gRANT o'bRIEN, artistic Director
GRANT O'BRIEN is a conductor, composer and arranger, brought up in Houston, Texas. Grant studied tuba performance under Don Harry at the Eastman School of Music. During this time he also studied Conducting under Oliver Hagen and Lee Wright. Grant received a Performers Certificate from Eastman School of Music, premiered Andre Previn's Music for Wind Ensemble (No Strings Attached) with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, and has performed Daugherty's Reflections on the Mississippi (For solo tuba) with the Eastman Wind Orchestra. He joined the Empire Film Music Ensemble in August of 2016 as Personnel Manager in which time he arranged and conducted the music of Beethoven, Vaughan Williams and other contemporary media-music works live to video.
His recent accomplishments include producing, conducting and arranging Songs of the Valiant, a benefit concert for the Wounded Warrior Project and guest composing/conducting in web series STAR TREK CONTINUES. Grant conducts over 20 performances a year with chamber ensembles, Empire Film Music Ensemble, Eastman Tuba Mirum, and Upstate Brass Band.
Claire Caverly, Production manager
From Wilmington, Delaware, CLAIRE CAVERLY is a rising senior at Eastman School of Music studying voice performance in the studio of Katherine Ciesinski. She has been working with Empire Film Music Ensemble for 2 years as the Production Manager, and “Echo Chambers” is her compositional debut. Claire has enjoyed a varied performance and production career throughout the northeastern United States. Her performances range from baroque to new music, performing as a soloist with Eastman Collegium Musicum, Ossia New Music Ensemble, and Eastman Chorale. Her past roles include Flora in Eastman Opera Theatre’s 2016 production of Turn of the Screw, and Claire is honored to have won the Music Teachers National Association Senior Voice Competition and The Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition both in 2015. In production work, Claire has remained largely theatre-based, working with Rochester City Ballet, Geva Theatre Center, Eastman Opera Theatre in their stage management, costume, and scenic departments.
Max berlin, head composer
Born and raised in the metro-Detroit area, MAX BERLIN (Head Composer 2018-- ) has performed and written professionally for several kinds of ensembles and musical genres, orchestras and quartets alike. As a pianist, he has led three piano trios and regularly performs with professional and touring jazz orchestras. As a composer, he has also scored several films and live-stage productions, including the award-winning RIT short film, Into the Microscope (2015). Most recently, Max received an IMDb credit in 2017 for his work as contractor and guest composer on the award-winning web series Star Trek Continues produced by Vic Mignogna. Max is currently studying under Bill Dobbins and Gary Versace at the Eastman School of Music as a jazz pianist with an emphasis in composition.
Brett Copeland, Web Master / Marketing Manager
Brett Copeland is a multi-faceted musician who is actively performing, composing, teaching, and exploring new musical possibilities with music technology. He maintains a freelance career as a performer, composer, and educator of tuba and music technology. He is currently based in Rochester, NY.
Brett is currently attending the Eastman School of Music as a D.M.A candidate in Tuba Performance and Literature where he is a Teaching Assistant for both the tuba studio and EARS (Eastman Audio Research Studio). He holds a M.M. in Tuba Performance with additional studies in Electro-acoustic Composition from the University of South Florida and a B.A. in Music Technology from the University of Northern Iowa. His teachers include Don Harry, Jay Hunsberger, Baljinder Sekhon, Jeff Funderburk, and James Grant.
Rick Carl, Audio/visual Manager
RICK CARL is an engineer, music artist, and pianist currently studying Audio & Music Engineering at the University of Rochester. Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Rick has worked as a freelance recording engineer producing five albums by various artists in the past three years. In addition to music, Rick has worked with independent filmmaking studios BCFilmstrip and Writing Well Productions as a sound editor, sound designer, and composer on three feature-length films and one award-winning short film titled Girls’ Night. In his spare time, Rick performs as a vocalist in the University of Rochester Chamber Singers and as a lead actor in theater productions such as Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and Harold Pinter’s The Collection & The Lover. He joined the Empire Film Music Ensemble in 2017 and organized and operated projections for The Music of Bernard Herrmann concert in January 2018.