GUEST ARTISTS

LEONARD HAYES

PIANIST

Piano Concerto in One Movement

Florence Price

March 2022 Concert

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Pianist Leonard Hayes is a doctoral student at the University of Southern California. Previously, Leonard
served as the Head of Piano Studies and Assistant Director in the Music Conservatory at the Booker T.
Washington HSPVA (Dallas, TX).


Leonard is a winner of numerous national piano competitions including first prize in the 2015 National
Piano Competition sponsored by the National Association of Negro Musicians. As recitalist and chamber
musician, Mr. Hayes has performed across the U.S. and abroad which include notable venues such as
Sweelinkzaal at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Wisconsin Union Theater, Dorothy Chandler
Pavilion, Hammond Hall at the Winspear Opera House, Steinway Hall, Hatch Hall and Kilbourn Hall
(Eastman School of Music), Memorial Chapel (Lawrence University), Ayers Recital Hall (Texas
Lutheran University) and Thrasher Opera House (Green Lake, WI). As a scholar, Leonard was awarded
the prestigious 2015 Links Scholarship. The award, a cooperative effort between the Rochester, New
York Chapter, The Links, Incorporated and the Eastman School of Music, recognizes and celebrates the
extraordinary talent of an African-American scholar-musician.


A deeply committed teacher, Leonard’s former students have been accepted into undergraduate music
programs such as the University of Texas at Austin, University of North Texas, Peabody Conservatory,
Berklee College of Music, Belmont University, Loyola University and University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
His students have participated in summer music programs at the Interlochen Center for the Arts High
School Piano Institute and the Miami Summer Music Festival. During the 2016-2017 School Year, the
Booker T. Washington Piano Program achieved excellent ratings at the Texas State UIL Solo and
Ensemble. Mr. Hayes’s students have been selected to perform in master classes for world renowned
pianists such as Alexander Kobrin, Pamela Paul, Gustavo Romero, Artina McCain, and Daria Rabotkina.


In 2017, Leonard received the distinction as a Steinway & Sons Educational Partner; and received the
Steinway’s prestigious 2017 Top Teacher Award for his commitment to piano education in the Dallas
community.


Leonard received a High School Diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy. He holds a Bachelor of
Music Degree from the Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University with additional studies at the
Conservatorium van Amsterdam; and a Master of Music Degree from the Eastman School of Music.

 

JORDAN THOMAS

HARPIST

Harp Concerto

Alberto Ginastera

June 2022 Concert

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International winner Jordan Thomas has been described as “a profoundly intelligent musician, capable of being both sensitive and powerful.”


After starting piano lessons at age 5 and harp at age 9, he was thoroughly committed to music. Jordan joined the Keystone State Boys Choir at age 10 touring all 7 continents, being constantly exposed to musical excellence in many styles all around the globe. By the time he was in high school he was an award-winning harpist of considerable stature, winning regional and national gold medals in the NAACP ACT-SO Competitions as well as awards from the local American Harp Society competitions. Jordan appeared as soloist for multiple concerto appearances with orchestras in the tristate area.

At the start of his studies at Peabody Institute of Music, he was appointed principal harpist of all the orchestras at the institution. He also took part in masterclasses with Natalia Shamayeva, Sivan Magen Jana Bouskova, Susan Mcdonald, Judy Loman, Elizabeth Hainen and Dan Yu.  By his junior year he embarked on his first multi-state solo concert tour, and was the only harpist invited to play in the Kennedy Center Conservatory Marathon Project.


Jordan would later attend the Aspen Music Festival, working with Nancy Allen and Gillian Stella Bennet.  He has been featured on several professional recordings, most recently with the Keystone State Boys Choir in a performance of the Britten Ceremony of Carols, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

In the Spring of 2013 he won first place in the American Protégé International Concerto Competition, and performed the third movement of the challenging Ginastera Harp Concerto in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in March 2013. That same year, he was invited to appear as a guest artist on the Composer’s Forum of the USA International Harp Competition.


Jordan received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Performance at the Peabody Institute, and he now resides in Chicago where he attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts and completed a Professional Diploma in Orchestral Studies under the guidance of Lynn Williams, principal harpist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.


Jordan premiered the Appetite Concert for Harp and Wind Symphony with the Chicago Wind Philharmonic and as a member of the Matt Jones Orchestra, he has worked with and recorded with award-winning artists such as Grammy Award-winner Kirk Franklin.


Jordan was selected to be a guest soloist for the World Harp Congress Hong Kong in a presentation of the Composition Forum, and held the principal harpist position of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.