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CONTACTS The Masters School 49 Clinton Avenue Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522-2201 914-479-6400 mastersny.org Send letters to: Janice Leary janice.leary@mastersny.org Send alumnae/i news to news editors listed in Class Notes or: Celeste Rivera celeste.rivera@mastersny.org

ON THE COVER Music teacher Curt Ebersole conducted the String Ensemble at a recent Spring Instrumental Concert.

Printed on paper containing 30% post-consumer waste with vegetable based inks. 100% of the electricity used to manufacture the paper is green e-certified renewable energy.



MASTERS’ MUSIC EDUCATION: a Rich Legacy, a Mighty Future Exceptional music education has been central to The Masters School and its ethos since early in the School’s history. We profile four alumnae/i who have made their marks in the professional music world and take a look at how the School’s music program has grown over the last 20 years.


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A Vibrant and Dynamic Music Program Dear Friends, Music has long been a lovely and structural thread in the Masters fabric. Honoring both the vision of our founder, Eliza Bailey Masters—who believed that singing was important to the cultured education of her students—as well as our own sense of the human need for music, we have long been proud of our vibrant and evolving music program. In recent years we’ve added a wider range of voices to the dynamic and long-standing Glee Club, extensive music technology, jazz and contemporary music ensembles, a robust Middle School program, and an active private lessons program. We have proudly graduated both budding professional musicians and lifelong appreciators who find a voice, a source of inspiration and pure joy through music. This issue of The Bulletin spotlights the legacy of Masters’ music education and features profiles of four alumnae/i who are among those graduates who have gone on to successful careers in the music field. We also share with you how the School’s music program has steadily expanded over the last 20 years.


Indeed the evolution of music at Masters continues, allegro and forte. This year the Music Department and the Drama and Dance Department combined to create the Department of Performing Arts under the leadership of Jennifer Carnevale, formerly Music Chair. With eight full-time faculty members, two part-time teachers and more than 20 adjunct faculty, this new department will have a unique and rich opportunity to function across disciplines and divisions. A shared philosophy and an aligned, integrated curriculum will cement the ubiquitous presence of music and the performing arts in every nook, cranny and performance space on campus. The integral role of music is reflected in our new Campus Master Plan, which proposes as a first step major renovations to Strayer Hall, bolstering not only the music program, but the Masters community as a whole. Meanwhile, the music program looks ever forward. This year the faculty introduced three new courses, including Independent Study in Conducting, inspired in great part by our noteworthy alumnae/i in this field. The human family has always needed and will always need music as a balm against weariness of body and soul—a talisman for the spirit. At Masters, we unabashedly embrace our music program’s Mission Statement: “We gather to learn—to explore the many incarnations of musicianship...to do—to play and sing together in a variety of styles and settings...to be a power for good in the world—to connect to self as well as to something larger; to serve our community in song.” Warm wishes,





Exceptional music education has been central to The Masters School and its ethos since early in the School’s history. Over the decades, numerous graduates have gone on to successful careers as musicians or music teachers, or to employ their musical skills in avocational ways. Profiled here are four alumnae/i who have made their marks in the music world in professions ranging from songwriting to opera singing to instrumental performance. Their accomplishments underline the quality, scope and legacy of Masters’ robust music program.

She says she began playing music—on a toy violin—at the age of 20 months, and at age 3, began lessons with her mother, Keesoon Namkung, then director of the Suzuki Music School in Edmonds, WA. Mrs. Namkung taught violin at Masters when her daughter was enrolled.

YURI NAMKUNG ’01 At the age of 13, Yuri Namkung was already making a name for herself as a violinist when Masters’ director of admission tracked her down in New York City to offer her a full scholarship to attend the School.


Namkung was enrolled in a Juilliard pre-college program at the time and studying with violinist Dorothy DeLay. Although the program provided valuable music instruction, its curriculum did not include other academic subjects. “I was looking for the right school environment for me—a very nurturing learning environment,” recalls Namkung, now an accomplished professional musician. She found it at Masters.

“I visited Masters and was blown away by the warmth of the campus, the whole environment,” says Namkung, who attended the Upper School from 1997 to 2001. “It seemed like a dream placed into my hands.” The Seattle native made the most of that dream while at Masters, taking music theory courses, diligently practicing in Strayer Hall, and giving recitals at Estherwood Mansion. Although Namkung says all of her Masters teachers were influential and supportive, Nancy Theeman, Ph.D., then Music Department Chair, holds a special place in her memory: “She helped me grasp music theory better than I ever had. Her role in my life was very steadfast.” Because she traveled frequently to give performances, Namkung didn’t have time for co-curricular activities. Nevertheless, she was able to engage in another passion— sports. She fondly recalls “shooting hoops in the gym” and practicing with the lacrosse and cross-country teams, even though she wasn’t a member of either squad. “I was never made to feel like an outsider,” says Namkung.

After graduating from Masters, Namkung went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, a master’s degree from Juilliard, and a Graduate Diploma in chamber music from the New England Conservatory. She was a founding member of the Moët Trio, a critically acclaimed classical music ensemble that performed from 2005 through 2011.

Namkung performs in venues across the United States, including the Kennedy Center, Boston’s Jordan Hall, the Virginia Arts Festival and the Ravinia Festival. Her major solo appearances have included performances with the Seattle Symphony, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Wyoming Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich in Switzerland and the Filarmónica Joven de Colombia throughout Colombia and Brazil. She has also served on the music faculties of the University of Alabama and the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and for several years was a guest teacher in Venezuela, Colombia and Panama. As for her own teachers at Masters, Namkung says, “Every single faculty member was supportive…I feel very grateful. They prepared me for college and beyond.”




EZRA SELTZER ’00 Ezra Seltzer began learning to play the cello while still a preschooler and was embraced by Masters as a promising student and young musician in the late 1990s. These days, Seltzer is a full-time musician who performs across the United States as principal cellist of the Sebastians, an ensemble specializing in music of the baroque and classical eras. He is also a founding member of the critically acclaimed four-member group. “I was attracted to Masters because of the emphasis on both arts and academics,” Seltzer says. “In other schools, the arts were more of an afterthought, but at Masters they were clearly integrated into school life. In the afternoons, there was a required extracurricular activity, and I used that time to practice.” Seltzer, who grew up in Sleepy Hollow, NY, arrived at Masters in the fall of 1996 and was a member of the first coed class to attend the Upper School for all four years. Chances are he was perfecting his technique in one corner of Strayer Hall while Namkung was practicing in another. He shares with Namkung the experience of studying music theory with Dr. Theeman, whom he describes as “my main mentor and a person at the School who really looked out for me. She knew that it could be tough to do well academically and have enough time to practice an instrument.” Seltzer played cello in the School’s orchestra, as well as in the pit orchestra for musicals, such as Anything Goes, an experience he remembers fondly. He also recalls being


invited to collaborate with the Masters Dance Company, performing György Ligeti’s “Sonata for Solo Cello” for a piece choreographed by Karen Kristen, then director of the dance program. “I’d often spend some of my free time at the Music Department building, just playing the guitars and pianos, which were always available to students,” Seltzer says. “I also remember that they had a computer with musical notation software. At the time, it was a novel idea that I could compose something and have it immediately played back to me by computer, no matter how complicated I made it.” But Seltzer’s future career as a musician was shaped by much more than the curriculum and equipment offered by the Music Department. The School’s use of the Harkness method of teaching—introduced during Seltzer’s freshman year—was instrumental. “The skills fostered by the Harkness tables are similar to those needed in rehearsing chamber music, which is what I spend most of my career doing,” he says. “It’s nonhierarchical and everybody’s view can be heard and respectfully considered.” “I am always using classroom skills I learned from Harknesscentered discussions like those in Ms. [Colleen] Roche’s history class or Ms. [Jane] Rechtman’s world religions class, which were also a highlight of my Masters education. My career is focused primarily on baroque music these days, which means playing lots of sacred music in churches, and there’s a lot I learned from that world religions class that helps inform my performances.” Seltzer has been performing since the age of 4 1/2, having picked up a cello—one that was 1/8th the size of a standard

Noteworthy Music Achievements Current and former students of Masters’ music program have garnered numerous distinctions over the years. Here are a few recent highlights: • Dobbs 16, Masters’ contemporary a cappella group, won the Northeast Regional Semifinals of the International Championship of High School A Cappella in April 2016, placing the ensemble among the top 10 a cappella groups in the United States.

cello—just a year earlier. One review, published in Opera Britannia in 2010, praised him for his “beauty of tone and keenness of musicianship.”

• Fifteen members of Dobbs 16 and Tower Singers, Masters’ advanced classical choir, along with three faculty chaperones, attended the 32nd World Conference of the International Society for Music Education in Glasgow, Scotland, in July 2016. The students gave several performances, including at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

In addition to his work with the Sebastians, he is principal cellist of the Trinity Baroque Orchestra. He has also performed frequently as a principal cellist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Musica Angelica, Orchester Wiener Akademie, Early Music New York and New York Baroque Incorporated.

Music educators at the conference were so impressed with the Masters groups that they invited them to perform in India, Australia and South Korea.

After graduating from Masters, Seltzer earned a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Master of Music in cello from Yale University. He was also a member of the inaugural class of the Juilliard Historical Performance program for graduate students specializing in early music on period instruments.

• Noah Rosner ’17, Julius Rodriguez ’16 and Ben Lusher ’10 were each chosen for the Grammy Camp-Jazz Session during their senior years. Rosner and Lusher, members of the Jazz Session Choir, and Rodriguez, a member of the Jazz Session Band, were among over 30 high school students from across the U.S. selected each year to participate in the program. Lusher was also selected for the program’s choir in 2009. The young singers and musicians attended the annual Grammy Awards ceremony and performed at the awards celebration after-party and several other events in Los Angeles. Each year, the participants also recorded an album at Capitol Studios. Lusher is now a member of Thirdstory, a popular trio known for its strong harmonies. Rosner and Rodriguez are studying music at New York University and Juilliard, respectively. • The Chainsmokers, an electronic dance music duo composed of Alex Pall ’03 and Drew Taggart, won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for “Don’t Let Me Down,” featuring the singer Daya, in 2017. The year before, three Chainsmokers songs landed spots in a Billboard Top 10 chart.

Above: Dobbs 16, Masters’ contemporary a cappella group. Right: Julius Rodriguez ’16



EVA VOGEL ’94 German opera singer Eva Vogel spent only one academic year at Masters—1993 to 1994—but it was a year packed with exceptional learning, the challenge and camaraderie of team sports, and new, lasting friendships. She was placed at the School as an American Secondary Schools for International Students and Teachers program scholar. “I was so happy about the boarding school part, but only girls? I imagined it all to be so girly and boring,” Vogel says now. “But it actually turned out to be the best year of my life. And the fact that it was an all-girls school back then surely had a lot to do with it. There were pretty much only very cool girls attending— athletic, artsy, musical, open-minded and interesting. I am still in touch with many and am very thankful for the chances I received that year.” Vogel’s enrollment in Masters satisfied her longtime goal of spending her junior year at a top-notch independent American school where she could participate in music projects, play sports, live with other students in a dorm, and experience the American way of life. Her music education included taking piano and private voice lessons and participating in the Glee Club, a singing group composed of students, faculty and other community members. One of her favorite memories is a concert in which she sang the alto solo parts of Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” and was joined in the performance by soprano Mirna Valerio ’93, now a Dobbs Alumnae/i Association Board member. “Being given the solo made me proud and self-confident, and it was a wonderful experience to sing the part.” At Masters, Vogel says, “I learned how to be part of a group like the Glee Club, how to appreciate singing and performing with them, and what it means to learn pieces that weren’t written in my own language—even in a language that I didn’t speak, like Hebrew.”


Although all of her teachers “made a huge impression” on her, she particularly remembers Dr. Theeman, who was her voice teacher and led the Glee Club, and former teacher and Athletic Director Ginger O’Shea, who was Vogel’s dorm parent, varsity volleyball coach and varsity softball coach.

Meanwhile, Vogel also forged a close bond with O’Shea, who “somewhat became my home away from home. She called me ‘Düssel’ because I was from Düsseldorf. It was kind of our inside joke, because Düssel in German describes a person who is a bit forgetful. She had a great sense of humor, and once in a while she and her husband served the best ice cream at the dorm parties.”

“Dr. Theeman influenced me a great deal because she not only introduced me to many classical works, from chorales to arias to songs, but she also made me believe that I had a special talent for singing and that if I practiced hard enough and really wanted it, I could pursue a career in the field.”

These strong bonds have persisted for over 20 years: Theeman and O’Shea attended Vogel’s Carnegie Hall debut in 2015. “It was so wonderful to see them again on such a special occasion!” Vogel says.


Grete Sultan Endowed Music Scholarship Fund Grete Sultan, a piano teacher at The Masters School for two decades, won praise not only as an educator, but also as an adept musician who performed in concert throughout her life. Sultan, whose full name was Johanna Margarete Sultan, taught at Masters from 1952 until 1971. She was born into a musical family in Berlin in 1906. As a child, she was exposed to such music luminaries as Richard Strauss, Artur Schnabel and Ferruccio Busoni, who often visited her family. She studied piano from an early age with American pianist Richard Buhlig, and completed a course of study at a Berlin music school in only three years. Sultan’s flourishing concert career in Germany was abruptly halted when Hitler rose to power and Jewish musicians were barred from performing in public. In 1941 she fled to the United States, where she settled in New York City and began working as a piano teacher. During the 1940s, she met composer John Cage, who became an associate and lifelong friend. Throughout her career, Sultan was lauded for her natural, unshowy manner and musical integrity. A New York Herald Tribune review published in 1947 described her as “a pianist of obviously superior intellectual faculties and unusually mature musicianship.” In 1996, at age 90, Sultan gave her last recital, playing Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” at Merkin Concert Hall. Randi Gronningsater Stroh ’67, who studied under Sultan, established The Grete Sultan Endowed Music Scholarship Fund in 2008 in memory of this talented and pioneering woman. Recent recipients of the scholarship include Hunter LaMar ’13, Maya Bater ’16 and Noah Rosner ’17, each of whom has gone on to study music in college. The Masters School wishes to increase the size of the fund—now Masters’ only endowed financial aid award for music—by at least an additional $50,000 over the next two years. If you would like to contribute to the fund, please contact Christina Camardella at christina.camardella@mastersny.org or 914-479-6575.

A mezzo-soprano, Vogel has performed as a permanent soloist at opera houses in Düsseldorf and Innsbruck and as a guest soloist throughout Europe. Her extensive repertoire has included the roles of Carmen, Flora in La Traviata, Hänsel in Hänsel and Gretel, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro and Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier. She has appeared in numerous symphony concerts and recitals around the globe, including at the Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Berliner Philharmonie, the Royal Opera House, Teatro Massimo in Palermo, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. After her year at Masters, Vogel finished high school in Germany. She then returned to the U.S., earning a bachelor’s degree from Mannes School of Music in New York and a master’s degree in music from Yale University. Her first professional engagements included performing in productions by the chamber opera in Hamburg, Germany and for two seasons as a member of the Cologne Opera’s International Opera Studio. Vogel readily credits Masters with helping put her successful career as a singer in motion. She accords that credit not only to her music education, but also to the totality of her School experience.

“Masters prepared me as a complete personality,” she says. “I wouldn’t even say that it was the Music Department only that made me into the singer that I became; it was every department and every fellow student who became friends with me. The varsity sports that I played had a huge impact on me as well. I remember being ‘athlete of the week’ one time, which made me so proud. I had saved our volleyball team from a near loss by successfully serving 11 times in a row. Masters taught me to strive for the best in any discipline.”




in a play at a local home for the elderly as part of the School’s community service program.

Kara DioGuardi, now an award-winning songwriter, record producer and music publisher, also describes her Masters experience as a foundational one that helped prepare her for a professional music career.

Her interest in pursuing a music career evolved gradually, taking hold when she was a senior at Duke University. “It wasn’t until I got to college that I embraced my creative side,” says DioGuardi, noting that while she was at Masters, she was “still trying to excel at what my family expected of me—to be a lawyer or doctor.”

“My Masters education taught me about discipline and hard work, while exposing me to many different cultures, languages and ways of life,” she says. “Music and art were embedded in the fabric of Masters. It’s something that I took in almost by osmosis. When I was ready to step into the music field, I had a good model for it.”

Yet the School’s rigorous academic program and supportive social culture were key influences that helped put her on a successful career path. “We were encouraged to do whatever we could, to the best of our abilities. ‘Do it with thy might’— that motto has always stuck with me.”

DioGuardi’s songs have appeared on more than 160 million albums and she has had over 50 hit singles, with artists such as Pink, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Gwen Stefani, Enrique Iglesias, Britney Spears and Santana. She is a recipient of the BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year Award and over 20 other BMI awards for the most played songs on the radio. DioGuardi has served as an executive vice president at Warner Brothers Records and currently is co-chief executive officer of Arthouse Entertainment, a Los Angelesbased music publishing and talent management firm, where she helps mentor other artists. Arthouse has shepherded hits by Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Cee Lo Green and many others. DioGuardi also sets aside time every fall to teach a songwriting class at Berklee College of Music. Perhaps her best-known professional role was her stint as a judge on “American Idol” for two seasons. She has also performed on Broadway, playing the pivotal role of Roxie Hart in the 2011 production of the musical Chicago. While at Masters, DioGuardi was a member of the Glee Club and Dohters, the School’s all-female a cappella group. She also performed


The Scarsdale, NY native wrote her first songs at age 23. At the time, she wanted to create a demo tape to showcase her singing skills but couldn’t obtain permission to record other artists’ original songs. So she wrote and recorded her own songs and sent the demo to a music publisher. “The publisher liked my voice but felt that I needed to work on my material,” she recalls. “That was my entrée into the music business.”


Even though DioGuardi’s route from the Masters community to the music world was an indirect one, she sees many of her School experiences as integral steppingstones. In one instance involving a little reverse psychology, she learned that to be a successful musical artist sometimes means to be nonconformist. “During a practice with Dohters, one of the girls told me to blend in because my voice stood out,” she says. “I thought that was ridiculous advice, but I was happy it was given to me. It incited a fire in me to stand out and never fit in.”

Teddy Rockas performing at Carnegie Hall in May 2017.

Musician Debuts as First Artist Scholar

By Janice Leary

Student pianist Teddy Rockas practices up to five hours every weekday to hone his skills. Thanks to a new Masters School program, he was able devote more time to that pursuit during his sophomore year. Teddy was Masters’ first Artist Scholar. The program, launched in 2016-17, is designed to recognize and encourage students with exceptional artistic talent. It allows these students to focus on the visual or performing arts as part of their academic program and to dedicate a significant portion of their cocurricular time to their respective discipline. For Teddy, that meant being able to spend much more time taking lessons and practicing his piano skills. “If you’re a classical musician and want to pursue that professionally,” he says, “it’s really the only path that you can have.” The young musician also had more time to showcase his talent in competitions and recitals. He was a winner in the Young Musicians Concert Auditions sponsored by the Associated Music Teachers League. That

achievement led to an even better one: the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in May 2017. Earlier in the year, Teddy won a first-place award in the Young Classical Virtuosos of Tomorrow national competition presented by The NBS Classical Music Institute. The Artist Scholar program, though, is about more than earning accolades and having a flexible schedule for practice. Scholars are also required to give back to Masters by sharing their talents with the School community. Teddy did so in several ways, such as by deftly playing a difficult Rachmaninoff piece at an Upper School morning meeting. He also accompanied Tower Singers on piano when the ensemble performed at a MetLife Music Series event in New York City.




TWO DECADES AGO, THE MASTERS MUSIC PROGRAM—ALTHOUGH STRONG— HAD NO JAZZ OR STUDIO PRODUCTION PROGRAMS, ITS ORCHESTRA WAS A CLUB, AND IT HAD ONLY ONE FULL-TIME FACULTY MEMBER. “The program has grown exponentially,” says Jennifer Carnevale, Chair of the Department of Performing Arts and a member of the music faculty since 2003. “The number of classes and ensembles that we offer is in a totally different place now.” In the Upper School, 18 music class sections are offered each week, while 14 are taught each week in the Middle School. The spectrum of genres covers classical, chamber music, jazz, rock, world music, American folk, American popular music, musical theater and more. Among those genres, today’s Masters students have an exciting range of opportunities to create music with their peers. The Upper School program now includes nine


academic music ensembles—three jazz, three classical and three choral—and the Middle School offers eight ensembles, including jazz, rock, orchestra, percussion, choir and musical theater. In addition, the Upper School has six student-run performing groups, including the newest additions: The Salty Dogs, who specialize in shanties, ballads and other “songs of the sea,” and 49 Clinton, an alternative and contemporary rock band launched last year. Carnevale, who was named Music Department Chair in 2013, became chair of the new Department of Performing Arts on July 1, 2017. Integrating the music, drama and dance disciplines into a single department has several advantages, she says, such as “promoting interdisciplinary work and aligning our philosophy and curriculum.”

“This merging of two departments represents the next step in the growth of the music program, which can only be enriched through collaboration with colleagues across the performing arts, as well as through crossdisciplinary exploration,” Carnevale adds. The department’s five full-time music faculty members not only teach classes, they also direct ensembles, advise clubs and oversee a diverse range of productions and performances. Barbara Ciannella, who has been teaching private piano lessons and accompanying School ensembles for several years, recently joined the department as a part-time faculty member. Twenty adjunct teachers provide private lessons in instruments ranging from flute to bass guitar, as well as voice. In addition to her role as department chair, Carnevale teaches several classes, including Dobbs 16, a contemporary a cappella group, and Tower Singers, an advanced classical choir. She also directs the Glee Club, a singing group whose members come from throughout the School community.

Music faculty members (from left): Curt Ebersole, Jennifer Carnevale, Katie Meadows, John-Alec Raubeson and Gilles Pugatch.

“It is exciting to both incorporate my classical choral training and turn it on its head to bring it more in line with our student-centered pedagogy at Masters,” she says. “In the classical music world, the conductor is God, selecting repertoire, making decisions about dynamics, articulation, etc. That antiquated concept doesn’t work in our Harkness-influenced practice....The aim is to foster independent musicians who can think for themselves but act as a community.”





The steady expansion of the music program was initiated by former department Chair Nancy Theeman, Ph.D., who was “the one with the vision,” Carnevale says. “Her legacy is very strong.”

In the early 2000s, the Middle School offered only general music studies and a choir. But in the decade after Carnevale joined the faculty to teach in the Middle School, the division’s music curriculum grew. Rock and jazz programs were added, and Carnevale became the first Coordinator of Middle School Music.

Theeman hired four of the five current full-time faculty members, including Gilles Pugatch, a jazz and classical musician who came to Masters in 2001. With the addition of Pugatch’s expertise, Masters was able to offer instrumental jazz studies for the first time. Pugatch, who was charged with developing the contemporary music curriculum, now oversees the jazz program in grades 5 through 12, including the Jazz Band, Jazz Modern, Jazz Orchestra and Middle School Jazz Band. He is also a co-director of the Great Gig in the Sky, an annual interdisciplinary performance arts project. As many as 100 students collaborate to re-create an iconic record album during the live—and eagerly anticipated—Great Gig performance every spring. “There’s something in the water here at Masters,” Pugatch says. “Reaching decades back, whether an artistic director at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, a Grammy awardwinning EDM [electronic dance music] musician, or multiple students accepted to the Grammy band program, The Masters School continually germinates some of the best musicians in the world. I attribute that not to any one teacher, but rather to a culture and philosophy that breed the freedom to tinker and create from the heart.”


Katie Meadows, the current Coordinator, joined the faculty in 2005, helping meet the burgeoning needs created by a Middle School whose enrollment had nearly doubled. She also teaches the music curriculum for grades 5 and 6, and serves as director of the Preludes ensemble and musical director of the Upper and Middle School musicals. “Music education is such a wonderful place for students to explore their sense of self, practice empathy and discover different ways to express themselves,” Meadows says. “I see my role as introducing our youngest community members to our department philosophy and setting the tone for their music experiences on campus. One of my primary roles in the fifth and sixth grades is to help these young artists find their own voices. “I believe in creating a safe space where students feel encouraged to take risks and fail, and I want them to support one another in these moments of vulnerability. I want our students to celebrate their work and feel comfortable sharing it with others. My hope is that, through music, the students will dare to ask questions of me, of one another and of themselves. Most importantly, I want them to find joy in making music.”

CLASSICAL EXPANDS ITS REPERTOIRE “When I became department chair,” Carnevale says, “part of my vision was to build up the classical instrumental part of the program.” At the time, orchestra met in the evenings and was offered as either a class or a club, and chamber music met only if enough students had enrolled in the class. Carnevale persuaded Curt Ebersole, who was retiring from his job as a music teacher at a New Jersey high school, to come to Masters in 2013 to oversee the classical music program. Ebersole now serves as private lessons coordinator; instructor of the new Independent Study in Conducting course and other classes; and director of chamber music, Symphonic Winds, the String Ensemble and the Middle School Orchestra. Noting that he began playing the clarinet at age 10, Ebersole says, “My teachers instilled in me a lifelong love of music, and that became my main objective as a music educator. Here I have the opportunity to teach instrumentalists of every age, from Middle School to Upper School.” “We utilize the Harkness technique in rehearsals to bring depth and meaning to the music, giving students opportunities to engage, reflect and collaborate,” Ebersole notes. “By being engaged at every level in the music rehearsal process, students have an opportunity to be a part of the process as well as the result. And all this enhances their appreciation of music and the arts for the long run, throughout their lives.”

Ebersole’s active off-campus music career is also a source of inspiration for his students. He is conductor and music director of the 60-piece Westchester Symphonic Winds, and has served as a guest conductor of community ensembles across the nation, with performances at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and the Caramoor Festival.




Masters of Rock, an after-school program that comprises three Middle School bands, debuted in 2010 and is now a school institution. The program and its popular annual concert underscore the department’s commitment to expand its rock and world music program. Music teacher John-Alec Raubeson directs Masters of Rock (MOR) and works with the bands throughout the school year as they learn rock and pop songs and hone their skills. Raubeson was a longtime adjunct music teacher who became a part-time faculty member in 2014, with responsibility for the seventh grade music classes and MOR. Now a full-time faculty member, he also teaches eighth grade music and directs Boom!, a new Middle School co-curricular program centered on percussion instruments.


Influenced by social media images that spotlight either great musical successes or dramatic failures, students tend to think there are only two possible outcomes, Raubeson observes. “But the real work gets done somewhere in the middle. I try to point students toward the power of ‘yet’ and remind them that it’s a process. They then get to enjoy the process instead of focusing on the end result. They discover their musicality.”

“As faculty, we are well-rounded musicians and encourage well-rounded musicianship in our students,” Carnevale says. “But we also recognize the value of focusing deeply on a particular thread—what we call a ‘vertical’ teaching approach. We think of the areas as pillars—choral, jazz, rock, musical theater and classical instrumental.” Each faculty member teaches in both the Upper and Middle Schools in one form or another. One benefit is that the teachers can track their students’ progress at all stages. Another is that they can work backwards from the end goal to ensure that students get the skills they need to realize their goals. “What is most important to me is that students emerge from our program better people, kinder, stronger—regardless of their level of involvement in the music program,” Carnevale says. “It’s profoundly joyful to watch students graduate and know that wherever they end up, they’re taking a piece of us with them. My hope is that they know that their voice and their way of seeing the world matters—and that music is just one way that they can express that voice.”







With an eye toward creating a campus with optimal spaces for teaching, learning and connecting, The Masters School has initiated its first Campus Master Plan.


Under the plan, new building, landscape and circulation projects will dramatically transform the School while preserving its historical roots. This flexible road map for Masters’ future includes a series of projects that will be implemented in phases. A pivotal goal is to reconnect the Upper and Lower Campus and to create a car-free corridor that extends from the Hill Houses to the Middle School. Other key projects include: new classrooms that build on our Harkness tradition and allow for innovation and flexibility; renovation of the theater and art studio in Masters Hall; conversion of the Dining Hall into a campus center; and

OUR CAMPUS renovation of Strayer Hall, including the addition of a third floor to house a re-envisioned library that supports the way students study, learn and collaborate. Importantly, the plan carefully integrates sustainable design strategies into site and building projects on the 96-acre campus. It also calls for the enhancement of landscaping and woodland trails for outdoor learning, fitness and recreation— taking fuller advantage of Masters’ natural surroundings. Architectural renderings of possible designs developed as part of the master plan are shown on these pages.

(Opposite Page): Campus Master Plan. (This Page): Strayer Hall, on left.





(Top row, left to right): Wellness Center; A Pedestrian Campus. (Bottom row, left to right): Campus Center; Woodlands Path.


GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR OUR MASTER PLAN Create a Place for Optimal Teaching and Learning • Design spaces that support mental and physical well-being • Use the campus to promote physical activity • Create spaces of both stimulation and serenity

Engage the Landscape • Preserve and enhance memorable landscapes • Create opportunities for learning and fitness in the woodlands • Provide new outdoor spaces for gathering and teaching • Connect to the Hudson Valley environment

Connect the Campus • Create a car-free campus core • Ensure universal design and accessibility • Rationalize vehicular circulation and parking

Preserve History and Celebrate Change • Protect, restore and showcase historic buildings and spaces • Give old spaces new life for new uses • Design innovative new spaces for learning

Promote Environmental Stewardship • Conserve energy and increase use of renewables • Reduce water consumption • Rethink waste and expand recycling across campus



Faculty Member John Chiodo: Going the Extra Mile

By Andrea Lehman

Imagine a design challenge to dream up a top-notch Masters faculty member—one who fosters students’ curiosity, innovativeness and teamwork while teaching courses from pre-calculus to design thinking, helping develop programs in engineering and entrepreneurship, launching and guiding co-curricular activities such as robotics and mathematical modeling, and mentoring students in and out of class.

road. “It had gotten to be about money and only money. The fun had gone out of it. I made a first attempt at retiring, but I got restless.”

You probably would not chart a course like the one teacher John Chiodo P’19 has taken. But you should. Despite (and because of) his unusual career trajectory, he has become that influential teacher—masterful and particularly Mastersappropriate.

“Math wasn’t easy for me,” he says, describing himself as “not a math guy. I did well, but I worked hard for it. Because it wasn’t easy, I think I teach it differently than most mathematicians, more applied as opposed to theoretical.” He brings that applied approach to both academic and enrichment programs at Masters to positive effect.

Although Chiodo “grew up in a household of educators,” he initially chose other work, as a chef and then in corporate mobility management, helping companies open new offices. He held an array of jobs in that field, including accounting, sales and account management, and marketing positions. After more than 20 years, though, “Business wasn’t wholly satisfying,” he concedes. He was spending a lot of time on the


Chiodo thought about teaching, possibly English. But his wife, also a teacher, persuaded him that there was a need for good math instructors.

“Anytime you come into my class, it probably won’t look like traditional teaching,” Chiodo says. “In the engineering program, there may be 10 minutes of direct instruction, but after that the kids are learning from project-based work and from each other. We do that at the Harkness table, too.” Regardless of seating arrangement, the unifying force in his

classroom is students learning by doing, “not from the teacher dispensing knowledge.” Mary Imperiale ’16, one of Chiodo’s former students, recalls an honors geometry project on proportions and ratios: “Instead of doing the typical class, quiz and test on the unit, we were put into small groups and assigned a building on campus.” Using only a yardstick and a cellphone camera, students re-created the building to scale, developed presentations on their findings and wrote reflections on the project. Five years later, Imperiale still feels the impact of the project. “Mr. Chiodo gave us the independence to express our understanding of the material in the way that we felt was best.”

(IEC), in whose ongoing development he plays a major role. Ask students about Chiodo’s impact, however, and they are as likely to talk about what happens outside the IEC. In addition to handling teaching responsibilities, for instance, Chiodo routinely gives up evenings and weekends for tutoring and competitions. “He affects his students’ lives in all realms,” says Bennett Saltzman ’14, who took classes with Chiodo and was a member of the math modeling team. “He would always go the extra mile and sacrifice his own personal time for the betterment of his students.” Imperiale agrees: “Mr. Chiodo, like many of the teachers at Masters, was always available for extra help. Many students could tell you of his tradition of inviting you over for dinner and then working on math afterwards.”

The teacher’s co-curricular programs are similarly project-based and student-centered. “There used to be a club on campus called Zetetics—primarily a quiz bowl team,” explains Chiodo, who is Coordinator of Zetetics Academic Enrichment Programs as well as Director of Innovation, Engineering and Computer Science. After recruiting students for a mathematical modeling competition, he asked students what other subjects they wanted to pursue. Today the Zetetics program also includes robotics, computer science, and history and quiz bowl teams in addition to math and math modeling. According to Chiodo: “The common thread is about questions, searching for answers, being a skeptic. That’s what a zetetic is. Students are naturally curious and press the boundaries of what they know or think they know. They look to challenge themselves. All of the teams are successful because the kids are really interested and work really hard.”

“He makes really incredible chicken,” confirms Saltzman. Payton Fu ’14 is another former student strongly influenced by Chiodo. But ironically, Fu never took a course taught by his advisor, basketball coach, mentor and surrogate father.


“I was a 15-year-old Chinese kid thousands of miles away from home. He took me in as a son,” Fu says. “He is one of the most diligent and dedicated people I’ve ever met.” And just as Chiodo pushes himself to work hard, try new things and always look to improve, he encourages students to do the same. “He isn’t afraid of taking risks, challenges and responsibility,” Fu observes. “He said to me, ‘If every day I’m not doing something that scares me, I’m not doing something right.’”

“Everything came from suggestions from students,” he notes. In fact, student interest provided the impetus behind the new four-year systems and software engineering curriculum, which Chiodo helps design and teach. Two of the engineering classes can even net college credits for those students who earn both a high grade in the course and a high score in the final exam.

Looking ahead, Chiodo plans to enhance Masters’ Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) offerings. In the Middle School, for example, the math team program was expanded and a quiz bowl team was added this year. Chiodo also hopes to start an engineering gateway program in the division to get more students interested in STEM at an earlier age.

Chiodo is also a driving force behind the Design Thinking and Social Entrepreneurship program—not surprising, given his business background and collaborative, real-world, problemsolving approach. The program, which was launched last year, is housed in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center

He is as entrepreneurial and innovative as the programs he guides, and as driven by students and their interests, curiosity and energy as the initiatives he brings to fruition. About every course and team, new program and success, he says the same thing: “It’s about the kids.”




Masters squash Coach Sahel Anwar was hopeful yet skeptical at the possibility of it all: Nouran Youssef ’20, then a 14-year-old squash prodigy from Alexandria, Egypt, attending an American school 5,000 miles from home? “I didn’t think it was going to work out, to be honest,” Anwar says. “But her dad trusted us. He knew we would take care of her and she would get a very good education and obviously go the college route.” Nouran’s unlikely path to Masters began at the U.S. Junior Open at Yale University in December 2015. As Anwar watched her compete against the best players the sport has to offer, a plan unfolded. “My coaching staff is from the same club that Nouran belonged to in Egypt,” Anwar notes, referring to the famed Smouha Sporting Club, which produced the current men’s and women’s world champions. “We discussed the idea of building the squash program at Masters. We had a new facility and we thought about how we were going to do this and put ourselves on the map. I knew Nouran. She played in the British Junior Open and was ranked very highly.” At that point, Anwar approached Nouran’s father with his grand plan. “He was up for it, surprisingly,” Anwar says. “She was a champ and very good. But she checked out the School, had an interview with Admission and then we started the application process.” Both Nouran and the Masters community have benefited greatly from her bold and brave decision to leave home. “I thought it was going to be harder than it was,” Nouran says. “I thought I’d hang by myself, but the School and Sahel supported me, everyone supported me.” As a result, Nouran has flourished.


The sophomore went undefeated in high school matches against girls this past season and also helped the boys capture the program’s first Division III U.S. High School Team Championship in February 2017. She didn’t drop a single match at the tournament, relying on skill and smarts over strength and power. “In those matches, the kids were stronger, bigger, faster and pushier, but skill-wise she was better,” Anwar says. “That’s why it’s not all about strength and power. She was able to do it with her skill sets.” Beyond the high school realm, Nouran was named an AllAmerican by U.S. Squash. She earned the No. 5 ranking while

competing on the girls’ Under-19 U.S. Junior Tournament Circuit. Nouran made her professional debut at The Masters School Open last spring. Classmates, faculty and administrators filled the Fonseca Center to catch a glimpse of Masters’ star female player making history. Her friends held up motivational signs and cheered every winning point. While Nouran ultimately suffered a hard-fought loss to eventual tournament runner-up Enora Villard, it was still a breakthrough moment for both athlete and school. “She’s only 15 years old,” Anwar says. “Being in the environment of Egypt—and watching world champions—year after year helps your game. You don’t realize it, but you are observing all this and [absorbing] the experience. That’s why she was able to come here and play in the Masters pro tournament.” Leaving Egypt—one of the world’s major hotbeds for squash players—for the United States was a calculated move. Nouran discovered a perfect balance

between a first-class education and the ability to compete in high-level squash. Not surprisingly, her former teammates were sad to see her go. “My old teammates in Egypt weren’t happy—they wanted me there—but they were happy that I was getting a good education,” says Nouran, who first picked up a racquet at age 6. “Some of them are thinking of doing the same.” Looking ahead, Nouran has set some lofty goals. They include winning the world junior championship, continuing to compete in professional events and, eventually, playing at the college level. Anwar, for one, is thankful that Nouran chose Masters to pursue her dreams. “She’s sacrificed a lot to be here,” he says. “She could have gone on the pro track, but it’s a sacrifice she made. Together, we want to achieve a common goal.” For Nouran, it all leads back to the squash courts.





Emma Katz ’17 is passionate about protecting the environment: “We need to leave future generations an inhabitable planet, which means educating people about ways to live sustainably and demonstrating those sustainable practices.” During her senior year, Katz was a member of EFFECT, the student-run sustainability group that has launched several projects to raise awareness and incorporate sustainable practices into the School. The group developed a composting system, initiated efforts to reduce the use of plastic water bottles on campus, recruited classmates to serve as energy-use monitors, and more during the 2016-17 school year. The students worked closely with former biology teacher Mary May, who served as Masters’ first Green Dean. That role is now shared by science teacher Courtney White and athletics teacher Meghan MacWilliams.


Katz was a member of the Land Use and Long-term Goals key group, one of six EFFECT committees that target specific issues. The Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot committee promotes composting and a zero-waste initiative for the campus. Thomas Davoren ’17 was a co-leader of that group. “To me, sustainability should not be the goal of School initiatives—it should be the baseline,” says Davoren, who helped oversee the composting project. “In other words, schools should be pushing to not only maintain a steady input/output, but also to be producing more than they consume. For example, our composting


system is converting what would have been waste into nutritious soil for our garden.” The “green” initiatives extend to the dorms, as well. Jamilah Grizzle ’17, who served as co-leader of the Residential Life Committee, says her group worked with dorm residents to improve what had been an inefficient recycling and composting system. “We made people aware of how much waste they’re creating and encouraged them to recycle as much as possible,” Grizzle says. “Now each dorm has its own recycling bin. We also explained how to separate trash for composting.” EFFECT members say that students’ interest in the group’s projects spiked after the Masters Matters symposium held on campus in February 2017. During the daylong program, all members of the community engaged in discussions and activities centered on the topic of sustainability. “After a day of sustainability-oriented activities, our numbers really grew, and I’ve noticed a lot more people paying attention to their footprint,” says Emma Luis ’19. Sustainability was also the school-wide theme last year, as well as the theme of Masters’ highly successful Spring Gala.

Future goals include building a campus greenhouse that would grow produce for the dining hall, expansion of the composting system, and additional efforts to implement energy-efficiency measures and to make the dorms more sustainable. The work begun by EFFECT—whether through advocacy, education or the physical labor of maintaining a compost site—has set a sturdy foundation for the work to come. As Katz puts it, “We have increased Masters’ awareness of the importance of sustainability both inside our community and beyond. Not only have we successfully begun making Masters a zero-waste campus, we have fostered a community that is environmentally aware and motivated to make Masters even more sustainable.”




Board of Trustees Leadership Changes Hands By Adriana Hauser

The Masters School community enthusiastically welcomed Edith Chapin ’83 as the School’s new Board of Trustees Chair. Chapin stepped into the new role on July 1, after serving as the Board’s vice chair since 2015. “Edith has been a tireless member of our Board,” says Head of School Laura Danforth. “Her love for the School, and her commitment to serve her alma mater are present in every decision and every consideration. I look forward to working closely with Edith to further advance our mission and continue to build upon the great work accomplished thus far.” For Chapin, becoming Chair is another opportunity to give back to the institution that helped shape the person she is today. “The School had a huge impact on my teenage years. I learned how to learn, how to lead and the value of lifelong friendship. Anything I can do to help ensure the School does the same for present and future generations is a privilege.” Chapin praises Danforth’s leadership and, as Chair, continues to support Danforth’s efforts to take Masters to “unprecedented heights.” Adds Chapin: “The Board and I are focused on helping her plan for and obtain the resources for long-term success.” More specifically, and following the completion of the School’s first Campus Master Plan, Chapin emphasizes that it will be crucial to ensure that Masters’ facilities meet the needs of a 21st-century education and that they are “practical, functional, and support the School’s sustainability initiatives.” The Board of Trustees is responsible for setting and guiding the strategic vision for the institution. In addition, it oversees the management of the School’s financial and physical resources, is responsible for hiring and evaluating the Head


of School, and ensures that the School meets its regulatory and legal obligations. Chapin joined the Board in 2001, and has served on several committees, including the Development Committee, the Committee on Trustees and the Audit Committee. She was also a member of the Financial Affairs and Enrollment Committee and the panels overseeing compensation, finance, facilities and technology. Moreover, Chapin chaired the Head of School Search Committee in 2014, and participated in the School’s strategic planning. Last year, she was a member of the Master Plan Committee. Aside from her role at Masters, Chapin works as Executive Editor of NPR News. She oversees all desks and reporters, and helps set the agenda for the entire News division. In addition to those responsibilities, she oversees the strategy and execution of collaborative journalism initiatives and editorial partnerships. Before joining NPR in 2012, Chapin spent 25 years at CNN—most recently, as the vice president and deputy bureau chief of CNN’s Washington, D.C. bureau. Chapin’s work has been recognized with the journalism industry’s highest honors, including a 2005 George Foster Peabody Award, a 2005 Alfred I. DuPont Columbia University Award and a 1997 Cable ACE award. More recently, Chapin was inducted into Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism Hall of Achievement, a recognition honoring Medill alumni whose distinctive careers have had positive effects on their fields. Chapin took over the Board Chair role as Tracy Tang Limpe ’80, P’18, who had served as Chair since 2009, stepped down. An alumna, and later a parent, Tang Limpe joined the Board in 1999 and served the School in multiple capacities. She was elected Vice Chair in 2007 and Chair in 2009. “Tracy demonstrated a remarkable ability to provide sound guidance and address challenges with tremendous leadership, clarity and thoughtfulness. She led the School through a time of profound evolution with grace and deep regard for history and tradition,” Danforth said during an event held in honor of Tang Limpe in June. “I feel honored to have worked with Tracy as my Board Chair,” Danforth added. “And I feel immense gratitude for the opportunity Tracy handed me when she hired me to lead the School.”


Gathering for the Spring Gala Some 500 families and other community members

Martin Scorsese P’18, Catherine Zeta-Jones P’18, ’21, Head

enjoyed dinner, entertainment by students, and bidding

of School Laura Danforth and Michael Douglas P’18, ’21 at

on donated items and adventures at the Spring Gala

the highly successful Spring Gala.

fundraising event held last April at the Fonseca Center.

Dance Company Spring Concerts With a theme of “New Beginnings,” the Dance Company performed compelling dance pieces during two concerts last spring.

Boys’ Soccer Wins Championship The varsity boys’ soccer team posed after winning the Fairchester Athletic Association championship in a game against Green Farms Academy last fall.


SNAPSHOTS Family Weekend 2017 Parents, students, faculty and staff gathered in the Fonseca Center to hear Seth Godin, an entrepreneur, bestselling author and popular blogger.

Ken Robinson Addresses Community

Immigrant Experience Seventh graders dressed in costumes and portrayed immigrants during the

Sir Kenneth Robinson

Middle School’s annual Ellis Island

discussed creativity

Reenactment Day last fall.

and innovation in education during his keynote speech, a Family Weekend event last fall.

Middle School Operas The Fifth Grade Operas cast members with Egyptian god and goddess masks, a new twist in the production of the annual event last June.


Middle School Musical A scene from Once on This Island, the Middle School musical presented last March at the Claudia Boettcher Theatre.

Upper School Musical The cast of Footloose The

Musical, the Upper School musical staged at the Claudia Boettcher Theatre last winter.

Masters’ First TEDx Jared Foxhall ’17 delivering his talk during Masters’ first TEDx event, a student-led program held last May at the Fonseca Center.

Girls’ Volleyball Team Triumphs The girls’ varsity volleyball team celebrated after scoring a point during a game against Riverdale Country School.




Barbara Jones 1922-2017 Barbara E. Jones, a former Masters School teacher, department chair and mentor, passed away on March 7, 2017 at her home in Brunswick, ME, just five days after her 95th birthday. Barbara, or “BJ,” as she was called at Masters, was an active traveler, avid reader and fine sailor—with a twinkle in her blue eyes and a roaring laugh, despite standing at just over four feet tall. As a faculty member and later as head of the Department of Religion from 1970 to 1981, Barbara had a profound and lasting impact—helping to shape and transform many lives during her time here. Jane Baron Rechtman, a former colleague, once described Barbara as being both a mentor and “a beacon of ethical behavior” who influenced a generation of students and faculty with her wisdom and care. Barbara’s route to Masters, however, first required a significant career change. After graduating from Smith College, she worked in radio, television and print advertising before entering the Union Theological Seminary in New York, where she received a master’s degree in comparative religion, followed by a Ph.D. in philosophy of religion from Columbia University. After a little over a decade at Masters, she became executive director of the Council for Religion in Independent Schools (CRIS)–now the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education. Through the CRIS newsletter, as well as through speeches and workshops at schools around the country and abroad, Barbara developed the organization into a vibrant ethical resource for administrators, students and parents. She was known, as she said herself, for “hammering at some themes” and “universal moral realities.” As a dynamic speaker, Barbara helped others think more deeply about the things that matter most. And she formed lasting bonds with Masters students and faculty. Jan Marion Bittner ’72, from Janesville, IA, said affectionately of Barbara, “She was a woman who touched my heart, mind and soul. [When I was] a questioning young student, Ms. Jones gently taught me to think critically with guidance, patience, understanding and humor….We continued to correspond these many years following my graduation and I have kept every letter she wrote—they are treasured! Barbara Jones touched my life forever and I am the person I am today” because of her. Not surprisingly, Barbara has continued to be a source of inspiration for many—as evidenced by Jane Rechtman’s request that the History and Religion Department’s common room at Masters be named in honor of Barbara. “When you meet alums ‘of a certain age’ and mention BJ,” Rechtman said at the time, “they just glow and talk about what a wonderful influence she was and how she would listen so carefully and respond with such wisdom.” Those qualities—along with Barbara’s warmth, generosity and vision—will remain with all who had the privilege of knowing her.



John “Jack” Pierpont 1932-2017 John Boyle Pierpont, a former Masters Music Department Chair and faculty member, passed away on January 26, 2017 after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. He was a respected colleague and beloved teacher for nearly two decades. “Jack led a full life as a father, husband, teacher and musician, enriching the lives of others with his great sense of humor, kind heart, strong moral compass and passion for music,” stated an obituary published in The Times of Trenton, NJ. He will be missed by countless students, colleagues and friends whose lives he touched in innumerable and unforgettable ways. Jack’s decision to serve in the United States Air Force—in the tradition of his father and brothers—before receiving an honorable discharge and the National Defense Service Medal in 1957, is another gauge of a life lived in service to others. With a passion for music, teaching and performance that inspired so many around him, he left his mark on several organizations, including Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart in Princeton, NJ; the Boston Symphony Chorus and Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts; and Saint James Roman Catholic Church in Pennington, NJ, where he served as Minister of Music from 1996 until retiring in 2011. Jack leaves behind a particularly strong and rich legacy at Masters, where he began teaching in 1963 after earning his undergraduate degree at Hofstra University and a master’s degree in music, with a specialty in conducting, from the New England Conservatory of Music. Masters, which had the distinction of offering Jack his first teaching position, reaped the benefits of his 20-year investment in the School and its students. He was an involved and integral member of the Masters community, serving as a full-time teacher, Chair of the Music Department and the Disciplinary Committee, and as a member of many other committees. He was also the recipient of several awards and honors, including induction into the Cum Laude Society in recognition of his academic record and professionalism; and the 2006 Anna Howe Faculty Award, honoring his excellence in the classroom and ability to meaningfully shape the lives of his students. Jack was a man who was honored a great deal in his lifetime, yet he remained modest when it came to his own accomplishments. He was committed to instilling a passion for music in his students—many of whom, 20 to 30 years later, say they owe their love of music to Jack. He was also committed to his own high standards when it came to producing music at its best. He was a conductor who always put his chorus and the music first—so both could shine. For these reasons, and many more, Jack Pierpont will be greatly missed. But perhaps we should take our cue from the conductor and simply thank him for the music he brought us.


A L U M N A E / I U P D AT E


Louise Millholland Cecil ’57 1939-2017 Louise “Weesie” Millholland Cecil ’57, a loyal and devoted alumna, passed away at her home in Vancouver, BC, on August 8, 2017. Louise demonstrated exceptional leadership from the very start at The Masters School. A dedicated Phi, Dance Club president, and Glee Club and Dobbs Athletic Association member, she approached each endeavor with poise and dedication. After graduating from Masters, she wore a number of hats in service to her alma mater. She was a Reunion Committee volunteer and served faithfully for many years as a class notes editor, gathering news and writing about the adventures of the Class of 1957 for The Bulletin. Louise’s passion for dance and her kind and generous heart inspired her to establish the Cecil Scholarship Fund for Dance at The Masters School, which provides financial support to a student pursuing his or her passion for dance at Masters. Students have been receiving this scholarship for the past decade. Louise also shared copies of Out on a Limb, her 2013 book of nature photography and inspirational quotes, with members of the Estherwood Society. This past May, many of Louise’s classmates celebrated her devotion to “Dobbs” at Reunion, where she was awarded the Richmond Bowl in honor of her exceptional support of and service to the School. After graduating from Masters, Louise attended Skidmore College to pursue a degree in dance and went on to Columbia College in Chicago, IL and the International Center of Photography in New York City, earning undergraduate and graduate degrees, respectively, in photography. She was a


photography teacher and an award-winning photographer who exhibited her work at several venues in the United States. Louise and her husband, Bob, moved frequently during their 35 years of marriage, living in Northern and Southern California, Washington, D.C.; Ohio, Maryland, Chicago and Connecticut. Drawn by the beauty and wonderful people of the Pacific Northwest, Louise and Bob ultimately settled in Vancouver. A devoted admirer of nature and animals, Louise traveled throughout the world, visiting all seven continents. But her most enjoyable pastime was sharing her love of nature and the outdoors with her family and friends. Throughout her life, Louise was actively involved in her communities, supporting many causes that were of great interest to her. She worked closely with the Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz, CA, and was a docent at the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. She was an active member of the Junior League in several cities. While in Vancouver, she was also on the boards of Hope House and Opera Breve. Most recently, her love for dance inspired her to work closely with The Dance Centre in Vancouver as a board member and a founder of the Choreographer’s Circle. Louise is survived by her two sons, Scott and Jim, their respective spouses, Patty and Erika, and five grandchildren: Robert, Reed, Audrey, Lily and Jack. She is also survived by her sisters, Carol Millholland Strasburger ’54 and Allaire Millholland Warner ’60, who, along with other family members, will profoundly miss her. Those who knew Louise remember her as an inspiring woman—kind, thoughtful, funny and generous. Her dedication to “Dobbs” ensures that she will continue to positively impact generations of Masters students to come.

Alumnae smile while dancing around the Maypole—a reunion tradition!


Reunion 2017

Eight decades of Masters alumnae/i returned to campus to celebrate Reunion together on May 19-20, 2017. Stories, memories and laughter filled the weekend as old friendships were rekindled and new bonds were forged. The weekend featured a mix of traditional moments like the Maypole dance and the Glee Club Sing-Along, and innovative programs, such as the School’s first TEDx event, in which 10 Upper School students gave powerful and engaging talks on an array of topics. Twenty members of the Class of 1967 attended the reunion, gathering together on Saturday for a Memorial Tree Planting on the lawn in front of Masters Hall, and later for 50th Reunion cocktails with Head of School Laura Danforth. The weekend’s festivities culminated on Saturday evening at the Reunion Banquet and Awards Ceremony. Alumnae/i

gathered in the Fonseca Center gymnasium to honor Reunion award recipients Louise Millholland Cecil ’57 (Richmond Bowl), Dr. Joanne Liegner ’73 (Eliza Bailey Masters Fellowship Award), and Dr. Eileen “Lee” Dieck (Anna Howe Faculty Award). Because Louise Millholland Cecil was unable to attend, her sisters, Carol Millholland Strasburger ’54 and Allaire Millholland Warner ’60, accepted Louise’s award on her behalf. By special—and secret—arrangement, Dr. Dieck’s daughter Chelsea Dieck ’09 surprised her mother by presenting the Anna Howe Faculty Award to her. We hope you enjoy the snapshots from Reunion 2017. Mark your calendar now for Reunion 2018, which will take place on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19, 2018. For more information, please visit www.mastersny.org/reunion.


A L U M N A E / I U P D AT E — R E U N I O N 2 0 1 7

50th Reunion—Class of 1967 Back Row (left to right): Caroline Black Blydenburgh, Katherine Mulhfeld Bell, Stacey Poten, Lorn MacDougal, Catherine Pearman, Alison Jones and Margaret Rudd. Middle Row (left to right): Candida Staempfli Steel, Randi Gronningsater Stroh, Nancy Wise Larson, Tucker Warriner Smith, Mary Goodbody and Jeanne Hamilton. Front Row (left to right): Jennifer Smith Huntley, Kathy Arnstein, Cindy Perin, Gussie Talbot Baker, Helen Stanton Chapple and Diana Morris Raphael.

(From left to right): Stacey Poten ’67, Catherine Black Blydenburgh ’67, Randi Gronningsater Stroh ’67, Lorn MacDougal ’67 and Katherine Muhlfeld Bell ’67.


(From left to right): Allaire Millholland Warner ’60, her sister, Carol Millholland Strasburger ’54, and Treasure Brooks ’17. Treasure presented The Richmond Bowl to Allaire and Carol, who were accepting the award on behalf of their sister, Louise Millholland Cecil ’57, the 2017 honoree.

A few ladies (and a gentleman) of the Class of 1957 raise a glass at the Reunion Banquet & Awards Dinner.

(From left to right): Cindy Perin ’67 and Catherine Pearman ’67.

Heidi Meir Slater ’54 and Mary Anne Groves Carley ’54.

Rediscover places that hold special memories for you, rekindle friendships and learn about Masters today at Reunion 2018. All alumnae/i are welcome; classes ending in 3s and 8s are celebrating special Reunion milestones! Make plans now to join your classmates on campus in the spring. Visit our reunion web page at www.mastersny.org/reunion throughout the year for updates and news, as well as information about hotel accommodations. Questions? Interested in volunteering? Please contact Celeste Rivera at celeste.rivera@mastersny.org or 914-479-6611. Kara Torrisi ’12 and Laura Tiszenkel ’12.


A L U M N A E / I U P D AT E — R E U N I O N 2 0 1 7

(From left to right): Tracy Tang Limpe ’80, P’18, Bobbie Celentano Leek ’68, Laura Danforth, Treasure Brooks ’17, Adam Gimple, Elise Funke Griffin ’47 and Edith Chapin ’83.

(From left to right): Scott Collins ’12, Jonah Duch ’12, Daniel Block ’12 and Dr. Eileen Dieck.

(From left to right): Nancy Wise Larsen ’67, Alison Jones ’67, Gussie Talbot Baker ’67 and Kit Lobdell Norris ’67.


STAY CONNECTED Visit our website for the latest news from campus: www.mastersny.org

(From left to right): Sandy Robinson Righter ’57 and Edith Chapin ’83.

Watch your inbox for our Alumnae/i e-Newsletter Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MastersNY Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mastersny See what’s happening on Instagram: https://instagram.com/mastersschool Prefer to talk to us the good, old-fashioned way? Call the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at 914-479-6611. (From left to right): Elise Funke Griffin ’47, Alana Nguyen ’97 and Mary Ryan ’00.

60th Reunion—Class of 1957 Back Row (left to right): Sheila Sonne Pulling, Lucinda Burling Emmet, Sandy Robinson Righter and Nancy Samuel Stoer. Front Row (left to right): Marion Parsons DeGroff, Marilyn Miller Harris, Lucy Rodgers Davis, Alix Cromelin Earle and Susan Madden Samson.


A L U M N A E / I U P D AT E — R E U N I O N 2 0 1 7

(From left to right): Caroline Hewitt ’87, Randi Rituno Vannucchi ’87, Alessandra Ghini ’87 and Carin Arginsky Willis ’87.

5th Reunion—Class of 2012 Back Row (left to right): Dylan Lulp, T. Michael Culhane, Daniel Block, Jonah Duch, Emma Palitz and Samuel Appiah. Middle Row (left to right): Andre Adams, Scott Collins, Annie Peskoe, Hailey Kieltyka, Molly Boigon, Mark Zientek and Shelton Russell. Front Row (left to right): Charlie Kaplowitz, Sydney Friedman, Chloe Lazarus, Elizabeth Raboy, Laura Tiszenkel, Emily Mitamura and Kara Torrisi.


Susan “Suds” Samson ’57 and Fee Fee Matthews Tingley ’57.

Alumnae/i sing with their might at the Glee Club Sing-Along.

Sarah Miller Benichou ’97 (left) and Andrea Thomas Augustine ’97 (right) share a hug at the Jazz Brunch.

55th Reunion—Class of 1962 Franny Grose Bluhm ’62.

Dr. Eileen Dieck accepting the Anna Howe Faculty Award, presented by her daughter and alumna, Chelsea Dieck ’09.


1941 Volunteer Needed Please call the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at 914-479-6611.

1942 Volunteer Needed Please call the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at 914-479-6611.

1943 Volunteer Needed Please call the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at 914-479-6611.

1944 Annie Atkins Clark 88 Notch Hill Road Unit 151 North Branford, CT 06471-1848 203-208-0807 clarka447@gmail.com

1945 Penelope Spurr Marshall Five Elphis Road • P.O. Box 221 Biddeford Pool, ME 04006-0221 207-282-0620 hpssm@the-marshalls.net

1946 Volunteer Needed Please call the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at 914-479-6611.

1947 Emily Van Voorhis Harris (Mrs. Edward R.) 211 2nd Street N.W., Apt. 1903 Rochester, MN 55901-2899 507-288-3631 evvharris@aol.com

Joan Williams Cox lives comfortably in a retirement cottage in Easton, MD. No levels of care, but two bedrooms and two baths! Husband Paul (of the last 30 years) has died. And she reports she had to quit driving. Says she kept falling asleep and running into things. Last year (2016) she attended her 65th Vassar Reunion! Says there were 100 of the class returning for the event. Joanie has kept up with classmate Barbara Boomer Reid, visiting her in Kent, United Kingdom, as recently as two years ago. Bee has two adult children who live in the United States. Georgiana Taylor Thoman, of Rochester, NY, lost her husband, John, of 64 years last February (2017). She was so grateful she and John could stay in their home and blessed for the quality of their roundthe-clock caregivers. And they were all so funny! “Humor is a necessary ingredient of living,” says Tay. This column’s most articulate philosopher, Gioia Connell Brock, died a year ago spring (May 2016) without my knowing or acknowledging it! My profound apologies for the oversight; and special thoughts to you, Mitchell, and your family. My husband, Jed, and I remember well our visits with the Brocks at Boca Grande and at the beloved Japanese-style home, Yamasakura, in the Catskills. Great thought and planning went into every Japanese detail of the place. And local moss and stones were collected to create the surrounding gardens. An active member of her Quaker meeting, Gioia was a lifelong scholar and seeker. She used to say, “Aging brings a natural, slow transition from being an actor to being an observer.” Gioia seemed to know how to “let go” satisfyingly, as she watched the blooming of those that followed.

1948 Volunteer Needed Please call the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement at 914-479-6611.

1949 Robin Hyde Hatch 185 Northridge Drive Willoughby, OH 44094-5643 440-510-8075 rhitch9913@msn.com

1950 Margaret Detmer Rossi 450 Sand Hill Circle Menlo Park, CA 94025-7107 650-854-3198 prothley@gmail.com Thank you for your gifts to the Annual Fund. I spoke to Calvine Burnett Bowen, and she and Charles took a boat trip to London and Norway. Mary Alice Bowden Lyman is fine but had a wet spring and a hot summer in Orrs Island, ME. In June, Polly Case Grose moved from Wayzata, MN to Portland, OR, and into an elegant senior living community, to join her three children and their families on the West Coast. Polly writes, “It’s a great opportunity to be close to my family and join the vibrant Portland life.” New Address: 3550 SW Bond Ave, Apt. 515, Portland, OR 97239. Anne de Tocqueville Brunelle continues to travel, especially since her grandchildren are getting married—the next one in Sully-sur-Loire. I went to England in April to see my greatgranddaughter with Melissa ’76 and Gary. We continued on to NYC and lunch with my friends in Englewood, NJ, and up to Portland, ME to see Craig’s sister, who was 90. Hope you are all busy and healthy!

1951 Ruth Mitchell Freeman 72 Mountain Lake • P.O. Box 832 Lake Wales, FL 33859-0832 863-676-5938 RFNCCT@aol.com


The Annual Fund needs you! We are looking for volunteers from all classes to help increase participation. No experience necessary. Would you like to serve on our team of Class Agents or help with our 24-hour Alumnae/i Giving Day this February? Contact Mary Ryan ’00 at 914-479-6433 or mary.ryan@mastersny.org for more information.

Estherwood Society member Linda Vipond Heath ’69 is grateful to her parents for their gift of her education. Linda still remembers visiting “Dobbs” for the first time on a rainy day. “I knew right away this was where I wanted to be,” she said. “There was a sense of community. It was challenging academically. My husband and I are of the same mind set that if we have something in our lives that personally impacted us, we want to give back. Masters was impactful in my life and making it a part of my legacy means a great deal to me.”

When it came time for Linda to think ahead for her family, she also thought ahead for her school. Consider making The Masters School a priority in your gift planning.

The Estherwood Society is an honorary group of alumnae/i, parents and friends of Masters who have made future plans for the School through trust, estate or other future gifts of any amount. Estherwood Society members leave a legacy that extends beyond our generation and provides security to The Masters School for the long term. For more information about gift planning at Masters or to receive our semiannual newsletter, please call 914-479-6575 or email giftplanning@mastersny.org.



Patricia Glover Barnett-Brubaker of Bowie, MD on June 1, 2017


Annette McGuire Cravens of Buffalo, NY on February 17, 2017


Doris Whipple Feigl of Somerville, NJ on March 28, 2017


Susan Kobusch Gardner of South Hamilton, MA on February 10, 2017


Shirley Wyeth Bradley of Palm City, FL on November 6, 2016


Elizabeth Converse Lewis of Scarborough, ME on January 18, 2017


Priscilla White Lindsay of Kailua, HI on December 14, 2016


Barbara Groner Spicer of Florence, MA on August 14, 2016


Jean Taylor McClintic of Ligonier, PA on December 7, 2016


Mary Koch Baer of Lancaster, PA on June 14, 2017


Frances Boswell McClure of Cincinnati, OH on July 11, 2016


Elizabeth Walter de Boussac of Le Bouscat, France on August 20, 2015


Katharine Gilbert Brehm of Neenah, WI on February 8, 2017


Esther Palmer Newnan of Saint Clair Shores, MI on March 1, 2017


Marion Gordon Cross of Whitefish, MT on September 11, 2016


Frances Soule Hansel of Walpole, NH on November 13, 2016


Catherine Hulbert Harts of Middleburg, VA on January 16, 2016


Mary Otto Jackson of Stamford, CT on June 17, 2017


Jean Phillips McLeod of Essex, CT on March 19, 2017


Pauline Perry of York, ME on December 12, 2016


Elizabeth Leech Wright of Wellesley, MA on May 31, 2016


Phyllis Wendt Pierce of Derby, NY on January 7, 2017


Muriel Wood Ponzecchi of San Francisco, CA on December 21, 2015


Diana Harriss Higgins of Glenview, IL on December 5, 2016


Katharine White McLennan of Palm Beach, FL on August 21, 2017


Mary W. McCain of Memphis, TN on March 12, 2017


Margaret Bird Kuder of Marlton, NJ on April 4, 2016


Marjorie Platt Moore of Cranston, RI on July 28, 2017


Margery Manning Cole of Bloomfield, CT on May 25, 2017


Susan Gidley Angell of Andover, MA on February 15, 2017



Diane Ferris Taylor of West Redding, CT on September 10, 2016


Elizabeth Park Hoban of Lake Bluff, IL on January 24, 2017


Nancy Owen Cecil of Asheville, NC on July 9, 2016


Barbara Moore Ingalls of Key Largo, FL on February 19, 2017


Nancy Forman Urfer of Naples, FL on July 19, 2017


Nina Luckett Anderson of Redmond, WA on May 26, 2017


Lorinda Knight Johnson of Santa Barbara, CA on October 10, 2016


Mary Elmes Terry of Kentfield, CA on October 22, 2016


Julia Whitla Clinger of Alexandria, VA on November 22, 2016


Maria Combolitis Dadvisard of Paris, France on September 11, 2016


Corinne Cardoff Dailey of Old Lyme, CT on July 8, 2017


Louise Millholland Cecil of Vancouver, BC on August 8, 2017


Betty Rankin Hubbard of High Point, NC on January 2, 2017


Marilynn Maltby Smith of New York, NY on October 10, 2016


Edith Lunt Small of Pittsford, NY on May 31, 2017


Sheila Wheeler Lutton of Conneautville, PA on April 1, 2017


Sarah Enders Steffian of Waterford, CT on June 9, 2017


Katharine H. Downer of Albuquerque, NM on December 8, 2016


Anne Emison Harmon of Ardsley-On-Hudson, NY on December 14, 2016


Heather Waters Anderson of Clarksville, TN on July 12, 2017


Vidie Burden Lange of Boulder, CO on May 9, 2016


Margaret Young of Brooklyn, NY on June 1, 2017


Joyce E. Whittaker of Laguna Woods, CA on March 20, 2017


Hope Moxon Taylor of Tequesta, FL on December 25, 2016


Nancy Brill Harvey of Cape Elizabeth, ME on November 25, 2016


Margaret Smith Latham of Memphis, TN on May 24, 2017

FORMER FACULTY John (Jack) Pierpont of Pennington, NJ on January 26, 2017 Barbara Jones of Brunswick, ME on March 7, 2017



Laura Danforth Head of School




Adriana Hauser Director of Strategic Communications adriana.hauser@mastersny.org

Timothy Kane Associate Head of School tim.kane@mastersny.org

Janice Leary Assistant Director of Communications and The Bulletin Editor janice.leary@mastersny.org Isaac Cass Digital Communications Coordinator/Content Producer isaac.cass@mastersny.org Bob Horne Director of Marketing

Raquel Ali Executive Assistant to the Associate Head of School raquel.ali@mastersny.org Christina Camardella Director of Development and Engagement Programs christina.camardella@mastersny.org Angelique Chielli Director of Parent Engagement and Special Events angelique.chielli@mastersny.org

bob.horne@mastersny.org Judy Donald Advancement Associate judy.donald@mastersny.org Maryann Perrotta Database Administrator maryann.perrotta@mastersny.org Celeste Rivera Director of Alumnae/i Engagement celeste.rivera@mastersny.org Mary Ryan ’00 Director of Annual Giving mary.ryan@mastersny.org Jen Schutten Associate Director of Annual Giving


PHOTOGRAPHY: Isaac Cass, Bob Cornigans, Janice Leary, Kevin Monko DESIGN: White Communications, Inc., Tuxedo, NY


Head of School Laura Danforth Board of Trustees Edith C. Chapin ’83, Chair Keryn Norton Mathas P’19, ’21, ’22, Vice Chair J. Keith Morgan P’17, Treasurer Suzie Paxton ’88, Secretary Fred Brettschneider P’19 Jonathan Clay P’19 Laura Danforth Michael D’Angelo P’15, ’19 Michelle DeLong P’17 Lucinda Emmet ’57 David Heidelberger ’01 Kate Henry ’94 Sheree Holliday P’16, ’20 Christina Masters Jones Phil Kassen Richard Li P’20 Victor Luis P’17, ’19 Sydney Macy ’70 Edgar M. Masters H’98, Life Trustee Susan Follett Morris ’57, Life Trustee Christine Grim Neikirk ’84 Beth Nolan ’69 Hillary Peckham ’09 Janet Pietsch P’09, ’20 Margarita Sawhney P’20 Diana Davis Spencer ’56, P’84 Honorary Trustees Marin Alsop ’73 Cynthia Ferris Casner ’52, P’76, ’86 Jeannette Sanford Fowlkes ’58, P’87 Ruth Mitchell Freeman ’51 Nancy Maginnes Kissinger ’51 Claudia Boettcher Merthan ’51 Lynn Pilzer Sobel ’71, P’99, ’05 Dobbs Alumnae/i Association Board David Heidelberger ’01, President Sujata Adamson-Mohan Jaggi ’01, Vice President Hannah J. Miller ’10, Secretary Sharon Nechis Castillo ’84 Eleanor H. Collinson ’98 Karen Feinberg Dorsey ’84 Austin O’Neill Dunyk ’98

Lusyd Doolittle Kourides ’70 Elyse Lazansky ’78 Evan B. Leek ’01 John M. McGovern ’07 Justina I. Michaels ’02 Ricardo C. Oelkers ’03 Mary M. Ryan ’00 Mirna A. Valerio ’93 Parent Association Executive Committee Janet Pietsch P’09, ’20, President Kristy Fitzgerald P’16, ’18, Co-Vice President Upper School Kim-Adele Rosner P’17, ’18, Co-Vice President Upper School Marie Fabian P’22, Co-Vice President Middle School Jillian Miller P’22, Co-Vice President Middle School Committee Chairs and Representatives Leslie Rusoff P’17, ’17, ’18, Chair, Admission Support Erick Blanc P’23, Chair, Annual Fund Leslie DuBeau P’14,’18, Boarding Parent Representative Mary Lockhart P’19, ’20, Chair, Faculty-Staff Appreciation Day Anne Termini P’20, Chair, Parent Programs; Boarding Parent Representative Class Representatives Lisa Bezos P’21 Marie Fabian P’22 Kristy Fitzgerald P’16, ’18 Annette Halprin P’23, ’24 Joe Halprin P’23, ’24 Rachel Khanna P’17, ’18, ’18, ’23 Mary Lockhart P’19, ’20 Jillian Miller P’22 Allison Moore ’83, P’17, ’19, ’24 Jennifer Nappo P’21, ’23, ’23 Jennifer Patton P’23, ’25 Janet Pietsch P’09, ’20 Gabrielle Rosenfeld P ’24 Robin Scheuer P’18, ’20 Anne Termini P’20 Cori Worchel P’19, ’21 Monaqui Porter Young P’23, ’25

Eliza Bailey Masters wrote in a 1919 letter to alumnae/i, “you own the School.” Inspired by her call to action, the alumnae raised the money for a new school building, completed in 1921, and named it Masters Hall in her honor. Today—nearly 100 years later—The Masters School still relies on the generosity of our community to continue Miss Masters’ legacy and support our School’s mission, students, programs and future. Here are just a few of the ways that alumnae/i and parents can give back to our School:



Annual Giving


Endowment Support

Reunion Committee

Annual Fund Volunteer

Capital Projects

Alumnae/i Giving Day

Planned Giving

Class Notes Editor Class Agent

Parent Association Phonathon Caller Admission Volunteer Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day Committee

Career Mentoring Program Event Host

Interested? There are numerous ways to get involved and give back to Masters. If you have an idea that is not listed above, please let us know. For more information, contact Christina Camardella at 914-479-6575 or christina.camardella@mastersny.org.

49 Clinton Avenue | Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522-2201

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Profile for The Masters School

Fall 2017 Bulletin  

Fall 2017 Bulletin  

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