Mallory W. Bransford (BM '34) is minister of music emeritus/ professor of organ emeritus at Butler University. He is organist at Zion Evangelical United Church of Christ in Indianapolis; chairman of the organ department of Jordan College of Fine Arts, Butler University; organist at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Indianapolis; and organist for the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America. Bransford has received numerous awards, including membership in the National Honorary Music Fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia; Who's Who in the Midwest; the International Who's Who in Music; the Distinguished Service Award from the Indiana Music Educators' Association; the Demolay Legion of Honor and the Caleb B. Smith Medal of Honor.
Sidney P. Davis '35 was inducted into the Elyria Alumni Hall of Fame (Elyria, Ohio) and was presented the distinguished staff award in honor of instilling deep love and appreciation of music. Here's what they said about Mr. Davis at the awards ceremony!
For thousands of Elyria students, Sydney Davis was the equivalent of Mr. Holland in the movie Mr. Holland's Opus. As the director of the Elyria High School Orchestra for 28 years and a music teacher in Elyria elementary and junior high schools, Mr. Davis instilled a love for orchestral music and all types of music that has lasted throughout the lives of his students. One former student said that Davis' powerful impact has transcended generations, with grandchildren of his original prodigies benefiting from his legacy.
This Oberlin Conservatory graduate, who also completed a master's degree and some doctoral work at Northwestern University, is an Elyria legend and more. He played in the Cleveland Philharmonic, the Oberlin Pro Art Orchestra, served as concert master of the Elyria Little Symphony, and president of the Musical Arts during their golden anniversary year. He was published several times in Strings Magazine when he wrote on the subject of teaching music in public schools.
Like so many great teachers, Mr. Davis went beyond the call of duty. In addition to directing the orchestra, he directed a string quartet and worked with many students during off hours. Listeners of WEOL Radio would tune in weekly to hear Mr. Davis direct student renditions of great orchestral pieces. Many of his students participated in county and state competitions and with the Ohio State Youth Orchestra, thanks to his direction and support.
Dr. Edwin E. Heilakka (BM, BME, MME '41-48) recently retired from his position as curator of the Leopold Stokowski Collection at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He held the position since 1980. He had previously served as music supervisor, then director of the Division of Music Education for the Philadelphia city school system, beginning in 1948. Heilakka has been a Trustee of the Presser Foundation since 1973 and serves on the Board of Directors of the Presser Publishing Co. He was on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Musical Academy (from which he earned a doctorate), the Settlement School and the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia. From 1972 through 1983 he served as a member of the ASCAP Standard Awards Panel. While with the school system, he composed and arranged numerous compositions for the nationally acclaimed Philadelphia "Schools on Parade" featuring primary and secondary school choirs, bands, orchestra and pre-orchestral instrument ensembles. Heilakka writes that with retirement, comes more time to spend with Mary Jean Mapes Heilakka (BA '46) and the "wonderful doings of three sons, their wives and six grandchildren." He added a note to "Oberlin elders: let's not forget Dean Shaw, professors Gegrkens, Williams, Waln, Kessler, Lytle, Lindquist, Burns, et al."
In November 1999, John Clough '53, lectured at three universities in Korea on his recent research in music and mathematics, results of which appeared last year in Journal of Music Theory and Music Theory Spectrum. The third edition of his programmed textbook, Scales, Intervals, Keys, Triads, Rhythm and Meter, co-authored with Claire Boge and Joyce Conley and published by W. W. Norton, also appeared last year. The original edition was published in 1964, after trials in classes at Oberlin Conservatory, where he was a faculty member at the time. Clough continues as Frederick and Alice Slee Professor of Music Theory at State University of New York at Buffalo, and would be glad to hear from old friends at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gene Featherstone '55 took time from an active spring recital schedule to write: "Where I am organist at First Presbyterian Church, Rocky Mount, North Carolina, we have a new 25-stop tracker organ from Richards, Fowkes & Co. of Ooltewah, Tennessee, with lots of Oberlin connections. For example, when he heard that we were searching for an organ builder, Fenner Douglass '42 called me to tell me about 'the new boys on the block.' Grigg Fountain (Douglass' Oberlin faculty colleague and my teacher) with family ties to our church, and I investigated by phone, letter, and visit to their  Opus 1 in Greenwich, CT, ending with our contract for their Opus 8. Dedicated on May 7 by Duke University Chapel organist David Arcus '81, the organ has been visited by other Obies including Fenner and Jane Douglass '53. Plus: Ralph Richards '78 (partner in Richards, Fowkes & Co.), who studied at Oberlin with William Porter '68."
Featherstone adds, "My interest in tracker organs was generated by Grigg Fountain's 1953-54 Fulbright scholarship to Frankfurt, during which he played historic tracker organs in Germany and Holland and subsequently reported to John Mueller '50 his recommendation of Flentrop as the best of modern tracker organ builders. Mueller's 1955 contract with Flentrop for a 2-manual, 16-stop organ for Salem College, North Carolina, cost $10,200! When I played the instrument, I discovered that a pipe organ can, after all, be a tactile-sensitive music-making instrument - after having rejected organ for a career. I believe that this Salem organ was the third Flentrop in U.S., one-manual Flentrops having been built earlier for Oberlin and Texas. E. Power Biggs' 3-manual Flentrop at Harvard's Germanic Museum was installed in 1958."
Gerald Ginsburg's (BM '54) An American À Paris theater lieder in English and French, was performed in May in the Merkin Concert Hall of the Abraham Goodman House in New York City. Performers included soprano Phoebe Yadon, alto Emily Eyre and tenor David Blackburn, with Ginsburg on piano.
Margaret Brouwer '62, head of the composition department, Vincent K. and Edith H. Smith Chair in Composition, and director of the New Music Ensemble at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), was awarded the prestigious Cleveland Arts Prize in music. At the awards ceremony in September 1999, her music was hailed as "lyrical, accessible, powerful and moving." Brouwer's new chamber music CD entitled Crosswinds (CD 821) was released by CRI in June 1999. Her new three movement solo piano piece, Under the Summer Tree, was premiered in April at The Greenwich House Cutting Edge Concert series by pianist Kelly Horsted. Other compositions recently featured include her Vocalese for Soprano and Piano Winter Dream, premiered in March at the Cleveland Institute of Music by soprano Beverley Rinaldi; and Sonata for Horn and Piano performed in April by Cleveland Institute of Music principal hornist Richard King at CIM. Brouwer's Symphony No. 1, Lake Voices, was performed in March and May by the Wichita and Long Beach symphonies. Zuohuang Chen Chen conducted both performances. Brouwer was in residence at the MacDowell Colony in May and June 1999. Upcoming commissions include a percussion concerto for Evelyn Glennie and a fanfare for the Women's Philharmonic, which will also be performed by the American Composer's Orchestra and the Lubbock Symphony. Visit her website: www.brouwermusic.com. E-mail: email@example.com.
Charles Timbrell (BM '64, piano) is currently professor of music and coordinator of keyboard studies at Howard University. Recent performances have included his participation in the North American premiere of Liszt's large piano cycle, Bunte Reihe, at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The revised second edition of his book, French Pianism, was published in 1999 by Amadeus Press. During the past three years he has served as a national judge for the Fulbright Awards in Piano. He has recorded songs of Walter Rummel on the Dante label (with soprano Regina McConnell) and has recently been named editor of the Journal of the American Liszt Society. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In honor of their 25th Reunion, the Class of 1974 raised $55,000 for a Conservatory Master Class Fund. The income earned from this fund will be used to bring musicians to Oberlin to teach master classes each year. Wendy Rolfe-Dunham and Jan Heininger spear-headed the project and several other members of the Class of 1974 helped fund raise for this special project including: Christopher Baswell, Jim Christie, Stuart Ferguson, Peter Garst, David Goodman, Carol Hallowitz, Ted Heavenrich, Willie Katzin, Holly Kempner, Clyde McGregor, Dave Petersen, Andy Quint, Eugene Sawyer, Howard Spindler, Steve Watter and Rick Wolkowitz.
This past spring, the 1974 Master Class Fund helped bring the Juilliard String Quartet to Oberlin, which includes Ronald Copes '71 as Second Violinist. Founded in 1946, this quartet is considered by many to be America's premier string ensemble. Known for its extremely comprehensive repertoire, the group has stunned audiences across the globe with works ranging from Bach to Mozart to Dvorak to works by 20th century masters.
Thanks to the generosity of the Class of 1974, Oberlin students were able to learn and grow from first class musicians! Thank you Class of '74!
Juanita M. Becker '75 received her DM in piano performance: accompanying and chamber music from Florida State University in August 1998. She's currently assistant professor of piano and coordinator of accompanying at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. Becker writes that she's a first-time cat owner with her new feline housemate "Tip."
Organ performance major James Russell Brown '75 has been promoted to the position of vice president of administration at the Music Institute of Chicago. He continues as head of the keyboard division, and also serves as organist and director of music for St. Giles' Episcopal Church of Northbrook, Illinois. The Music Institute of Chicago (formerly known as The Music Center of the North Shore) is one of the largest community music schools in the country, serving over 2,000 students from pre-schoolers to senior citizens.
Kyle Gann '77 is a major force in American music," says John Luther Adams, former associate professor of composition. "The range of his musical knowledge and experience is nothing less than astonishing. As a composer, he's extending the tradition of Henry Cowell, Harry Partch and LaMonte Young, creating exciting new music in acoustically-perfect tunings and complex tempo relationships. As an author and scholar, he's written 'the book' on the music of Conlon Nancarrow, and the definitive history of American Music in the 20th Century. As a critic, he's an eloquent and passionate advocate for the composers and performers he believes are the heart and soul of the music of our time. I can think of very few individuals whose contributions to new music are as diverse and influential as Kyle Gann."
It's only fitting then, that when Gann returned to Oberlin in November as a guest artist of the Contemporary Music Division, his work would be showcased in many areas: music criticism, composition, musicology and performance. During his four-day residency, he offered a lecture "Music Critics and Criticism;" a composition seminar "Non-Tempered and Acoustically-Perfect Tuning;" the Richard Murphy Symposium: "The Rhythmic Legacy of Henry Cowell;" and a concert featuring selections from his recent CD Custer's Ghost, in which Gann was assisted by students. (Hear audio clips from Custer's Ghost on the Con homepage Listening Room feature: www.oberlin.edu/con). In other noteworthy news: In a ceremony held in New York in February, Gann received a Stagebill music journalism award for "The String Quartet Ain't Over 'til the Drummer Solos," his cover story in the February 1999 issue of Chamber Music. Gann teaches music history and theory at Bard College, and has taught at Columbia University, Brooklyn College, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is the author of The Music of Conlon Nancarrow (Cambridge University Press, 1995) and American Music in the 20th Century (Schirmer Books, 1997) Gann has been the new music critic for the Village Voice since 1986 and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times. His writings include more than 1500 articles for more than 30 publications. Visit his website at: http://home.earthlink.net~kgann/
Candie Cramer '85 a.k.a: "Flutina" has a new release, Caught Up! , which received rave reviews in Transformations magazine. Cramer's bio reads: From the birthplace of John Waters - Baltimore - Candie Cramer is an outrageous and controversial drag queen who studied flute at Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Her first CD Caught Up! is dedicated to the memory of the late "Sylvester." This dance song is heavily inspired by the 1980s European groove.
Mitchell Glickman '84, executive director of the American Jazz Philharmonic (AJP) and its summer educational program, the Henry Mancini Institute, returned to Oberlin in February to offer a career master class entitled "Music for Hire: Can an Obie Survive in Hollywood?" For the career master class, Glickman drew from his rich, diverse career to provide top tips for students as they make the transition from academia to the professional world. In addition to his executive position with the AJP, he is a conductor, Emmy-nominated composer and Grammy-nominated producer. Glickman told the students, "A life in music is challenging at best. More commonly, it has chosen us, not the other way around. If a life in music is what you must do, then you will find a way to pursue it. Having said that, I think that it's important for musicians to expose themselves to as many different types of music as they can. I tell students to attend as many concerts as you can, play in and compose for as many different groups as you can, and always keep your ears open to all kinds of new sounds."
Even as an undergraduate, Glickman sought interesting work to complement his studies. During his junior year, Glickman apprenticed with theater composer Richard Peaslee in New York. His work with Peaslee led him to AJP, an organization dedicated to the genre of music he was writing: symphonic jazz. In 1985 Glickman began work with AJP music director Jack Elliott, whom he assisted in scoring "Wildside" on ABC. The project led to 15 years of work with Elliott, including such shows as "Night Court," "Grammy Living Legends" and the annual "Grammy Award Show." He also has worked with composer Craig Safan on "Life Goes On" (for which the team garnered an Emmy nomination in 1990) and the three final seasons of "Cheers." In 1993 Glickman composed the score to the film Proudheart, the critically acclaimed TNN production. He served as music production supervisor for all four seasons of "Picket Fences" and more recently, "The Practice" on ABC. His orchestral concert works include Olympic Memories for trumpeter Byron Stripling and Chapters commissioned by the Turtle Island String Quartet. As a conductor, Glickman has worked with orchestras around the world for concerts and recordings, including the United Kingdom Symphony and the American Jazz Philharmonic. Producer credits include "The Bud Shank Sextet Salutes Harold Arlen," "Guido Basso" and "American Jazz Philharmonic," nominated for a Grammy Award in 1994.
Frederick Hass '83 is living in Philadelphia where he chairs a committee charged with commissioning the design of a new pipe organ for the Regional Performing Arts Center, the city's new concert hall complex currently under construction. He is a trustee of the Curtis Institute of Music, and of the Rosenbach Museum and Library, a house museum with a renowned collection of rare books and manuscripts. Hass chairs the building committee for the museum's expansion into new quarters. Hass shares his home with his partner of four years, Daniel Meyer, MD, who is completing a two-year fellowship in Infectious Disease at the University of Pennsylvania. They hosted a benefit in April for Curtis; Robert Spano '84 was an honoree.
In May classical music critic Joshua Kosman highlighted the work of composer Pierre Jalbert '89 in a San Francisco Chronicle review of a premiere performed by the California Symphony. Each year, Kosman notes, the orchestra's Young American Composer-in-Residence program "helps nurture a new score into life, and there never seems to be a clinker in the bunch." Pierre Jalbert's "In Aeternam" proved to be "a crafty and affecting 14-minute work" that "revealed powerful command of the orchestra and a vivid emotional range." Kosman comments that the work "made a listener eager to hear more."
When Michael Philip Mossman '82 returned to Oberlin in May for a two-day jazz residency, he offered master classes and performed again as a member of the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble (OJE). Mossman, director of the Jazz Studies program at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College/CUNY, describes his membership with OJE as a highlight of his undergraduate years. "Young musicians," he says, "can profit from the OJE experience and college education in general, by performing as much as possible. The practice time is essential, but in rehearsal and performance we gain special insights that serve us well when we enter the professional world. These insights, based on experience, cannot/should not be 'taught.' They are observed and managed by us as we encounter them in a social setting."
Of his brass master class, Mossman says, "In my master class, I speak about how to integrate advanced harmonic/rhythmic concepts into the type of material that we wind players must practice everyday. I stress the need for practice in fundamentals in tone production. The message is, however, that in practicing these fundamentals, more sophisticated content can and should be worked in.
In this manner, our expanded language used in improvisation will become as natural as playing long tones." Mossman adds, "I have had the pleasure of seeing my present students - including four Obies: Adam Jackson '99, Kevin Louis '99, Cathy Elliot '96 and Greg Glassman '98 - breaking into the scene in New York. I enjoy watching them adapt their academic skills to their new working environment."
Vocalist, composer, and electronic percussionist Amy X Neuburg (BM/BA '85) released her third CD on Racer Records. "Sports! Chips! Booty!" features Amy's "electronic avant-cabaret" ensemble Amy X Neuburg & Men playing a number of unusual electronic instruments designed in collaboration with legendary synthesizer inventor Don Buchla. Amy also composes for several San Francisco area modern dance companies and is currently working on a score for New York filmmaker Owen Land. As a vocalist she has toured Europe, Japan, and the U.S. with Robert Ashley's opera ensemble, and performed with Culture Clash in their musical adaptation of Aristophanes' "The Birds." Amy frequently performs her original compositions for voice and electronics at Bay Area concert venues and technology events. Keyboard magazine hailed Amy as "America's answer to Kate Bush. a unique voice in the true sense of the word." Visit her website at www.isproductions.com. E-mail: email@example.com
The Absolute Sound, The High End Journal of Audio & Music (Issue 121, December 1999/January 2000) has awarded a "Golden Ear Award" for best recordings of 1999 to organist Keith S. Toth '83 for his CD Paris on Park Avenue (Ethereal Recordings: www.etherealrecordings.com) The CD was recorded on the Cavaillé-Coll inspired Guilbault-Thérien organ (1996) in the Chapel of the Reformed Faith at The Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City where Toth has been Minister of Music since 1993. The Golden Ear Awards are given annually to audio equipment and recordings that concentrate "not on the new and whiz-bang, but the magical, moving, astonishing: on those things that bring lasting pleasure." Other Golden Ear Award winners for 1999 include Ella Fitzgerald, Renee Fleming, Ben Heppner, Tom Koopman and Robert Shaw, among others. The Absolute Sound critic Michael Fox wrote about Paris on Park Avenue, "In this kind of intimate acoustic, any defect of pipe speech or carelessness in performance will be revealed ruthlessly... Toth has nothing to fear in the spotlight: He plays assuredly and with obvious affection for both the organ and the music...This is a rare example of an organ record more likely to persuade by elequence rather than impress by terror..." E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In March, clarinetist Richard York '69, cellist Daniel Kazez '80 and pianist Christopher Durrenberger '88 performed trios by Beethoven, Chen and Brahms at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. Kazez is associate professor of music at Wittenberg; Durrenberger was appointed to the Wittenberg faculty in fall 1999. E-mail: email@example.com.
(BA/ BMus '98) is currently on a leave of absence from a doctoral program
in comparative literature at Stanford University. In 1999 Tsitsi founded
Stillwater Collaborations dance company, with friends from her native
Zimbabwe and fellow Obie Cathy
Elliott ('97). They have planned a summer tour to Zimbabwe, South
Africa, Mozambique and perhaps, Scotland. Jaji recently received a copy
of her first published article, which appeared in the spring 1999 issue
of Literay Griot. She teaches piano, accompanies dance classes and performs
in Jacksonville, Florida. E-mail:
Kristofer Johnson (BMus Voice '98) teaches voice, choral music and music history at the Canterbury School, an independent college preparatory school in New Milford, Connecticut. His program won the Mike Sheehy Endowment for vocal arts in 1999-2000. This grant will fund guest artists and conductors, tours, and also provides for the construction of a new choral/vocal arts center on the Canterbury Campus. In summer 2000, Johnson celebrates his sixth season teaching theory and aural skills with Oberlin's Vocal Academy for High School Students. He also serves as the Institute's faculty coordinator. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trumpeter Joshua MacCluer '98 is the co-principal trumpeter of the Florida West Coast Symphony and faculty at Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina.
A career shift
is in the works for Boston-based Matthew Mascolo '97. While Mascolo
received his double degrees - BM in TIMARA and a BA in an individual
major of "Earth, Atmosphere and Climate Interactions," he's currently
into the Bean Town music scene as a freelance audio engineer and folk
musician. Mascolo writes with news of his first full-length CD Free
Mind. Lots of Obies on this recording too, including Joel Fisher
(BA '98), Meredith Cooper (BM '97), Ben-o Jones (BA '96)
and Justin Samaha. In October 1997, Mascolo accepted a position
as assistant sound engineer at The North Shore Music Theater in Beverly,
Massachusetts and was promoted to chief musical engineer in less than
a year. He recently left the theater to promote his
Heidi Pinter (BMus '94 ) teaches flute, chamber music, world music, music theory and American music theory at California State University - Chico. E-mail email@example.com.
In January Limmie Pulliam '98 made his Opera Memphis debut in performances of Giacomo Puccini's Tosca at The Orpheum Theatre. Local audiences will remember Pulliam's strong performance in the role of Romeo in the 1998 Oberlin Opera Theater production of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette. Also at Opera Memphis is Vincent Danner '88, who directs the Memphis Youth Symphony, in Memphis and on the youth symphony's European tour.
Marty Regan (BM composition/ BA English, East Asian Studies '95) is currently studying traditional Japanese Music and composition at Tokyo College of Music as a Monbusho Scholar. The Monbusho (Japanese Ministry of Education) Scholarship is awarded to research students for a two-year period. Regan will study in Japan from April 2000 to March 2002. Regan's studies include private lessons on the Shakuhachi -- a Japanese bamboo flute. He also studies Japanese Theater Music (Bunraku, Noh, and Kabuki) and composition with Masao Endo and Miki Minoru. Aside from classes and lessons, he is also an active member of a Taiko (Japanese drums) ensemble and Javanese Gamelan Ensemble. He is on leave from a graduate program in composition at the University of California, Riverside during his stint in Japan.
Regan says he first developed an interest in Japan when he took a course at Oberlin in Zen Buddhism from Professor of Religion James Dobbins. Following graduation from Oberlin he went to teach English in Japan for three years. "I fell in love with Japan and its rich culture and history," he says. "I went back home to New York in 1998, but found myself missing Japan. That's when I began to search for a way to get back to Japan and learned about the Monbusho scholarship. I began the application process in February of 1999 and found out I received it in January of 2000. Basically, I was trying to find a way to integrate my interests in Japanese culture and language with my music studies. This program fuses those two things."
"I've been received very warmly in Japan," says Regan. "All of my teachers are very dedicated and Tokyo is a very live and thriving city -- there is so much to do -- I go to concerts and various cultural events almost every day, just like when I was at Oberlin." E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas Rosenkranz '99 was the National Winner at the 1999 Collegiate Competition sponsored by the MTNA. He has recently given performances at the Pennsylvania and Washington State Music Teacher's Conventions, the Eastman School of Music, Malone College in Canton, Ohio, and the 92 St. Y in New York City. Rosenkranz was a guest artist at the University of Oregon's "Festival for the Millennium" where he performed the world premiere of HyeKyung Lee's conFUsion/comBUstion and worked with composer George Crumb. This concert, featuring his performance of Crumb's Little Suite for Christmas, was recorded by WGBH in Boston to be broadcast in 50 countries. This summer, Rosenkranz is part of a three-week tour of Japan with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. He is currently pursuing a master's degree from Eastman where he studies with Nelita True. E-mail: email@example.com.
Claude Sim (BM violin performance '99) was appointed Associate Concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra for the 2000-2001 season, and appointed to the violin section of the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, beginning in the summer of 2000.