"The earth has music for those who listen." -William Shakespeare
Juliana Witt is a Phoenix-based teaching artist and activist who is entirely dedicated to her career as a performing pianist, organist, choral conductor and pedagogue. Growing up in Pennsylvania, she loved music from a young age and could often be found playing the piano rather than doing her chores. She began playing church services, conducting children’s choir and playing chamber music as a young teenager and fell in love with collaborative music. Since then, she has earned degrees in Solo Piano Performance and Collaborative Piano from Bob Jones University and Washington State University and also completed a Professional Artist’s Certificate at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She has studied under Dr. Allison Gagnon, Dr. Karen Savage, Dr. Jeffrey Savage, Dr. Kenon Renfrow, David Lehman and currently is pursuing a DMA in Collaborative Piano under Dr. Andrew Campbell at Arizona State University.
She has performed and given workshops all over the U.S. and Europe as a soloist, composer and chamber musician. A very active performer in the Phoenix music scene, her recent performances include collaborations in Prism's New Music Festival, Spark! Dance Festival at Mesa Arts Center, ASU’s Lyric Opera Theatre, Ballet Arizona, Rosie’s House, Kerr Cultural Center and concerts in local schools, churches and homes. Outside of the Valley, she has performed with the Pacific Symphony in Irvine, CA, in New York, including two original shows produced by Lincoln Center, an Iceland tour with violinist Chrissie Gudmundsdottir, a Europe tour with Violinist Anna Sabelfeld and a U.K tour with her trio, Dionysus, an ensemble dedicated to new music and commissions.
Dionysus, a modern re-invention of the piano trio comprised of two saxophones and piano, has competed and advanced to the live rounds of the internationally-acclaimed Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, been selected as finalists at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, earned Second prize in Enkor’s Chamber Music Competition and Third prize in the regional division of the Music Teachers National Association Wind Chamber Group competition. The trio was also a featured group in the UNCSA Chamber Music Festival in March 2015. The group is dedicated to outreach programs wherever they go, performing new music, and promoting new composers. After their 2015 UK tour and Lincoln Center debut with Ms. Witt’s compositions, they gave tours in Michigan and the Kansas City area in 2016 and programed several new works/multimedia programs featuring women composers in the Phoenix area in 2017.
In addition to performing, Juliana also teaches at Arizona Christian University, where she is head of Piano Studies and also plays for the ACU Chorale and Musical Theater Program. She also teaches History of Jazz, History of Hip Hop and core academic courses for the new Piano Performance and Pedagogy degree that she designed for the school. It will be offered for the first time in the Fall of 2018.
Always passionate about community collaborations, she founded the Teaching Artist Collective of Arizona, an organization that seeks to support artists who teach in the greater Phoenix Valley. She is very passionate about continuing education and creative artistry for teachers and making the freelance artist life sustainable (tacollectiveaz.org). Past projects as founder and director have included Thomasville Community Music Series in 2015, McClintock Chamber Music Residency in 2017 and Arts at Gloria Dei in 2018. She recently received the position as Artistic Director of Arts at Nativity in Scottsdale, AZ. The concert series exists to present artistic and cultural events with arts education opportunities that enrich the fabric of the community. Hosted by Episcopal Church of the Nativity, the events are designed to promote engaging experiences in an intimate setting between performers and audience members. She is also the Music Director at The Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Scottsdale, AZ, directing the Nativity Adult Choir and also Vivace and Allegretto Children’s Choirs.
In addition to making music, she loves the outdoors, good food and traveling with her husband.
photo credit: Bethany Brown