Eastman News Highlights October 19, 2015

Here are some select recent clippings showing the variety of hits/mentions identifying musicians and scholars as Eastman School of Music alumni, faculty or students. (Note: Some links may have expired.)

Wellington organist wins international prize

(stuff.co.nz 10/15/2015)

As his fingers played the organ keys, Thomas Gaynor was transported back to the 1700s, imagining what it might have been like when his hero, JS Bach, performed on the same instrument in the Germany church centuries ago.

The 24-year-old was playing the organ that Bach once played when he worked as an organist in a church in Arnstadt, in one of six concerts that Gaynor had to perform in the prestigious organ event, the 3rd Bach Liszt Organ competition.

The Wellington College graduate won the organ prize over 18 other young organists. His win is huge and groundbreaking. Not only does it elevate him in the organ world, he also receives a $12,000 Euro prize which he will put towards his Doctorate in Musical Arts at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. 

Bryant: ‘Potluck’ concerts help the hungry

(Democrat & Chronicle 10/16/2015)

A musical potluck of sorts is planned for Sunday evening at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Performers from the Eastman School of Music and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra will offer up a sonata, some arias and a piano quartet of their liking. The audience will come bearing cans of beans, boxes of spaghetti and other nonperishable foods.

This event kicks off the 2015-16 season of “If Music Be The Food…,” a charitable concert series that collects donations for Foodlink. The model — bring a can of food as your ticket — was launched by Carol Rodland, Eastman School of Music viola professor, in 2009 and is spreading around the country.

Awake and Sing
(The Weekly Standard © 10/12/2015)

Yet here in Wooster, Ohio, a small college town an hour south of Cleveland, the Ohio Light Opera (OLO) just completed its 37th summer season, offering not just Ruddigore, but The Yeomen of the Guard, as well as Kurt Weill’s One Touch of Venus and works by Cole Porter, Lerner and Loewe, George and Ira Gershwin, and Franz Lehár. The repertoire hints at its range and dedication to lyric theater in the English, Viennese, and American traditions.

OLO succeeds because it takes light opera seriously. It’s had only two artistic directors: its founder, James “Doc” Stuart and, since 1999, Steven Daigle. Stuart, in his words, believed that “operetta requires no less a commitment to quality than does grand opera.” That means a full orchestra, professional performers who can sing, act, and move with equal grace, full period costumes, and an unwavering dedication to performing complete works in a style faithful to the original. It even means that the OLO asks its audience to rise before every performance of Gilbert and Sullivan (as the Savoy Theatre did) to sing “God Save the Queen.”

When I asked Daigle—who also serves as head of opera theatre at the Eastman School of Music—why OLO has prospered, he replied that it was fundamentally a “revolt against the Broadway movement,” which relies increasingly on jukebox musicals and on shows, like Aladdin, drawn from movies or other popular entertainment. That doesn’t make them inherently bad, but it does mean they are trying to repeat “the same sensory experience,” which ultimately devalues the theatrical experience by making it derivative.

Jazz Pianist Tamir Hendelman on Adapting International Influences

(Westword 10/14/2015)

Tamir Hendelman discovered jazz while growing up in Tel Aviv, but after moving to Los Angeles when he was thirteen years old, the pianist, who already had seven years of keyboard studies under his belt, took his musicianship to another level. Hendelman, who performs with his trio at Nocturne on Thursday, October 15, went on to be a longtime member of the Jeff Hamilton Trio and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and he has worked with Barbra Streisand, James Moody and Natalie Cole and others along the way.

Hendelman continued to study classical composition at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1993. After moving back to Los Angeles, Hendelman considered film scoring.

4 to be inducted into East Stroudsburg School District Music Hall of Fame

(Pocono Record 10/09/2015)

Four individuals who have brought honor and prestige to the East Stroudsburg Area School District’s music program will be inducted into the East Stroudsburg Area School District Music Hall of Fame at ceremonies to be held on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at East Stroudsburg Area High School South. This year’s honorees include: Kimberly Sisson Conklin, Class of 1976, and retired ESASD music educator; Debbie Myers, Class of 1973; Judy Myers, Class of 1983; and Linda M. Schaller, retired ESASD music educator.

During her junior year, (Conklin) was a Rotary exchange student to Japan, and as a senior, Kim received the Band Parents Scholarship and the Barbara Fatzinger Memorial Award for Outstanding Senior Band Member and was awarded a merit scholarship to the Eastman School of Music, where she earned a Bachelor of Music with Distinction degree and a Master of Arts degree in music education.

Terrace Piano Quartet to open Arts at First Presbyterian concert series Oct. 25

(Abington Journal 10/10/2015)

The Terrace Piano Quartet is an ensemble of young musicians with sterling resumes and a variety of national and international exposure. The group consists of John Michael Vaida on violin, Amy Iwazumi on viola, Miho Zaitsu on cello, and Hwaen Ch’uqi on the piano. They will perform the Faure Piano Quartet No. 1 and the Brahms Piano Quartet No. 3 during the concert.

Vaida and Ch’uqi are graduates of Eastman School of Music, while Iwazumi has degrees from The Julliard School. John Michael Vaida is Adjunct Professor and directs the Chamber Orchestra at Wilkes University.

Community Performance Series to present 16th Ranlett Organ Recital Oct. 18

(North Country Now 10/10/2015)

The Community Performance Series will present the 16th Ranlett Organ Recital on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 3 p.m., in Hosmer Hall featuring organist Craig Cramer. Craig Cramer is a professor of organ at the University of Notre Dame. He is also organist at St. David of Wales Episcopal Church in Elkhart, Ind.

Cramer holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and the Eastman School of Music where he earned the doctor of musical arts degree in organ performance. The Eastman School also awarded him the Performer’s Certificate in Organ.

Dr. Robert McIver to Conduct KWC Reunion with Settle Memorial Choir

(SurfKYNews 10/07/2015)

Kentucky Wesleyan College’s Homecoming Weekend will feature a special choir reunion at the 8:30 and 11 a.m. worship services Sunday, Oct. 25 at Settle Memorial United Methodist Church. Dr. Robert McIver, professor of music at Kentucky Wesleyan from 1981-1997, will return to conduct choir alumni and the current Kentucky Wesleyan Singers, joined by the Settle Memorial United Methodist Church Sanctuary Choir. This mass choir will perform three anthems composed by McIver. McIver was professor of voice at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., from 1997 until his May 2015 retirement.

Eastman School to host top programs at Music College Fair
(Rochester Business Journal © 10/13/2015)

The Eastman School of Music plans to host top music specialty programs from across the country at the 10th annual Music College Fair in Upstate New York, officials said Tuesday. (Also reported by The Brighton Pittsford Post )