Panel Discussion IV – Arts @ Technology


Dr. Chaowen Ting (Director of Orchestral Studies, Georgia Institute of Technology & Founder, Girls Who Conduct)


Sarah Fernández (Music Director & Artistic Director, Manhattan Wind Ensemble)
Dr. Natalie Groom (Arts Laureate Manager & Affiliate Artist of Clarinet, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Alex Shapiro (Composer)



A native of the California Central Valley, Sarah Fernández resides in New York, serving as Choral Director and Music Educator in Nassau County, Long Island. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, Stockton, California, and Master of Arts degree in Music Education at Teachers College at Columbia University. She is an active pianist, clarinetist and conductor in the greater NYC community and is Chairperson for NMEA All-County Division II Chorus.

Fernandez is also Music Director and Artistic Director of the Manhattan Wind Ensemble, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization consisting of an approximately sixty-person symphonic wind ensemble. The group is composed of community woodwind, brass and percussion players from the Tri-state area. In summer, Fernandez leads the Columbia Summer Winds as Associate Conductor. Both organizations regularly commission new works and collaborate with guest performers, composers and conductors.




Dr. Natalie Groom is a clarinetist, educator, and business consultant in Maryland. She is the newly appointed Music Director of the Davies Concert Series, and she facilitates and teaches courses at the University of Maryland and University of Arizona. She is the co-founder of Whistling Hens, a soprano and clarinet duo that performs and commissions music by women composers.

While COVID-19 has put live performance on pause for many, Natalie remains musically engaged working as an audio editor, mixer, producer, and manager for virtual, hybrid, and live programs at Arts Laureate, a classical music recording company, and has since worked on projects with LA Opera, “The President’s Own” Marine Band, LA Master Chorale, Yale School of Music, and many more outstanding groups. She regularly gives masterclasses and presentations around the country teaching students, professionals, and organizations about best practices for self-recording and how to produce virtual ensemble/hybrid recording projects.



Composer Alex Shapiro aligns note after note with the hope that at least a few of them will actually sound good next to each other. Her persistence at this activity, as well as non-fiction music writing, arts advocacy, public speaking, wildlife photography, and the shameless instigation of insufferable puns on Facebook, has led to a happy life. Alex lives in the middle of nowhere on a small rock between the coasts of Washington State and British Columbia, and draws from a broad musical palette that giddily ignores genre. Her acoustic and electroacoustic works are published by her company Activist Music LLC, have won almost no awards, are performed and broadcast daily, have rarely been reviewed, and can be found on over thirty commercial releases from record labels around the world. No musician or audience member has yet to contact Alex to request their money back. Emphasis on “yet.”

The event is finished.


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