Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
Tracy Morris, the founder of the Morris Music Academy, was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. Tracy excelled in music at a very young age and earned numerous musical honors while in middle and high school.
Tracy graduated from the University of North Florida jazz program where he studied with legendary alto saxophonist Bunky Green and the late euphonium master and jazz pioneer Rich Matteson. He performed with and composed for the top jazz ensemble there and was the featured baritone saxophone soloist on UNF’s critically acclaimed debut CD, “Have You Heard?”
Tracy has performed in concert with many notable artists including Dr. Billy Taylor, Louis Belson, Marcus Printup, James Moody, Rich Matteson, Vincent Gardner, Kevin Bales, Cassandra Wilson, Clark Terry, Elian Elias and Scotty Barnhart.
Tracy has taught at Florida State College, currently teaches music in Duval County Public Schools and performs regularly throughout the Southeast.
Tracy is also very active in the cultural arts community and currently serves as the board president for Beaches Fine Arts Series.
Gabrielle Williams is a graduate of the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance. Williams, originally from Orlando, has been a vocalist since age 10 and realized that singing was a true passion at which she was gifted. She began her classical vocal training at Florida Community College in Jacksonville and has since studied with Professor Pamela Helton, Dr. Kandie Smith Professor Kimberly Gelbwasser and is currently under the private instruction of Professor Kimberly Beasley.
Gabrielle traveled to Italy with the UNF Chamber Ensemble and was also a member of the UNF Chorale, UNF Opera Ensemble, and the UNF Women’s Chorale. She was a featured soloist in many works produced by the music department including Orff’s “Carmina Burana” and Handel’s “Messiah”. Williams competed in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Inc. (NATS) in 2006 where she was awarded 2nd place.
Presently Gabrielle is a featured soloist for Friday Musical, performing in various programs such as the reoccurring production of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges: “The Black Mozart”. She is also teaching private voice lessons throughout Jacksonville and is currently the assistant director of the choir and ensemble of the Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research Inc. (IDMR Jacksonville Branch), where her musical roots were established. Her future plans include performing locally and abroad while flourishing as a recording artist.
A native of Gainesville, Florida, Taylor Roberts is one of the great rising stars in today’s jazz world. Just completing a brand new solo guitar album entitled “Short Story”, Taylor’s ability as a soloist or in a group is unmatched. His influences are vast and his playing echoes the greats such as Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, BB King and more. Taylor is young, but his talent has already allowed him to share the stage with such jazz giants as Sean Jones, Bucky Pizzarelli, Gary Foster, Toscha Comeaux, Jimmy Bruno, and Ali Jackson. Performances at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, The Gainesville Jazz Festival, the Ritz Theater, the O’Connell Center and many other venues in the Southeastern US have all gained him great recognition.
Taylor studied Jazz Guitar at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville and now stays busy touring and teaching privately.
Sean D. Andrews is an accomplished musician who specializes in percussion. His vast knowledge of percussion has been obtained over the last 37 years with his professional career spanning the last 21 years. During this time he has developed his own unique style that surpasses simple grooves and mere impressive drum-licks. He is a master story teller on the drums with a musical conversation that is completely captivating. His style of play takes you on a journey and demonstrates his endless effort to bring more than just a great drum beat to every musical setting.
Regardless of the genre his ability to produce authentic percussion is always evident. Whether playing orchestral percussion, marching percussion or drumset, his expertise is undeniable. H
aving performed with numerous professional recording artists he is currently the Percussion Instructor for the Edward Waters College Marching Band drumline, drummer/percussionist for Shiloh Metropilitan Baptist Church, drummer for several bands, & private instructor for many of tomorrows up and coming great drummers/percussionist.
When you register for music lessons today or tomorrow at the Morris Music Academy and start by May 7th, you’ll receive 20% off of lesson fees for the first three months. This deal will end Saturday, April 23rd at midnight. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to study with some of the top musicians and music educators in Jacksonville. The Morris Music Academy offers professional, private music lessons for piano, guitar, voice, violin, viola, bass, drums and all woodwind and brass instruments.
Emily Knowles, a native to Jacksonville, has been performing since the age of 4. She began her studies at the age of 3 and a half with the Suzuki method. In her early teens, she began competing in various solo competitions and music festivals across the United States. She has performed for and collaborated with artists such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Yo-Yo Ma, Hilary Hahn, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, Dave Brubeck, Regina Carter as well as The Tokyo String Quartet, The St. Lawrence String Quartet, The Ying String Quartet, to name a few.
She has participated in various music festivals such as Brevard Music Center, Eastman Music Seminar, Pacific Music Festival, Manchester Music Festival, and Aspen Music Festival.
Emily received her Masters degree in Violin Performance from Arizona State University and her Bachelors degree in Music Performance from Baldwin-Wallace College in Cleveland, Ohio. Her primary teachers include Danwen Jiang, Hanne-Berit Hahnemann and Ruxandra Marquardt. She currently plays with The Jacksonville Symphony and maintains a busy teaching schedule.
Emily is a strong advocate for music education. She has experience teaching Suzuki and traditional methods as well as group and private lessons at the primary, secondary and university levels. Emily belongs to ASTA (American String Teachers Association), OCMEA (Ohio Chapter of Music Educators),AMEA (Arizona Music Educators Association)
Things are coming along nicely at 432 Osceola Avenue! We’re in the process of adding the finishing touches to the reception/waiting area will hopefully finish provisioning the rehearsal and music lesson rooms this weekend. Our goal is to create an environment that makes the Morris Music Academy an inviting place to take private music lessons. If you haven’t already registered for lessons, click here to sign up today!
Ray Callender was born in Winfield, Illinois. The son of Charles Callender, a Chicago trumpeter and craftsman at Schilke Music Products, his love for the instrument began at an early age. However, his love for the music didn’t develop until early high school, sparked by a double-sided tape of Kind of Blue and Jazz at Massey Hall . He was hooked. Callender began to study the masters, especially Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, and Woody Shaw, and his diligence earned him numerous honors while still in high school, including “Best Soloist” at the Chicago Area Jazz Festival, “Outstanding Soloist” at the Rolling Meadows Jazz Festival, and the 1996 Louis Armstrong Jazz Award. Callender graduated Cum Laude from the University of North Florida jazz program where he studied with legendary alto saxophonist Bunky Green. He performed with and composed for the top jazz ensemble and combo and was the featured trumpet soloist on UNF’s Down Beat award-winning albums, Things To Come, Second Thoughts, and Through His Eyes, as well as recording with notable pianist/educator Dr. Keith Javors on his 2004 Zoho Records release, Mo’ City Jungle.
In 2003, after winning an audition amongst thousands of emerging jazz artists from all around the globe, Callender was selected by jazz legend Curtis Fuller as a “Jazz Star of Tomorrow.” As a result, he performed in Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Program at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. where he worked with esteemed artists including Fuller, Winard Harper , Carmen Lundy , Jimmy Owens, and John Clayton. He was also one of only four trumpeters nationwide selected to attend a summer residency at the Steans Institute Program for Jazz at Ravinia, where he had the opportunity to work with such venerable mentors as Dr. David Baker, James Moody, Rufus Reid, Danilo Perez, and Nathan Davis as well as perform with up and coming players like Aaron Parks, Kim Thompson, and Maurice Brown. In addition, he was recognized twice by Down Beat magazine for Best Collegiate Jazz Combo (2002-2003).
Callender has performed in concert with such artists as Dave Brubeck, Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, Jon Faddis, James Moody, Antonio Hart, Benny Green, Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Billy Childs, Pat Martino, Maurice Hines, Eddie Palmieri, Conrad Herwig, Dennis Mackrel, Percy Heath, Doug Carn, Steve Nelson, John Lee, Billy Kilson, Ignacio Berroa, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Bobby Shew, the Ritz Jazz Orchestra, the St. Johns River City Band, Bruce Paulson, and Bob Mintzer. Groups featuring Callender have performed at such venues as the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Vienne Jazz Festival, the Savannah Jazz Festival, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, the Rockefeller Center’s Rainbow Room, Joe Segal’s Jazz Showcase, the Velvet Lounge, the International Association of Jazz Educators conference, the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, and the Notre Dame Jazz Festival. Callender has held faculty positions at Florida State College and Duval County Public Schools and currently teaches at numerous private schools as well as performing regularly throughout the Southeast.
Amanda Finch - a native of Bellville, New Jersey, established herself as a versatile performer at a very young age. Her credits include R&B, jazz, musical theatre, opera, concert and recital performances in Europe and the United States. Ms. Finch holds vocal performance degrees from University of North Florida (B. Mus.) and University of Michigan (M. Mus.), where she studied with the late Shirley Verrett. She has also had the privilege of studying under Dr. Krzysztof Biernacki of the University of North Florida, Dr. Martha Sheil of the University of Michigan and Mr. Mark Oswald of the Manhattan School of Music.
Ms. Finch’s classical singing engagements have included performances as Dido and the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas, Principessa in Suor Angelica and 3rd Lady in Die Zauberflöte with the University of North Florida. Other operatic highlights include La Clemenaza di Tito, A Night in the Country, and La Boheme with the University of Michigan. Her most recent career highlights include her performances with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in July of 2010.
Ms. Finch plans to continue to study voice privately under Dr. Marcia Porter of Florida State University and give community performances throughout the Jacksonville area. She is also scheduled to return to the Czech Republic to perform the role of Cherubino from Le Nozze di Figaro with the University of North Florida under the direction of Dr. Krzysztof Biernacki.