Artist in Residence Program

About the Program

The Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra's Artist in Residence program is an opportunity to invite performers, artists, educators, composers and all manner of creative people for a time and space away from their usual environment. It is meant to provide a time of reflection, research, presentation and/or production. It allows the individual to explore his/her practice within the community of a local symphony orchestra; meeting new people, using new materials, experiencing and growing through the classical music genre. A small stipend is provided. Individuals interested in a residency for the 2017-18 season should submit their resume and a paragraph stating their interest to by March 31, 2017.

Taylor O'Donnell

Artist in Residence for 2016-17 Season

Vocalist Taylor O'Donnell will be joining the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra for our 2016-2017 season. Born out of the idea to bring the Seacoast's diverse and thriving local music scene together with the classical community, she will be presenting tunes related to the atmosphere of each PSO work that highlight her contemporary sound. From singing instrumental wordless vocal lines to delving into traditional folk and jazz tunes, this collaboration will aim to unify and showcase our music community.

A Colorado native, Taylor is a contemporary vocalist who mainly uses her roots in classical vocal performance, musical theater, jazz, folk and R&B. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University, and graduated with a Master's Degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Miami.

Her instruction in jazz/classical voice performance and pedagogy has come from teachers including Diana Spradling (renowned jazz pedagog) Fred Hersch (Grammy award winning composer and pianist), Grammy nominated vocalists Peter Eldridge and Lauren Kinhan, and New Hampshire native, Lila Mori. Taylor also studied composition with celebrated trumpet players and composers, Dave Douglas and Terence Blanchard during her time in the Henry Mancini Institute Ensemble at the University of Miami.

Highlights of Taylor's performing and teaching career have been an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show working with producer David Foster, performing at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in NYC, working in Miami with Grammy award winning producer Rudy Perez, working at Miami Dade College as a Professor of Jazz Voice, and singing background vocals for singer-songwriter Ben Folds. Taylor has performed alongside Donny McCaslin, Terence Blanchard, Lyle Mays, Fred Hersch, Jamey Haddad, Janis Siegel, the Real Group, New York Voices, Sunny Wilkinson, Peter Eldridge, Lauren Kinhan, and with choral group, Seraphic Fire. Currently, Taylor performs with various groups in the Seacoast area playing jazz and folk, and also can be seen in the up and coming soul group, Mother Superior and the Sliding Royales.

Taylor is proud to hold a private studio in Maine, along with her current teaching positions at Bowdoin College and Portsmouth Music & Art Center. In addition to teaching vocal contemporary style and classical technique for all ages and experience levels, she is available for composition and piano lessons in the Maine and New Hampshire Seacoast area.