrated the animals of the Bible in the hilarious and poignant Bible Lessons from a Barnyard. For the Upper Division, Raising Ebenezer took us on a journey from nostalgic memories of home and hearth through decisive moments in American history such as World War II and the last stand of the Alamo, finally culminating in a breathtaking finale centered on the ebenezer of the grave and the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. From the songs Boondocks and Reminiscing to the classics Were You There When They Crucified My Lord and the Finale from The Firebird Suite, Raising Ebenezer raised the bar yet again for F.A.S.A. Gala performances.

Camp Kirkland, a veteran conductor and composer in Christian music, brought an amazing energy and leadership to this year's final show. We can't wait to re-team with Mr. Kirkland for our January trip to Carnegie Hall and the Big Apple. This year also introduced a new spiritual focus. Core Groups enabled students from different tracks to form friendships and dig deeper in their spiritual walk with God. With such a great summer behind us, we couldn't be more excited about the future of the Fine Arts Summer Academy.