Empire Wild grew out of their love for musical exploration. Together they’ve poured a love of pop, folk, fiddle, J-pop, rock, Broadway, EDM, American songbook, and so much more into their own song writing and composition. Trying to figure out how to fuse these influences with our classical background is part of the fun.
As passionate educators, Ken, Brandon, and Mitch find great fulfillment in sharing the joys of being an artist with communities of all ages both as a band and as individuals in their own professional work.
Ken spends much of his week wearing the cello teacher hat, teaching at Peabody Preparatory (MD), Westport Suzuki School (CT) and Lucy Moses School (NY) as well as privately, all while trying to convince his students that the cello is the best instrument ever.
Brandon completed a two-year fellowship as a teaching artist with Ensemble Connect, a program of Carnegie Hall and Juilliard. He was partnered with NYC public schools where he worked with students from kindergarten through high school, and even created a middle school rock band on Staten Island! With Ensemble Connect, he also gave interactive performances throughout every borough of the city at community venues like homeless shelters and incarceration centers.
Mitch, as a teaching artist for the New York Philharmonic for the last several years, has worked to get students excited about classical music, performed for thousands of students in neighborhoods throughout New York City, and wrote and designed interactive concerts and workshops.
Together as an ensemble, Empire Wild feels that it’s important to continue this community-oriented work and bring creative musical outlets and opportunities to students of all backgrounds and skill levels. We’ve also had a lot of fun sharing our unusual versatility with students through workshops at University of Iowa and Peabody Institute, among others.