July 23, 2016

Spring Concert

Elgar – Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4

Elgar – Three Bavarian Dances

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Maher – Symphony No. 1 (“Titan”)


Featuring guest conductor S. Shade Zajac

Shade Zajac is a freelance conductor, composer and cellist. He is the Principal Conductor and Music Director of both the Genesee Symphony Orchestra and the Finger Lakes Symphony Orchestra. He was appointed to these positions in the Spring of 2016 and 2017, respectively. Mr. Zajac also works with other ensembles as a guest conductor and in 2019 will conduct the Orchard Park Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Mahler’s First Symphony.

Mr. Zajac has conducted the Nazareth College Chamber Orchestra, Nazareth College Symphony Orchestra and the OpusWerkes No.2 on numerous occasions. He was a student of Professor Nancy Strelau and was a guest conductor of her orchestra, the Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic. Mr Zajac was awarded the Paul Vermel 2015-2016 Apprenticeship with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra in Chicago, working with Maestro Kim Diehnelt. He was also accepted as a Fellow in the BCO December 2015 Workshop under the direction of Maestro Markand Thakar, where he conducted the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra in selections such as Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”. In the spring of 2016, Mr. Zajac was an active participant in the 8th Ithaca International Conducting Master Class with Maestros Donald Schleicher and Dr. Jeffery Meyer. He led the Ithaca College Chamber and Symphony Orchestras in performances of Berio’s Folk Songs for Mezzo Soprano and Orchestra, and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. In March 2018, he conducted the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Genesee Symphony Orchestra featuring David Kim, Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Mr. Zajac is founder of the Seneca Summer Music Festival and Orchestra, providing events that include chamber music and orchestra performances. Emphasis is placed on raising funds for charities and offering classical music to surrounding communities in upstate New York. In 2018, the Genesee Symphony Orchestra performed a special concert as part of the festival.

Mr. Zajac is the founding member of the Asteria Quartet, that performs frequently around upstate New York. As an orchestra player, Shade was Principal Cellist of the Nazareth College Chamber and Symphony orchestra and has sat Principal Cellist in the Roberts and Wesleyan College Community Orchestra. He was the winner of the Nazareth College Concerto/Aria Competition both in 2012 and 2014 and performs solo and chamber music concerts frequently around the Rochester and Finger Lakes area.

A prolific composer, Mr. Zajac has written music for solo cello (commissioned by Pro. Mimi Hwang), a cello sonata, piano concerto, violin concerto, seven string quartets, and pieces for percussion ensemble, chamber groups and orchestra. In April 2016, he completed his first symphony in which he dedicated to his teacher Nancy Strelau, the Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic and the Nazareth College Symphony Orchestra. His Second Symphony completed in the Summer of 2018 will be premiered by the Seneca Summer Music Festival Orchestra in July 2019 as part of the Festival’s 5th Season Celebration.