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B.M., Wayne State University
M.M., California State University, Long Beach
Licensed Body Mapping Educator, 2013
Rena Urso enjoys a flourishing career as a freelance orchestral and chamber musician all over California. In addition to being on the faculty at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University Long Beach and California State University Stanislaus, she is the Second Flutist of the Oakland Symphony and the Oregon Coast Music Festival Orchestra. She previously held Piccolo positions and toured extensively with the New York City Opera National Company and San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theater.
Rena performs frequently with many of the orchestras throughout California including the San Francisco Opera, Pacific Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Monterey, Marin, Santa Rosa, Berkeley, Modesto, and California Symphonies, Carmel Bach Festival, and Festival Mozaic. She has also performed with the Seattle Symphony, American Ballet Theater, Bolshoi Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, Hawaii Symphony, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
A versatile musician who has recorded for video games, television, radio, and film, Rena has also performed extensively with the National Tours of Wicked and Phantom of the Opera.
As a Licensed Body Mapping Educator, Rena presents workshops and masterclasses all over the world, as well as the course she created at CSULB, Body Mapping for the Performing Artist. Her popular monthly column in The Flute View covers a myriad of topics related to injury prevention and musician wellness. Rena will be completing her 200-hour RYT yoga teacher certification and meditation teacher certification in Summer 2021.
During the unusual time of COVID, Rena participated in many virtual performance and teaching collaborations including a new book for the piccolo, "Practice with the Experts; Piccolo Edition," the wildly popular weekly workshops, Practice the Piccolo, and a regular occurring workshop with fellow LBME Amy Likar, "Crafting the Beautiful Etude." This is a workshop focusing on use of Self as it applies to the study and performance of standard flute etudes. This fall, the dynamic new online International Piccolo Academy will launch. This extraordinary new resource will contain performance and instructional videos as well as a variety of other helpful tools by some of the finest piccolo players and pedagogues from all over the world. Rena is delighted to be a part of exciting and unique adventure for the piccolo, as a teaching and performing artist, with contributions focusing on Body Mapping for piccolo players. An active member of the National Flute Association, Rena has served as an adjudicator for various competitions and performed at many of the annual conventions including those in Chicago, Las Vegas, Nashville, Anaheim, Minneapolis, Orlando, as well as next August in Dallas.
Rena is a Course Coordinator for California State University Summer Arts with her biennial flute course, The Complete 21st Century Flutist, taking place again in July 2021 at California State University Fresno. She has been a guest artist at the Iowa Flute and Piccolo Intensive summer courses and is a frequent guest artist at the International Piccolo Festival in Grado, Italy.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Rena received her Bachelor of Music from Wayne State University, and her Master of Music with honors from California State University Long Beach. She is extraordinarily grateful for her mentors; Robert Patrick, Clement Barone Jr., John Barcellona, Anne Zentner, and her father, Santo Urso.
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