Courtesy of Danae Vlasse
After graduating from the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH), part of the University of Alabama System, in 2003 with a degree in piano performance, DanaÃ« Xanthe Vlasse pursued her compositional aspirations. musical in Los Angeles, California, where she experiences a level of success that many musicians only dream of. His most recent album of original compositions and performances has received critical acclaim and is in consideration for our nation’s biggest musical award, a GRAMMY. This success, says Vlasse, would not have been possible without the education and support she received at the UAH.
Vlasse cites her teachers during her time at UAH as being deeply influential, both on her technical abilities as a musician, as well as on her self-confidence as a performer and composer. âI am so grateful for the foundation and the friendships I found during my undergraduate years,â she shares. âI wasn’t sure I wanted to continue with performance as I neared graduation, but my teachers believed in me and helped me pursue my passions beyond college. I still stay. in contact with them. “
Courtesy of Danae Vlasse
Dr Carolyn Sanders, music teacher and one of Vlasse’s mentors, applauds Vlasse’s talent and success: âAs a student at UAH, Danae possessed the gifts of musical talent and academic talent. She has had a series of stellar accomplishments in both musical composition and educational worlds since graduating from UAH, reflecting her extraordinary abilities, as well as her desire to give back to the world in a way. meaningful and meaningful. “
With this conviction, Vlasse established a career as a composer collaborating with musicians from all over the world. Most recently, she released “Mythologies”, a classic vocal album inspired by her father, who was the son of a fisherman and grew up on the Greek island of Ithaca. “Penelope”, one of the tracks from the album, will be featured on the PBS special “Front and Center”, airing on September 19, 2021. Frequent collaborator and soprano Sangeeta Kaur will perform the piece, accompanied by the award-winning soprano by GRAMMY Hila Plitmann, violinist Caroline Cambell and pianist Robert Thies.
This most recent album is one of 11 she’s written solo or in collaboration, but this one, reveals Vlasse, is the culmination of everything she’s learned as a musician. âEverything I’ve done as a musician has led me to this,â she says proudly. “This is my crowning glory.” And critics have taken note; “Mythologies” is currently under study for a GRAMMY in the classical field.
In addition to composing, Vlasse leads the way by teaching and inspiring the next generation of musicians. In 2005, she moved to Los Angeles and opened Music Vision Studios, where she teaches piano, theory, and composition to students aged seven to 89. Even during the pandemic, Vlasse persevered; she teaches her students through Zoom and says that while online education is a challenge, her students are thriving. She has several students who graduated from her studio to further their pursuit of music in higher education. And, Vlasse points out, there is a lot to be gained from music education.
Courtesy of Danae Vlasse
âKids who study music do much better in all areas of schoolwork, at all levels,â she notes. “They can learn language patterns, they understand structure, they learn empathy and collaboration, and they develop leadership skills – all of which apply to a variety of career paths.”
These benefits, says Vlasse, are why giving to the arts is so important. During the pandemic, Vlasse says she and her colleagues suffered both professional and personal challenges as concerts and performances were canceled. âIt’s a challenge to discover your identity when you’re not on stage,â she says. âI don’t remember a time when I wasn’t a musician. When you can’t play, it’s devastating. That is why, says Vlasse, it is imperative that the public now enthusiastically and passionately support the rejuvenation of the arts. âBuying tickets or making a donation is so important. “
This need for strong support, says Vlasse, extends to students in higher education performing arts programs. She recalls that as a recipient of scholarships, including the Verna and Gerald Smith Memorial Scholarship, the financial burden of attending school was lightened, especially during his freshman year of college when he it’s hard to get used to the exciting and sometimes overwhelming news. changes in college experience. “I was able to work less in my first year, and the scholarships helped cover book fees and costs.” This gift of time was crucial; Vlasse notes that it was not unusual for her to train for three or more hours a night to prepare for the next day. His hard work paid off; Vlasse graduated summa cum laude.
Vlasse’s continued success is built on the education and support she received at UAH. âMy teachers have stayed with me throughout my career and have been a source of trust. Everything I did as an undergrad was the foundation for everything to move forward. When you work hard and feel the support of the institution behind you, it makes a huge difference.
Your donation today feeds the stars of tomorrow. When you donate to the Endowment Fund to Support the Performing Arts by December 3, you can double your impact with a matching $ 10,000 donation from an anonymous donor.