Mead Witter School of Music is pleaded to announce that Peter Dominguez (Double Bass), Conor Nelson (Flute), and Brandon Quarles (Classical Saxophone) have each accepted faculty appointments beginning this fall. In addition, Mariana Farah (Choirs) will begin her appointment as Director of Choral Studies in August 2021.

Peter Dominguez

Peter Dominguez grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin participating in the Music for Youth Orchestras, and performing with his father, pianist and singer Frank DeMiles. His teachers included Willard Feldman and Clyde Russell, Peter went on to study with Roger Ruggeri and Richard Davis at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he earned his baccalaureate and masters degrees with a teaching assistantship 1980-82.

In 1981 he was the first recipient of the Milton J. Hinton scholarship competition award.  A teaching assistantship and doctoral studies with Dr. Lucas Drew at the University of Miami, Coral Gables followed in 1982-84. Eventually securing positions in both the Florida Philharmonic and Michigan State University, Peter chose MSU, served as Professor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies 1984-96, and was instrumental in developing their Jazz Studies program.  During his Michigan years, he continued studies with Robert Gladstone and performed with the Detroit Symphony.

The former Principal Bass with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra and the American Sinfonietta, Peter served as Professor of Jazz Studies and Double Bass at Oberlin Conservatory of Music from 1996-2020 and directed the Oberlin Jazz Septet.

Peter Dominguez
Professor of Double Bass and Jazz
Email: pdominguez@wisc.edu

Full bio

His teaching activities include national and international classes, International Society of Bassists conferences, adjudication of international competitions, artistic direction of the Richard Davis Foundation for Young Bassist Inc annual conference in Madison Wisconsin, and the director of the bieannial Milt Hinton Institute for Studio Bass at Oberlin Conservatory.

Conor Nelson

Conor Nelson gave his New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and has appeared frequently as soloist and recitalist throughout the United States and abroad. Solo engagements include performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and numerous other orchestras. The only wind player to win the Grand Prize at the WAMSO Young Artist Competition, he also won first prize at the William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition. In addition, he received top prizes at the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition, the Haynes International Flute Competition as well as the Fischoff, Coleman, and Yellow Springs chamber music competitions.

Conor Nelson
Assistant Professor of Flute
Email: crnelson24@wisc.edu

Full bio

A recital at the Tokyo Opera City Hall with percussionist Ayano Kataoka received numerous broadcasts on NHK Television. Their CD entitled, Breaking Training was released on New Focus Recordings (NYC). His second CD, Nataraja with pianist Thomas Rosenkranz is also available on New Focus.

Prior to his most recent appointment in the Mead Witter School of Music at UW-Madison, Conor served as the flute professor at Bowling Green State University for nine years and at Oklahoma State University from 2007-2011. He has given master classes at over one hundred colleges and universities. His former students can be found performing in orchestras, as well as teaching at colleges, universities, and public schools nationwide. They have amassed over sixty prizes in young artist competitions, concerto competitions, and flute association competitions.

He received degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, Yale University, and Stony Brook University where he was the winner of the school-wide concerto competitions at all three institutions. He is currently the Principal Flutist of the New Orchestra of Washington (D.C.). His teachers include Carol Wincenc, Ransom Wilson, Linda Chesis, Susan Hoeppner, and Amy Hamilton. He is looking forward to performing with the Wingra Wind Quintet at UW. Dr. Nelson is an artist for Powell Flutes.

Brandon Quarles

Brandon Quarles is the Associate Lecturer of Classical Saxophone at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and he is the Executive Director and soprano saxophonist of ~Nois, a Chicago-based saxophone quartet that defies categorization by working at the junction of contemporary classical music and experimental improvisation.

Founded in 2016, ~Nois (pronounced “noise”) has quickly emerged as one of the premier young ensembles in the United States. Known for its “masterclass-level demonstrations of precise articulations and glowing legatos” (I Care if You Listen), “truly innovative musicianship,” and “raw creativity” (Cacophony Magazine), ~Nois has been awarded prizes at prestigious chamber music competitions including the Sec-ond Prize in the Open Division of the 2018 M-Prize International Chamber Arts Com-petition and the Silver Medal at the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

Brandon is also active as a soloist, chamber musician, and improviser. He made his orchestral debut in 2015 performing as a soloist with the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra as a winner of its annual Concerto Competition.

Brandon Quarles
Associate Lecturer of Classical Saxophone
Email: bquarles@wisc.edu

Full bio

He has performed with chamber groups such as Eighth Blackbird, Ensemble Dal Niente, and the Zafa Collec-tive, and orchestras such as the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, and the Northwest Indiana Symphony.

Since 2014, Brandon has given the world premiere of over 50 works for the saxophone and continues to bring new music to the world through his own improvisational practice. In addition to performing on and teaching the saxophone, Brandon recently designed and taught an undergraduate course on the music and history of the Beatles at Northwestern University. Since his teenage years, Brandon has been making music in the pop/rock idiom as a performer on saxophone, vocals, guitars, and keyboards and as a songwriter/arranger.

Mariana Farah

Mariana Farah is the Associate Director of Choral Activities at the University of Kansas, where she teaches courses in graduate choral literature and conducting, directs the KU Concert Choir and Women’s Chorale, and helps oversee all aspects of the choral program. Born in Brazil, Farah received her Bachelor of Music from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Master’s degree from the University of Iowa, and her DMA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her choirs have successfully performed at the Missouri and Kansas Music Educators Association conventions and at the 2008 and 2018 Southwestern ACDA conferences.

Mariana Farah
Director of Choral Studies
Appointment begins August 2021

Full bio

Farah’s research focuses on Brazilian choral music, particularly the a cappella choral works of Ernani Aguiar (b.1950). Her edition of Aguiar’s Três Motetinos No.2 has been published by Earthsongs, and she expects to introduce more of his music to the United States through performances, recordings, editions, and future publications of his unknown choral literature.

In addition to her work at KU, Farah maintains an active schedule as a clinician for festivals in Brazil and in the U.S., where she is often sought out for her expertise in Brazilian choral music. She has presented at several conferences for the National Association for Music Education and the American Choral Directors Association. Recent engagements include appearances as a conductor at the 2019 Northwest Kansas Music Educators Association High School Honor Choir, the 2018 Southwestern ACDA conference, 2016 & 2014 Kansas Music Educators Association Convention, Universidade de São Paulo-Ribeirão Preto, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Festival de Música de Londrina, Adams State Honor Choir Festival, the 2015 Kantorei Summer Choral Institute, a residency with the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, and the 2014 Idaho All State Treble Choir.