Who’s Who?

Christopher Wilkins - Christopher Wilkins serves as Music Director of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra and the Akron Symphony. Mr. Wilkins was appointed Music Director of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra in the spring of 2011. Since then he has reaffirmed founder Charles Ansbacher's vision of making great music accessible to the whole community. The orchestra membership includes many of the finest professional musicians in the Boston area. In Akron, Mr. Wilkins has led the development of programs with an emphasis on inclusive programming and collaborative work. The orchestra's initiatives have recently been awarded a major grant from the Knight Foundation. That funding will support community-oriented programming and collaborative projects over a 5-year period. As a guest conductor, Mr. Wilkins has appeared with many of the leading orchestras of the United States, including those of Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. He has also appeared overseas, with regular concerts in New Zealand, Latin America, Spain and the UK. Previously he served as Music Director of the Orlando Philharmonic, San Antonio Symphony and the Colorado Springs Symphony, and is currently Artistic Advisor to the Opera Theatre of the Rockies in Colorado Springs. During his tenure in San Antonio, he and the orchestra received six programming awards from ASCAP, including the first-ever Morton Gould Award for creative programming. He also served as Resident Conductor of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, assisting in the formation of the orchestra in its inaugural season, and leading it on tours throughout the Americas. Mr. Wilkins was winner of the Seaver/NEA Award in 1992. He served as associate conductor of the Utah Symphony, assisting Joseph Silverstein; assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnányi; conducting assistant with the Oregon Symphony under James DePreist; and was a conducting fellow at Tanglewood. Born in Boston, Mr. Wilkins earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1978. He studied with Otto-Werner Mueller at Yale University, receiving his master of music degree in 1981, and in 1979 attended the Hochschule der Künste in West Berlin, as a recipient of the John Knowles Paine traveling fellowship, awarded by the Harvard music department. As an oboist, he performed with many ensembles in the Boston area, including the Berkshire Music Center Orchestra at Tanglewood, and the Boston Philharmonic under Benjamin Zander.

Challenge Judges

Dan Crozier - Rollins College: Dan Crozier's compositions have been performed in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Boston, Toronto, Syracuse, at Washington's Kennedy Center, the Aspen Music Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival Composers' Symposium, and by the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, and have been recorded by MARK Records as well as for broadcast by the Belgian Radio and Television Network. He has received ASCAP Special Awards awards annually since 1996, an ASCAP Foundation Young Composer's Grant, and first prize in the National Opera Association Chamber Opera Competition. Daniel Crozier has worked with Eliot Newsome, Jean Eichelberger Ivey, and John Harbison. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and has served on the faculty at the Peabody Preparatory, Radford University, and is currently Assistant Professor of Theory and Composition at Rollins College.

Keith Lay - Full Sail University: By the end of High School, Keith Lay had written works for symphonic band, piano, chorus and jazz orchestra. After earning a Master of Music Composition degree from the University of Akron he began a successful commercial composition career scoring jingles and commercials for broadcast, documentaries and short film. After joining the staff at Full Sail University in 1990 to teach digital production, Lay directed the Music History courses for 18 years and currently teaches in Full Sail's new Composition degree program. In 2004, his work "Children On the Playground" for Violin and String Orchestra was selected from over 7 years of Riverside International Competition winners for the competition's Grand Prize and a performance at Lincoln Center. "Earth Caoine", which was recorded by renowned clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra was described as "unapologetically emotional" by a Gramophone magazine review in 2005. Lay is the recipient of a Florida Artist Fellowship, two United Arts of Central Florida Professional Development Grants, and a grant from the Margaret Fairbanks Jory Copy Assistance Program.

Jeff Rupert - University of Central Florida: Jeff Rupert is the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Central Florida. He earned his BM, and MM degrees in Jazz Performance at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Rupert is the founder of Flying Horse Records, the university record label. Rupert directs the UCF Jazz Ensemble I, the Jazz Workshop, and teaches the Evolution of Jazz. In addition to teaching at UCF, Rupert gives master classes and clinics throughout the Middle East, South America, Europe, Australia, and Japan. Jeff also enjoys an active career as a freelance tenor saxophonist, composer, and arranger. Jeff is a long time member of Sam Rivers' band, with performance and recording at Lincoln Center, for Ed Bradley's Jazz from Lincoln Center, broadcast on NPR. Rupert was featured at the Kennedy Center with Kevin Mahogany, and tours with Judy Carmichael, and Harry Allen and the Four Others. He has been a featured soloist at the Chicago Blues festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz festival, Montreux, Switzerland, the Montreux festival/Japan, the Lucerne Jazz festival, the Jamaica Jazz festival, The Aruba Jazz festival, Bishopstock, The Pori Jazz Festival, Finland, The Jubileums Blues festival, Hamar, Norway, as well as numerous other festivals throughout the world. Jeff has toured twice with the Jaguar International Jazz Series, New Zealand, with Joe La Barbera, Larry Koonse, John Fedchock, Tom Warrington, and with Maynard Ferguson.

Stephen Goldman studied music composition at Interlochen Center for the Arts, and in 1974 received a BS in Physics from the University of Florida. Mr. Goldman has composed many pieces in both popular and classical styles. In 1997 he received the Composers Guild's 1st place award for orchestral composition for Quicksilver's Salvitude. Mr. Goldman's compositions have been performed by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Güyr Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra. Goldman was CEO and founder of Distributed Processing Technology, a developer and manufacturer of intelligent storage controllers for the computer industry and developer of the world's first caching and RAID disk controllers. As a member of the American National Standards Institure (ANSI) Mr. Goldman was one of the designers of the SCSI interface standard. In 2000, Mr. Goldman retired from DPT to pursue philanthropic interests. He has served on the boards of the Orlando Museum of Art, the Orlando Science Center, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, The Marin Symphony, the Festival of Orchestras, and as a Trustee of United Arts of Central Florida. Mr. Goldman also serves on the Dean's Advisory Councils for the University of Central Florida College of Arts and Humanities, and the College of Sciences. Mr. Goldman is the creater of Why U, an internationally-renowned web-based educational resource.