As of Fall 2006
BILL ALVES, MM ’86, DMA ’90, COMPOSITION
Last March, Bill Alves and the Claremont Concert Orchestra premiered Alves’ Celestial Dance for orchestra and video projection, written in honor of the 50th anniversary of Harvey Mudd College, where he is Associate Professor. Alves also directs the American Gamelan there, which performed with the Pacific Symphony this past May as a part of their American Mavericks festival honoring Lou Harrison.
Alves is the co-organizer of MicroFest, the Southern California Festival of microtonal music, and this year organized a symposium and concert honoring Ben Johnston on his 80th birthday.
Additionally, Alves’ book Music of the Peoples of the World, was published by Thomson/Schirmer this year.
MIGUEL ATWOOD-FERGUSON, BM ’03, STRINGS
This year, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson completed a successful Detroit tour with The Power Trio (alto sax, viola/piano, bass) and poet Chris Abani. In addition, he appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel Show on November 17th, 2006 with Hall and Oates as part of the Sonus String Quartet. He also played a tribute to John Coltrane with Dwight Trible and improvised on keys with the great poet Saul Williams.
Currently, Atwood-Ferguson is finishing mixes for his band The Sahaja Uprockers’ new album. In addition, he is working on Mia-Doi Todd’s new album as a co-producer, music director performer and arranger. He has been improvising live on KPFK 90.7 FM on Fridays with cellist Peter Jacobson and Naila Azad as she recites poems by Hafiz.
Atwood-Ferguson recently finished a duo album with good friend Carlos Nino called Fill The Heart Shaped Cup to be released February 14, 2007.
RANDALL BILLS, MM ’03, VOCAL ARTS
Randall Bills was an Apprentice with the Santa Fe Opera this summer and will join the Young Artist Program of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Germany this season.
PETER BOYER, GRCT ’96, COMPOSITION
Peter Boyer is currently scoring four episodes of the new series Engineering an Empire for The History Channel. This compelling series traces the histories of various empires around the globe by focusing on their engineering achievements.
FRANCIS P. BRADY, BM ’51, MM ’58
Francis Brady recently wrote and published a book titled Creative String Techniques, dedicated to and in memory of the late Vera Barstow, a member of the USC Thornton string faculty for many years. The book, now a part of the collection of the USC Music Library, contains numerous photographs and describes the research, study and application of the basic string techniques advocated by Vera Barstow including her “kinesthetic approach.”
ANDREW BROWNELL, MM ’03, KEYBOARD STUDIES
Andrew Brownell won 2nd Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in the UK.
MICHAEL BYERLY, MM ’06, WINDS & PERCUSSION
Clarinetist Michael Byerly was accepted into the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado.
BRYAN CLARK, BM ’96, STUDIO/JAZZ GUITAR
Songwriter Bryan Clark recently releasted a new album entitled Nebraska House, which is now available on iTunes as well as his previous release Work Songs of Love.
Clark and his bluegrass band, Honeywagon, had the 6th best selling bluegrass album of the year for 2006 and it is still in the top 15 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Charts.
TERRY CRAVENS, DMA ’72, WINDS & PERCUSSION
Terry Cravens won The Ramo Music Faculty Award, conferred by the faculty and students upon a faculty member in recognition of outstanding contribution to music and education.
DONALD CROCKETT, BM ’74, MM ’76, COMPOSITION
Donald Crockett was named a 2006 Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for music composition. He will be on a one-year sabbatical for the length of the grant, undertaking an opera project in collaboration with USC poet and professor of English, David St. John.
Two new CDs with music by Crockett were issued over the past year The Ceiling of Heaven on Albany and To Be Sung on the Water on ECM New Series with violinist Michelle Makarski.
(ASHLEY) TÂMAR DAVIS, BM ’02, MUSIC INDUSTRY
Tâmar Davis was nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award in the category of Best R&B Performance by a Duo with her mentor, Prince. The song ‘Beautiful, Loved and Blessed’ appears on Prince’s new album 3121 where Davis performed much of the backup vocals.
JUSTIN DEMING, BS ’04, JAZZ STUDIES
Justin Deming is the current composer for the TV series “The First 48″ on A&E.
LUDEK DRIZHAL, MM ’02, COMPOSITION
Composer Ludek Drizhal collaborated with singer Valencia Vas (Heidi Vass, MM ’02) on her classical crossover album Reflections, which features new compositions as well as a few innovative arrangements of folk songs and arias. The project, produced by Providence Records, was recorded with the Budapest Radio Symphony which is managed by Thornton alum, Robert Gulya (GCRT ’01).
KENNETH DYE, BM ’74
Dr. Kenneth Dye served as composer/arranger for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Band and is the pops arranger for the Dallas Symphony. In 2004, he premiered three commissioned works for the Notre Dame Concert Band’s tour to New Zealand/Australia and conducted a ‘sold out’ concert in the Sydney Opera House. In 2006, the concert band celebrated Mozart’s 250th birthday with a concert in the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.
Dr. Dye has developed a new course at Notre Dame entitled “The Business of Music”, a synergistic history of music and business.
KATHRYN EBERLE, BM ’04, STRINGS
Violinist Kathryn Eberle performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in April 2006. That same month, she also collaborated with bassist Edgar Meyer and mandolin player Mike Marshall at the Laguna Beach Music Festival.
In March 2005, Eberle Performed the Vivaldi Concerto for 2 Violins with violinist Jaime Laredo and the Colburn Orchestra.
Additionally, she was the Grand Prize Winner of both the 2004 Pasadena Instrumental Competition and 2005 Young Musicians Foundation National Debut Competition.
TAYLOR EIGSTI, JAZZ STUDIES
Pianist Taylor Eigsti was recently nominated for two 2007 GRAMMY Awards for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo for his a piece entitled ‘Freedom Jazz Dance,’ as well as Best Instrumental Composition for ‘Argument.’ Both pieces are tracks from his album Lucky to Be Me.
CHERYL LIN FIELDING, DMA ’05, KEYBOARD COLLABORATIVE ARTS
Dr. Fielding has obtained a position as vocal coach at Chapman University.
BRETT FISHMAN, BM ’05, VOCAL ARTS
Brett Fishman, professionally known as ‘Brett Laurence,’ has co-written songs with R&B legend, Maurice White, founder of the band Earth Wind and Fire, for a new musical that made its debut on Broadway in April 2006. The show, entitled Hot Feet, ran for 3 months at the Hilton Theater in New York City’currently, there are plans for a national tour in 2007.
MARK FORREST, BM ’96, STUDIO/JAZZ GUITAR
Mark Forrest recently performed on banjo, mandolin and ukulele with the touring production of the Broadway musical Chicago. As a member of the Emerald City Jazz Kings for the last seven years, he has performed with a variety of guest artists including Dick Hyman, Ken Peplowski, Bill Watrous and Tommy Tune. Mark also earned an MBA from the University of Oregon in 2004 and is Vice President of Forrest Paint Co., a global supplier of specialty coatings based in Eugene, Oregon.
SARA GAZAREK, BS ’04, JAZZ STUDIES
Jazz vocalist Sara Gezarak spent much of the year on tour with fellow Thornton alumni bassist Eric Kertes, BM ’04 and drummer Matt Slocum, BM ’04 in support of her debut album, Yours. Gazarek serves as the ambassador for The Music for All Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises awareness for music and arts education programs across the country.
RYAN GOESSL, MM ’06, VOCAL ARTS
Ryan Goessl was an apprentice this past summer with the Seagle Music Colony in upstate New York. Goessl will be the baritone soloist for in an upcoming performance of Beethoven’s Mass in C minor in Los Angeles. Recently, Goessl accepted a job (starting in November) teaching English and Music for a year in South Korea.
CHRISTIAN GOLDSMITH, BM ’04, MM ’06, WINDS & PERCUSSION
Christian Goldsmith has won the principal trombone position with the Macao Symphony in Macao, China.
REYNA L. GORDON, BM ’01, VOCAL ARTS
In July 2004, Reyna Gordon completed a Master of Science degree in Neuroscience at the University of Provence in Marseille, France. Her thesis was entitled “A Study of the Neural Bases of Song Perception.”
Gordon is currently a NIMH training fellow in the Complex Systems and Brain Sciences PhD program at Florida Atlantic University, doing dissertation research on neural correlates of song prosody. In this she will look at how a listener’s brain responds to different styles of textsetting.
ALEX GUERRERO, JR., BM ’83, VOCAL ARTS
Alex Guerrero is currently giving opera lectures and performances while traveling the Baltics, Caribbean and Mediterranean on a Constellation Class luxury cruise ship with Celebrity Cruises.
BARBARA SWEDENBORG HARLOW, BM ’56, MUSIC EDUCATION
Barbara Swedenborg is the president, founder and editor of Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Inc. The company was founded in 1990 and publishes choral music, books and videos.
VINCENT HO, DMA ’05, COMPOSITION
Composer Vincent Ho recently released a debut album entitled Vincent Ho. The CD showcases his award-winning musical talent and contains pieces from his first eight years as a composer including Stigmata, Four Paintings by Leestemaker, and Nighthawks.
Ho won numerous awards for Stigmata, most recently the Canadian Music Centre’s 2006 Emerging Composer Prize and EARPLAY’s 2004 Donald Aird Composition award.
JEFFREY HOLMES, MM ’01, DMA ’05, COMPOSITION
This year Jeffrey Holmes was appointed Professor of Music in the department of Theory and Composition at Chapman University in Orange, CA. He also received performances at the Darmstadt New Music Festival in Germany, at The Society for Chromatic Art in New York and by the Cal Arts Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble Green in Los Angeles. His work Nocturnes for solo guitar was published by Doberman-Yppan.
Currently, Holmes is completing a commissio for Piano Spheres for pianist Susan Sverck.
MARYLIN HORNE, BM ’56, VOCAL ARTS
Mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Gramophone magazine.
JULIEANNE KLEIN, MM ’01, VOCAL ARTS
This semester Julieanne Klein is receiving her Doctorate of Music, specializing in contemporary and live electronic performance, from McGill University in Montreal. Klein’s thesis is entitled: “The Use of Voice in Live and Interactive Electronic Music: Trends and Techniques for the Art of Performance”.
In March 2006, Klein sang a concert with the world renowned contemporary ensemble ‘eighth blackbird’ in Chicago. Beginning in March 2007, Klein will be touring the UK with the European based Ulysses Ensemble singing Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Ravel’s Chansons madécasses, sponsered by the Britten-Pears Institute.
VERONIKA KRAUSAS, DMA ’01, COMPOSITION
Dr. Veronika Krausas’ work analemma for 11 musicians, which was commissioned by the Canada Council, was just premiered at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, Canada by ERGO Ensemble, conducted by Alex Pauk.
In addition, Dr. Krausas co-organized the LOOK.HEAR festival in September 2006 at USC with the assistant director of the Roski School of Fine Arts. The festival was a week-long event of art and music collaborations that involved faculty, students, School of Cinematic Arts alum Robert Drummond, MA ’99, Daedulus (Albert Weisberg) of the Thornton School of Music and former Cirque du Soleil acrobats Sebastien Stella and Katia Sereno.
VICTOR LABENSKE, DMA ’93, KEYBOARD STUDIES
Victor Labenske composes and arranges on a regular basis for the piano catalogs of Alfred Publishing and Lillenas Publishing. Recent publications with Alfred include Play Praise, books 1 and 2 (co-authored by another USC alum, Tom Gerou, BM ’83, Composition) and Show Me Missouri!
MORTEN LAURIDSEN, BM ’66, MM ’68, DMA ’74, COMPOSITION
Thirteen CDs featuring music by Morten Lauridsen were released this past year, including the Grammy-nominated O Magnum Mysterium by the Tiffany Consort. The National Endowment for the Arts designated his Madrigali: Six ‘FireSongs’ on Italian Renaissance Poems and O Magnum Mysterium as “American choral masterpieces.”
KATHERINE LEE ’93 BM, KEYBOARD STUDIES
Katherine Lee was nominated for the 2006 American Pianists Association Classical Fellowship in Indianapolis. She is currently on the faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago, where she is also serving as co-chair of the faculty committee.
Miss Lee’s recent performances include appearances in Nichols Hall for the MIC Alumni Concert, at the Duo-Piano Festival, and at the Sundays at Three Faculty Series. She has also been serving as the Competition Director for the Society of American Musicians Competition.
CHRISTOPHER LENNERTZ, BM ’95, COMPOSITION
Christopher Lennertz was nominated for a 2006 Emmy Award for his original score for the Warner Brothers TV show “Supernatural.” He has recently been hired to score the Fox film “The Comebacks” for the producers of “Wedding Crashers”.
JOHN M. LILLEY, DMA ’71, CHURCH MUSIC
John M. Lilley was elected president of Baylor University on January 1, 2006. Prior to his appoinment, Lilly had served as president of University of Nevada, Reno for four and a half years.
THE LOS ANGELES QUITAR QUARTET
The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, the Grammy-winning ensemble that comprises of John Dearman (BM ’81, MM ’83), Andrew York (MM ’86) and Thornton faculty members Bill Kanengiser (BM ’81, MM ’83) and Scott Tennant (BM ’86), issued Spin, their third recording for TELARC.
KENNETH LOWENBERG, MM ’64, COMPOSITION
Kenneth Lowenberg recently retired, after 38 years of service, from his position as Minister of Music at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. Duties included organist, choir director, directing four graded choirs, three handbell choirs, a concert series, Gospel Choir, Men’s Chorus, All Church Orchestra, Guitar Group, Praise Team, and other occasional groups.
GIA Music Publishers recently released three new compositions by Lowenberg: ‘Pentecost Prayer’ (SATB voices and organ); ‘Do Not I Love Thee’ (from The Sacred Harp for 2-part mixed voices and piano); and “I Would See Jesus” (from The Sacred Harp for 2-part mixed voices and piano).
Lowenberg has been named Music Chairman for the annual Washington, DC InterFaith Conference Concert on November 14, and is on the planning committee for the DC American Guild of Organists’ National Convention in 2010.
DOUGLAS LOWRY, MA ’76
Douglas Lowry, currently Dean and Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, recently had his piece Mr. Serious Gets His Ya-Ya’s Out premiered with the Louisville Orchestra under the direction of Robert Bernhardt, MM ’77, in celebration of Maestro Bernhardt’s 25 years with the Louisville Orchestra. This past spring, Mr. Lowry also had music premiered to the play Stone My Heart with Cincinnati’s Tony Award-winning Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.
JIM LUTZ, MM ’05, JAZZ STUDIES
Jim Lutz recently won the trombone job in a new production of Cirque du Soleil, scheduled to debut in April 2007 in Montreal, Canada. He will also be traveling with Brian Culberton’s ‘A Soulful Christmas” tour in November and December 2006.
KEVIN McCARTER, MM ’93, KEYBOARD COLLABORATIVE ARTS
Kevin McCarter’s composition Opening Ideas is a new work for orchestra featured on the CD Masterworks of the New Era, Volume 8 (ERM Media). The two-CD set was recorded by American conductor Robert Ian Winstin and the Kiev Philharmonic.
BEAR McCREARY, BM ’02, COMPOSITION
Bear McCreary is currently scoring his third season of Sci Fi Channel’s smash hit series “Battlestar Galactica” starring Academy Award nominees Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell. His most recent “Battlestar Galactica” soundtrack CD rocketed into Amazon.com’s TOP 30 Music Sales on its first day of release.
He has completed scoring on two studio feature films, “Rest Stop” for Warner Bros and “Wrong Turn 2″ for 20th Century Fox. His recent concert commissions include Three Pieces for Trio for USC alum flutist Jenni Scott and an original symphonic work based on his “Battlestar Galactica” score for the National Opera of Thurinigia in Germany.
In October 2005 and 2006 McCreary collaborated with members of the iconic cult band Oingo Boingo, serving as musical director, keyboardist and vocalist for the “Johnny Vatos Tribute to Halloween.” He performed his unique arrangements of their hit songs with the band in sold out shows at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles and the Grove of Anaheim.
While still studying at USC, he worked with late film music legend Elmer Bernstein, completely re-constructing and re-orchestrating Bernstein’s 1963 score for “Kings of the Sun,” starring Yul Brynner. Their collaboration has allowed for this soundtrack to be released to the public for the first time in over forty years, with the June 2006 release of the Film Music Collection box set from Film Score Monthly. McCreary also created a concert suite from this work, which has been performed around the world.
ANGELA MEADE, MM ’04, VOCAL ARTS
Angela Meade has been accepted into the Lindemann Young Artist Program of the Metropolitan Opera for 2006-07.
ERIC MELANSON, BM ’93, MM ’98, MUSIC EDUCATION
Eric (Rick) Melanson began a new position at Claremont High School as Jazz Director.
TILL MACIVOR MEYN, DMA ’00, COMPOSITION
In the spring of 2005, Till MacIvor Meyn earned tenure as Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University after five years of teaching.
In Fall 2006, Meyn’s percussion trio, Groovelocity, was published by C. Alan Publications. His choral work, The City in the Sea, was recently made available for pre-publication purchase through E.C. Schirmer Publishing and is due to release in 2008. In addition, Till’s flute ensemble composition, Preludio Y Tango, was published by ALRY Publications in the spring of 2005.
Meyn’s compositions have been performed numerous places including: the 2006 SCI/CMS National Conventions in San Antonio, at the 2006 National Flute Convention in Pittsburgh, at the World Saxophone Congress in Slovenia, E.U., at the 2005 National Flute Association Convention in San Diego, at Cleveland State University (September 2005), at the Manhattan School of Music (January 2005), at the 2004 Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses National Seminar at Harvard, at the 2004 Midwest Regional ACDA Convention in Indianapolis.
ERICA MILLER, MM ’04, VOCAL ARTS
Erica Miller will perform with the Des Moines Opera in 2006 and in the leading role of Thornton opera’s Fall performance of Thomas Ades’ Powder Her Face.
LINDA MINASIAN, DMA ’01, KEYBOARD STUDIES
Linda Minasian wrote an article entitled “Handedness in Piano Playing – Biological Principles of Education,” which was published June 2006 in American Music Teacher, the official journal of MTNA. The article deals with unique approaches that can be helpful in teaching right-brained piano students.
TERRI MITCHELL, MM ’84, WINDS & PERCUSSION
Flutist Terri Mitchell recieved a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Miami in December 2003. In 2004, Mitchell won the SGI-Renaissance Award for contributing to arts in the community.
Mitchell published ‘Healthy Playing’ in the journal Flute Talk in January 2006 and was appointed to the principle flute position with the Ars Flores Symphony Orchestra. He was also a featured soloist with Nestor Torres performing Concerto for Two Flutes by Domenico Cimarrosa with the Ars Flores Symphony in March 2006.
KRISTY MORRELL MM ’94, DMA ’97, WINDS & PERCUSSION
French horn player Kristy Morrell gave master classes at the Eastman School of Music. Together with Susan Helfter, Thornton’s director of outreach efforts, she wrote an article titled ‘Performing Musicians in the Schools: The Preparation and Training of Musician Teaching-Artists,’ which was presented at the 2005 symposium of the Society for Music Teacher Education in Greensboro, NC.
MICHAEL MORTON MM ’94, WINDS & PERCUSSION
Flutist Michael Morton has recently released a new CD entitled “Peace & Quiet.”
IRA NEPUS, MM ’89, JAZZ STUDIES
Ira Nepus is currently performing with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra whose latest album recorded with Diana Krall is at the top of the charts. Nepus is also planning to release a solo album this year entitled, Another Time, Another Place, on Jazz’d Media label.
ANDREW NORMAN, BM ’02, MM ’04, COMPOSITION
Andrew Norman won a 2006-07 Samuel Barber Rome Prize for his composition Melting Architecture, and will spend the year in Italy on this fellowship, which provides a stipend, studio as well as room and board.
Andrew Norman received several commissions from the Copland House, the Hoff-Barthelson Music School, SCI/ASCAP, the Cascade Head Music Festival in Oregon, along with a composer residency there this summer. He also received a commission from the Oakland East Bay Symphony for an extended work for chorus and orchestra on a California-related theme. His violin octet Gran Turismo was performed on the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music this summer.
JEREMY OLSEN, BM ’99, MUSIC EDUCATION
In January, Jeremy Olsen will reach one year of membership in the Motion Picture Editors Guild, and a year working as an Assistant Dialogue Editor on Fox’s Family Guy. Olsen received his first TV credit earlier in 2006.
CYNTHIA O’BRIEN (nee Netzer), BA ’85
Cynthia O’Brien just celebrated 10 years as Senior Pastor of Smith Memorial Presbyterian Church in Fairview, Oregon. As a former choral director, she has an enviable staff relationship with her music director.
O’Brien is also cultivating a musical family. She took up the folk harp two years ago; her daughters, ages 7 and 5, study piano; and her husband is learning to play the Irish bodhran.
KELLEY O’CONNOR, BM ’02, VOCAL ARTS
Mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor sang the role of Federico García Lorca on the Deutsche Grammophon recording of Golijov’s Ainadamar: Fountain of Tears (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; Robert Spano, conductor) that won a 2007 GRAMMY Award for Best Opera Recording.
RICHARD O’NEILL, BM ’01, STRINGS
Richard O’Neill is the Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient for 2006, one of the few violists to ever be awarded the prestigious grant. He was recently appointed as principal violist of Camerata Pacifica, a position he shares with his former professor Donald McInnes, and will join Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center for their 2007-08 season.
THOMAS OSBORNE, DMA ’06, COMPOSITION
Thomas Osborne was appointed as assistant professor of composition and theory and director of the new music ensemble at the University of Hawaii. Tom Osborne’s piece Songs of a Thousand Autumns was premiered as part of the Intermezzo Chamber Series in Salt Lake City.
JESSICA ROSE OWEN, MM ’06, VOCAL ARTS
Since graduation, Jessica Rose Owen has been studying with the renowned Renata Scotto in White Plains, NY at the Renata Scotto Opera Academy. She attended the VOICExperience! with Sherrill Milnes and Friends program in Walt Disney World, FL, and was invited by Ms. Scotto to attend her program in Rome, Italy this November at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Opera Studio.
ELIZABETH PITCAIRN, BM ’96, STRINGS
Elizabeth Pitcairn recently performed for the international press as a spokesperson on the Stradivarius for Christie’s NY, and was seen on CNN, Fox, CNBC, and Yahoo; and from Montreal on CTV, Radio Canada and Global Quebec. She was interviewed by John Schaefer on WNYC and is regularly heard on K-Mozart, K-USC, and WRTI Philadelphia.
This fall Pitcairn will star on the Lisa Williams Show produced by Merv Griffin, and record the theme to ‘Rosa’, a film by Sirocco Media. On December 10, 2006, she will perform the complete Lalo Symphonie Espagnole with the Santa Monica Symphony.
Other highlights of the 2006-2007 season will feature a Disney Hall debut and a return engagement at the Kimmel Center, a recital for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and debuts with the Marin and Fort Collins Symphonies.
BRUCE POLAY, BM ’71
Dr. Bruce Polay is currently the artistic director/conductor of the Knox-Galesburg Symphony, also serving also as professor of music at Knox College where he teaches courses in music theory, music history, and composition. In 2004 Bruce was recognized Illinois Conductor of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras (ICO). During his tenure the Knox-Galesburg Symphony has also been twice recognized with the coveted Illinois Orchestra of the Year award. Most recently, Polay has been recognized with the ICO’s prestigious 2006 Programming of the Year Award.
This year Bruce has invitations to Italy and Mexico to guest conduct in two performances with the State Orchestra of Mexico, and with the Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, he will serve as a judge for the International Competition of Piano Performance ‘Florestano Rossomandi’ in Foggio, Italy and guest conduct the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest in a program that will include the Chicago premiere of Sparkle, commissioned by the Dick Blick Company.
Bruce’s recognition as a composer has been enhanced with awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers in ASCAP’s Rudolf Nissim Composition Competition and ASCAP/Plus Awards received each year since l993. In 2005, Golden Oldie (2001) was released on an ERM CD entitled ‘Masterworks of the New Era.’ Suite on Catalonian Folksongs for String Orchestra (2004), which was commissioned by Orquestra de Cambra de l’Emporda (Spain), was recently published by Editions Rassel (NY).
This past year Bruce Polay’s CD Pictures For an Exhibition: Music of Bruce Polay was published by Zimbel Press.
DEREK POLISCHUK, BM ’01, MM ’04, DMA ’06, KEYBOARD STUDIES
Derek Polischuk was appointed Assistant Professor of Piano and Director of Piano Pedagogy at Michigan State University.
JOHN POOLE, BM ’67, KEYBOARD STUDIES
In addition to artist-in-residence appointments at Wyncote Academy and Delaware Valley Friends School, John Poole has opened a home studio in Ardmore, Pennsylvania where he teaches and records for his company, Join in! Productions.
DARRELL CHARLES RABY, GRCT ’03, COMPOSITION
Darrell Charles Raby won the Turner Classic Movies Young Film Composers Competition. This year’s panel of judges was chaired by Hans Zimmer. As the winner, Raby will score the entire silent film used in the competition titled The Show. In addition, He will receive mentoring sessions from Hans Zimmer (has already had one very successful session) and with composers Brian Tyler and Aaron Zigman. The movie will air on TCM sometime in January.
GREG REITAN, BM ’96, COMPOSITION
Pianist/composer Greg Reitan joined the Steinway & Sons International Artist Roster, which provides access to Steinway concert pianos for all future performances. Reitan has also been busy scoring television and film projects that have appeared on CBS and CNN networks, XM Satellite Radio, ABC and NBC News, network commercials and film projects.
JESSICA RIVERA, MM ’98, VOCAL ARTS
Soprano Jessica Rivera sang the role of Nuria on the Deutsche Grammophon recording of Golijov’s Ainadamar: Fountain of Tears (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; Robert Spano, conductor) that won a 2007 GRAMMY Award for Best Opera Recording.
DANIEL ROBBINS, MM ’76, COMPOSITION
Daniel Robbins was chosen by Intrada CDs to restore and reconstruct legendary film composer Miklos Rozsa’s score to the Alfred Hitchcock classic film Spellbound. The new recording is the first definitive rendition of the complete score and contains music deleted from the film to be heard now for the first time. The CD was released in April 2007 and features the Slovak Radio Symphony conducted by Allan Wilson. As the sole prodigy of the late Hungarian/American composer Miklos Rozsa, Dr. Robbins was also creative consultant, interpretive advisor, and general supervisor of the CD recorded at the Slovak Radio Concert Hall in Bratislava.
DELMER D. ROGERS, PhD, BM ’52, MM ’53
Delmer Rogers has retired after 33 years on faculty at the University of Texas, Austin. Rogers is a board member of the neighborhood association and recently finished his autobiography. Rogers is currently working on History of Music in Texas(UT Press).
PATRICIA RUSSELL, BM ’06, MUSIC EDUCATION
Patricia Russell obtained a position at Rio Mesa High School in Oxnard, CA teaching high school band, jazz band, choir, and piano.
RAYMOND SANTOS, BM ’06, WINDS & PERCUSSION
Clarinetist Raymond Santos won a position with the New World Symphony in Florida.
SEAN SASAHARA, BS ’97, MUSIC INDUSTRY
Sean Sasahara is currently the music supervisor for the multi-Emmy award winning game shows ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel Of Fortune.’ He is also involved in the development of two new shows possibly due to appear as early as next year.
JOEL SCHEKMAN, MM ’02, WINDS & PERCUSSION
Clarinetist Joel Schekman won the utility position with the Grand Rapid Symphony Orchestra.
NADIA SHPACHENKO, MM ’99, DMA ’04, KEYBOARD STUDIES
Nadia Shpachenko was appointed Assistant Professor of Music at Cal Poly Pomona University, starting Fall 2006.
On October 6, 2006 Nadia performed the World Premiere of Piano Concerto No. 2 by Ukrainian composer Yury Ishchenko as part of the 17th International Contemporary Music Festival “Kiev Music Fest 2006′ at the National Philharmonic of Ukraine’s Hall of Columns. Ms. Shpachenko also presented master classes at the Kiev National Music Academy and performed with the Honored Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Ukrainian National Radio Company (Vladimir Sheiko, conductor).
Nadia performed the West Coast Premiere of Elliott Carter’s Dialogues for Piano and Chamber Orchestra with the Nimbus Ensemble (Young Riddle conducting) in April, 2005. She also performed Ravel’s Concerto in G Major with the San Bernardino Symphony (Carlo Ponti, Jr., conductor) on May 21, 2005.
Shpachenko later toured Mexico with the Orquesta de Baja California (David Amos conducting), performing Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto. And last October, she performed both the Beethoven and Ravel Concertos with the Kharkov Philharmonic Orchestra in her native Ukraine.
GEORGE SHAW, BM ’04, COMPOSITION
George Shaw recently received a Gold Medal for Artistic Achievement at the Park City Film Music Festival Award Ceremony for composing the score to the Mexican thriller film J-OK’EL. The film is based on the legendary J’ok’el, the weeping woman, who drowned her own babies centuries ago. Now her spirit has returned to claim more children as her own. George recorded a 40 piece orchestra at Capitol Records. The half-million dollar independent feature is directed by Benjamin Williams, and stars Tom Parker (ER, CSI, EVERWOOD) as the American George Christensen, Ana Patricia Rojo (MUJER DE MADERA) as a good-natured Carmen, Dee Wallace ( E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, THE FRIGHTENERS) as George’s mother Helen, Jesus Ochoa (MAN ON FIRE) as Police Officer Flores, and Diana Bracho (Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN) as J-ok’el.
Shaw has also composed a hip/hop classical fusion score for the short film Hit Me which will be featured on Showtime’s Black Filmmaker Showcase. As well, his score to the film Marcus, and intense and twisted thriller, is being released on DVD & iTunes by Warner Bros. Home Video.
George Shaw was invited to participate in the 9th Annual BMI Conducting Workshop. In addition, George has been selected for Film Independent’s Project:Involve, which is dedicated to increasing cultural diversity in the film industry by cultivating the careers of under-represented filmmakers. Project:Involve is a practical training, mentoring, screening, and job placement program that pairs 40 emerging filmmakers per year with mentors in all areas of filmmaking. George will be mentored by Emmy Nominated composer, Christopher Lennertz ’95.
LAURA SHIVELY, BS ’06, MUSIC INDUSTRY
Laura Shively obtained a position at Chrysalis Music Group USA as a Sync Licensing Administrator.
STEVEN SIU, BM ’00, MUSIC INDUSTRY
Steven Siu is the founder of Ivorytreasures.com, a website dedicated to pop piano music, where people can download over 250 renditions of popular songs. Siu recorded 6 CDs for PianoDisc, Inc. and released his 10th CD on his own label IvoryTreasures.
Since February 2003, Steve has been serving as the resident pianist at the Montage Resort and Spa in Laguna Beach where he performs daily.
BARRY SPANIER, BM ’80, MUSIC EDUCATION
In Fall 2004, Barry Spainer founded a marching band program at Tulane University. Until that time, it was the only division 1-A football program with no marching band. as Director of Bands and Orchestra. The Tulane University Marching Band made its first football game debut on September 30, 2006. As Director of Bands and Orchestra at Tulane University, Spanier is responsible for marching and concert bands, and all orchestral ensembles.
CHRISTIAN STENDEL, MM ’85, CHURCH MUSIC
Christian Stendel has recently accepted the position of Piano Accompanist at Los Angeles City College. He is also the Music Director/Organist at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Winnetka, California.
CHRIS STOUTENBOROUGH, BM ’05, WINDS & PERCUSSION
Clarinetist Chris Stoutenborough was accepted into the National Repertoire Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado.
ROBERT EDWARD THIES, BM ’93, MM ’95, KEYBOARD STUDIES
Robert Edward Thies won the Gold Medal at the Second International Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia in December 2005. In August 2006 he performed the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Auckland Philharmonia in New Zealand. Thies also stepped in for Cliburn Gold Medalist Jose Feghali on few days’ notice for performances of Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto.
Thies released his debut solo CD Live in Recital and recorded a CD Difference of original music with Croatian flutist, Damjan Krajacic to be released Fall 2006. Currently, Thies teaches on the faculty for the American Institute of Musical Studies each summer in Graz, Austria.
JOHN THOMAS, MM ’87, WINDS & PERCUSSION
John Thomas has completed his fifth summer tour of Italy and Croatia as guest trumpet soloist and clinician. Thomas has also completed his long awaited trumpet instructional video, John Thomas’ Trumpet Secrets Revealed, produced by T & T Video Productions and distributed by Hal Leonard.
MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS, BM ’67, MM ’76, CONDUCTING
Michael Tilson Thomas received the Artist of the Year award from Gramophone magazine.
Maestro Thomas’ recording with the San Francisco Symphony of Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 recently won Best Classical Album and Best Orchestral Performance at the 2007 GRAMMY Awards.
JEFF THOMSON, BM ’04, WINDS & PERCUSSION
Jeff Thomson has begun teaching Musical Theater Performance and History at The Harlem School for the Performing Arts in New York City. Since graduation Thomson has assisted Tony award winning writers including Jason Robert Brown (Songs for a New World, The Last 5 Years) and Bobby Lopez (Avenue Q).
Most recently, Thomson has received a fellowship from the Dramatist Guild in musical theater, writing studying with Ahrens and Flaherty, the Tony Award winning team of the Broadway hit Ragtime. Thomson’s show Urban Myths & Legends is expected to open in May in New York City.
HEIDI VASS, MM ’02, VOCAL ARTS
Heidi Vass (aka Valencia Vas) recently released a classical crossover album titled Reflections, which features some new compositions as well as a few innovative arrangements of folk songs and arias. On the project she collaborated extensively with composer Ludek Drizhal (MM ’02). The album, produced by Providence Records, was recorded with the Budapest Radio Symphony which is managed by Thornton alum, Robert Gulya (GCRT ’01).
GREGG WAGER, BM ’80
Dr. Gregg Wager has published an article on Kurt Weill for a website edited by Dr. Michael Beckerman, chair of the musicology department at New York University. The site examines German musicians displaced by the events of World War II; Wager did much of his research at the Kurt Weill Foundation.
LARRY WARKENTIN, DMA ’67, KEYBOARD STUDIES
Larry Warkentin was piano accompanist for Andrew Funk, (bass soloist with Santa Fe Opera and Chicago Lyric) on March 17, 2006 in Bonner Auditorium, Fresno, CA.
Larry retired from Fresno Pacific University in 2002 after 40 years on the music faculty.
DALE WARLAND, PhD ’65
Celebrated conductor, Dale Warland, received the Robert Shaw Award in Choral Music Saturday, March 10, 2007, in Miami, Florida. This award is given biannually by the American Choral Directors Association to honor an individual for lifetime achievement in the choral art. Former recipients include Charles Hirt, Roger Wagner, Howard Swan, Harold Decker, Weston Noble, Colleen Kirk, Warner Imig, and Paul Salomunovich.
As director of the Dale Warland Singers, he shaped a vocal ensemble known for its exquisite sound, technical finesse, and stylistic range. From that platform, Warland not only mastered the traditional repertoire, but also commissioned 270 new choral works.
The music world has responded by bestowing its highest honors on Warland. A few of his awards include the 2006 Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia’s Individual Leadership in Choral Music Award, the Champion of New Music Award from the American Composers Forum (2005), Honorary Doctorates from Macalester College and the University of Minnesota (2004), a Grammy nomination of Walden Pond for best choral performance (2003), and the 2001 McKnight Foundation Distinguished Artist Award in recognition of his lifetime achievements as a choral conductor and his continued contribution to the arts in Minnesota.
Since the closing of the Dale Warland Singers organization, which Warland founded and directed for 32 years, he has continued to remain active as guest conductor, composer, teacher and producer of choral programs for public radio. Warland’s last recording with the Dale Warland Singers, Lzix Azinimqzie, will be released in May by Gothic Recordings.
DAVID WASHBURN, BM ’80, WINDS & PERCUSSION
David Washburn will be the featured trumpet on the all the new music for CBS News with Katie Couric. For the past 12 years, Washburn has been Principal Trumpet for James Horner, BM ’74, who composed the new themes for CBS News.
Last May, David was featured soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2. Washburn will again perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concert No. 2 as the featured soloist with The New York Chamber Music Society in December.
In addition, David recently worked with James Horner on the movie All the King’s Men, which is being released in Fall 2006. This past summer Washburn recorded themes for the NFL and NBC Sports with composer John Williams, and also recorded for the film Cinderella 3, with Joel McNeely.
In February and March 2007, he will be a soloist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
THEODORE F. WELCH, BA ’63, MUSIC HISTORY & LITERATURE
For contributions to U.S.-Japan relations spanning over 50 years, Theodore F. Welch, PhD received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, from the Emperor of Japan, April 29, 2004.
CODY WESTHEIMER, BM ’01, COMPOSITION
Cody Westheimer wrote the music for National Lampoon’s “Cattle Call,” to be released later this year. In addition, his music was featured on the theatrical trailer for “The Wicker Man,” starring Nicholas Cage and directed by Neil LaBute.
The award winning music-driven short film “Smile,” scored by Westheimer, is now available at the iTunes store. Finally, Westheimer completed scoring three documentary features this summer.
DAVID WILKINSON, MM ’95, VOCAL ARTS
David Wilkinson played a lieder recital at London’s Wigmore Hall with mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin. The duo also performed live and gave an interview on the BBC radio’s “In Tune”, hosted by Sean Rafferty.
GRACE XU, MM ’06, KEYBOARD STUDIES
Grace Xu premiered piano works by Carter Larsen on September 30, 2006 at Pepperdine University. The works include short pieces for solo piano, Seagulls of Capri, and Flight. The concert was sponsored by Fantasia Suite Foundation.
RAYA YARBROUGH, BM ’02, JAZZ STUDIES
Raya Yarbrough recently signed with Telarc Records, a jazz label that is part of Concord Records. Her new album will be released in May.
XIAODAN ZHENG, BM ’05, STRINGS
Xiaodan Zheng is starting her first season with the Long Beach Symphony this fall. She will also be touring with the Verbier Festival Orchestra this November in Europe, Asia, and Australia.