UPDATED 7/29/2011

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July 28, 2011/FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / Photo Attached
Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 770-3337, carpem@uncsa.edu






Michael Dwinell of Asheville


WINSTON-SALEM – Chancellor John Mauceri of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) has announced that Michael Dwinell of Asheville will receive The Leonard Bernstein Excellence Award.

The award was created by Chancellor Mauceri with a gift from Leonard Bernstein’s three children, Jamie, Alexander and Nina, and matched by The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.

Dwinell recently graduated from the UNCSA with a bachelor's degree in oboe performance. In the fall, he will begin pursuing a master's degree in orchestral conducting at UNCSA as a student of Chancellor Mauceri, a world-renowned conductor.

The Leonard Bernstein Excellence Award is given annually to a music student at UNCSA who epitomizes the talent and commitment to society of Leonard Bernstein. Dwinell is the third recipient of the award.

“Leonard Bernstein has always been a hero of mine, not only because of his great success and renown, but because people loved him and wanted to make music with him,” said Dwinell. “His spirit and charisma on and off the podium, the lessons he taught, and the passion with which he came to music have become the rule by which we measure great conductors, great musicians, and great people.

Michael Dwinell
Photo by Steve Davis

Michael Dwinell

“I am deeply honored to have my name listed with his,” Dwinell continued, “and if by any means or measure I can become such a man that leads by the purity of his love for music and is followed for the love he builds in his fellow musicians, I will count all my efforts a success.”

Chancellor Mauceri expressed gratitude for the family’s gift. “Providing assistance for talented, deserving students to continue their study here perpetuates Leonard Bernstein’s commitment to teaching and to the arts,” Mauceri said. For 18 years, Mauceri worked closely with Leonard Bernstein and conducted many of the composer’s premieres at Bernstein’s request.

While pursuing his bachelor’s degree, Dwinell performed with the Western Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, the Piedmont Wind Symphony, NOVUS Chamber Orchestra, and in major UNCSA musical productions including symphony concerts, The Nutcracker, operas with the A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute, and most recently, the all-school production of Oklahoma!

He is a founding member of the Halcyon Winds, a UNCSA-based woodwind quintet which won second place at the national level of the Music Teacher's National Association Chamber Music Competition, and performed widely throughout North Carolina and Virginia. In 2008, Dwinell was an oboe and English horn soloist with the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, and in 2010 he received a Semans Art Fund Grant to attend the South Carolina Conductor's Institute where he studied conducting with Peter Jaffe, Guillermo Scarabino, Paul Vermel, and Donald Protnoy.

At UNCSA, Dwinell received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Music in 2010. His major teachers include Robin Driscoll, Joseph Robinson and John Ellis.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.