Alumni News

Since its inception over 60 years ago, the department of Music at Haverford College has graduated a steady stream of majors who have gone on to distinguish themselves professionally. Since the early 1980’s Haverford has also served the musical needs of Bryn Mawr College, graduating majors on a regular basis from our sister school. What follows is a representative listing of both Haverford and Bryn Mawr majors who have continued on in advanced musical study and in careers in music and related fields. Moving in reverse chronological order:

2000's

Jonathan Colvson, HC, class of 2012, graduated with a senior thesis in composition. His work was performed by the Network for New Music, and an excerpt from it with composer commentary may be viewed at: YouTube.com

Ben Diamond, HC, class of 2011, graduated with a senior thesis in composition, and is teaching music at the Science and Technology Charter High School in Philadelphia.

Ethan Joseph, HC, class of 2011, graduated with a senior thesis in musicology, studied at the Bard conductor's workshop, and interned with the National Symphony. He worked recently helping to produce a Philip Glass premiere with NPR and Times Square Alliance for Make Music New York. He has just become development and administrative assistant at New Music USA.

Beth Curtiss, BMC, class of 2010, graduated with a senior thesis entitled Figlioli and Figlie del Coro: Music Education in 17th & 18th Century Naples and Venice, combining her work for the major with her studies in education.

Jessica (George) Harvey, BMC, class of 2009, graduated with a senior thesis in composition, and went on to complete a Masters Degree in theory and composition at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM.

Simon Linn-Gerstein, HC, class of 2009, graduated with a senior thesis in musicology and also performed a senior cello recital. He is currently a Masters student in cello at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA. On April 21, 2012, he received the Creativity Foundations' 2012 Legacy Medal for his exceptional creative promise as a cellist and composer. He was one of seven winners who received their wards from director/choreographer Mark Morris at a ceremony at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C.

Lily Press, HC, class of 2009, graduated with a thesis in musicology and also performed a senior harp recital. She worked for a time at The Harp Connection in Salem, MA, and is currently a Masters student in harp at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA.

Hannah Albrecht, BMC, class of 2008, graduated with a senior thesis in composition and took the position of organist at The Church of the Messiah in Gwynedd, PA. She continued her music education through the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College, and is the administrative assistant for the Philadelphia Sinfonia youth orchestra.

Caroline Goldstein, HC, class of 2008, graduated as a music major, received the Ed.M. from Harvard University, and is now teaching 1st-8th grade general music and chorus-- a program of her own devising-- at a school for dyslexic children in Atlanta.  Additionally, she directs one of the training choirs at Atlanta Young Singers.

John Bower, Class of 2007, graduated with a senior thesis in composition.  He is working at a performing arts center called the "Performing Arts Connection" which is part of the Samantha Hammel Academy in Sudbury, Massachusetts. His band Redline recently released its debut CD Inbound

Tyler B. Richie, Class of 2006, graduated with a senior project in composition and is now working in commercial music in California.

Katy Gentry, HC, Class of 2005, majored in music and went on to complete a masters program in vocal performance at Temple University. Katy studied in Italy in 2008 and returned to Philadelphia to co-found Poor RIchard's Opera Company. She is singing in the company's production of Verdi's Falstaff as part of the 2012 Philadelphia Fringe Festival.


Karen Jenks, BMC, Class of 2004, minored in music at Haverford and went on to complete a masters program in violin performance at the University of Michigan School of Music. Currently Karen is a professional violinist, freelancing in the metro Detroit area.

Janet Pinkow, Class of 2004, graduated with a senior project in violin performance and went on to the graduate program in violin at the University of Colorado Boulder where she additionally has developed expertise as a recording engineer.

Larry Bomback, Class of 2004, graduated with a senior thesis in musicology and went on to the graduate program in musicology at City University of New York. He managed the financial and administrative operations of the New York Youth Symphony after leaving graduate school, and joined OPERA AMERICA in February 2008 as Director of Finance and Operations. He has published articles in The Music Times, Musicological Explorations, Opera America, Faust Studies and The Harmonizer, and has lectured in the U.S, Canada and Great Britain.

David Chow, Class of 2003, graduated with a senior these in composition. He finished a Ph.D. in neurobiology from UCLA in March, 2011, studying cortical development and autism. Starting in 2009 he did freelance sound design and music composition for a mobile video game company called Newtoy, Inc., where he created the audio (sounds and music where needed) for Words with Friends, We Rule, and a handful of other mobile games. Newtowy was acquired by Zynga in late 2010, and David was taken on as the now-audio director at the Zynga With Friends studio in McKinney, TX, where he works on new Games With Friends mobile games.

Daniel Kazemi, Class of 2004, graduated with a senior project in composition (multimedia) and since has pursued musical theatre and acting in the Philadelphia area and in Washington D.C. as writer, composer and performer. Read article in OnMilwaukee.com.

Alisa Seavey, Class of 2003, graduated with a senior project in viola performance and went on to complete a master’s degree program in performance at the Yale University School of Music. She is now a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University.

Kei Terauchi, BMC, Class of 2003, graduated with a senior project combining theory, musicology, performance and art history. She went on to the graduate program in musicology at SUNY Stony Brook where she additionally became involved with chamber music performance and radio broadcasting, hosting a program on the university radio station, WUSB 90.1 FM.

Alyssa Bowlby, Class of 2002, graduated with a senior project in vocal performance. She went on to the graduate program in voice at Peabody Conservatory studying with Phyllis Bryn –Julson, and earned her masters degree. She then went on to work with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra in Wilmington and currently is in New York City. She recently won the Kennett Symphony competition, sings with the Brooklyn Repertory Opera, the Project Opera of Manhattan, the Garden State Opera and the Empire Opera, as well as Houston's Opera in the Heights. Currently her activity base is in Berlin.

Jason Gersh, Class of 2001, graduated with a senior project in musicology and completed the PhD program in musicology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, writing his dissertation of the music of William Byrd. He now works as Senior Financial Analyst for the Drexel University Office of the Provost, and moonlights as a freelance musicologist, with research interests in Renaissance polyphony and the connections between music and evolutionary thought. In addition, he is a member of the Bucks County Choral Society, under the direction of Tom Lloyd.

Joanna Herrero, Class of 2000, graduated with a senior project in piano performance, and became the College’s nominee for the Beinecke Scholarship for graduate study. She went on to earn a masters degree in music education from Temple University. She taught music at the Haverford Friends School and now is pursuing further advanced study in music education at the Eastman School of Music, focusing on Kodaly techniques.

1990's

Risa Kawabata, BMC Class of 1999, graduated with a senior project in recorder performance and went on to Amsterdam for advanced study in recorder and early music.

Alexej Steinhardt, Class of 1999, graduated with a senior project in conducting and went on to New York City to become a sought after web site designer for individuals and organizations primarily in the music industry. He has designed websites for artists such as Julia Fischer and Lisa Batiashvili, and for organizations such as Capstone Records.

Benjamin Finane, Class of 1999, graduated with a senior project in composition and went on to New York City first to work in the administrative offices of Carnegie Hall and later to become director of the music program at the 92nd street Y. He then went on to become an editor of Andante.com, and eventually to become the Managing Editor of Playbill magazine’s classic arts division.  In March 2009, his book, Handel’s Messiah and his English Oratorios was published by Continuum Books.  In addition to his work at Playbill, he has been named Editor-In-Chief at the newly created magazine Listen; Life With Classical Music. Article in Haverford Magazine.

Keiko Tsukada Thomford, BMC Class of 1998, graduated with a senior Project in vocal performance and went on to an administrative position at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia.

Nemesio Valle, III, Class of 1997, graduated with senior projects in keyboard performance and composition. After graduating, he went on to the graduate department of the University of Pittsburgh, where he got an MA in Historical Musicology in 2002. At the same time, he enrolled in Duquesne University of the Holy Ghost, where he received an MM in Sacred Music (Organ Performance) also in 2002. After, he became the full-time Director of Music Ministries at Saint Ursula Parish in Allison Park, PA, a position he still holds. He completed his PhD in Historical Musicology in 2011, writing his dissertation on the pre-Tridentine Mass for the Dead.

Joti Rockwell, Class of 1997, double majored in music and physics, graduated with a senior project in music theory, and went on to the doctoral program in theory at the University of Chicago. He completed the PhD this spring, and has become an instructor in music at our peer institution Pomona College. Article in Haverford Magazine.

Katherine Scorza Ingram, BMC Class of 1996, graduated with a senior project in musicology and went on to work in the administrative offices of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. Subsequently she pursued degrees at the Wharton School and at Yale University and currently works as the Project Manager for AMS Planning and Research Corporation, an arts advisory firm in New York.

David Arbury, Class of 1995, graduated with a senior project in composition. He went on to work at the music division at the Library of Congress while continuing to build his portfolio. Following that he earned a masters degree at Arizona State University School of Music in Phoenix. He then returned to the east coast to complete the DMA program in composition at the University of  Maryland School of Music. Article in Haverford Magazine.

Eric Barnhill, Class of 1995, graduated with a senior project in piano performance. He pursued a master’s degree at the Juilliard School, became a Feldenkreis practitioner and designed a graduate level course for performers at the Mannes College of Music in New York. His innovative work as a teacher, which integrates components of improvisation and eurythmic movement, has been documented at length in the recent book Guiding Lights. Article in Haverford Magazine

Mary Sarah Baker, Class of 1994, graduated with a senior project in composition. A double major in music and economics, she went on to an administrative position at Carnegie Hall where she remained until recently. She continues to play a similar role now at Lincoln Center.

Jeanne Braun Velonis, Class of 1994, graduated with a senior project in piano performance. She went on to New York City to become a prominent recording engineer, assisting the renowned classical music engineer & producer Judy Sherman. Early in her career she contributed to a Grammy winning CD featuring the music of Steve Reich.

Meg Schmidt Byrne, BMC Class of 1993, graduated with a senior project in vocal performance. She is the vocal music director at Pleasant Valley High School in her home state of Iowa. Meg has regularly taken her choirs to all-state, district and metropolitan competitions, and even to Carnegie Hall. They have won a number of awards, and Meg is recognized as one of the most outstanding music educators in the state.

Kaeza Fearn, Class of 1993, graduated with a senior project in composition and piano.  After completing masters work through Naropa Institute and training in playback theater, an improvisational sound and movement form, she has taught piano, chorus, theater and songwriting in public and community music schools in New England.  Recognized for her settings of text by Marge Piercy and William Sloan Coffin, she recently reentered academia to pursue a graduate degree in composition at the Hartt School of Music.

Lucy Nicolaysen, BMC Class of 1992, graduated with a senior project in piano performance and went on to post baccalaureate studies at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge and the master’s degree program at Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. She teaches piano privately now in London.

Leah Efron Martin, BMC Class of 1991, graduated with a senior project in composition. She went on to study conducting, and received her MA in secondary education from Adelphi University. She is now the choral director and music educator at a school in New York.

Kathryn Lowerre, BMC Class of 1990, graduated with a senior project in composition and musicology. She received her PhD from Duke University. Her first book Music and Musicians on the London Stage, 1695-1704 was published by Ashgate in 2009. Along with Dr. Jane Milling of Exeter, England, she is the co-editor of a book series entitled Studies in Performance in the Long 18th Century: Theatre, Music, and Dance also published by Ashgate.

1980's

Melissa Hair, BMC Class of 1989, graduated with a senior project in piano performance. She went on to earn a master’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  She is a band director in her hometown of Altoona, Pennsylvania.

John Benskin, class of 1987, graduated with a senior project in composition. Since earning a DMA in composition from the Catholic University of America (1991), he has taught instrumental music and theory at the prestigious Duke Ellington High School for the Arts in Washington DC, and was the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra librarian until 2001. In addition to commissioned works (including Symphonic Prelude for the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute, Symphonic Overture for the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra and Five Principals of Marriage for soprano, piano, and violin), he has composed many pieces for a variety of vocal and instrumental forces. His most recently completed works are a Sonata for Piano and a Sonata for Trombone and Piano.  Currently he is composing a set of songs to poems by Christina Rossetti, a symphony and a series of piano pieces.

Laurie Landers, Class of 1987, was a biology major but intensively pursued violin study, chamber music and orchestra playing while at Haverford. Upon graduation she joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra where she remains assistant concert master.

Gwyn Meredith Roberts, BMC Class of 1985, graduated with a senior project in musicology and has gone on to become one of the most recognized recorder players and early music performers with her ensemble Tempesta di Mare. She teaches at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore.

http://www.theclassicalshop.net/details06MP3.asp?CNumber=CHAN%200707W

 

Kathryn Selby, BMC, Class of 1984, graduated with a senior project in piano performance. She returned to her native Australia to pursue a career as concert pianist. She performs solo, chamber music and concerto repertoire, has recorded for the Naxos and Eloquence labels and is a founding member of Austrialia’s new piano trio, Trio Z.

http://www.naxosdirect.com/title/8553916/

Rebecca S. Miller, BMC class of 1982, is Associate Professor of Music at Hampshire College in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies. Her book, Carriacou String Band Serenade: Performing Identity in the Eastern Caribbean, has just been published by Wesleyan University Press.

 

Daniel Katz, Class of 1981, was a composition and musicology student and upon graduation pursued a doctorate in musicology at Duke University.  He is currently rabbi and director of the Jüdische Gemeinde Duisburg-Mülheim-Oberhausen in Germany.  In addition to his activities at the center, he continues to publish and speak on a range of topics concerning the history of Jewish music, including portrayals of the Shoa in classical music, biblical cantillation as seen through the eyes of an early 15th-century Hebrew grammarian in Spain, and the use of biblical cantillation as a tool for musical analysis in the music of Salamone Rossi, about whom he offered sessions at recent AMS and IMS conferences. He has balanced his research with compositions that often set Yiddish or Hebrew texts.

Richard Pressler, Class of 1981, has been playing professional guitar for over twenty-five years.  In addition to his performances, he is the founder of Knock Wood Records.

http://www.rpressler.com/

Christopher Gibbs, Class of 1980, went on to complete a doctoral degree in musicology at Columbia University. He was professor of music at SUNY Buffalo and interim professor at Haverford College before becoming a chaired professor at Bard College where, in addition to his teaching duties, he organizes the Bard Music Festival. He is much sought after as a pre-concert commentator and program annotator, and is recognized as one of the leading Schubert scholars internationally, having edited the Cambridge Companion to Schubert.

1970's

Jim Bauer, HC, class of 1978, and wife Ruth have produced a multimedia musical entitled The Blue Flower. With backing from one of Broadway's biggest names, it received its premiere at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge. Article in Haverford Magazine.

imageJonathan Harry Blumenfeld, Class of 1978, went on to pursue the artist diploma in oboe at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he was a student of former Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Oboe John de Lancie. He also attended Temple University where he studied with Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Oboe Richard Woodhams. Before joining The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1986, Mr. Blumenfeld was principal oboe with the Savannah Symphony and played with the Concerto Soloists. He has also participated in the Tanglewood, Blossom, and Spoleto festivals. Mr. Blumenfeld is currently on the faculty of Temple University.

http://www.capstonerecords.org/CPS-8706.html

Stuart Diamond, Class of 1978, has composed well over 100 works in all media including symphonic and chamber music, theater, dance, film and video. He has written for a diverse range of artists, including Kronos String Quartet; recently violinist Karen Bentley premiered his KONZERTO for Violin and Electric Orchestra.  Among his numerous CDs are the titles "Electric Diamond" and "Tyme's Escape." 

http://www.stuartdiamond.com/

John Baboukis, Class of 1977, went on from Haverford to earn a doctoral degree at Indiana University. He was choral director at McGill University in Montreal and currently is assistant professor and director of the music program at the department of Performing and Visual Arts at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.

Robert Seager, Class of 1977, a band leader and jazz pianist based in Boston  has released 10 CDs, the most recent being Beat Greens with Jorge Roder on bass and Richie Barshay on drums. The Boston Herald described his album Resonance as “a first class gem from a local treasure.” 

 

Eric D. Weimer, Class of 1974, is assistant conductor of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He has also conducted at the Metropolitan Opera and the Bayreuth Festival in Germany. In addition, he has worked at the San Francisco Opera, The Santa Fe Opera and the Canadian Opera Company.

Matthew Allen, Class of 1973, graduated in music theory and composition from Haverford and went on to earn a M.A. in World Music and a Ph.D in Ethnomusicology. From Wesleyan University.  He is currently the Music Department Chair and Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Asian Studies at Wheaton College.  His recent book, Music in South India was published by Oxford University Press.

 

Paul Gunther, Class of 1973, is principal librarian with the Minnesota Orchestra and has served as president of The Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association (MOLA).

Charles White, Class of 1973, is associate professor of music and director of the music division at LaSalle University in Philadelphia. He has authored a biography of Alejandro Garcia Caturla, published in 2003 at Scarecrow Press.

 

Kenneth Ludwig, Class of 1972, has authored numerous plays and musicals, among them the Broadway shows Crazy for You and Moon over Buffalo .  He speaks at length about his work in an interview in Haverford Magazine, Fall 2001.

William Purvis, Class of 1971, has pursued an active career as a horn player and teacher in New York.  In addition to teaching at the Juilliard School and SUNY Stony Brook, he has collaborated on numerous concert and recording projects with ensembles such as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.  He performs frequently with his wife Mihae Lee.

http://www.bridgerecords.com/pages/catalog/9164.htm

Robert T. Sataloff, Class of 1971, is conductor of the Thomas Jefferson University Choir and on the faculties of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Academy of Vocal Arts. He is also Director of the Jefferson Arts Medicine Center, Professor of Otolaryngology at TJU in Pennsylvania, Chairman of the Voice Foundation and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Voice. As a physician and musician he has published numerous articles and books including the recent book entitled Treatment of Voice Disorders.

Thomas Denny, Class of 1970, is professor and chair of the music department at Skidmore College. As a musicologist, his research areas are the music of Franz Schubert, the reception of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and the opera business in the 19th century. He teaches a wide range of courses from classical styles to the history of jazz to the Ring Cycle of Wagner.

1960's

Raffaello Orlando, Class of 1969, returned to his native Italy after graduation and has taught clarinet in the conservatory system at Ferrara, Santa Cecilia in Rome, and currently is at the Conservatory of Music in Frosinone.

Steven R. Gerber, Class of 1969, left Haverford to pursue graduate studies at Princeton University with Milton Babbitt among others. Many of his over 50 compositions are recorded. His works have won competitions held by the New Music Consort and Musicians Accord. He has written for notable performers such as cellist Carter Brey. His music is recorded on the Arabesque, Koch Classics and Chandos labels. Vladimir Ashkenazy has requested an orchestra work from Gerber for the 2008-2009 season. The work is entitled Music in Dark Times.

Donald Dal Maso, Class of 1968, pursued a career in New York City with the New York City Opera Orchestra as a violist, and as an independent performing arts therapist in private practice.

Alexander Blachly, Class of 1967, founded the Renaissance Choral Ensemble Pomerium in 1972.  The 14 voice a capella ensemble is widely known for its interpretations of Du Fay, Ockeghem, Busnoys, Josquin, Lassus and Palestrina.  They have recorded for Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv Production, the Dorian and Classic Masters and the Glissando/Pure Classics labels.  Blachly received the Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society in 1992 earning post-graduate degrees in Musicology from Columbia University.  He currently directs the University of Notre Dame Chorale and Chamber Orchestra.  He will lead Pomerium in performances at this year’s A.M.S. National Conference.

http://www.pomerium.com/cd2.html

John Thompson, Class of 1967, is a performer and researcher on early music for the seven string zither and has recently issued a recording of 15th century quin music. He is also the artistic coordinator for the Festival of Asian Arts in Hong Kong.

Robert Hipkins, Class of 1965, is a composer, lyricist, vocalist, trumpet player and Hawaiian guitarist. He co-wrote the musical Song of Singapore, which the Drama Desk Awards cited for outstanding lyrics and outstanding music.

John H. Roberts, Class of 1963, is Professor and Head of the Music Library Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. Formerly he was principal music librarian at the University of Pennsylvania.  He has served as president of the American Handel Society, is a member of the editorial board of the Hallische Handel Ausgabe, and has contributed articles to the New Grove Dictionary of Music.

Robert Martin, Class of 1961, majored in philosophy at Haverford while pursuing cello studies at the Curtis Institute of Music. He is the dean of graduate studies and associate dean of the college and a professor of philosophy and music at Bart College. He co-directs the Bard Music Festival and has co-edited The Beethoven Quartet Companion.

Truman Bullard, Class of 1960, is music director of The Harrisburg Choral Society, professor of music emeritus at Dickinson College, professor of musicology at the Eastman School of Music and bassoonist with the Lydian Winds. While at Haverford he was a philosophy major, and went on to the Eastman School of music to receive a PhD in musicology in 1971. He continues to compose choir music, to do research in Russian music, and performs with the Central Pennsylvania Symphony, The Dickinson College Community Orchestra, and the York Symphony. 

Richard Teitelbaum, Class of 1960, is professor of music at Bard College. He is well known for his pioneering work in live electronic music. He earned a Masters degree at Yale University and afterward received a Fulbright to study in Italy with Luigi Nono. He co-founded the music group Musica-Electronica Viva.  His CD, Blends, on the New Albion label was named one of the ten best contemporary classical CD’s of 2002 by The Wire magazine of London. His music is represented on over two dozen CD’s and in collaboration with artists such as Anthony Braxton and Carlos Zingaro

1950's

Allen Clayton, Class of 1951, earned a master’s degree in music at the University of Pennsylvania.  He was a teacher at Germantown Friends School for 39 years and head of the music department from 1976 until his retirement in 1993.  He is living in Maine where he continues to perform as a pianist.

In Memoriam

Scott Muller, Class of 2009. We mourn the loss of Scott Muller, HC '09, whose sudden and untimely passing occurred on November 12, 2010.  Below are reflections by Ingrid Arauco, Scott's senior composition thesis advisor, spoken at his memorial service in MacCrate Recital Hall on February 20, 2011:

Everyone here today is surely aware of Scott’s skill as an improviser at the keyboard.  When the sound of rippling arpeggios and shimmering, jazzy chords would emanate from Room 114, as it often did, we all knew that he was in the building.  As Room 114 is directly beneath my office, I’d often listen for long stretches as he played joyously and with abandon.  Scott’s improvisations were just one expression of a free spirit that didn’t always wish to be tethered to a particular version of a musical idea, or to a strict schedule for producing work.   I, on the other hand, insist on precision of notation, and on adhering to a schedule.  So when Scott asked me if I would advise his senior thesis in composition, I was surprised and a bit apprehensive.  I’ll never know why he asked me to be his advisor, but I certainly needn’t have been concerned.  The year we spent, which culminated in the performance of his four-movement suite here in MacCrate on May 7, 2009, was one of the best I’ve ever had in my experience of guiding the creative process.  There are two reasons why working with Scott was such a pleasure:  he was unflinchingly honest and he had a genuine musical gift.   To illustrate these qualities, I’d like to share with you a story from one of our sessions.  He came in, with many pages covered in scribble, arranged the pages on the music rack of the piano, seated himself, and said, “I like the beginning, I think the end is tight, but the stuff in the middle is just bullshit and I’m going to fix it.”  And he began to play.  Now, generally, informing someone that the connection between two points is weak is my job, but Scott knew the difference between a quick patch and a well-thought-out connection, and wouldn’t allow for the patch, even if it was acceptable, even if it did the job of bridging the gap.  So when he had finished playing, I asked, “So, how do you plan to fix this?”  And then I was treated to watching Scott think with his fingers.  All the musicians here will know what I mean:  when someone is technically adept, particularly on the piano, and understands the connection between certain patterns of physical movement and harmonic progression, the fingers can suggest the way forward from certain points.  Scott would go right back to the weak point in his composition, and try this and that continuation, casting me an occasional sideways glance.  The two of us would listen, assess, and eventually be working in a purely musical place, a place beyond words, and that for me was totally delightful.  After we’d finished going over his work, sometimes we’d have long talks about music, critical theory, politics, hypocrisy, or whatever else was on his mind.  During these conversations he would characteristically stand, with one bare foot upon the piano bench.  And when he had left, I would be contemplating a beautifully formed footprint on the black bench.

Scott’s composition in four movements for solo piano encompasses a wide range of styles and moods; indeed, it lasts a full 25 minutes in its entirety.  He put into the work much of the music that he loved, and you will certainly hear that in the first two movements.   Listening to the recording, I hear his generosity of spirit, his straightforwardness and humor, his joy in composing and performing.   In fact, it sounds as if Scott has just sat down at the keyboard again, and is off on one of his improvisations.  But the fact is that everything in the piece—every note, every expressive swell, every fluctuation in tempo-- is carefully notated.  Looking at the score fills me with sadness, but also with great pride, because I know what work went into capturing all those ideas and shaping them.  I’m so grateful to have been allowed to be part of that creative process, the process that flies in the face of death, that process of discovery and questioning and growth, which results ultimately in the bringing of something of beauty and value and hope into the world.

 

Myles Hernandez, Class of 1980, who co-founded Symphony of Lakes in New Hope, MN, died November 16, 2000, from a heart infection, a condition that was compounded by his fight with AIDS. He died at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis at age 42. Six years ago, he helped start Symphony of Lakes to “bring together highly qualified musicians who are passionate about music and want to preserve high standards while reaching a wide audience” according to its web site.  Russel Dedrich, president and co-founder of the organization, said it had kept a commitment to quality symphonies under Hernandez’s direction. He had “a special talent for being able to produce performances that were at a very high level,” Dedrich said. Hernandez conducted ensembles for Symphony of Lakes, the Bach Society of Minnesota, and the Wayzata Community Church Choir. He also conducted for the Casals Festival of Puerto Rico, the Oklahoma International Mozart Festival, and opera and musical theater performances at the University of North Dakota. He was a guest conductor of the Soloisti New York Chamber Orchestra.Hernandez was born in San Antonio, TX. He moved to Oakland, CA, when he was twelve and lived there until he went to Haverford College, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He received a master’s degree in music from Yale University. He did more graduate work when he moved to Minneapolis in the early 1990s. Hernandez was “a tremendously talented musician whose genuine love and understanding of so many aspects of the art form allowed him to personally invest in each and every person involved in the performance,” said Elizabeth Gibba of St. Paul, managing director of the Bach Society of Minnesota.

John Davison, Class of 1951, was Haverford’s first music major. John Davison, composer-pianist, grew up in upper New York State and in New York City. He studied music at the Juilliard, Haverford College, Harvard and Eastman, where he received his doctorate. Among his teachers were Alfred Swan, Randall Thompson, Walter Piston, Bernard Rogers, Howard Hanson, Alan Hovhaness, and Robert Palmer. John taught at Haverford College from 1959 until his death in 1999. He received a number of prizes and fellowships. Among his many commissions were ones from the Nittany Valley Symphony and the Altoona Symphony Orchestra. His music was published and recorded and has been played widely in the United States, as well as in Europe and Asia. Among orchestras playing his compositions have been the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, the Susquehanna Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra. The Chestnut Brass Company recorded his Brass Quintet on their CD "Pastime with Good Company," and Albany Records issued an all-Davison CD. He wrote for most of the standard media, as well as for unusual instruments such as koto, cimbalom, and bagpipe. His trombone music was particularly widely played. John co-authored with John Ashmead a book on the songs of Roberts Burns with new harmonizations of the folk tunes that Burns used. These were featured in a video shown on national public television and were recorded with soprano Shoshana Shay. Davison's idiom was rooted in the great Western classic-romantic tradition with Baroque, Renaissance, jazz, modernist, and folk elements mixing in at times.

John was a beloved member of the Music Department at Haverford and is dearly missed.

Obituary from Haverford magazine

Julius Katchen, Class of 1946, is best known for his recordings of the complete solo piano music of Johannes Brahms on eight disks for London records.  He was the first to present this music in a series of four recitals at New York’s Town Hall in 1966.  Katchen made his debut in 1937 with the Philadelphia Orchestra performing Mozart’s d minor Concerto.  He cherished his years at Haverford and pursued interests in philosophy, English literature and student politics, as well as music.  As a junior he was named to Phi Beta Kappa.  Upon graduation Katchen was awarded a French Government scholarship to study music in Paris, where he remained until his death.  As a student there, he was president of the American House.  Katchen held strong convictions about bridging the gap between East and West, using music as a vehicle.  In 1946 he opened the first UNESCO convention with a cycle of concerts.  In 1980 he was honored in a memorial tribute at Haverford with the dedication of the sculpture “Esmeralda V” by Christopher Cairns. 


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