October 2011 eNews: InterNetzo

  • We are amazed at how supportive these young people are of each other's individuality, creativity, and expression.

    – Parent of a Young Musicians Program student

Table of Contents

Message from the Executive Director
Hilary Kole and Friends at Birdland
Creative Musicians Retreat a great success
Lexington Symphony/Walden School Commission
Event review: Jazz in New Hampshire, and our on-line auction
Help Students Take a Bite Out of Music – Make Your Donation to Walden!
Start the school year off with Walden merchandise
Community News and Goods
Opportunities & Organizations Listing
Now Hear This! Works by 2011 Walden Participants

Message from the Executive Director

What a summer! What a year! How can one measure Walden’s success in 2011?

If the measure of a program were the number of people it deeply affected, Walden would impress for 2011. 24 participants from around the world, aged 19 to 69, attended Walden’s brand new Creative Musicians Retreat in June in Northampton, Massachusetts, on the stunning campus of Smith College; 56 students from everywhere from Vilnius to Tokyo, Peterborough to Seattle attended the 39th season of what has now been named the Young Musicians Program (aka ‘camp’) on the beautiful campus of the Dublin School, enjoying numerous Composers Forums, classes, chorus, hikes, open mics and swim trips; 31 music teachers from throughout the United States attended our 7th weeklong Teacher Training Institute intensive in New Hampshire; and nine students in Oberlin’s Masters in Music Teaching program attended a week of Walden-style teacher training in Ohio. Indeed, a record number of participants – more than 110 – participated in a Walden program during 2011.

If the value of Walden could be determined by the number of engaging events we presented, the School would merit high marks for its 2011 season. Over the course of the summer, we presented more than 25 public performances, community engagement concerts, composers forums and open rehearsals during June, July and August, with artists ranging in style from the Windborne Trio and Pamela Z to the International Contemporary Ensemble and Miranda Cuckson, to name but a few. More than 50 faculty, staff, administration, guest performers and composers-in-residence collaborated and combined forces to produce for our participants what we all hope was an amazing and inspiring experience of creativity, community and music.

If the strength of Walden could be measured by the number of partnerships it builds and sustains, 2011 would indicate great strength. This year we continued forging links with other outstanding arts and education organizations, both local to our summer homes and across the United States. These included partnerships with The MacDowell Colony, Monadnock Music, Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Oberlin College Conservatory, Community MusicWorks in Providence, The Juilliard School’s MAP program, Music National Service, the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, the Lexington Symphony, Duke University, among many others. This was the second year that Walden was in residence as part of the music program at Dublin School. This spring, Walden faculty member Marshall Bessières taught courses in creative musicianship, composition and computer music. In 2011, Boston-based Firebird Ensemble performed world premieres by Walden faculty members and then helped coach participants in the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music’s summer performance program, who premiered works by three Walden students: Evan Johnson, Ariel Kent, and Wesley Levers.

If we were to calculate Walden’s value by the number of friends and supporters it has, we would find Walden to be rich, indeed. In order to serve the more than 110 program participants, present the more than 25 events, and nurture its myriad partnerships, Walden needed – and continues to need – the help of many friends. During Walden’s 2011, which just ended on September 30, more than 370 of you, along with more than 25 foundations and corporations, combined to provide more than $385,000 in support for our annual fund. These monies supported 100% of our financial aid program, 100% of our guest artist and composer residency programs, 100% of our alumni Composers Forums and regional gatherings, and these monies – importantly – helped defray the costs of basic operations so that we can keep our programs small, individually attentive and, as much as possible, reasonably priced. Did you know that in 2011 more than 50% of our program participants received financial aid and that Walden distributed approximately $100,000 in aid to deserving participants and families? We could not do what we do without our supporters, and I thank each of you for the role you played in making 2011 such a successful year.

We also needed – and continue to need – the help of many friends who volunteer hundreds of hours in making Walden happen. From our dedicated 20+ member board of directors, our invaluable office volunteers in San Francisco, numerous individuals who volunteered at our programs and fundraiser and events, and our volunteer alumni who help guide our HandOverHand Executive Committee, the leadership group of Walden’s alumni association, we simply could not operate without such assistance. Thank you to all of you who give time, that most precious of commodities, to Walden!

If public recognition were the indicator of Walden’s success, our grades would be off the charts for 2011. As we have mentioned before, Walden was the recipient this past year of numerous accolades. Walden was awarded the 2011 New Music Educator Award from the American Music Center (now New Music USA) and earned a spot as one of 50 finalists nationally for the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, a program sponsored by the White House. We also received notice of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts which will support our Young Musicians Program in 2012. And Walden was featured in two news articles appearing in the Monadnock Region’s Keene Sentinel and Monadnock Ledger-Transcript.

But numbers – of participants, events, partnerships, donors, awards – don’t tell the real story of Walden’s value. None of these numbers can represent the incredible and thorough musicianship training that Walden participants receive. No award or trophy can accomplish Walden’s mission to, among other things, “nurture a life-long commitment to creative expression, all resulting in the development of individuals who are capable of effecting positive change in the world around them.” Only Walden’s unique programs led by its outstanding faculty, staff and artists, do this.

So what is the true measure of Walden’s impact? Here are just a few examples:

  • The smile on the face of a Walden student after the premiere and ensuing discussion of her composition on a Composers Forum.
  • The feeling that a student has when summiting Mt. Monadnock for the first time with his newfound Walden friends.
  • And comments like this one from a Young Musicians Program participant from 2011 – “I didn’t believe in heaven before I went to Walden.”

I hope you enjoy this issue of InterNetzo. Be sure to check out News & Goods for updates on the doings of your old friends, read Carrie Mallonee’s report on Walden’s newest program, learn about the co-commissioning project with the Lexington Symphony in Massachusetts, and review our listing of additional musical opportunities. Happy reading!

All best,

Seth Brenzel
Director, Young Musicians Program
Executive Director
sbrenzel@waldenschool.org
(415) 648-4710

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Hilary Kole and Friends at Birdland

Alumni, faculty, parents and friends of Walden gathered for a festive evening with Hilary Kole and her outstanding band, who performed a spectacular set of greater- and lesser-known works from the jazz repertoire. She also performed her own arrangement of that Walden chestunut, “Do you love an apple?”. Proceeds from the event will go towards Walden’s financial aid programs in 2012.

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Creative Musicians Retreat a great success

by Caroline Mallonée

The Walden School has a new kind of alumnus/a! From June 11-19, participants from 10 states across the country, Washington D.C., Canada, Japan, Belarus, and Portugal came together on the campus of Smith College for the first Walden School Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR). For over a week, the 24 musicians immersed themselves in the creative process, and the results were astounding – 35 new works were given their world premieres at two Composers Forums, moderated by Composer-In-Residence, Russell Pinkston. Participants praised the members of the International Contemporary Ensemble, who presented a concert of works by both living and historical composers on Sunday, June 12, as a kick-off to the week’s events. Classes and workshops in computer music, contemporary music, improvisation, sound painting, chorus and musicianship were offered by the faculty (Marshall Bessières, Caroline Mallonée, Loretta Notareschi, Sam Pluta and Leo Wanenchak). One participant said he had been waiting half his life for the experience CMR provided. It was an inspirational festival, and a wonderful new way for musicians to experience Walden!

The Walden School plans to offer the Creative Musicians Retreat again in June 2012. Contact us for more details.

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Lexington Symphony/Walden School Commission

The Lexington Symphony, in celebration of the 300th Anniversary of the founding of Lexington, Massachusetts, approached The Walden School to help it identify a young composer (under 25 years of age) from among Walden program alumni to write a 10-15 minute orchestral work to be premiered in September 2012. The commission was announced in the spring, and over the summer, many Walden alumni composers submitted applications to be considered. A selection committee, comprising Caroline Mallonée, Marshall Bessières, Marguerite Ladd and Seth Brenzel, was formed, and late in August, the committee chose Teacher Training Institute and Creative Musicians Retreat alumna Sky Macklay as the commissioned composer for this exciting project. Sky, who is a music composition graduate student at the University of Memphis, is now hard at work on her new piece, which needs to be completed by the spring, in time for the orchestra to begin working with the score and readying it for its premiere on September 22, 2012.

Young Musicians Program and Teacher Training Institute alumna Kate Ettinger and Young Musicians Program alumnus Michael Rosen were named finalists in the commission contest. Both of these composers made outstanding applications as well, and in the end, a difficult choice to select simply one of the three finalists was made. This commission project also coincides with Walden’s 40th Anniversary celebration, which takes place throughout 2012 and 2013, and the score of the piece will include a dedication to both the town of Lexington and to The Walden School. Walden is grateful to the Lexington Symphony, its staff and board, and its music director, Jonathan McPhee, for partnering with The Walden School on what is sure to be a wonderful project.

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Event review: Jazz in New Hampshire, and our on-line auction

Walden’s Online Auction Closes with a Bang

What do custom compositions, catered dinners, and eye exams have in common? They were all items won by bidders in this year’s online auction. Dozens of lucky bidders won lessons, vacations, consulting, and concert tickets in this fun – and successful! – fundraiser for Walden. The auction raised nearly $5,000 to support financial aid at Walden, and introduced the School to some new supporters in the process.

Saturday Afternoon at the Silitches

Jazz, sunshine, food, good friends – what more could you ask for? A summer fundraiser at the beautiful home of Nick and Regina Silitch in New Hampshire featured pianist Bill Stevens and bassist Tony Makarome, both aso Walden faculty members. In addition to performing, Bill also spoke to the gathered crowd from the perspective of both an alumnus and faculty member about the importance of what Walden offers to its program participants. The event raised more than $11,500 for financial aid at Walden – a stunning achievement! Many thanks to all who made the event such a rousing success.

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Help Students Take a Bite Out of Music – Make Your Donation to Walden!

Imagine that you’d never had chocolate cake before – you don’t even know what it is. Feeling sorry for you, a friend tries to describe it to you and shows you a recipe, but you’re still unclear on the concept. But what if that friend gives you an actual piece of chocolate cake, tells you to turn it around in your hands, to taste it, what then? You now have a pretty good idea what chocolate cake is. And if your friend shows you how to bake one, you’ll be fluent in chocolate cake: a happy circumstance, indeed!

At most schools, students study music theory as if it were a conceptual chocolate cake. There’s a lot of lecturing and written work, but not enough direct experience – not enough cake eating – and not nearly enough baking. With every person it reaches, Walden transforms that model to one where students develop fluency and mastery through discovery, drill and creative work – composition and improvisation. Music is immediate and real and tangible at Walden, as tangible as chocolate cake should be.

Students deserve to learn music this way, but they need your help to make it happen. Have you made a gift recently? Your donation to Walden today will help make it possible for more musicians to master the creative skills they need to truly understand music, to make it as real – and delicious – as chocolate cake. Please make a contribution today.

And if you’ve already joined the more than 370 people who annually give to Walden, thank you!

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Start the school year off with Walden merchandise

Though Autumn has begun, the Walden spirit carries us throughout the year. What better way to remind you and your loved ones of this great community than a sweatshirt to keep you warm all winter, a mug full of your favorite beverage, a snazzy wristband, a key chain, or any of the other items available on Merchandise Order Form available below. The perfect gift for someone whose life has been touched by The Walden School, our merchandise is of high quality and emblazoned with our distinctive logo.

Just print out our Merchandise Form and send in with your payment.

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Community News and Goods

The Walden School welcomes news and information from members of the Junior Conservatory Camp and Walden School communities to include in our print and online newsletters. News may be sent via mail or email. We will publish your contact information only if you specifically request that we do so. Please send info to alumni@waldenschool.org or The Walden School, 31A 29th St., San Francisco, CA 94110. We reserve the right to edit submissions and regret we cannot publish all information provided. For upcoming event listings, go to www.handoverhand.org.

Nigel Armstrong (YMP ’00) was a finalist in the Tchaikovsky Competition. You can read articles about him here and here.

Whit Bernard (YMP ’00-02, TTI ’06, Faculty ’09) has begun his first year as an MBA candidate in social enterprise and international business at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

After 15 years in Hungary, Tamar Bloch (JCC ’69-71, YMP ’72, TTI ’08, Faculty ’75, ’77, ’87-92) is living in New Jersey, and taking care of her mother. She’s also doing translations (German and Hungarian) and just recorded her first voice-over demo CD. If you know of music making and/or teaching opportunities in the New York/New Jersey area (solfege, ear training, piano, musicianship, children’s choirs), she’d love to hear from you at solfatamar@yahoo.com.

The September 2011 edition of JazzInside Magazine featured an interview with George Brandon (CMR ’11), in which he discusses his early musical environment, the process of recording his recently released debut CD, Toward the Hill of Joy, and advice for musicians and bandleaders for coping with hassles and pressures!

Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy (JCC ’61-65) was present for a screening of her documentary film “FROM AFRICA TO INDIA: Sidi Music in the Indian Ocean Diaspora” at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco in early September. Walden administration members Esther Landau (TTI ’09, Administration ’05-11) and Jefferson Packer (TTI ’10-11, Administration ’10-11) attended both this fascinating film and the ensuing discussion. Amy hopes to attend the reunion in 2012.

Alan Chan (TTI ’04, ’06, Faculty ’10-11) is the winner of this year’s ArtEZ Jazz Composition Contest (International Jazz Festival Enschede, Netherlands) with his composition To Be Continued for jazz big band. He is also the winner of the joint Los Angeles County Arts/St. Matthew’s Music Guild Commission Award in October 2010 and his commissioned work, a concerto for erhu entitled Rock-Paper-Scissors, was premiered in June, 2011, by Wang Hong and St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra in Pacific Palisades, California. In the same month, Bitter Melon for erhu and pipa received its Asia Premiere by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. Alan is currently the Artistic Director of Gateway Performance Series in Los Angeles.

Nicholas DeMaison (Faculty ’04-07) will serve as the Music Director for two upcoming productions of Pocket Opera NY, Le pauvre matelot by Darius Milhaud and The Ticket That Exploded by James Ilgenfritz. To view a , visit http://www.pocketoperany.org.

In July, Renée Favand-See (YMP ’85, ’87-90, TTI ’08, Faculty ’93-97, ’99, ’06-07, ’09) premiered a new work by Bonnie Miksch, Like water, like sound, like breath, in addition to performing two songs of her own, Driving a highway in Eastern Washington and Morning Mist. The concert took place at Old Church in Portland.

Walden board member Corty Fengler (TTI ’11, Board ’09-11) met up with Sarah Ye (YMP ’01-05) and her family last year while in Beijing.

Stephen Flynn (YMP ’01-04) started in July 2011 as the Emerging Technologies Librarian at the College of Wooster, and had his innovative cover letter website featured in Library Journal.

The music of Stacy Garrop (YMP ’87-88, Faculty ’96) has seen lots of action lately, with performances of Sonnets of Desire, Longing, and Whimsy by The Grant Park Chorus and SEVEN by the Lincoln Trio. Stacy also made an appearance at the Skaneateles Festival. SEVEN was featured on a CD by the Lincoln Trio called Notable Women, which includes the music of former festival week moderators Jennifer Higdon (Visiting Artist ’99, Advisory Council ’02-11) and Joan Tower (Visiting Artist ’09).

Tonya Ingersol (YMP ’78-80, ’83, Board of Directors ’98-01) had an exhibit of her paintings at the June Kelly Gallery in New York in September. Read more here.

In June, NPR’s All Things Considered ran a report on the week that music contributor Lara Pellegrinelli shadowed International Contemporary Ensemble (Guest Artists ’11) flutist and executive director Claire Chase (Guest Artists ’05-09). The ensemble performed James Dillon’s symphonic cycle Nine Rivers September 14-17, 2001 at Miller Theater, Columbia University.

Alex Kazenoff (YMP ’05) graduated this summer from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Electronic Production & Design, and was offered a job as Assistant Engineer at Creative Group, an industry company in the Times Square area of Manhattan.

Aaron Krerowicz (TTI ’11) and his mandolin ensemble Syzygia performed a “Mandolin/Guitar Extravaganza” in Hartford, Connecticut on August 16, 2011. More information, including the concert program, can be found here.

Ned McGowan (Visting Artist ’01-04, ’10) reports that his ensemble Hexnut (Visting Artists ’10) has a new project, WRENCH, together with the photographs of Edward Burtynsky. The performance consists of new compositions performed in a tightly versed integration of sound and projected image, and its premiere last May had a big turnout and was a big success. Hexnut’s website has a trailer from the performance, along with photos, reviews, articles, videos, and info about upcoming concerts.

Loretta Notareschi (YMP ’95, TTI ’08, Faculty ’98-11) was awarded 2nd place in the IronWorks Percussion Duo competition for her piece This Is It; the work was performed in May 2011 in Long Beach, CA. She was also thrilled to write two cadenzas for Mozart’s Flute Concerto in D, performed by Esther Landau (TTI ’09, Administration ’05-11) in November 2010.

Anna Orias (TTI ’04-05) has opened Musically Minded Academy in Oakland, CA,with 11 teachers and more than 100 students. Nick Benavides (TTI ’09-10, CMR ’11) is teaching Creative Musicianship for the first time at the school!

Nat Osborn (YMP ’00-03) is keeping predictably busy with his bands Hawthorne and The Diamond Allegory, with several gigs early in the summer in the NYC area, and the rest of it spent finishing a record and touring Europe.

We dug up a great article by Sam Pluta (Staff ’01-02, Faculty ’02-08, ’10-11) about how to make successful live electronic music.

The PRISM Saxophone Quartet (Guest Artist ’05) made its Bang On A Can debut in June, at New York City’s World Financial Center in the Winter Garden.

Vivian Adelberg Rudow (JCC ’50-51) recently performed live dance to her piece John’s Song, at the Baltimore Museum of Art in July 2011. For the entire month of August, her No Rest Too! and The Bare Smooth Stone of Your Love were featured every two hours on NACUSA Web Radio.

Here is a great video of Kelly Smit (YMP ’93-95) doing Irish Sean-nós dance with her husband Dan Isaacson and his band Simple System.

Births and Weddings:

Mark A. Lackey (TTI ’04-05) and his wife Jennifer welcomed their new daughter Tabitha to the world in February 2011.

Danielle Schindler (YMP ’88-93) married Jason Cheung on August 27, 2011, at IslandWood, an environmental school on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Seth Brenzel (YMP ’85-90, TTI ’08, Staff/Administration ’94-11), Malcolm Gaines (CMR ’11, Administration ’99-11), Loretta Notareschi (YMP ’95, TTI ’08, Faculty ’98-11), David Drucker (YMP ’77-82, CMR’11, Faculty ’84-88, Board of Directors ’98-00), and Dede Ondishko (YMP ’74-77, Faculty/Staff ’79-85, Board of Directors ’99-02) were in attendance. The couple spent their honeymoon in Hong Kong and India.

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Now Hear This! Works by 2011 Walden Participants

The Walden School 2011 Creative Musicians Retreat Composers Forums presented the world premieres of more than 25 pieces, including Nick Benavides’ Petrichor, performed by members of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).

(Note: depending on your operating system, this link will either open your media player and play the track, or save the track to your computer.)

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