In the Spotlight

Brian Worsdale

Brian Worsdale is a very busy man. Not only has he been recently named Music Director of The Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he is now also Director of The New York Pops’ Kids on Stage program. Kids on Stage is part of The New York Pops’ PopsEd education portfolio, providing middle school students access to the professional performance process from the first audition to the final note! The experience culminates onstage at Carnegie Hall with the students alongside The New York Pops musicians at the orchestra’s annual Birthday Gala. Auditions for the prestigious program are set to occur on February 2 and 3, 2019, and over one hundred New York City students have applied!

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Mr. Worsdale attended public schools, and the new appointment as Director of Kids on Stage is particularly meaningful to him. Mr. Worsdale was one of the first students to participate in The New York Pops’ Salute to Music program (the predecessor to Kids on Stage) which was the brainchild of the orchestra’s founder, Skitch Henderson.

“Salute to Music was an incredible experience for me! Getting to play alongside The New York Pops musicians and working under the late Skitch Henderson was a money-can’t-buy opportunity. It provided me with the motivation and drive to pursue a career in music” Mr. Worsdale said.

As part of the Kids on Stage experience, students also get the opportunity to be awarded one of six scholarships to the French Woods Festival of Performing Arts
summer camp. This is thanks to the generous support of the camp’s owner, Ron
Schaefer, who was a music educator in NYC public schools for many years. In 1994, he asked Mr. Worsdale to join the camp’s faculty, eventually bestowing upon him the title of Artistic Director and Conductor.

During high school, Brian attended the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division, and received his formal music training as a trombone student of David Finlayson (New York Philharmonic). He eventually decided to pursue conducting, and became a protégé of the late Maestro Jonathan Strasser (formerly on faculty at the Manhattan School of Music). He has continued his professional studies working with Larry Livingston (faculty at the University of Southern California) and Anthony Maiello (faculty of George Mason University).

His work as a guest clinician and adjudicator has brought him to cities throughout the United States, but Mr. Worsdale’s commitment to education shines brightest through his entrepreneurial efforts to build stronger band programs in New York City. Among them, the award-winning InterSchool Orchestra of New York (ISO) Symphonic Band, and of course, The New York Pops’ Kids on Stage program.

For more information on Kids on Stage, visit www.newyorkpops.org/kids-on-stage.

by Analisa Bell

NYC Music Teacher Awarded

Congratulations to David LaMorte, Assistant Principal of Visual, Performing, and Career Arts at Tottenville High School for for receiving the George N. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education, through the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

Mr. LaMorte has overseen the program of six bands, three symphonic orchestra ensembles, four choruses, and marching band at Tottenville High School. He is also the Executive Director of the Summer Arts Institute.

You can see him in action conducting the Concert Band at the MEANYC Middle School Festival in February.