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Class Notes

Eastman School of Music


Edgar Kirk ’48 (MM), ’59 (PhD), a longtime professor of bassoon and music theory at Michigan State University, died in January, his son, Lee, writes. Lee adds that Edgar played with the Richards Quintet, the woodwind ensemble-in-residence at the university. “Throughout its 25 years, the quintet included four Eastman grads: my dad, Elsa Luewig-Verdehr ’58 (MM), ’64 (DMA) on clarinet, Dan Stolper ’57, ’58 (MM) on oboe, and Douglas Campbell ’46 (MA), ’57 (PhD) on horn. Alas, the group was never able to land an Eastman flute player.”


Douglas Campbell (MA), ’57 (PhD) (see ’45).


Ann Field Bell and Dorothy (Dottie) Merriam Happel write that, after not having seen one another since their Eastman graduation, they’ve reunited at the Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community (see sidebar, above). . . . Edgar Kirk ’59 (PhD) (see ’45).


Douglas Campbell (PhD) (see ’45). . . . David Gilbert ’58 (MM) (see sidebar, above). . . . Dan Stolper ’58 (MM) (see ’45).


David Gilbert (MM) (see sidebar, above). . . . Elsa Luewig-Verdehr (MM), ’64 (DMA) (see ’45). . . . Dan Stolper (MM) (see ’45).


Edgar Kirk (PhD) (see ’45).


Elsa Luewig-Verdehr (DMA) (see ’45).


Joyce Malicky Castle (MM), University Distinguished Professor of Voice at the University of Kansas, has a new recording, The Hawthorn Tree (Americus Records). The music was composed by William Bolcom in honor of Joyce’s 40th anniversary as a performing artist. . . . Chuck Daellenbach ’71 (PhD), cofounder of the Canadian Brass, has received the Canadian government’s highest civilian honor, Member of the Order of Canada.


Bill Cahn writes that Nexus, which also includes Bob Becker ’69, has been performing with Persian classical vocalist Sepideh Raissadat. They performed together at the 2014 Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound last June and at the University of Toronto’s 2014 Concert Series last October. In March, Nexus and Raissadat recorded a video program of five classical Persian songs. The video will be broadcast over Voice of America.


Bob Becker (see ’68).


Geary Larrick (MM) writes that he performed a program of music by George Gershwin in January on marimba in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. In February, he performed a program of music by African-American composers. He also reviewed the biography Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by composer and author Jan Swafford in the winter 2014–15 issue of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Journal.


Chuck Daellenbach (PhD) (see ’66).


Pianist Richard Steinbach (MM), professor of music at Briar Cliff University, will perform his solo debut at Carnegie Hall in June. He’ll premiere his latest recording, Fusion: New Music for a New Age (Self-published).


Dave Ratajczak (see ’85).


Brett Blankenship (MM) has been elected president of the National Association of Wheat Growers. Brett, who studied piano performance and literature at Eastman, has been farming wheat full time since graduation.


Trombonist John Fedchock (MM) writes that he’s released Fluidity (Summit Records), his seventh album as a band leader. Drummer Dave Ratajczak ’80, who died last October, performed on the recording.


Linda Day writes: “After 22 years in the Austin Symphony, I have retired and moved to Monson, Massachusetts, with my husband, John. Since then, I have finished illustrating a children’s musical e-book with original songs, narrated story, and background music on harp, flute, and percussion. Love Your Enemies, Part One: A Musical Story of the Life of Jesus, is the story I wrote for my grandchildren, who sang my songs along with it.” Linda has established a website, . . . Deborah Imiolo, a music teacher at Heritage Heights Elementary School in Amherst, New York, has published a book, We’re Gonna Play Today: Child-Centered Repertoire for Barred Percussion (Heritage Music Press). She writes: “It’s a collection of original poems and songs for Orff instruments for young children to teach about the Orff instrumentarium and mallet technique.” She adds that she was the classroom elementary music headliner presenter at the Texas Music Educators Association conference in February.


Jeremy Gill received a New Music USA project grant along with the Parker Quintet. The grant funded a recording of Jeremy’s hour-long string quartet, Capriccio, by the Parker Quintet. The piece was commissioned by Chamber Music America.


Robert Blaine (DMA) has been named dean of undergraduate studies and cyberlearning at Jackson State University.


Mimi Furuya writes that the Furuya Sisters Trio released a DVD/CD, Furuya Sisters Live at Steinway Hall (Self-published), “a live video recording of our concert at Steinway Hall in New York City in November 2014—which marked the very last concert that took place in the historic building.”


Kevin Ernste (PhD) (see ’08).


Tiffany Ng (MM) will start this fall as assistant professor of music and university carillonneur at the University of Michigan. She’s been a visiting instructor of music history at St. Olaf College. Tiffany writes: “My 2014 concerts at the International Carillon Festivals in Barcelona, Spain, and Bok Tower Gardens, Florida, included acoustic and electroacoustic works by Eastman doctoral students Paul Coleman and Matthew Barber ’09 (MA), as well as Jung Sun Kang ’13 (DMA), Andrew Allen ’09 (MA), and Kevin Ernste ’06 (PhD).


Andrew Allen (MA) (see ’08). . . . Matthew Barber (MA) (see ’08).


Catherine (CC) Claiborne Broyles has been named coprincipal flutist of the U.S. Coast Guard Band.


Jung Sun Kang (DMA) (see ’08).