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Fall 2000
Vol. 63, No. 1

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Class Notes--Eastman


Warren van Bronkhorst (MM), '59 (DMA) writes that Pernambuco Press has published The Not So Boring Book of Bowing, a violin study book with his arrangements.


Raymond Gniewek is stepping down as concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra after 43 years in the position, according to a May story in The New York Times. During his tenure, he performed in 115 different operas under a number of conductors, including Leonard Bernstein and James Levine.


Ronald Bishop, principal tuba player for the Cleveland Orchestra, gave master classes at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., in April.


Ned Corman received the Civic Medal for Culture and Arts from the Greater Rochester Metro Chamber of Commerce, Inc., for his work to enrich the lives of others through music. He is founder of The Commission Project, a not-for-profit organization that, among other things, hires composers to create music for young musicians. More than 25 well-known local and national jazz musicians took part in the organization's major fundraiser, "Swing 'n' Jazz III," held in June, according to a profile in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.


Robert Christensen '64 (MM) has been named executive director of the Indian Hill Music Center in Littleton, Mass. The center's 1,300 student-musicians take part in a 20-event concert series and perform in a 75-musician orchestra. He had been director of institutional advancement for Holy Name Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School in Worcester, Mass.


Vincent Frohne, a former composition student of Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson, was one of seven Prix de Rome winners commissioned to write chamber music for students of the unique, tuition-free Merit Music Program in downtown Chicago this spring. His Emergence, Op. 44 for Piano and Vibraphone premiered April 1 at Dearborn Station and was scheduled to be recorded by award-winning arts radio station WFMT for broadcast in the fall. Frohne lives in west-central Illinois and is organist at St. Paul Church in Macomb. . . . John Wyre, William Cahn '68, Robert Becker '69, '71 (MM), and the additional members of the Toronto-based percussion group NEXUS performed this spring with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for five sold-out concerts under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach. The group also has recorded a new CD with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman on the BIS Records label. Titled Garden of Sounds, the CD features 13 new tracks created by the artists and dedicated to the composer Toru Takemitsu. The disc is available at record stores or by contacting NEXUS at (716) 582-2508.


John Russo writes that he was joined by fellow jazz musicians Dave Remington '81 (MM) (son of the late professor Emory Remington), Drew Frech '65, and René Mogensen '93RC in providing music for a wide variety of activities at this June's Cornell University Y2K Reunion in Ithaca, N.Y.


Phillip Kolker (MM) (see '63 River Campus undergraduate). . . . Paul McRae has opened the Galleria Collection of Fine Homes at the Galleria Mall on Sunset Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The 2,500-square-foot showcase features photographs, videos, and other information about homes listed with the firm in a setting designed to be as comfortable as a living room. McRae has been in real estate sales management and marketing in Florida since graduation from Rochester.


William Cahn (see '63). . . . Bassist Tony Levin has a new solo CD, Waters of Eden, and a new book Beyond the Bass Clef: The Life and Art of Bass Playing. Levin, who has played with rock greats King Crimson and Peter Gabriel, also was a guest at the Eastman School in May.


Robert Becker '71 (MM) (see '63). . . . James Stuart (DMA) received an honorary degree from the College of Wooster during the Ohio college's 130th commencement in May. Stuart is the co-founder and artistic director emeritus of the Ohio Light Opera, an internationally renowned ensemble that specializes in presenting operettas of composers such as Gilbert and Sullivan, Strauss, and Herbert. . . . Steven Wasson '71 (MM) writes that he received his doctor of musical arts degree in music composition in June from the College/Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He and David Collins '71 plan to premiere his doctoral work during the 2000-2001 concert season. Wasson dedicated his dissertation to his advisors: Allen Sapp II, Thomas Scott Huston, Jr. '40, '41 (MM), '52 (PhD), and Darrell Handel '69 (PhD). His dissertation also is dedicated to Collins.


Robert Becker '69, '71(MM) (see '63). . . . Steven Wasson (MM) (see '69).


Violinist Eden Vaning-Rosen (MM), conductor of the Tampa Bay Golden Strings Youth Orchestra and an instructor for the High Point YMCA Music Alternatives Program, was featured in the Ivanhoe Broadcast News series Smart Women for her violin-teaching techniques. More information about Vaning-Rosen can be found on her Web site at


Julianne Baird '76 (MM) recorded the title role in Handel's rarely performed last opera Deidamea this summer in New York City. She also had concerts in Leipzig and London on her summer schedule. A professor in the fine arts department at Rutgers University's Camden, N.J., campus, Baird was profiled in The New York Times. . . . Sandra Dackow '87 (PhD) writes that she recently presented a workshop for string teachers at the Cork School of Music in Ireland and guest conducted the Dundalk/Newry Cross Border Orchestra in a concert at Connemara. She also conducted the Utah All-State Orchestra and gave clinics in Montana, Utah, and Arizona. She continues to serve as music director of the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra in New Jersey and the Hershey Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania. . . . Barbara Rogers e-mails that she is freelancing in a new geographical area (having moved from New Jersey to Minnesota) and becoming serious about composing. The Cantabile Chamber Chorale commissioned her to write An Appalachian Epiphany: Three Shape-Note Carols that premiered in December 1999. Rogers writes that she would love to hear from her Eastman friends.


Church musician and composer Bernard Crane reports that he is director of music for Faith United Parish in Fitchburg, Mass. For the past three years he has presided over the fundraising and restoration of the church's 27-rank 1914 Austin organ (op. 591). Crane's music was the centerpiece of a May concert, the final installment of a four-month celebratory series. The concert included the premiere of his Mass in D Major for Chorus and Organ, which he dedicated to the memory of his former professor and advisor, Douglass M. Green. Additionally, Crane is publishing his own music on his Web site: He invites other Eastman composers to join him to disseminate their music. . . . John Serry '91 (MM) and his group, the John Serry Trio, performed at Rue 57 in New York City in May.


Julianne Baird (MM) (see '73).


Bradley Nelson (DMA) reports that his choral work, Gladde Things, was performed as part of the Heritage National Choral Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on April 10. Another choral work, All Good Gifts, was broadcast internationally by Vatican Radio in Rome on May 22. Nelson writes that he has just signed contracts for two new choral pieces to be published by Plymouth Music in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. His music can be seen and heard at


Jeffrey Brillhart (MM) writes that he has been appointed music director of Philadelphia's Singing City Choir, where he follows in the footsteps of Elaine Brown, Graham Cowen, and Joseph Flummerfelt. In his first season, he prepared the choir for performances with the Philadelphia orchestra as well as performances at an international choral festival held in Cuba. Brillhart continues as director of music and fine arts at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, where he has worked since 1983. At the church, he oversees a music program that includes 700 participants, a music school for young children, two concert series, three pipe organs, and eight choirs. He also is actively involved with Philadelphia's new regional performing arts center, where he serves on the organ committee. In addition, he has had some of his work published by the Hope Publishing Co.


David Scott Allen '81 (MM) e-mails that he has been named director of development for the Children's Museum of Portsmouth (N.H.). He currently lives in Kittery, Maine. . . . Susan Laib e-mails that she and her husband, Steve McEuen, have a new son, David Michael, born on July 24, 1999. He weighed in at 7 lbs., 14 oz., and was 20 inches long at birth. Laib writes: "It is not known yet whether he will play a brass instrument or one of the double reeds, but he does have a good set of lungs." She teaches double reeds at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and also is principal oboist with both the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes (Corning and Elmira, N.Y.) and the Williamsport (Pa.) Symphony.


David Scott Allen (MM) (see '80).


John Toomey (MM), an assistant professor of music at Old Dominion University, won an Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council on Higher Education for Virginia. He was one of 11 educators selected for the award. Toomey teaches classes in jazz appreciation on Old Dominion's distance learning network.


William Eddins '86 (MM), the resident conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, has been awarded the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award, a $50,000 career-development grant for American conductors. A frequent guest conductor of major orchestras around the world, he has previously held positions as associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra and assistant to Daniel Barenboim at the Berlin State Opera. Although focusing on his career as a conductor, Eddins continues his work as a pianist and chamber musician. He is founder and artistic director of the Prospect Park Players, a chamber music series based at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. Eddins is one of the youngest graduates in Eastman's history, completing his degree in piano performance at age 18.


Mark Bailey, music director for the Manchester (Conn.) Symphony Chorale, was profiled in the December 9 edition of The Hartford Courant. Bailey also is music director of the New Haven Oratorio and Choir Orchestra and artistic director of the New England Benefit Orchestra. A faculty member of the St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary in Crestwood, N.Y., he also is a nationally recognized expert on Slavic sacred music, an interest he developed while attending the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as a youth in Rochester. . . . Don Sipe '85 (MM) is the owner of Omicron Artist Management, based in Milwaukee. . . . William Terwilliger '90 (DMA) e-mails an update: He has joined the faculty of the University of South Carolina in Columbia as an associate professor of violin and viola. Prior to that, he taught at the University of Toledo. He and pianist Andrew Cooperstock, known as the Terwilliger-Cooperstock Duo, have spent the past eight years performing throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America. In November 1999, the duo performed the complete works of Aaron Copland for violin and piano at New York City's Merkin Hall. The two also have released a recording of the same music for Azica Records (ACD 71205) and will perform the program in upcoming recitals in London, Australia, and in Charleston, S.C. Terwilliger and Cooperstock are artists-in-residence at North Carolina's Brevard Music Center each summer.


Chris and Nancy Elliot Curtis (MM) write to announce the birth of their daughter, Faith Fuller Curtis, born on March 17. She weighed 8 lbs., 91Ž2 oz., and was 211Ž2 inches long. She joins big brother Chester, 4. . . . Maria Schneider (MM) was recognized for her contributions as a jazz composer, arranger, and bandleader by International Women in Jazz, in association with the Universal Jazz Coalition and the Jazz Ministry of St. Peter's Church in New York City, in December 1999. She also is listed in the Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz 1999. The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra performs regularly at venues such as the Jazz Standard, the Village Vanguard, and Birdland.


William Eddins (MM) (see '83). . . . Steven Stull (Mas) (see Alumni Gazette, Back in Valhalla Again).


Sandra Dackow (PhD) (see '73).


Jonas Gray e-mails that he has been named vice president for business and strategic development at Express, Inc. (, an online entertainment site. He is responsible for developing the company's strategy for e-commerce and community efforts in movies, games, music, and TV, as well as creating partnerships to enhance the company's online presence. Gray was formerly senior director of international marketing for the online retailer CDNOW.


Violinist Miriam Kramer has released a new recording of the piano and violin sonatas of Ernest Bloch on the Naxos label. The recording was chosen by Gramophone magazine as an "editor's choice" for June 2000. Miriam will perform a recital at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on December 2, 2000. . . . David Rogers '97 (PhD), a University of South Florida music teacher and president of the Bonk Festival of New Music, participated in the festival by playing his work, Necrophageteria, on an experimental instrument that looked like "a large baby the color of a grocery bag," according to the St. Petersburg Times. The instrument was created by the Tampa arts research team Experimental Skeleton.


Tenor and Penfield (N.Y.) High School graduate George DeMott returned to Rochester to perform in a recital honoring the late tenor Mario Lanza. The February performance, titled Serenade, featured classic Italian songs, tenor serenades, Lanza signature songs, and sacred selections. DeMott created Serenade and debuted it during the 1999 Crystal Symphony World Cruise, performing before Barbara Walters, Leslie Uggams, Vic Damone, Olivia Newton-John, Debbie Reynolds, and others. . . . Bruce Diehl '91 e-mails that he has been named the jazz director at Amherst College in Massachusetts, beginning with the 2000-2001 academic year. His responsibilities include direction of the jazz ensemble and jazz combos, and teaching classes in jazz theory, jazz improvisation, and jazz history. He also will direct the Smith College Jazz Ensemble of Northampton, Mass. The position follows a four-year stint at Northfield Mount Herman School, a private boarding high school, where he directed the jazz program and concert band. Bruce writes that he is looking forward to seeing all of his Eastman classmates at the reunion and can be reached via e-mail at . . . Jonathan Owens married Jill Simpson on June 11, 2000, in Westport, Conn. Jonathan is currently a substitute trumpet player for the orchestras of Broadway musicals. He also toured with the musical group Blood, Sweat, and Tears. . . . William Terwilliger (DMA) (see '84 Eastman).


Bruce Diehl (see '90). . . . John Serry (MM) (see '75).


Pianist Marilyn Nonken expects her solo CD for CRI records to be released in early 2001. The disc features works written for her by Milton Babbitt, Michael Finnissy, Jeff Nichols, and Jason Eckart. Nonken's 1999 recitals earned her several accolades, including mention by the Boston Globe as one of the "Best in Classical Music of 1999." Nonken is a member of the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society and of Ensemble 21, which she also co-founded. . . . The School of Performing Arts at Eastridge (in Rochester, N.Y.) commissioned and premiered Paul Stewart's (MM) Through a Chrysalis Shining: A Celebration of the New Millennium for dance with soprano/alto chorus.


Mark Babbitt e-mails that he has accepted a position at Central Washington University as assistant professor of trombone/euphonium and conductor of the symphonic band. He also is working on his D.M.A. from the University of Cincinnati while teaching at Xavier University. Last year he won first prize at the 1999 National Solo Trombone Competition in Washington, D.C. . . . Christopher Jentsch (MM) reports that he moved to Brooklyn last summer after completing a D.M.A. in jazz composition at the University of Miami. He recently released two CDs: Media Event (with a trio) and Miami Suite (with his large jazz ensemble composition). Friends can reach him at . . . Pianist Marina Lomazov performed works by Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev with members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hochstein Performance Hall on January 9. Lomazov received top honors at piano competitions in Japan and Austria, and she has appeared on National Public Radio's Performance Today.


Pianist Matthew Brady was a featured performer in this spring's "Meet the Virtuoso" series at the Y School of Music in New York City. Brady is associate conductor and pianist for the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and he is a member of the piano faculty at the 92nd Street Y School of Music, as well as at the Brooklyn Friends School. He also is the music director for summer sessions at The American School in Lugano, Switzerland. He spent his third summer at the school this year.


David Rogers (PhD) (see '89). . . . Lisa Tarantino is pursuing a popular-music recording deal with New York City-based record labels. A classically trained vocalist who splits her time between New York City and the Rochester suburb of Brighton, Tarantino has hired Rochester firm Chatham Communications Corp. to represent her in her musical goals, according to a profile in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.


Derrick Parker was part of the cast of the Opera Theatre of St. Louis's production of Scott Joplin's Treemonisha this spring. Interviewed by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about what it is like to be an African-American classical singer today, Parker is quoted as saying: "God's given me something special, and it's just my duty to do something with it."

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