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Department of Music

Ann Danis

Ann Danis

Professor of Music
Director of Orchestral Activities

Phone: 401.874.2764

Conductor, University Symphony Orchestra; applied violin and viola, orchestral conducting, music fundamentals, string pedagogy, string methods, chamber music

Master of Music in Violin Performance, New England Conservatory of Music
Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance, New England Conservatory of Music

ANN DANIS is Professor of Music and the Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Rhode Island. She is in demand as a performer on violin and viola, clinician, and as a guest conductor throughout the country. She founded the Ocean State Chamber Orchestra in 1991 and the Ocean State Youth Orchestra in 1999 and served as the Artistic Director and Conductor for both organizations. Ann has served as an assistant conductor for the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the conductor of the Philharmonic's Senior Youth Orchestra. Locally, she has also conducted the Festival Ballet of Providence Orchestra, Ocean State Lyric Opera, Claflin Hill Symphony, the Franklin School for the Performing Arts Orchestra, and many joint endeavors between her professional chamber orchestra and organizations such as Sine Nomine, Schola Cantorum of Boston, Brown University Chorus, South County Chamber Singers, among others. She has been a member of orchestras throughout the country as well as several professional chamber ensembles.

Ms. Danis graduated with High Honors from the New England Conservatory of Music where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in violin performance. Her principle teachers at NEC were George Zazofsky and Joseph Silverstein. She was a Graduate Assistant in early music and worked with such notables as Daniel Pinkham, Rudolph Kolisch, James Pappoutsakis, and Aldo Parisot. At NEC, she studied conducting with Richard Pittman and later with Andrew Massey.

Between 1990 and 2009, Ms. Danis has led All-State and Festival Orchestras in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, Georgia, and New York. Recognized by critics and audiences for her innovative and daring programming, Ms. Danis has demonstrated a firm commitment to the presentation of new works and exposing audiences to modern repertoire in a casual and informative setting. Over the past fifteen years she has introduced many premiere works through her music ensembles including Rage of the Heart by Enrico Garzilli (World-Premiere), State House and Bridging Time- A Sinfonietta for Strings by Rhode Island composer Geoffrey Gibbs (World-Premiere), Blind Allegory by Nico Muhly (Rhode Island-Premiere), A Triptych for the Millennium by Providence composer Paul Nelson (World-Premiere), and the American premiere of Dance of Grandmother Nohpat and the Dwarfking by the Mexican composer Sylvestre Revueltas.

Most recently, Ms Danis and a group of URI alumni traveled to Belize, Central America as part of the Belize Music Project. There she conducted master classes for string students, conducting workshops for teachers, and guest conducted an ensemble from the Palotti Music School in Belize City. The ensemble performed a benefit concert for the Palotti School including works by Dvorak, Brahms, and Corrette. During the summer of 2009, she and a group of colleagues and alumni performed in a series of chamber concerts in Provence, France. Working with professional musicians from the French conservatory system, these performances mark the beginning of an ongoing collaborative effort between these artists know as Les Femmes Internationales.

In 2008, Ann served as concertmaster for a performance with jazz violinist Lesa Terry and the Women's Jazz Orchestra of Los Angeles at the World Sacred Music Festival. In October of 2009, she welcomed David Kim, URI Artist in Residence and concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as many string alumni in a special concert with the URI Symphony featuring works by Elgar, Bruch and Dvorak. In addition to her conducting and scholarly activities, Ann is the current Music Director and Conductor of the Fall River (MA) Symphony Orchestra, a community orchestra based in her hometown.