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Alumnus wins Principal Bassoon in Jacksonville

Conrad Cornelison cropedConrad Cornelison joined the Jacksonville Symphony as Principal Bassoon in 2017, after spending two seasons with the Houston Grand Opera. Prior to his work in Houston, he held the Principal Bassoon positions with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and the Symphony of Southeast Texas. Other professional appearances include work with the Houston Symphony, the Houston Ballet Orchestra, Da Camera of Houston, the San Antonio Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic the Victoria Bach Festival Orchestra, the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, and the Coastal Symphony of Georgia.

Mr. Cornelison was also recently appointed Adjunct Professor of Bassoon at the University of North Florida, where he began teaching during the 2017-2018 school year. In addition, in March 2017, Mr. Cornelison co-founded LC Double Reeds, a double-reed instrument supply company that designs and manufactures professional quality reed-making tools for oboists and bassoonists. LC Double Reeds’ products have quickly gained popularity across the globe and are available internationally through many of the top distributors in the industry.

Conrad holds degrees from Rice University and Juilliard, where he studied with Benjamin Kamins and Patricia Rogers, respectively. He is also a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he studied with Eric Stomberg. His former festivals include the National Repertory Orchestra (2014), Pacific Music Festival, and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. He currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife, oboist Xiaodi Liu, and their dog, Toby.

Conrad states, “My summer with the NRO was extremely valuable to me. Aside from meeting many lifelong friends and colleagues, the musical demands of the festival gave me a good structure to begin implementing many of the lessons I had learned from my teachers over the years, and ultimately led me to develop an overall more efficient way of learning music and preparing repertoire. Freshly out of school with no job, NRO gave me the structure I needed to prepare for auditions and the professional world.”

NRO Intern Gets Job with Cleveland Orchestra

Carey Skinner croppedKentucky native, Carey Skinner, was raised in a musical family and began studying violin at just two years old. Falling in love with its sonorous sounds, she switched to viola at age eleven. In 2011, she joined the studio of Ivo-Jan van der Werff at Rice University where she earned her Bachelor of Music with an award for Distinction in Research and Creative Works. This award was earned primarily through work with her contemporary ensemble Meraki which collaborates with young composers and seeks to bridge the gap between traditional and modern performance.

Carey graduated in May 2017 with her Masters in Viola Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Lynne Ramsey. As an avid chamber performer, she joined her colleagues of the Coventry String Quartet as the Quartet In Residence for Steamboat Springs Strings Festival in 2016.

Recently, Carey began working as a Campaign Associate for the Cleveland Orchestra. She will be focusing on project management and interacting with nearly every subsection of the Philanthropy & Advancement Department as the Orchestra enters its 100th Season. She is excited to start on this new career path and looks at it as a wonderful learning opportunity as well as a way to be an advocate for her beloved music community. Carey attributes some of her success to the NRO saying, “I genuinely believe that, without my internship through the NRO, I would have not been called for multiple job interviews, nor would I have been prepared for my current position. I got to work closely with every staff member, giving me a glimpse into the world of a small non-profit. I learned so much from witnessing all the moving pieces that go into running an orchestra and that experience was truly invaluable. Thank you to the NRO staff, interns and musicians for launching my career in such a meaningful way this summer!”

In her spare time, Carey enjoys cooking, teaching viola, and performing around the city with the unique and vibrant community created by Classical Revolution Cleveland.