Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service – 2021 Awardees
We congratulate the Ford Musician Awardees!
They work with both adults and children in a rich variety of community settings: using music as a therapeutic tool for adults with severe and persistent mental health challenges; providing pop-up concerts during food bank distributions; bringing orchestra musicians to a regional hospital and the many constituents it serves; organizing front-porch private violin lessons and schoolyard group classes during the pandemic to breach the digital divide; and bringing the joy of music to toddlers and their families.
The five 2021 Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service honorees and their orchestras are:
Sean Claire, Violin, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Knoxville Symphony Orchestra’s Music & Wellness program
Since 1990, Sean Claire has been a core member of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra; during his tenure he has served in a variety of roles including Acting Principal Second Violin and Acting Associate Concertmaster, which included an extended period as Concertmaster. He has appeared as soloist with the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra numerous times and also holds the distinction of being the first of a select group of solo performers in the KSO’s Music and Wellness program. In addition, Claire holds the position of Concertmaster with the Symphony of the Mountains (Kingsport, TN) and has appeared there several times as soloist. His position at the Symphony of the Mountains, along with his extensive orchestral and teaching experience, led to a temporary position at East Tennessee State University (2015-16) as Instructor of Violin and Viola, and Chamber Music Coach. Some of his other orchestral credits include the Nashville Chamber Orchestra (TN), the Bryan Symphony Orchestra in Cookeville (TN), the Syracuse Symphony (NY), and the Asheville Symphony (NC).
“Whether providing a conduit for a patient and family member to connect during a stressful time, helping someone to focus on something other than pain, or assisting a brain injury patient to complete more repetitions of an exercise to match the tempo of the music—these musical interactions help patients to heal.”Sean Claire
Jeremy Crosmer, Cello, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s partnership with Kadima Mental Health Services’ Creative Expressions Program
JeremyCrosmer is a remarkable young artist, both as a cellist and a composer. Crosmer completed multiple graduate degrees from the University of Michigan in cello, composition, and theory pedagogy, and received his D.M.A. in 2012 at age 24. From 2012 to 2017 he served as the Assistant Principal Cellist in the Grand Rapids Symphony, and joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in May of 2017. He is the composer and arranger for the GRS Music for Health Initiative, and also a key member of the DSO’s partnership with Kadima Mental Health Services. Crosmer is a founding member of the modern music ensemble Latitude 49, and a current member of the band ESME, a pop-classical mash-up duo that released its first CD in December of 2016. Crosmer was awarded the prestigious Theodore Presser Graduate Music Award to publish, record, and perform his Crosmer-Popper duets. In 2021, Crosmer created a database of free, digital editions of music by Classical Black Composers, arranged or transcribed for string quartet, with over 33 pieces available on his website. Crosmer has taught music theory, pre-calculus, and cello at universities across Michigan.
“With the DSO/Kadima partnership, I am blessed to be able to serve the mental health community. We foster a positive atmosphere by accessing participants at their level in the comfort of their facility or homes, and we also elevate them through collaboration and showcasing at our concert hall and online.”Jeremy Crosmer
Lorien Benet Hart, Violin, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s partnership with 412 Food Rescue
Violinist Lorien Benet Hart has been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2001. Her previous positions include Assistant Concertmaster in both the Charlotte and Windsor Symphony Orchestras. The summers often find her in Jackson Hole, where she has been a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival since 1995. Hart holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters of Music degree from the University of Michigan. She has studied under Murray Adaskin, Sidney Humphreys, Anne Crowden, Emanuel Hurwitz, and Paul Kantor. A passionate teacher and active volunteer, Hart lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, Chris, and their two children, Abigail and Jonah.
“It is amazing to feed both the body and the soul of our fellow Pittsburghers, young, old, and all ages in between. We have had people dance, sing, cry, and even beatbox with us… each an indelible memory to remind us of the power of live music.”Lorien Benet Hart
Miho Hashizume, Violin, The Cleveland Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra’s violin program at Mound Elementary School in the Slavic Village neighborhood (front-porch private violin lessons and schoolyard group classes during the pandemic)
Born and raised in Tokyo, Miho Hashizume joined The Cleveland Orchestra in 1995, after serving as a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. A member of the first violin section, she also is a longtime member of Apollo’s Fire/The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra and has appeared as a soloist with the group at festivals in Aspen, Boston, Detroit, and Indianapolis. Hashizume has a passion for sharing music with the community through The Cleveland Orchestra’s education programs and, since 2012, has served as Concertmaster with CityMusic Cleveland, regularly performing free concerts in under-resourced communities. Hashizume performs with Cleveland Orchestra colleagues in the Amici String Quartet and has taught at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and coached students at Case Western Reserve University.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit…The Mound School shifted online–a change that was necessary for safe learning but challenging for working parents without childcare, and students without WiFi, computers, or internet access…. I quickly learned that Cleveland’s digital divide is a huge issue. I started organizing front-porch private lessons and schoolyard group classes for the students. Working closely with the students and their families last summer gave me a deeper understanding of the enormous stress the parents face every day.”Miho Hashizume
John Turman, Horn, Seattle Symphony
Tiny Tots early-childhood education series and Tiny Clips for Tiny Tots online program
John Turman joined the Seattle Symphony in the fall of 2015 as Third Horn. Prior to becoming a member of the Seattle Symphony, Turman was awarded the position of Principal Horn of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in the spring of 2015. During the 2013-2014 season, Turman performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra as Acting Third Horn. Additionally, he has performed with the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Austin Symphony, and the Austin Lyric Opera. In addition to his orchestral playing, Turman is a dedicated chamber musician, music educator, and producer. He is the host and executive producer of the Seattle Symphony’s early music education program Tiny Tots, as well as its online companion program, Tiny Clips for Tiny Tots. He is also the founder and executive producer of Horn Hippie Media LLC, an independent digital media company that serves education departments in orchestras across America. Originally from Austin, Texas, Turman received his degree in Horn Performance from Rice University in 2015 where he studied under William VerMeulen. In his free time, Turman enjoys powerlifting, video games, and playing jazz guitar.
“I believe this work is making a difference in children’s lives by bringing them comfort and joy with music as the conduit. That is what makes the biggest difference in our community. With the ongoing restrictions on large gatherings here in Washington (state), it is more important than ever to connect with our youngest learners and remind them that there is still happiness to experience, songs to sing, and music to be made.”John Turman
Banner: Nurses and staff in the neonatal intensive care unit at UT Medical Center continue their work while Knoxville Symphony Orchestra violinist Sean Claire plays his music. Courtesy of Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Photo credits: Sean Claire (Knoxville Symphony Orchestra); Jeremy Crosmer (Jon Clay); Lorien Benet Hart (Karissa Shivone); Miho Hashizume (Roger Mastroianni Photography); John Turman (Richie Hawley)