University of Rochester

Eastman School of Music


Bill Cahn performed March 19 and 20 in Teton Village, Wyo., in three concerts with noted percussionists Richard Brown, Brian Prechtl, Tom Sherwood, and Wiley Sykes. The performances were titled Constructions in Color and featured masterworks for percussion, traditional 19th-century military music, Bill’s arrangements of Russian and Mexican folk music, and original compositions. Bill and Bob Becker ’69E, ’71E (MM) performed with their quintet, Nexus, at Toronto’s Music Gallery on March 30. The group performed three works by John Cage and arrangements of Toru Takemitsu’s songs by Bob, Bill, and Robin Engelman.


Bob Becker (see ’68). . . . Mick Hesse has published Perfecting Your Practice for Peak Performance, a book for trumpet players. He writes, “The book is filled with useful exercises and life experiences that will help aspiring musicians in their quest to become the best they can be in their performing careers.”


Geary Larrick (MM) premiered two original compositions in Stevens Point, Wis. On March 12, he performed Marimba Sonata II at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, and on March 13, he played Poem VIII for bongo drums at the Gesell Institute at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.


Jason (Jay) Stearns writes that his operatic career is “still going full speed ahead.” In addition to five appearances with Los Angeles Opera in the past year in such operas as Noye’s Fludde, Tannhauser, Jenufa, Tristan und Isolde, and Der Zerbrochene Krug, he appears with Opera Boston in May as Don Carlo in Ernani. Jay sings The Flying Dutchman at the Savonlinna Festival in Finland in July, debuts at the Metropolitan Opera in the fall as Monterone in Rigoletto, sings Rigoletto with the Toledo Opera in November, and then debuts with Chicago Lyric Opera in early 2009 as Tonio in Pagliacci. He and his wife, Suzanne Blum Stearns ’73E, ’75E (MM), celebrated their 30th anniversary last September. Suzanne maintains an active vocal studio in their home in Annapolis, Md.


Suzanne Blum Stearns ’75E (MM) (see ’71).


Gary Dranch performed at a concert celebrating composer John Bavicchi’s 85th birthday at the Richardson-Mees Performing Arts Center at Lawrence Academy in Groton, Mass., on June 7.


Barbara Birnbaum sends a photo of Rochester friends reunited in Boston at the bar mitzvah of Robert Milgram, the son of Corine Slawin Milgram N and Jerry Milgram. Top row, from left: Jo-Ann Suna Daniels, Bill Daniels ’80, Corine, Sandy Strenger ’80, ’82 (MS), and Nanette Weingarten Strenger. Bottom row, from left: Irene Feldman Narotsky, Sam Narotsky ’80, Scott Birnbaum ‘82 (MS), and Barbara. . . . Scott Hartman and his wife, Sarah Ioannides, send a photo to announce the birth of their daughter, Audrey Rose, last February in Stafford Springs, Conn. . . . The western U.S. premiere of Dan Locklair’s Phoenix for Orchestra was presented by the Arizona Musicfest Festival Orchestra as part of their opening night concert on February 19 at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale, Ariz. Dan’s composition, Break Away! was presented by the DePaul University Singers as part of a concert on March 2 at DePaul Concert Hall in Chicago, and the world premiere of his Arias and Dances for harpsichord was performed on March 7 at the Visitor Center of Old Salem Village in Winston-Salem, N.C.


Scott Hartman (see ’81)


Tom Nazziola has composed a new score to Paul Wegener’s 1920 film The Golem. The world premiere of the score, performed by the BQE Project, took place on March 9 at the Whitman Theater at Brooklyn College. He writes, “The score, which was commissioned by Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, reveals an amalgam of influences on Jewish music (including Sephardic, Greek, and Arabic) which I’ve incorporated into my own compositional approach.”


Craig Arnold (DMA) has been granted tenure at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He joined the music faculty in 2005.


Peter Fletcher (DMA) sends an update: he has released a recording titled Music of Four Centuries, will release another featuring music of Handel, Bach, Reusner, and Weiss in September, and has contracted for a transcription project with Centaur Records that will be released in 2009. He performed at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on April 1 and for the Long Beach Classical Guitar Society in Long Beach, Calif., on April 25.