eNews: InterNetzo – December 2019

Message from Seth Brenzel, Executive Director

Happy holidays from all of us at The Walden School!

The holiday season has arrived, and as the decade draws to a close, we have lots of exciting news. Walden community members have gathered for festive holiday potlucks in two cities, with six remaining. We're starting the new year with Alumni Composers Forums in New York and San Francisco so mark your calendars! We are now accepting applications for the Young Musicians Program and the Creative Musicians Retreat for summer 2020.

Our Walden administrative office is welcoming Elizabeth Susskind--get to know her in our "In the Spotlight" section. 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

Walden holiday party season is here! We have had two lovely gatherings in San Francisco and McLean, Virginia, and there are potlucks in six more cities still to come.

Join Walden and JCC alumni, faculty, staff, visiting artists, board members, family, and friends for one (or more!) of our festive holiday gatherings. RSVP to events@waldenschool.org or call (415) 587-8157.
Baltimore: Saturday, January 11, 2020, 4-6 pm
Boston: Saturday, January 18, 2020, 12-2 pm
Chicago: Saturday, December 28, 2019, 6-8 pm
New York: Saturday, January 18, 2020, 6-8 pm
Portland: Saturday, January 4, 2020, 4-6 pm
Seattle: Sunday, January 26, 2020, 4-6 pm

These are potluck-style events at private homes. When you RSVP, please let us know what you would like to bring (e.g. savory appetizer, dessert, beverages, other item to share) and we will send you the address.

Walden community members gather in San Francisco at the home of Lukáš Janata, an alumnus of the Creative Musicians Retreat.

 

The Raman family hosts a festive potluck for the Walden community in Washington, DC/Northern Virginia.

Alumni Composers Forums

We hope to see you at one or both of our Alumni Composers Forums! These events are free and open to the public. Come hear pieces written by our amazing alumni, who will all be present to discuss their works.

New York - Sunday, January 19, 2020
Featuring Mivos Quartet
Moderated by past visiting artist Joan Tower and Walden alumna and faculty member Loretta Notareschi.

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

San Francisco - Saturday, February 22, 2020
Featuring Del Sol String Quartet
Moderated by past visiting artist Nathaniel Stookey.

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

Summer 2020 Programs

Apply to be part of Walden 2020!

We are now accepting applications for summer 2020! We hope you (and all of the people you know!) will apply to join us at one of our programs this summer.

Creative Musicians Retreat: June 13-21, 2020 (for musicians ages 18-98)
Young Musicians Program: June 27 - August 2, 2020 (for pre-college musicians, ages 9-18)

Application materials are available for both programs at waldenschool.org/apply/.

Application deadlines (postmark):

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

Please write to us at applicants@waldenschool.org with any questions.

Job Announcement: Summer Operations Director

The Walden School is seeking a Director of Operations to join our dynamic summer program team in Dublin, New Hampshire. The Director of Operations performs a wide range of functions that keep Walden's summer programs running smoothly and operating efficiently and that complement the curricular and musical components of the Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) and the Young Musicians Program (YMP). See the full job announcement here.

Walden Needs Your Support

Is Walden on your list?
If you would like to include Walden directly on your holiday giving list, we gratefully accept donations. Checks payable to The Walden School can be sent to our office, 30 Monterey Blvd., Ste. E, San Francisco, CA 94131, or you can make a gift online at waldenschool.org/donate. Your generous gift of any amount brings more music and community into the world. If you have questions about giving, we are glad to hear from you at (415) 587-8157 or at donors@waldenschool.org.

In the Spotlight

Elizabeth Susskind

Elizabeth is a longtime friend of Walden who has just joined our San Francisco office as Administrative Assistant. Welcome, Elizabeth!

How did you get connected with Walden?

I sing in the Symphony Chorus with Seth, Walden's Executive Director, so I first heard about Walden through conversations with him. Seth's descriptions were very interesting, so I came to a couple events in San Francisco. I think what really appeals to me is that Walden students are not in competition with each other. I think that noncompetitive element is so important, when kids have so much competition in other areas of their life. Kids can fall through the cracks in those settings, but it seems like there are no cracks at Walden. They can just be themselves, and no one is judging them or telling them they're wrong or grading them. It seems like nothing you do at Walden is wrong-it's your way of being creative and expressing yourself. And no matter what you're doing, it's all about communicating, expressing, and listening.

How is music a part of your life?

It's always there--I can't imagine my life without it. I grew up listening to music, I listen to music all the time, and I perform music. I have a degree in Vocal Performance from Trinity College of Music in London, and I also did music theory and music history as part of that. When I came to the US, I sang in the St. Louis Symphony Chorus and the Opera Theatre Chorus. When I moved to San Francisco, I joined the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and I continue to be a member of the symphony chorus. I also sing in a church choir and do a few other performances as a vocalist. As a performer, music connects me to something greater than myself, something universal, and as a listener, music is immensely comforting and soothing. I went with my daughter to a Paul McCartney concert in massive sports stadium, packed with thousands of people all experiencing personal versions of the same thing. And being there with my daughter, who also loves music, was so important. For me, music always brings connection-with history, with other people, and with myself.

What is a non-music hobby you love?

I love playing mahjong. I play every week. Friday is my mahjong day. I also love yoga, and I love walking my dog. I love the ocean, so I live by the ocean and walk by the ocean a lot.

What is something you're looking forward to in the coming year?

I don't make New Year's resolutions, but every year I adopt a theme, one word that I want to permeate the year. For example, balance has been a word I've chosen, as I worked at balancing the different elements of my life. Health is my word for the coming year, encompassing physical, emotional, and spiritual health. I'm so lucky and so blessed, and I think physical things are becoming less and less important to me. Specifically, I'm looking forward to June, when the Symphony Chorus will be singing Mahler 8 and other amazing things to celebrate Michael Tilson Thomas' final season with the SF Symphony. I'm looking forward to being part of Walden, having this new community in my life. I'm looking forward to the continued journey, good health, wonderful friends, and beautiful music.

Community News

Kika honored at ASCAP awards 

YMP student Kika Charles-Pierre was honored at the ASCAP Foundation awards this year in New York. Three YMP alumni were on hand to cheer her on--Executive Director Seth Brenzel, faculty member Doug Hertz, and Giacomo Baldelli,  the teacher who first connected Kika with Walden. Kika also had a piece premiered by Giacomo in New York on December 5th at Arete Venue and Gallery. Congratulations, Kika!

Alex Johnston new director of DiMenna Center
Alex Johnston, a longtime friend and supporter of Walden, has been named director of The Dimenna Center for Classical Music. Alex has previously worked at the NY Philharmonic and National Sawdust. The DiMenna Center is committed to serving the musical community and its Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, and hosts hundreds of neighbors, families, and school children each year for free community events.

Sky Macklay featured by Sheet Music Plus

Walden alumna and longtime faculty member Sky Macklay was interviewed by Sheet Music Plus. The interview, which took place during Sky's residency at Civatella Ranieri in Umbertide, Italy, focuses on Sky's process as a composer, and how she collaborates with instrumentalists in bringing new chamber music to the concert stage. Read the full interview here.

Mackenzie Melemed makes Carnegie Hall debut
Pianist Mackenzie Melemed, an alumnus of the Young Musicians Program, made his Carnegie Hall debut on Friday, December 13. Currently studying in the two-year Artist Diploma program at The Juilliard School with Robert McDonald and Emanuel Ax, Melemed holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School.

Holiday performances by Nat Osborn

The Nat Osborn Band collaborated with No. 11 Productions as they presented A Christmas Carol. Nat Osborn Band worked on a portion of the show, and also provided the entertainment at the post-show afterparty on December 16. Nat also performed at Aimee Bayles' Holiday Music Extravaganza at Rockwood Music Hall. Nat is an alumnus of the Young Musicians Program.

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.


eNews: InterNetzo – November 2019

Message from Seth Brenzel, Executive Director

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at The Walden School!

The holiday season has arrived. This edition of InterNetzo includes the cities and dates for our Walden holiday potlucks, as well as other community events coming up. Alumni Composers Forums are just around the corner in New York and San Francisco, so submit your scores and/or mark your calendars! Read our "In the Spotlight" section to hear from Dede Ondishko, Walden alumna, and a past faculty, staff, and Board member. 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

Featured Event: Walden alumni/teacher/student collaboration

On Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 7:30 pm, guitarist Giacomo Baldelli will present an electric guitar solo set featuring the world premiere of "Lost in Dull Time" by Young Musicians Program student Kayenne Charles-Pierre. The concert is at Areté Venue and Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.  The concert will also feature a 1981 David Byrne/Brian Eno work -  to be soon released as a single, and an improv set for electric guitar and electronics.

Kayenne Charles-Pierre attended the Young Musicians Program in 2018 and 2019, and received the 2019 ASCAP Irving Berlin Scholarship. She initially came to Walden with the recommendation and encouragement of her music teacher, Giacomo Baldelli.

Giacomo Baldelli is focused on exploring the 20th century, but also developing a new 21st century repertoire for guitar. Most recently, he has been interested in expanding the contemporary repertoire for electric guitar. He is an accomplished soloist and chamber musician, and has performed throughout Europe (Italy, Germany, France, England, Czech Republic, Poland), as well as the United States. In 2010, he attended The Walden School Teacher Training Institute, where he met pianist Laura Barger, to whom he is now married.

Walden Holiday Parties

Walden holiday party season is here! Join Walden and JCC alumni, faculty, staff, visiting artists, board members, family, and friends for one (or more!) of our festive holiday gatherings.

These are potluck-style events at private homes. When you RSVP, please let us know what you would like to bring (e.g. savory appetizer, dessert, beverages, other item to share) and we will send you the address.

RSVP to events@waldenschool.org or call (415) 587-8157.
Baltimore: Saturday, January 11, 2020, 4-6 pm
Boston: Saturday, January 18, 2020, 12-2 pm
Chicago: Saturday, December 28, 2019, 6-8 pm
New York: Saturday, January 18, 2020, 6-8 pm
Portland: Saturday, January 4, 2020, 4-6 pm
San Francisco: Sunday, December 8, 2019, 3-5 pm
Seattle: Sunday, January 26, 2020, 4-6 pm
Washington, DC/McLean: Sunday, December 15, 2019, 4-6 pm

Alumni Composers Forums

Be part of our Alumni Composers Forums! All JCC and Walden alumni are eligible to submit scores by Dec 1 (New York) or Dec 15 (San Francisco).

>Whether or not you plan to submit a score, mark your calendars! These events are free and open to the public. Come hear pieces written by our amazing alumni, who will all be present to discuss their works.
New York - Sunday, January 19, 2020
Featuring Mivos Quartet
Moderated by composer Joan Tower and composer Loretta Notareschi.
Scores must be submitted by December 1, 2019.

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

San Francisco - Saturday, February 22, 2020
Featuring Del Sol String Quartet
Moderated by composer Nathaniel Stookey.
Scores must be submitted by December 15, 2019.

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

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. A committee of Walden faculty and staff will determine which pieces will be programmed on each of the two programs. We will notify you approximately two weeks after the deadline whether your piece has been selected for performance at the Composers Forum.

If you have any questions, please write to us at alumni@waldenschool.org.

Walden 2020

As we all settle into the winter season, it's not too early to plan for summer in Dublin! We hope you (and all of the people whom you know!) will apply to join us at one of our programs this summer.

Creative Musicians Retreat: June 13-21, 2020 (for musicians ages 18-98)
Young Musicians Program: June 27 - August 2, 2020 (for pre-college musicians, ages 9-18)

Application materials will be available soon 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)

Please write to us at applicants@waldenschool.org with any questions.

Job Announcement: Summer Operations Director

The Walden School is seeking a Director of Operations to join our dynamic summer program team in Dublin, New Hampshire. The Director of Operations performs a wide range of functions that keep Walden's summer programs running smoothly and operating efficiently and that complement the curricular and musical components of the Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) and the Young Musicians Program (YMP). See the full job announcement here.

Holiday Giving

Walden Gear
Is there someone in your life who has been wishing for a Walden t-shirt? Or sweatshirt? Or tote bag? 'Tis the season! Of course, Walden gear is never out of season. To order merchandise, fill out this form and send it to us by fax ((415) 337-4557) or mail to The Walden School, 30 Monterey Blvd., Suite E, San Francisco, CA 94131.

Bandcamp
Have you seen Walden's bandcamp page? It has music from every Composers Forum of the Creative Musicians Retreat and the Young Musicians Program, as well as the YMP Choral Concerts from the past six years. You even can send a digital album as a gift!

Amazon Smile
If you shop on Amazon.com, ever, for anything, you can support The Walden School while you're shopping! Just go to smile.amazon.com and choose to support "Walden School" (you'll see San Francisco listed as our location). You'll know you've found the right Walden, because it lists our mission to inspire artistic expression and personal growth through experiential music programs. Once you've selected Walden, you can do all your Amazon shopping at smile.amazon.com, and it will save Walden in your settings. A portion of the proceeds of anything you buy will go to support Walden's programs.

Is Walden on your list?
If you would like to include Walden directly on your holiday giving list, we gratefully accept donations. Checks payable to The Walden School can be sent to our office, 30 Monterey Blvd., Ste. E, San Francisco, CA 94131, or you can make a gift online at waldenschool.org/donate. Your generous gift of any amount brings more music and community into the world. If you have questions about giving, we are glad to hear from you at (415) 587-8157 or at donors@waldenschool.org.

In the Spotlight - Dede Ondishko

How and when did your relationship with Walden begin?

I was a piano student at Peabody Conservatory Preparatory Department. Peabody required all private students to take music theory, but somehow I was enrolled in both theory and musicianship. I really loved musicianship. Cindy Brackbill was my teacher, and she told me about Walden. My parents got really excited about it, because I was something of a wayward child, so they hoped it would reform me. And it did. In fact, it transformed me. I was a C-student before Walden. I didn't care about school or improving myself. But then I went to Walden, and I've been an A-student and an overachiever ever since! It was like I found the "on" button. I became an engaged person because of my first year experience at Walden.

What has been your involvement with Walden since then? 

Today some of my best friends are kids and colleagues I went to camp with. I began as a student in 1974 at age 14 and was a student for four summers. I was on staff for one summer. I was on faculty for seven summers, and I also served a term on the Board of Directors 1998-2004. When I was on faculty, my stepdaughter, Danielle, was 12 and came for the shorter program, and she was hooked! She went every year that she could, then she served on faculty, and now she has joined the Board. As a music teacher I've sent my students to Walden. I'm also a contributor, and I've held concerts to raise scholarship money for YMP students. I was only able to go to Walden on scholarship, so I really want to thank and repay the people who gave to scholarships and basically paid for me to attend Walden. Walden is family. Like Lynn Hebden said, "You take Walden with you wherever you go." You never really leave.

Could you describe a favorite Walden memory?

A few years ago, I was interviewed as part of a Teacher of the Year award, and they asked about my favorite teacher, and my answer was David Hogan (we called him Hoagie). I was in my early fifties, but I started choking up right there in the interview, describing how much he gave me as a student. He showed me what I could do! He gave me opportunities no one had ever given me. He was the first teacher who saw what I could do, stood by my side and waited for me. He lit a fire in me!
Another example of that was Saturday hiking at Walden. I was a bit of a laggard, so I was in the last group, which basically went at Sunday-stroll pace-no one really even expected us to make it to the top! I was having fun, but I went to Jeff Hebden, who was on staff as activities director, and I asked if I could move to Group I, the group that was practically running up the mountain. He looked it at me the same way Hoagie looked at me and said, "You want to do it? Okay, go for it!" That Saturday, I hiked in Group I, and I was the first one to the top. This is something I didn't know I could do, but they believed in me.
I also loved listening to music in a new way. After Goodnight Music, a group of us would go to the listening library, turn off the lights, lie on the floor, and put our heads together like we were spokes of a wheel, and just listen. It was amazing to have this music listening hour with just us kids. We wanted to share the music we liked, and we were expanding each other's ears. That music sunk in on a level that transformed me, on a cellular level. Having that musical communing with kids my own age was transformative. That's when I heard Arnold Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht for the first time. I think I've spent my whole life trying to rewrite and recapture that piece!

How are music and creativity part of your life now?

I went to Eastman for graduate school, and I majored in Music Composition, specializing in Computer Music. After I graduated, I ended up going into computer network engineering, which I was able to do because of my computer music training. But sadly, I stopped playing or writing music! Kyle Horch, a saxophone performer in London who commissioned a series of pieces from me, single-handedly kept me writing. Later, after 12 years of working in computer networking, I realized there wasn't enough music in my life, so I applied for a job as a public school music teacher, even though it meant going back to school to get licensed. At age 39, I went into teaching music full time, until my husband and I decided to retire. Now I perform all the time as concert pianist and accompanist, as a symphony violist, and I sing in a vocal jazz group. I'm very active as a musician. I recently started writing symphonies-I just finished my third. And I hope to get them performed. I love creating music. Kurt Vonnegut said, "Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow," and I keep that quote above my workstation.

What is a non-musical hobby you love?

Music is intangible, you can't touch it or hold onto or see what you've accomplished so to counter that I've picked up some great concrete hobbies. I make paper cards and send notes to my family and friends. I sew. I garden. I play tennis and go biking and do lots of hiking. I just love hiking.

What advice would you give to an earlier-career musician as they are setting out along their path?

If you have the chance to take a music marketing or business class, do not miss out! Learn about promotion, marketing and production, learn how to send out scores and cover letters to perfect strangers. Pay attention, get informed, and reach out for guidance.

You have to feed your artistic spirit. As Vonnegut says, you've got to keep creating! Be careful of the gap of what you are doing and what you can imagine, or what you hear other people are doing. We're at a time when the best artists in the world are so easily accessible, so we can see world class musicians at any time. That can be discouraging! So I've learned to say to myself, "I know I'm not there yet, but I have the potential." I know that because my Walden teachers believed and told me so. As Ira Glass says, "Don't let the gap get you down!" Even though that gap is always there, you can strive and be happy with those moments when the gap shrinks a little bit. You've just got to go for it!

About: Denise Ondishko, Ph.D., is a composer, performer, and educator. Her works cover a wide, eclectic range of genres, including solo piano, solo violin, wind ensemble, orchestra, saxophone and piano, chamber ballet, children's theatre, elementary school band, and a number of works for live instrument and computer-synthesized tape. Dede won the Northern California Viola Society's 2018-2019 Composer Competition for her piece, Out of Mud.
Dede is active as a performer and collaborator. She studied at Carnegie Mellon University and the Eastman School of Music. Her teachers included Joseph Schwantner, Warren Benson, Barbara Kolb, David Hogan, and Leonardo Balada. She has done extensive research into the work of computer music pioneer Paul Lansky, a member of Walden's Advisory Council. She has taught composition at The Walden School and Oberlin Conservatory. In addition to her compositional work and research she has also developed a parallel career as an information technology management specialist.

ACF NextNote High School Music Creator Awards

The American Composers Forum is pleased to announce the sixth annual NextNotes High School Music Creator Awards. Whether you write for voices, electronics, or instruments, are a singer/songwriter or improviser, hip-hop artist or sound designer, ACF welcomes you to apply. Students in grades 9-12 are encouraged to apply with a single piece in any genre or style. NextNotes rewards and celebrates creativity, originality, skill, potential, risk-taking, bravery, and passion!

Deadline: January 6, 2020

For details and to apply, visit composersforum.org/education/nextnotes/

Community News

Grace Brigham wins Emerging Composer Competition

Grace Brigham, a CMR alumna, has won Cantus Vocal Ensemble's Young and Emerging Composer Competition. Her piece Discoveries explores the experiences of of female scientists, and includes the words of Euphemia Haynes, Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, Ada Lovelace, Elizabeth Blackwell, and Maria Mitchell. Grace wrote the piece for male voices, and workshopped it at Walden's Creative Musicians Retreat this summer. Grace is attending St. Olaf College. Cantus is a men's vocal ensemble based in Minneapolis, and will perform Discoveries at St. Olaf, as well as on tour.

Shawn Crouch premiere with Aperio
Aperio, Music of the Americas, in collaboration with New American Voices, will present the world premiere of Shawn Crouch's Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. Featuring the poetry of Wallace Stevens, this new work explores multiple perspectives on the poet's blackbird motif through a collection of enigmatic haiku-like poems. Crouch's concept incorporates evocative lighting, live projections, and interactive staging to illuminate the relationship between perspective, repetition, and social dynamics. The concert will take place in Houston, Texas, in February 2020. Shawn is a YMP alumnus and former faculty member.

Annie Gosfield Composer Portrait in Austin
On November 23, Austin-based Tetractys Ensemble performed a Composer Portrait of Annie Gosfield, a past Composer-in-Residence at Walden. The concert featured Flying Sparks and Heavy Machinery, a double quartet for strings and percussion that's inspired by factory environments; Long Waves and Random Pulses for violin and jammed radio signals; Daughters of the Industrial Revolution inspired by Annie's immigrant grandmother's sweatshop days; and Burn Again With a Low Blue Flame for cello, that was originally an installation work. Annie is spending the fall semester as a visiting professor of composition at UT Austin.

Julian Hofstetter receives PRISM/Walden commission
For  more than 20 years, PRISM Quartet has partnered with The Walden School to make a yearly award to one deserving high school student. This year's recipient of The PRISM Quartet/Walden School Commissioning Award is Julian Hofstetter. A native of Newark, Delaware, Julian attends Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he studies music performance, theory, and composition. His works span a wide range of idioms and instrumentations, with an emphasis on electronic music. Julian will create a new saxophone quartet that PRISM will premiere in Philadelphia on May 23, 2020, and perform in New York City on May 24, 2020.

Ned McGowan flute and contrabass flute tour

Ned McGowan, a past visiting artist at Walden, is on tour offering concerts, masterclasses, workshops, and lectures. The concerts will feature Ned's most recent repertoire on the contrabass flute and flute, plus a new work written for contrabass flute and piano by HyeKyung Lee. Ned is currently based in the Netherlands, and his tour will take him to Ohio and California, notably to the Cleveland Institute of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Upcoming publications from Russell Nadel

Russell Nadel, an alumnus of YMP and TTI, will have three choral octavos published in the next few months. I'm Sick of 'Mustn't's, for two-part treble chorus and piano, and Early Winter Tree, for SATB chorus and piano or harp, will both be published in the Henry Leck Creating Artistry Choral Series by Hal Leonard; these two works will join Eldorado (SSA and piano) and Windy Nights (two-part treble and piano), which are already in the series. Tov L'Hodot, a setting of the Hebrew text of the 92nd Psalm for SATB chorus and piano, will be published by Transcontinental Music Publications. Tov L'Hodot won the 2017 Ben Steinberg Young Composer's Award, sponsored by the Guild of Temple Musicians.

Osnat Netzer premiere at National Sawdust 
On Saturday, November 23, Osnat Netzer's Philomelos received its world premiere at National Sawdust. The piece was commissioned and premiered by vocalist Lucy Dhegrae, 2019-20 Artist-in-Residence at National Sawdust. The performance was the first in The Processing Series, More Beautiful Than Words Can Tell, a series of four concerts exploring trauma recovery. Works written for Lucy Dhegrae by past Walden visiting artist Eve Beglarian, Angélica Negrón, and Katherine Young will also be featured on the series. Osnat Netzer is a Walden alumna and faculty member.

Congratulations to the Schoepflin Jimoh family

Congratulations to Katie Schoepflin Jimoh and her husband Ayo Jimoh on the birth of their daughter! Joan Aisha Jimoh was born on November 7, and everyone is doing well. Katie was most recently a member of the 2019 Walden School Players. Welcome to the family, Joan Aisha!

 

Dennis Sullivan performances on both coasts
As a member of Wavefield Ensemble, Dennis Sullivan performed a concert on  November 16 at University Settlement Society of New York, featuring the world premiere of You would be like diving into the ocean, written by YMP alumna Victoria Cheah. On November 18, Wavefield performed a concert at UConn, featuring a new arrangement of Axamer Folio, written by Eric Wubbels, a member of the 2019 Walden School Players. On December 7, Dennis and Levy Lorenzo will be performing at UC Berkeley as Radical 2. The concert will feature new works by UC Berkeley students and is the culmination of a four-day residency. Dennis was on faculty at the Young Musicians Program in 2018 and 2019.

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.

 


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.

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
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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.