School of Visual & Performing Arts

School of Visual & Performing Arts

Featured Artist, Daniel O’Brien


On behalf of the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Western Connecticut State University, we would like to congratulate our inaugural Featured Artist Competition winner, Daniel O’Brien.


Applications for the WCSU Featured Artist Competition were received from across the country. Applicants were evaluated by the newly formed Visual Performing Arts Commission which is comprised of professional artists and educators.


The winning Featured Artist, Dan O’Brien is an improviser, composer, and woodwind player based in Connecticut and Massachusetts.  Following a rewarding musical upbringing in the Canton, CT public schools, he attended Western Connecticut State University, earning a music education degree and studying a range of disciplines including saxophone and clarinet performance, composition, and jazz improvisation.  Dan is currently completing a Doctorate in the Contemporary Improvisation department at New England Conservatory in Boston, MA, where he studies with Anthony Coleman, Joe Morris, and Ted Reichman.


Since receiving his education Dan along with is colleague Grant Beale founded the Ensemble “Cordyceps” which is comprised of Boston and Connecticut based musicians.  The musicians bring a wide variety of musical traditions and approaches into play, including improvised music, Western art music, world musics, and jazz.


On Friday, May 18th at 7pm in the Veronica Hagman Theatre at WCSU, Dan and the Cordyceps will present, Ensemble Cordyceps: Large Ensemble Improvised Music and Student Workshop – Open Rehearsal – Concert (all events open to the public!)


Earlier in the day Dan and the Cordyceps will have open rehearsals, a Q and A and workshops with the invited high school groups.  General admission is $20 and Students/Seniors are $12.


Please join us for this wonderful and exciting experience, for tickets and information please visit us at