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October 11, 2022

Imani Winds Inspire Students to Achieve Their Dreams

The excitement on October 8th was palpable as we welcomed one of today’s preeminent chamber ensembles, Imani Winds, to program. For over two decades, the twice Grammy nominated wind quintet has established itself as both a champion of the classic chamber music repertoire as well as a thoroughly modern ensemble that seeks to expand the repertoire by commissioning new works by living composers that reflect this moment in history.

We were also excited to welcome back one of our very own alums, oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz. Along with bassoonist, Monica Ellis, Spellman-Diaz is one of the original members of Imani Winds and continues to perform with the ensemble full-time in addition to her own busy teaching and performance schedule.

Members of Imani Winds spent the morning working with our advanced flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn students in small masterclass groups, where they received one-on-one coaching and invaluable technical and musical advice from these seasoned artists. Afterwards, students of all ages and instruments were treated to a special performance by Imani Winds, where they played a variety of works from their broad repertoire. In between pieces, each member of the ensemble took a moment to talk about their career journey, share some practical advice with the students, and answer their questions.

Everyone walked away from the event charged with energy and fresh ideas and perspectives on the hard work of improving and growing as a musician. We are incredibly grateful to our friends at The Clarice at the University of Maryland, College Park, for arranging this special visit, and send our deepest thanks to Toyin and her colleagues for this opportunity!

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