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Artistic Staff

Dr. David Ramael, Music Director and Symphony Conductor

Dr. Ramael is Director of Orchestral Activities at Hofstra University on Long Island. At Hofstra, he conducts the Hofstra Symphony Orchestra, the Hofstra String Orchestra, the annual opera production, and he teaches orchestral conducting at the graduate level. In his short tenure at Hofstra, he has led the HSO to high artistic levels, expanding the ensemble's repertoire and doubling the number of concert appearances.

Dr. Ramael began his musical studies in his native Belgium. He studied trumpet and music theory at the Royal Brussels Conservatory, as well as musicology at the Free Brussels University. In 1996, he was awarded the Erasmus Fellowship for study abroad in the European Union, which he spent at the University of Vienna. He obtained a Master's degree in Musicology at the Free Brussels University, as well as degrees from the Royal Brussels Conservatory in solfège, harmony, counterpoint and music management.

In 1998, he was awarded the prestigious Belgian American Education Foundation Fellowship for study in the United States. He chose the University of Minnesota to pursue a doctorate in musicology, and upon completion of all coursework towards the degree he switched his emphasis to conducting. Dr. Ramael then obtained in quick succession the Master in Music and Doctorate in Musical Arts degrees in conducting.

Upon graduating from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Ramael worked as a freelance conductor in the greater Twin Cities area. He served as the conductor of the Concertino Northeast with the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, and as music director of the Golden Valley Orchestra, Lake Waconia Wind Ensemble and the Twin Cities Chamber Orchestra.

Maestro Michael Adelson, Conductor Laureate

Michael Adelson is currently conductor of the Auros Group for New Music, a cover conductor for the New York Philharmonic, for which he also regularly conducts educational workshops, and an adjunct professor at the Mannes School of Music, where he conducts the Mannes Pre-College Orchestra. He made his first appearance with a major American orchestra in 1992, conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His other conducting engagements have included The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

Equally at home in the opera house, Mr. Adelson has led Scandinavian productions of Puccini's Turandot and La Bohème, Mozart's Der Schauspieldirektor, and, in Stockholm, the world premiere of Qu Xiao-Song's Oedipus. He frequently makes guest-conducting appearances with new music ensembles, including Speculum Musicae, Locrian Chamber Players, Dinosaur Annex, and the Fromm Players at Harvard. He has led world premieres at the Venice Biennale and the Ultima Contemporary Music Festival in Oslo, and has conducted new American music in Europe and Asia as well as in the United States.

Mr. Adelson, who is also an active composer, regularly leads workshops in conducting and orchestral technique for educators, as well as for college and pre-college musicians sponsored by the New York Philharmonic. As the principal conductor of the first annual Rencontres Musicales Europeenes in France, he led a festival orchestra that included students from France, Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic. With the Orkester Norden, he conducted students from all the Nordic countries. He has written and conducted youth concerts with the Helsinki Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Adelson studied at the New England Conservatory and Mannes College of Music, and graduated summa cum laude from Jorma Panula's conducting class at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

Mr. Adelson was also Music Director of Gemini Youth Orchestras from 2003 to 2005, where he led performances at Carnegie Hall and Tilles Center.

Michael Canipe, Conductor, Gemini Concert Winds

A native of North Carolina, Michael Canipe graduated from East Carolina University in 1964 with a B.S. in music education. While pursuing a master's degree in trombone performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music, he studied conducting with James Levine. For the past thirty-five years, Mr. Canipe has been active as both an educator and a professional musician. He was teacher and band director in the Half Hollow Hills School District and retired as Director of Music and Fine Art for the Deer Park Schools in 2001. Mr. Canipe plays principal euphonium for the Queens-based Seuffert Band and the Concert Pops of Long Island. He has performed as trombonist in the North Carolina Symphony and bass trombonist for the Symphony of Long Island.

Mr. Canipe is the founder of the Long Island Tuba Quartet. He has collaborated with both the Orlando Ballet of Huntington and the Circle of Dance Company as orchestral arranger and conductor. He is the founder and conductor of the Gemini Festival Winds, now the Concert Winds. Mr. Canipe served as Music Director of GYO from 2005-2007.

Dr. Andrew Perea, Conductor, Gemini String Orchestra

Dr. Andrew Perea has been in the music profession for over twenty-five years. In that time, he has run the gamut of the music industry. Dr. Perea has conducted symphony orchestras, performed as soloist and concertmaster with various ensembles, taught gifted students publicly and privately ranging from age four to adult, as well as played with many a rock 'n' roll band. He loves every aspect of his work, including writing and arranging music of all styles and cultures. His many collaborations include performances with such legendary artists as Yanni, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, Gunther Schuler, and the world-renowned violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman. Apart from concertising, Dr. Perea enjoys greatly working with young people. He directs a large string program in the South Country Central School District. He was a participant in Training Orchestra, Inc. (later GYO) and has since participated with us as soloist, conductor and coach.

Ms. Yonitte Ryger, Violin Coach, Prelude Ensemble Conductor

Yonitte began soloing with orchestras at age eight and entered The Juilliard School of Music a year later, where she studied with Margaret Pardee and Lewis Kaplan for a total of ten years. During her time at Juilliard, she served as concertmistress for several years and won the Juilliard Concert Competition and the Competition for the Performance of Contemporary Music. A third-generation Juilliard-trained musician, she has performed dozens of concerts in Lincoln Center and other major concert halls as soloist, chamber musician, and concertmistress. Yonitte has also performed at the Salzburg Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and Keshet Eilon Violin Mastercourse in Israel.

Yonitte adores working with children of all ages and has a large private class of young musicians. Due to her interest in education and how to improve our ability to learn, Yonitte studied psychology at Columbia University and has worked with autistic children as well as gifted - and no-less-gifted children labeled as "learning disabled." She performs at selected events when her schedule permits.

Matthew Pierce, Conductor, Gemini Philharmonia Orchestra

Composer-Conductor-Violinist Matthew Pierce is celebrated for his new classical scores commissioned by major American ballet companies. His work has been performed around the country and around the world at City Center in New York, Covent Garden in London and the Palais Garnier in Paris. Mr. Pierce is the conductor of the Five Towns College Chamber Orchestra and Professor of violin and viola. He was the conductor of Montclair State College Preparatory Orchestra for twelve years and the Music Director of the Gemini Youth Orchestra from 2006 - 2008. Trained as a violinist at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, Pierce brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion to the Philharmonia Orchestra.

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