Gershwin 2017 Performers

Wesley McCune

Wesley McCune is a classically trained pianist who retired from teaching in 2016.  He taught at John Adams Elementary School, a CETA (Changing Education through the Arts) partner school with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

He performs with singer Karin Paludan (Washington Performing Arts artist); Marissa Regni (principal 2nd violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra) and trumpeter Douglas Wilson.  As a soloist he performs recitals and concerti with chamber orchestras.

His students performed with members of the National Symphony Orchestra, at many national and international conferences, and at area universities.  He and his students performed with jazz greats Billy Taylor and Charlie Byrd at the opening concert of the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.

A four-time recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, he studied and developed teaching strategies including a curriculum for children on the Autism spectrum using the music of J.S. Bach.

His awards include the Alex Award (the Alexandria Commission for the Arts); the Whole Village Award (the Virginia Education Association); the Excellence in Education Award (Alexandria Chamber of Commerce); the Anne Lipnick Inclusion for All Award (Alexandria City Public Schools); citations from the mayor and city council of Alexandria, Virginia; and The Agnes Meyer Award for Outstanding Teaching from The Washington Post.



An “outstanding voice,” according to the Washington Post, soprano, Karin Paludan works in opera, recital, cabaret and musical theater, and also works extensively in educational and community outreach through Washington Performing Arts, the National Symphony Orchestra and Music For Autism. Performing as a soloist in opera and recital and as one half of The Paludan Sisters, she has performed throughout the United States with such companies as Community Concerts, New York City Opera, the Utah Festival Opera and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, at The Kennedy Center, The Library of Congress, The National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian. Recent performances include the premier of “Music of the Mind”, (a collaborative cabaret created by The Paludan Sisters), at the Lied Center of Kansas, “Close Your Eyes, Now Open Your Ears” with NSO Education at the Kennedy Center’s Family Theater, a Christmas concert with Wes McCune in Parkersburg, WV and an appearance with the McLean Symphony. Future performances include tours of “The Music of the Mind” with The Paludan Sisters and  “George, Ira and Friends” with Mr. McCune and recitals with pianist, Nikola Paskalov. An artist committed to connecting communities through the power of music, she believes we all have the potential to raise our voices and change the world.

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