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Dr. Howard Cinnamon was the Music Director and Conductor of the Island Symphony for over a quarter century, and transformed the ISO from a local senior citizens ensemble to Long Island's premiere symphony orchestra. With his passing in 2017, the Dr. Howard Cinnamon Scholarship was established in 2018 to acknowledge his legacy to our group, and to support the finest student musicians on Long Island, a cause near to his heart. Dr. Cinnamon dedicated much of his career to music education and to supporting young people pursuing their passion in music.
Below is a brief biography of the man who would have celebrated the recipients of this scholarship grant.
"I have been exposed to different kinds of music for my entire life. I began playing piano when I was eight years old. It wasn’t until I entered high school however, that music became my primary passion that I decided to devote my life to. My life was rapidly changing during an already stressful time. I had just moved with my family into my grandparent’s garage and I was trying to adjust to the new high school environment at the same time. Playing the piano and composing have been channels through which I can express myself. Music has and continues to bring me to a utopian world free from worry. Composing in particular has become my primary interest because of my desire to create and play more than what is already written on pages. I have become especially fascinated by the ability to create melodies and convey different emotions through music.
As a result of the meaning and passion that music has brought into my life, I became motivated to get involved in music as much as possible. I started working at my local piano store and teaching piano lessons. I began accompanying vocalists for their NYSSMA solos. I started playing trumpet in my school’s wind ensemble and jazz band. I learned guitar and played it in the pit for my school’s musical theater performances. I joined the Tri-M music honor society. I began singing in two of my school’s choirs. I learned violin during the summer before my senior year so I could join my school’s concert and chamber orchestras. I became the musical director for South Huntington Public Library’s theater performance and the pit conductor for my school’s student run theater showcase. Lastly, I started composing more frequently, sometimes for some of my school’s performing groups. Overall, my increased exposure to music in my life has given me devotion and commitment that I have never had before."
A distinguished music theorist and conductor, Dr. Cinnamon was the Music Director and Conductor of the Island Symphony Orchestra for over 25 years (1991-2017). As a lifelong music educator, Dr. Cinnamon was the Professor and Coordinator of Music Theory/Composition at Hofstra University and had been its Chair of its Department of Music for nearly a decade. . In these positions, he dedicated his career to nurturing and inspiring young students pursuing their passions in music.
Dr. Cinnamon’s academic and professional experiences were unrivaled. He received his B.A. from The City College, CUNY, his M.A. from Queens College, CUNY, and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He served as Music Director of the Long Beach (LI) Symphony and the Bay Area (BAFFA) Symphony, as Interim Director of the Hofstra University Orchestra and as Conductor of the Hofstra Summer Reading Orchestra. He also appeared regularly as Guest Conductor of the Massapequa Philharmonic. He permanently joined the Island Symphony in 1991, transforming a local senior citizen’s community orchestra into Long Island’s premiere intergenerational symphony that it is today.
Throughout his career, Dr. Cinnamon was a thought-leader in the field of music theory. He presented papers on the music of Brahms, Liszt, Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky at numerous scholarly conferences, and published papers on Liszt, Schoenberg, Bach, and Chopin in Music Theory Spectrum, Theory and Practice, In Theory Only, Indiana Theory Review, Intégral and Gamut. He was a member of the Executive Board of the Music Theory Society of New York State (2008 - 2013) and also served as its Treasurer (1991-95).
ANNOUNCING the 2018 RECIPIENT of the DR. HOWARD CINNAMON SCHOLARSHIP:
Student, Walt Whitman High School
Huntington Station, NY
ABOUT THE DR. HOWARD CINNAMON SCHOLARSHIP FUND