Alumni News and Notes

Conservatory Graduates Honor Joseph Schwartz

A dinner honoring retiring professor of piano Joseph Schwartz last September attracted many alums back to campus, including his former student Heidi Brende '86, a pianist from Pasadena, California, who performed Chopin's Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise, Op. 22 during an afternoon concert. Heidi, who earned MM and DMA degrees at the University of California, studied with John Perry and has performed concertos with Waverly symphonies. She has been honored with the Rudolph Serkin Award, the Liberace Scholarship, the Conservatory's John Elvin Piano Prize, and is a prize winner in the Stravinsky Awards International Piano Conservatory. Heidi has served on the faculty at Irvine Valley College and Luther College and is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, teaching privately in Pasadena.

In honoring Schwartz, former student Jeremy Denk '90 performed Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's Songs Without Words, and held a master class for Conservatory students. An internationally recognized pianist who holds a master of music degree from Indiana University, Jeremy won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 1997. He performed the Schumann Piano Concerto with Kurt Masur conducting the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center, which was broadcast nationally on National Public Radio's Performance Today. He also played Brahms' Piano Concerto in D Minor with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jean-Claude Casadesus in Royal Festival Hall, and delivered critically acclaimed recitals at New York's Alice Tully Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Jeremy is on tour this season with clarinetist Richard Soltzman, soprano Lisa Saffer '82, and the "Musicians from Marlboro."

A pianist, piano teacher, and vocal coach from Clifton, New Jersey, Albert Stanziano '69 was the third of Schwartz's former students to participate in the celebration. A chamber music pianist who founded the Ariadne Trio in 1988, he performed Liszt's Sonetto 104 del Petrarca and Scriabin's Etude, Op. 8 no. 12, in D Sharp Minor. Albert is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he studied with Irwin Freundlich. He has returned to Oberlin three times as a sabbatical replacement instructor, has performed with distinguished violinists and members of the Metropolitan Opera, and toured Switzerland and Germany as a soloist. Most recently he appeared with the Ariadne Trio in an all-Schubert recital in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Former Minister Speaks at Mondlane Symposium

Returning to Oberlin for the October conference, "The Independence Struggle and Rebuilding Mozambique: Honoring Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane '53," Edward Hawley '53 was a panel member at the "Eduardo C. Mondlane: His Visions and Actions for an Independent Mozambique" Symposium. After earning a BA from Michigan State University and a BD from Chicago Theological Seminary, he was the executive editor of Africa Today at the Graduate School of International Studies, University of Denver, from 1972 to 1992. Edward is a former minister of the Northglenn United Church, and, from 1964 to 1973, was a refugee worker with the United Church Board for World Ministries. His involvement in Mondlane's fight for Mozambique's freedom began when both were classmates at Oberlin.

All-Bach Recital Offered by Prominent Organist

An October 6 All-Bach recital at Oberlin featured Jonathan Dimmock '79, the organist and director of music at St. Mark's Cathedral Church in Minneapolis. Jonathan's musical career has led to positions as an organ scholar at Westminster Abbey, associate organist and choirmaster at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City, minister of music at St. Stephen's Church, Belvedere, and director of music at St. Luke's Church in San Francisco. The alumnus has appeared throughout the U.S. and abroad; has been interviewed and featured on National Public Radio, Radio France, BBC3, ABC (Australia), and SABC (South Africa); and has recorded on the Arkay label, BCI Records, Time Warner Recordings, and Koch International. He is conducting seven choirs at St. Mark's and is the founding director of the New York City Children's Choir and the Marin Boys Chorus.

Eminent Economist Shares View on National Parks

Colgate University Associate Professor of Economics Robert Turner visited campus in November to discuss economics and the environment with students and present a seminar entitled "The Costs of Operating America's National Parks." Turner began his career at Colgate in 1983 after earning a PhD at MIT, working as a teaching assistant of macroeconomics and econometrics and as a junior economist for the Council of Economic Advisors. Robert co-wrote Mathematical Economics (Harcourt Brace & Co.) and has been published in National Tax Journal and American Journal of Agricultural Tax Policy. As a lecturer, he presented at the Eastern Economics Association and held seminars at Colgate, Hamilton College, Syracuse University, University of Michigan, University of Maine, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Jazz Percussionist Holds Concert and Workshop

Neal Smith '96 has studied percussion since the age of 6. As a member of the Cyrus Chestnut Trio, he generously arranged a free concert at Finney Chapel in November and offered a piano, bass, and drum workshop. Currently working toward a master's degree in composition and arranging at New York University, he tours with pianist Cyrus Chestnut and bassist Kengo Nakamura in Europe, Brazil, Japan and across the U.S. As the Conservatory's first African-American jazz studies graduate, his many awards include outstanding performance and musicianship at Berklee College of Music, outstanding musician for the State of Ohio in 1991, and the Down Beat Award for outstanding performance. Neal has performed with Anita Baker, Geri Allen, and Wynton Marsalis, and is an artist-in-residence at New York University.

Distinguished Poet Holds Poetry Reading

Award-winning poet Linda Gregerson '71, associate professor of American poetry and Renaissance literature at the University of Michigan, gave a student poetry reading in November. The director of Michigan's program in creative writing, Linda earned a coveted Faculty Recognition Award and is an A. Bartlett Giamatti Faculty Fellow. She is the author of two books of poems: Fire in the Conservatory (Dragon Gate 1982) and The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep (Houghton Mifflin 1996) and has been awarded the Levinson Prize by Poetry magazine and the Consuelo Ford Award by the Poetry Society of America. Linda has also received several grants and fellowships and has published numerous criticisms, three of which are forthcoming in Modern American Literature; "Green Thoughts," "Green Shades: Contemporary Poets/Seventeenth-Century Verse," and "Critical Essays on Louise Gluck." Author of The Reformation of the Subject: Spenser, Milton, and the English Protestant Epic (Cambridge UP 1995), she has been on the American Heritage Dictionary Usage panel since 1987.

Endocrinologist Discusses Hormones and Ovulation

A professor and director of graduate studies in the department of cell biology at Baylor College of Medicine, JoAnne Stewart Richards '67, returned to Oberlin in December for a seminar, "Hormones and the Ovary: The Control of Follicular Growth and Ovulation." Her professional accolades include a basic research award from the Society for the Advancement of Women's Health Research and the Gerald Aurbach Award from the Endocrine Society. JoAnne has held several positions with the Endocrine Society and the Society for the Study of Reproduction, and worked in Sweden at the University of Goteborg and the University of Umea as a visiting scientist. Today she serves as a consultant and speaker at ten to 12 universities each year.

Oberlin Lambda Alumni Hold Annual Conference

The Oberlin Lambda Alumni (OLA) held its fourth conference/reunion on campus in November, centered on the theme "Diversity in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community: Our Strengths and Struggles." Keith Boykin, former executive director of the National Black Lesbian & Gay Leadership Forum and former special assistant to President Bill Clinton, was the keynote speaker.

Following a short recital by LGBT Conservatory students and a reunion dinner, Boykin addressed the group in an easy, conversational style, recounting highlights of his career as an African-American gay activist. The group later moved to the Lounge at Third World House, where Boykin signed copies of his book, One More River to Cross: Black and Gay in America.

Su Friedrich '75, an award-winning experimental filmmaker from New York, screened film, Hide and Seek, for the group. Su's work, which includes 12 16mm films, has been featured in film festivals and art museums worldwide, earning her awards at the Athens International Film Festival, Outfest '97, and the USA Short Film and Video Festival. A teacher of film production at Princeton University, Su participated in a multicultural memorial service, a workshop with Boykin, several panel discussions, and a people-of-color caucus.

Mike Muska, Oberlin's new director of athletics and physical education, opened a panel on "Athletics and the LGBT Community." Muska discussed the aftermath of his arrival as perhaps the first openly gay athletics director to be hired at an American liberal arts college, and noted that he was the subject of some distressing homophobic mail. Three currently enrolled students then spoke about their generally positive experiences as lesbian and gay athletes at Oberlin.

President Nancy Dye presided at the concluding luncheon and delivered an address, answering questions for the group before they dispersed.

The OLA conference/reunion was cosponsored by the Oberlin Alumni Association.

Another First-Year Legacy

The Fall 1998 issue of OAM included a photograph of a number of first-year students whose parents had attended Oberlin.

Another first-year legacy (who, unfortunately, was not notified of the photo date) is Thomas L. Jeanne '02 of Madison, Wisconsin. His parents are Dr. Robert L. Jeanne and Louise Bluhm Jeanne '62 of Madison; his grandmother is Helen Berry Bluhm '36 of New Haven, Connecticut; and his uncles are Peter '67 and Christopher '74 Bluhm. Thomas is most certainly a legacy many times over.