November 7, 2023

MSM Student Spotlight: Meet the MSM Contemporary Performance students in Dice Trio, in concert at MSM on NOV 8

This story was published prior to Dice Trio’s November 8 performance at MSM.

MSM Contemporary Performance students Adeline DeBella (MM ’24), Grace Pressley (MM ’24), and Sam Friedman (MM ’24) will be in concert at MSM on November 8 at 7:30 PM with their Dice Trio, featuring fellow classmate, soprano Yue Chen, a DMA student.

The next day, the four are off to Germany for a residency with the MultiPhonics Festival in Magdeburg, Germany where they will showcase compositions by current and former MSM students in three concerts from Friday, November 10 to Sunday November 12.

Adeline, Grace, and Sam started Dice Trio after collaborating during an MSM composers’ concert last fall.

“We had such a blast working on this project and became fast friends,” they explain. “After the performance we decided to form a trio because we couldn’t imagine not making music together.”

We spoke to them about the concert at MSM in Miller Recital Hall, their trip to the MultiPhonics Festival, and their time at MSM so far.

Scroll down to read interview

See Dice Trio at MSM before they leave for Germany!

NOV 8 | THURS
7:30 PM
Miller Recital Hall
Manhattan School of Music

  • Adeline DeBella (MM '24)

    Hometown: Scranton, Pennsylvania
    Major: Contemporary Flute

    Adeline DeBella is a second-year masters student studying under the tutelage of Tara Helen O’Connor. She is specifically interested in commissioning and performing works for alto and bass flutes and bringing their lush sonorities and extended timbral possibilities to new audiences.

  • Sam Friedman (MM '24)

    Hometown: New York, New York
    Major: Contemporary Trumpet

    Sam Friedman a second-year masters student studying under the tutelage of Brandon Ridenour. Sam is interested in expanding the range of artistic possibilities of the trumpet and is fascinated by the roles that music and sound can play in our relationship to the environment.

  • Grace Pressley (MM '24)

    Hometown: Sylva, North Carolina
    Major: Contemporary Saxophone

    Grace Pressley is a second-year masters student studying under the tutelage of Erin Rogers. Grace focuses on diversity in programming, as she is actively seeking ways to make the performing arts community a more inclusive space. As a dedicated proponent of new music, she is looking for ways to be involved in commissioning projects by underrepresented composers and is consistently programming new works on her own recitals.

  • See DICE TRIO at MSM!

    NOV 8 | 7:30 PM
    Miller Recital Hall

Tell us about Dice Trio! Who are you? How did you come to be?

Dice: Dice is a proponent of the music of our time. The ensemble regularly performs innovative, boundary-pushing new music and values the progressions of such music. In addition, Dice places an emphasis on inclusivity in regard to venue spaces, financial availability, and collaborating composers.

We all met last fall as incoming master’s students in the Contemporary Performance program (CPP). In October, we were asked by former composition student Meiling Wu (MM ’23) to play her work for an MSM composer’s concert and began working together more closely. We had such a blast working on this project and became fast friends. After the performance we decided to form a trio because we couldn’t imagine not making music together.

As a trio, who are your inspirations?

Dice: We take inspiration from current and past MSM students — learning so much about performance, composition, and collaboration from our peers. New music ensembles in NYC — especially ensembles who started through CPP — inspire us to push music in a new direction as we continue our careers outside of MSM. We are especially grateful for professors who have continuously inspired and guided us as we have grown this past year. We want to give a special thanks to professors Erin Rogers and Dr. Reiko Füting who are invaluable mentors to us, personally and professionally.

“We are so grateful for the resources, opportunities, and support that we have received as CPP students. We have learned so much about how to be champions of new music, and we have made friendships that we will carry with us far after graduation.”

Why should people come and see this performance?

Dice: Our concert features seven new works written for us by current and former MSM composition students, all with vastly different styles. We will be playing music with electronics, alternate tuning systems, and theatrics. In addition, we are collaborating with soprano Yue Chen on three of the pieces and are so excited to be working with such a talented vocalist!

Tell us about the pieces you’ll be presenting at the MultiPhonics Festival.

Dice: Our performance at the MultiPhonics Festival will feature the same program that we are presenting at MSM. In addition, we will be leading a master class and workshop for a new music ensemble in the area.

What piece of advice do you have for anybody interested in the CPP program at MSM?

Dice: Do it! We are so grateful for the resources, opportunities, and support that we have received as CPP students. We have learned so much about how to be champions of new music, and we have made friendships that we will carry with us far after graduation.