eNews: InterNetzo – October 2019

Message from Seth Brenzel, Executive Director

Greetings!

Autumn is here--time to appreciate another wonderful Walden summer and turn our attention to the year ahead. This edition of InterNetzo offers a preview of winter events, with Walden holiday potlucks and Alumni Composers Forums just around the corner. Check out our Community News section to learn about your fellow readers and the goings on in their lives and careers throughout the year. I hope to see you at a Walden event soon, and until then, happy reading.

Upcoming Events

Walden Holiday Parties

The holiday season is just around the corner! Walden community members will be gathering for holiday potlucks in cities throughout the country in December and January.

Look for an email listing dates and cities soon, and if you are interested in hosting a party in your area or want to learn more in the meantime about these upcoming gatherings, please write to us at alumni@waldenschool.org.

Alumni Composers Forums

New York - Sunday, January 19, 2020
Featuring Mivos Quartet

Greenwich House
46 Barrow Street
New York, NY 10014
4-6 pm

San Francisco - Saturday, February 22, 2020
Featuring Del Sol String Quartet

Center for New Music
55 Taylor Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
4-6 pm

Watch out for a call for scores to come shortly! All alumni of the Creative Musicians Retreat, Teacher Training Institute, Young Musicians Program, and Junior Conservatory Camp are eligible to submit scores for music for any combination of string quartet players. If you can provide other performers (including yourself) for the event, you are welcome to submit scores that include other instruments beyond violin, viola, and/or cello. These events will be free and open to the public.

If you have any questions or would like to express interest now, please write to us at alumni@waldenschool.org.

 

Walden 2020

Creative Musicians Retreat: June 13-21, 2020
Young Musicians Program: June 27 - August 2, 2020

Application materials will be available beginning in early November on our website, but you can make sure you receive application materials via email by signing up at: waldenschool.org/invite to apply/

Application deadlines (postmark):

January 3 (early)
February 21 (winter)
April 3 (spring)

In the Spotlight - Nate May

2019 was Nate's third summer on faculty at the Young Musicians Program. He has taught musicianship, composition, and specialty classes, and is our current Goodnight Music faculty leader. When not at Walden, Nate teaches at Thurnauer School of Music (along with faculty members Doug Hertz and Rebekah Griffin Greene) and at Montclair State University John J. Cali School of Music.

What is something about Walden you found surprising?

I heard about Walden from my friend Evan Williams, who had been on faculty, and it sounded awesome. In my head I imagined this utopic place, and Walden met that pretty well, which was surprising. Usually when I build castles in the sky, they come crashing down eventually. So I was surprised something like Walden can exist in the real world.

Why music?

I love the combination of rational and irrational that music has or can be approached with. I have both those elements--I am really interested in abstract things, but I also have very visceral reactions to sounds. I'm fascinated by combining those two sides.

What is a piece of Walden you carry with you outside the summer?

Practically, I use the pedagogy and approach to musicianship in my teaching all the time. I felt very affirmed that Walden is so big on the overtone series, because it's very important to me. It's pretty much missing from most music theory curricula, but I make it a big part of theory in my teaching.
The community of faculty and staff is also important to me year-round. I move a lot, so I love having those summers with people I've grown really close to. I really look forward to being back each summer.
I also think Walden has taught me a way of interacting with students that I carry with me. There are ways to unlock things with a student, but that unlocking takes time, and Walden gives students that time. Now when I encounter students elsewhere, I see those potentials.

What is a non-music hobby that you love?

I know this was meant to be a non-Walden question, but I love hiking. I'm not always able to fit trips in, and on the East Coast a lot of sites are closed some seasons. But I love just being in the woods.

Can you describe a favorite Walden memory?

We went to visit Caroline Shaw at the MacDowell Colony, and I drove one of the buses. She gave a presentation and then had everyone sing pitches and change the vowel shapes, really paying attention to the timbre of those pitches. When we got back in the van, I turned on the radio, but I turned it to AM, and it was static, but it had a sort of a drone to it. So I turned it up, and the kids started singing along with the drone with overtones! That lasted the whole drive back to campus, at least 20 minutes, and no one was talking, no one was laughing, no one took it as a joke. They were just communing with this AM static drone. Then we got back, I turned off the radio, and everyone just got off the bus. It was just another day.

What would you want to tell a first-time Walden student before they arrive at camp?

About: Nate May is a composer, performer, and educator whose interest in human ecosystems has impelled explorations of a wide variety of sounds and interactions. Raised in Huntington, West Virginia, much of his work stems from a "fascination, love, and respect for the people" of Appalachia (Soapbox), including his oratorio "State," the result of interviews he conducted with Appalachian migrants on a fellowship from the Berea Sound Archives, and "Licorice Parikrama," a networked performance featuring a live conference call with West Virginians affected by the 2014 Elk River chemical spill. Nate is an accomplished keyboardist and improviser as well as an electronic musician and producer, collaborating with Paris-based choreographer Wanjiru Kamuyu on the world-touring work Spiral and indigenous experimental trio Khoi Khonnexion on their debut album Kalahari Waits, recorded during a year in South Africa on a Reese Miller scholarship from the Telluride Association.

Walden donors set a new record

Walden's fiscal year ended on September 30. In the 2019 fiscal year, 500 donors gave more than $377,000--Walden's largest-ever class of donors! This year also set the record for new members of our donor community. Thank you! We are inspired by your generosity, and the transformative experiences of music and community you make possible.

 

BMI Foundation launches 2020 Scholarship Season

The BMI Foundation announced that it is now accepting online applications for its 2020 scholarship season, open to students attending colleges and universities nationwide.
The Foundation will administer five distinct songwriting and composing scholarship competitions, judged by panelists of international musical acclaim. These annual programs include the BMI Future Jazz Master Scholarship, BMI Student Composer Awards, John Lennon Scholarship, peermusic Latin Scholarship and the Nashville Songwriting Scholarship. In addition, the Foundation administers two scholarship competitions outside the area of music creation: the BMI Founders Internship Program for broadcasting students, and the Woody Guthrie Fellowship for scholars pursuing topics or themes related to the American folk music progenitor.
Most applications must be completed no later than January 15, 2020, though the Founders Award, Woody Guthrie, and Student Composer Awards have extended deadlines.
For details and to apply, visit bmifoundation.org/programs.

Community News

George Brandon's Blue Unity Sextet

George Brandon's Blue Unity Sextet performed in New York at Local 802 American Federation of Musicians on October 10. The concert was part of the Jazz in the Afternoon concert series, sponsored by Local 802, and all proceeds go to assist musicians in times of need. George is an alumnus of the Creative Musicians Retreat.

 

Eliza Brown's 'Figure to Ground" on MusicNow
Eliza Brown's "Figure to Ground" was performed on October 7 on the opening concert of the 22nd season of Chicago Symphony Orchestra's MusicNow series. As described in the Chicago Tribute, "Figure to Ground" reveled in understatement, its hushed dynamics, transparent textures and hauntingly simple melodic fragments inducing the listener to lean in, the better to savor its whisperings." Eliza is a Young Musicians Program (YMP) alumna, has served on YMP faculty and staff, and in 2019 was an academic dean and faculty mentor for YMP.

 

Daniel Felsenfeld premiere with FearNoMusic
"Indelible in the Hippocampus is the Laughter," a piece written by Daniel Felsenfeld, premiered on September 23 in Portland, Oregon. The piece was part of HEARINGS: New Music inspired by the 2018 "Kavanaugh Hearings," a concert of world premieres presented by FearNoMusic. Danny was on faculty at the Young Musicians Program in 2018 and 2019.

 

Del Sol residency at Avaloch Farm 
Del Sol String Quartet, a past visiting artist at Walden, will be in residence for one week at Avaloch Farm Music Institute in Boscawen, New Hampshire. Based in the Bay Area, Del Sol is dedicated to bringing the voice of living artists to our diverse community and making contemporary chamber music a dynamic part of today's culture.

 

Douglas Hertz premieres on the West Coast

On October 1, "A Small Measure of Warmth," a piece written by Douglas Hertz for soprano, baritone, and piano, premiered at Meyer Sound Labs in Berkeley, California. The piece was the culmination of Doug's time as a Composer Fellow at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy. On October 21, "Fixtures in the Fold" was premiered in Portland, Oregon, by Portland Percussion Group. This piece won first prize in Portland Percussion Group's 2019 Call for Scores. The concert also featured the music of Paul Lansky, a member of The Walden School Advisory Council.

 

Alicia Jo Rabins - A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff

YMP alumna Alicia Jo Rabins wrote A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff based on her experience working in an artist residency on Wall Street during the 2008 financial collapse. Premiered in 2012, the solo chamber-rock opera has been adapted into a film with animation by Zak Margolis, in collaboration with Boom Arts, and is now in post-production.

 

Kate Soper and Sam Pluta open Wet Ink season
Wet Ink Ensemble, a past ensemble-in-residence at Walden, is opening their 21st season with Dialogues, a concert in Seattle on November 3. Kate Soper and Sam Pluta will present a new evening-length set of collaboratively developed music, alongside Kate's solo works. Sam served for 17 years on Walden's faculty, and was Walden's Academic Dean for nearly a decade at the Young Musicians Program. Kate has been a visiting artist with Wet Ink at both Walden's Creative Musicians Retreat and Young Musicians Program.

Seth Parker Woods in Recital in Seattle  
Seth Parker Woods, a member of The Walden School Players, will perform with the Seattle Symphony on December 11. That Which is Fundamental is an exploration of language and essential truths of the human condition.  The program presents compositions by Anton Lukoszevieze, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Vinko Globokar, Tonia Ko, Gustavo Tavares and Julius Eastman. The concert will feature percussionist Bonnie Whiting, also a member of The Walden School Players.

We want to hear from you!
What's been going on? If you have a recent or upcoming premiere, publication, award, new job or program, or a celebratory life event, please share the news. Email your news to alumni@waldenschool.org.

Stay in Touch
You can like The Walden School page on Facebook and join The Walden School private group to hear about events and opportunities throughout the year, including upcoming regional alumni Composers Forums and Holiday Parties. You can also find us on InstagramTwitter, and at waldenschool.org.

 


The Walden School 2019 Season Highlights

Transformative Programs:

Young Musicians Program

Walden’s 47th Young Musicians Program (June 29-August 4) brought 49 young composers, ages 9-18, to Dublin from 17 states and two other countries. Of these creative, talented students, 27 were new to Walden, and 22 were returners. Eight younger students attended a shortened, three-week session, and all students spent life-changing weeks working with incredible faculty, dedicated staff, and top-notch artists and ensembles. Our guest Composer-in-Residence, Kati Agócs, was a wonderful presence, as she moderated three Composers Forums with thoughtful curiosity and gave a fascinating lecture-demonstration of her work. Two of her works were featured on other concerts, including a beautiful performance of Hyacinth Curl on Walden's Choral Concert, arranged for 12 voices by Walden's Choral Director, Dr. Sarah Riskind. Addressing YMP students at Walden’s Choral Concert, Kati said:

"I’ve been absolutely blown away by all of your works, your individual voices that I’ve heard. To me you’re like a firmament of stars, which has no limit to its potential—each one unique and brilliant. I feel the world really needs you and your passion for new music, and it gives me hope that you’re going to be going out there sharing that passion.

As happens each summer, all YMP students took classes in musicianship and composition, as well as chorus. We welcomed back entirely returning faculty, and welcomed three new staff members to the team, including alumnus Theo Trevisan. Faculty members taught specialty classes in orchestration, film and video game scoring, Renaissance music, music for social change, jazz improvisation, and several other topics.

In the words of YMP student Ash Paris-Carter, reflecting on her 6th summer at Walden:

Year after year, every time I arrive at Walden, my heart glows. I’m always struck by the natural beauty of New Hampshire, combined with being surrounded by creative and talented individuals who love music as much as I do. My favorite thing about Walden is that music is tied into everything we do, from hikes, to meals, and even “Halloween in July.” I love that it is the only place in the world where a bunch of teenagers can rock out to Stravinsky and Philip Glass at a dance. I love that my teachers are so engaged and passionate about music, and that they will always have my back. I love that Walden has opened me up to the fact that music can take many different forms. That people write music of every genre and every technique and style and how Walden is more welcoming to that than anywhere else I’ve studied. This community lifts everybody up and reveals to them that music is everywhere, in every moment of time.


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Creative Musicians Retreat

For Walden's eighth year of the Creative Musicians Retreat, 45 participants, ranging in age from 18 to 77, came from 22 states and Canada for nine immersive days of composing and learning from renowned faculty and guest artists. 14 of the participants were alumni of YMP, CMR, and/or TTI, and all participants came together in a wonderful community spanning many musical styles, talents, and backgrounds. Our fantastic Composer-in-Residence, George Lewis, shared excellent insights with the composers in master classes, three nights of Composers Forums, as well as during private lessons. We offered an evening of chamber music for the second time at CMR, with an amazing repertoire of entirely contemporary pieces. The wonderful Matthew Gold, David Friend, and Mivos Quartet were in residence this summer, and their enthusiasm and dedication shone through in their performances of participant works.

Award-winning Concert Series:

Our Composers Forums are at the heart of Walden's programs and are a unique element of our Concert Series. Whether or not students have written music before coming to Walden, all students compose at least one piece at Walden, and most complete more. Participants write in a wide array of musical styles, and these works are premiered on 11 Composers Forums (3 during CMR, 8  during YMP) by visiting artists, faculty and staff members, and other students. After their piece is premiered, the composer takes the stage to answer questions from faculty, other students, and audience members about their piece, their process, and their intentions going forward. We hope you enjoy this glimpse of a Young Musicians Program Composers Forum:

Walden’s Summer Concert Series included more than 20 performances, all free and open to the public. The Young Musicians Program had a wonderful opening concert with the Steinberg Duo, featuring the U.S. premiere of a sonata written for them by Philip Sawyers. Aurora Nealand & the Royal Roses gave a lively outdoor performance of New Orleans jazz, delighting an audience of more than 300 before leading a musical parade down to the lake to watch 4th of July fireworks. The YMP Faculty Commissioning Concert featured four members of Ensemble Dal Niente, who performed eight new pieces by Walden faculty. The International Contemporary Ensemble gave an amazing performance of works by contemporary composers, including Walden faculty member Osnat Netzer, as well as performing student works on two of the Young Musicians Program Composers Forums. Eight returning members of The Walden School Players performed numerous student works during Festival Week, and also gave an exciting concert of works entirely written in the past 15 years, including works by Walden faculty member Ted Moore and 2019 YMP Composer-in-Residence Kati Agócs.

Our visiting artists also held community connections concerts at three locations. Aurora Nealand & the Royal Roses performed at RiverMead Retirement Community, The Walden School Players performed at Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center, and the Steinberg Duo performed at the Keene Public Library.

Click on date to view program details:

Saturday, June 15: Mivos Quartet (string quartet); Matthew Gold, percussion; David Friend, piano, and Hai-Ting Chinn, voice. Included works by George E. Lewis, Composer-in-Residence


Sunday, June 16: Composer Presentation: George E. Lewis, CMR Composer-in-Residence


Tuesday, June 18: Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) Composers Forum I


Wednesday, June 19: CMR Composers Forum II


Thursday, June 20: CMR Chamber Music Concert


Friday, June 21: CMR Composers Forum III


Sunday, June 30: Steinberg Duo - Louisa Stonehill, violin; Nicholas Burns, piano


Tuesday, July 2: Young Musicians Program (YMP) Composers Forum I


Friday, July 5: Aurora Nealand & the Royal Roses (New Orleans jazz)

At this lively outdoor concert, the band announced their set from the stage, with music primarily drawn from New Orleans jazz traditions, including, but not limited to, Gypsy Jazz and traditional New Orleans/American jazz music.


Tuesday, July 9: YMP Composers Forum II


Friday, July 12: Ensemble Dal Niente performing world premieres by Walden faculty members


Tuesday, July 16: YMP Composers Forum III


Thursday, July 18: YMP Composers Forum IV


Friday, July 19: International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)


Tuesday, July 23: YMP Composers Forum V


Friday, July 26: The Walden School Players. Included works by Kati Agócs, Composer-in-Residence


Sunday, July 28: Composers Presentation: Kati Agócs, YMP Composer-in-Residence


Monday, July 29 – Wednesday July 31: Festival Week Composers Forums

Composers Forum I  |   Composers Forum II  |  Composers Forum III


Friday, August 2: The Walden School Choral Concert, Sarah Riskind, Choral Director

 

Collaborative Partnerships:

Dublin School

Walden’s 37th season at our wonderful host Dublin School was particularly lovely as we celebrated our second season in the remodeled, air-conditioned Louise Shonk Kelly Recital Hall, with a beautiful, spacious stage and a Meyer sound system.

PRISM Quartet

Long-term collaborator PRISM Quartet performed PREMIERES in Philadelphia and New York, the 19th year of premiering Walden student pieces. The performance featured YMP alumna Francesca Hellerman, winner of the PRISM/Walden School Commissioning Award.

Ensemble Dal Niente

In March, Ensemble Dal Niente gave the world premiere of Meditation on Collision, a piece written by YMP alumna Ruby Landau-Pincus, winner of the 2018 Walden Dal Niente Commissioning Award. In May, Dal Niente performed Ruby's piece again, on a concert featuring the world premiere of Undersea, a piece by YMP alumna Victoria Cheah.

The MacDowell Colony

Walden continued a decades-long association with its annual visit to this preeminent artist colony. Students met with two composers--Philippe Bodin and Martha Mooke. French–born composer Philippe Bodin is a Guggenheim fellow and a laureate from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Composer and electric-acoustic violist Martha Mooke is a pioneer in the field of electric five-string viola. She allowed students to tour the MacDowell Colony studio where she is in residence, and even let several YMP students try out her electric viola.

Regional Events

We celebrated Walden with events in Dublin, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., featuring world-class performances by past faculty members, visiting artists, and friends of Walden. At our Washington, D.C. event, Eric Huebner, pianist for the New York Philharmonic, performed a piano recital featuring Ligeti, Chopin, and a piece written at Walden by a 2018 YMP student. Our New York event featured an amazing performance by the Claremont Trio, featuring a piece written at Walden by a recent YMP alumnus. In San Francisco, guests heard an astounding performance by cellist Dave Eggar, along with Phil Faconti, Waway Saway, and Charith Premawardhana. Our August event in Dublin featured violinist Violaine Melançon, a former faculty member and visiting artist at Walden, performing solo works by Jörg Widmann, Lei Liang, and Bach. These four events brought together more than 350 friends, alumni, and supporters of the Walden School for celebrations of Walden’s programs and people, all while delighting in music and community.

 


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eNews: InterNetzo – April 2019

Message from Seth Brenzel, Executive Director

Greetings!

Summer is almost here, with wonderful Walden programs ahead. May 1 is the application deadline for our 2019 programs. This edition of InterNetzo offers a glimpse of the amazing projects our Walden community members are working on, and the delightful Walden events happening around the country. Stay tuned in May for our summer concert series lineup. Until then, happy reading.

Be part of Walden 2019

Apply now for Walden's 2019 programs! Spaces are available in the Young Musicians Program, and we offer need-based financial aid.

Kati Agócs will be the Composer-in-Residence. Other guest artists will include Ensemble Dal Niente, The Walden School Players, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Faculty members will include Cara Haxo, Ted Moore, Sarah Riskind, Cody Wright, Terry Greene, Nate May, and Rebekah Griffin Greene, among others. See the full list here.

5 week program: June 29 - August 4
3 week program: June 29-July 21
Final deadline: May 1

Walden in Washington

On April 7, Walden Board members, alumni, faculty, staff, donors, family, and friends gathered at the Arts Club of Washington to celebrate our upcoming season and raise funds for student scholarships and artist residencies. We offer our deepest thanks to all our donors--your generosity makes everything we do possible.

Eric Huebner, pianist for the NY Philharmonic, gave an amazing performance of Beethoven, Chopin, Ligeti, and a recent work by a current Young Musicians Program student. It was a wonderful afternoon of music, conversation, and delicious refreshments, with all attendees entered into a raffle to add to the fun. Thank you to everyone who made the event so special!

Upcoming Events

Join us for celebrations to benefit Walden, featuring music, refreshments, and wonderful Walden community. We will be in San Francisco on May 11, and Dublin, New Hampshire, on August 3. We hope to see you there!

Walden in San Francisco

featuring Dave Eggar

 Saturday, May 11

Dave Eggar is regarded as one of the finest cellists performing today. A musical prodigy as a child, Dave began playing the cello and piano at age three, performed on Broadway and with the Metropolitan Opera at age seven, and debuted at Carnegie Hall at age 15. A virtuoso performer and improviser of many styles, Dave has appeared worldwide as a cellist and pianist, both as a soloist and as an ensemble musician. His work is Grammy-nominated, and he has performed, recorded, and arranged with and for artists in many genres, including Tony Bennett, Beyoncé, Harry Belafonte, Bon Jovi, Foreigner, Imagine Dragons, Talib Kweli, John Legend, Wynton Marsalis, Frank Ocean, Robert Redford, Pete Seeger, Paul Simon, Meryl Streep, James Taylor, The Manhattan Transfer, and Amy Winehouse, among many others. He has been a Fellow at the MacDowell Colony. He has been a visiting artist at The Walden School, was a member of The Walden School Players for two summers, and performs frequently at Walden events throughout the United States.

Walden in Dublin
Saturday, August 3

A Festival Week celebration in Dublin, New Hampshire, at the end of our 2019 Young Musicians Program. Artist to be announced.

For details or to RSVP, contact Gaela Dennison-Leonard, our Development Manager, at events@waldenschool.org or (415) 587-8157. Check out our calendar for other great concerts and events throughout the year.

In the Spotlight - Nnenna Ogwo

We are so grateful to our donors and the vital support they provide. Your generosity inspires us and ensures generations of musicians find a creative home and lifelong friends at Walden. Whether you are a member of our alumni community, a parent, a visiting artist, a faculty, staff, or Board member, or simply a friend who believes in our mission, thank you.

As we celebrate our donors, we asked Nnenna Ogwo to share with us some of what Walden means to her. Nnenna attended the Young Musicians Program for six summers, was a faculty member and visiting artist, served on Walden’s Board of Directors, and most recently returned to Walden as a Creative Musicians Retreat, and performed at Walden’s 2018 Alumni Reunion.

How and when did your relationship with Walden begin?

I was a student at Peabody Preparatory, and Lynn Taylor Hebden was the director of the Preparatory Department there. She was the one who had made it possible for me to attend Peabody, through scholarships and whatnot. She got talking to my mother, and suggested Walden. I spent six summers at the Young Musicians Program, 1982-1987. Once I got to Walden, it was significant because I had been on a very serious piano track, and so should have been at a more piano-focused camp such as Interlochen, but it wasn’t until my last year of high school that I did that. Walden didn’t take me away from piano, because I still went to Oberlin and majored in piano, got my masters in piano. But I’ve always had an inquisitive mind and been stimulated by different types of learning. That holistic approach to music, even if I wouldn’t have called it that then, was clearly something I was thirsty for. I was a kid who really liked to be challenged, so I loved finding out how music was built, and creating it myself. I had often been in conflict with my piano teacher because I didn’t like to practice the same things, until the summer at Walden I took Pam Quist’s class on Renaissance counterpoint, and after that, I came back from Walden, and my teacher was blown away. She said “This is what happens at Walden? You can go then.” Because normally a teacher won’t have the time to get a student to understand counterpoint.

What has been your involvement with Walden since then?

I was on faculty. I joined the Board while I was still in grad school. I’ve sent students, and I went to the Creative Musicians Retreat in 2014. In July I attended the reunion and performed on the alumni concert. I remember being part of Board conversations, and I was in the board room when we were saying “Why can’t there be a Walden for adults?” so it was amazing to be at CMR as a participant.

What is your favorite Walden memory?

I have to really think about this, because there are so many great Walden memories. My last summer there, I think the guest artist was the New England Brass Quintet. I wasn’t normally down to the wire with scores, but I had worked a lot on the first movement, still had a lot to do, and they were going to be reading my score the next day. That was also the year the older girls were living in the attic floor of the Main House. There were five of us, Kate Hollander, Sarah Brown, Leila Ellis, Rachel Burdick, and me, and we had all known each other a long time. We were realizing that we had all come to Walden at 11 or 12, and we’d heard these amazing pieces and thought we could never write like that, and suddenly here we were writing on that level. It was a really dark and stormy night, and we pulled all our desks into the main foyer, put our desks together, and kept each other company as we did our work. I’d never had that before, people working together like that. If someone finished early, they might take a nap and then they’d come back and help us copy parts. It was really stormy, thunder and lightning, and the lights went out. We were wondering what we would do, and then Lynn Taylor Hebden (aka Mrs. H) came up with a plate of snacks and candles and we got back to it. Most of us were up most of the night. And that moment bonded us. I’m sure we all remember it. My piece that year won an MTNA award and was a runner-up for a national award, but whenever it was acknowledged, I’d think “This was really a team effort.” It takes a village. It was the first time I ever experienced that sort of communal support. It was extraordinary.

Why do you give to Walden?

I was the recipient of scholarships that made it possible for me to experience something musically transformative in the summer. Everything that I contribute to Walden, whether by sending students, giving concerts, past service on the Board or donating is simply about helping to realize that possibility for others.

When you graduate college and get your first real job, your first paycheck, there are all these little indicators that you’re an adult. I sat down with my mom to talk about financial planning, and she said ‘I know you’re not making a lot, but you need to calculate how you want to give.’ And I said, “I’m giving to Walden.” You give to what has impacted you, because you have an intimacy with certain issues. People don’t make consistent gifts to things they’re not deeply emotionally connected to. My time at Walden included some of the most transformative musical experiences I’ve ever had. Because of that, Walden will always be on my list for giving.

Tell us about the roles music and creativity play in your life now.

I’m still a pianist and a teacher, I make my living that way. I started taking jazz piano lessons recently. I realized and had to laugh that I know a lot, but a lot of it is frozen on paper. That often happens with classically trained musicians. Jazz forces you to have working harmonic knowledge in real time. Walden teaches that, even if they don’t put it quite that way, and it’s one of the few places that does. It’s not tied only to jazz. I feel like a real student again, my brain freezes, and it’s funny. Once we’re teaching, we forget, we start to take knowledge for granted where it doesn’t exist yet. It’s good to be reminded how bewildering things were at age 11. In piano, I like to boldly try new things. I’m a pretty good improviser, but then because I’m highly technically trained, I can be very facile, watch my fingers fly and think, ah, that’s what all that training was for.

What would you want to tell a first-time Walden student before they arrive at camp?

I don’t think I would have anything to say. When I send my students, I tell them things to pack on a very pragmatic level. But students normally decide to go because they’ve heard my story. Students get anxious about “Will there be people who look like me? Will I fit in?” and they’ve heard music coming out of Walden and they’re intimidated. But I tell the story of feeling those things, of finding my place, of making lifelong friends.

It’s built into the ethos of the institution—good, decent-hearted people who are also very interesting and creative people. That checks a lot of boxes for who you want to surround yourself with for your life in general. So I just tell students, you will meet some of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet. You will grow in ways you couldn’t have imagined, no matter what people have told you, and your experience will be uniquely your own. You will grow and thrive in ways you can’t elsewhere, you can’t in a year-round school, no matter how good a school you attend. Go forth with an open heart, and see what happens.”

Community News

Shawn Crouch and Splinter Reeds
Stained Glass, a piece for reed quintet written by YMP alumnus and former faculty member Shawn Crouch, was performed by Splinter Reeds on April 13. Splinter Reeds was the Ensemble-in-Residence for Walden's 2017 Faculty Commissioning Concert, and bassoonist Dana Jessen is a member of the 2019 Walden School Players. The concert was at Maurice Gusman Concert Hall at the University of Miami.

New work by Michael Daugherty
Past CMR Composer-in-Residence Michael Daugherty's new work, To the New World, was premiered April 11, 12, and 13 in Costa Mesa, California. To the New World is an orchestral work composed in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, and the first step on the moon by astronaut Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969. The piece was commissioned and premiered by the Pacific Symphony, under the direction of Jean-Marie Zeitouni.

Jasmine Galante studies composition at Peabody
Jasmine Galante is currently studying composition at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. Jasmine spent three summers at YMP, and is a pop music artist, singer, songwriter, classical pianist, and actress. Jasmine's debut EP, "The Moon Also Rises", was released in January of 2017.

Francesca Hellerman and PRISM Quartet
This June, PRISM Quartet will present a program of world premieres, featuring work by YMP alumna Francesca Hellerman. She composed From Here to There as the winner of the PRISM Quartet/Walden School for Young Composers Student Commissioning Award. The piece plays with different iterations of a single musical idea, challenging the listener to consider how the material moves from one world to another. This marks the 19th consecutive year of longtime collaborator PRISM Quartet premiering Walden student pieces. The concert will be performed in Philadelphia on June 2 and New York on June 3.

Ruby Landau-Pincus and Ensemble Dal Niente
Thanks to the Evanston In-School Music Association, Ensemble Dal Niente brought its unique musical interpretation to the Evanston community with a concert on March 17, with music for flutes, oboe, clarinet, harp, and voice. They premiered a piece by YMP alumna Ruby Landau-Pincus, which she wrote through Walden's Dal Niente Commissioning Award. Dal Niente will perform the piece again on Sunday, May 5, at a concert premiering Undersea, a a new work for piccolo, English horn, and bass clarinet by Walden alumna Victoria Cheah

Sam Pluta awarded Guggenheim Fellowship 
Sam Pluta has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Musical Composition. Sam spent nearly 20 consecutive summers at Walden, as a faculty member, staff member, YMP Academic Dean, and visiting artist. Sam is a Chicago-based composer, laptop improviser, electronics performer, and sound artist. Though his work has a wide breadth, his central focus is on the laptop as a performance instrument capable of sharing the stage with groups ranging from new music ensembles to world-class improvisers.

Alicia Jo Rabins teaches Torah through art
Girls in Trouble is an indie-folk song cycle and curriculum by YMP alumna Alicia Jo Rabins, exploring the complicated lives of women in Torah. The curriculum is a set of in-depth study guides, each following a woman through story, Rabbinic interpretation, visual art, and a Girls in Trouble song. With this project, Alicia Jo mines the complex and fascinating stories of Biblical women, exploring the hidden places where their lives overlap with her own. Alicia Jo is also currently on tour for her new book of poems, Fruit Geode.

Leah Reid wins 2019 Call for Electroacoustic Works
Winners have been announced for the 2019 Call for Electroacoustic Works, and among them is Sketch, a piece by YMP alumna Dr. Leah Reid. Leah is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music. Her primary research interests involve the perception, modeling, and compositional applications of timbre. Leah is on faculty at the University of Virginia, where Walden faculty members Chris Luna-Mega and Alex Christie, also a YMP alumnus, are pursuing their doctoral studies. Sketch will be included in a new album produced and released this year. As part of the prize, RMN Music will fund the development of the album cover and the chart registration in the US, the UK and Canada.

Vivian Adelberg Rudow among Johns Hopkins Distinguished Alumni 2018
JCC alumna Vivian Adelberg Rudow is among the 2018 recipients of the Johns Hopkins Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 1982, Vickie was the first Maryland-based composer to have an orchestral piece premiered in Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall by the Baltimore Symphony Orechestra. Vickie was founder and Artistic Director of Res Musica Baltimore/Res MusicAmerica, Inc., and produced concerts of music composed mostly by American living composers, from 1980-91 including 52 concerts, 26 symposia, and 22 youth concerts for the Baltimore City Public Schools.

Pamela Z awarded Rome Prize in Musical Composition
Pamela Z, a past visiting artist at the Young Musicians Program, has been awarded the Rome Prize in Musical Composition. Pamela Z is a composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampled sound, and video. A pioneer of live digital looping techniques, she processes her voice in real time to create dense, complex sonic layers. This year, Rome Prizes were awarded to thirty American and six Italian artists and scholars.

We want to hear from you!
What's been going on? If you have a recent or upcoming premiere, publication, award, new job or program, or a celebratory life event, please share the news. Email your news to alumni@waldenschool.org.

Stay in Touch
You can like The Walden School page on Facebook and join The Walden School private group to hear about events and opportunities throughout the year, including upcoming regional alumni Composers Forums and Holiday Parties. You can also find us on InstagramTwitter, and at waldenschool.org.

2019 Peter Carpenter Fellowship
Applications Open
The BMI Foundation is pleased to announce the opening of this year's Pete Carpenter Fellowship, a competitive residency for aspiring film, television, and video game composers. The program will award a $2,000 stipend for four to five weeks of intensive mentorship with award-winning BMI composers Christopher Lennertz and Timothy Wynn at their Sonic Fuel Studios in Los Angeles, CA. The 2019 fellowship begins in October and also includes opportunities to consult with other distinguished composers and leaders in the entertainment industry. The Fellowship is open to U.S. citizens or residents who are 21 years of age or older pursuing a career in film, TV, and/or gaming composition.
Deadline: June 30
For other upcoming deadlines and competitions, check out our resources page.


Walden awarded grant from Alice M. Ditson Fund

On January 31, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University awarded a grant of $3,000 to support The Walden School Faculty Commissioning Concert. The concert celebrates Walden’s faculty as world-class artists and composers, writing for and collaborating with some of the foremost ensembles in the world to bring world premiere music to the concert stage.

Ensemble Dal Niente will be the ensemble-in-residence for the 2019 Faculty Commissioning Concert. With a roster of 23 exceptional musicians, Dal Niente performs new and experimental chamber music with dedication, virtuosity, and an exploratory spirit. Four members of Dal Niente will spend a week on the campus of the Dublin School in Dublin, New Hampshire. Dal Niente and the 10 participating faculty composers will hold rehearsals on Wednesday, July 10, and Thursday, July 11, open to anyone who wants to observe the creative process firsthand. The Faculty Commissioning Concert will be performed in the evening of July 12, 2019, for an audience of Walden faculty, staff, and students, and residents from throughout the region.

 

Sarah Riskind and Nate May, two faculty composers commissioned in 2018

The ensemble’s week-long residency offers an immersive collaborative process. All faculty composers and resident artists live on campus for the duration of the project, forming a close-knit creative community; artistic dialogue continues throughout the day and pieces evolve as they are carried from rehearsal to dining hall and back again. Composers and performers alike must be open-minded, adapting to and exhilarated by the project’s diverse offerings.

The Ditson Fund was established at Columbia University in 1940, with a bequest of $400,000 from Alice M. Ditson, the widow of the noted Boston music publisher Oliver Ditson. Mrs. Ditson’s will stipulated that income from the bequest be used for non-academic fellowships, public concerts, and publications in support of music. The initial Advisory Committee appointed by Mrs. Ditson directed her intentions toward contemporary music. The Ditson Fund has continued this focus, with emphasis on funding of performances and recordings of music by emerging American composers. In 1945 the Ditson Conductor’s Award was established. It is the oldest continuing award honoring conductors for distinguished contributions to American music. Having awarded over 2,000 grants starting in 1940, the Ditson Fund continues to play an important role in support of contemporary American art music. Walden is honored to receive our first-ever grant from the Ditson Fund, whose dedication to contemporary music so closely intertwines with Walden’s mission. We are proud of this partnership to celebrate and support emerging composers.

Walden’s 2018 Faculty Commissioning Concert featured six members of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), premiering new works by 11 Walden faculty composers. You can listen to all of the pieces performed at this concert on Walden’s bandcamp page.