Tadd Russo (b. 1976) currently serves as a staff arranger with the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C., and teaches music technology at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. He completed his master's degree in composition at The Ohio State University, where his principal instructor was Thomas Wells. His music has been performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the NOW new music festival (Capital University), the OCEAn festival (Oberlin Conservatory), the Electrolune Festival (Lunel, France), the Contemporary Music Festival (The Ohio State University), the Society of Composers National Convention (San Antonio, Texas), and the Ohio Music Education Association Conference (Columbus, Ohio), and by the Dallas Wind Symphony (Dallas, Texas). As an arranger, he has worked with Ben Vereen, Ronan Tynan, the San Juan Children's Chorus, Empire Brass, and Kool and the Gang, among others. Tadd was raised in Medina and graduated from Medina High School in 1994. He currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland, with his wife, Erica, and daughter, Rachel.
Russo commented: “Go N-Eírí an Bóthar Leat was commissioned by the Medina County Schools' Fair Honors Ensembles in memory of Mrs. Christine Judd. Mrs. Judd was director of the Fair Honors Chorus, and the mother of Adam Judd, one of my classmates in high school and graduate school and one of my closest friends. Adam and I were involved in many of the same activities revolving around music and theatre, and our parents were always the first to show their support. Mrs. Judd even took on the job of music director for the high school musicals while we were there.
“I cannot imagine a more appropriate way to honor the dedication and love that Mrs. Judd displayed to her family, students, and friends than through song with a text filled with such meaning to her and to her family, and by an ensemble to which she devoted many years of service. We are all greater for having had her in our lives and grateful for the opportunity to know her.
“The text combines the traditional Irish blessing ("May the road rise up to meet you"--a favorite of Mrs. Judd's) with the Irish prayer in time of sorrow. I drew my inspiration for this work from a setting of the blessing by Adam Judd that was performed by Mrs. Judd's elementary school chorus. This setting grows out of Adam's harmonic sequence and takes a similar view of structure. The instrumental accompaniment is traditional in nature, encouraging a sense of calm reflection and enduring optimism.”
Christine M. Judd, wife of Patrick Judd and daughter of Foster and Mary Lou McElfresh, passed away Friday, November 10, 2006, at Medina General Hospital at the age of 56. Since moving to Medina with her family in 1988, Christine taught elementary music at Ella Canavan Elementary School. During her tenure there, Christine directed the annual fifth-grade musical—in many cases comprised of her own arrangements and adaptations—and founded an extracurricular honor choir. Christine was the director of the Medina County Honors Choirs and led their performances annually at the Medina County Fair. She also had previously served as minister of music at First Christian Church of Medina. Christine belonged to the Ohio Music Educators Association and the Red Hat Society and was a vocalist in the musical duo Kindred Spirits. Christine also was active at Camp Christian, where she served annually as an assistant director.
Christine is survived by her husband of 35 years, Patrick Judd; mother, Mary Lou McElfresh; brother, Timothy McElfresh; sister, Rebecca McElfresh; children, Adam Andrew Judd, Sarah Elizabeth Bowman, and Bethany Suzannah Judd; and grandchildren, Andrew Judd, Ivan Bowman, Rosalie Judd, and Henry Bowman.