Stephanie Childress, conductor
Paul Loren, vocalist Colin Smith, vocalist Zach Jones, drums/vocals Oscar Rodriguez, guitar Cynthia Meng, keyboard Brian Killeen, bass
Program to be announced from the stage.
There will be one intermission.
Second prize winner at the inaugural conducting competition, La Maestra, held in Paris in autumn 2020, Stephanie Childress is making her mark as a conductor and has been likened to “other notable young conductors of the past such as Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Sir Simon Rattle” (Varsity). In the 2020/2021 season, Childress debuted with the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Orchestre de Paris. She began her tenure as Assistant Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in 2021.
Childress established her own ensemble, Orchestra Rheia, in 2019, leading them to make their first public performance of Johannes Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem in May of the same year. She was also appointed to the position of Principal Conductor of the London Lawyers’ Symphony Orchestra for the 2019/2020 season. Other highlights of the season included leading the Chineke! Juniors Orchestra in concerts at the Southbank Centre and covering performances of Giuseppe Verdi’s Luisa Miller at English National Opera for conductor Alexander Joel.
Establishing herself in both symphonic repertoire and opera, Stephanie has already conducted a number of productions, including Jeremy Sams’ The Enchanted Island with the British Youth Opera, Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at St. John’s College (Cambridge), Lennox Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement for the Cambridge University Opera Society, and the world premiere of Anna Semple’s opera The Next Station is Green Park at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Childress is a regular assistant for Sir Simon Rattle and has attended masterclasses with esteemed conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Paavo Järvi, Neeme Järvi, Sian Edwards, Colin Metters, and most recently with Jukka-Pekka Saraste at the LEAD! Festival in Finland.
As a violinist, Childress rose to prominence when she became a finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition in both 2016 and 2018. She was featured in the BBC’s 2019 Proms Launch Video ahead of her Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall with the Southbank Sinfonia and Jessica Cottis. Shortly after, Childress performed alongside the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at Glasgow’s Proms in the Park.
Known not only as a fantastic conductor and violinist, Stephanie is an active supporter of the Tri-borough Music Hub, an award-winning organization for music education. She has taken part in a number of programs with the association, including leading the junior string ensemble at an ‘Artists for Inclusivity’ event and speaking at the Youth Music Conference held at the Royal College of Music in February 2020. Last summer she appeared on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune and BBC Proms Extra, as well as joining adjudicating panels for the RPS Awards (storytelling category) and the Ivor Novello Awards (orchestral category) last September.
Leading a new generation of soulful crooners, Paul Loren is a singer, songwriter, producer, and consummate entertainer.
A native New Yorker, Paul was raised on the rich legacy of soul, classic pop, and the Great American Songbook, and in those musical idioms he feels most at home. Taking elements from early R&B, jazz, and Brill Building pop, he crafts his music with an ear towards timelessness.
“I started singing at 3 years old along with the little 45rpm records my mom would play and started playing piano at 4 years old. The voices I remember most and identify with are Ray Charles, Frankie Valli, Sam Cooke, Sinatra, Aretha, Otis, and Tony Bennett. Growing up in New York, Billy Joel was also a big influence.”
Paul recently completed his first headline tour in 2019, also having performed in the past as a support artist for The Temptations, as part of Stamford’s Summer Concert Series “Wednesday Night Live,” Brendan James, American Idol Winner Taylor Hicks, David Bromberg, and sold out Joe’s Pub at the Public in NYC multiple times. Paul was also selected by Jennifer Lopez to perform at her birthday gala in Las Vegas, showcased at The SoHo House NYC, was a featured artist at the AAA Radio Convention in Boulder Colorado, and shared the stage with Paul Shaffer, Queen Latifah, and Christie Brinkley at Target’s launch event for New York Fashion Week.
Paul’s appearance on “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” showcased his talents for millions of viewers; with a winning song and viral video to boot. In addition, Paul landed his first television sync recently on NBC’s “Mysteries of Laura,” performed on the nationally syndicated radio show “America Weekend” with Ed Kalegi, has partnered with The Ryan Seacrest Foundation, showcased at the headquarters of the world-renowned Leo Burnett Ad in Chicago, and had the unique honor of performing at the legendary STAX Museum in Memphis Tennessee. While in Memphis, Paul had the rare opportunity to record in the world-renowned Sun Studio in the same room as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and so many other pioneers of rock and roll. Paul was also a finalist in the “Unsigned Only” singer songwriter competition for 2018.
His debut single, “All By Myself,” was supported by radio stations Lighting100 in Nashville, SiriusXM’s The Pulse, WCOO Charleston and KPND Spokane, among others. His follow up single, titled “I Know A Place” premiered on Huffington Post and received rave reviews along with over 200,000 views in its first week.
Paul’s latest single, “We’ll Be Together Again,” written and recorded at home during the early spring of 2020, continues to be a beacon of hope for those affected by the uncertainty of a tumultuous year. All of the proceeds from the song have been sent to a COVID-19 relief charity. During the pandemic’s first wave, Paul’s weekly online music show, “The Leisure Lounge,” was live streamed from his home in New York City and ran for 15 consecutive weeks, broadcasting to thousands of viewers around the world.
With a career spanning over 20 years, Irish-born Colin Smith has led a musical life as varied as it is impressive. With his former band MrNorth, while on RCA, they toured extensively with the likes of The Who, Van Halen, Sheryl Crow, and Journey, among many others. As a solo artist, songs from his two records have been licensed to movies and television alike. Colin has been seen in live collaborations with Alicia Keys and has worked multiple times on Saturday Night Live as the featured vocal talent. Colin has most recently been seen touring with Christina Aguilera, duetting with her on the Grammy-winning “Say Something” to audiences across the globe, as well as performing background vocals for the show. Colin splits his time between New York and Los Angeles.
Zach Jones is a drummer, singer, songwriter, and producer from Brooklyn, New York. Zach has shared the stage and studio with Sting, A Great Big World, Elle King, Marc Broussard, Liz Longley, and many others. He also writes and records music with his own group, Zach Jones & the Tricky Bits. A lifelong Beatlemaniac, Zach is honored to help bring this timeless music to life. Keep up with him on Instagram at @zachjonesmusic. Endless love and thanks to Mom, Dad, Natalie, and Hannah. Ram on.
Oscar Albis Rodriguez is a producer, engineer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter. He grew up in Rhode Island, graduated with a jazz guitar degree from New York University, and made Brooklyn his home base in 2000. Since then, he’s played every DIY venue and basement in North America with his punk/hardcore bands De La Hoya and Nakatomi Plaza, freelanced with innumerable singer/songwriters and bands, performed in Broadway musicals (most notably Hedwig & The Angry Inch), and toured the world with the Grammy Award–winning duo A Great Big World.
Oscar started producing and engineering at Russell Street Recording in 2013, and soon after began collaborating with Zach Jones. Since then, the two have played in each other’s bands (Albis and Zach Jones & The Tricky Bits) and have co-produced records for artists such as Jenny Owen Youngs, Elizabeth Wyld, Hannah Winkler, Talay, Jesse Dylan & The Scaredy Cats, and A Great Big World. On his own, Oscar’s production credits include Jukebox The Ghost, Jon The Guilt, and Rikki Will. He’s also written and produced hundreds of songs for the YouTube Audio Library, the Facebook Sound Collection, Marmoset Music, Premium Beat, and is a co-founder of the music/media collective Track Tribe.
Cynthia Meng is a New York–based music director and pianist. Broadway credits include: Company (2020 revival) and Hadestown. Other recent favorites: The Last Five Years (Out of the Box Theatrics), We’re Gonna Die (Second Stage), Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Frozen (first national tour), Moulin Rouge (Emerson Colonial), In The Green (Lincoln Center Theatre), Lempicka (developmental lab), and Witness Uganda (Wallis Annenberg Center). As a composer, she has been featured at 54 Below and The New York Musical Theatre Festival. She also moonlights as a software engineer, and is currently working on SPIRITED, a Christmas movie featuring Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds
Brian Killeen is a New York City bassist that has enjoyed performing with many inspiring artists. Some of his favorite musical situations have included sharing stages with Chuck Loeb, Jarle Bernhoft, Liz Longley, A Great Big World, and Joe Sumner, as well as various on and off-Broadway theatrical productions. He is thrilled to be a part of Revolution: The Music of The Beatles.