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MARCH 13, 2014

Are you looking for an opportunity to gain writing, editorial and layout experience? The Office of Student Services and the Student Activities Center is accepting applications for Editor of The Penguin. This position requires a 20 hour/month commitment, with the number of hours per week varying depending on the news cycle. Editors are responsible for soliciting and writing articles, layout of content, and communicating with the Faculty Advisor (Suzanne Hegland). HERE’S WHAT YOU GIVE: • Your writing and editorial skills • Your leadership and ability to recruit and supervise writers • Your willingness to learn layout on Adobe InDesign

HERE’S WHAT YOU GET: • One-on-one journalism mentoring • A real voice on campus and the chance to unite the community • A fantastic addition to your resume • $10 per hour!

To apply, please send resume, cover letter, writing sample and a faculty or work supervisor reference to Suzanne Hegland: ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY TUESDAY, MARCH 25TH.

N E C ’ S S T U D E N T- R U N N E W S PA P E R


Congratulations! You made it through the worst of "audition season," and spring break is just around the corner to greet you! The sun has come out to play, and you can finally leave your practice room without feeling guilty. However, perhaps the most recent peek into your bank account has left you feeling more terrified than sunny. Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, our "green issue" is here to ease your financial fears! If you're lamenting the cost of your Panera lunch, you'll enjoy Syd Rvinsky's hilarious piece on financial distress. Professor Ken Schaphorst

offers advice for gigging and self-promotion. And, if you'd like some career reassurance from faculty members who have tread before you, check out four multi-faceted success stories on page 6. Next month, we gear up for another issue of The Penguin, featuring our annual special on diversity. Your contribution to the April issue is more important than ever-we want to hear from students of all nationalities, races, and orientations. It's time to make your voice heard-- submit your writing to!

penguin CULTURE Pre-Spring Break Blues


AND HOW TO VANQUISH THEM FROM YOUR LIFE Are the Muggles getting you down? Do you find yourself spend-

But wait just a minute. Isn’t there a way to avoid this

ing more and more time with the cruel mistress that is Netflix?

most public display of woe? In fact, there is. I don’t think I’m

Is it painfully clear that if Elsa were to visit Boston she would

alone in saying the job hunt is a great misadventure in itself.

find the cold bothersome after all? Yes, my friend, you’ve got a

I applied to around fifteen different places at the beginning

case of the pre-spring break

of the school year, and none of

blues. Midterms are coming

those applications resulted in the

at you faster than Jennifer

coveted Paycheck of Happiness.

Lawrence can trip up the

Indeed, I’m frantically writing this

stairs at the Oscars, and

the evening before my first job

you are anything but pre-

interview here in Boston. Baby

pared. Your voyages to the

steps, but hopefully these baby

gym (those of you who still

steps lead to employment and the

manage to muster the gusto)

employment of caffeine back in

are lackluster and you find

my system. It’s been rough, and

yourself crying silently on the

the struggle is real and alive for

treadmill. You spend all your

those of us turning our pockets

time in a practice room to

inside out for spare change and

avoid homework, and if that

bartering lint. The situation has

isn’t depressing I don’t know

become so dire that some of our

what is. While the world

number are questioning whether

around you seems to spin off

or not to throw themselves at

its axels, you slump to Pave-

strangers, yodeling ALMS FOR

ment to grab some liquid

THE POOR! in the hopes of a

fuel when it hits you: the sudden, horrific realization

half-off Panera lunch. However terrifying the job search may seem,


that you have three dollars in the bank and you need it to get to your gig in JP this weekend. Without any hope of tomorrow, you fling yourself in the middle

it is still better than playing Oliver Twist outside Jordan Hall. While a good many companies and big name

of the street and cry to whomever will listen that you are hence-

consignment stores aren’t hiring right just now, there are other

forth ready for the end of times.

alternatives. From what I’ve heard, bakeries, independent


MARCH 13, 2014

shops, and filing jobs are usually a safe bet for those in need of

there will be hours of the day you can devote to doing absolutely

a bank account booster pack. And, of course, an on-campus job

nothing but grazing, Disney marathons, and sleep. In all of your

is a guaranteed way to keep you in the green. Ask around and

daily struggles, find the time to take care of your basic needs.

see which friends are currently employed. If you work up enough

There will be time for all the grandeur of apathy at a later date.

crocodile tears, they may just put in a good word for you at their

Try not to focus on the black hole that is your bank account just

place of business. And given your current situation, your tears

yet, and instead spend some time planning out your studying.

are completely justified.

As hideous as it sounds, hyperventilating over your lack of funds

At any rate, there are solutions to your financial

will not pass your Solfege midterm for you. With spring break

distress. Things may be hectic around campus, and abandoning

comes a new start and a fresh pair of eyes to scan over job

your studies for the new season of Bates Motel may sound too

listings. It’s going to be fine; you just need to…Let It Go…for

tempting for words, but you’ve got to hang in there for another

now and pick back up where you left off in a few weeks. In the

couple weeks. Before you know it, break will be upon us and

meantime, happy studying to all, and to all a good break!

Do You Have a Canvas?



As NEC students, music is our language of expression; together,

“The Forum brings people together… and to have potentially less

we uphold the great and diverse Art of music. While we often

social people socialize – me being one of them.” –Brad Rau

feel comfortable expressing ideas with our own family and friends, some students feel that we lack a place to connect, de-

Each meeting, we have a maximum of 15 people. We host

velop, and share ideas within the larger institution of NEC and

a free space, we have free time, we sit down, we collectively

the music world.

decide on a topic, and then we talk. The conversation evolves in various directions. Different topics have included: Are conserva-

“The Forum is about Art, about our future as musicians, about

tories filter systems? As Artists, do we express ourselves, or the

how society sees us, and about what I have to do at a personal

community we live in? What is the role of an Artist in society?

level to change all of this – and not just complain.”

We talk about topics that are relevant to our artistic community.

–Luis Ruelas “The Forum is a space for artists at NEC to exchange ideas, to NEC is a rare place. The amount of cultural and ethical diver-

discuss the rhythm of everyday life as a musician, to commiser-

sity within NEC is rich and abound, but as students, it can be

ate with one another, and to offer support for one another while

hard to break past the "bubbles" in our community. Perhaps the

having fun and enjoying a Friday evening.” –Dana Kaufman

most effective way to break these bubbles is to form connections through shared experiences and ideas.

We are the Artist Forum. We provide a space for NEC students to connect, develop, and share future Artistic ideas with their

“It allows different circles of friends to come together and really

peers. There is a lot of demand, so we would like to create more

get to know each other on an intellectual and personal level, and

meetings. If you’re interested, please contact

it has the power to spawn a lot different relationships with peo-, or request to join the Facebook

ple… I enjoy the meetings… It’s a cool hang.” –Aaron DuBenion

group, NEC Artist Forum. You’ve seen what some of your fellow students have said-- now come see what the Artist Forum means

These meetings are honest, even to the point of brutality.

to you!

“I think this is (a) forum that can inspire people to think.”

“We should hold on to each other more…Artists should support

–Delong Wang

other artists.” – Nesligül Kaya



Moreton Bay

by ANDREW NISSEN First-year GD Trombone


Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? If so, what does it mean

eventual captors wearing suits of iron armor. Covered from

to you? The outward appearance of the day is one of people

head to toe in armor weighing about 90 lbs, it must have been

clothed in green and perhaps more drinking than normal. Of

a sight to behold.

course, there’s nothing wrong with that! Pretending to be Irish is

a storied tradition in many western countries; there’s something

remains. In 2003 Heath Ledger starred in a wide release film

romantic about the Emerald Isle, drowning down pints of stout,

chronicling Kelly’s life. With a moving original soundtrack by

and being surrounded by ginger hair and freckles –

Klaus Badelt, one transcribed Australian folk song stands out as

Kelly was captured and executed, but his legacy

I’d fit right in!

particularly relevant to his

cause: Moreton Bay. In a

I’m no different

from the majority, really. In

letter from 1879, Ned Kelly

fact, I like to pretend I’m

quoted lines from Moreton

Irish most other days as

Bay in his ‘Jerilderie Letter’ –

well. Not in the “let’s go

a response to press vilifica-

have some craic” way, but

tion, and a justification of

in the “there is some Irish

his actions.

ancestry in my family, my

family is Irish Catholic, we

a lilting melody with text

have ginger hair” kind of

attributed to Irish convict

way. Problem is I’m not Irish

Francis MacNamara is

at all, of course. I’m

subtitled A Convict’s La-


ment. The lyrics detail a

moving account of an Irish

About a quarter of

the convicts transported to

The song, featuring

convict at the penal colony


Australia in the 18th and

in Moreton Bay in the north

19th centuries were Irish, and it’s about that same ratio today of

of Australia. It’s a beautiful song, and it means a lot to me.

the Australian population that claim Irish ancestry of some sort.

At least one of my paternal ancestors was a convict, but the ma-

a Sunday after a long illness. While his family name (Nissen)

jority of my Irish ancestry on both paternal and maternal sides

comes from Denmark, he had many Irish ancestors including the

came to Australia freely. Many Australians, myself included, still

one convict in our lineage. He had a great life, and to me he

feel a deep connection to that convict heritage.

embodied some of the better attributes of Australian culture-- he

was a larrikin, he was kind and fair, and he loved a joke.

Australian and North American cultures share many

My paternal grandfather died a few weeks ago on

similarities, but there are still some defining differences. One of

those in Australia is the veneration of the underdog. Another is

bass trombonist studying a MM at Northwestern University– and

being egalitarian to a fault-- the entire population is on a first-

I did what we could in tribute to my grandfather. We arranged

name basis with the Prime Minister! Australians reject authority

and recorded an instrumental version of Moreton Bay to be

at every turn. There’s a name for this rejection of authority: Lar-

played during the recessional at the funeral. The words symbol-


ized that special quality that I thought my grandfather and many

Larrikins have been mythologised throughout Australia’s

Being halfway across the world, my younger brother– a

other Australians embodied.

short history, and perhaps no one moreso than the bushranger

Ned Kelly. A sort of Australian Robin Hood, Kelly is idolised

isn’t just about wearing green and drinking; it’s about family,

in the paintings of Sidney Nolan. At his last stand against the

heritage both Australian and Irish, and kindness. Enjoy the day,

police forces, Kelly and his gang attempted to fight off their

and be good to each other.


MARCH 13, 2014

So, for me– at least from now on– St. Patrick’s Day

MORETON BAY (AN AUSTRALIAN FOLK SONG) One Sunday mor ning as I went walking

For three long years I was beastly treated

By Brisbane waters I chanced to stray

And heavy irons on my legs I wore

I heard a convict his fate bewailing

My back from flogging was lacerated

As on the sunny river bank I lay

And oft times painted with my crimson gore

I am a native from Erin's island

And many a man from downright st ar vation

But banished now from my native shore

Lies mouldering now under neath the clay

They stole me from my aged parents

And Captain Logan he had us mangled

And from the ma iden I do adore

All at the triangles of Moreton Bay

I've been a prisoner at Por t Macquarie

Like the Egyptians and ancient Hebrews

At Nor folk Island and Emu Plains

We were oppressed under Logan's yoke

At Castle Hill and at cursed Toongabbie

Till a native black lying there in ambush

At all these settlements I've been in chains

Did deal this tyrant his mor tal stroke

But of all places of condemnation

My fellow prisoners be exhilarated

And penal stations in New South Wales

That all such monsters such a death may find

To Moreton Bay I have found no equal

And when from bondage we are liberated

Excessive tyranny each day prevails

Our for mer sufferings will fade from mind

NEC : It Gets EVEN Better! Celebrating our commitment to a safe and welcoming community!

April 7 -11

The Office of Student Services has planned a number of events during the week of April 7-11



culminating in the filming of a video featuring diverse members of the NEC community talking about our spirit of inclusion. Stay tuned: details to follow!

Save the Date! April 7-11 All Week Events:

Friday Events:



NEC Faculty On

FINDING YOUR PATH NEC Commencement looms around the corner, and for graduating students, the endless possibilities of the "real world" can often feel daunting. However, even the most successful professionals spend a lot of time refining their career paths. Here, four of our own faculty members graciously share the stories behind their success and offer the courage to discover your own.

DAVID LOEBEL, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF ORCHESTRAS I headed to college with absolutely no idea what I’d do with my life; all I knew for sure was that music would be a big part of it and that I wouldn’t be a performer. Among my possible career choices were music critic, radio announcer, record producer and music librarian; as it’s turned out, I’ve done all those things during my life as a conductor.

I fell into conducting by accident and only during my senior year,

when I conducted an orchestra for the first time, did I dare even fantasize about doing it for a living. Since then, my professional path has taken innumerable unpredictable twists and turns. I’d like to think that the good ones were the logical result of talent and hard work, but actually most of them were due, at least in part, to serendipity and plain old dumb luck. PHOTO BY ANDREW HURLBUT

TOM NOVAK, PROVOST AND DEAN OF THE COLLEGE If somebody had told me when I was 18 years old that I was destined to be an administrator at NEC, I would have told them that they were crazy! My focus was totally on an orchestral career, which, I thought, would represent real success. Life ended up taking many different twists and turns over the years, and I can honestly say that I have no regrets. I was a performer, freelancer, treasurer, grant-writer, concert producer, and festival administrator. Some of these steps were planned, some not; some were easy to embrace, some took some real soulsearching. I have learned the importance of being open to new ideas, trusting my instincts, and connecting with people, all great life skills; and real success is contributing in some meaningful way.



MARCH 13, 2014


RACHEL ROBERTS, DIRECTOR OF ENTREPRENEURIAL MUSICIANSHIP Coming from Iowa, my first artistic dream was to be the BSO’s piccoloist. At Eastman, I performed in Carnegie Hall, took a few auditions (winning one, only a prelim performance for another), and interned with the Rochester Philharmonic operations department. At Eastman I also started listening to myself, discovering my tremendous enjoyment helping other people. The RPO network led to my first job with the Houston Symphony; from there, I was recommended for the League of American Orchestras’ Management Fellowship Program. 20,000 miles, four residencies, and one year later, I found a supportive network to create a new position at the Atlanta Symphony. And, instead of following the expected path of attending a national orchestra conference, I again listened to my own desires and made a trip to Boston to research my grad school possibilities. In lieu of grad school, I crossed paths with NEC and said “yes” to starting the EM Department. The journey from Iowa has held many unexpected adventures – teaching, performing, running three Boston marathons, cooking, hiking, and laughter with amazing friends – and never in a million years would I have expected this type of fulfillment upon graduation! Each day, I continue to discover that life is truly a journey. Great (life-changing!) experiences abound if you listen to yourself and find the work that makes you happy.

FRED HERSCH, JAZZ PIANIST AND COMPOSER As soon as I graduated NEC in 1977, I immediately moved to New York City with the goal of playing with the greatest jazz musicians in the world. With luck and perseverance, my dreams came true. It wasn't until my early thirties that I went out on my own as a soloist/bandleader after serving numerous apprenticeships. In those days, I had the requisite skills to be successful: I knew a lot of tunes, I could swing, I could accompany and play in many styles with anyone. These days, many of my students have already made their own CDs before they are out of school and many of those consist or original compositions with their own bands. The internet and technology has partially made this possible. But my advice is to be the best musician you can be – and most especially to be the kind of person that you would like to have work with YOU. Personally, musically and professionally. As my career has gotten much larger, I find myself some days spending more time on the computer doing business than practicing or composing – it doesn't get any easier! (Never mind the awfulness of air travel). But my ability to do a number of things at a high level has been part of my success and earning a living: being a collaborator, producing, composing, teaching and being open to musical opportunities that have come my way. I love it all! And after 40 years as a professional jazz pianist, I feel I am still getting better and still love what I do – and not many people can say that. PHOTO BY MARK NISKANEN



t s r o h p a Ken Sch

penguin SPOTLIGHT Article by Andrew Nissen | Photos by Andrew Hurlbut

I was lucky enough to steal some time from Ken Schaphorst’s busy schedule to talk to him about his journey in music. Over a long phone call on a cold Saturday morning (which seems to be all of them lately!), we covered some great topics.

Although Ken has chaired the jazz department at NEC

since 2001, the Philadelphia native originally followed a different path. “I went to a liberal arts school called Swarthmore College," he recalls. "I didn't plan to become a musician after high school. My father was an engineer, so I thought I would try engineering. I enjoyed it and had an aptitude for it. But I realized when I got there that I missed music, so I went to one of the Berklee summer sessions after my freshman year. It was my first introduction to Boston, and I fell in love with the city.”

After graduating from Swarthmore with a BA in music,

Ken moved to Boston and began his master's in composition at

NEC in the 80s. I ask him if NEC has changed much since his days as a student. “I would say the philosophy is the same," he answers. "The openness is the same, and I’m really glad to see that." He recalls that when Gunther Schuller was President, professors occupied more than one department. "William Thomas McKinley was heavily involved in both jazz and classical. For better or worse, there are fewer people in multiple departments now.”

After completing graduate degrees at both NEC and

BU, Ken led a big band in several recordings. “The first band that I was really involved in leading was the Jazz Composers PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDY HURLBUT

Alliance, of which I was a founding member. I started another band with Rob Scheps, also an NEC graduate. We had an unusual instrumentation, including flute, bassoon, French horn, tuba. I had fun writing for them, and it was out of that group that my first band grew. I started calling it the Ken Schaphorst Big Band because I couldn’t think of a better name!”

“The first recording was as independent as you could

get-- we did everything ourselves. The funny thing is that when I released it, Russ Gershon had just started a record label and said 'I wish you could have told me, and I would have released it with my label.' Every subsequent CD I made was released on


MARCH 13, 2014

stores around. The first thing I did was go to Tower Records, where a guy paid me cash for 200 CDs upfront. That almost paid for the first 1000 CDs I made. I can’t tell you how much that part of the business has changed. It’s much easier to make them today, but it’s a little more difficult to make money once you make the CDs.”

With that in mind, where is the opportunity for profit,

then? “I think the money in jazz has always been in live performance. It’s been the centerpiece of how musicians make their money. I’ve been watching this NEC group that has become very popular called Lake Street Dive. They were all jazz musicians who graduated 5 or 6 years ago, and now they’re on The David Letterman Show. They found success with a YouTube video filmed on the street in Boston, created with almost no investment. And it became hugely popular. They just put out a CD called Bad Self Portraits and it’s a big hit. The YouTube side of things has really allowed a lot of things to happen if you know how to use it. I think they are very smart about using these opportunities to promote themselves. Even still, I imagine they make more money from their live performances."

Ken Schaphorst is a man with a great amount of

knowledge, and it was great to get the chance to absorb some of that knowledge from him! Most of the time at a conservatory, my friends and I seem to get lost in an “Excerpt A, Excerpt B” attitude. Opening up to a more complete philosophy of a Russ’ label, except for the most recent one (for which I got a deal with Naxos.) A lot of the people in the band have gone

love of music, like Ken exudes, will help push us into a more exciting direction.

on to do very well. John Medeski, Donny McCaslin…So I think I was lucky in that sense. Through NEC and Berklee I met a lot of talented young players.”

I made the observation to Ken that my jazz friends

always seem better at self-promotion than my classical friends. “I think the difference between the jazz versus classical idea of promotion for me, and many others I know, was that from a very early age I played gigs. Even in junior high school, I hired other kids. Although it never came naturally, I could see that gigging was necessary. If you want to have a band, you’ve got to have gigs. You can rehearse for a while, but at some point you have to play. And at the peak of my band's success, we played a gig every other week to a good crowd.

Still, times have changed for young artists, and what

worked before doesn’t necessarily work now. “When I made a CD, it took a lot more money than it takes now. You couldn’t burn it on a computer. I still remember when I had to drive it up to ME, where they had those facilities. There were more CD



penguin CONCERTS by Nick Tisherman The Marriage of Figaro

MARCH 26 & 27, 8:00 PM, BROWN HALL WHAT IS IT? The Undergraduate Opera Studio has been working all year to perform this program of scenes from one of Mozart’s opera, The Marriage of Figaro. WHAT YOU’LL HEAR: Undergraduate vocalists who sound well beyond their years take on one of Mozart’s greatest operatic works. Student conductor Roberto Kalb will take the baton, with stage direction by Stephen Goldstein. WHY IT’S COOL: Under the direction of Michael Meraw, the Undergraduate Opera Studio, or UGOS, as the kids call it, is a unique part of NEC’s opera program because it gives younger vocalists opportunities to perform. There will be two different casts, so be sure to catch both performances. Opera was Mozart’s bread and butter, and no opera of his is more memorable.

Turkish Songs of Protest

MARCH 27, 8:00 PM, JORDAN HALL WHAT IS IT? Robert Labaree and The Dünya Ensemble perform music based on the poetry of Ottoman men and women who have questioned political and religious authority. WHAT YOU’LL HEAR: The exotic sounds of Turkish vocal music, accompanied by instruments like the çeng and ud. These songs speak out in a different way than the protest we know in American history. WHY IT’S COOL: The Dünya Ensemble will perform songs that “encompass classical compositions of the palace, blunt women's complaints from the countryside, songs which mingle the religious and the secular, songs which express longing and intimacy across ethnic and religious boundaries, 'blasphemous' songs by heterodox Muslims, open professions of erotic love (conventional and unconventional), and defenses of controversial practices like music and the drinking of alcohol.” –Robert Labaree


NEC Philharmonia + Wilkins

MARCH 31, 8:00 PM, JORDAN HALL WHAT IS IT? Philharmonia takes the stage once more with conductor Christopher Wilkins. WHAT YOU’LL HEAR: Part of the Music: Truth to Power festival this year, this concert features the boundary-breaking The General Slocum and Yale-Princeton Football Game of Ives, Minsung Kim taking on Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 2, and Berlioz’ wild Symphonie Fantastique.



MARCH 13, 2014

WHY IT’S COOL: The programmatic story behind Symphonie Fantastique is a portrait of Berlioz’ own struggles as an artist. The music lets you get into the mind of an artist filled with imagination, passion, and despair, and Philharmonia is sure to play the stuffing out of it. Ives took subject matter from newspaper headlines to create the two pieces on this program. Finally, the cello concerto, haunting and exciting, calls for some incredibly virtuosic and expressive playing from the soloist.


! P L E H


SEEKING A NEW EDITOR! Are you looking for an opportunity to gain writing, editorial and layout experience? The Office of Student Services and the Student Activities Center is accepting applications for Editor of The Penguin. This position


PENGUIN PENMEN Kate Lemmon, editor Suzanne Hegland, faculty editor Sophia (Sophie) Adickes, writer Natalie Alper-Leroux, creative Raley Beggs, writer Isabella Dawis, writer Luci Disano, writer Stephen Garman, webmaster Andrew Nissen, writer Akenya Seymour, writer Nick Tisherman, writer Liz Tobias, writer Tong Wang, illustrator

SUBMIT SOMETHING! If you'd like to contribute an article, illustration, or idea, email a 1-2 sentence proposal to: Please limit articles to 650 words.

requires a 20 hour/month commitment, with the number of hours per week varying depending on the news cycle. Editors are responsible for soliciting and writing articles, layout of content, and communicating with


the Faculty Advisor (Suzanne Hegland).




• Your writing and editorial skills

• One-on-one journalism mentoring


• Your leadership and ability to

• A real voice on campus and the

recruit and supervise writers


chance to unite the community

• Your willingness to learn layout • A fantastic resume addition on Adobe InDesign


• $10 per hour!

To apply, please send resume, cover letter, writing sample and a faculty or work supervisor reference to Suzanne Hegland.





penguin PHOTOS by Andrew Hurlbut 1




4 6


1) The audience enjoys Alexander Beyer's performance in Unconservatory, a round-table concert experience sponsored by EM. 2) Suzanne Grogan, Jessica Harika, David Tay, and Vincent Turregano perform as soloists in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with NEC Philharmonia. 3) Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick reads text for Schwantner's New Morning for the World with the NEC Symphony conducted by David Loebel. 4) Students help raise scholarship funds at the Feast of Music. 5) David Adewumi solos with the NEC Jazz Orchestra. 6) Patrick M’Gonigle, Dylan McKinstry, and Jacob Means perform Soldiers' Joy for "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall." 7) Yujin Kim and Jimmy Dornier sing as Poppea and Nerone in L'Incoronazione di Poppea.



Issue 58 - March 13, 2014  

The Penguin, a monthly newspaper, is run entirely by current students and recent graduates of the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA.