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Class Notes

Eastman School of Music

1955 Vienna Prioletti Cocuzzi ’57E (MM) sends an update. She writes that her husband, Mario, died in October 2016. She lives in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she is active in the group the Tuesday Music Club, playing piano as a soloist and accompanying singers and instrumentalists. She performs at the Regency at Southshore, where she lives, as well as in other locations around Erie.

1958 Francis Brancaleone writes that he has an essay in the 2017 compilation edited by Douglas Bomberger, Very Good for an American: Essays on Edward MacDowell (Boydell & Brewer). His essay is titled “Wagnerian Influence and Motives in the Works of Edward MacDowell.” Francis is a professor emeritus at Manhattanville College, where he taught for 40 years and chaired the music department from 2009 to 2014. In March 2017, he delivered a paper, “Georgia Stevens, RSCJ, Indefatigable Educator and the Pius X School of Liturgical Music,” at the Gregorian Chant in Pastoral Ministry and Religious Education National Conference in Yonkers, New York.

1968 Bill Cahn writes that the 2017 recording Home (William L. Cahn/Nexus) by his percussion ensemble Nexus—which also includes Bob Becker ’69—features performances by Eastman professor of percussion Michael Burritt ’84, ’86 (MM) and professor of voice Katherine Ciesinski. The album, available on, contains premieres of “Home Trilogy,” written by Michael for the ensemble, and Bill’s “The Crystal Cabinet” and “This World.”

1969 Bob Becker (see ’68). . . . Max Stern writes that he delivered a lecture last October at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna called “In Search of a Sacred Ethos: A Composer’s Creative Odyssey.”

1970 Art Michaels writes that several of his compositions have been published recently. They include “Concerto for Clarinet Choir” (; and “Seophonic Rhapsody” and “Milonga Ornamental” (Aamano Music). In addition, his concert band piece “Mythical Royals and their Heroic Defenders” will be performed by the Cypress Symphonic Band of Houston, Texas, during its 2017–18 season, which is dedicated to the theme “Monsters, Myths, Legends, and Heroes.” Art adds that the piece is one of four works that were selected for performance through a juried competition. . . . Chris Vadala (see ’76).

1976 Chris Gekker, a professor of trumpet at the University of Maryland, has released a CD, Ghost Dialogues (Divine Art Recordings), an anthology of music for trumpet by contemporary American composers. Saxophonist Chris Vadala ’70 and mezzo-soprano Clara O’Brien ’86 (MM) also perform on the recording.

1979 Diane Abrahamian ’86 (MM) has been invited to be the guest conductor for the Cayuga Senior All-County Mixed Choir, Finger Lakes All-County Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and Erie All-County Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Diane is a voice instructor and jazz and contemporary music specialist at the Eastman Community Music School, and is also on the faculty of Nazareth College’s musical theater program.

1981 Madeleine Mitchell has released a CD, Violin Muse (Divine Art Recordings), of commissioned works by modern composers living in the United Kingdom. She also writes that she performed recitals with fellow violinists John Gilbert and Cora Cooper ’82 (MM) during her tour of the United States last November.

1982 Cora Cooper (MM) (see ’81).

1984 Michael Burritt ’86 (MM) (see ’68).

1986 Diane Abrahamian (MM) (see ’79). . . . Michael Burritt (MM) (see ’68). . . . Clara O’Brien (MM) (see ’76).

1989 Tenor Mel Foster, an associate professor of music at Morehouse College in Atlanta, has been named associate provost for student success at the college.

1990 Pianist Holly Roadfeldt has released The Preludes Project (Ravello), a double CD on which she performs the complete Op. 28 preludes of Frédéric Chopin, in addition to 26 preludes by American composer Kirk O’Riordan.

1993 Chris Jentsch (MM), a guitarist and composer, leads the Jentsch Group Quartet on Fractured Pop (Fleur de Son), a double-CD recording of jazz-rock hybrid compositions.

1996 Composer Jeremy Gill writes that the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Boston University Marsh Chapel Choir premiered three of his works on Before the Wresting Tides (BMOP/sound). Oboist Erin Stratton Hannigan (MM) performs as a soloist on the recording.

2005 Jazz drummer Devin Kelly (MM) has released Whenever You’re Ready (DPK Records), his second recording as a band leader.

2007 Pianist Sergio Monteiro (DMA) has released a CD, Domenico Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonatas, Vol. 18 (Naxos). He directs the piano program at Oklahoma City University’s school of music.

2008 Chris Ziemba ’11 (MM) (see ’12).

2010 Cellist Mark Bridges (MM) and electronic ambient musician Scott Morgan, performing as the duo High Plains, have released the CD Cinderland (Kranky). It features works inspired by Franz Schubert’s Winterreise, and was recorded in a Wyoming schoolhouse in the winter of 2016.

2011 Composer Scott Perkins (PhD) has teamed with the Michigan-based vocal ensemble Audivi, which has released the recording The Stolen Child: Choral Works of Scott Perkins (Navona). . . . Chris Ziemba (MM) (see ’12).

2012 Saxophonists Owen Broder and Ethan Helm, drummer Matt Honor, and pianist Chris Ziemba ’08, ’11 (MM) are members of the quintet Cowboys & Frenchmen, which released its second album, Bluer Than You Think (Outside In Music) last year. The ensemble completed an eight-city American tour in October.