THE SAPPHIRE TRIO ®
Dr. Maxine Ramey combines an international reputation as a clarinet recitalist with a distinguished teaching career. Ms. Ramey joined the faculty of the University of Montana in 1992 and balances an active performance schedule with her dedication to teaching. She's received three awards for Meritorious Teaching & Creative Activity from the University of Montana, and has been a featured performing artist at Montana Music Teacher Annual Conferences and the Washington State Music Teacher Annual Conference in 2005. Before coming to the U of M, she was professor of clarinet at Eastern New Mexico University and held teaching fellowships at Michigan State University and Arizona State University. Her students have gone on to be performers, professors, music arrangers and publishers, arts administrators and all manner of musical entrepreneurs. In May of 2008, Maxine Ramey received the UM School of Fine Arts Award as a Distinguished Professor. In addition to teaching clarinet and coaching chamber music, she is clarinetist with resident faculty ensembles such as the Montana Woodwind Trio and the Sapphire Trio. The Sapphire Trio has toured in Japan, Germany and Austria. In May of 2006, the US Embassy sponsored the trio in a tour of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. More information about the Sapphire Trio can be found at www.thesapphiretrio.com . In 2008, The Sapphire Trio toured the U.S. and Ireland presenting concerts and lectures. Maxine Ramey has performed as principal clarinet and as a concerto artist with orchestras in Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Arkansas and Michigan. Washington Post reviews call her performances "Refreshing, fluid and idiomatic". The Albuquerque Journal states “…she demonstrates extraordinary performing skills” In 2005 she was also a featured performer at the MTNA National Conference in Seattle and the Clarinetfest2005 in Tokyo, Japan, the Clarinetfest2006 in Atlanta, the Clarinetfest2007 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and the 2006 American String Teacher Assoc. Conference in Kansas City. Maxine Ramey has been a featured guest artist at the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, the Alabama Clarinet Festival, at International Double Reed Society conferences in the US and Germany, Northern Plains Clarinet Symposia, the Michigan Contemporary Clarinet Festival at Michigan State University and the Clarinet Celebration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was a featured artist at the Louisiana Clarinet Festival and the Eastern Kentucky University Clarinet Festival. The Montana Woodwind Trio presented a recital at the National Flute Association conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Maxine Ramey was a featured recitalist at the Clarinetfest 2003 International Clarinet Association conference in Salt Lake City Utah, where she premiered Robert Baksa’s Sonata for Clarinet. She recently was a featured artist the Clarinet Day at UNLV. Maxine Ramey regularly hosts and performs at the Montana/Idaho Clarinet Festival. Reports and reviews of this festival appear each year in the THE CLARINET. Ms. Ramey is an advocate of new music and regularly programs the music of the late 20th century and 21st century on her recitals. As Solo/Principal Clarinet with the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, she premiered new works by Jean Francaix, Jacques Casterede and Ivan Tcherepnine during the re-lighting ceremonies at the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. U of M's Sapphire Trio champions the newly commissioned works by the renowned Verdehr Trio. Ms. Ramey collaborated with Los Angeles Times Writer Mary Platt in writing the cover story celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Verdehr Trio in the 25th Anniversary Issues of THE CLARINET chronicling the life and work of the legendary Elsa and Walter Verdehr. In addition, she performed a commission premiere of David Maslanka’s concerto for clarinet entitled Four Songs for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble (2005). She earned her Bachelor of Music from Arizona State University and continued her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degree work at Michigan State University. Her teachers include Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr (Michigan State University), Keith Stein(Michigan State Univeristy and The Chicago Symphony, Frank Ell (The Netherlands Wind Ensemble), Ronald DeKant (Cincinnati Conservatory), and Fred Ormand (The Univeristy of Michigan). Maxine Ramey is listed on the International Artist Roster of Buffet Clarinets. Maxine Ramey is the Director of the School of Music at The University of Montana
Dr. Margaret Nichols Baldridge combines an active teaching schedule with a varied performance calendar. The violin and viola professor at the University of Montana since 1992, she is a sought after teacher, performer and adjudicator across the state and the Northwest region. From 1998 to 2007, Dr. Baldridge was Artist Faculty at the internationally acclaimed Brevard Music Center Festival in Brevard, North Carolina. Recently Dr. Baldridge has given clinics and master classes in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Montana, Washington, Idaho, Ohio, South and North Carolina, Arizona and New Mexico. As a dedicated teacher and proponent of string teaching Dr. Baldridge has served as the Montana State ASTA President and as a reviewer for the ASTA journal and the Guide to Teaching Strings 7th Ed. Her diverse performance activities include concerts, master classes and tours with The Sapphire Trio around the United States and abroad. In April 2010, the Sapphire Trio was invited to Jerusalem to judge the Palestine National Music Competition. While there, the trio performed and gave master classes in Jerusalem, Bethlehem Ramallah. During the Spring of 2011 The Sapphire Trio was again invited to Palestine to give concerts and Master classes as part of the Edward Said conservatory’s Spring Festival. The trio performed concerts in the Golan Heights, the Galilee area, in addition to Bethlehem and Ramallah. The trio is scheduled to return to Jerusalem in spring of 2012 to judge the Palestinian National Music Competition. The Other recent engagements with the Sapphire Trio include a seven state US tour and concerts in Ireland. During May of 2006, the Sapphire Trio were Cultural Ambassadors for the State Department Funded tour of Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait where the trio performed concerts at Embassies, schools and for the Kuwait International Music Festival. The Sapphire trio has performed concerts and master classes in Austria, Germany, and Japan and concerts at national conventions of ASTA, MTNA, AAMC, and at The Mayo Clinic. In August 2010, Dr. Baldridge performed and taught at the Affetti Festival in Anchorage, Alaska. Other professional performing activities consist of performances, as Leader of The String Orchestra of the Rockies and as concertmaster of The Missoula Symphony, and concerts and tours with the Montana Piano Trio, the resident trio at The University of Montana. Her performances with these groups have been aired on Public Radio and on String Orchestra of the Rockies CD recordings Under the Northern Sky and We’ll Be Together Again with the Jeni Fleming Trio. Education: Dr. Baldridge holds DMA and BM degrees from The Eastman School of Music and an MM degree from Northwestern University. Her teachers include Catherine Tait, Gerardo Ribiero, and Charles Castleman. Previously, Dr. Baldridge performed in orchestras and chamber music groups in the Heidelberg Castle Festival, Germany; The Des Moines Metro Opera Festival, Iowa; and the Flathead Festival, Montana. Dr. Jody Graves maintains an exciting, diverse and active performing career, and is recognized nationally as a distinguished artist and teacher of piano. Her recital engagements as a soloist and collaborative pianist take her across the United States and abroad. She has performed concerts in Austria, Norway, France, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Japan, and in May 2006 toured in the Persian Gulf serving as a Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. State Department. The Middle East Tour, with the Sapphire Trio, included concerts in Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. In April, 2010, she was a judge for the National Palestinian Music Competition in Jerusalem, and following that event toured the West Bank region with the Sapphire Trio performing concerts and giving master classes. The Sapphire Trio returned to the Middle East for a concert tour and master classes in April, 2011, and will tour that region again in March 2012.
Dr. Jody Graves maintains an exciting, diverse and active performing career, and is recognized nationally as a distinguished artist and teacher of piano. Her recital engagements as a soloist and collaborative pianist take her across the United States and abroad. She has performed concerts in Austria, Norway, France, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Japan, and in May 2006 toured in the Persian Gulf serving as a Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. State Department. The Middle East Tour, with the Sapphire Trio, included concerts in Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The press reviews have called their performances “exciting…imaginative and compelling.” In April, 2010, she was a judge for the National Palestinian Piano Festival in Jerusalem, and following that event toured the West Bank region with the Sapphire Trio performing concerts and giving master classes. The Sapphire Trio returned to the Middle East for a concert tour and master classes in April, 2011, and they returned to the Middle East to perform concerts and give master classes in March 2012. She will return to the Middle East in 2016 where she will once again perform concerts, give master classes and presentations.
Dr. Graves is in great demand as an adjudicator for piano competitions and festivals. Each season takes her across the country as an MTA clinician, and she has an active schedule each year as a workshop presenter for teachers. Ms. Graves has been a presenter at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and a presenter and performer at numerous State and National MTNA conferences. Ms. Graves was a presenter at the National MTNA Conference in 2011, and was a featured presenter for the National MTNA conference in Las Vegas, 2015. She was also the headline guest artist for the Utah State MTA conference in 2013. She has served as a judge for the Seattle International Piano Festival and the International Piano Competition at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. She served on the faculty with Dr. Alexandra Ngyuen for the Eastman Summer Program titled ‘Plays Well With Others’, featuring sessions on collaborative arts performance. Additionally, Dr. Graves has authored articles for the American Music Teacher and Clavier magazines.
Dr. Graves is working on her fourth recording project ‘Notes from the Heart’ due out in 2015 featuring the music of Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Beethoven and others. She has performed solo and chamber recitals across the country at university guest artist series and community concert events, and has been a featured performing artist several times on public radio. Ms. Graves has been a soloist with the Spokane Symphony, and the Wenatchee Valley Symphony and has received rave reviews of her performances of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’. Ms. Graves is the pianist with the nationally acclaimed Sapphire Trio and they have been featured guest artists at the National MTNA conference in Seattle, WA, the International Clarinet Festival in Tokyo, the ICF Conference in Los Angeles in 2011, the ICF Conference in Assisi, Italy in 2013, and the International Clarinet Music Festival in Madrid, Spain in 2015. In 2014 Dr. Graves was a guest solo artist at Mukagowa Women’s University in Nishinomiya, Japan where she performed concerts and gave public lectures.
Ms. Graves is especially interested in promoting concert art music, creating unique and contemporary ways to foster a collaborative experience between artist and listener, and is dedicated to maintaining the life of music in our schools and culture. Ms. Graves is recognized for her creative ability to engage the audience during her concerts with anecdotes, historical perspectives and humor. The press has referred to her as “Victoria Borge”. She holds a Doctorate Degree in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and her Masters degree from Catholic University in Washington D.C. Dr. Graves is currently Associate Professor of Piano at Eastern Washington University, in Cheney, WA and was recently awarded the Fosseen-Kusaka Distinguished International Professor Exchange Scholar Award for 2014.
For more information visit: www.drjodygraves.com