Alumni News - Conservatory Magazine, Fall 1998

Professor William Osbourne, University Organist at Denison University, Granville, Ohio, performed Eunice Kettering's (BM '29) Passacaglia for Organ in eight organ recitals during the 1996-97 season, including concerts at Oberlin College, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and at several American Guild of Organists chapters in Ohio Churches.

John Kendall (BM '39), the first American string teacher to observe the Talent Education teaching program of Shinichi Suzuki and bring the Suzuki technique to the United States, is now professor emeritus of string development at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He recently worked with young string students at a workshop sponsored by the Southern Illinois University School of Music at Carbondale. He also has published many articles on string teaching and was president of the Suzuki Association of the Americas from 1974-75.

Hugh M. Stuart (BM '40) celebrated his eighty-first birthday with the release of his 173rd published composition. A complete set of his band compositions has been acquired by the Vandercook College of Music.

Arthur John Reines (BM '44) is retiring as organist and choir director of Atonement Lutheran Church in Asbury Park, New Jersey after fifty-two years of service.

Laverne Wagner (BM '52) edited and recently published his new book entitled, Band Music from the Benjamin H. Grierson Collection, which contains two manuscript sets of band books and a manuscript of full scores for band from the 1840's--the earliest substantial collections known for an American band.

In April, 1998, Carnegie Hall's Weil Recital Hall housed the premiere of Gerald Ginsburg's (BM '54) composition, Un Paysage Choisi (A Special Landscape), a biographical song cycle employing poems by Paul Verlaine. The performance featured soprano Nkenge Simpson and tenor Gerard Powers.

Charlene M. Moore Cooper (BM '59) was elected to the Board of the District of Columbia chapter of the American Guild of Organists at their annual meeting. Several of her organ compositions were discussed in the May issue of Diapason. She also prepared and conducted the recent premiere of Leslie Adams' (also an Oberlin alum) opera, Blake, as music director of the Municipal Opera Company of Baltimore.

Earle Goodwin (BM '59) recently directed a performance of Mendelssohn's Elijah at the Bedford Baptist Church in Bedford, Virginia. For more than 40 years he has played organ and conducted church choirs in Maplewood and East Orange, New Jersey, and in Lynchburg and Bedford, Virginia. Currently he is organist-choirmaster at Grace Memorial Episcopal Church in Lynchburg.

Barbara Bryce Gulbran (BM '60) was elected president of the Seattle Chapter of the Washington State Music Teachers Association for a two-year term beginning in May 1998, and is a member of Ladies Music Club, a Seattle organization for women musicians founded in 1891. She performs periodically in concerts sponsored by both groups. She also serves as a docent at the Seattle Art Museum, board member on the Council on American Art, and chairs the music committee at her church.

Joan Yarbrough (BM '60) played a concert of Brahms' piano music at Brevard College in North Carolina, in recognition of the 1997 centennial of his death.

David Yeomans (BM '60) returned from a three-month research residency in Prague, funded by the International Research and Exchanges Board. His research is in preparation for a forthcoming history and literature survey of keyboard music by Czech composers (1750-2000). He has received national recognition through his frequent performances, lectures, and his article in the March 1996 issue of Clavier entitled, "Smetana's Piano Music Reflects Bohemian Culture." He is currently Professor of Music at Texas Woman's University.

Miriam Orr (BA, BM '61) is the director of the Schubert Club Chorale, a group which has been in existence since 1910, and is a member of the American Federation of Music Clubs.

Dennis Kam (BM '64) recently was an artist-in-residence with the Seaside Institute's Escape to Create program. While there, he worked on a string quartet and a piece for tuba and mandolin.

Sharon Davis Gratto (BM '66) was granted tenure this spring at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania and promoted to associate professor of music and music education. Her article, The Effectiveness of an Audition Anxiety Workshop in Reducing Stress, was published in the March 1998 issue of Medical Problems of Performing Artists, the journal of the Performing Arts Medicine Association. Sharon received an individual research award from the International Network of Performing and Visual Arts Schools for her audition anxiety study.

Dr. Brenda Kee (BM '66) recently presented a concert to benefit the Estey Hall Foundation, Inc., a foundation whose purpose is to insure the future legacy of Shaw University, North Carolina.

Tenor David Howell (BM '69) recently presented a concert entitled, An Afternoon with Mario Lanza, in the Melrose Auditorium of the Linfield College campus in Oregon.

Stephen Bryant (BM '71) is an associate professor of music and director of choral activities at William Paterson College in New Jersey. During the 1997-98 season, Bryant sang the role of Dante in the New York City Opera premiere of Marco Polo. He also soloed with the New York Philharmonic in Mendelssohn's Elijah, conducted by Kurt Masur.

Steven Doane (BM '73), a faculty member at the Eastman School of Music and a visiting teacher at London's Royal College of Music, performed a concert entitled Suzuki and Friends at the DeHaan Fine Arts Center in Indianapolis in April, 1998.

James Ball (BM '74) has begun his fourth year as music director and conductor with the Danville Symphony Orchestra. He was also selected as one of the 50 participants worldwide in the Mario Gusella International Conducting Competition in Pescara, Italy, last October.

Dr. Robert James Frascino (BA '74), associate clinical professor of medicine at Stanford University Medical Center, and his life partner, Steven Natterstad, M.D., are also concert pianists, who--along with San Francisco Conservatory of Music professor William Wellborn--have raised more than $80,000 for AIDS service organizations during the past year by performing benefit recitals.

Marilyn Reynolds (BM '74) recently performed the Dvorak Piano Quintet at Sarah Lawrence College, and presented a chamber music concert at Northpointe, an arts center in Kinderhook, New York. She is currently performing as on-stage solo violinst for the musical Chicago on Broadway.

Marina Alexander (BA, MM '75) is founder and musical director of the Arcadian Chorale, which was recently honored by the mayor of Matawan, New Jersey for enhancing the community's quality of life.

Tenor Colenton Freeman (BM, MM '79) made his debut at the Bregenz Opera Festival in Austria this summer. He is scheduled for performances with the symphony orchestras of Luxemburg, Helsinki, and Vilnius (Lithuania), and will perform in concert as a Fellow at the Bayreuth Festival. He recently sang the title role of Schubert's opera, Fierrabras in Dortmund, Germany and Riccardo in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera with the opera in Pforzheim. Recitals are scheduled in Flensburg, Freiburg, Frankfurt, and Nurnberg.

Lisa Hamilton (BA '80) is one of seven partners at the Buschmann Carr & Shanks law firm in Indianapolis, where she focuses on bankruptcy law. She earned her law degree from Indiana University after studying voice at Oberlin.

In March 1998, cellist Daniel Kazez (BM '80) toured Morocco presenting concerts in Casablanca, Fès, Meknès, and Marrakech. In addition, he studied the musical activities of the Gnawa brotherhood, one of the several mystical brotherhoods in the Islamic world. Over the past year, Kazez has performed six concerts on artist series in Ohio, six concerts in Great Britain, and 17 concerts/lectures in India.

Soprano Ealyn Voss (BA'82) recently was the cover for Jane Eaglen's Turandot at San Diego Opera company.

Tim Riley (BA, BM '83), publisher of Millenium Pop, a journal of the popular arts, gave a presentation on the representaion of identity in contemporary rock music at the Cambridge, Ohio, Cultural Events Series. Riley is also an employee of Lycos, the Internet search engine, and the author of Tell me Why: A Beatles Commentary, Hard Rain: A Dylan Commentary, and Madonna: Illustrated. His next book, Mystery Dance, examines the history of gender identity in rock music.Tina Faigen

Tina Faigen (BM '84) recorded two compact discs for solo piano on the ACA Digital label. Visions of Dunbar: original works and transcriptions by Robert Schultz was released in 1995. Tina and Robert were featured guest artists for a one-hour special on WQED-FM in Pittsburgh. Their second recording, Tina Faigen Plays Piano Transcriptions of orchestral, operatic and chamber works by Robert Schultz was released in November 1997.

Amy Ridings (BM '84) recently performed at Douglas Presbyterian Church in Douglas, Arizona as one of the members of the world's only professional flute and tuba duo. Her tuba playing partner (and husband) is Patrick Sciannella.Todd Thomas

Baritone Todd Thomas (BM, MM '84) will sing the role of Scarpia in Tosca, Riccardo in I Puritani and Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro for the 1998-99 operatic season in Gießen, Germany.

Anne Deane (BM '85) was recently hired to a full-time, three-month position to launch one of the University of California President's Industry-University Cooperative Research Initiatives. The UC system-wide Digital Media Innovation Program is a matching grant program that uses industry/UC research partnerships to accelerate basic research and innovation in digital technologies. (Information can be found on the web at

Jed Gaylin (BM, MM '85) was recently named music director of the Bridgeton Symphony in New Jersey.

Richmond Symphony Orchestra musicians Mary Boodell (BM '87), principal flute, Alan Paterson (BM '71), principal horn, Marta Schworm Weldon (BM '81), second and E-flat Clarinet, and Jonathan Mott (attended 1965-66), concertmaster, will perform the 1998-99 season with Music Director candidates for the RSO. Two of the seven RSO Music Director finalists have Oberlin ties: Michael Morgan (BM '78) and Paul Polivnick, current Music Director of Orchestras at the Conservatory.

Dr. Andrew Glendening (BM '87), associate professor of music at Moorehead State University in Kentucky, has earned the 1997-98 Distinguished Creative Productions Award from his school.

Emily Laurance (BA, BM '87) received a master's degree in musicology from the University of North Carolina in 1994 and is currently working on her doctorate. She also teaches harp privately and plays with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, the Triangle Opera Theatre, the Opera Company of North Carolina, the Durham Civic Chorale Society, the Raleigh Dance Theatre and the North Carolina Theatre.

Kerry Meads (BM '87) recently performed as guest percussionist with the Cumberland Brass Quintet, Shippensburg (PA) University's resident ensemble.

Gregory Miller (BM '87) is the horn player with Empire Brass quintet.

Caroline Coade (BM '88) is a violist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Ariane Sletner (BM '88) performed a solo recital in the Recital Hall of Bologna Performing Arts Center on the Delta State University Campus in November, 1997. She is currently performing with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (OH).

James Giles (BM '89) performed music of Beethoven, Busoni, and Alkan for the 1998 American Pianists Association PianoFest in Indianapolis.

Ben Weisser (BM '89) has completed his doctoral dissertation, Notational Practice in Contemporary Music: A Critique of Three Compositional Models (Luciano Berio, John Cage, and Brian Ferneyhough), and Napeague for orchestra and Emma G for female voice and two pianos. He will receive his PhD in Composition in October from the Graduate School of the City University of New York. He is also working on a piece for the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble to be premiered in December, as well as a piece for the San Diego based new music group, Sounding.

Pianist Steven Wilber (BM '89) was a semifinalist for the 1999 Louise D. McMahon International Music Competition in Lawton, Oklahoma.

Susan Nolan Lubow (BA, BM '90) has been elected president of the board of trustees of the Columbus Light Opera. She is an associate in the employment law and benefits group of Baker and Hostetler. She earned her law degree from Harvard in 1995.

Penny Cruz (BM '91) has taught school music in two positions and is currently working toward her masters degree at Eastman.

Jennifer Baker Kotilaine (BA, BM '91) is a graduate teaching assistant and PhD candidate in music at Harvard University. She recently taught a course in African music for Harvard's music department.

Soprano Tamara Seckel (BM '91) recently performed in concert at Ohio Wesleyan University's Jemison Auditorium. The program consisted of songs ranging from the Elizabethan to contemporary composers.

Maya C. Gibson (BM, BA '92) is currently working toward a double masters degree in Afro-American studies and musicology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The American Musicological Society recently awarded her the Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship for advanced studies in the field.

Pianist Blair McMillen (BM '92) recently performed as part of the New Canaan, Connecticut, library winter concert series, Notes in Midwinter. His 1998 calendar includes recitals in Beijing, New York, Los Angeles, Florida and Colorado, as well as the release of his solo piano debut CD, featuring the works of Liszt, Scriabin, Bartok and Gershwin.

Soprano Donita Volkwijn (BM '92) was recently accepted into the Merola Program at San Francisco Opera. As part of the program, she will sing the role of Pamina in The Magic Flute.

Sopranos Jessica Ferraro (BM '93) and Celeste Emmons (BA '83) performed in Des Moines Metro Opera's production of Donzetti's The Elixir of Love in March. This production traveled to Muscatine, Iowa and was the first opera to be performed in that community.

Violist Erin Higuchi (BM '93) is one of the newest members of the Milwaukee Symphony.

At twenty-six years old, bassist Benjamin Jaffe (BM '93) is the youngest member of New Orleans' Preservation Hall Jazz Band, one of the oldest authentic New Orleans-style jazz bands in the country.

Carla Kihlstedt (BM '93) plays with two independent rock bands, Charming Hostess and Tin Hat Trio, both of which recently performed at the Chameleon Club in Pennsylvania.

Melia Peters (BM '93) is the education director of the Grand Rapids, Michigan Symphony, where she implements and supervises all symphony education programs and regularly monitors the effectiveness. She also oversees the youth symphony manager and works with symphony board members and staff.

Jonathan Atleson (BM '94) was one of ten University of Rochester graduate students to receive a four-year Sproull Fellowship, and was Eastman School of Music's only recipient last year. He recently received a grant from Eastman to continue work on a multimedia tutorial website for music theory fundamentals.

Erik Jekabson (BM '95) was music director for the debut CD of the New World Funk Ensemble on Turnipseed records. During the summer he taught at the Cazadero Music Camp in California.

Elizabeth Cassidy Parker (BM, MM '95) is curently the music director of The Children's Aid Society Chorus, a Manhattan-based children's chorus. She is also the director of Elementary Music at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn.

Angi Tardiff (BM '95), who teaches in Avon Lake, Ohio will serve this year as a cooperating teacher for Oberlin and is conducting one of the choirs in the Oberlin Choristers.

eighth blackbird, an all-Oberlin alumni
sextet, won first prize in the1997 Concert Artists Guild International New York Competition in February. The prize includes two years of exclusive management under Concert Artists Guild, a commission from a composer, and a New York concert debut. They were also awarded the Channel Classics recording prize and an appearance at the 1999 Rockport Chamber Music Festival in Massachusets. Currently enrolled in the Artist Diploma in Chamber Music program at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, eighth blackbird is comprised of flutist Molly Barth (BM '96), clarinetist Michael Maccaferri (BM '95), violinist Matthew Albert (BM, BA '96), cellist Nicholas Photinos (BM '96), pianist Lisa Kaplan (BM, BA '97), and percussionist Matthew Duvall (BM, BA '95). Their website is:

Kevin Daniels (BM '96) continues to freelance in New York City at two churches: Trinity Baptist and Redeemer Presbyterian. This fall he plans to give a recital at the First Alliance Church. In addition to his musical pursuits, he continues to be active in the ministry, having just given an address at the Redeemer's College Ministry Celebration meeting at NYU as well as serving on the Missions Commission at Trinity.

Oren Gradus (BM '97) spent the past year as an apprentice with Pittsburgh Opera, and sang this summer at Glimmerglass Opera, where he also gave a recital. He has been re-engaged by Pittsburgh Opera for their next season as well.

Last March, Baritone Frank Hernandez (AD '97) performed arias of Mozart, Donizetti, and Bellini with the Spokane Symphony. Next season Hernandez will sing the role of Masetto with the Washington Opera as well as appearing in Europe for the first time where he will sing Marcello in La Bohème at the Bordeaux Opera in France. He is also scheduled for performances in Houston, Detroit, and Milwaukee.

Anne Howarth (BA, BM '97) is working toward a master's degree in horn performance at the New England Conservatory. This summer she spent two weeks at the Hot Springs Music Festival in Arkansas, and attended the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival with Paragon Winds, a woodwind quintet from the New England Conservatory.

Mikylah Myers (BM '97) completed the first year of her master's degree at the University of Houston's Moores School of Music, where she served as concertmaster in a performance of Rimski-Korsakov's Scheherazade. She also served as assistant concertmaster of the Woodlands Symphony Orchestra and principal second violin of Orchestra X. This summer she soloed with the Portland Chamber Orchestra, and played in the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon. While finishing her master's degree, she will perform with Cirrus, Houston's newest contemporary music ensemble.

In May C. Michael Palmer (BA, BM '97) performed with Houston's Theater Under the Stars in the off-Broadway premiere of Victor/Victoria. He then attended the Spoleto Music Festival in Spoleto, Italy.

Harpsichordist Michael Sponseller (BM '97) won first prize this June in the Bach Competition for Harpsichordists sponsored by the American Bach Soloists and held concurrently with the Berkeley Early Music Festival. He also won fourth prize at the international harpsichord competition in Bruges, Belgium.

Organist Christopher Pankratz (BM '98) received a full scholarship to pursue a master's degree at Yale University.

Matthew Quayle (BM '98) recently had his composition, Three Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins performed at St. John's Church in his hometown of Waterville, New York. The music was performed by the New London Orchestra and the New London Children's Choir.