Dr. Natalie Groom is a freelance clarinetist in Washington, D.C. and substitute clarinetist of the Annapolis Symphony, Annapolis Opera, and Symphony of the Potomac. She is an Artist in Residence at Collington Retirement Community, a Junior Board member of Washington Performing Arts, and a volunteer for the Institute for Composer Diversity. This year she performed with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, invented a new single reed micrometer, and collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Esperanza Spalding, the National Symphony, and the Baltimore Symphony Youth Ensemble.
Natalie was a featured soloist with the White Mountain Symphony Orchestra and has performed at The Kennedy Center, New World Center, The Anthem, The Phillips Collection, and Goethe-Institut, among many other venues. Her festival and conference performances include Clarinetfest 2018 in Belgium, Orford Centre d’Arts, Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, Henri Selmer Clarinet Academy, District New Music Coalition, and the Miami Music Festival.
A teacher, conductor, and academic, she has led the New Horizons clarinet choir and taught Rock and American Popular Music, Business Communications, and clarinet lessons and chamber music at the University of Maryland and University of Arizona. Her publications include three reports in the International Clarinet Association journal and a dissertation titled An Analysis of Commercial Single Reed Micrometers and the Invention of a New Manual Single Reed Micrometer.
In 2018, Natalie and soprano Jennifer Piazza-Pick founded Whistling Hens, a chamber music ensemble that celebrates and advances the artistic accomplishments of women by performing and commissioning all female-composed music. Their work invites listeners to reflect on the impact male privilege has had on traditional music programming, question the status quo of gender inequality in the classical music community, and engage with music by women of various backgrounds. They are the recipients of numerous grants and a residency at Avaloch Farm Music Institute. They have performed at Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Music by Women at Mississippi University for Women, Darkwater Women in Music, and Ball State’s A Powerful Force: Women in Music.
Natalie is clarinetist of Classically Dope, a Wammie nominated hip-hop/rap and classical music collaboration with D.C. rapper Konshens the MC. Using music as an instrument of positive social influence, this ensemble tackles subjects such as the power of belief, racial inequality, stereotypes, police brutality, and being a change agent in the world. Natalie composes/arranges music for Classically Dope and gave the premiere of two of her arrangements at The Anthem while opening for the National Symphony Orchestra in 2019. In 2020, she will be premiering two arrangements written for the University of Maryland Wind Orchestra as part of a large-scale collaboration with Classically Dope. Tickets are available here.
Specializing in chamber music, Natalie was a fellowship wind quintet member of Wavelength Winds and the Fred Fox Wind Quintet. In her tenure, she toured China, created a classical music video in collaboration with Avant Projekts, recorded two albums, and was integral in securing a $20 million donation to the Fred Fox School of Music.
Natalie Groom earned her D.M.A. at the University of Maryland, M.B.A. and M.M. at the University of Arizona, and B.M. at Kent State University where she studied with Robert DiLutis, Jerry Kirkbride, Dennis Nygren, Amitai Vardi, Jackie Glazier, and Joseph Minocchi.
Photo by Mindi Acosta/Fluteloop Photography.
Praised for singing with “passion and emotional depth” (Richmond Times-Dispatch), soprano Jennifer Piazza-Pick has performed with the Nationaltheater Mannheim, Germany as well as with US military bands in Belarus, Latvia, and Lithuania. In the US, she has performed with Opera Piccola of San Antonio, the Princeton Festival, Ithaca Opera, Long Beach Opera, Cincinnati Opera, the Princeton Festival, the Charlottesville Symphony, and at Carnegie Hall. She has also performed with the Richmond and Alamo City Ballet companies, Oregon Bach Festival, Virginia Chorale, San Antonio Chamber Choir, Bach in Baltimore, and in concert series throughout the country.
Known for her expressiveness as a performer, Jennifer focuses on engaging audiences with concert experiences that resonate in the imagination. Her clear diction and sensitive interpretations allow audiences to engage with the text, helping listeners connect to their past, present, and future shared humanity.
Ms. Piazza-Pick has premiered works by Liam Wade, James MacMillan, Eric Whitacre, Kevin Salfen, Cherise Leiter, Ashi Day, and Dannielle McBryan, including settings of poetry by San Antonio’s poet laureate, Camen Tafolla. Jennifer’s musical curiosity has led to research on women composers, which has been presented at the International Music by Women Festival, Darkwater Women in Music Festival, and the Women Composers Festival of Hartford.
Collaborating with other artists is another of Jennifer’s passions. She has performed with Alamo City Ballet and the Richmond Ballet, as well as with dancers and poets for individual projects. She regularly performs vocal chamber music with various instruments, especially works for soprano and clarinet duo with her chamber ensemble, Whistling Hens.
The winner of Hawaii Public Radio’s art song contest, Ms. Piazza-Pick was also a finalist for the American Prize in the women’s art song division and the winner of the George Cortes Award for Classical Singing by the Artist Foundation of San Antonio. Her work has been featured on NPR and the TV show Virginia Currents.
Based in Columbia, MD, Jennifer is currently an adjunct faculty member at Towson University and Carroll Community College. She is also pursuing her doctoral degree at the University of Maryland, College Park with Martha Randall.