Composer and saxophonist Matthew Evan Taylor (1980) has been hailed as “a promising new voice” (Lawrence Budmen, Miami Herald) and a “risk taker” (Neil De La Flor, Huffington Post) whose music is “insistent and defiant…envelopingly hypnotic” (Alan Young, Lucid Culture).
A southern kid who worshipped at the altar of Cannonball Adderly, Ornette Coleman, Carla Bley and Charles Mingus, Matthew’s music has been performed across the United States and Europe by such ensembles as the Cleveland Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Metropolis Ensemble, the Imani Winds, and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. As a performer, Matthew has worked with musicians Elliott Sharp, Marilyn Crispell, Tatsuya Nakatani, Taylor Ho Bynum, Mary Halvorson; visual artists Will Kasso Condry, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and Dannielle Tegeder; and dancers Katherine Kramer, Sara Shelton, Laurel Jenkins, and Lida Winfield.
Matthew has developed a dedicated following for his #project39 series on Instagram and Facebook. In December 2019, on his 39th birthday, Matthew pledged to improvise for at least 39 seconds for a year. This series has yielded the album Say Their Names, seven improvised reactions to the events of May 29 – June 5, the early days of the renewed Black Lives Matters protests. Self-released on Bandcamp on June 6th, the proceeds have gone directly to such racial justice organizations as Black Lives Matter Global Organization and the Equal Justice Initiative.
Matthew has also partnered with the Metropolis Ensemble and New Amsterdam Records to release his epic The Unheard Mixtapes. Another product of #project39, this 5-EP series represents a journey inward and Matthew’s struggle to cope with isolation in a time when it was never more important to join in solidarity with people. The first installment, The Unheard Mixtape 1: Follow to the End was released September 29, 2020, with each installment thereafter released monthly. All albums will be on Bandcamp, courtesy of New Amsterdam Records.
Matthew is currently based in Vermont. He is Assistant Professor of Music at Middlebury College.
Monteverdi Music School is graced with the addition of two new faculty members! Please join us in welcoming Erin Eberhardt and Jesse Metzler! We're very excited to round out our brass and percussion departments with these highly qualified and talented instructors!
Erin teaches horn, percussion, and piano, and also specializes in working with kids with special needs. You will find Erin's bio linked here.
Jesse Metzler teaches trombone and low brass. You can find Jesse's bio here.
Dear Friends of Monteverdi,
Wow - what a challenging year 2020 has been for us all! COVID-19 has hit the performing arts world hard! That's especially so for arts and music education organizations like Monteverdi which depend on people gathering together in small studio classes for practices and performances. While our faculty and students have persevered with virtual lessons and recitals, the impact to our budget has been severe, since a great deal of our revenue depends on teachers renting space in our building. We are thankful to teachers who have maintained their memberships with Monteverdi, and some who have continued to pay rent even while they cannot use the building for lessons.
The stay-at-home order in March was a shock to all of us, and for Monteverdi teachers, a sudden shove onto the learning curve of how to teach via Zoom or FaceTime or other online platforms. The faculty came together to share technical knowledge and we started to get back on our feet in the late
spring, though only in a virtual way.
Lisa Carlson, who has taken on the role of programming consultant, put together our faculty recital in a virtual format in May. The program was a lovely and diverse collection of performances by our highly professional teaching faculty. She also organized online student recitals starting in May, which have continued this fall. A holiday themed recital (virtual) is planned for a local assisted living facility. Lisa has also led the way in upgrading our website and starting a blog, with entries
from Ron Thompson, Erik Nielsen and others. Check them out if you haven’t seen them. With these upgrades, Lisa started a campaign to reconceive our logo, including a community competition; work to develop design concepts is ongoing.
Financially, Monteverdi has survived thus far, with the help of a small Economic Recovery Grant from the State of Vermont. We have applied for additional recovery grant funds and have cut back expenses wherever possible. Donations from our supporters, however, are urgently needed to ensure that we can make it through this pandemic.
With your financial gift now, we can continue our efforts to keep music education, faculty and student connections and virtual performance opportunities moving forward, while we plan for the days, hopefully in 2021, when we can once again teach in person and enjoy live performances.
We are so grateful for your support. May you find peace, calm and connection in new and different ways this holiday season.
President, MMS Board of Directors
Monteverdi Music School has been a center for music lessons and music activity in Central Vermont for 26 years, and now establishing its outreach to the online community!