After ten years in Los Angeles, the Henry Mancini Institute (HMI) has found a new home at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. Dean Shelton G. “Shelly” Berg was intimately familiar with HMI and the Mancini Family during his tenure as head of Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California. When HMI announced its plans to close, several leading music organizations from across the United States expressed interest in hosting HMI. The Mancini family chose Dean Berg and the Frost School of Music.
“The Henry Mancini Institute has a tradition of equipping our nation’s most talented students and young professionals with the necessary pragmatic performance and entrepreneurial skills for earning a living in a commercialized world while staying true to the highest level of artistry and musical excellence.” said Dean Berg. “We are excited to infuse the Frost School of Music curriculum with HMI values and experiences. The Mancini Institute is an extremely well known entity, and its inclusion at the Frost School represents extraordinary possibilities for us.”
In the past, HMI was a summer institute. Now HMI is embedded within the Frost School of Music curriculum. At the heart of HMI is the concept of preparing music students for careers as “working” musicians. As part of the agreement between the two entities, the Frost School of Music now houses the HMI library, which consists of hundreds of pieces for orchestra by Henry Mancini and other film and contemporary composers.
Henry Mancini’s widow, Ginny, a former vocalist who sang with Mel Torme’s “Mel-tones,” said, “The Henry Mancini family wholeheartedly supports Dean Shelly Berg as custodian of the Henry Mancini Institute at the Frost School of Music. With our shared vision, Dean Berg will provide and insure the perfect atmosphere to foster and inspire talented musicians to achieve a unique and profound standing in the professional music community.”
On October 23, 2008, the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra made its Frost School of Music debut at the Bruce Hornsby and Friends benefit concert at the Bank United Center as part the 25th anniversary of Festival Miami. Hornsby shared center stage with an all-star musical cast including Steve Miller, Patti Austin, Monica Mancini, Dave Koz, Ricky Skaggs, Tom Scott, Gregg Field, and Frost School alumni Will Lee and Jon Secada.
During the 2009-2010 academic year, the HMI Orchestra will perform with musical giants including Monica Mancini, Arturo Sandoval, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Dave Grusin, John Secada, Patti Austin, Arturo Sandoval, Gary Burton, Nestor Torres, and Sammy Figueroa. Grammy award winning violinist Mark O’Connor will be Artist-In-Residence at the Frost School and will work with many HMI Fellows. HMI will also collaborate in a long-term project/relationship with legendary producer Phil Ramone.
The Fall 2009 semester officially marks the beginning of the Henry Mancini Institute at the Frost School of Music, in that 37 performance and composition related graduate assistantships are now HMI Fellowships. The goal is to have 65 HMI Fellows by 2012. An HMI Fellow is a graduate student receiving full tuition and stipend at the Frost School of Music to be a member of the HMI Orchestra and work as a teaching assistant.
University of Miami Frost School of Music