- Works for China
- A Homecoming
- Voices of Experience
- Shooting Star
- Made in Detroit, Mastered at Michigan
- A Free Man in Paris
- At Home Away from Home
- Giving Update
in every issue
From top: Stephen Bryant, Lucy Dhegrae, Art Joslin, Jo Ellen Miller, Brian Sacawa, Grant Wenaus
Award winner Mitchell Hodges, BFA ’10 (design and production), and Heather Chockley, BFA ’01 (design and production), are both stage managers with the newly reconceived, highly regarded national tour of Les Misérables. Musical theatre alums John Rapson, BFA ’09 and Cathryn Basile, BFA ’04 are in the acting ensemble.
Daniel Albert, MM '05 (music education), was appointed by the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education and Board of Education to serve a three-year term as a member of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Arts Education Advisory Council. The Council was established by the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 to advise the Commissioner and the Board of Education on matters pertinent to arts education in the Commonwealth. Daniel was also selected as conductor of the 2011 Central District of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association’s Junior Festival Concert Band. The Central District includes cities and towns in central Massachusetts and metro-west Boston.
Jenni Barber, BFA ’05 (musical theatre), was cast in the first major New York revival of Cactus Flower, in the role of Toni, the young girlfriend of the dentist, the role that brought fame to Goldie Hawn. Previews were slated for late February in off-Broadway’s Westside Theater Upstairs with an opening in early March. Barber played Olive in Broadway’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and received critical praise in the off-Broadway production From Up Here, described as “scene stealing” by New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood.
Etai Benshlomo, BFA '09 (musical theatre), joined the Broadway cast of Wicked in November, in the role of Boq. Etai performed this role for several months in the San Francisco production and also in the national tour.
Seth Mease Carico, MM ’07 (voice), sang in the premiere of Jorge Martín's Before Night Falls before making his debut with Ash Lawn Opera as Leporello in Don Giovanni and as Jeff in Brigadoon. The Charlottesville Daily Progress said, "[Carico] is charming and believable, and his nuanced bass-baritone, one of the strongest voices on stage, brings the character fully to life.” Seth then moved to Germany to sing with Studio Deutsche Oper Berlin, then to Turin to make his Italian debut with Teatro Regio Torino. This summer he returns to the States, to Ash Lawn Opera, to appear as The King in The King & I.
Lucy Dhegrae, BM ’08 (voice), recently sang in a recital with Dawn Upshaw entitled First Songs: Dawn Upshaw and the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program, held at the Morgan Library in New York City. Lucy also sang at Bard’s Fischer Center with the Da Capo Chamber Players and with new music group Contemporaneous. Set to graduate in spring 2012, she is also the founder of interdisciplinary arts group The Prism Project, which premiered a multi-art installation at Bard in May. Her husband, composer Shawn Jaeger (BM ’07) recently participated in the Professional Training Workshop at Carnegie Hall with mentors Dawn Upshaw and Donnacha Dennehy, resulting in a premier of a new vocal work at Zankel Hall
Kent Eshelman, BM ’02 (tuba performance), BFA ’02 (jazz and improvisation studies), and now assistant professor of tuba and euphonium at Baylor University, returned to Michigan last summer to teach at the Interlochen Arts Camp. This spring he is hosting the ITEA South Central Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference and is performing around the country as a substitute in the Sotto Voce Quartet.
Ryan Hourigan, Ph.D. ’07 (music education), is the recipient of the 2010 Indiana Music Educators Association University Music Educator of the Year Award. He joined the faculty at Ball State University in the fall of 2006. In 2009, Hourigan founded the Prism Project at Ball State University, which offers training in the teaching of students with special needs. In 2011, Hourigan published Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Label-Free Approach with Oxford University Press. His dissertation, “Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs,” won the national dissertation award from the Council for Research in Music Education in 2007.
Edmund Alyn Jones, BFA ’09 (theatre & drama), appeared in Richard III in a November through February run at the Hilberry Theatre in Detroit, in the title role. Jones, now working on his MFA at Wayne State, said he intended to create a fresh, new Richard, and, it appears, he succeeded. One reviewer wrote, “Jones captures Richard with complexity and a great sense of fun, causing you to root for him and hiss at him in the same breath.”
Art Joslin, MM ’07 (voice), won the 2011 NATS National Vocal Pedagogy Award and the 2010 NATS Independent Teacher Fellowship. He is a visiting lecturer at the University of Illinois, and, more recently a visiting professor at the Africa Nazarene University in Nairobi. Joslin performed the title role in Verdi’s Rigoletto with Illinois Opera, Governor/Innkeeper in Man of La Mancha, Angelotti in Tosca, and Pistola in Falstaff. His presentation, The Use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in the Treatment of Voice Disorders at Indiana University’s NATS New Voice Educator’s Symposium was acclaimed as a highlight of the symposium.
Daniel Knaggs, BMA ’07 (voice), just received first prize in the 2011 International Musica Sacra Composition Competition, for performances of his Hic est discipulus ille in Poland, Lithuania, and the UK. He also won four prizes in the blindly judged Foundation for Sacred Arts 2010 International Composition Competition, securing premieres at the National Shrine in Washington, D.C. He won the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir’s 2010 Commission Competition and had three winning works featured on Boston Metro Opera’s 2011 Contemporary Americana Festival. Knaggs was named finalist in three other recent competitions: the Choral Arts Ensemble, the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, and Third Millennium Ensemble.
Jo Ellen Miller, MM '05 (voice performance), was invited to sing with the Met Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall for a second time in January 2011. She sang Lukas Foss' chamber work Time Cycle, conducted by James Levine, after singing Pierre Boulez' Improvisations sur Mallarmé I and II in December 2009. She also debuted with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2009, singing Elliott Carter's A Mirror On Which to Dwell, under the baton of Boulez. In addition to her contemporary music pursuits, Jo Ellen has performed several classical roles recently, including Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Micaela in Carmen at Opera North, and Gretel with Fargo-Moorhead Opera.
Amanda Opuszynski, BM ’08 (voice), will be in Santa Fe this summer, covering the soprano lead in the Menotti opera The Last Savage.Then she returns to Seattle for a second season, singing Frasquita in Carmen on the mainstage, then Sophie in Werther and Norina in Don Pasquale with the Young Artists Program.
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, BFA ’06 (musical theatre), were awarded a 2011 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater for their musical Dogfight, with a book by Peter Duchan. The award is designed to nurture talented composers by enabling their musicals to be produced in NYC.
Nicholas Phan, BM ’01 (voice), and Choral Union Messiah tenor soloist last December, was nominated yesterday for a Grammy for his recording of the Stravinsky Pulcinella with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony.
Caleb Pillsbury, BM ’03 (music education), was named Chittenden East Supervisory Union's Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Caleb has been a music teacher at Mount Mansfield Union High School in Vermont since 2003 and “lives, loves, and teaches” vocal music, guitar, and music theory. He was recognized for many talents, not the least of which are “how he encourages reluctant singers, embraces and includes everyone in his classes and performances, and challenges gifted singers and instrumentalists. Caleb works tirelessly to improve instruction, and, thereby, his students' self-confidence, knowledge of music, and understanding of the importance of patience, practice and personal best.”
Brian Sacawa, MM '03 (saxophone), is the founder and curator of the Contemporary Museum's Mobtown Modern Music Series in Baltimore, MD. Baltimore Magazine named him Baltimore's Best Arts Explorer in its 2010 “Best of Baltimore” issue, while the Mobtown Modern Music Series was chosen as "Best Music Series" by the Baltimore City Paper. Mobtown Modern was also honored with a 2010 Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.
David Troiano, DMA ’06 (organ), premiered a work written for him by Mexican composer Armando Torres in Tlaxcala, Mexico in May of last year. He concertized with Finnish violinist Tapani Yrjiola in Sweden, Norway, and Finland in July and was the tenor soloist with the St. John’s Men and Boy’s Choir on their American tour in August. He presented a paper on the Tientos of Pablo Bruna at the 10th International Symposium of Spanish Keyboard Music in Almeria, Spain, and presented an organ concert at La Basilica in Mexico City, both in October. In November 2010, he conducted two operettas for the Comic Opera Guild in Ann Arbor.
Paul K. Bhasin, BM '99 (trumpet), just finished his DMA in conducting at the University of Wisconsin where he was also the 2010 recipient of the Church Memorial Conducting Award. He will be joining the faculty of the College of William & Mary as director of bands in fall 2011. Formerly director of bands at Triton College in Illinois, he performed with the Illinois Symphony and at the Ravinia Music Festival during that tenure. While on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay he performed as a soloist in national and international venues, including both NPR and in the Czech Republic.
Gavin Creel, BFA ’98 (musical theatre), and two-time Tony Award nominee, starred as the titan Prometheus in the American Repertory Theater world-premiere musical Prometheus Bound, by Tony Award winner Steven Sater and rock musician Serj Tankian. The production reunited Creel with his Tony Award-nominated Hair director Diane Paulus, who staged the political rock musical in an immersive setting at ART’s nightclub venue Oberon.
Emma Cotter, BFA '97 (dance), is the president of RETTOCAMME Inc, a unique dance/art/design company based in Brooklyn, NY. Dance performances this past year included an Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ showcase at Dance New Amsterdam, a collaboration with painter Frank Welles at the 10th Annual GAGA Arts Festival in Garnerville, NY, and the second annual evening length RETTOCAMME February Project at Triskelion Arts, featuring guest choreographer and fellow alumna Julie Tice (BDA ’97). A visual artist herself, Emma was commissioned in 2010 by ICrave Design to create three large-scale bottle cap artworks for two Manhattan restaurants.
Sam Davis, BM ’98 (composition), conductor, arranger, and pianist, was invited by PS Classics to record a full album of his own work. What resulted was Love on a Summer Afternoon: Songs of Sam Davis. “An elegant, classic melodist in the tradition of Kern and Rodgers, Sam evokes a wistful, elegiac yearning through his music.” Top Broadway vocalists, including Gavin Creel (BFA ’98), have come together to debut Davis’s works on this new CD.
Hunter Foster, BFA ’92 (musical theatre), has been cast in the role of Richard Hoover, a floundering motivational speaker, in William Finn and James Lapine’s new musical comedy, Little Miss Sunshine, based on the movie of the same name. He co-starred with fellow alumna Jennifer Laura Thompson (BFA ’92). The musical had its world-premiere run in February at La Jolla Playhouse, with a March 4 opening.
Kris Kwapis, BM ’93, MM ’97 (trumpet performance), is lecturer of baroque trumpet and cornetto at the Early Music Institute at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and a faculty member of the new early music program at Seattle’s Cornish School of the Arts. She recently performed with the Green Mountain Project in NYC, in an event celebrating the 400th anniversary of Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers. Upcoming highlights include performing at the American Handel Festival with Pacific MusicWorks, Bach’s B Minor Mass with St. Paul’s Lyra Baroque Orchestra, and with the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra in Boston and at Tanglewood.
Katherine I. Lee, BM ’99 (music history), BM ’99 (piano), now a doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology at Harvard University, won both the 2010 Charles Seeger Prize for Best Student Paper of the year and the 2010 Martin Hatch Award of the Society for Asian Music for "P'ungmul, Politics, and Protest: Drumming During South Korea's Democratization Movement."
Jody Madaras, BFA '93 (musical theatre), recently premiered and starred in his new musical revue All Hands On Deck!, a 1940's musical show, at the Perrysburg Musical Theatre Company. Set in 1942, All Hands On Deck! is loosely based on Bob Hope's 1942 USO tour to the troops serving in WWII and features 42 of the greatest American songs ever written. U-M professor Jerry DePuit provided the choral arrangements for the musical. This fall, Jody was featured as George in Irving Berlin's I Love A Piano, Japan tour, directed by Ray Roderick.
Michelle Pearlman, BMA '92 (voice), has recently relocated to New Jersey from the Boston area. In November, she was formally installed as Rabbi of Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls, NJ. While in Boston, she served as Associate Rabbi of Temple Shalom of Newton, MA.
Patrick Roulet BM ’90 (percussion), has been teaching at the New England Music Camp in Sidney, Maine, established in 1937 and offering an extensive music program for young musicians ages 11-18. The camp will celebrate its 75th anniversary this summer. SMTD alumni who teach there with him include Carolyn Tarzia, BM ’55 MM ’62 (strings); Bart Dunning, BM ’67, MM, 69 (strings); David Donaldson, BM ’73 (music education); Larry Cooper, MM ’83 (trombone); Rachel Chapman Roulet, BM ’90 (piano); Lorraine Duso, DMA ’98 (oboe); Dan Piccolo, BM ’01 (percussion), MM ’06 (jazz & improvisation); and Mike Colletti, currently a senior at Michigan.
Grant Wenaus, DMA ’97 (collaborative piano), was named the director of collaborative piano studies at New York University last fall. He immediately brought his former teacher, Martin Katz, for a master class on the works of Schumann and Wolf. In the spring of 2011, Wenaus conducts Die Fledermaus at NYU, performs Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine with Deborah Lifton, BM ’98 (voice), returns to the Florence Voice Seminar as an opera coach, and is the featured guest at the Wyoming Voice Teachers Annual Conference, lecturing, adjudicating and performing a recital with Dr. Larry Hensel, baritone.
Deborah J. Barker, BFA ’89 (musical theatre), who goes by the stage name Autumn O'Ryan, has been with the national tour of Church Basement Ladies 2, The Second Helping, in the role of Mavis. The tour, sponsored by Troupe America, began in January and ends in May. Deb/Autumn is now based in Minneapolis and will return to live Alaska in 2012. She would love to hear from musical theatre friends (email@example.com).
Stephen Bryant, MM '74 (vocal performance), MM '88 (choral conducting), was nominated for a 2009 Grammy for Best Opera Recording for his performance in the role of Dante in Tan Dun's Marco Polo with the Netherlands Opera. Bryant was a member of the original cast, which premiered the work in 1996 at the Biennale Festival in Munich. He performed the role of Old Hob in the opera Flora with the Spoleto USA Festival 2010 in Charleston, SC., an opera first performed in the U.S. Colonies in 1735. Bryant is scheduled to return to Spoleto 2011 to perform the role of Gobineau in Menotti's The Medium.
Wayne Earnest, MM ’74 (organ), continues as director of music and organist at the First United Methodist Church of Ocala, FL. He has stepped up work as conductor of the Marion Civic Chorale, with 9 concerts and three different programs in recent months.
Mary Z. Maher, PhD. ’73 (theater and speech communication), has published a new book entitled Actors Talk about Shakespeare with the Hal Leonard Corporation, Applause/Limelight books. It features interview and essays from American, Canadian, and English actors, including Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Stacy Keach, Zoe Caldwell, Martha Henry, Nicholas Pennell, William Hutt, and others. Maher is professor emerita from the University of Arizona after twenty-five years of teaching. She retired in Ashland, OR, where she lectures for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Southern Oregon University.
Kay Kaufman Shelemay, BM ’70 (voice), MA ’72, Ph.D. ’77 (musicology), the G. Gordon Watts Professor of Music and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, was awarded the 2010 Jaap Kunst Prize for the most significant article published in the field of ethnomusicology for her piece "The Power of Silent Voices: Women in the Syrian Jewish Musical Tradition."
Morton Achter, BM '61, MM '63 (music theory), Ph.D. '72 (musicology), directed a production of Molière's The Imaginary Invalid this past May for the Lincoln County Community Theater in Damariscotta, ME. Last fall he taught a course on opera in Brunswick for the Midcoast Senior College, a statewide program sponsored by the University of Maine.
Sheilah Rae (nee Bernstein) Gross, BM ’67 (voice), saw her new musical I Married Wyatt Earp, lyrics by Sheilah Rae, co-book by Thomas Edward West and Rae, and music by Michele Brourman, open in May in a limited run at 59E59 Theater in New York City, off-Broadway. The musical is based on the true story of Josephine Sarah Marcus, a young Jewish socialite in San Francisco who left her wealthy upbringing to marry the legendary Wyatt Earp. She has had a long Broadway performing and writing career, but is thrilled that this show will finally be seen by New York audiences.
Ralph Minnick, MM ’60 (music education), and former student of Clifford Lillya, appeared with the Codorus Brass Quintet in a varied program in January at the Eichelberger Performing Arts Center in Hanover, PA. The nucleus of the CBQ performers, Minnick tells us, are from the Lyric Band of Hanover, which has a history of playing weekly summer concerts since 1932 at the Codorus Lake band shell.
Charles M. Atkinson, MM ‘65 (music education), has received the Otto Kinkeldey Award from the American Musicological Society. This award is given annually to acknowledge "a musicological book of exceptional merit published in any language and in any country by a scholar who is beyond the early stages of his or her career." Atkinson, Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of Music at The Ohio State University, received the award at the 2010 national meeting of the AMS for his book The Critical Nexus: Tone-System, Mode, and Notation in Early Medieval Music (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2009).
Jack Heller, MM ’58 (violin and music education), retired from the Tampa Bay Symphony at the end of the 2010—2011 season, ending his 25-year run with élan, conducting Mahler Symphony No. 1. Other works programmed over his final season were Beethoven Symphony No. 8, Barber Essay No. 2, and Dvorak Cello Concerto. Heller, professor emeritus at the University of South Florida, will devote his newly found extra time to his research in psychology of music, particularly in language and music cognition.
James Tatum, MM ’53 (music education), founded the James Tatum Foundation for the Arts 24 years ago. Now celebrating its pre-silver anniversary with a Classical & Jazz Benefit Concert, at Orchestra Hall in Detroit, the foundation’s mission is to help Michigan youth explore the arts. “The arts and music are basic to life,” Tatum said. “The arts encourage self-discipline and persistence.” Tatum is a jazz pianist, composer, and recording artist in his own right. A Texas native, Tatum settled in Detroit after finishing his degree and started a music program at Detroit Wilber Wright High School, where he retired after 32 years of service.
David Whitwell, BM ’59 (music education), is this year's recipient of the Hall of Fame Award of the California Music Education Association.
What’s New with You?
Please send your latest news to (please note) EditorMichiganMuse@umich.edu, keeping submissions to 100 words (longer entries will be edited for length) and submitting them in paragraph form—please, no CV’s, resumes, lists, or press releases. Deadline for the Fall 2011 Muse is August 15, 2011.
Email to firstname.lastname@example.org or type on separate sheet and mail to Betsy Goolian, Editor, Michigan Muse, School of Music, Theatre & Dance, 2005 Baits Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2075. Photos welcomed either as jpeg attachments to emails (must be high resolution, at least 300 dpi) or sent as prints to be scanned and returned. Let us know if photo credits are required.
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