The Fifth Annual Cascade Conducting Masterclass with Sarah Ioannides has received unprecedented interested from talented conductors from around the world including applicants from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Equador. Many of these exciting young conductors want to attend, but will be unable to do so without financial assistance. Because of this, Maestra Sarah Ioannides, music director of Symphony Tacoma and Cascade Conducting, has taken it upon herself to run a full marathon to raise money to give these emerging conductors the opportunity to attend this special event.
The marathon will take place on Sunday 12th June. Our goal is time sensitive to enable participants to attend Cascade Conducting.
Contributors to this campaign will have the opportunity to help students attend this special event which could have significant impact on their ability to thrive as musicians in the classical music world.
With the motto of "Excellence through Equity," Cascade Conducting is dedicated to bringing world- class musical education to talented and diverse musicians from the US and around the world. Conceived by Paula Madrigal, Teo Benson, and Sarah Ioannides in 2017, Cascade Conducting is officially a program of Orquesta Northwest, a 501(c)3 non-profit.
Since 2018, Cascade Conducting has given out 25 full tuition scholarships equaling more than $40,000 to exceptional young conducting students, with a focus on engaging talented BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) musicians who may not have access to traditional conducting opportunities.
A unique pedagogical philosophy has formed the mission for Cascade Conducting, which seeks to provide a unique map for navigating the world of music and conducting, and to find balance between the demands of the business, and the preservation of one’s individual musicianship as a necessity to achieve excellence.
In 2020, in a partnership with Symphony Tacoma, Cascade Conducting teamed up with Symphony Tacoma composer in residence, and now Dean of the School of Music at Julliard, David Ludwig to create the first Cascade Composers Workshop with David Ludwig, and culminated in the performance of "The Final Conquest" presented by Symphony Tacoma. In this concert, Cascade Conductors led Symphony Tacoma in a performance of the compositions created for the purpose of the workshop by participants of the Cascade Composers Workshop. This performance was recorded at Pantages Theater, the home of Symphony Tacoma, and is available to view on the Symphony Tacoma YouTube page.
This year Cascade Conducting has teamed up with Dr. Geoffrey Boers, music director of Symphony Tacoma Voices to present the first Cascade Conducting Choral Masterclass with Geoffrey Boers. The orchestral masterclass with Sarah Ioannides and the Choral Masterclass with Geoffrey Boers, as well as the third Cascade Composers Workshop will run simultaneously the week of June 27th- July 2nd 2022, giving participants from each class the opportunity to learn from different teachers and disciplines at the Fifth Annual Cascade Conducting Masterclass with Sarah Ioannides.
Led by primarily Latinx staff and board, Orquesta Northwest has worked to promote a sense of belonging and empowerment in Seattle-area Latino community members, beginning with the arrival of Paula Nava Madrigal, professional cellist, and conductor from Guadalajara. In collaboration with a local nonprofit providing instruction, without charge, to under-served youth, she launched the World Youth Orchestra program the same year. In 2015 Ms. Madrigal and Teo Benson, professional violinist and founder and Director of Halcyon Strings Music School, co-founded the Ballard Civic Orchestra and began offering annual Latino arts and culture concert series featuring Latinx guest artists and composers. In 2019 Orquesta Northwest became a 501c3 nonprofit organization, presenting World Youth Orchestra and Ballard Civic Orchestra arts and culture programs and projects and offering an annual Master Class by a new Cascade Conducting program in partnership with Symphony Tacoma. Orquesta Northwest collaborates and partners with other Seattle-area Latino organizations, such as the Consulate of Mexico in Seattle, Casa Latina, Latino Community Fund, and SeaMar Museum of Chicano/a Latino/a Culture, to present Latino arts and culture events and youth educational programming without charge.
The programs and projects of Orquesta Northwest serve as a bridge to excellence in every dimension of life by celebrating Latino arts and culture, empowering marginalized community members, especially youth, and building partnerships and deepening ties with the Latino community. In 2022 Orquesta Northwest social justice projects include voter education, community messaging about the pandemic and vaccination, a celebration of Latinx essential workers, youth cultural education, and capacity-building to achieve equitable access to space in Seattle.
Orquesta Northwest is supported by city, county, state, and federal grants as well as foundations and individuals, including the National Association of Latino Arts & Culture (NALAC), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Tides Foundation, 4Culture (King County), ArtsWA, Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture and Neighborhood Matching Fund, and Equitable Communities Initiative.