Ralph Sorrentino

Ralph Sorrentino is the Director of Percussion Studies at West Chester University, where he teaches applied percussion and directs the West Chester University Percussion Ensemble. Sorrentino also serves as Principal Percussionist with the Opera Philadelphia Orchestra and Section Percussionist with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra. Sorrentino’s work with Opera Philadelphia includes critically acclaimed performances at Philadelphia’s historic Academy of Music, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and Harlem’s world-famous Apollo Theater. Sorrentino was the principal percussionist for Opera Philadelphia’s April 2016 New York premiere performances of Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD, which marked the first time that opera was performed on the Apollo Theater stage.

 

Sorrentino also performs as a substitute percussionist with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performing under the batons of many of the world’s great conductors (Riccardo Muti, Sir Simon Rattle, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Kirill Petrenko, Jaap van Zweden, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Michael Tilson Thomas) in some of the nation’s premier concert venues (Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Ravinia Festival, and the Bravo! Vail Music Festival). Sorrentino has also performed with the Russian National Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Philly Pops, and the Delaware, Harrisburg, and Bay Atlantic Symphonies. Sorrentino has performed for several international dignitaries, including HRH Prince Charles and Pope Francis.

 

Sorrentino’s debut solo percussion album, multiplicity, was released in October 2014 and is available on Apple Music and Amazon Music. Sorrentino gave the 2003 world premiere performance of composer Robert Maggio’s Songs from the Wood after playing an integral role in the commission and development of the solo marimba composition. Sorrentino has performed as a concerto soloist with the Immaculata Symphony, West Chester University Percussion Ensemble, University of Delaware Percussion Ensemble, and Messiah University Percussion Ensemble. Sorrentino was named National First Runner-Up at the 1999 MTNA Collegiate Artist Percussion Competition in Los Angeles, CA, after winning the competition’s state and northeast regional levels. Sorrentino has recorded percussion tracks for NFL Films, including music that has been heard on the national television broadcasts of Super Bowls XL through LIV. Sorrentino is a founding member of the critically acclaimed Electrum Duo, along with flutist Sophia Anastasia.

 

Sorrentino joined West Chester University’s percussion faculty in August 2004, and he has presented clinics and masterclasses at a number of universities. Sorrentino’s undergraduate percussion students have been admitted to a variety of prestigious graduate schools, and his high school percussion students have been admitted to top conservatories and universities.

 

Sorrentino holds an Ed.D. in Policy, Planning, and Administration from West Chester University, an M.M. in Orchestral Instrument Performance from Temple University, and B.M. (Music Performance) and B.S. (Music Education) degrees from West Chester University. His principal teachers include Alan Abel, Angela Zator Nelson, Matthew Strauss, and Chris Hanning.

 

Sorrentino proudly endorses Pearl Drums, Adams Musical Instruments, SABIAN cymbals, and Innovative Percussion.

www.wcupa.edu/music/instrumentalFaculty/rSorrentino.aspx

Electrum Duo

Flutist Sophia Anastasia and percussionist Ralph Sorrentino are the founding members of the critically acclaimed Electrum Duo. The Duo’s November 2008 New York City debut recital at Bargemusic was favorably reviewed in the December 1, 2008 edition of The New York Times. Music critic Steve Smith commented that “the Electrum players were persuasive advocates: Ms. Anastasia played with brightness and vigor, while Mr. Sorrentino pattered across drums, cymbals and woodblocks with an impressive feeling of flow. The playing had an air of conversational spontaneity; each performer seemed to finish the other’s statements now and then... [Ms. Anastasia’s] vitality was neatly balanced by the graceful efficiency with which Mr. Sorrentino choreographed his manifold tasks throughout the evening. Perhaps it was an ability to play against type that made these players cohere so effectively.” Electrum Duo has presented recitals in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Virginia. The Duo’s debut album, introductions, was released in October 2011 and is available on Apple Music and Amazon Music. introductions was reviewed in the July 2012 issue of Percussive Notes, where critic John Lane commented that “the performances are tight and excellently crafted: a high standard of a chamber music execution in which both musicians get to flex their skill... What [introductions] does best is showcase the talent of two extraordinarily talented performers who have cultivated a strong musical connection.” Electrum Duo’s second album, Thoughts, was released in November 2015 and is available on Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Spotify. Thoughts was reviewed in the May 2017 issue of Percussive Notes, where critic Justin Alexander commented that “there is plenty of music to showcase this duo’s versatility and excellence in performance. The recording quality is superb, and each player delivers thoughtful, musical, and sensitive performances throughout an array of repertoire.” In May 2011 the Duo premiered JLS, a ballet score by award-winning composer Robert Maggio, in collaboration with Roxey Ballet of Lambertville, NJ. In 2016 Electrum Duo commissioned noted composer Maurice Wright’s Duo Fantasia, and the Duo presented the world premiere performance in March 2017.

Sophia Anastasia

Hailed by The New York Times as playing with “vitality and gusto,” Sophia Anastasia is an accomplished flutist in the New York metropolitan area. She is a founding member of the critically acclaimed Electrum Duo, a flute and percussion chamber ensemble in which she regularly demonstrates her virtuosity in contemporary and classical works on flute, piccolo, and alto flute. Ms. Anastasia is also a staunch advocate of contemporary music and has commissioned many works for flute, including pieces by Gary Schocker, James Romig, Robert Maggio, and Maurice Wright. Her commission Xynóglyko by Gary Schocker was featured at the National Flute Convention and on WFMT radio, and can be found on her debut recording Musing. Ms. Anastasia is one of the most in-demand flute instructors in the northern New Jersey area. She maintains a private flute studio and a flute choir in Montclair, NJ, she teaches in the Extension Division of the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University, and she is an adjunct flute instructor at the Kent Place School. Ms. Anastasia regularly conducts flute workshops in New Jersey’s public and private schools. Additionally, Ms. Anastasia is a certified K-12 music teacher as well as a trained early childhood “Music Together” specialist. Ms. Anastasia earned a Doctorate of Music from SUNY Stony Brook, a Master of Music and Professional Studies Certificate from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts from Montclair State University where she graduated cum laude, specializing in early childhood music development. Ms. Anastasia makes her home in Montclair with her cellist husband, three children, and 22 precocious chickens.

Chris Hanning

Chris Hanning serves as Dean of the Wells School of Music and Professor of Percussion at West Chester University. Hanning performs with the Peter Paulsen Quintet, the Bach Festival Orchestra of Bethlehem, and Philadelphia's premier contemporary music ensemble, Relâche. His performing experiences have taken him throughout Europe and the United States with engagements at prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and Royal Albert Hall in London. Hanning has recorded several albums with Relâche, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, David Liebman and the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet, and the Peter Paulsen Quintet. Hanning has performed on numerous NFL Films recordings, including several Emmy Award-winning projects. He is currently co-writing music with longtime NFL Films composer and producer Tom Hedden. Hanning released Island Grooves in 2006, an instructional drum set DVD that earned a 4.5 out of 5-star rating from Modern Drummer magazine. Hanning is an artist/clinician for Vic Firth, Pearl Drums, Adams Musical Instruments, Remo, Zildjian, and Panyard. He has presented clinics at universities, conventions, and percussion festivals throughout the United States and abroad. Hanning is a Past President of the Percussive Arts Society.

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