Congratulations to the GCTYO Principal Orchestra musicians who advanced to the Final Round of the 2021 Concerto Competition and competed for a $500 prize! Read about each finalist & adjudicator below. The Final Round concert was co-hosted by WSHU Public Radio and Sacred Heart University Community Theatre and was presented March 21, 2021 at 2 PM at MoCA Westport. The concert was live streamed on the GCTYO Facebook page: Watch the entire concert.
Music Director and Alumnus of the Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras (GCTYO), Christopher James Hisey, has conducted concerts throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico and China.
Music Director and Alumnus of the Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras (GCTYO), Christopher James Hisey, has conducted concerts throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico and China. Maestro Hisey has conducted with such notable musicians as Sir James Galway, Tim Janis, Jackie Evancho, James Dunham, Chris Finckel, and Deborah Wong.
In addition to his duties with GCTYO, Maestro Hisey serves as Music Director of the American Chamber Orchestra and is Co-founder and Music Director of the Connecticut Philharmonic. He has also served as Music Director of the Civic Orchestra of New Haven, Connecticut Valley Chamber Orchestra, Troupers Light Opera Company, and Perrysburg Symphony Chorale, and as Associate Conductor of the Perrysburg Symphony, Bowling Green Philharmonia and Opera Theater Orchestras.
Maestro Hisey has been a guest and cover conductor of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony and has made appearances with the Ruse Philharmonic and Pleven Philharmonic in Bulgaria, and the St. Petersburg “Klassika” Symphony, formerly the Leningrad State Philharmonic, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
A passionate and sought-after music educator, Maestro Hisey frequently appears as guest adjudicator and clinician at schools and festivals throughout the region. His student orchestras have won top prizes in competition and have been invited to appear at Carnegie Hall, NAFME Eastern Music Festival and other festivals and concerts in the United States and abroad. He has served as Professor of Conducting, Orchestration and Music Director of the Orchestra at Manhattanville College and Professor of Conducting and Music Director of the Orchestra at Fairfield University. Maestro Hisey has been Director of Orchestras and Chamber Music at Greens Farms Academy in Westport, CT for 20 years.
Maestro Hisey holds a bachelor’s degree in Viola Performance from the Eastman School of Music and master’s degree in Conducting from Bowling Green State University. He has been fortunate to study conducting with Emily Freeman Brown, David Effron, Gustav Meier, Donald Portnoy, and Donald Hunsberger.
Sarah Shreder, cellist, has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. She strives to capture audiences with her energy and passion.
Sarah Shreder, cellist, has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. She strives to capture audiences with her energy and passion. She is currently performing with the Bridgeport, Ridgefield, and Wallingford Symphonies and is the professor of cello at the University of Bridgeport. She has performed as a soloist at the Domaine Forget international music festival in Quebec and with the Seven Hills Symphony. Having also concertized extensively in various chamber music settings, Sarah has performed at the Quietside Festival and the International Musical Arts Institute in Maine as well as the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. She received bachelor’s degrees in both cello performance and fine arts management from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in cello performance from the University of Connecticut, where she studied with Kangho Lee. She currently lives in Stratford, Connecticut with her husband and her two young children.
Luis Fernando Jimenez
Dr. Luis Fernando Jiménez is a gifted conductor, trombonist, educator and clinician. Dr. Jiménez has been on the faculty of Western Connecticut State University since 1997 and served as Music Department Chair from 2002-2005.
Dr. Luis Fernando Jiménez is a gifted conductor, trombonist, educator and clinician, who is equally at ease in the orchestral, opera, musical theatre, and wind ensemble genres. His experiences as a conductor have taken him from across the Northeastern United States, to Central – South America and points in between, ranging from his work with the Costa Rica National Symphony/Chorus/ Opera, to conducting symposiums for Central American conductors. In addition, Dr. Jiménez served as Music Director-Conductor of the Westchester Wind Symphony for three seasons.
As a trombonist, Dr. Jiménez has performed with numerous symphony orchestras, most notably the Costa Rican National Symphony, the American Wind Symphony, the Symphony Orchestra of the Americas, Waco Symphony, Longview Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Ridgefield Symphony, and the Pittsburgh Symphony. He has also maintained an active schedule as a clinician with several appearances at the Connecticut Music Educators Association and at the Nafme Regional Conference.
Dr. Jiménez has been on the faculty of Western Connecticut State University since 1997 and served as Music Department Chair from 2002-2005. He holds degrees from Baylor University (BM trombone), Duquesne University (MM – conducting/trombone) and the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University (DMA Orchestral Conducting) where he served as a teaching assistant under the tutelage of Maestro Frederik Prausnitz. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education (Nafme), The College Directors National Association (CODA), The Conductors Guild, The International Trombone Association, and the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA).