Please consider downloading the latest version of Internet Explorer
to experience this site as intended.
Tools Search Main Menu

Class Notes

Eastman School of Music

1952 Nancy Hayes Van de Vate writes: “My new opera in five acts, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, recently premiered to full houses in both the United States and Europe. The American premiere in April was at the Gertrude Ford Center at the University of Mississippi, and the European premiere in May was in the beautiful Vinohrady Theatre in Prague, Czech Republic. Both premieres were directed by Julia Aubrey, head of opera at the University of Mississippi and past president of the National Opera Association. Featured in the leading role was tenor Ryan MacPherson of New York. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is frequently included by Swiss Internet Radio in its regular broadcasts of opera recordings.”

1968 Glenn Bowen (DMA) was recognized as a founding member of the Wingra Woodwind Quintet, the quintet-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, on the quintet’s 50th anniversary in April. Glenn, who now lives in Tucson, Arizona, notes that the late Harry Peters ’36, ’40 (MM) was also a founding member of the quintet. . . . Bill Cahn writes that the percussion ensemble Nexus, which also includes Bob Becker ’69E, ’71E (MM), has released a CD, Persian Songs (Nexus), a performance with classical vocalist Sepideh Raissadat of arrangements by Nexus member Russell Hartenberger. He also writes that Nancy Young Molitz visited the Eastman Community Music School last summer to deliver a master class for the Music Horizon program for gifted high school musicians. Nancy, a hornist, psychotherapist in private practice, and certified yoga instructor, taught students about holistic performance-maximizing practices in the class entitled “Performance Enhancement/Performance Edge.” Following her class, Nancy, Alan Molitz, principal double bass in the Canadian Opera Company orchestra, Bill, and Ruth McLean Cahn, percussionist and faculty member at the Eastman Community Music School, traveled to Bristol Harbor on the south end of Canandaigua Lake for a minireunion.

1969 Bob Becker (see ’68). . . . Vivien Goh writes that she conducted the Alumni of the Singapore Youth Orchestra at their 35th anniversary concert in July. The concert was part of a celebration of the 50th birthday of the Republic of Singapore, and was held at Victoria Concert Hall. She coauthored a book, Rehearsal for Life: Singapore Youth Orchestra, 1980–1990 (Vivien Goh), released at the concert.

1979 Linda Smith (MM) has been playing organ for Topeka, Kansas, churches since 1965 with only two interruptions—one to attend the Eastman School and another to study organ in Paris on a Fulbright scholarship in the early 1980s. Last spring, Linda, who was nine years old when she began playing church organ, was honored for her 50 years of nearly continuous service with a celebration at Topeka’s New Mount Zion Baptist Church. Linda has been a music educator for many years, and the program featured some of her former students. While a student at Eastman, Linda played organ at the First Reformed Church, which has since merged with Trinity Reformed Church.

1981 Akmal Parwez (PhD) writes that several of his chamber compositions have premiered recently, including “Ersilia, una citta invisibile” for mandolin and guitar, in Italy; “Bientot,” a French poem of Eugene Van Itterbeek, for soprano and piano, in Bucharest, Romania; “Tanta Pasion” for solo clarinet, in Cartagena, Spain; “In the Name of Bach” for solo cello, in Los Angeles; and “Rubaaii” for soprano and ensemble, as well as “Fleeting Fragrance” for soprano saxophone and string quartet, both at the Jan Hus Presbyterian Church in New York City. Akmal adds that he also appeared in the New York City performance as the bass-baritone soloist in his “A Haiku Triptych: Three Haiku of Matsuo Basho,” in the original Japanese, with Francois Nezwazky on the piano. Finally, Akmal’s “Through Letchworth Park, Swiftly” was taken on a performance tour by the Crane Harp Ensemble by its director, Jessica Suchy-Pillalis. The performances took place in Potsdam, Rochester, Latham, and two venues in New York City.

1988 Eileen Strempel has been named senior vice provost for academic affairs at the University of Cincinnati. Eileen was previously assistant vice president at Syracuse University, where she was also a professor of art and music history.

1992 Dean Sorenson (MM) has released a CD, Colors of the Soul (Dean Sorenson Music), with his sextet. A trombonist, composer, and director of jazz studies at the University of Minnesota, Dean presents 11 original compositions on the recording.

1997 Jennifer Barlament (MM) has been named executive director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Jennifer was previously general manager of the Cleveland Orchestra.

2002 Jose Encarnacion (MM) has been named director of jazz studies at Lawrence University, where he succeeds Fred Sturm ’84 (MM), who died in August 2014. A saxophonist, Jose has been on the faculty of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music since 2011, and before that, from 2002 to 2004.

2006 Bass vocalist Jared Schwartz (MM) has released a new CD, Gabriel Fauré: Songs for Bass Voice and Piano (Toccata Classics).