At Mason, you'll learn from artists at the top of their field through masterclasses, conversations, and workshops with these nationally and internationally recognized artists.
As part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University, students from the Dewberry School of Music enjoy unparalleled access to some of the world’s top performers.
In coordination with their tours and performances at the spectacular on-campus performances venues (the Center for the Arts and the Hylton Performing Arts Center), artists often spend time with our students. These opportunities range from in-depth conversations to experiential music classes to immersive residencies.
Masterclass with The Tonight Show bandleader Doc Severinsen.
Maria Schneider - Grammy Award-winning composer, conductor, Mason Artist-in-Residence, and leader of Northern Virginia’s own Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra.She led a masterclass with our students in the Mason Jazz Ensemble on April 15, 2022 before her performance at the Center for the Arts.
Lawrence Brownlee, one of America’s foremost modern opera singers led a Zoom masterclass/Q&A in March 2021 for a group of Vocal Studies and Opera majors from the Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music. The class was held the day after he participated in The Artist-Activist: Centering Black Voices series as part of Mason Arts at Home.
Academy of St Martin's in the Field gave two virtual masterclasses in March 2021 with their cellist and clarinetist with string students while they were here for a performance at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.
Sphinx Virtuosi (a Mason Artist-in-Residence), are a dynamic Detroit-based, self-conducting chamber orchestra of top Black and Latinx musicians who gave a masterclass to Strings and Symphony Orchestra students in 2021.
Rita Porfiris, an American violist who has performed as a chamber musician, orchestral musician, and as a soloist, taught a chamber music and composition Masterclass in the Fall of 2020. She performed string chamber music of African-American composers as part of Mason School of Music's Black Artist Series.
Aundi Marie Moore, Metropolitan Opera soprano and Mason alumna, gave a masterclass in voice in the fall of 2020 as part of the Dewberry School of Music's Black Artist Series and Vocal Department's Diversity Vocal Artist series.
Dr. Michael Nickens (Doc Nix), director of athletic bands at George Mason University, held a tuba masterclass in the fall of 2020 as part of Black Artist Series.
Marcellus Brown, director of bands at Boise State University, one of the finest collegiate wind band programs in the Pacific Northwest, held a conducting masterclass for music students in the fall of 2020 as part of the Black Artist Series.
Simone Dinnerstein - Virtuoso pianist, at Mason for a performance at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in October 2019, took time to hold a masterclass with Mason piano students.
Peter Bernstein - Jazz guitarist, Peter Bernstein, worked with music students at a 2019 Masterclass.
Leonard Wekesa, a choral conductor from Nairobi, Kenya, did a masterclass in December 2019 with choir students and Mason American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) student chapter members.
Peter Erskine - Grammy-winning drummer, Peter Erskine, instructed Mason students during a clinic on the Fairfax Campus.
Paul Edmund Davies - an internationally renowned flautist who has spent 20 years as the Principal Flute of the London Symphony Orchestra and 5 years in the same position at the Philharmonia Orchestra led a masterclass with flute students.
Aurelio Martinez - A singer-songwriter, guitarist and percussionist, Aurelio, is one of Central America’s most gifted performers worked with teaching our students.
Canadian Brass - With an international reputation as one of the most popular brass ensembles today, Canadian Brass has truly earned the distinction of “the world’s most famous brass group." They came to Mason in 2018 and gave a Masterclass to students of brass before their performance at the Center for the Arts.
Doc Severinsen - the late, Grammy Award-winning Doc Severinsen was the bandleader on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. (See video at top of page.)
Ida Kavafian - Internationally acclaimed violist and violinist.
Robert Ainsley, director of Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists Program, Washington National Opera; Charlotte Hellekant, mezzo-soprano, MET, English National Opera; and Alessandra Marc, Soprano, MET, La Scala, San Francisco Opera, all worked with students during the 2018 Vocal Studies/Opera Masterclass series at Mason.
Mason students discuss their experience working with Canadian Brass during their 2018 masterclass.
Lawrence Brownlee - one of America’s foremost modern opera singers led a Zoom Q&A/masterclass in March 2021 for a group of Vocal Studies and Opera majors from the Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music. The class was held the day after he participated in The Artist-Activist: Centering Black Voices series as part of Mason Arts at Home.
Audra McDonald, a Tony, Grammy®, and Emmy® Award winner, performed at the ARTS by George! benefit in the Fall of 2019 in the Concert Hall and gave a Q&A beforehand to Mason students.
Lawrence Brownlee March 2021 Q&A/Masterclass:
Each year, the College of Visual and Performing Arts invites several artists and ensembles, chosen for their distinctive and innovative artistic voices, to make Mason their home for a residency. Dewberry School of Music partners with the Mason Artist-in-Residence Program to deepen its own guest artist program and provide greater artist access for its students.
In the fall of 2019, Latin powerhouse, LADAMA, spent five days as artists in residence at Mason and in northern VA, sharing their love for music making with others so that they might make a meaningful connection as well. Over the course of the week, these inspirational women shared their music and passion with more than 1,450 people ranging from elementary school-aged to vibrant seniors. See where they performed.
Using the Window Wall Technology for a virtual residency
In the fall of 2021, Third Coast Percussion came to Mason. Partnering with the School of Music, the LIVE Center's Window Wall facilitated a masterclass between Third Coast Percussion (a Chicago based quartet) and percussion students under Professor John Kilkenny. The students were able to perform, get feedback, and ask questions.