Ocean City Pops Introduce Three Newest Members

Molly Norcross (Photo provided by the Ocean City Pops)
Molly Norcross (Photo provided by the Ocean City Pops)
The Ocean City Pops announced the addition of their three newest members Monday night. Molly Norcross will be on principal horn and Blake Epsy and Gared Crawford are the group's two newest violinists.

Hailed by Alan Kozinn in the New York Times as giving "a magnificent performance: precise, passionate, and supple", horn player Molly Norcross joins the Ocean City Pops as Principal Horn in 2014.  She currently lives in Texas, where she is the Third/Associate Principal Horn in the San Antonio Symphony.

Molly received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, studying with William Purvis and Jennifer Montone, respectively, and pursued additional professional studies at the New England Conservatory with Richard Sebring.  She has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, and Richmond Symphony.  Ms. Norcross was a Fellow at the Music Academy of the West in 2008 and 2011, and at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2010 and 2012.

Blake Epsy has enjoyed a diverse career as an active recitalist and performer with orchestras and chamber ensembles. He has served as Concertmaster of the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra, Concertmaster of the Western Piedmont Symphony, Associate Concertmaster of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony. He also spent one summer in Mexico City performing with Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería. 

Blake has also been a violinist in the La Catrina Quartet, in residence at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. La Catrina Quartet was the 2012 Latin Grammy winner of the "Best Classical Album" for a collaborative project with Cuarteto Latinoamericano. As a member of the quartet, Blake has performed in over 40 states in the US and Mexico.

Blake is a co-founder of a non profit, Project 440, which trains young musicians to serve their communities through classical music. Project 440 provide industry-specific mentoring and training programs for young musicians that equip them with the tools they need to become successful, engaging, and compassionate artists.

Gared Crawford is currently a violinist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.  Prior to his position in Fort Wayne, Gared served as Associate Concertmaster for the South Bend Symphony in 2006.  In 2007 he was appointed the Concertmaster of the Evansville Philharmonic where he also served as first violinist of the Eykamp String Quartet.  During that time he also served as the Principal Second Violinist of the Owensboro Symphony. 

An avid chamber musician, he has performed repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary and has engaged in many educational and community outreach programs.  As a soloist, he has performed with the South Bend Symphony, the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, the Northwestern University Philharmonia, the Missouri Symphony and the Evansville Philharmonic.  Gared is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Northwestern University.  His teachers include Henry and Cindy Rubin, Almita Vamos and Gregory Fulkerson.  In his spare time he enjoys watching movies with his wife, photography and graphic design. 

--Press release from the Ocean City Pops


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