eNews: InterNetzo – March 2024

Message from Seth Brenzel, Executive Director

Seth Brenzel headshot

Dear Walden friends,

Spring has sprung, and I hope you are enjoying the blossoms and the longer days of sun!

As we prepare for another incredible summer of creative music-making, we are continuing our series of benefit concerts to raise funds for Walden’s 2024 season. This month, we enjoyed a wonderful celebration and fundraiser in New York City, featuring pianist Pedja Mužijević. And I invite you to save the date for an upcoming fundraiser on Sunday, May 5, in Washington, DC, from 3 to 5 pm.

The final, Spring deadline for our 2024 Young Musicians Program (YMP) and Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) is Monday, April 1. See below for information about program dates and locations. We hope you will apply to join us!

Please read on for more news and updates from the Walden community. I hope our paths cross at a Walden event or program soon. Summer is coming!

Sincerely,

Seth Brenzel signature

Seth Brenzel
Executive Director
415-587-8157

Apply for Walden 2024

The final application deadline for Walden’s 2024 programs is April 1.

The final application deadline for The Walden School Young Musicians Program (YMP) and Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) is on Monday, April 1—and we’re not fooling when we say that we hope you’ll apply to make music at Walden this summer!

Walden’s 2024 programs:

  • Young Musicians ProgramJune 29 – August 4, 2024, Dublin School, Dublin, New Hampshire (for pre-college musicians, ages 9-18)

To be considered in the spring admissions round, please submit your application by 11:59pm (Pacific Time) on Monday, April 1. Teacher recommendations for the Young Musicians Program can be submitted after the deadline. The non-refundable application fees for both programs may be paid up to a week after the deadline.

Application materials for both programs are available on our website.

Write to us at applicants@waldenschool.org or call the Walden office at (415) 587-8157 with any questions.

Write to us with any questions.

Apply Today

Fundraising Events

Event recap: A Walden School celebration and fundraiser in New York City

Thank you to all who joined us for The Walden School’s celebration and fundraiser in New York City on Saturday, March 16!

It was a wonderful evening of food, drink, conversation, and music held in the beautiful, art-filled Skylight Gallery at the Salmagundi Club in Greenwich Village. Pianist Pedja Mužijević, a former Walden faculty member and the Artistic Administrator of Baryshnikov Arts in New York, took us on a fascinating musical journey with his program “Homage to Mixtapes.”

We are so grateful to our host committee and all of our event donors for your generosity. With your help, we have raised more than $10,400—and counting! Thank you! Your support brings Walden 2024 that much closer.

If you would like to show your support to Walden, contributions are warmly appreciated at any time. You are welcome to donate online or send a check to The Walden School at 7 Joost Avenue, Suite 204, San Francisco, CA 94131.

Upcoming fundraising event

Washington, DC

Sunday, May 5

3 to 5 pm

Join us for an afternoon of music, community, and refreshments at the historic DACOR Bacon House in Washington, DC!

This reception and concert will celebrate Walden’s mission of inspiring artistic expression and personal growth through experiential music programs. Contributions to Walden’s Annual Fund will underwrite critical student scholarships and world-class artist residences at Walden’s 2024 summer programs.

For more information or to RSVP, email donors@waldenschool.org or call (415) 587-8157.

Walden is Hiring!

Join our summer team.

Walden is hiring for 2024 summer positions at our Young Musicians Program (YMP) in Dublin, New Hampshire. We are seeking new teammates to join our creative community, and we hope that you might help spread the word about these opportunities to your friends and colleagues.

The positions currently open are:

  • Staff Member—Young Musicians Program (June–August 2024; Dublin, NH)

Please contact us with any questions and inquiries. All positions are open until filled.

Young Musicians Program (YMP) Online Information Sessions

Join us to learn more about the music camp that changes lives.

Do you know a student who writes songs or arranges music? Or a young improviser who wants to strengthen their musicianship and meet like-minded peers? Or a music teacher who might like to learn about Walden’s unique curriculum?

Join us at one of our online interactive information sessions, featuring presentations and Q&A with Walden’s Executive Director, Seth Brenzel, alongside YMP leadership, faculty, staff, and students.

All YMP Info Sessions are held on Zoom and begin at 7 pm Eastern / 4 pm Pacific.

These events are open to prospective students, music teachers, and anyone else who would like to learn about Walden’s flagship program for musicians ages 9 to 18.

Call for Memories and Photos

Attention alumni! We are renewing a call for treasured memories and photos from your time at Walden or the Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC), to be included in a 50th/70th-Anniversary memory book.

Please aim to keep your reflections to a maximum of 250 words.

Alumni are also invited to share up to five treasured photos with the community to be included in the memory book.

Please send your memories and photos to us at alumni@waldenschool.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

Photo courtesy of Jane Dugdale, showing Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC) students in the late 1950s

Community News

Cara Haxo’s compositions performed

YMP alumna and faculty member Cara Haxo (who will return on faculty at the 2024 Young Musicians Program) had multiple compositions performed this month, including several premieres. On March 9, the ensemble Synergy 78 premiered Haxo’s The Weft and Weave Between Us and the flute and clarinet version of her composition Ripple at the Music by Women Festival at the Mississippi University for Women. On March 16, Forward Motion performed Haxo’s A Few Figs from Thistles (originally commissioned by The Walden School as part of the 2021 Faculty Commissioning Project for Hub New Music) at the Ball State University Festival of New Music in Muncie, Indiana. And on March 22, Stories, Secrets, and Forgotten Wisdom for tenor saxophone was premiered by Andrew Hosler in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, as part of the Local 4 Music Fund concert series. Congratulations, Cara!

 

Recognition for Osnat Netzer’s Dot : Line : Sigh

Veteran CMR and YMP faculty member Osnat Netzer released her debut recording in February of this year, featuring performances of her compositions by Ensemble Dal Niente, Geoffrey Landman, Mivos Quartet, Eric Lamb, Michael Hall, Marianne Parker, and the ~Nois saxophone quartet. Osnat’s new release, Dot : Line : Sigh, was selected by Bandcamp Daily as one of the best contemporary classical releases in February 2024. Osnat spoke about her new release on the Relevant Tones podcast with Matthew Dosland, discussing how she chose compositions from her catalog for the album, and the common thread that connects them: “Though the pieces differ in musical language and aesthetics, they all share the tropes of a punctuated sustain (Dot-Line) and many forms of pitch bends, glissandi, and stylized portamenti (Sigh).” Congratulations, Osnat!

 

Nicole Mitchell at SF Jazz with Brandee Younger

Creative flautist, improviser, and YMP 2023 visiting composer Nicole Mitchell performed at SF Jazz on March 9-10, in a musical tribute to Alice Coltrane led by jazz harpist Brandee Younger. Nicole joined Younger’s quartet as a special guest, along with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and a string ensemble led by De’Sean Jones. Nicole shared some audio and reflected on the performance in a social media post, which you can view here. We are grateful that Nicole is part of the Walden community!

 

Alicia Jo Rabins announces Girls in Trouble: The Series 

YMP Alumna Alicia Jo Rabins is a musician, poet, Torah teacher, and the creator of Girls in Trouble, a project which explores the complex stories of women in the Bible through music, visual art, and a Torah teaching curriculum created by Alicia. This year, Alicia is collaborating with filmmaker Alicia J. Rose to create Girls in Trouble: The Series. In each episode of this new web series, Rabins takes the viewer on a journey into a Biblical woman’s story and visits scholars and artists to get their take on the story. You can watch the pilot episode here.

 

Ruth Hertzman-Miller first-ever orchestra piece premiere

CMR alumna Ruth Hertzman-Miller is a physician, pianist, and composer. Ruth’s first-ever composition for orchestra, The Activity of Sound, was premiered by the Boston Conservatory Composers Orchestra on March 7. You can watch a video of the performance here. A hearty congratulations to Ruth on this achievement!

 

Eliza Brown’s music responds to climate change

A work by YMP alum and veteran faculty member Eliza Brown was performed as part of a climate change-inspired concert by the Juventas New Music Ensemble in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on March 23. Eliza’s work, In the Age of the Rise: Three Songs Imagining Life in the Age of Climate Change deals with both the immense grief and the glimmers of hope (through the power of collective action) that are contained within our possible climate futures. Eliza spoke about the work in a short video, which can be viewed here. The livestream of the March 23 concert is available for viewing here.

Updates from Anne Deane Berman

Anne Deane Berman, a Walden alumna and past board member, gave a talk in March at UCLA on her interactive immersive environments with her co-creator and spouse, Dr. Steve Berman. Together, they are planning to host their residential and nonresidential day STEM+ARTS+HUMANITIES Academies at Cornell University in July and UCLA in August. They brought a small Model United Nations high school delegation to Yale University in January and plan to go to Yale MUN LATAM in São Paulo in late summer.

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 at waldenschool.org/contact.

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. You can also find us on InstagramTwitterYouTubebandcamp, and at waldenschool.org.

A dance during the 2019 Young Musicians Program
A dance during the 2019 Young Musicians Program


eNews: InterNetzo – February 2024

Message from Seth Brenzel, Executive Director

Seth Brenzel headshot

Dear Walden friend,

As winter wears on, summer feels closer than ever. Along with the whole Walden team, I am immersed in planning an incredible season of programs in 2024. In this edition of InterNetzo, we are pleased to share highlights of the inspiring artists who will be in residence at Walden this summer, mentoring our students, workshopping and premiering their works, and presenting world-class performances on our summer Concert Series.

This newsletter also contains information about upcoming application deadlines and fundraising events; a recap of Walden’s leadership retreat in San Francisco; and the latest news from around the Walden community.

I hope our paths cross at a Walden event or program soon!

Sincerely,

Seth Brenzel signature

Seth Brenzel
Executive Director
415-587-8157

Apply for Walden 2024

Applications for the Lance Reddick Scholarship are due Friday, March 1.

Applications for the Lance Reddick Scholarship at Walden’s Young Musicians Program (YMP), including a completed financial aid application, are due Friday, March 1.

The final application deadline to apply to the Young Musicians Program (YMP) and Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) is Monday, April 1. We encourage you to share the news with your friends, family, colleagues, students, and teachers.

Walden’s 2024 programs:

  • Young Musicians Program: June 29 – August 4, 2024, Dublin School, Dublin, New Hampshire (for pre-college musicians, ages 9-18)

Application materials for both programs are available on our website.

Write to us with any questions.

Apply Today

Upcoming Fundraising Events

Saturday, March 16, from 6 to 8 pm

Save the date for an evening of music, community, and refreshments at the beautiful Salmagundi Club in New York City.

Pedja Mužijević, an amazing pianist, a former Walden School faculty member, and the Artistic Administrator at Baryshnikov Arts in New York, will perform.

This reception and concert will celebrate Walden’s mission of inspiring artistic expression and personal growth through experiential music programs. Contributions to Walden’s Annual Fund will underwrite critical student scholarships and inspiring artist residences at Walden’s 2024 summer programs.

For more information or to RSVP, contact us or call (415) 587-8157.

Sunday, May 5, from 3 to 5 pm

Save the date for another wonderful Walden celebration and fundraiser at the DACOR Bacon House in Washington, DC! More details will be available soon. Contact us or call (415) 587-8157. with any questions or to RSVP.

 

Inspiring Artist Residencies at Walden 2024

Each summer, Walden’s award-winning Concert Series presents leading professional musicians and ensembles on concerts that are offered free of charge to the public and webcast through high-quality livestreams.

Visiting artists and Composers-in-Residence are integral to Walden’s programs, leading workshops, demonstrations, and dialogues that challenge and inspire Walden students.

We have an incredible roster of visiting artists and composers lined up for Walden’s 2024 summer season, with additional artists still to be confirmed.

2024 Composers-in-Residence

Oscar Bettison, Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) Composer-in-Residence

Born on the United Kingdom’s Channel Islands to Spanish and British parents, Oscar Bettison was fascinated from an early age by the interplay between the “weird, hazy, tenuous aural image” in his imagination and the wild effort to wrestle it onto the page. After studying in Amsterdam with Louis Andriessen and Martijn Padding, he learned to embrace this creative discomfort, crashing through challenges with fantastic, imaginative twists. Bettison was recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017, and he is currently a Professor of Composition at John Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute.

Sarah Kirkland Snider, Young Musicians Program (YMP) Composer-in-Residence

A highly acclaimed composer who has written dozens of chamber, orchestral, and choral works, Sarah Kirkland Snider has been called “one of today’s most compelling composers for the human voice” (NPR’s Deceptive Cadence). Snider’s music organically synthesizes diverse influences to render a nuanced command of immersive storytelling. She is also the co-founder and co-artistic director of New Amsterdam Records, a nonprofit label that champions new albums by creative composers and performers.

 

2024 Artists-in-Residence

International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)

Members of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) will return for residencies at both CMR and YMP in 2024, presenting concerts of cutting-edge new music and performing student works on Composers Forums. With a commitment to cultivating a more curious and engaged society through music, the International Contemporary Ensemble—as a commissioner and performer at the highest level—amplifies creators whose work propels and challenges how music is made and experienced.

David Friend

Pianist David Friend will return as a visiting artist at CMR in 2024. A fearless performer, he has been hailed by critics for his adventurous programming, his commanding technique, and his captivating performances. His playing has been described as “astonishingly compelling” (the Washington Post) and the New York Times calls him “[one] of the finest, busiest pianists active in New York’s contemporary-classical scene.”

ZOFO

This GRAMMY-nominated piano duo will present an opening concert at YMP. Since joining forces as a professional duo in 2009, internationally acclaimed solo pianists Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi—ZOFO—have electrified audiences from Carnegie Hall to Tokyo Japan with their dazzling artistry and outside-the-box thematic programming for piano-four-hands.

Friction Quartet

The acclaimed Bay Area-based string quartet will be in residence for Walden’s 2024 Faculty Commissioning Project at YMP. Friction Quartet will collaborate closely with members of Walden’s faculty, with rehearsals open to the Walden community, culminating in a concert of world premieres composed by Walden faculty members. Lauded for performances described as “terribly beautiful” (San Francisco Classical Voice), “stunningly passionate” (Calgary Herald), and “exquisitely skilled” (ZealNYC), Friction Quartet is dedicated to modernizing the chamber music experience and expanding the string quartet repertoire.

Aurora Nealand

The beloved bandleader, composer, performer, and improviser Aurora Nealand will return to Walden for an outdoor concert during YMP. A Walden alumna and former faculty member, Aurora Nealand has become a prominent force in the New Orleans music scene since she first arrived in 2004. She is most recognized for her performance on saxophones, clarinet, and vocals and has been at the forefront of the revival of New Orleans traditional jazz amongst the younger generation of the city’s musicians.

The Walden School Players

All distinguished musicians and specialists in contemporary music, The Walden School Players share their talent and wealth of experience with the Walden community each summer during a two-week residency at YMP. They will present a concert of cutting-edge new music and premiere student works on three Festival Week Composers Forums. The 2024 Walden School Players are Mabel Kwan (piano), Chris Wild (cello), Laura Cocks (flute), Zachary Good (clarinet), Kyra Sims (horn), Erica Dicker (violin), and Dennis Sullivan (percussion).

Walden is Hiring!

Join our summer team.

Walden is hiring for 2024 summer positions at our Young Musicians Program (YMP) in Dublin, New Hampshire. We are seeking new teammates to join our creative community, and we hope that you might help spread the word about these opportunities to your friends and colleagues.

The positions currently open are:

  • Faculty Member—Young Musicians Program (June-August 2024; Dublin, NH)
  • Staff Member—Young Musicians Program (June–August 2024; Dublin, NH)

Please contact us with any questions and inquiries. All positions are open until filled.

Young Musicians Program (YMP) Online Information Sessions

Join us to learn more about the music camp that changes lives.

Do you know a student who writes songs or arranges music? Or a young improviser who wants to strengthen their musicianship and meet like-minded peers? Or a music teacher who might like to learn about Walden’s unique curriculum?

Join us at one of our online interactive information sessions, featuring presentations and Q&A with Walden’s Executive Director, Seth Brenzel, alongside YMP leadership, faculty, staff, and students.

All YMP Info Sessions are held on Zoom and begin at 7 pm Eastern / 4 pm Pacific.

These events are open to prospective students, music teachers, and anyone else who would like to learn about Walden’s flagship program for musicians ages 9 to 18.

Walden Leadership Retreat

February 10-11 in San Francisco

Members of Walden’s year-round administration and program leadership teams met for two days of planning sessions on February 10-11 in San Francisco. On the agenda were Walden’s curriculum, strategic framework, marketing and recruiting efforts, year-round programming, finances and budget, Musicianship Course Update Project, and more. It was a productive, inspiring weekend that generated lots of great ideas and momentum as we prepare for Summer 2024—and beyond!

Call for Memories and Photos

Photo courtesy of Robin Seto, showing Walden students in 1975

Attention alumni! We are renewing a call for treasured memories and photos from your time at Walden or the Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC), to be included in a 50th/70th-Anniversary memory book.

Please aim to keep your reflections to a maximum of 250 words.

Alumni are also invited to share up to five treasured photos with the community to be included in the memory book.

Please send your memories and photos to us. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Community News

Loretta Notareschi releases new premiere recording

YMP alumna and YMP/CMR faculty-member Loretta Notareschi’s Scourge Songs, recorded by the Nebula Ensemble, was released on streaming platforms in January. The poetry, about the Covid-19 pandemic, was written by Denver-based poet Alyse Knorr. In addition to the streaming audio, a video with subtitles is also available for viewing on YouTube. The cover art was partially created by YMP alum Ruby Garlow.

Katherine Balch work premiered by Pittsburgh Symphony

On February 16, the Pittsburgh Symphony premiered former YMP faculty member Katherine Balch’s musica pyralis, a work that takes inspiration from the sounds of the firefly. musica pyralis was co-commissioned through New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices program. The commission was led by the Pittsburgh Symphony and the New York Philharmonic in collaboration with the Ann Arbor Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, and Santa Rosa Symphony. The New York Philharmonic will perform the work on April 12-14. Balch was interviewed by WQED Pittsburgh in advance of the premiere.

Sarah Riskind presents “Baroque Music of the Synagogue”

On February 25, Sarah Riskind presented a concert of Jewish baroque music with the group she directs, the Baroque Artists of Champagne Urbana (BACH). In advance of the concert, Sarah was interviewed on Illinois Public Media. Riskind is a longtime Walden faculty member, having served as Choral Director at YMP for several years, and she will return to Walden as Choral Director at the 2024 Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR). A livestream of the February 25 concert can be viewed here.

David Roberts and teammate win table tennis tournament

David Roberts (at far right in the accompanying photo), a member of Walden’s Board of Directors and parent of YMP alum Marco Roberts, along with his teammate won the Over-50 Men’s Team Championship in Lima, Peru, at the 32nd International Table Tennis Open held at the Juan XXIII Peruvian Chinese School. The pair went undefeated against four teams, one from Chile and three from Peru, to win the event. Congratulations, David!

Hub New Music premieres work by Marcos Balter

Hub New Music, a past ensemble-in-residence for Walden’s Faculty Commissioning Project, performed on February 24 as part of the Celebrity Series of Boston. The program, “to hear the things we cannot see,” included a world premiere by Marcos Balter, a past Composer-in-Residence at both of Walden’s programs. The work by Balter was commissioned as part of Hub New Music’s 10th anniversary season.

Joan Tower honored by Da Capo Chamber Players

The Da Capo Chamber Players honored one of its founding members, the composer Joan Tower, with a concert on February 25 at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York City. Tower, who is a past Composer-in-Residence at YMP and who has moderated a Walden Alumni Composers Forum, has described Walden as “one of America’s greatest hidden treasures.” The concert, in celebration of Tower’s 85th birthday, featured four of her works, spanning almost 50 years of Tower’s compositional activity.

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 at waldenschool.org/contact.

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. You can also find us on InstagramTwitterYouTubebandcamp, and at waldenschool.org.

A dance during the 2019 Young Musicians Program
A dance during the 2019 Young Musicians Program


eNews: InterNetzo – January 2024

Message from Seth Brenzel, Executive Director

Seth Brenzel headshot

Dear Walden friend,

I hope your year is off to a great start! This winter has been a busy time for Walden, with lots of plans afoot for an amazing season of programs in 2024.

Here is some of what you’ll find in this edition of InterNetzo: an exciting new scholarship created in memory of Lance Reddick; the winter-round deadline to apply to Walden’s summer programs—Thursday, February 1!; summer employment opportunities at Walden; an upcoming Walden event in New York City on March 16; and much more, including news from around the Walden community.

I hope our paths cross at a Walden event or program in the months to come. Summer is coming!

Sincerely,

Seth Brenzel signature

Seth Brenzel
Executive Director
415-587-8157

Lance Reddick Scholarship Announced

Earlier this month, The Walden School launched the Lance Reddick Scholarship, an exciting new initiative made possible by a $450,000 anonymous donation in memory of esteemed alumnus and actor, Lance Reddick, who passed away suddenly in the spring of 2023. The donation will fund ten full scholarships per year for the 2024 through 2026 seasons of the Young Musicians Program (YMP), enabling deserving young musicians the opportunity to experience Walden’s summer five-week program free of charge. Five of the ten scholarships will be awarded specifically to students from the Baltimore area in honor of Mr. Reddick’s hometown and the birthplace of The Walden School.

The news was featured in a January 24 article in the Keene Sentinel of New Hampshire, which quoted Walden’s Executive Director, Seth Brenzel: “We’ve always been committed to providing financial aid, and I’m just thrilled we’re going to be able to grow that number quite significantly and create even more access opportunities.”

Applications for the Lance Reddick Scholarship are due Friday, March 1. Click here to apply to Walden, and here to learn more about the scholarship.

Walden is Hiring!

Join our summer team.

Walden is hiring for 2024 summer positions at our Young Musicians Program (YMP) in Dublin, New Hampshire. We are seeking new teammates to join our creative community, and we hope that you might help spread the word about these opportunities to your friends and colleagues.

The positions currently open are:

  • Faculty Member—Young Musicians Program (June 2024; Dublin, NH)
  • Staff Member—Young Musicians Program (June–August 2024; Dublin, NH)

Please contact us with any questions and inquiries. All positions are open until filled.

Year-End Giving

Thank you for your support!

Thank you to the many generous donors who made year-end gifts to Walden! Your contributions will help us offer life-changing musical experiences next summer to 100 students across our two programs, including critical student scholarships and inspiring artist residencies.

During the last three months of 2023, our donors contributed more than $150,000 to Walden’s Annual Fund. This represents 40% of our goal to raise $375,000 during Walden’s 2024 season (October 1, 2023, through September 30, 2024). Thank you! Your support brings a life-changing summer experience that much closer for our students. If you missed our year-end campaign, it’s not too late to support Walden today with a tax-deductible gift. Thank you for your support!

Donate Today

Upcoming Fundraising Event

Saturday, March 16, from 6 to 8 pm

Save the date for an evening of music, community, and refreshments at the beautiful Salmagundi Club in New York City.

Pedja Mužijević, a “refined pianist” (The New York Times) and former Walden School faculty member, will perform.

This reception and concert will celebrate Walden’s mission of inspiring artistic expression and personal growth through experiential music education. Contributions to Walden’s Annual Fund will underwrite critical student scholarships and inspiring artist residences at Walden’s 2024 summer programs.

For more information or to RSVP, contact us or call (415) 587-8157.

 

Walden Holiday Parties

In January, Walden community members gathered for three holiday/new year parties in New York, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon. These events brought together Walden alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and board members for festive potluck gatherings. Delicious food and drinks were shared, music was played, Jenga towers were built and destroyed, and much merriment was had. Many thanks to our wonderful volunteer hosts: Scott Menchin and Yvetta Fedorova in New York, Ali Crockett Moore in Portland, and Michael Brotchner and Lori Cohen in Seattle.

Apply for Walden 2024

The next (winter-round) application deadline is Thursday, February 1!

The second (winter) application deadline to apply to the Young Musicians Program (YMP) and Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) is tomorrow, Thursday, February 1. We encourage you to share the news with your friends, family, colleagues, students, and teachers.

Walden’s 2024 programs:

  • Young Musicians Program: June 29 – August 4, 2024, Dublin School, Dublin, New Hampshire (for pre-college musicians, ages 9-18)

Application materials for both programs are available on our website.

Write to us with any questions.

Apply Today

Young Musicians Program (YMP) Online Information Sessions

Join us to learn more about the music camp that changes lives.

Do you know a student who writes songs or arranges music? Or a young improviser who wants to strengthen their musicianship and meet like-minded peers? Or a music teacher who might like to learn about Walden’s unique curriculum?

Join us at one of our online interactive information sessions, featuring presentations and Q&A with Walden’s Executive Director, Seth Brenzel, alongside YMP leadership, faculty, staff, and students.

All YMP Info Sessions are held on Zoom and begin at 7 pm Eastern / 4 pm Pacific.

Learn more and register for one of the info sessions below:

Thursday, February 15

Thursday, March 21

Thursday, April 11

These events are open to prospective students, music teachers, and anyone else who would like to learn about Walden’s flagship program for musicians ages 9 to 18.

Walden Recordings on Bandcamp

Listen to live recordings from Walden.

Each summer, students at Walden’s Young Musicians Program (YMP) and Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) showcase their creativity by presenting original works on Composers Forums. Walden is proud to offer professional-quality recordings of those works for free on our Bandcamp page, where you can enjoy recordings from all the summer 2023 Composers Forums at both Walden programs, as well as last summer’s festive YMP Choral Concert featuring the entire YMP community.

Competitions and Calls for Scores

Featured opportunities with upcoming deadlines

Walden encourages the sharing of opportunities and resources for composers, including competitions and calls for scores that may be of interest to our community. We maintain a searchable list of competitions, awards, and calls for scores on our website. Opportunities are often posted in Walden’s community Facebook group as well.

Here are some opportunities we are highlighting this month:

Flute Choir Call for Scores

The National Flute Association invites composers to submit works for flute choir. Submissions must be 12 minutes in duration or less, and include at least six parts for any combination of the acoustic flute family. The winning submission will be performed in August 2024 at the National Flute Association convention in San Antonio, Texas. Apply by February 14.

Ithaca College Wohlhueter Jazz Ensemble Composition Contest

Entries must be original, unpublished compositions for instrumental jazz ensemble, including a solo part for guest artist Alexa Tarantino on alto sax, soprano sax and/or flute. Ithaca College Jazz Ensemble students participate in the judging of contest submissions, and will perform the winning composition in April 2024. The contest prize for the winning composer is $1,500. The entry fee is $25. Apply by March 1.

2024 Earplay Donald Aird Competition

Earplay sponsors the annual Donald Aird Composers Competition, open to composers of any nationality and any age. Submissions should be for the instrumentation of Earplay, 1-6 players with one player per part on any combination of flute, clarinet, piano, violin, viola, and/or cello. Works may include electronics. Earplay performs the prizewinning piece and presents a cash prize of $1,000 to the winning composer. Apply by March 31.

If you’re aware of an opportunity that Walden students, alumni, faculstaff, and friends should know about too, please contact us.

Call for Memories and Photos

Photo courtesy of Robin Seto, showing Walden students in 1975

Attention alumni! We are renewing a call for treasured memories and photos from your time at Walden or the Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC), to be included in a 50th/70th-Anniversary memory book.

Please aim to keep your reflections to a maximum of 250 words.

Alumni are also invited to share up to five treasured photos with the community to be included in the memory book.

Please send your memories and photos to us. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Community News

D. J. Sparr collaborates with Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Walden alumnus and longtime faculty member D. J. Sparr, who will return on faculty at the 2024 Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR), will be featured this Friday and Saturday, February 2 and 3, with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, for a program called Shostakovich and Six Strings. Sparr is a composer and guitarist who frequently performs on electric guitar in collaborative concerts with symphony orchestras. In an interview with Buffalo Rising, D. J. said, “We’re going to play with joy. . . . [We are] going to reach out to people that wouldn’t otherwise maybe want to come, like people in the ‘guitar world’ who are really curious about the guitar being combined with classical music.” In connection with the concerts, D. J. will offer a masterclass for high school and college students.

 

New music by Freya Waley-Cohen in London

In February, several compositions by Freya Waley-Cohen, a Young Musicians Program (YMP) alumna, will receive premiere performances in London, England. On February 1, Manchester Collective will give the first performance of Freya’s song cycle Spell Book at the Barbican Milton Court Concert Hall. On February 27, the Colin Currie Quartet will premiere Freya’s new percussion quartet Stone Fruit at Wigmore Hall, on a program of percussion ensemble music by Steve Reich, Andy Akiho, Dave Maric, and Amy Beth Kirsten, who has been composer-in-residence at YMP in 2022 and CMR in 2023.

 

George Lewis profiled by Alex Ross in The New Yorker

George Lewis, the pioneering composer, scholar, and trombonist who has been Composer-in-Residence at both of Walden’s programs, was the subject of a recent profile by Alex Ross in The New Yorker. The article highlighted Lewis’s work as both a participant in, and a scholar of, the black-led experimental music collective known as the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), as well as his recent work as artistic director of the International Contemporary Ensemble—a frequent Walden artistic collaborative partner, which will return to Walden’s programs in summer 2024.

 

Julian Hofstetter honored by Lawrence University

Julian Hofstetter has received the Pi Kappa Lambda Composition Award from Lawrence University, awarded “for exceptional originality and skill in music composition.” The award committee wrote of Julian: “Julian Hofstetter is a composer who has shown consistent imagination and skill, with a strong dedication to his art. . . . The composition faculty highly commend Julian on his initiative, work ethic, and originality.” An alumnus of both YMP and CMR, Julian graduated from Lawrence University in 2023. A hearty congratulations from Walden, Julian!

 

Constantine Darie featured in local newspaper

YMP alumnus Constantine Darie is raising funds for a trip to perform in Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland with the American Music Abroad program. He will play cello and sing in chorus on the tour alongside 150 other music students from the United States. His fundraiser was featured in an article in North Country Now of Potsdam, New York.

 

Del Sol Quartet premieres Huang Ruo’s Angel Island

On January 11-13, the Del Sol Quartet, a past Walden visiting ensemble, gave the New York premiere of Angel Island, a staged oratorio for string quartet and chamber choir by acclaimed Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo. Del Sol has been working with Ruo on the Angel Project for six years, and their collaboration was profiled in a New York Times article about the performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The work is a setting of poems etched between 1910 and 1940 by Chinese immigrants to the U.S. on the walls of the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay. Del Sol Quartet, who are based in San Francisco, will give a series of performances at the historical immigration station in March.

In Memoriam

Ron Nelson at a JCC Composers Forum (photo credit: Edward Max)

Ron Nelson

Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC) composer and faculty member Ron Nelson died on December 24, 2023, at the age of 94 in Scottsdale, Arizona. He taught at Brown University for many years and was the Chair of the Music Department there.

Legions of Walden alums will recall singing Ron’s “Sleep, Little One” in chorus and in evening music. Nelson was described by conductor Leonard Slatkin as a “quintessential American composer.” You can learn more about his life and music here.

Ron put together a video with footage from the 1960 JCC season for the 2007 Walden/JCC alumni reunion. You can view the video here, to which JCC alumnus Bob Weaver added Ron’s original music as a soundtrack.

The entire Walden and JCC communities join in extending our condolences to Ron’s wife Michele, Ron’s family and friends, and all who loved him and who were touched by his life and music.

Alice Parker

Alice Parker, the renowned American choral composer, arranger, conductor, and educator, died at the age of 98 on December 24, 2023. In the summer of 2005, Parker paid a visit to Walden’s Young Musicians Program (YMP), where she led one of her signature “Community Sings.” The impact of this visit was felt for many years by those who remember her generous spirit and heartfelt musicianship. The Walden School extends its condolences to Alice Parker’s family and to all those who were touched by her legacy.

Charles Ogwo

Charles Ogwo, brother of Walden alumna, past faculty member, and past Walden board member Nnenna Ogwo, passed away unexpectedly earlier this month in Washington, DC. The Walden community joins together in keeping Nnenna in our thoughts, prayers, and hearts during this most difficult time.

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 at waldenschool.org/contact.

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. You can also find us on InstagramTwitterYouTubebandcamp, and at waldenschool.org.

A dance during the 2019 Young Musicians Program
A dance during the 2019 Young Musicians Program


Lance Reddick Scholarship in the Keene Sentinel

The Keene Sentinel interviewed Executive Director Seth Brenzel about the newly announced Lance Reddick Scholarship.

“It’s expensive to run any kind of music education program,” Brenzel said. “We’ve always been committed to providing financial aid, and I’m just thrilled we’re going to be able to grow that number quite significantly and create even more access opportunities.”

Read the full article: Walden's Young Musician Program receives $450,000 to offer full scholarships


Lance Reddick Scholarship in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript covered the Lance Reddick Scholarship in a January 24, 2024 article.

"Lance was a wonderful supporter of Walden, and we are excited to see how Walden can be a springboard to future music creators who attend the Young Musicians Program as Lance Reddick Scholars,” stated Seth Brenzel, executive director of The Walden School. “We are so grateful to the generous donor who made this transformative gift to honor Lance's legacy."

Read the full article: Walden School announces Reddick Scholarship


Announcing the Lance Reddick Scholarship

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Marisa Giller
314.630.4123, marisagiller@gmail.com

THE WALDEN SCHOOL ANNOUNCES LANCE REDDICK SCHOLARSHIP

Anonymous Donor Steps Forward to Honor Legacy of Esteemed Walden Alumnus and Actor, Lance Reddick, Creates Full Scholarship Program for Young Musicians 

DUBLIN, N.H., (January 18, 2024) – Today, The Walden School, the celebrated summer music school and camp, announced it received a $450,000 anonymous donation in memory of esteemed alumnus and actor, Lance Reddick, who passed away suddenly in the spring of 2023.

The donation will fund 10 full scholarships per year for its 2024-2026 Young Musicians Program, enabling deserving young musicians the opportunity to experience Walden’s summer five-week program free of charge. Five of the 10 scholarships will be awarded specifically to students from the Baltimore area in honor of Mr. Reddick’s hometown and the birthplace of The Walden School.

Mr. Reddick attended The Walden School from 1976-1980, returning in 1983 as a Walden faculty member. While he was a lifelong creator and student of music, he was most well known for his television and film work, particularly for his role as Cedric Daniels in “The Wire.”

Walden’s Young Musicians Program is a five-week summer camp for students ages 9 to 18 that offers musical training in a supportive musical community. Students attend classes in composition, musicianship, music history, choral singing, computer musicianship, jazz, and more. Dances, swim trips, mountain hikes, and open mic nights balance out this rigorous musical training.

“Lance would be so honored by these scholarships being named for him, and this project would really touch his heart,” said Stephanie Reddick, Lance’s wife.

Mr. Reddick openly shared the importance of financial assistance in allowing him to participate in creative opportunities like Walden’s program that shaped the arc of his life. The scholarship in his name will provide each student with full tuition, room, and board, along with a travel stipend.

"Lance was a wonderful supporter of Walden, and we are excited to see how Walden can be a springboard to future music creators who attend the Young Musicians Program as Lance Reddick Scholars,” said Seth Brenzel, Executive Director of The Walden School. “We are so grateful to the generous donor who made this transformative gift to honor Lance's legacy."

Applications are due Friday, March 1. To apply, visit waldenschool.org/apply/. To learn more about the Lance Reddick Scholarship, visit waldenschool.org/lance-reddick-scholarship/.

About The Walden School

The Walden School inspires artistic expression and personal growth through experiential music programs. Founded in 1972, the acclaimed summer music school and festival offers programs that emphasize creativity through musicianship, improvisation, and composition. Programs include the Young Musicians Program for youth ages 9-18, and the Creative Musicians Retreat for adults. The Summer Concert Series showcases free, public performances by renowned artists and ensembles that work closely with students and perform their original music. To learn more visit www.waldenschool.org.


eNews: InterNetzo – November 2023

Message from Seth Brenzel, Executive Director

Seth Brenzel headshot

Dear Walden friend,

As the air turns crisp and the days get shorter, I am filled with warm thoughts of Walden holiday parties. With the help of volunteer hosts (read below if you’re interested in volunteering!), Walden community members will gather this holiday season to catch up, share memories, and enjoy the warmth of the Walden community. Stay tuned for more information about these wonderful events.

We’re already looking ahead to June 15, 2024, the start of Walden’s Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR), which will be back on the Dublin School campus, and to June 29, 2024 (the last Saturday in June!) when we will commence Walden’s Young Musicians Program (YMP). If you know a creative musician, ages 9 to 99, or if you yourself might want to apply to be part of Walden Summer 2024, I hope you will pass along information about Walden and request an application.

Last but certainly not least, I want to add a note of thanks to the many donors who generously contribute to Walden. Whether you gave recently to our wildly successful Giving Tuesday campaign, at one of our regional events, through Walden’s Annual Fund, or contributed your generosity in some other way, I am grateful. And if you have not yet joined Walden’s community of philanthropic supporters, ’tis the season and there’s no better time than the present! Any amount helps support student scholarships, outstanding faculty, inspiring artist residencies, and keeps the (proverbial) lights on as we prepare for Summer 2024 and beyond.

I hope you have a joyous and peaceful holiday season, and I hope to see you soon at a holiday party in your area, an upcoming Walden regional event, or next summer in Dublin!

Sincerely,

Seth Brenzel signature

Seth Brenzel
Executive Director
415-587-8157

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 announcement of 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. We are so grateful to the many volunteers who have hosted Walden holiday parties over the years.

Above: A Walden holiday party in New York in January 2023

Give the Gift of Walden

Bring some summer magic to the holiday season and support Walden School programs and initiatives with your order of Walden merchandise.

For the Holiday Season, enjoy 30% off of all merchandise orders through January 31.

We have shirts, baseball caps, canvas totes, stickers, mugs, magnets, keychains, pens, pencils, and more.

See what’s available and fill out an order form here.

Orders can be placed by check or money order, or via credit card/PayPal. Please contact Mindy Williams, Walden’s Administrative Manager, or call the Walden office at (415) 587-8157 if you have any questions.

Reflections on the 2023 Young Musicians Program (YMP)

From Seth Brenzel, Director of YMP and Walden School Executive Director

I had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family here in San Francisco, and I hope that for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, you enjoyed a peaceful time with loved ones, as well. This is a wonderful time to reflect on all of the things for which I am grateful, and one of the things for which I am most appreciative this year is the amazing 2023 Young Musicians Program (YMP). We had a terrific session in Dublin on the gorgeous campus of the Dublin School. 56 students from around the United States, China, and Belgium joined 23 faculty, staff, nurses, and administrators for five outstanding weeks (and in some cases three weeks!) of creative music making.

We had exciting residencies with Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses; an opening concert given by percussionist and this summer’s Technical Director, Ross Karre; TAK Ensemble, led by Laura Cocks, which performed student works as well as faculty commissions; members of the International Contemporary Ensemble; and The Walden School Players, who this year were composed of Mabel Kwan (piano), Chris Wild (cello), Erica Dicker (violin), Zachary Good (clarinets), Dennis Sullivan (percussion), and Kyra Sims (horn).

Kari Francis was back for her second year as Walden’s Choral Director, and our choral concert was a wonderful success, featuring music by Veljo Tormis, Simon & Garfunkel, Lili Boulanger, Reena Esmail, Meredith Monk, and Billie Holiday, among many other wonderful composers and songwriters. Faculty members Nate Trier, Theo Trevisan, Francesca Hellerman, Lukáš Janata, Luke Schroeder, and Emi Ostrom assisted Kari in conducting choral ensembles and leading a summer filled with singing.

We were blown away and so very fortunate to have Nicole Mitchell as Walden’s Composer-in-Residence at YMP. In addition to her artistry and her own amazing music-making that she shared with our community, we were delighted by the way in which she worked with our students, providing insight and leading constructive dialogue with each YMP composer. She joyously interacted with the students, faculty, and the whole community, and indeed became a Walden community member herself during her seven-day residency. We all hope that our paths cross again sometime soon!

The summer was replete with fun—swim trips, Halloween-in-July featuring a haunted house, and beautiful mountain hikes, including the pinnacle trek up to the top of Mount Monadnock. We had an optional, non-denominational-holiday-in-July gift exchange. And we enjoyed dancing along to the music of Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses in their now-annual appearance on the “FAB-io,” the patio just outside the Fountain Arts Building on the Dublin School campus. This concert is a wonderful collaboration between Dublin School, The Walden School, and the Monadnock Folklore Society. Walden made its annual pilgrimage to MacDowell, the country’s preeminent artist residency program, in Peterborough (just 10 minutes from Walden!) to meet with and learn from composers Ashkan Behzadi and Aubrey Johnson. Thanks to Ashkan, we had the opportunity to visit one of the artist studios, outside of which the visiting students, faculty, and staff from Walden launched into spontaneous singing of one of our choral concert selections. On the walls of the artist studio, it was fun to see the names of past residents, including several Walden faculty members and artists-in-residence!

Some of you may have heard about the tornado that struck our campus during Festival Week, right in the midst of the Musicianship Demo for parents, guardians, and family members. Thank goodness we were all together and inside when the tornado touched down, and luckily very few of the buildings were damaged; most of the damage that the campus experienced were downed trees. The tornado certainly rattled our nerves, and yet the community came together to support one another during this time. We were grateful that nobody on campus or in the Walden or Dublin communities was injured, and all of us were grateful for how Dublin School responded to make sure the Walden community was safe. The David Hogan memorial tree that had been planted on the quad nearly 20 years ago was destroyed during the tornado, and we’ll be working with Dublin School to replace that tree.

A parent of two 2023 Young Musicians Program students writes: “Rarely a day goes by without my children rehashing how much fun they had at Walden last summer. I can’t thank you and the entire Walden community enough for making it possible for them to be a part of what I believe has been a life-changing experience. They’re discovering their own inner musical voices. It’s as if a spark has been lit in them.”

We hope to see you (or your student or cousin or neighbor or child) at Walden 2024, for which applications are now open. We can’t wait to light more sparks and help more eager Walden students find their musical voices!

Reflections on the 2023 Walden/JCC Alumni Reunion

From Noah Mlotek, Director of Development and Alumni Relations

Over the weekend of August 4 to 6, 2023, The Walden School hosted a weekend of events to celebrate Walden’s 50th anniversary and the 70th anniversary of the Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC), Walden’s predecessor program. Dozens of Walden alumni and their families gathered in the Monadnock region to reconnect with friends, make new connections, and experience a bit of the Walden/JCC magic once again.

On Friday, alumni began arriving on the campus of the Dublin School, Walden’s summer home for the last 40 years. We enjoyed an outdoor reception and barbeque dinner, workshops by veteran Walden faculty and alumni Caroline Mallonee (“Composing with Scordatura”) and Ted Moore (“Introduction to Modular Synthesis Using VCV Rack”), and Evening Music led by YMP faculty members and alumni Francesca Hellerman and Theo Trevisan. The evening concluded with Goodnight Music and a reception in Gillespie Hall.

On Saturday, alumni had the option of hiking Mt. Monadnock or Gap Mountain, swimming in Dublin Pond, or exploring nearby Keene or Peterborough. More musical workshops were offered: Chorus, led by former YMP choral director Sarah Riskind, and Musicianship, led by Walden faculty member and CMR alumnus Lukáš Janata. Saturday evening brought a wonderfully festive 50th-anniversary dinner, with balloons and cake for Walden’s big birthday. We then enjoyed a breathtaking solo piano recital by Mackenzie Melemed, a YMP alumnus, who inaugurated the beautiful historic Steinway piano recently donated to Walden by Dublin resident and Walden supporter Tuck Crocker, who was profiled in the September edition of InterNetzo. After gathering in our final Goodnight Music circle of the reunion, alumni were treated to a special photo show filled with cherished memories from 70 years of Walden and JCC history.

On Sunday, we watched a video prepared by former JCC faculty member Ron Nelson with priceless photos and footage from the history of JCC, enlivened with commentary from Bob Weaver, the “dean” of the reunion, who first attended JCC in 1956. We also heard an update on the amazing successes of Walden at 50 from Executive Director Seth Brenzel. The reunion concluded with a Composers Forum moderated by veteran Walden faculty members Lukáš Janata and Tamar Bloch, featuring nine compositions by alumni of CMR and YMP, and incredible performances by our reunion guest artists: David Friend (piano), Thea Mesirow (cello), Laura Cocks (flutes) and Ellery Trafford (percussion) of TAK Ensemble, and Joshua Rubin (clarinets) of the International Contemporary Ensemble (clarinets). Four of these five visiting artists are past performers at Walden.

From Sanctus to Black Socks, from Earth Goddess to My Old Brown Earth, from Jumala siunaa to sol-sol-la-sol-ti-do, from “come let us sing” to “we won’t be singing till then,” it was a rich celebration of Walden and JCC and 50 and 70: a shared ethos, community, musical language, and spirit of open-mindedness that is as strong as ever. In words by the poet Wendell Berry that will be familiar to many alumni: “Again, again we come and go, changed, changing. . . . Only music keeps us here.”

Thank you to all the alumni and family members who made the trip from near and far for this special reunion. And a huge thank you to the hard-working reunion staff, led by Director of Operations Sammi Stone, and the workshop leaders who made it such a fun and memorable occasion.

. . . till then . . .

 

 

Noah Mlotek
Director of Development and Alumni Relations

Call for Memories and Photos

Attention alumni! We are renewing a call for treasured memories and photos from your time at Walden or the Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC), to be included in a 50th/70th-Anniversary memory book.

Please aim to keep your reflections to a maximum of 250 words.

Alumni are also invited to share up to five treasured photos with the community to be included in the memory book.

Please send your memories and photos to us at alumni@waldenschool.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

Fiscal Year-End Fundraising

Walden’s 2023 fiscal year ended on September 30. From October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023, Walden’s Annual Fund raised $355,500 from 435 individuals, families, companies, and foundations, including 98 new donors. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We are inspired by your generosity, and we are grateful for the transformative experiences of music and community you make possible.

If you missed the deadline, don’t worry—it’s never too late to support Walden! You can always make a gift online or mail a check to our office:

The Walden School
7 Joost Avenue, Suite 204
San Francisco, CA 94131

Donate today

Apply for Walden 2024

Applications are open, and the first deadline is December 15

We are thrilled to announce that applications for The Walden School’s 2024 summer programs are now open! The early-round deadline to apply to the Young Musicians Program (YMP) and Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) is December 15. If you are a Walden or Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC) alum, Walden will waive your application fee if you apply by the December 15 (early) deadline. We encourage you to share the news with your friends, family, colleagues, students, and teachers.

Creative Musicians Retreat: June 15 – June 23, 2024, Dublin School, Dublin, New Hampshire (for musicians ages 18-98)

Young Musicians Program: June 29 – August 4, 2024, at Dublin School, Dublin, New Hampshire (for pre-college musicians, ages 9-18)

Application materials for both programs are available on our website.

Write to us at applicants@waldenschool.org with any questions.

Young Musicians Program (YMP) Online Information Sessions

Join us to learn more about the music camp that changes lives.

Do you know a student who writes songs or arranges music? Or a young improviser who wants to strengthen their musicianship and meet like-minded peers? Or a music teacher who might like to learn about Walden’s unique curriculum?

Join us at one of our online interactive information sessions, featuring presentations and Q&A with Walden’s Executive Director, Seth Brenzel, alongside YMP leadership, faculty, staff, and students.

All YMP Info Sessions are held on Zoom and begin at 7 pm Eastern / 4 pm Pacific.

Learn more and register for one of the info sessions below:

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Thursday, February 15, 2024

These events are open to prospective students, music teachers, and anyone else who would like to learn about Walden’s flagship program for musicians ages 9 to 18.

Community Event

A concert of new music in Denver, co-presented by The Walden School

On Saturday, September 30, five Walden-affiliated composers presented their works in a special concert in Denver entitled “Invitation to the Wild: New Music from The Walden School and Friends.” After the concert, guests enjoyed a warm reception sponsored by The Walden School. This concert of new music, attended by about 200 listeners, was a wonderful opportunity for Walden alumni to connect with new audiences and to spread the word about Walden’s transformative music education programs.

Above: Composers and performers from the concert, including four of the Walden alumni whose works were performed.

The Walden composers represented on the concert were Loretta Notareschi (YMP alumna and YMP and CMR faculty member), Bob Bassett (CMR alumnus and member of Walden’s Board of Directors), Michael Frank (CMR alumnus), Chase Jordan (CMR alumnus), and Brandon Joung (YMP alumnus). Noah Mlotek, Walden’s Director of Development and Alumni Relations, was also present at the concert.

The performers were members of Wild Beautiful Orchestra, a dynamic collective of professionals and youth. The concert also featured inventive choreography by Kim Robards Dance, a professional modern dance touring company based in Denver.

Walden is grateful to Bob Bassett, Michael Frank, and Loretta Notareschi for their efforts in organizing this event. It was a beautiful celebration of the connections formed at Walden and the incredible impact of our programs.

A performance of Michael Frank’s Invitation from the Chair

Loretta Notareschi performs in her electroacoustic composition Flute RI

Competitions and Calls for Scores

Featured opportunities for composers

Walden encourages the sharing of opportunities and resources for composers, including competitions and calls for scores that may be of interest to our community. We maintain a searchable list of competitions, awards, and calls for scores on our website. Opportunities are often posted in Walden’s community Facebook group as well.

Here is an opportunity we are highlighting this month:

The Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers

Through this competition, Foundation for Modern Music honors its late Artistic Director Robert Avalon. The competition is open to submissions of solo and chamber music (up to 5 performers) composed by junior, high school, college and professional composers, with awards for first and second place in each category. Apply by January 30, 2024.

If you’re aware of an opportunity that Walden students, alumni, faculstaff, and friends should know about too, please contact us.

Community News

Wet Ink Ensemble celebrates 25th Season

Wet Ink Ensemble, a past ensemble-in-residence at Walden, opened their 25th season on October 9 with a chamber concert that included premieres by Mariel Roberts, Kate Soper, and Josh Modney, all of whom have been visiting artists at Walden. Modney’s work LYNX featured live electronics performed by Sam Pluta, Wet Ink co-director and a longtime Young Musicians Program (YMP) and Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) faculty member. Wet Ink’s 25th Anniversary Festival will take place December 7-9 in New York City, featuring three more celebratory programs of collaborative and adventurous music with details to be announced.

Photo: Sam Pluta and YMP alumna Freya Waley-Cohen at the October 9 Wet Ink concert (photo courtesy of Sam Pluta)

Nicolás Benavides’s Doña Sebastiana premiered

A new composition by CMR and Teacher Training Institute (TTI) alumnus Nicolás Lell Benavides was premiered on a November 2-5 concert series in San Francisco. New Century Chamber Orchestra commissioned Benavides to write Doña Sebastiana for violin soloist and strings. The piece was premiered on “Visitations,” a program of music which “examines connections with the afterlife from many cultural angles.” You can read more here from Nicolás and the ensemble about the commission and the cultural significance of Doña Sebastiana, a folkloric figure also known as Lady Death.

Nnenna Ogwo interviewed for The Piano Pod

Pianist, educator, YMP alumna, and former Walden board member Nnenna Ogwo was interviewed in September for The Piano Pod, a classical music podcast created by Yukimi Song. Over two episodes, Nnenna discusses her earliest musical influences, the Juneteenth Legacy Project (an organization founded by Nnenna that highlights music of the African diaspora), and her 2023 album of solo piano music, Luminous. You can listen to Nnenna’s interview here.

Greg Zelek brings Miami musical heritage and collaborators to Madison

On October 6, YMP alumnus Greg Zelek presented ¡Greg Zelek y Amigos!, a bilingual program of classical and popular Latin American music, at Overture Hall in Madison, where he serves as principal organist and curator of organ programming for the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Zelek was joined by a group of Miami musicians including guitarist Alvaro Bermudez, who was Greg’s childhood guitar teacher. In an article for the Wisconsin State Journal, Zelek discussed his Cuban heritage and early musical experiences growing up in South Florida. Of the October program, Zelek said, “To share this music, to bring folks from Miami to my people here now in Madison is a very special thing.” The 2023-24 Overture Concert Organ series curated by Greg will also include a performance of Sine Nomine by the late John Weaver, a JCC alumnus and faculty member and a celebrated organist.

George Brandon’s work receives premiere in New York City

A work by scholar, composer, bandleader, and CMR alumnus George Brandon was premiered by the ensemble Numinous at Roulette Intermedia in Brooklyn, New York, on September 17. Brandon’s Introduction, Litany and Prayers is scored for large instrumental ensemble and four voices. You can listen to the archived recording here.

Feng Hew and Caroline Mallonee rehearsing Balance (photo courtesy of Caroline Mallonee)

Feng Hew performs Walden-commissioned work by Caroline Mallonee

On November 16 in Buffalo, cellist Feng Hew performed Balance by Caroline Mallonee, a Walden alumna and director of The Walden School Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR). The piece was originally commissioned by The Walden School for Ha-Yang Kim, a past visiting artist at Walden, as part of the annual Faculty Commissioning Project at Walden’s Young Musicians Program (YMP). The concert by the Buffalo Chamber Players was held in the renovated AKG art museum in Buffalo. The piece is also featured on Mallonee’s recently released album, String Tunes, which is available on CD and streaming.

C4 performs Ayanna Woods piece composed for CMR

On its November concerts, C4 (The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective) performed a work by Ayanna Woods that was originally composed for Walden’s CMR. Woods’s Don’t Follow Don’t Fall is a meditation on Jaden Smith’s tweets. Singers in C4 include fellow CMR alumni Daniel Castellanos, Emma Daniels, and Jamie Klenetsky Fay, as well as YMP faculty member Lila Meretzky. C4 is a unique ensemble of singers, composers and conductors, performing pieces written within the last 25 years, premiering and commissioning new choral works, and mentoring emerging singers, composers, and conductors of today’s choral music.

Walden composers awarded Copland House residencies

YMP alumna Leah Reid and past Walden visiting artist Scott Wheeler (as part of Dinosaur Annex) were among the ten composers granted 2023 Copland House Residency Awards. Each year, the Aaron Copland House invites eight to ten gifted American composers to reside and compose, one at a time, at Rock Hill, Aaron Copland’s historic New York home. In addition to their stays at Rock Hill, the recipients become eligible for various post-residency performance, recording, and commissioning opportunities. Congratulations to Leah, Scott, and all of this year’s Copland House residents.

Ensemble Dal Niente performs Ted Moore and more

Past Walden visiting artists Ensemble Dal Niente joined with percussion duo Beyond This Point for an October 25 concert in Chicago that featured a work by Ted Moore, a longtime CMR and YMP faculty member and a TTI alumnus. Moore’s still motion is scored for percussion with live video sampling. The concert also featured the US premiere of Simon Steen-Andersen’s Black Box Music, which combines elements of conducting, puppetry, and theater, and a premiere of To care for the bodies of the dead by Michelle Lou.

Walden friends sing Bach in the Bay Area

A recent series of concerts by the California Bach Society featured two friends of Walden: CMR alumna Zoe Yost, a student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Elizabeth Susskind, who recently retired as Walden’s indefatigable Administrative Assistant. The ensemble performed J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor in three concerts around the Bay Area, accompanied by leading period instrumentalists.

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 at waldenschool.org/contact.

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. You can also find us on InstagramTwitterYouTubebandcamp, and at waldenschool.org.

A dance during the 2019 Young Musicians Program
A dance during the 2019 Young Musicians Program


eNews: InterNetzo – September 2023

Message from Seth Brenzel, Executive Director

Seth Brenzel headshot

Dear Walden friend,

As fall arrives, I am still dreaming of Walden’s magical 50th-anniversary summer.

Walden’s 2023 fiscal year ends this Saturday, September 30, and our goal of raising $365,000 for Walden’s Annual Fund is within reach. Below, we share an update on Walden’s fundraising progress and ask for your help in taking us across the finish line. Thank you for your support!

In this edition of InterNetzo, we feature Walden supporter Tuck Crocker, who recently donated his family’s beautiful Steinway piano to Walden. This special gift will greatly enrich our concerts, forums, and renditions of Goodnight Music for many years to come.

Plus, we share a reminder about an exciting concert tomorrow in Denver, featuring works by five Walden-affiliated composers. Find more details below, including livestream information. And, as always, read to the end for lots of community news!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Sincerely,

Seth Brenzel signature

Seth Brenzel
Executive Director
415-587-8157

Fiscal Year-End Fundraising

Walden’s fiscal year ends tomorrow, Saturday, September 30

As The Walden School’s fiscal year comes to an end, we are filled with gratitude for the many, many donors who have supported our programs throughout this incredible 50th-anniversay season.

During Walden’s 2023 fiscal year, nearly 400 individuals, families, foundations, and corporations have collectively contributed $343,975 to Walden’s Annual Fund—and counting!

There’s still one day left for us to reach our goal of raising $365,000 by tomorrow, Saturday, September 30. If you haven’t yet given to Walden during the past year (or even if you have!), there’s still time to help us finish the year strong. If you can give online by 11:59 pm Eastern Time tomorrow, or postmark your gift no later than Saturday, September 30, and mail to our office in San Francisco (7 Joost Avenue, Suite 204, San Francisco, CA 94131),  your gift will go toward helping us reach this important fundraising goal.

Donate today

 

 

 

Whether you are an alum, a parent, a local community member, a friend or family member of someone whose life has been positively impacted by Walden, or a new friend who joined us at one of our fundraising events held this year around the country and online—we are so grateful for your support. Everything we do at Walden is made possible by the continuing generosity of our donors. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Donate today

Upcoming Community Event

A concert of new music in Denver (and online!), co-presented by The Walden School

Join members of Walden’s faculty, administration, and board for a special concert at First Universalist Church in Denver, Colorado, tomorrow, Saturday, September 30, at 2:30 pm Mountain Time.

Five Walden-affiliated composers will have works performed by the Wild Beautiful Orchestra, a dynamic collective of professionals and youth. The concert will also feature Kim Robards Dance, a professional modern dance touring company based in Denver.

 

Graphic promoting Walden concert in Denver on September 30

The Walden composers represented on this concert are Loretta Notareschi (YMP alumna and YMP and CMR faculty member), Bob Bassett (CMR alumnus member of Walden’s Board of Directors), Michael Frank (CMR alumnus), Chase Jordan (CMR alumnus), and Brandon Joung (YMP alumnus). Noah Mlotek, Walden’s Director of Development and Alumni Relations, will also represent Walden at the concert.

All ages are welcome. Tickets are $20 for adults, free for kids. First Universalist Church is an accessible venue with a dedicated parking lot. For tickets, navigate here.

The concert will be livestreamed. Livestream tickets are $10 and can be purchased here.

We hope to see many Walden friends for what promises to be a magical musical afternoon, with a delicious reception sponsored by The Walden School. Come and bring your friends who are interested in learning more about Walden and hearing some fascinating new music!

In the Spotlight

Tuck Crocker and Walden’s fabulous new Steinway

Just in time for Walden’s 50th anniversary—and our 40th summer in residence on the beautiful Dublin School campus, in Dublin, New Hampshire—we were surprised with a wonderful gift that will enrich both the Walden and Dublin communities for years to come.

Augustus T. Crocker, Jr. (known as Tuck), a lifelong Dublin resident, has donated his family’s beautiful Steinway piano to The Walden School. The instrument is a Steinway A3 from about 1915 that has been incredibly well cared for by the Crocker family for generations. Tuck made this special gift in loving memory of Lyneham and Mary Crocker and Augustus Thorndike Crocker, M.D. This instrument will greatly enhance Walden’s Concert Series, presented free of charge every summer in the Dublin School’s Louise Shonk Kelly Recital. Dublin School has agreed to store the instrument and will use it for special occasions during the year.

The piano arrived just before the start of our 50th-Anniversary Walden/Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC) Alumni Reunion. Mackenzie Melemed, a Walden alumnus, gave a breathtaking solo recital, and the piano was also used in our Alumni Composers Forum. While these events were enjoyed by Walden alumni, a public inaugural event is being planned for next summer—stay tuned!

Below, Tuck Crocker shares more about the piano, its history, and his hopes for the instrument’s future at Walden and Dublin.

Above: Mackenzie Melemed performing on the Steinway during this summer’s Walden/JCC Alumni Reunion

How old is the piano, and how did it first come into your family?

The piano was made by Steinway in New York in 1914 or 1915. It was sold as one of a matched pair by Steinert of Boston to my great-grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. Augustus Thorndike, as an engagement gift to my grandparents, Lyneham and Mary Thorndike Crocker, in 1915. It has stayed in the family since it was purchased.

Who in your family played it? What is its significance to you?

The piano was played by my grandparents, my father, Augustus Thorndike Crocker, MD, and his siblings, Eunice (Wold), Evelyn (Querfurth), and Marianne, their uncle, Amory Thorndike, my uncle, Peter M. Hewitt, my brothers, my cousins, and myself, along with people like Louise Shonk Kelly and William S. Palmer, MD.

The piano has always been special to me as a family heirloom and as something that connected my father’s family through music—including three professional musicians (an aunt and two cousins). It’s also special to me because of so many childhood memories: my father playing in the evening when we were going to bed, my father playing four-handed piano with his sisters, long laughing lessons with my father and my uncle Peter Hewitt, family recitals, talented house guests like Louise Shonk Kelly playing with my father, and teaching myself to arrange music and to read charts.

How did your relationship with Walden begin, and why did you think of Walden for this special gift?

My relationship with Walden began when I met Seth after one of the Walden performances at Emmanuel Church in Dublin. My wife and I have supported The Walden School and enjoyed various performances. Due to illness, I’m no longer able to play the piano or to arrange music, and nobody in my family is able to “take on” the instrument. I’m grateful to The Walden School and Dublin School for being able to make use of this special instrument.

What are your hopes for the piano’s future at Walden and Dublin School?

I hope that it makes chamber music at Walden and Dublin School sound great, and that it is useful as a training and learning instrument for serious musicians. My family and I continue to hope that we can enjoy hearing the lovely sound of this instrument in its new home played by talented people who enjoy it!

Mackenzie Melemed on Walden’s new Steinway piano

“It was a pleasure to inaugurate the arrival of a new Steinway to the Walden School campus and into the Walden family. This sensitive and dynamic instrument will not only complement the existing Yamaha and allow for two-piano and larger ensemble collaborations, but it will also provide students with a fantastic opportunity to perform on a world-class instrument. Steinway is truly the gold standard. As a Steinway artist myself, I am thrilled to see that one has been generously donated to Walden and installed in Dublin!”

 

Community News

Stacy Garrop’s Song of Orpheus premiered

YMP alumna and former faculty member Stacy Garrop was commissioned by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra to write a concert opener to celebrate Matthew Kraemer, the orchestra’s new music director. Garrop’s Song of Orpheus was inspired by the Greek myth of the musician Orpheus, from which the orchestra’s performance venue, the Orpheum Theater in New Orleans, takes its name. The work was premiered on September 16 alongside Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony to a sold-out theater.

Fay Victor celebrates album release

Fay Victor, a visiting artist at Walden (2022-2023) as part of the International Contemporary Ensemble, performed a concert at New York’s Zurcher Gallery on September 12 to celebrate her new album. Released on Northern Spy Records, Blackity Black Black is Beautiful is the first solo record in Victor’s 30-year music career, which has ranged between house, new music, jazz, and free improvisation. Bandcamp Daily called the album “a bold meditation on race, class, gender, and politics” that “exists within a unique space where poetry, electronic music, and the avant-garde meet.”

Dana Jessen awarded Cleveland Arts Prize

Dana Jessen, a former Walden faculty member and visiting artist as member of The Walden School Players, was one of nine awardees of the 2023 Cleveland Arts Prize, which recognizes exceptional achievements in various artistic disciplines. Jessen is a bassoonist, improviser, and electroacoustic musician whose original compositions, improvisations, and collaborative work have been met with critical acclaim. She serves as Associate Professor of Contemporary Music and Improvisation at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She hopes that her recognition will give permission for other artists to “think beyond the traditional pathways for their instrument and expand the range of what they can do.” The prize comes with an award of $10,000. Congratulations, Dana!

Eric Huebner named music department chair at SUNY Buffalo

Pianist Eric Huebner, a past Walden visiting artist and member of The Walden School Players, has been named chair of the music department of the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he has been on faculty since 2009. Huebner also performs as pianist of the New York Philharmonic, where he holds the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Piano Chair. At the university, he directs a piano studio and teaches courses in 20th-century piano music. Huebner shared his hopes for the growing music department in an article for UBNow.

D. Alan Shewmon performs livestreamed Chopin recital

D. Alan Shewmon, a Junior Conseratory Camp (JCC) alumnus, performed an all-Chopin piano recital at the Harvard Club in Boston on September 10. The livestream of the recital remains available for viewing here. In previous editions of InterNetzo, fellow JCC alums Tamar Bloch and Robin Seto have cited the brilliance of Shewmon’s piano performances as highlights of their memories from JCC. Dr. Shewmon is a neurologist who lives in Plymouth, Maine.

International Contemporary Ensemble performs and records George Lewis

Next month, the International Contemporary Ensemble will perform works by George Lewis and release a recording of his first opera. Lewis, the ensemble’s artistic director, has been composer-in-residence at both of Walden’s programs, and ensemble members are frequent visiting artists at Walden. On October 5, the ensemble will present a concert of Lewis’s works entitled “Hearing Voices” at Roulette in Brooklyn. The concert will be livestreamed free of charge. Also in October, the International Contemporary Ensemble will release a recording of Lewis’s Afterword: An Opera in Two Acts, based on Lewis’s history of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).

Danny Felsenfeld and Eve Beglarian awarded MacDowell Fellowships

Among the latest round of MacDowell Fellows are Daniel Felsenfeld, a former Walden faculty member, and Eve Beglarian, a past composer-in-residence at both of Walden’s programs. MacDowell, the nation’s oldest artist residency program, is located near Walden’s summer home in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire, and Walden students make an annual visit to MacDowell to meet with composer fellows at the residency program. Fellowships are awarded to talented artists working in multiple disciplines, and Daniel and Eve join a long line of Walden alumni, faculty, and visiting artists to receive one of these coveted fellowships.

Riley Ferretti work programmed by Washington Master Chorale

A choral work by CMR alumna Riley Ferretti, originally composed for Walden’s Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) last summer, has been programmed by the Washington Master Chorale for its upcoming winter concert. Dona Nobis Pacem was premiered at CMR in June and will be performed on December 10 by the Chorale under its artistic director, Thomas Colohan, who serves as choral conductor at CMR. This is not the first time Colohan has programmed works discovered at Walden; last fall, no fewer than five Walden-affiliated composers were featured on the chorale’s “Autumn Harvest” concert.

Montana Rogers starts new position as head librarian

Montana Rogers, a Young Musicians Program (YMP) alumna and former staff member, has started a new position as Upper School Head Librarian at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Virginia. Rogers is a writer and librarian whose work has appeared in Yankee Magazine, published from Walden’s summer home in Dublin, New Hampshire.

Freya Zaheer and Whit Bernard welcome new baby

Congratulations to YMP alumnus and former faculty member Whit Bernard and his wife, Freya Zaheer, on the arrival of their third child, Kaiyan. Welcome, baby Kai!

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 at waldenschool.org/contact.

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. You can also find us on InstagramTwitterYouTubebandcamp, and at waldenschool.org.

A dance during the 2019 Young Musicians Program
A dance during the 2019 Young Musicians Program

 


Reflecting on the 2023 Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR)

Reflecting on the 2023 Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR)

Carrie MalloneeFrom Caroline Mallonee, Director of CMR

The Walden School held another successful Creative Musicians Retreat this year. We were thrilled to return to Brewster Academy, whose stunning buildings in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, overlook Lake Winnipesaukee. Almost 40 participants between 19 and 89 years old enrolled in the retreat and joined together to form a warm community.

We performed music by Pauline Oliveros indoors and out, and we sang every day in the boathouse under the direction of Thomas Colohan. We heard 37 world premieres on Composers Forums, which were moderated by the amazingly talented and generous Amy Beth Kirsten. Our curriculum was as robust as ever (thanks to D. J. Sparr, Osnat Netzer, Renée Favand-See, Sam Pluta, and Alex Christie), and included pedagogy and musicianship classes, seminars on contemporary topics, and four different electronic music classes. There was more chamber music at CMR than ever, including music by György Kurtág and Igor Stravinsky, as well as faculty members Sam Pluta and Caroline Mallonee and past Walden composer-in-residence George Lewis.

Above: The amazing 2023 CMR faculty and staff
Above: The amazing 2023 CMR faculty and staff
Chorus in the boathouse with Thomas Colohan
Chorus in the boathouse with Thomas Colohan
A Composers Forum moderated by Amy Beth Kirsten and Caroline Mallonee
A Composers Forum moderated by Amy Beth Kirsten and Caroline Mallonee

We welcomed back veteran artists-in-residence David Friend (piano), Bonnie Whiting (percussion), and members of the International Contemporary Ensemble Josh Modney (violin) and Dan Lippel (guitar). And we were happy to welcome three members of the International Contemporary Ensemble to Walden for the first time: Rachel Beetz (flute), Jacqui Kerrod (harp), and Nicolee Kuester (horn). In addition to performing pieces on the Opening Concert and the Composers Forums, these incredible performers coached chamber groups, offered private lessons, and gave workshops. We were glad to have Teresa McCollough give two workshops on extended piano techniques. Participants even learned how to make their own “bows” for bowing inside the piano!

The 2023 CMR Artists-in-Residence
The 2023 CMR Artists-in-Residence

Some people said it was the best CMR ever! (Some people say this every year.) Director of Operations Sammi Stone and her amazing staff team (Francesca Hellerman, Luke Schroeder, Paul Zito, and Technical Director Ted Moore) ensured that everything ran smoothly. There were epic ping-pong matches, memorable fireside sing-alongs, and wacky and wonderful open mic performances.

We started CMR so that people of all ages could enjoy the unique musical community that Walden offers, and we are so happy to have realized that dream once again. I can’t wait for next year!

Renée Favand-See leads a Musicianship class
Renée Favand-See leads a Musicianship class
Students in an Electronic Music class
Students in an Electronic Music class

With best wishes,

Caroline Mallonee
Director, The Walden School Creative Musicians Retreat


eNews: InterNetzo – June 2023

Message from Seth Brenzel, Executive Director

Seth Brenzel headshot

Dear Walden friend,

Summer is here! The start of our programs is just around the corner, with our Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) beginning on June 10th in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, followed by our Young Musicians Program (YMP), which starts on June 24 in Dublin, New Hampshire. I can’t wait to hear the amazing sounds our students and participants will create at Walden this summer!

I am also incredibly excited to invite you to join us at our 50th-anniversary Walden/JCC Alumni Reunion in Dublin, New Hampshire, over the weekend of August 4 to 6. Registration is open on our website, along with a schedule of activities and more information about this very special celebration. Early-bird discounts are available, so sign up today!

There are just a few spots left in our 2023 Young Musicians Program (YMP) and Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR). Applications are being considered on a rolling basis, so apply now and spread the word to any creative musicians who may be interested in learning more about Walden! Read on for more information.

I wish you a fun-filled and relaxing summer, and I hope to connect with you at a Walden program or reunion soon!

Seth Brenzel signature

Seth Brenzel
Executive Director
415-587-8157

Alumni Reunion: August 4-6

Please join us for a milestone reunion celebrating The Walden School’s 50th anniversary and 70 years since the founding of the Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC), Walden’s predecessor program.

Registration is now open on our website! There is a two-step process for signing up:

  • Fill out a brief form to let us know you’re interested in attending—no commitment required.
  • You will then receive a link to complete your registration and pay online. Early-bird discounts are available: sign up by June 24 (the start of camp!) to receive a $100 discount on your registration!

Visit our reunion webpage to learn more about this wonderful opportunity to experience a bit of the Walden/JCC magic once again. The reunion is open to all alumni of our programs, which includes former students, faculty, staff, board members, and visiting artists. Spouses, children, and guests are welcome, too! Enjoy a weekend filled with music workshops, choral singing, concerts, hiking, swimming, festive meals, and more.

Fundraising Events

A recap of Walden’s May celebrations

Last month, Walden hosted two spectacular fundraisers in New York and Washington, DC. Between the two events, more than 125 people gathered to celebrate Walden’s 50th anniversary and to support our student scholarships and world-class artist residencies. We are so grateful to our host committees and all our event donors, who collectively contributed $23,640, bringing Walden’s 2023 summer that much closer. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

If you would like to make a contribution, it’s not too late! You are welcome to donate online or send a check to The Walden School at 7 Joost Avenue, Suite 204, San Francisco, CA 94131.

Donate today

On May 7 in New York, we gathered at the beautiful Salmagundi Club in Greenwich Village. Acclaimed jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut gave a riveting improvised performance and shared inspiring remarks about the creative process. Cyrus Chestnut is a Walden School alumnus, and we were honored to have his artistry at this special Walden celebration.

Cyrus Chestnut performs at the Salmagundi Club (photo courtesy Meade Bernard)

Left: Cyrus Chestnut with fellow Walden alum Patricia Hurley Scotti (photo courtesy Patricia Hurley Scotti); Right: Guests enjoy a feasting table from Edenopolis Events

Donate today

On May 13 in Washington, DC, we were hosted at the historic DACOR Bacon House just steps from the White House. Pianist Pedja Mužijević, a former Walden faculty member, performed a richly varied selection of works—ranging from Haydn, Schumann, and Chopin to Morton Feldman and George Crumb—on a historic Steinway that was selected by Arthur Rubinstein. Between pieces, he reminisced about his time at Walden, where he was impressed with how the School’s unique curriculum brought out creativity in its students.

Pedja Mužijević after his performance

Left: Mark Ohmacht, Pedja Mužijević, Irene Jacoby, and Walden Board Chair Peter Colohan; Right: Walden Executive Director Seth Brenzel with YMP alumnus Jed Friedman

Donate today

Walden is Hiring!

Join our team

Walden is hiring. We are seeking new teammates to join our creative community, and we hope that you might help spread the word to your friends and colleagues.

We are currently seeking an Administrative Manager (full-time, year-round position in our San Francisco office).

Visit our job postings page to learn more! All positions are open until filled.

 

Summer 2023 Programs

Apply to Walden today!

There are still a few spots available in our 2023 summer programs. We are accepting applications on a rolling basis until the spots are filled:

Creative Musicians Retreat: June 10 – June 18, 2023, at Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire (for musicians ages 18–98)

Young Musicians Program: June 24 – July 30, 2023, at Dublin School, Dublin, New Hampshire (for pre-college musicians, ages 9–18)

Application materials for both programs are available on our website.

Community News

Liam Cummins and Charlie Zhong win ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Awards

Congratulations to Walden alumni Liam Cummins and Charlie Zhong, who were selected as winners of 2023 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards! These awards grant cash prizes to concert music composers up to 30 years of age whose works are selected through a juried national competition. Among the judges was Lisa Bielawa, a past Composer-in-Residence at Walden’s Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR).

Liam Cummins is an alumnus of Walden’s Online Young Musicians Experience (OYME), and his winning composition was Essay for orchestra. Charlie Zhong has attended Walden’s Young Musicians Program (YMP), and he was awarded for his composition Like a Single Star in the Night Sky for orchestra. Charlie also recently received honorable mention in the 2023 BMI Composer Awards, which recognize superior ability in young composers. Congratulations to both of these extraordinary young artists!

Teddy Poll appointed Resident Conductor at Houston Grand Opera

Conductor and composer Teddy Poll, a YMP alumnus, will join the Houston Grand Opera as Resident Conductor during the 2023/4 season, making his debut in performances of Madama Butterfly. In previous seasons, he has appeared as a guest artist at the Juilliard School, as well as in performances and workshops with Opera Philadelphia, the Glimmerglass Festival, Bare Opera, and the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. Teddy was a Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Caroline Mallonee releases String Tunes album 

Caroline Mallonee has released a CD recording of her series of works entitled String Tunes, performed by the Buffalo Chamber Players. A YMP alumna and longtime faculty member, Carrie now serves as the program director for Walden’s Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR). The pieces on String Tunes are for string instruments in unusual tunings. Many of them bear the names of the places where they were composed, including Walden-related sites such as Dublin and Lehmann. The Butterfly Effect was commissioned by Walden for the Spektral Quartet as part of the School’s Faculty Commissioning Project. Congratulations are also due to Carrie for receiving a Distinguished Alumni Award from her high school alma mater, the Friends School of Baltimore.

Sam Pluta awarded Catalyst Award from Johns Hopkins

Longtime Walden faculty member Sam Pluta has won a Catalyst Award from Johns Hopkins University, where he is Associate Professor in Computer Music at the Peabody Institute. The Catalyst Awards honor early-career faculty members at Hopkins with a $75,000 grant to support promising research and creative endeavors. Pluta’s work will focus on the creation of a new set of AI-driven software instruments. Congratulations, Sam!

Claire Chase profiled in the New York Times

Flutist Claire Chase, founder of the International Contemporary Ensemble and a frequent visiting artist at Walden, was the subject of a New York Times profile under the headline “Claire Chase is Changing How People Think of the Flute.” The article referred to Chase as “one of the most enterprising and imaginative musicians in her field,” and it highlighted her multiyear “Density 36” commissioning project, which is being celebrated with upcoming concerts and a box set of recordings. The article included quotes from George Lewis and Marcos Balter, both of whom have been Composer-in-Residence at both of Walden’s programs.

Amelia Lukas collaborates on SoundsTruck NW concert series

Former Walden staff member and board member Amelia Lukas has co-curated a new outdoor concert series in Portland, Oregon. The concert series, which was profiled in the Oregonian, will be presented by SoundsTruck NW, a mobile performance venue in a custom-built trailer. The site-specific concerts will take place in different locations around Portland, including one that will feature Lukas performing on flute. Lukas is the founder and principal of Aligned Artistry, a public relations consulting firm specializing in arts representation in the Pacific Northwest region.

Joel St. Julien partners with Third Coast Percussion

CMR alumnus and YMP parent Joel St. Julien has been selected as a Currents Creative Partner by Third Coast Percussion for their 2023/4 season. St. Julien is a Haitian-American composer, musician, songwriter, and sound artist based in San Francisco. He has written music for documentaries, films, podcasts, and dance. The Currents Creative Partnership is an opportunity offered by Third Coast Percussion to collaborate with innovative music creators who are at the beginning of their careers, have less experience writing music for percussion, or are looking to expand their creative work in new directions. Congratulations, Joel!

Nate May collaborates with All-Abilities Music Creation Project

Former YMP faculty member Nate May has participated in a unique collaboration sponsored by Legacy Arts International. The All-Abilities Music Creation Project was designed for gifted music students whose educational needs are not being met due to factors which could include a disability, lack of representation in the field, or other unmet needs. The project pairs world-class composers with music students to create new musical compositions that will emphasize their unique strengths, interests and/or cultural heritage. Nate was paired with a 13-year old pianist named Adam, for whom he composed The Hearer, which the young student will perform on June 4. Nate said he wanted to write a piece that captured Adam’s sunny disposition, love of jazz, and interest in the Marvel super hero movies.

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 at waldenschool.org/contact.

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. You can also find us on InstagramTwitterYouTubebandcamp, and at waldenschool.org.

A dance during the 2019 Young Musicians Program
A dance during the 2019 Young Musicians Program