Tune in to KNPR 88.9 FM when the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Nevada Public Radio present “Theater on the Air: Live from Area 51” on Wednesday, November 25 at 6 p.m. PST via live radio broadcast featuring a talented cast of actors from Vegas’ live entertainment scene and LV Phil musicians.
The live production is a contemporary throwback to the beloved classic radio dramas of the 1930s and 40s, but with signature Vegas flare! Families everywhere are invited to gather once again around the radio or streaming device of their choice and be captivated by an original, exciting drama that will appeal to all ages. Gain access to one of Nevada’s most intriguing mysteries through this one-night-only production that is sure to feel fresh yet nostalgic all at once.
Theater on the Air: Live from Area 51 is written by Joe Schoenmann, directed by Kate St-Pierre with Rebecca Zoltowski as Stage Manager, original score composed and arranged by Jennifer Bellor, and sound design by Martin St-Pierre. The score will be performed by Las Vegas Philharmonic musicians De Ann Letourneau (violin), Andrew Smith (cello), Paul Firak (bass), Patrick Bowen (percussion) and guest Alexandria Le (piano).
Appearing in the cast are Marcus Weiss (Blue Man Group, La Rêve), Destiny Faith (Think Fast, Hairspray), RJ Owens (Mystère by Cirque du Soleil), Sabrina Cofield (’He Can Get It’, ‘Harlem Renaissance’), KNPR’s Joe Schoenmann plays himself, as well as another role in the production.
Tune in to KNPR at 88.9 FM or online at knpr.org.
De Ann has been the Concertmaster of the Las Vegas Philharmonic for over twenty seasons. She has been described as a powerfully warm and emotionally charged violinist with the unique ability to relate her love of music to all audiences. De Ann is also one of the few female concertmasters in the U.S.
The Las Vegas Review Journal said “…she performed not only impeccably but with an exuberant sense of joy.” The Duluth News Tribune raved “… her performance was sensationally vibrant from beginning to end.”
A native of Superior Wisconsin, she began studying with Diane Balko, the former concertmaster of the Duluth-Superior Symphony, at age 14. She quickly became known as one of the outstanding young artists in the U.S., winning her first professional job at age 16 with the Duluth-Superior Symphony. She has been in love with symphonic performing ever since.
Her career, now spanning over 30 years, includes many performances throughout the US and Europe as soloist and chamber musician on violin and viola. Formerly affiliated with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra, she has appeared as guest artist with many orchestras including the Milwaukee Symphony, National Arts Chamber Orchestra (Chicago), Duluth-Superior Symphony, St. Martin Chamber Orchestra, Nevada Chamber Orchestra and the Lake Superior Chamber Symphony in addition to soloing with the Las Vegas Philharmonic.
De Ann has also been a frequent guest artist performing recitals on radio broadcasts including KNPR FM, National Public Radio, WQXR FM in New York City, and Wisconsin Public Radio. She was awarded the Governor’s Excellence in the Arts Award and was a prizewinner at the National Arts Competition in Washington DC. De Ann has also won First Prize at the International Starling Violin Competition in Aspen CO.
De Ann was honored by National Association of Women Business Owners as the first ever recipient of the “Woman of Distinction Award in the Performing Arts” and received the Congressional Certificate of Achievement for her work in helping build performing arts in Las Vegas. In 2012, she received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from her alma mater, Superior High School, for her work with various music programs and young artists where her passion and enthusiasm for developing communities through the arts and youth arts education have had a lasting impact.
Living in Las Vegas, she is sought after by some of the best-selling, popular performers of today in addition to her classical performances. De Ann performed, recorded and traveled with Celine Dion for nine years. She recorded an acoustic album, “Uku-Latte” with her friend, Billboard Chart/Vegas headliner, Frankie Moreno. She has performed for the Billboard Award shows, American Music Awards, Country Music Awards, Latin Grammy’s and other productions. De Ann has performed with popular artists including Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Thomas Rhett, Smokey Robinson, Earth Wind and Fire, Deep Purple, Metallica, Vanessa Williams, Natalie Cole and Johnny Mathis. She regularly performs with Andrea Bocelli at the Hollywood Bowl as his Associate Concertmaster and has also served as Concertmaster with Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Sarah Brightman and Alicia Keys among others.
Passionate about teaching and coaching to help inspire young musicians to reach their full potential as artists, De Ann owns a private studio where violin & viola students are admitted by audition. She also regularly coaches through Skype lessons around the U.S. and Europe, offering students help in preparing to audition for college, summer festivals and orchestral positions. Many of De Ann’s students now hold positions in various orchestras around the world. She presents masterclasses at various academic institutions on Neuro Linguistic Programming to help identify and address performance issues and make learning faster for artists. In June 2020, she will give a keynote presentation for Nevada Music Teachers Conference on her teaching method and how to get excellent, faster results in every level student.
De Ann attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and studied with Efim Boico & the Fine Arts Quartet. She then attended the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music to study with Dorothy DeLay & Kurt Sassmanshaus. She has also had the opportunity to study with some of the world’s best violin pedagogues including Josef Gingold (IU), Jascha Brodsky (Curtis), and David Cerone (CIM). All of these master teachers were her mentors at music Festivals including Aspen, ENCORE, LA PHIL Institute, Symphony School of America and Indiana Summer Festival.
De Ann lives in Las Vegas with her husband, Scott, and their 3 beautiful daughters, Grace, Rose and Faith. They enjoy spending summers in Northern Wisconsin with family and friends.
Cellist Andrew Smith is an Associate Professor of music at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the Principal Cellist of The Las Vegas Philharmonic. He is an original member of the Camerata Deiá, a group founded in 2001 to be the resident ensemble with The Festival Internacional de Deiá , a summer festival in Majorca, Spain. He was also a founding member of The Adriatic Chamber Music Festival, a summer music program in southern Italy, where he taught and performed from 1998 – 2008. An active recitalist, Andrew has collaborated with pianist Alfredo Oyagüez in cello/piano recitals in Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Argentina, and Japan, as well as in Kosovo, Serbia, and Macedonia. Recent recitals include performances at the Emilia Romagna Festival, the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The Smith/Oyagüez duo recently released a CD entitled, “Spanish Music for Cello and Piano,” on the Delos label in January, 2017. Of the CD, the American Record Guide said the duo plays “with verve and sensitivity,” and recommended the program “without reserve.”
During summers, in addition to The Festival Internacional de Deiá, in Spain, and The Adriatic Chamber Music Festival in Italy, Smith has taught and performed in several music festivals, including the Marrowstone Music Festival, Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, CA, the Rocky Ridge Music Center, the Blue Mountain Festival, Dakota Chamber Music, The Green Valley Chamber Music Festival, the Tuacahn Summer Arts Institute, and The Las Vegas Music Festival.
Mr. Smith is a recipient of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was a member of the Young Artists String Quartet. He has also earned a Master’s degree from The Mannes College of Music in New York, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Hartt College of Music in Hartford, CT. He has studied cello with Timothy Eddy, Bernard Greenhouse, Leslie Parnas, Ron Leonard, and Geoffrey Rutkowski.
Originally from Chicago, Paul has been a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic since 2000. Paul is also an active freelance musician who’s credits include among others The Phantom of the Opera, Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, Mama Mia, Spamalot, Avenue Q and a Canadian tour of Miss Saigon.
In addition to performing Paul is also an educator. He is the Adjunct Professor of Double Bass at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas as well a double bass coach with the Clark County School District, working with both the middle and high school levels. Paul also maintains a private teaching studio.
Paul received a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from the University of Northern Colorado (Greeley) where he studied double bass with James Vaughn. Other teachers include Christopher Hanulik (Los Angeles Philharmonic) and Thomas Lederer (Dallas Symphony).
In his leisure time Paul enjoys among other things hiking, gym time, meditation and is a big fan of sports.
Praised as “…a warm, animated, outgoing, confident, hypertalented pianist whose greatest asset is her ability to communicate” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), Alexandria Le’s multi-faceted career as a performer, educator, and arts advocate brings her to the world’s most illustrious stages to the farthest-reaching places.
A winner of over twenty first-prize music awards, she gave her solo debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Paris’ Salle Cortot as a laureate of the Pro Musicis International Award. She established a career in New York where she appeared regularly at Carnegie Hall, Trinity Wall Street, Consulate General of France, Spectrum NY, and the Yamaha Artist Salon, in addition to appearing in numerous series across Long Island. Her music has also made an impact in more unusual spaces, like the jails of Riker’s Island.
She is a sought-after chamber musician and collaborator, performing with principal players of the world’s leading orchestras and ensembles including Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Orpheus, American Brass, and Canadian Brass. She is a winner of the Ackerman Chamber Music Competition, juried by the Emerson String Quartet. From 2012-2014, she was pianist with Ensemble Connect, the performance and teaching artist ensemble of Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School.
She received her Doctorate of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in piano performance from Stony Brook University and a Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music. A native of Las Vegas, she returned to her roots in 2016. She is familiar to audiences through her performances with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Opera Las Vegas, the Composer’s Showcase, Green Valley Presbyterian Church Concert Series, and her nonprofit, Notes with a Purpose. Regarded as a “community musical leader” (Las Vegas Review-Journal), she has directed numerous events over the past four years which have brought innovative music programming to over 4,000 adults and 10,000 CCSD students.
She is a passionate educator, currently running a private piano studio in addition to serving as a visiting piano professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas during Fall 2020. She is a Yamaha Artist. More at www.alexandriale.com.
Patrick Bowen has been the Percussion Instructor at the Las Vegas Academy since 1992, where the Percussion Ensemble or soloists have won the Nevada All State Command Performance numerous times. Mr. Bowen is in his eighth year at the Academy where he teaches full-time the World Jazz Studies area and Chamber Ensembles. He was the percussionist for the hit Broadway show “Mamma Mia” at the Mandalay Bay Resort and is presently the Principal Percussionist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from the Hartt School of Music (Cum Laude), a Master’s degree in Music Performance from the University of Montana, and a Teaching Certificate from UNLV.
Jazz Bands at the Las Vegas Academy have won “Best in State” at every Reno Jazz Festival in attendance, Downbeats “Outstanding Big Band” and “Best Combo” awards, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festivals “Overall Winner” and first places in the big band and combo divisions, Monterey Jazz Festival finalist, Monterey’s 51st Jazz Festival participant, “Superior’ ratings at CCSD Jazz Festivals, and the fine arts area were six time winners of the Signature Gold Grammy Award, and two Signiture Grammy Awards. Mr. Bowen housed the IAJE Teachers Training Institute and was invited to the IAJE Conference in Long Beach,California.
Mr. Bowen has been a guest soloist with the Hartt Symphony, Henderson Civic Orchestra, and UNLV Percussion Ensemble. Mr. Bowen has performed with the Nevada Symphony Orchestra, Nevada Dance Theater Orchestra, Mahler Orchestra, New Haven Symphony, New Britain Symphony, Las Vegas Pops, Nevada Wind Ensemble, Nevada Opera Theater, and the Missoula Symphony Orchestra. He has extensive ensemble experience premiering works at the Columbia New Music Festival, Yale University New Music Festival, and the Saratoga Springs Festival.
He has been the Dance Accompanist at UNLV accompanying such choreographers as Gus Solomans, Jr., Loretta Livingston, Marcus Alford, Walter Nicks, Judith Moss, Sam Watson, Billy Siegenfield, and the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. He has also played with Celine Dion, Elton John, Clint Black, Sheila E, Wynonna Judd, Lionel Richie, Dudley Moore, Boyz II Men, Michael Bolton, Kenny G, Olete Adams, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, Don Henley, Tim McGraw, Brian McKnight, Andre Bocelli and David Foster.
Mr. Bowen has served as the President of the Percussive Arts Society for the State of Nevada. He has also published Snares and Sets: A Book of Duets, and Temple: A Timpani Concerto for Timpani and Percussion Ensemble. He has written articles for the Percussive Arts Society and many of his original works have been recorded.
Patrick Bowen is a proud sponsor of Bosphorus Cymbals, Grover Pro Percussion, and Silverfoxx mallets and sticks.