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USM School of Music Faculty Win Awards

Fri, 04/30/2021 - 10:02am | By: Mike Lopinto

Dr. Danilo Mezzadri and Dr. Dannel EspinozaUniversity of Southern Mississippi School of Music faculty members, Dr. Danilo Mezzadri and Dr. Dannel Espinoza, have received a Creative Activity grant through the College of Arts and Sciences.

Mezzadri is spearheading an international commission for a major concerto for flute and wind ensemble by the Spanish composer Jose I. Blesa-Lull. Espinoza is leading a consortium to fund the creation of a concerto for Baritone Saxophone and Wind Ensemble.

“These are two shining examples of our exceptional School of Music faculty,” said Dr. Jay Dean, director of the school. “Their creativity and innovation inspire us all and is an asset to our community.”

Mezzadri’s project is a flute concerto entitled “Legends.” Inspired by three different deities who have a strong relationship with the flute, Pan, Krishna, and Ehecatl, the concerto will be premiered by Mezzadri and the USM Wind Ensemble next fall.

Espinoza’s project is entitled “Big B.” The concerto will pay homage to the vintage saxophones that are paramount to the traditional school of thought set by Sigurd Rascher that has been followed by the USM saxophone studio for more than 50 years.  The specific inclusion of the baritone saxophone is important, as there is little in the current literature for this instrument and wind band. The concerto will be premiered by Espinoza and the USM Wind Ensemble in Spring, 2022.

International prizewinner Mezzadri is flute professor at Southern Miss and founder of International Flute Workshop in Italy and Southern Flute Festival in the United States. He has been featured as a soloist with more than forty ensembles worldwide. Mezzadri has a “glowing, golden tone,” “vivid musicality” (Fanfare Magazine), and his “dexterity is enviable” (British Flute Society). He is principal flute soloist with Golf Coast and North Mississippi Symphony Orchestras. Mezzadri is the creator of the Spider Log interleaved practice system.

Described as having an “effective sense of phrasing and dynamic sensitivity” (Florida Classical Review), saxophonist Espinoza is an award-winning soloist and chamber musician.  Assistant professor of saxophone at USM, Espinoza is a founding member, and soprano saxophonist, of the award-winning saxophone quartet Project Fusion. He is a D’Addario Performing Artist and has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

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