Peabody Magazine Spring 2019 Vol. 13, No. 2

Page 1






How Bernstein’s eccentric work brought together 500 artists in an unforgettable collaboration.


A New Dialogue Backstage Pass

Spring 2019 Vol. 13 No. 2

THA N K YOU ! More than 279,000 donors helped the people of Johns Hopkins to rise to the challenge. Because of you, we are: • Fueling discovery on an unprecedented scale • Promoting and protecting health for all • Supporting world-class scholars and their life-changing work • Strengthening communities in Baltimore and around the world

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One MASS-ive Undertaking By Bret McCabe Two years of preparation — and the involvement of some 500 artists — culminated last October in a bold performance of Leonard Bernstein’s most eccentric work.


A New Dialogue By Richard Byrne By attracting a steady stream of influential thinkers and artists, the Dean’s Symposium series is immersing students and faculty members in the national conversation about the future of classical music.


3 Headliners

Bloomberg Makes Transformative Gift What's Happening on Instagram Mathieson Takes Helm as Peabody Preparatory Director New Programs Off to a Strong Start Scholarship Program Expands Possibilities


Alumni News

Letter from Alumni President Reunion Weekend New Concepts, New Connections Society of Black Alumni Reception


Department News

The latest news and accomplishments involving students, faculty, and alumni from the Preparatory and the Conservatory.

36 Fanfare

Supporting Music With a Sense of Purpose Celebrating the Success of the Rising to the Challenge Campaign Three Dynamic Leaders Join Board


Student Spotlight

Moving With the Music

Backstage Pass By Margaret Bell Intrepid photographer Will Kirk will do whatever it takes to get the shot. We take you along on his behind-the-scenes tour of Peabody.

ABOUT THE PEABODY INSTITUTE OF THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY Located in the heart of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon Cultural District, the Peabody Institute was founded in 1857 as the first major intellectual and arts center in an American city by philanthropist George Peabody. Now a division of Johns Hopkins University, the Peabody Institute trains musicians and dancers of every age, stages nearly 1,000 concerts and events each year, and extends music and musical training throughout the community. Building on its rich history of professional music training at the highest level and focused on the five pillars of excellence, interdisciplinary experiences, innovation, community connectivity, and diversity, Peabody is introducing the Breakthrough Curriculum to prepare artists for a world that is constantly changing yet still deeply in need of what music and dance bring to the human experience.

Cover photograph by Edward S. Davis

FR OM TH E DE A N conservatory. At the same time, we have kept pace with the daily work of teaching and performing, drawing upon our deep history and artistic heritage to strengthen the future of music and dance in our world. I am so grateful to the faculty members and staff members who have made these things happen.

Dean Fred Bronstein

Peabody Friends, Over the past two years, the Peabody Institute has enacted transformational change, repositioning ourselves within the world of conservatories by introducing the innovative Breakthrough Curriculum; adding acclaimed artists and scholars to our roster of outstanding faculty performers and pedagogues; launching new programs in Dance and New Media; establishing diversity as a central pillar in our strategic focus, resulting in substantive increases in diversity among both faculty and students; introducing Peabody Online’s in-demand Playing Well courses; and establishing the Johns Hopkins Rehabilitative Network Clinic for Performing Artists at Peabody — a multidisciplinary occupational health care clinic and wellness center for musicians and dancers on the Peabody Campus that is the first of its kind affiliated with a

Looking forward, it’s also clear that two things are critical to our continued progress: impactful philanthropy and strong volunteer leadership. And I’m pleased that we have good news to report on both of these fronts in this issue of Peabody Magazine. Beginning with philanthropy, we are enormously grateful for the $50 million contribution that Peabody is receiving as part of Michael Bloomberg’s $1.8 billion gift to Johns Hopkins University to fund undergraduate scholarships. The new dollars generated by this extraordinary gift will allow Peabody to provide greater access and affordability for eligible undergraduate students with demonstrated need, beginning this fall. Read more about what Mr. Bloomberg’s gift will mean for Peabody on page 4. A member of our volunteer Peabody Institute Advisory Board (piab) since 2013, former state superintendent of Maryland Schools Nancy Grasmick has championed the arts in schools throughout her career. Her professional leadership in this area makes her recent generous gift to

support the Conservatory’s Breakthrough Curriculum all the more meaningful. She talked with us about her inspiration for giving; the story is on page 36. As advocates for Peabody’s mission and vision, members of the piab dedicate time and expertise to advancing our strategic goals. Their leadership and philanthropy provide the foundational underpinning for our work in critical areas. Dr. Grasmick, board chair Taylor Hanex, nominating chair Jill McGovern, and other members of the piab have recently welcomed three new members whose backgrounds are profiled on page 39. Amid the joy, there is also sadness. In December, we lost a dear colleague and friend when Rebecca Polgar passed away unexpectedly over the holiday break. Rebecca was an alumna of Peabody (GPD ’95, MM ’97, Trumpet) and a member of the Peabody staff since 1997, serving as director of financial aid since 2010. Her warm and cheerful nature will be dearly missed by us all. Whatever your connection is to Peabody, I thank you for your interest and support. I hope you’ll enjoy reading all of the news and highlights in this issue of the magazine, and I welcome your feedback at Sincerely, Fred Bronstein



Peabody Institute Advisory Board

Margaret Bell, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications

Leap Day Media Kristen Cooper, Owner 410-458-9291

Rheda Becker Paula E. Boggs (A&S BS ’81, International Studies) Barbara M. Bozzuto, Vice Chair Richard Davison Larry D. Droppa Leon Fleisher Nancy S. Grasmick (Ed Cert ’75, PhD ’80, Education) Michael Greenebaum Taylor A. Hanex (BM ’75, MM ’78, Piano), Chair Allan D. Jensen (A&S ’65 BS; Med ‘68 MD), Vice Chair Michiko S. Jones

Lauren Crewell, Digital Communications Specialist Sue De Pasquale, Consulting Editor Ben Johnson, Senior Graphic Designer Will Kirk, Contributing Photographer Justin Kovalsky, Copy Editor Sarah Laadt, Digital Communications Coordinator Tiffany Lundquist, Director of Marketing and Communications Michele Mengel, Communications Coordinator Amelia Stinette, Communications Coordinator

Peabody Magazine is published twice during the academic year. Send us your questions and comments: Peabody Magazine Communications Office 1 East Mount Vernon Place Baltimore, MD 21202 667-208-6561

Laifun Chung Kotcheff Christopher Kovalchick (BM ’06, Violin; Engr BS ’06, Mechanical Engineering) Abbe Levin Jill E. McGovern Christine Rutt Schmitz (BM ’75, Voice) Solomon H. Snyder David Tan (MM ’79, Piano) David L. Warnock Shirley S. L. Yang (Bus Cert. ’99, Business of Medicine; MBA ’01, Medical Services Management) Emeritus Members Pilar Bradshaw Benjamin H. Griswold IV Turner B. Smith



Composition Department Chair Michael Hersch has been selected as a Johns Hopkins University Gilman Scholar.

Faculty artist OSCAR BETTISON,

composition, is one of 14 composers who received a 2018 Fromm Commission from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University. These commissions represent one of the principal ways that the Fromm Music Foundation seeks to strengthen composition and bring contemporary concert music closer to the public.

Composition Department Chair MICHAEL HERSCH

(BM ’95, MM ’97, Composition) has been selected as a Gilman Scholar, a distinction that celebrates select Johns Hopkins faculty members who embody the highest standards of scholarship and research across the university. Hersch and four other Johns Hopkins faculty members join 19 others, past and present, who have received this honor since 2013. A new recording of Hersch’s Violin Concerto featuring Patricia Kopatchinskaja with the International Contemporary Ensemble was selected as the Best Violin Concerto of 2018 by Sequenza 21. It was also listed as one of New York Music Daily’s 50 Best Albums of 2018 and AnEarful’s Best of 2018: Classical.

SEAN JONES, trumpet,

the Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair of Jazz Studies, has been named president of the Jazz Education Network, which is dedicated to building the jazz arts community by advancing education, promoting performances, and developing audiences.

GEMMA NEW (MM '11, Conducting) has been named the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s first female principal guest conductor. She will conduct two weeks of concerts in the 2019–20 season and three weeks in 2020–21. Her 2019 appearances will coincide with the DSO's inaugural Women in Classical Music Symposium. She was also signed to Primo Artists — which represents Joshua Bell, Itzhak Perlman, and others — for general management.



Director of Graduate Conducting MARIN ALSOP won the Crystal Award for 2019, which celebrates the achievements of artists and cultural figures whose leadership inspires inclusive and sustainable change. Funded by the World Economic Forum, the award was presented to Alsop in January for her leadership in championing diversity in music. In addition, Alsop and Hilary Hahn, Preparatory alumna and member of Peabody’s Distinguished Artist Council, were listed among Slipped Disc’s Most Powerful Women in U.S. Music.




Bloomberg Makes Transformative Gift In November 2018, Johns Hopkins University announced a transformative gift of $1.8 billion from philanthropist, business leader, and three-term New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (Engr BS ’64, Electrical Engineering) to support undergraduate financial aid. From this remarkable commitment — the largest-ever single contribution to a U.S. college or university — Peabody has received a $50 million contribution to its endowment. “We are thrilled at the potential impact this level of philanthropy can have for talented young musicians and dancers from across the country,” noted Peabody Dean Fred Bronstein in reaction to the news. “This gift allows us to continue building excellence in the Conservatory while improving affordability for students.” As Dean Bronstein wrote in announcing the contribution to the Peabody community, the expressed

purpose of the gift is to increase access and affordability to undergraduate education for students in the United States. While scholarships at Peabody have always been largely merit-based — as is the case with most competitive music schools — these dollars will expand Peabody’s ability to support undergraduate students with demonstrated need, beginning this fall. Peabody’s deployment of the Bloomberg gift will necessarily differ from the approach taken at the Homewood campuses. At Peabody, the Bloomberg funding will be awarded in the form of supplemental grants targeted toward students whose families earn less than $100,000 per year. When combined with the potential for merit scholarship, the new grants will result in financial aid packages that reflect applicants’ demonstrated financial need.

What's Happening on Instagram Follow Peabody's Instagram @peabodyinstitute to keep up with happenings at Peabody between magazine issues. Tag Peabody using #PeabodyProud, and you could be featured on our page. Other accounts to check out on Instagram include the Conservatory Dance Department’s (@peabody_bfa_dance) and Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair in Jazz Studies Sean Jones’ (@sjonesjazz).




In combination with Peabody’s existing, extensive merit scholarship program, which remains unchanged, the Bloomberg gift will ensure that the Conservatory continues to provide competitive financial aid packages across all income ranges, maximizing the ability to attract top students while being increasingly responsive to financial need. “This is an enormously exciting moment, as we have the opportunity to open up new pathways to Peabody and significantly improve the affordability of a Peabody education,” Bronstein said. “I am especially grateful to university leadership — President Ron Daniels and Provost Sunil Kumar — and, of course, Michael Bloomberg, for their wonderful support of Peabody and our students.” —— Tiffany Lundquist

Last summer, after a robust national search, experienced arts executive and educator Maria Mathieson began her position as the new director of the Peabody Preparatory. As director, she leads Baltimore’s premier community school for the performing arts, overseeing all aspects of operations and instruction for about 2,000 students. Reflecting on her first few months at Peabody, she says, “The Preparatory is a real gem, and it’s a privilege to be a part of the legacy of this amazing institution.” A native of Scotland, Mathieson came to Peabody from Levine Music in Washington, D.C., where she served as the head of music education since 2011, a role that involved developing and leading Levine’s overall educational experience. Mathieson’s background programming and growing the also includes teaching and leading Preparatory’s adult population of music programs as well as manlifelong learners. aging public relations and fundShe also intends to enrich the raising for The Salvation Army in Preparatory education with technolOklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, ogy — “using the tools our students and Washington, D.C. She holds an already utilize into their classrooms MBA from the University of Maryland and taking that into the music and University College and has trained dance forum.” Mathieson, who has with the Community Arts Education often found ways to integrate techLeadership Institute in New York. nology into her work, says, “I like Mathieson says that the Peabody trying to figure how we can use techleadership has “set a clear vision nology to enhance learning through a and tone for the Conservatory, and medium of today’s culture.” I’m looking forward to taking that It’s important, she believes, for the charge and reflecting that within Preparatory to recognize that today’s the Preparatory.” students live in a digital space. “Springboarding from the work “They’re digital natives,” she says, the Conservatory completed on the “and have never known life without Breakthrough Plan and Curriculum,” a smart phone. We have to be able she continues, “I want to dive to adapt to the way our students are into what the training of young learning today.” 21st-century artists means for the “The Peabody Preparatory is enterPreparatory. Working alongside facing an exciting period of growth, in ulty, staff, and students to internalize both on-site and digital platforms, what the Five Pillars represent for us, and Maria’s expertise in — and pas[we can] then begin work on integrat- sion for — arts education and admining those concepts into our program- istration are exactly what we need in a ming and curriculum.” leader,” notes Abra Bush, the Peabody She hopes to engage families, Institute’s senior associate dean of students, and faculty in that thought institute studies. process and then focus on enhancing —— Margaret Bell


Mathieson Takes Helm as Peabody Preparatory Director

SUNDAYS @3:30PM FEB 24, 2019


MAR 10, 2019


APR 28, 2019


MAY 19, 2019


SUNDAYS @7:30PM CHAMBER MUSIC BY CANDLELIGHT All Chamber Music by Candlelight concerts are programmed and performed by Baltimore Symphony musicians

MAR 17, 2019 MAR 31, 2019 MAY 12, 2019 JUN 09, 2019 (7:00PM) For more information call 443.759.3309 or visit PEABODY



New Programs Off to a Strong Start This academic year marked the launch of two major new programs at Peabody — the BFA Dance and the Music for New Media programs. Both programs, and the diverse array of new students they’ve drawn to campus, have quickly found their footing. BFA Dance danah bella, chair of Conservatory Dance, worked for over a year at Peabody preparing for the program’s first class of 13 students, who came with very different experiences and training. A few had studied at performing arts high schools, one at a residential arts school, and others at competition studios or studios near their homes. Some in this inaugural class had never taken ballet, some had only taken ballet, and others came with musical theater backgrounds. “I wouldn’t say that one type of student was more prepared than another,” bella says. “They were all ready to be here.” Though the dancers have roommates in other programs, their

artistic studies keep them together all day, with technique classes in the morning and afternoon and a rehearsal block from 4:30 to 10:00 pm, during which they rehearse for performances or work with guest visiting artists. The first major artistic project that the dancers tackled was rehearsing for Bernstein's MASS (see page 8), performed on October 26. After the MASS

performance, bella says, “We started to get our rhythm and found our way.” The first departmental performance, on December 7, was directed by bella and featured all 13 dancers performing ballet, modern, and hip-hop works choreographed by faculty, students, and Yin Yue, Fall 2018 Visiting Artist. Seven of the 13 shown pieces were choreographed by the Peabody dance students. While a four-course choreography series will start next year, at this point, the choreography work was all extracurricular, including the rehearsals required to learn their fellow dancers’ works. “A lot of times students at this stage in their career don’t want to choreograph; they just want to dance,” bella explains. “I think their desire

Scholarship Program Expands Possibilities Finding the next generation of musicians to study at Peabody often requires significant outreach and resources to attract and nurture applications from students whose talents, perspectives, and ambitions will enrich the Conservatory. The Conservatory’s new Blue Ribbon Scholarship Program is helping a broader and more diverse pool of talented high school students consider Peabody as a destination. Now in its third year, the initiative works directly with institutions that serve potential applicants, encouraging them to nominate two students to receive scholarships of $25,000 or more should they be accepted at the Conservatory. John Huling, director of admissions, says the program is opening up new avenues for students who 6



previously might not have considered Peabody. “We’re paying a lot of attention to access,” says Huling. “How do we make sure talented potential applicants know they have a shot at Peabody? This program is helping us reach new students.” The venture has grown quickly from an effort to increase Peabody’s visibility at performing arts high schools to an ambitious initiative that has expanded past traditional outreach and into strong partnerships with youth orchestras and national organizations. Three years ago, the program attracted nine applications and four enrollments from five target performing arts high schools in the South, Midwest, and on the West Coast. This year it has

attracted 39 applications from 26 high schools, youth orchestras, and music mentoring organizations. Peabody faculty members have been essential to the effort. Velvet Brown, who teaches tuba at the Conservatory, accompanied Huling on a trip to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program last year to help students get a better glimpse of the Peabody experience. The Atlanta program had three seniors who played tuba. Brown gave them each a lesson and answered questions about why Peabody might fit their musical trajectory. “You’re entering into their space,” Brown observes, “where they’re comfortable. They were really eager to learn. It was a lot of really good hands-on work, and I enjoy that.”

to choreograph is telling about their interest in dance, in general. They want to know and learn and experience everything about dance — not just performing. They’re not afraid to take risks.” Music for New Media Music for New Media also started its program with slightly more than a dozen students, twice the number

anticipated. Thomas Dolby, head of the Music for New Media program, describes those students as “eclectic.” “They’re free thinkers. Many of them have a conventional music background, as would be typical for a Peabody student,” he says “but several of them have also been avid video game fans since an early age or, in some cases, actually programmed video games.” Dolby, who co-teaches with composer Chris Kennedy, says the students have to be familiar with the music and film software programs, and tools of the trade that are used by the film and media industries to integrate music. They’re also having to learn some of the fundamentals to write music to imagery, and, he says, “a conventional classical background

in theory and sight reading goes a long way.” A field trip to the JHU-MICA Film Centre helped connect New Media students with their counterparts in the film programs at Hopkins and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Dolby says, “They made some really great alliances, and some of my students will be contributing music to student films being made in Station North.” Such experience is crucial, since graduates of the program will need to collaborate with film directors or game designers. “In our class, we’re very focused on career paths and how [students] will adjust to the workforce once they graduate,” Dolby says. “So, we’re in the process of setting up internships and work experience opportunities, both at media companies and at technology companies.” —— Margaret Bell Watch video highlights from the BFA Dance program: and the Music for New Media program:

One student applied and received The Blue Ribbon program’s resources under-advantaged young people a Blue Ribbon scholarship. But and the personal pitch to students through early music training — that Brown also sees benefits beyond show them a pathway to Peabody and will feature larger aid packages for immediate recruitment. “Of course, to a future career. “What it proves to students with greater need. we want to inspire them to come our students is that this is not just He believes Peabody’s investment to Peabody,” she says. “But we also a pipe dream,” observes Thompson. will pay increasing dividends for need to inspire them by saying: “Brown is a role model to them. They students and for the Conservatory. ‘You can do this. You’ve worked see her in the position that she’s in, “Word catches on that students hard. Continue.’” and it gives them the courage to be [accepted through the program] are Adrienne Thompson manages successful in reaching their goals.” coming to Peabody,” he says. “We the Atlanta Symphony’s Talent Other stakeholders — including hope to become a familiar institution Development Program. In the previalumni and potential funding orgato these schools and encourage more ous 25 years, her organization had nizations — are also taking note. As students from their programs to consent only one student to Peabody. In more students learn about opportusider Peabody for the next chapters in the last two years, five of the eight nities at Peabody, the Conservatory their musical and dance careers.” seniors in her symphony’s senior becomes a known entity where it may —— Richard Byrne cohort applied to the school. not have been before. “Our mission is to get students Huling says the initiative is into the best conservatories,” says expanding, including a partnership Thompson. “The outreach gives a with El Sistema USA — an organistrong incentive to consider Peabody.” zation that seeks empowerment for PEABODY






written by

BRET MCCABE photography by





iolinist Shannon Fitzhenry smiles when recalling during it just to remind Bannister of the pitch. “And the impressed look on Maestra Marin Alsop’s face each time she did, Bannister would be right on pitch,” during rehearsals. Fitzhenry recalls, and laughs a bit as she mimics the As concertmaster for the October 26 performance look on Alsop’s face, eyebrows raising quickly, joined of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS — which involved by a “not bad” kind of nod. more than 500 students of the Peabody Institute and Nearly 2,500 people filled the church for the perforMorgan State University, as well as collaborating com- mance on a rainy Friday night, with roughly another munity members — Fitzhenry knew it was her job to 1,000 tuning in to the livestream online. For nearly help lead the orchestra. She had to be aware whenever two hours the performers brought Bernstein’s ambithe conductor changed any tempo or dynamic and she tious work, which uses the format of a Catholic mass had to help encourage all the sections to play together. to tell a story about a crisis and rebirth of faith, into Sitting in the concertmaster’s chair also gave her a scintillating life. Bernstein’s interpretation of sacred front-row seat to Alsop’s reactions during the four days music, underscored by orchestral strings and wind of rehearsals leading up to the performance, the first instruments, is interspersed with songs hewing closer time the various groups of dancers, choirs, orchestra to the popular music of rock, folk, and musical themusicians, and wind ensembles all came together. The ater. A marching band streams down the aisles and street chorus had been rehearsing since the spring. onto the stage. A street chorus leads a minor revolt in Celebrant Curtis Bannister (GPD ’10, Voice) started the church until members of the orchestra, choir, and working on his role over the summer. Dancers and even the audience are singing in the aisles. musicians and choirs began focusing on the piece at This unforgettable spectacle — part of the worldthe beginning of the fall semester. Stage blocking and wide 2018 celebration to honor Bernstein’s 100th movements could only be worked out once all 500-plus birthday — involved nearly two years of planning, performers got into the concert venue — the cavern- months of individual and ensemble rehearsing, and ous New Psalmist Baptist Church in West Baltimore. many hours of run-throughs to bring so many movFine tuning takes repetition. And when some ele- ing parts into a tautly choreographed concert event. ment clicked into place, Fitzhenry saw it on Alsop’s While the concert sears itself into a concertgoer’s face, such as when Bannister’s Celebrant sang the memory, for the student performers, everything that Lord’s Prayer a cappella. During rehearsals, Alsop went into preparing for that night leaves just as indelwould signal the principal cellist to play two notes ible an experience. OPPOSITE: The Celebrant, portrayed by Curtis Bannister, implores his congregation to pray following an explosive loss of faith. PEABODY



ABOVE: Members of the Peabody Preparatory Wind Orchestra march across a full stage of singers. OPPOSITE: Conservatory voice and pedagogy master’s student Daniel Sampson performs the role of a Street Singer.

Rehearsals “were about trying to get everyone to get [Marin Alsop’s] idea, because she knew Leonard Bernstein and worked with him. When you have such a direct line to the man himself, you're going to want to do it justice. … We wanted to do right by her, so she could do right by him.” — Vocalist Daniel Sampson

Trumpeter Hana Harwood recalls the “cool” feeling of hearing how a marching band could gel with an orchestra. Dancer Constance Ui-Seng François recollects not understanding the whole story of MASS until all the ensembles were brought together for the final week of rehearsals. Soprano Micaela Stewart evokes the visceral sensation of different choirs coming together as one. Vocalist Daniel Sampson remembers feeling genuinely chastised by a 13-year-old. And that teenager, singer Hayden Spitzer, recalls being surprised by the force of the sound produced by the street chorus the first time he heard it. All of these little details paint a portrait of all the work that goes into taking a big creative risk — and sticking the landing. “The first time we walked into that church I looked around and thought, Wow, this place is huge,” says Harwood, a high-school senior, Peabody Preparatory student, and member of the Peabody Preparatory Wind Orchestra and Peabody Youth Orchestra. “It felt like this is our chance to show we’ve got what it takes to play this piece in this kind of space. It was our time to show what we’ve worked on in all of these rehearsals. We’re ready.”

I N SY N C Bernstein’s MASS, commissioned for the 1971 opening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is one of contemporary classical music’s rarer experiences. Broadly misunderstood, if not outright derided when it debuted, its musical and dramatic 10



REFLECTIONS ON BERNSTEIN’S MASS ambitions (a narrative exploration of a crisis of faith is echoed musically, climaxing in an ecstatic outburst of controlled musical chaos and theatrical splendor) make it genuinely eccentric, thematically challenging, and rarely performed as a full theatrical experience. Bernstein mentored Alsop early in her career, and rehearsals “were about trying to get everyone to get her idea, because she knew Leonard Bernstein and worked with him,” says Sampson. “When you have such a direct line to the man himself, you’re going to want to do it justice ... We wanted to do right by her, so she could do right by him.” Sampson, a graduate student studying voice and pedagogy, auditioned for and earned his role in the Street Singers last February. The Street Singers ensemble started rehearsing that spring semester, a process that included a session where they all talked about their relationship to faith. Sampson considers himself a spiritual person, and in MASS his character sings “God Said,” a jaunty song that directly questions and pokes fun at the Celebrant’s Scripture readings. “I’m the one who is needling the Celebrant, and to develop this character I had to deny my own instincts a little bit,” Sampson says. “My character knows how the church works, and when you know how things work, you can find better ways to mess things up.” Each of the student performers shared his or her own interpretation of what Bernstein’s MASS is about during interviews for this article, and no two readings were alike. One saw the work as a deeply spiritual journey about an individual’s relationship with Christ. Another read it as a work showing how institutions are not needed to have a relationship with God. Another felt it explored how important it is to question your faith. First-year dance major François says the dancers dove right into rehearsing MASS on their first days of classes last fall. They learned about their role in the work, listened to the music for their sections, and started improvising ideas for choreography based on liturgical dance. Dance chair danah bella took their ideas and fleshed out choreography for each section. But it wasn’t until the final week of rehearsals that François began to understand the full scope of what they were doing. “Seeing and hearing the choir really helped me put together what this is about,” she says. “For most of the semester we’re learning our parts — here we’re on the Celebrant’s side, now we go on to the confessional section, then we all go crazy — but seeing what the choir goes through really drove it home for me. They’re the choir, they’re supposed to be on the Celebrant’s side, but there comes a point when even they’re like, Hold up, we’ve got some questions, too. I felt the story then in a way I hadn’t yet, and I hope the audience felt that too, this sense that we’re all in this together.”

“As I sat in New Psalmist Baptist Church, I was deeply moved not only by Bernstein’s transcendent work but by what this performance meant for our city. Uniting talented musicians, singers, and dancers from Peabody and across our city, the production embodied the potential of human communities to join together in the spirit of peace, hope, and possibility in periods of crisis and doubt.” — Ronald J. Daniels President, Johns Hopkins University

“I saw several productions of MASS over the course of the Bernstein centennial, but the production at Peabody stood out as particularly affecting. Marin Alsop has the extraordinary ability to corral an immense variety of forces (which the work requires) and blend them seamlessly.” — Nina Bernstein Simmons Leonard Bernstein’s daughter




A number of students raised the alluring power of large-ensemble collaboration. “We all had our part, but learning how it fit in with everyone else’s story was the coolest part for me,” says Harwood. “In a wind ensemble, you don’t always get the chance to find your way to fit in with 500 other people. We were so used to blasting away in Friedberg Hall, because we were the only ones playing, but we had to learn how to mesh with the orchestra. And during the performance, I just felt like we were all so in sync, and it was an amazing feeling.” Stewart, a first-year member of the Morgan State University Choir and alumna of the Peabody Children’s Chorus, says the experience taught her valuable lessons about choir singing. “When you bring a bunch of different choirs together, you meet a lot of different people, a lot of different types of singers, and that’s a lot of new voices to try to merge with,” she says. “Performing in [MASS] was a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Seeing it is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. The entire experience felt like a rare thing.” The student musicians recognized that. They knew they were performing something that not many musicians get the opportunity to do, and they savored it. “The two acolytes, Georgia [Pickard] and Hayden [Spitzer], had so much energy and were so much fun to work with,” singer Sampson says. He recalls how he felt the first time the entire ensemble went through the scene that immediately follows the congregation insurgence. It was a little rough. “Hayden started walking around, rolling his eyes, huffing and puffing, just this look of pure disgust on his face. And I was not prepared for that. I did not expect to be judged so harshly by these kids. I felt it.”

“They're the choir, they're supposed to be on the Celebrant’s side, but there comes a point when even they're like, Hold up, we've got some questions, too. I felt the story then in a way I hadn't yet, and I hope the audience felt that too, this sense that we're all in this together.” — Dancer Constance Ui-Seng François




REFLECTIONS ON BERNSTEIN’S MASS “I could not believe that 10 years have passed since the Morgan State Choir performed the Bernstein MASS with Marin Alsop and the BSO. Although our first performance was ultimately performed in Carnegie Hall, performing the Bernstein MASS in a church could not be more appropriate or perfect. This time with a distant performance under my belt, I appreciated the piece on a much higher level. I believe that no conductor living knows the work better than Marin Alsop! ” — Eric Conway (BM ’85, MM ’87, DMA ’95, Piano; JHU Bus MA ’93, Management) Director, Morgan State University Choir

OPPOSITE: Freshman dancer Constance Ui-Seng François LEFT: Alumnus Curtis Bannister performs the role of Celebrant. BELOW: Peabody Children’s Chorus member Hayden Spitzer portrays an Acolyte.




“Leonard Bernstein's daughter was there, and I said hello to her before the concert, and [I was] sitting there thinking, ‘we really need to deliver.’” — Violinist Shannon Fitzhenry




REFLECTIONS ON BERNSTEIN’S MASS Spitzer says the older performers weren’t so bad, either. “I’ve never been in something like this where everyone is so strong and so good at what they do,” Spitzer says. Though the 13-year-old has done a fair amount of musical theater and television commercials, he’s newer to classical music, and he had to work extra hard to hit the higher notes with ease. “I definitely learned how to keep my composure in a situation with a lot of excitement, how to be professional and take direction and listen. I was nervous at first but once I got onstage the first time, all my nervousness went away because I knew it. I was confident with it, and it was just the best feeling.” And the confidence that comes from aiming high and getting there requires taking big risks, such as performing a work as odd as MASS with more than 500 student musicians and community members. Sure, it took two years of planning and a perhaps insane amount of institutional coordination to get there. But the rewards? Students will take what they learned about themselves from this experience as they head into their careers. “I love the adrenaline rush of just totally going for it at a performance,” Fitzhenry says, a feeling she says was amplified by the scale of the MASS performance. “Leonard Bernstein’s daughter was there, and I said hello to her before the concert, and [I was] sitting there thinking, ‘we really need to deliver.’ That’s what we’re trained to do as classical musicians, and at Peabody I think everyone knows that come performance night, you show up. And I feel like everybody — the orchestra, the singers, the dancers — were just on fire that night and so excited to be performing this thing for everyone who came to see it.” “It was wild to look out and see so many people in the audience,” Sampson says. “But if you’ve been studying music for this long, that’s what you want. If you’ve gotten to the place in your career where you get to work with Marin Alsop, then your goal is to sing for as many people as possible. “Now I know I like to sing for 3,000 people. Next time, let’s go for 4,000 or 5,000, you know? That’s what we want.”

Watch highlights from Bernstein’s MASS:

OPPOSITE TOP: Violinist and concertmaster Shannon Fitzhenry OPPOSITE BOTTOM: Street Singers Joshua Scheid, Rahzé Cheatham, and Brianna Samuels RIGHT: Street Singers HaYoung Jung and Savannah McElhaney

“[Peabody’s MASS] was the quintessential event of the year in Baltimore. It was the perfect fusion of faith and fine arts. It was awesome to see two historic pillars in the community collaborate to produce an epic performance that left us all in awe and a euphoric feeling that we are One Baltimore!” — Tamba Giles Director of worship and arts, New Psalmist Baptist Church

“Not only is [MASS] a phenomenal piece of music, but it is Bernstein at his best explaining the human condition. And what better way to present it than a joint performance of students and community members. At a pivotal point, four students sitting in the audience around me stood up to sing the chorus. It blew me away!” — Barbara Bozzuto Vice Chair, Peabody Institute Advisory Board PEABODY




A New Dialogue By Richard Byrne Illustration by Stephanie Dalton Cowan

By attracting a steady stream of influential thinkers and artists, the Dean’s Symposium series is immersing students and faculty members in the national conversation about the future of classical music.


criticism can illuminate, explicate, Page is the latest cultural luminary to appear in and, yes, even castigate the work an ongoing series of dialogues hosted by Bronstein of performing musicians and composers. But Pulitzer at Peabody. Previous symposia have allowed stuPrize-winning critic Tim Page thinks of his work as dents and faculty a chance to hear from some of the “an autobiography of the heart.” most influential figures in classical music, including Page, who offered his reflections with Dean Fred pianist and composer Steven Hough, flautist Claire Bronstein at a recent symposium held at Peabody, is Chase, and acclaimed director of operas Peter Sellars. a preeminent writer who has championed new works Yet the symposia are not only focused on perforsince beginning his career in the late 1970s in New mance. The Peabody community has also gleaned York City. “I’ve had a chance to write about one of the insights about the tricky currents of the music arts I love profoundly,” he says, “and I’ve managed to business and administration from leaders includspeak my piece, and I’ve made mistakes.” ing Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presiThe number of full-time professional critics in dent Deborah Rutter, The New Yorker’s music writer the United States has plummeted, but Page says Alex Ross, and pioneering arts administrator Aaron that doesn’t mean that the discussion about music Dworkin, a Peabody Preparatory alumnus who is vanishing. “The internet has allowed people to founded the Sphinx Organization. be their own critics,” he observed. New websites of “As the oldest conservatory in the United States, and varying degrees of professionalism and focus allow as part of one of the world’s premier research univerobservers “to weigh in on performances and start a sities, I believe Peabody has an obligation to lead the real dialogue.” important national conversation about the future of Page, who taught a class on writing about music classical music, dance, and the performing arts genfor several years at Peabody, says professional criti- erally,” notes Bronstein. “We owe it to our students cism may not rebound, but “the dialogue will go on, and to the art we all love to explore the challenges much more intimate and much more thoughtful and opportunities we face in an ongoing, open, and than … when there was one big newspaper and one thoughtful dialogue. The level of the conversations critic and that critic’s word was considered the final we’ve hosted has been very high, and I’m pleased that word on something. It’s never the final word, and any such leaders in our field have agreed to share their honest critic will admit that.” insights through these symposiums.” 16



OPPOSITE: Dean Fred Bronstein and Tim Page PEABODY







“We are responsible for creating our world.” — Claire Chase WILL KIRK

Zane Forshee (MM ’01, GPD ’03, DMA ’11, Guitar), director of LAUNCHPad and a faculty member in the Guitar Department, observes that Bronstein’s symposia have introduced a new element into the dialogue at Peabody. “We didn’t have access to these sorts of speakers when I was a student,” he says. “The chance to ask them: ‘How did you think of this?’ The chance to have them listen to you.” Forshee adds that the talks also show the human side of success in music. “You see that these are people — people who have developed to the highest level, but who have also had the same struggles that I have.” Master’s voice candidate Hannah Noyes sees the symposia as “a wonderful way for us, the future of American music, to observe how successful musicians have built their careers. Feedback like this is so important as we young musicians break into the industry.” Page’s recent visit to Peabody also included a public conversation with Kay Redfield Jamison, Dalio Professor in Mood Disorders at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, about creativity and the autistic spectrum, titled “Gifted and Atypical.” Page was diagnosed with the autism spectrum disorder known for many years as Asperger’s syndrome when he was in his mid-40s. Jamison asked Page about the links between autism and creativity in his own work. “I am convinced my autism has been responsible for many of the ‘good things’ I’ve done in my life, as well as the really painful and awful things.” Looking back on negative reviews written early in his career, he added, “I notice a certain autistic tantrum going on. And I’m ashamed of it.”

ABOVE: Claire Chase and Dean Fred Bronstein BELOW: Bronstein and Steven Hough


Page’s engaging scholarship also has brought the work and lives of acclaimed 20th-century American artists such as author Dawn Powell and concert pianist Glenn Gould to wider audiences. In the symposium, Page described his friendship with the mercurial Gould, which began when the critic interviewed the reclusive pianist for the Soho News in 1980. “It was supposed to be a half hour interview,” he recalled. “It ended up being four hours.” He adds that autism might have helped spark a connection that saw two men talking for hours through the rest of their friendship. “I’m convinced that Glenn and I understood each other … because we both had a touch of autism,” Page continued. “He was very childlike. He presented this austere Master of the North image, but he was really like a brilliant 10- or 11-year-old.” Flourishing Amid Seismic Shifts The question of how younger artists can forge a career amid the profound shifts in culture and commerce over recent decades is a central thread in the Dean’s Symposium dialogues. Flautist and arts entrepreneur Claire Chase offered her audience reflections on the self-reliance and ABOVE: Peter Sellars self-determination she found in the words of composer Hildegard of Bingen: “We cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home.” His recipe for success? “You find a place that will let “We are responsible for creating our world,” Chase you play your music. You tell people about it. You use elaborated. “If we go into a world that has been inter- social media. You do cool things. This is Baltimore. preted for us by the academy, by the corporate world, All over Baltimore there are fantastic spaces where by our teachers, and even by our mentors, that’s not you can go and do something really interesting. You our world. Our world is the one we are creating and can make your own recordings. You can get them reinventing, and that we are responsible for.” online,” he said. “Just be entrepreneurs … Be the Eric Booth, author of The Music Teaching Artist’s aural equivalent of visionaries. Just go out and do it.” Bible, argued that the answer was in finding joyfulFor contemporary artists, Page urged that necessity ness in the journey. One piece of advice he had for is the mother of reinvention: “You have to remake the his Peabody audience was directed as much at faculty music business.” members who elevate competitive excellence over every other element of music education. Next Dean's Symposium “The etymology of the word ‘compete’ is not to ‘strive against,’ even though it’s interpreted that way in our Conrad Osborne culture. It is to ‘strive with,’” he noted. “The word came Author, Singer, and Voice Teacher from the original Olympic ideal, which was, you hold a running race because everyone ran faster within the Monday, April 15, at 12:30 pm context of a race. Everyone ups their game in a competCohen-Davison Family Theatre itive environment, rather than seeking to win.” Page’s observations on this question resonated Watch the live stream at: strongly with the Conservatory’s recently introduced Breakthrough Curriculum, which asks students to embrace new repertoires, create community, and Watch recordings of all Dean’s Symposium events: build increased capacity, savvy, and resilience to navi gate an increasingly challenging artistic environment. PEABODY




  E G A T S K


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Thousands of people come to Peabody every year to hear the mastery of our students and faculty artists. What most people don’t see are the inner workings of the institute. Johns Hopkins photographer Will Kirk (A&S BA ’99, English) takes us on a tour behind the scenes. Since graduating from Hopkins himself almost 20 years ago and working for Homewood Photography, Kirk has become Peabody’s unofficial resident documentarian. Our intrepid photographer will do whatever it takes to get the shot. From standing on theater seats, to climbing on ladders, and going above the ceilings. (He’s a professional, folks. Don’t try this at home — or at Peabody!)

Our first stop on this tour is backstage at Peabody’s largest performance space, the Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall. Kirk and Stage Coordinator Daniel Chaloux climb up a ladder to the fly rail system above the stage to demonstrate how the arbor pulley system works for lights and set pieces. Chaloux explains that “the battens (the bars that are going all the way across the stage) have cables that run up to the ceiling across several sets of pulleys and down to the arbor — a vertical block that we can add or subtract weights to.” The object, Chaloux says, is to balance what’s on the arbor versus what’s on the pipe in this entirely manual process. The arbors hold the weights while the levers unlock the rope to then pull the ropes. “If it’s in balance, then it’s easy to operate the rope,” he says.

Only visible from backstage is a Così fan Tutte sign from an old production, as well as a red heart from last spring’s production of Chérubin. For the past 30 years or so, Peabody stage crew has had a tradition of always keeping at least one large prop or scenic element of every opera. Those items are stashed and plastered all around the backstage area and piano maintenance workshop.








In the hallway between Cohen-Davison Family Theatre and Joe Byrd Hall, marimbas, timpani, and other drums are usually overflowing out of the nearby percussion studio. Inside the studio, one can see the variety of objects used by Peabody percussionists. Kirk’s eye is drawn to an eclectic collection of wind chimes, machine parts, flower pots, and tin cans. Another centerpiece in the studio is the marimba designed by percussion faculty artist Robert van Sice.

Our backstage tour continues with a view of the newest space at Peabody: the classroom for the Music for New Media program, which is led by Thomas Dolby. The studio is home to a variety of virtual and augmented reality tools and a control room-type console to work with video games and film. A Virtual Reality Club takes place on Wednesday evenings and is open to all Hopkins students.







Kirk next suggests we head into the ceiling of Leith Symington Griswold Hall (by way of secret passageways for authorized personnel only). With the glass ceiling of the George Peabody Library below and the actual skylight above, Kirk climbs a ladder into the empty attic space above Griswold. It’s dark and dusty — the place where you need to go to change lightbulbs for the hall. He gingerly steps across a “pathway” of boards stretching between the joists. Some of the ceiling structure is covered in cloth while other parts are left open. Another hidden view of the hall lies within the pipes of the organ. In 1998, the magnificent new Holtkamp organ was custom built for the hall, transforming the space. Today, a ladder behind the instrument takes Kirk onto the platform inside the organ where regular maintenance takes place.


Storage is at a premium in the 162-year institution, and there’s very little space to keep rarely needed equipment, furniture, and other supplies close at hand. In shooting one of the few attic spaces at Peabody, Kirk has a little fun with his reflection in an old chandelier. As always, he’s the face behind the camera.




Next stop: the roof of Peabody. Kirk has shot the annual Washington Monument lighting in Mount Vernon from this vantage point for years. There’s nothing quite like the sight of the monument and the architecture of the neighborhood from a bird’s eye view. The rooftop itself is pretty impressive with its balustrades and all-copper patina panels. From a certain angle, you can even see the dome of Johns Hopkins Hospital.




A LUM N I   N EWS Dear Alumni and Friends of Peabody, As president of the Society of Peabody Alumni, I have the honor of representing the Peabody Institute and all of you on the executive committee of the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Council. Our job on the council is to bring to fruition President Daniels’ vision of One Hopkins. Peabody has been part of the Hopkins family for more than 40 years, and we, as alumni, have access to all the same alumni benefits as other Hopkins divisions. One of those benefits is being able to stay in touch and network with fellow alumni. To that end, Peabody is still working with Publishing Concepts (pci) to update the emails, addresses, and phone numbers of alumni for the alumni directory project. We hope that you’ll take a few minutes to talk with pci and confirm your contact information. If you have any questions or concerns about the directory or the project, please reach out to the alumni office at I hope that you’ll save the dates for Peabody’s reunion activities: April 26, 27, and 28, 2019. In addition to special reunion activities, there

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Reunion Weekend will be


are several concerts scheduled that weekend, including one featuring the Prix d’Ete computer music competition winner and a Peabody Symphony Orchestra concert featuring Mahler 5 and the Macht Orchestral Composition Competition winner. A concert at the Hopkins Club, featuring pieces by three of this year’s JHU Alumni Association award winners — Zach Herchen (BM ’06, MM ’09, Saxophone; BM ’07, Recording Arts & Sciences), faculty artist Dan Trahey (BM ’00, Tuba, Music Education), and Vivian Adelberg Rudow (TC ’57, BM ’60, Piano; MM ’79, Composition) — and a lecture/recital by faculty artist Clinton Adams (MM ’83, Piano) will take place on Saturday. Keep an eye out for your invitation. In 2018, we were sad to see the departure of two valued employees in the Office of Constituent Engagement — Debbie Kennison and Leslie Proctor (MM ’13, Voice). Debbie was with the Peabody Institute for 17 years and rose through the ranks to be its director of constituent engagement, alumni relations, and the annual fund. In January, she joined the Johns Hopkins School of

Education as director of constituent engagement. Leslie is a Peabody graduate who had been working in the development and constituent engagement areas for just over five years. In November, Leslie joined the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as an associate director of alumni relations. Peabody’s External Relations team is working quickly to fill both of these positions. At the end of last year, we also lost a dear colleague and friend when Rebecca Polgar (GPD ’95, MM ’97, Trumpet) passed away. Rebecca was an alumna of Peabody and a member of the Peabody staff since 1997, serving as director of financial aid since 2010. She also served on the executive committee of the Peabody alumni association and was an active supporter of the Society of Peabody Alumni. She is dearly missed.

Braphus Kaalund (BM ’02, Trumpet) President, Society of Peabody Alumni

Congratulations to this year’s Johns Hopkins Alumni Association Award winners! Johns Hopkins University Heritage Award Allan (A&S BA ’65; Med MD ’68) and Claire Jensen, Friends of Peabody Paul Matlin (BM ’70, MM ’72, Viola; Bus BS ’81, Mathematics; ENGR MS ’84, Computer Science)

Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Alumni Award


Vivian Adelberg Rudow (TC ’57, BM ’60, Piano; MM ’79, Composition)


Johns Hopkins University Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

For more information, visit

Zachary Herchen (BM ’06, MM ’09, Saxophone; BM ’07, Recording Arts & Sciences)

Johns Hopkins University Community Hero Award Daniel Trahey (BM ’00, Tuba, Music Education)





Thanks in part to Jacomo Bairos (GPD ’11, Conducting), Miami is enjoying a major addition to its cultural renaissance. As the co-founder and conductor of Nu Deco Ensemble, a contemporary chamber orchestra, Bairos is helping to make live classical performance more accessible to new audiences at eclectic venues — and enriching the arts scene in South Florida. The ensemble performs mostly sold-out concerts of their reimagined, cross-collaborative music inspired by a breadth of genres, including classical, pop, jazz, world music, hip-hop, and soul. who was commissioned to create and What’s a typical Nu Deco experiperform Improvisations in EO9066. ence? One concert in a black boxThrough music, field recordings, turned-arts space might take its and visuals that play on five separate audience on a symphonic journey screens, the piece explores the 1942 through the music of Stevie Wonder, presidential executive order that led Vivaldi, Bernstein, Aretha Franklin, to Japanese internment. and Daft Punk — performed by an “It’s really important to us that we orchestra of at least 30 musicians. create new concepts,” says Bairos. Multimedia components might “We have a very collaborative process include DJs, hip-hop dancers, and that creates exciting new art, which digital visual mapping that’s prosupports artists in our community.” jected onto screens in coordination Bairos is especially proud of Nu with new compositions. Deco’s commitment to South Florida. “Nu Deco Ensemble collaborates The group runs a free concert with sound engineers, digital visual series at the Seminole Theater in artists, dancers, poets, songwriters Homestead for area schools. “This — artists you don’t typically see with is just a couple miles from where I an orchestra,” says Bairos. One of the grew up and went to high school,” he ensemble’s collaborators is indiesays. “No orchestra comes down to pop-singer and violinist Kishi Bashi,


New Concepts, New Connections this area of Florida, and we are the first major ensemble in 40 years to do so. We perform for these kids, for the immigrant and migrant communities that exist here. We aim to build new audiences for the future.” “We’re breaking down barriers in classical music,” he says. Having had a career as a tuba player, performing with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony, Bairos has worked all over the world, from Shanghai to Spain to Singapore. But he considers Miami his home. “At the end of the day, I’m still a South Florida boy through and through. Being back here in my home creating something from the heart has been a dream.” Nu Deco Ensemble is in its fourth season and going strong. “We have a very loyal and quickly growing fan base,” says Bairos. The ensemble has strong Peabody connections: orchestra members include Mia Barcia-Colombo (BM ’11, Cello), Gabriel Colby (BM ’10, Trombone), Scott Nadelson (BM ’11, Trumpet), Svet Stoyanov (BM ’03, GPD ’05, Percussion), and Aleksandr “Sasha” Zhuk (GPD ’99, Violin). “People are really gravitating to our relevant presentations,” says Bairos. —— Christine Grillo See excerpts from the Nu Deco Ensemble:

The Society of Black Alumni Reception The Society of Black Alumni hosted a reception in November at the Hotel Indigo for students, faculty, and staff.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Staff member Donna Cureton; Bryan Young (BM ’96, Bassoon); JHU Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer Fenimore Fisher; Phyllis Harris-Bronson (BM ’67, Music Education)

ABOVE LEFT: Faculty artists Wendel Patrick and Zane Forshee (MM ’01, GPD ’03, DMA ’11, Guitar) ABOVE RIGHT: Brittani McNeill (GPD ’15, Voice)

LEFT TO RIGHT: Freshman horn student Maxwell Arceneaux; master’s voice student Cierra Byrd, voice undergraduate Kevin Paton-Cole PEABODY



DEPA RTM ENT  N EWS Peabody student, faculty, and alumni news all in one place, sorted by department to make it easier for you to find your colleagues and classmates.

Jake Leckie (MA ’08, Audio Sciences)

released his debut album in January. The album, The Abode, brings together a wide range of musicians from across the country and displays many different styles and ideas about music.

Kate Wagner (MA ’18, Audio Sciences)

was published in an article in The Atlantic called “How Restaurants Got So Loud” in November. She was then interviewed on npr’s Marketplace by Kai Ryssdal in December about restaurant design.

Roc Xu (MM ’18, Audio Sciences) is the

assistant director of recording service at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

BR A S S The Melodica Men — Joe Buono (BM ’13, MM ’15, Bass Trombone) and Tristan Lane Clarke (’12, Trumpet) — performed a concert in Vilnius, Lithuania, in August, as part of Accordion Music Week. They were also featured on Lithuanian National Television as part of their ongoing celebration of the Centennial of the Restored State of Lithuania.

Josh Ganger (MM ’14, Trumpet) was

named visiting assistant professor of trumpet at The University of Akron School of Music in Akron, Ohio.

Daniel Kassteen (MM ’99, Trumpet)

joined the Sarasota Orchestra as co-principal trumpet in January.

Matthew Minhyuk Kim (GPD ’08, Trumpet) received a Global Music Awards silver medal for outstanding achievement. Global Music Awards help to launch the careers of outstanding emerging musicians from around the world. Sahffi Lynne (BM ’93, French Horn) and

three other singer-songwriters performed in December in Baltimore for a fundraiser for Songwriters Against Sexual Assault (sasa). She travelled last summer to Peru where she played with her band OverGlow at El Festival de Musica Medicina.

Stephen A. Slater (GPD ’15, Horn)

accepted a one-year fourth horn position with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra for




the 2018–19 season. He also completed a one-year second horn position with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra the previous season. Faculty artist Dan Trahey (BM ’00, Tuba, Music Education) was in Chile in January leading composition workshops with the National Youth Orchestra of Chile and the Global Leaders Program for the second annual 10-day El Sistema Educators Bootcamp.

C O MP O SITIO N Composer and faculty artist Judah Adashi (MM ’02, DMA ’11, Composition)

won Best Song in Baltimore Magazine’s 2018 Best of Baltimore issue. Invocation: Dear Baltimore is a collaboration with Erricka Bridgeford of Baltimore Ceasefire, an organization committed to reducing the murder rate in Baltimore.

Carlos Bandera (MM ’17, Composition)

was awarded the 2018 Underwood Commission from the American Composers Orchestra (ACO) for his work Lux in Tenebris. This is a $15,000 commission for a work to be premiered by aco in a future season.

Charles Halka (BM ’06, Piano; MM ’08, Composition, Music Theory Pedagogy) was granted a 2019 Barlow Endowment General Commission to write a new work for flute, clarinet, and percussion for Ónix Ensemble. Viet Cuong (BM ’11, MM ’12, Composition) also won a commission from the Barlow Endowment for the Poulenc Trio. Senior Atticus Hebson, composition, and junior Mofan Lai, tenor, were awarded Provost’s Undergraduate Research Awards (pura). Hebson’s project, “Bringing the Music of Laurence Crane to Baltimore,” and Lai’s, “Is Performing Different from Playing?” have been awarded $3,000 fellowships and will be presented in the spring. See Michael Hersch in HEADLINERS (p. 3) and Vocal Studies

Chesley Kahmann (’58, Composition)

has released a new recording, Long Live and Love. This recording is Volume XII of The Kahmann Touch series of songs by Kahmann sung by The Interludes, Kahmann’s long-time singing group.

See Benjamin Buchanan in Strings See Douglas Buchanan in Vocal Accompanying

Sergio Cervetti (BM ’67, Composition) released a new album, PARALLEL REALMS — XXI Century Works for Orchestra, in March. This is the eighth Cervetti Navona Records album and features spellbinding 21st-century works for orchestra. Doctoral candidate Zach Gulaboff Davis, composition, was named the winner of Colorado Piano Trio’s Composition Competition and was selected for a performance at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall alongside a full program of standard piano trio repertoire. Faculty artist Du Yun, composition, was nominated for a Grammy in Best Contemporary Classical Composition for “Air Glow.” Her new album, Dinosaur Scar, a collaboration with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ice), was also named one of The New Yorker’s Top Ten Notable Recordings for 2018.

Amy Beth Kirsten (DMA ’10,



Composition) will join the composition faculty of the highSCORE Festival in Pavia, Italy, in August. She also will return to the Mizzou International Composers Festival (micf) to serve as one of two distinguished guest composers during the festival in July.

Also see Amy Beth Kirsten in Woodwinds

Mark Lackey (MM ’02, DMA ’09, Composition) released his debut album, Fairy Tale, in November. The album features Caleb Vaughn-Jones (PC ’06, Cello), Mark Edwards (MM ’09, GPD ’11, Guitar), Marissa LaBant (BM ’04, Flute), and faculty artist Edward Tetreault (MM ’05, Recording Arts) as recording engineer.


See Patricia Melcher Bissell in Piano

MARCH 29 & 30


See Timothy Nelson in Vocal Studies

APRIL 12-14

Faculty composer Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night made its Washington National Opera premiere. Preparatory voice faculty artist Daniel Neer sang French Soldier #1 in the production at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater.



The Secret of the Sea by Jake Runestad (MM ’11, Composition; MM ’12, Music Theory Pedagogy) premiered at the Sydney Opera House in July. His Rivers of Air was commissioned by a consortium of 17 university wind ensembles and was premiered in November by the Capital University Wind Ensemble. Composer Daniel Reza Sabzghabaei (MM ’17, Composition) was selected to participate in the Choral Art Program at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta, Canada. He also worked with Pro Coro Canada, conducted by Michael Zaugg, composer Tarik O’Regan, and Swedish conductor Lone Larsen.




Master’s candidate Misael Tambuwun, composition, was chosen to be a residency composer for the Jakarta City Philharmonic. There, he received a world premiere of his orchestral piece, Insidious, professional recordings, lectures, and advertising in August.

Gu Wei (MM ’17, Composition) and Mi Zhou (MM ’18, Organ) were selected

as one of four composer/organist pairs by the American Guild of Organists (ago) for their Student Commissioning Project 2019. The pair will produce a new organ piece to be premiered in the spring.

James Young (DMA ’14, Composition), Tyrone Page (BM ’16, MM ’18 Saxophone; BM ’16, Music Education), and Matthew Sullivan (BM ’17, Computer Music) released an album, True Fluorescent Skeleton, in October on Ehse Records.





Official Internet Provider of the BSO: Xfinity Comcast • Presenting Sponsors: M&T Bank | BGE, An Exelon Company






Jacomo Bairos (GPD ’11, Conducting)

made his conducting debut with the San Francisco Symphony in November. He also conducted the Fort Worth Symphony in November. In January, he traveled to Singapore to conduct the Singapore Symphony Orchestra for their Rock in 60 Minutes concert.

Petrit Çeku (GPD ’11, Guitar) and Lukasz Kuropaczewski (GPD ’05,

Guitar) were appointed faculty members at Kunst Universität Graz in Austria. Çeku was also the featured classical artist in the “Night of the Proms” concerts on mainland Europe, which can draw upward of 25,000 concertgoers. See Mark Edwards in Composition Doctoral candidate Isaac Greene, guitar, was hired as the manager of the Baltimore School of Music. In addition to teaching a guitar studio, he will be running the day-to-day operations of the school. GPD candidate Andrea Gonzalez Caballero, guitar, was selected to per-


form at the Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona, Spain, in October. She performed works by Clerch, Rodrigo, Manjón, and Albéniz in The First Palau series.

Doctoral candidate Nell Flanders, orchestral conducting, was named the new assistant conductor with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. Flanders will serve as cover conductor for pso Music Director Rossen Milanov and be an integral member of the pso artistic team.

Last June, José Manuel Lezcano (BM ’81, Guitar) performed a solo recital of Iberoamerican works for guitar, at Convento de San Agusti, by invitation of the Barcelona Festival of Song. In July, he gave a lecture recital at the international Animamusic Congresso de Organologia, in Caldas de Reinha, Portugal.

See Cynthia Katsarelis in Strings

Ben Lougheed (BM ’13, Guitar) served

Jason Love (BM ’92, Cello; MM ’94,

Conducting) celebrated his 20th anniversary of conducting Maryland's Columbia Orchestra at a February concert featuring Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, which was the first piece Love conducted with the orchestra. In December, master’s student Jonathan Rush, conducting, and Clifton Guidry (BM ’18, Bassoon) joined the Nairobi Philharmonic Orchestra in their full-length performance of The Nutcracker at the Kenyan National Theatre. Proceeds from this unique collaboration were donated toward scholarships for underprivileged Kenyan youth to pursue their education in dance.

DA N CE Faculty artist and dance chair danah bella was named one of The Baltimore Sun’s 25 Women to Watch in 2018. The feature highlighted the new dance program at Peabody and the expertise and experience bella brings to it.




as director for the Florida Guitar Festival, a weekend-long event in October that included concerts, master classes, lectures, workshops, a guitar orchestra, and a four-division competition at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla.

James Lowe (MM ’09, GPD ’12, Guitar) was elected to the board of directors of the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society.

HI STO RICA L PERF O RM A N C E Brian Kay (BM ’13, MM ’15, Lute) was

named the first artistic leadership fellow for Apollo’s Fire and core member. He has guest-directed the ensemble several times and performed on plucked instruments. Kay was also appointed instructor of lute in the Historical Performance Department at Case Western Reserve University.

JA ZZ Devin Gray (BM ’06, Jazz Percussion)

and his band Dringo Rataplan released a new recording, Dringo Rataplan II, in September and toured in the United States and Europe.

Mark G. Meadows (BM ’11, GPD ’13, Jazz Piano; A&S BA ’11, Psychology) released the new single, “Superstition,” in September. He also served as music director for several shows at the Signature Theatre.

L IB ER A L A RTS Liberal arts faculty member Jelena Runić gave a workshop presentation, “The Power of Universal Grammar: Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Secondary Education,” at the 51st annual meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (sle) at Tallinn University, Estonia. In July, she also conducted a guest workshop at the University of Banja Luka, a public university in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

M USIC EDUCATIO N Russ “Rusty” Ebersole (BM ’82, Music Education) was sworn in as the newest member of the New York Guard 89th Army Band at Camp Smith, N.Y., in July. Ebersole is also a member of The Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps Symphonic and Marching Band and a substitute trumpeter for the Westchester Symphonic Winds. See Tyrone Page in Composition See Dan Trahey in Brass

M USIC TEC H N O LO GY Peabody faculty artist Thomas Dolby, head of the Music for New Media program, delivered the keynote address during the opening ceremonies of the Audio Engineering Society’s New York 2018 International Convention in October. See Zach Herchen in Woodwinds

Bijan Olia (BM ’11, MM ’12, Computer Music) premiered his piece Streicher, Tasti et Bizarreries for piano quartet, melodica, and toy piano at the Theatricum Botanicum in September in a concert presented by Composer Collective in Topanga, Calif. See Matthew Sullivan in Composition See Edward Tetreault in Composition

M USIC TH EO RY See Benjamin Buchanan in Strings

See Douglas Buchanan in Vocal Accompanying In November, music theory faculty artist

Vern Falby and some of his Peabody

students presented on the implications for common-practice tonal design of Bach’s "Aria," from the Goldberg Variations, at East China Normal University in Shanghai and at Soochow University in Suzhou. See Charles Halka in Composition See Jake Runestad in Composition

O RG AN Faculty artist Jeremy Filsell, organ, was named the new organist and director of music at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. In December, Felix Hell (AD ’07, MM ’08, DMA ’16, Organ) released his 12th CD, Poetic Visions, featuring romantic organ music by German composers. It was recorded on the historic 1902 E.F. Walcker Organ in Lüdenscheid, Germany. Master’s candidate Jordan Prescott, organ, presented a recital featuring works by Bach, Franck, Johannes Matthias Michel, and Messiaen at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., in March. Prescott played the cathedral’s 10,650-pipe great organ for this concert. See Mi Zhou in Composition

P IA N O See Kathryn E. Ananda-Owens in Vocal Accompanying

Jennifer Nicole Campbell (BM ’14, Piano) premiered Ancestral Echoes, which was a commission from Mélomanie. The Academy of International Ballet, where Campbell is composer in residence, premiered her piece Portal at Neumann University and featured original choreography. She also founded the Adult Piano Festival at the Music School of Delaware. Faculty artist Leon Fleisher, piano, presented a concert at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater on February 9 in celebration of his 90th birthday. He was joined by Katherine Jacobson (BM '81, Piano) and Jonathan Biss in performing works by Bach, Beethoven, Leon Kirchner, and Mozart. See Charles Halka in Composition

Robert Hitz (BM ’82, Piano) married John C. Wilson in August. The ceremony was held in Pikesville, Md., and featured original music by Hitz’s students and an original poem by Wilson’s colleague. Martin David Jones (MM ’90, DMA ’93, Piano) released an album, Gulda Piano Music, in April, receiving positive reviews from MusicWeb International, ClassicalModern Music Review, and Gramophone. See Bonghee Lee in Strings Master’s candidate Narae Lee, piano, won the International Young Artist Piano Competition in Washington, D.C., in August. She performed on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center. Pianist Jenny Lin (A&S BA ’94, German; AD ’98, Piano) was joined by soprano Marlissa Hudson (MM ’01, Voice) and violinist Cornelius Dufallo in an homage to pianist/composer Artur Schnabel in November at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., as part of the Library of Congress Concert Series. Classroom Keyboard: Play and Create Melodies with Chords by Patricia Melcher Bissell (TC ’59, BM ’60, Piano; BM ’64, Composition) was published by the National Association for Music Education through Rowman & Littlefield. In January, faculty artist Benjamin Pasternack, piano, and violinist Netanel Draiblate (MM ’07, GPD ’09, Violin) performed in a PostClassical Ensemble mega-event at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. that included both Javanese and Balinese gamelan with dancers and archival films. See Lois Svard in Vocal Accompanying

Sheila Vail (BM ’77, MM ’82, Piano) was chosen as a Music Teachers National Association Foundation Fellow Nominee by the Ohio Music Teachers Association. Vail was honored at the National Conference in Spokane, Wash., in March. Yael Weiss (BM ’94, Piano) debuted

her new commissioning project at the Strathmore Mansion in January. The project, called 32 Bright Clouds: Beethoven Conversations Around the World, paired the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas with 32 newly commissioned short piano compositions from 32 composers from different countries around the globe.

STEINWAY. YAMAHA. [ YOUR NAME HERE ] With your gift to the Piano Excellence Fund, you can add your name to the quality instruments our outstanding faculty and students use for practice and performance every day. The Piano Department at Peabody has a long tradition of excellence dating back to the days of Arthur Friedheim, a student of Franz Liszt, and continuing to this day, with its world-renowned faculty artists and their international competition-winning students. The Piano Excellence Fund was created to support this legacy of excellence by funding the replacement and ongoing maintenance of nearly 200 pianos across campus.

To learn more about naming a piano and other creative ways to support the Peabody Institute, contact: Alethea Schmall Office of External Relations 667-208-6550




In October, John Wilson (BM ’10, MM ’12, GPD ’14, Piano) appeared as pianist with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra on its Carnegie Hall tour, playing Stravinsky’s Petrushka.

Faculty artist Amit Peled, cello, released his latest album, Bach Suites Volume 1, in February on CTM Classics. He also taught at the Manchester Music Festival last summer and read his children’s book, A Cello Named Pablo, on American Public Radio’s Classical Kids Storytime and Baltimore’s wypr.

The winners of Peabody’s Harrison Winter Piano Competition were announced. Chengcheng Yao won a first prize of $1,000 and will play with a Peabody orchestra during the 2019–20 academic year. He played Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major, Sz. 95. Eugene Chan won a second prize of $500.

Sidney Yin (DMA ’12, Piano) was appointed general manager at Mainly Mozart in San Diego, Calif. He works with Music Director Michael Francis and Executive Director Nancy Laturno.


Dorotea Racz (BM ’10, MM ’11, Cello) was appointed to a new position as adjunct professor of cello at the George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Additionally, Racz teaches cello and chamber music at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Yotam Baruch (MM ’07, Cello) won the

assistant principal cellist position at the Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal in Germany.

Frances Borowsky (MM ’13, Cello) and Everett Suttle (BM ’83, Voice)

Preparatory violin student Olivia Chen, a student of Herbert Greenberg and member of the Pre-Conservatory Violin Program, won second place in the second Ilona Fehér International Violin Competition, which was held in Budapest in July.

performed at Carnegie Hall in December. The concert was a celebration of the 125th anniversary of Antonín Dvořák’s American premiere.

See Daniel Neer in Composition

Peabody graduate student Josef Fischer, viola, was a part of the New York String Orchestra Seminar, a 10-day orchestral seminar in December, presented by the Mannes School of Music.

Preparatory soprano Laura Stanell, who studies with Carol Cavey-Miles, was the first-place winner in the senior division for voice at the aams International Competition in October in Bethesda, Md. In November, she participated in the Schmidt Vocal Competition in New York, where she was selected as a finalist and also named best sophomore.

ST R IN GS Najette Abouelhadi (BM ’17, Cello), Benjamin Buchanan (MM ’14, Composition; MM ’15, Music Theory Pedagogy), Cynthia Katsarelis (BM ’85, Violin; MM ’87, Conducting), Lauren Vanden Broeck (MM ’18, Voice), and senior Thomas Swain, voice, traveled to Haiti last summer and taught at the Holy Trinity Music School. Graduate student Najette Abouelhadi (BM ’17, Cello) accepted new positions with the Chicago Civic Orchestra and the Chicago Sinfonietta. Allison Drenkow (BM ’14, Cello) holds a oneyear position in the cello section of the Colorado Symphony. Both studied with Alan Stepansky.




See Netanel Draiblate in Piano

L’abri Trio — doctoral candidates Bonghee Lee, piano; Kenny Baik, saxophone; and Mauricio Rey Gallego, cello — was selected a finalist at the Pro Musicis International Award competition. The finals took place in New York in October. The trio also released its first CD, Trois Couleurs.

Jennifer Kim (BM ’16, MM ’18, Viola)

won a section violist position with York Symphony. Current GPD candidate Hyunjung Song (MM ’18, Viola) was offered the sub position.

Charlene Kluegel (MM ’11, GPD

’12, Violin) was announced as a North American Featured Artist with Larsen Strings. She studied with Pamela Frank during her time at Peabody. See Jason Love in Conducting

Michael Newman (MM ’18, Cello)

won a position in the cello section of the Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey. Newman studied with Alan Stepansky and was a fellow at the Manchester Music Festival. Additionally, he is a teacher, recording artist, and chamber musician.

Master’s candidate Patrick Raynard, double bass, joined the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra as a section bass member.

Martin Sher (BM ’96, Violin) was

named senior vice president for artistic planning and programs for the New World Symphony. Sher has a number of responsibilities in this role, including direct work with Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas.

Colin Sorgi (BM ’09, GPD ’13, Violin)

joined the viola section of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Sorgi was previously the concertmaster and director of chamber programs at the National Philharmonic, in residence at the Music Center at Strathmore. See Caleb Vaughn-Jones in Composition

Molly Wilkens-Reed (MM ’18, Viola Performance/Pedagogy) accepted a job with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University as director of the Virginia Tech string project and music elective instructor.

VO CA L AC C O M PA N Y IN G Faculty artist Eileen Cornett, vocal accompanying, was a featured performer at the College Music Society’s 2018 national conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, in October. Theory faculty artist Douglas Buchanan (MM ’08, Composition, Music Theory Pedagogy; DMA ’13, Composition), Kathryn E. AnandaOwens (MM ’93, DMA ’98, Piano), and Lois Svard (DMA ’91, Piano) also participated in the conference. Also see Eileen Cornett in Vocal Studies

Celeste Marie Johnson (MM ’14, Vocal Accompanying) was selected from among hundreds of applicants as the sole pianist and coach for Opera Saratoga’s 2019 Young Artist Program, one of the oldest and most in-demand young artist programs in the country.

In November, Ah Young Hong (BM ’98, MM ’01, Voice) made her directing debut in a performance of On the Threshold of Winter by Michael Hersch (BM ’95, MM ’97, Composition) at the Corcoran Music Festival. Hong also performed the piece again in Chicago and Salt Lake City.

Peyson Moss (MM ’16, Ensemble Arts: Vocal Accompanying) was invited to participate in Renee Fleming’s inaugural SongStudio program at Carnegie Hall in January 2019.

See Mofan Lai in Composition

VO CA L STU DIE S Tenor William Davenport (BM ’11, Voice), soprano Melissa Wimbish (GPD ’11, Voice; GPD ’14, Chamber Music), and faculty artist Eileen Cornett, vocal accompanying, performed in the Music in the Valley concert series in December.

Claudia Friedlander (MM ’95, Clarinet, Voice) released her first book Complete Vocal Fitness: A Singer’s Guide to Physical Training, Anatomy, and Fitness in June. Friedlander, a voice teacher and fitness trainer based in New York City, has pioneered the concept of sport-specific training for singers and adapted principles of biomechanics and motor learning to accelerate progress in the voice studio. Soprano Annie Gill (GPD ’08, Voice) made her company debut as Fräulein Schneider in the musical Cabaret with the Annapolis Shakespeare Company. She also performed the role of The Mother in Amahl and The Night Visitors with New Moon Theater and appeared as a soloist in Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín with the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Chorale. Faculty artist Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano, was featured in a January broadcast on pbs’ Great Performances of her performance in Doubt at the Minnesota Opera. Graves portrayed the pivotal role of Mrs. Miller in the 2013 production.

Pamela Hay (BM ’99, MM ’00, Voice) played Mimì in the U.K. national tour of the Soho Theatre’s Olivier Award-winning production of La Bohème. She also appeared as featured artist at London’s famous Pizza Express Jazz Club in a night of the music of Jacques Brel and Edith Piaf. See Marlissa Hudson in Piano

Pamela Stein Lynde (MM ’07, Voice)

had her composition From the Mountain featured on American Public Media’s Performance Today in October. She has also been a part of American Opera Projects’ Composers and the Voice Workshop for the last year, with a segment of her opera in progress, The Interaction Effect, performed at the end of September. Soprano Christine Lyons (MM ’16, Voice) won the grand prize in the Mary Trueman Art Song Competition and will be presented in recital in New York in May. She also won a grant award from The Gerda Lissner Foundation in their Song/ Lieder Competition in November. In January, Rob McGinness (MM ’17, Voice) performed in and recorded Frances Pollock’s (MM ’15, Voice)

opera Stinney: An American Execution. McGinness will join Arizona Opera as a member of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio in its 2019–20 season. McGinness appeared in Washington National Opera’s Eugene Onegin and was the baritone soloist in the Brahms’ A German Requiem at the Kennedy Center. The In Series’ production of “Viva V.E.R.D.I.: The Promised End,” with text and conceptual realization by the group’s artistic director Timothy Nelson (BM ’04, Composition), featured alumni Natalie Conte (MM ’06, Voice), John T.K. Scherch (MM ’17, Voice/Pedagogy), and Teresa Ferrara (MM ’18, Voice). Outcalls band, comprised of Britt Olsen-Ecker (BM ’09, Voice) and Melissa Wimbish (GPD ’11, Voice; GPD

’14, Chamber Ensemble), and their latest song “Keep Falling Over” topped wtmd’s Top 89 Songs of 2018 list. The songs were chosen by listeners’ votes.

Tia Price (MM ’14, Voice) was named director of programs for Wide Angle Youth Media last summer. The organization offers creative youth development programs for children in Baltimore City.

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In September, Alex Rosen (BM ’14, Voice) won second prize in the Hugo-Wolf Akademie International Competition in Stuttgart, Germany. In November, voice faculty artist

William Sharp performed a recital of songs with texts by Walt Whitman with the PostClassical Ensemble.

See Marissa LaBant in Composition

See Thomas Swain in Strings

See Tyrone Page in Composition

See Lauren Vanden Broeck in Strings

Christian Paquette, flute, won first

published an article on the use of digital technology in repertoire opera for The Conversation.

WOO DWIN DS See Kenny Baik in Strings

Leela Breithaupt (BM ’93, MM ’96,

Flute) was appointed as president and ceo of IndyBaroque Music Inc.


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Zéphyros Winds, which features Fatma Daglar (MM ’95, GPD ’97, Oboe), played at the International Double Reed Society conference in Granada, Spain, where they premiered David Sanford’s new work, Tatu. Woodwinds chair Alexander Fiterstein, clarinet, completed a residency at the New World Symphony in Miami in December, where he worked with clarinet fellows, coached chamber music, and performed the Mozart Clarinet Quintet with NWS musicians.

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the University of Texas-Austin’s annual Brass/Wind/Percussion Concerto Competition in November. He performed Florent Schmitt’s Legende for alto saxophone and orchestra and will have the opportunity to perform this rarely staged concerto with the UT orchestra.

See Everett Suttle in Strings

Caitlin Vincent (MM ’09, Voice)


Kyle Jones (MM ’18, Saxophone) won

New Thread Quartet, a saxophone ensemble featuring Zach Herchen (BM ’07, MM ’09, Saxophone; BM ’06, Recording Arts), was awarded a 2018 Classical Commissioning grant by Chamber Music America. The quartet will commission a new 20-minute work by Amy Beth Kirsten (DMA ’10, Composition). Master’s candidate Andrew Im, clarinet, was chosen as second place winner of the American Protégé International Woodwinds and Brass Competition 2018. As a prize winner, he will make his Carnegie Hall debut in April.

prize of $1,500 in Peabody’s Yale Gordon Competition and will play with the orchestra during the 2019-20 academic year. Drew Dardis, flute, was awarded a second prize of $750, and Jay Shankar, clarinet, was awarded the third prize of $500.

Anna-Christina Phillips (BM ’08,

Clarinet) was promoted to associate dean of entrepreneurial musicianship at the New England Conservatory. She also teaches arts marketing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. IN MEMORIAM

Saryana Lebedev

Preparatory piano faculty artist

Rebecca Polgar

(GPD ’95, MM ’97, Trumpet) Director of Financial Aid

Lydia Walton Ignacio Russo (MM ’61, AD ’62, Piano)

Georgia Tangires

(BM ’53, Music Education)

George Walker

Former Conservatory composition faculty artist

Dexter Weikel

(DMA '77, Organ)

Randal Woodfield (DMA ‘93, Voice)

FA N FA R E Supporting Music With a Sense of Purpose “The arts have the power to shape society, to give us a sense of purpose.” Equal parts personal creed and public mission, Nancy Grasmick’s words have inspired her storied career in education — she was state superintendent for Maryland Schools from 1991 to 2011 — and her recent $1 million pledge for Peabody’s innovative new Breakthrough Curriculum. The Breakthrough Curriculum, which is required of every undergraduate music student and combines traditional performance training, career development, and citizen artistry, is educating a new type of conservatory graduate, one Grasmick says will be able to “integrate the arts into any endeavor and [experience] the impact of the arts in every field.” For Grasmick (Ph.D. ’80, Education), arts education pivots on opportunity and access. “Having artists develop practical skills in entrepreneurship

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Hear Peabody student Zachary Grim’s experience with the Breakthrough Curriculm:

and in using the arts in all kinds of diverse ways, we create citizens who are engaging people in our state and country. This isn’t about coming to Peabody. It’s about Peabody going out into the community,” she says. Grasmick has served on the Peabody Institute Advisory Board since 2013, but her association with Peabody actually began when she studied piano as a child in the Preparatory, where she currently continues to study the harp. Early training in thinking creatively helped spark a career noted for innovation. The first female state school superintendent, she led Maryland’s public schools to a national #1 ranking (Education Week, 2009–2013). At the Kennedy Krieger Institute, where she is president of the board and a faculty member, she co-directs a pioneering fellowship program that prepares administrators as leaders in



Friedberg Society members may reserve specific seats for performances in Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall. The Friedberg Society honors Peabody’s annual donors of $1,000 or more. To learn more, contact Anni Leff, Assistant Director of Development, at 667-208-6553 or

special education. (Her first teaching students chose — Mondawmin Mall, job was working with hearinglocated in the neighborhood so impaired children in Baltimore’s hard hit in the wake of the death of William S. Baer School.) Freddie Gray — was as intentional as With her generous Peabody gift, their chosen focus for the concert: Grasmick continues to steer educaexpressing emotions through music. tion toward a needed new course. After meeting with community lead“The Breakthrough Curriculum ers in West Baltimore and through is redefining higher education for their own group planning and 21st-century artists in America. research, the musicians discovered Given her long and distinguished that children were not being exposed career as an education leader, Nancy to different types of music, particuGrasmick’s gift takes on even greater larly live performances. “Emotions meaning, demonstrating a firm belief are such an important part of music,” in Peabody’s academic direction and explains voice and musicology masthe importance of this work,” says ter’s student Henry Hubbard. “We Peabody Dean Fred Bronstein. “We wanted to create a program about the could not be more grateful to Nancy role of emotions in music and how for her wonderful support.” the children can listen for them.” As far as Grasmick is concerned, They chose nine pieces rich in emothere is no time to waste. “I am contion — including the lush cello solo, cerned about the future of community “Swan,” from Carnival of Animals by interest in the arts,” she says. Camille Saint-Saëns — and, using The Breakthrough Curriculum’s emojis printed on the program, cutting-edge approach teaches encouraged their young audience to artists a new flexibility and mindset circle what emotions they were hearto expand and build new audiences ing in the music. The group also led and musicians. Launched in fall the enthusiastic audience in a ren2017 and already receiving national dition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” attention, the program infuses its and post-performance, the children citizen artistry component with colplayed the instruments and spoke laboration, entrepreneurial thinking, with each Peabody artist. and leadership skills. “How you feel about your own As students progress through the music when you are practicing the curriculum, they develop and implesame two bars over and over again is ment a community-based, mentored very different from when you can see project. Initiatives have included your work reflected in a child’s face,” performances at several branches of Hubbard reflects. “The Breakthrough the Enoch Pratt Library, city schools Curriculum reaffirms what I believe including Mary Ann Winterling, Druid — no matter what musicians’ goals Heights Community Development are for music, they need to use it for a Corporation, the Walters Art Museum, social good. Music suffers if it is kept Black Cherry Puppet Theater, and in an elite, conservatory setting.” Penn Station. Grasmick concurs: “I was excited It was at one such student-led perabout this because it was so tailored formance in October that Grasmick’s to the community. Many of the support for the Breakthrough young people who watched have Curriculum was catalyzed, she talents, and [these performances] can says. For their community outreach influence them in important ways. project, seven students planned, That’s why I love the Breakthrough rehearsed, and executed an interCurriculum. I want our students and active performance in collaborathe communities they’re serving to tion with community nonprofits know what the possibilities are for Touchpoint and K.E.Y.S. Empowers. the arts and for artists.” The performance location the —— Sarah Achenbach PEABODY



Members of the Johns Hopkins community gathered on October 11, 2018, to celebrate the close of Rising to the Challenge: The Campaign for Johns Hopkins. RIGHT: Master’s voice student JeongWook Han performs “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s Turandot to a Peabody Symphony Orchestra recording on the screens at the event.

ABOVE: Graduate voice students Madeline Huss and Abigail Hart perform an excerpt from Strauss' Die Fledermaus to a recorded performance of the PSO at the celebration.

BELOW: Dean Fred Bronstein, with piab member David Warnock, spoke at the event.

ABOVE: Master’s student Samantha Hornback (center) performs with members of the Ark Church, who participate in Peabody’s annual Gospel Concert.




Three Dynamic Leaders Join Board Under the direction of Dean Fred Bronstein, important institutional changes have occurred with the Peabody Institute’s volunteer leadership. The group’s name has changed from the Peabody National Advisory Council to the Peabody Institute Advisory Board (piab), partly to include leaders from other countries. A new charter and job description has been written to more clearly lay out the duties and responsibilities for the board members as ambassadors for and advisors to the dean. The group is focused on expanding and diversifying its leadership. Along those lines, three committed community members — Michael Greenebaum, Michiko S. Jones, and David L. Warnock — have accepted invitations to join the piab.

Michael Greenebaum is passionate about music and music education programs, especially for children and young adults in the city of Baltimore. Greenebaum, who is also a guitarist, is president of Greenebaum Enterprises Inc., a regional real estate development company. He has over 30 years of experience in all facets of the commercial and residential

development industry. Greenebaum is a trustee of The Greenebaum Family Foundation, which continues the philanthropy of his family by focusing on the improvement of the human condition through education and medicine. He also serves as a board member at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, and in 2009, co-founded the Maryland Half Marathon.

Michiko Jones, a native of Tokyo, Japan, is the mother of a Conservatory student. Through careers in clinical research trial labs and surgical suites in Texas, she quickly discovered a demanding need for bilingual communication skills to assist patients. After landing a career as a freelance interpreter, she expanded her role from clinical-service communications to include communications for medical training programs, political science, entertainment productions, and the auto industry. She currently lives in New York City and is enjoying her life as a retiree and traveling overseas. From time to time, she hosts house concerts showcasing young, talented artists.

David L. Warnock’s commitment to the arts shows in his service as a trustee of the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Warnock is a partner of Camden Partners, which he co-founded in 1995. He has over 30 years of investment experience and focuses on investments in the business and education sectors. He is the chairman of the Warnock Foundation and was formerly the chairman of the Center for Urban Families and the Greater Baltimore Committee. He is founder and trustee of the Green Street Academy in Baltimore City. “As Peabody looks ahead to an even more vibrant future, it is critical that we have the right volunteer leadership in place to help advance our vision,” notes Bronstein. “Michael Greenebaum, Michiko Jones, and David Warnock each brings unique experiences and interests that complement those of our existing board members. We are happy to welcome them to the Peabody family and grateful for their enthusiastic advocacy on Peabody’s behalf.” —— Margaret Bell




STUDENT SPOTLI GHT Moving With the Music Interview by Jeb Cook Chase Brian Fittin, a first-year student in the inaugural BFA Dance program at Peabody, has trained in all styles of dance since he was 6 years old but says his favorite style is a blend of contemporary and hip-hop. He has performed with Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato at the Billboard Music Awards and hopes to one day dance in a company and choreograph. We caught up with him at the end of his first semester. Why is contemporary hip-hop your favorite? I love music, and I have a lot of musicality when I dance. I like to mimic the music through my body. In hip-hop, and in contemporary, I can articulate and move not just to the music but with the music. I like merging those two styles because I can fully show the music through my body. What drew you to the dance program at Peabody? This school has so much history, and the fact that we’re starting something so new and setting this tone for the future classes is awesome. I wanted the one-on-one experience that I have with my director, danah bella, right now. Considering that we’re the first class here, we’re getting hands-on attention, and we’re working so much! What have you discovered so far at Peabody? I’ve definitely found myself as an artist more. We have choreographers coming in of all [types]. Yin Yue [artist-in-residence, fall semester], who has her own company, has taught us so much. Our ballet teacher, Kristen Stevenson, has set two pieces for us, and we recently had a choreographer, Sidra Bell, who has her own company, come from New York. By dancing so much and working with the faculty and the choreographers we bring in, I’ve

been able to venture out and discover and explore new ways to move my body. We also have student choreography that we’re working on. For our firstever performance in December, the piece I wrote is a contemporary hiphop solo. I wanted to showcase my style because I feel like a lot of people think if it’s hip-hop, it has to be hiphop, or if it’s contemporary, it has to be contemporary, but I don’t think it should be that way. Who or what inspires you? When I began, my main inspiration was Justin Timberlake. He was such an amazing performer. My parents got me a behind-the-scenes dvd, and I would watch it all the time and dance along. I wasn’t good, obviously, because I hadn’t had lessons, but they saw that I was interested and took me to my first class. Right now, my main inspiration is my mom, because she’s always been there for everything for me.

What might be next for you? Taking dance as a profession, there are many different pathways you can go down. I want to be able to be a dancer and work in a company and to branch out and be able to choreograph for certain things, as well. I would love to be a dancer or choreographer for an artist’s tour — to be able to show my visions for that artist’s songs and to collaborate with that artist. What was it like performing with Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato? I had such a great time! It was a crazy experience because something like that doesn’t come around often. It really motivated me to continue doing what I’m doing. The staging and the lighting were very elaborate, and we only had one rehearsal before the tech rehearsal. They jam-pack everything into a two-day experience and you have to go along for the ride. Watch Fittin perform Hold on to Me:




We want to support aspiring artists and leave a meaningful legacy. We all have that dream, to make a world of difference. With a legacy gift, you can fufill your dream to give back to the Peabody Institute and help the next generation of artists achieve their goals and aspirations. There are many ways to support the Peabody Institute — options that benefit you and your family, too. A gift through a will, trust, or by beneficiary designation supports our future and allows you to remain in control of your assets during your lifetime. Contact the Office of Gift Planning to help plan your legacy.

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