Eastman News Highlights January 5, 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.)

Jazz composer Maria Schneider reveals how a moment of magic decided her musical destiny

(Sydney Morning Herald 12/22/2014)

When Maria Schneider formed her jazz orchestra in 1992, the members earned $25 a night, and she pocketed just $15. Now people travel to New York from around the planet to hear the band, and Schneider is acclaimed as one of the world’s leading jazz composers. But she doubts she would have dared to pursue this career were she starting out in today’s user-unwilling-to-pay music environment. “I think I would have been too scared and I would have done something else instead,” she says.

Like what?

“Ornithology.”

Thereafter Schneider studied music and composition at three universities including the Eastman School of Music, and with the great jazz composer Gil Evans, who showed her how the nuance of classical writing and the improvising of jazz could interact, and that made her concentrate on jazz.

DSO pulls out all stops for New Year’s Eve Pops

(The Detroit News 12/29/2014)

Michael Jackson may have been the King of Pop, but the title of King of Pops belongs to Jeff Tyzik. Comfortable in swing, jazz, funk, Latin, classical, Celtic, Dixieland and any number of other musical styles, Tyzik is the Principal Pops Conductor of six orchestras — the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Symphony and, since 2013, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

A native of Hyde Park, New York, Tyzik earned his musical spurs at the celebrated Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. One of his teachers was trumpeter and flugelhorn player Chuck Mangione, famous for his 1978 hit “Feels So Good.” But Mangione was no pushover as an instructor, Tyzik recalls, calling him “a very tough guy.” But Tyzik’s perseverance paid off when Mangione asked him to work with him as lead trumpet player and co-produce five albums.

“I always joke with people when I say I earned by bachelor’s and master’s at the Eastman School, and I got my doctorate working with Chuck Mangione,” he says. “I needed a doctor after working with him.”

Former Carlow President Geibel dies

(Tribune Review 12/26/2014)

Sister Grace Ann Geibel was a trailblazer who greatly advanced the mission of Carlow University during her tenure as president of the institution, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh said.

Sister Geibel died Dec. 24 in the Convent of Mercy on the Carlow campus in Oakland, the university said Friday. She was 77. She resigned as Carlow’s president in 2005 having served in the role for 17 years at the Catholic university.

Sister Geibel received a bachelor’s degree in piano and music education from Mt. Mercy College, which is Carlow University, and a master’s degree in music education and a doctorate in music from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester in New York.

Mankato Symphony Music on the Hill Chamber Series fifth Anniversary Continues with “Homage”

(Southern Minn Scene 12/23/2014)

If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, then a dedication or homage is the most outright. This concert explores compositions written to express admiration and respect for previous composers. The performance will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 11 in the Chapel at Good Counsel.

A native of Nisswa, MN, Scott Lykins began studying piano at a young age and, through the Brainerd public school orchestra program, began playing cello at the age of 12. After high school, he attended DePaul University before transferring to the Eastman School of Music, where he received a Bachelors of Music in Cello Performance

Notable Native Son John Taylor Ward Returns to the High Country for a Free Concert with Scott Lykins Jan. 2

(High Country Press 12/29/2014)

Baritone John Taylor Ward’s performances have been acclaimed around the world, but he hasn’t forgotten his roots in the High Country as a student of the Watauga County Public Schools; a ubiquitous presence in productions of the Blue Ridge Community Theatre, Lees-McRae Summer Theatre and the Blowing Rock Stage Company; and a chorister at St. Mary of the Hills parish in Blowing Rock.

A graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Eastman School of Music and the Yale School of Music, his performance has been praised by the New York Times for its “velvety suaveness” and by the Washington Post for “finely calibrated precision and heart-rending expressivity.

He will be joined by Scott Lykins, a pianist and cellist who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music.

10 things to do
(Rochester Democrat & Chronicle © 12/24/2014)

The Tuesday Pipes Concert Series features Eastman School of Music professor of organ David Higgs playing the amazingly monstrous Craighead-Saunders pipe organ at Christ Church, 141 East Ave. It starts at 12:10 p.m. and it’s free. Call (585) 274-1564.

Casey Tecklenburg named member of Luther College Nordic Choir

(Vinton Today 12/22/2014)

Allen Hightower serves as Luther’s Director of Choral Activities, as well as the director of Nordic Choir and the artistic director of “Christmas at Luther.” He was recently appointed the first Weston Noble Endowed Chair in Music. Hightower earned an undergraduate degree in music education from Sam Houston State University, a master’s degree in choral conducting from the Eastman School of Music, a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Baylor University and a doctorate in conducting from UCLA. (Also reported by Cedar Valley Daily Times )

Spevak’s notables of 2014: Here, Birdman, Dady Brothers
(Rochester Democrat & Chronicle © 12/29/2014)

Rochester cultural event of the year. The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Resurrecting the music of the 1934 Howard Hanson opera Merry Mount was a challenge, with that language arcane to the 21st century ear. But the RPO made it an event, even if the iconic Eastman School of Music director’s opera of Puritan angst once again fades into obscurity. This performance didn’t match the Metropolitan Opera record of 50 curtain calls this time around, but the reviews were generally good: “Michael Christie and the Rochester Philharmonic showed just how thrilling this opera can be,” wrote The New York Opera Review. The hack from the Democrat and Chronicle called it “a sumptuous-sounding event.”