eNews: InterNetzo – May 2024

Message from Seth Brenzel, Executive Director

Seth Brenzel headshot

Dear Walden friends,

I enjoyed seeing many of you in March for our celebration and fundraiser in New York, and I look forward to seeing more of you this weekend in Washington, DC. Read on for details about a wonderful Walden event planned for Sunday, May 5, and join us as we build excitement and raise funds for another summer of extraordinary music programs. I hope to see you there!

In this edition of InterNetzo, we are pleased to share the full lineup of our Summer 2024 Concert Series. All of our events are free and open to the public, as well as livestreamed for a global audience. Wherever you are, I hope you’ll join us for some inspiring performances this summer!

I also want to draw your attention to a part-time job opening on our year-round administrative team in San Francisco. We are seeking a Development Assistant to support Walden’s fundraising efforts while gaining valuable experience in the field of nonprofit development. If you or someone you know might be interested in this position, please be in touch!

Please read on for more news and updates from the Walden community. I hope our paths cross at a Walden event or program soon. Our 2024 Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) begins on June 15, and our Young Musicians Program (YMP) starts on June 29. Summer is right around the corner!

Sincerely,

Seth Brenzel signature

Seth Brenzel
Executive Director
415-587-8157

Upcoming Fundraising Events

Join us on Sunday, May 5, for a Walden celebration in Washington, DC!

Washington, DC

Sunday, May 5

3 to 5 pm

Join The Walden School for an afternoon of music, community, and refreshments at the historic DACOR Bacon House, an elegant mansion and foreign-affairs club located near the White House. Guests will enjoy a performance by the Claremont Trio, lauded as “one of America’s finest young chamber groups” (Strad Magazine), who will perform works by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Johannes Brahms, and Kati Agócs (a former Walden Composer-in-Residence).

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 details or to RSVP, contact us or call (415) 587-8157.

Summer 2024 Concert Series

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. During Composers Forums, student improvisations and compositions are performed by faculty, students, and visiting artists.

Across eight concerts, eleven Composers Forums, and two composer presentations, the 2024 Walden School Concert Series will feature cutting-edge works from artists of diverse contemporary musical genres. In a typical summer, Walden will present nearly 200 world premieres created by our students and faculty—approximately 140 by Young Musicians Program (YMP) students, 40 works by Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) participants, and 10 pieces commissioned from Walden’s YMP faculty.

We hope you will join us—whether in person or virtually—for a season of dynamic performances, creative collaborations, and diverse new musical voices.

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: Louise Shonk Kelly Recital Hall on the Dublin School campus in Dublin, New Hampshire (unless otherwise noted)

Admission: Always free and open to the public

Saturday, June 15

Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) artists-in-residence David Friend and members of International Contemporary Ensemble performing music by Walden faculty members and CMR Composer-in-Residence Oscar Bettison

Thursday, June 20

CMR participants and visiting artists presenting a curated selection of chamber music

Sunday, June 30

ZOFO piano duet—Eva-Maria Zimmerman and Keisuke Nakagoshi (pictured at right)—presenting repertoire for piano four-hands on Walden’s recently donated Steinway

Friday, July 5

Aurora Nealand and friends, presenting a popular outdoor concert of New Orleans jazz on the Fountain Arts Building patio—co-presented with the Monadnock Folklore Society

Friday, July 12

Faculty Commissioning Concert with Friction Quartet (pictured at right), premiering new works by Young Musicians Program (YMP) faculty members

Friday, July 19

International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), described by the New York Times as “one of the most accomplished and adventurous groups in new music”

Friday, July 26

The Walden School Players, featuring innovative performers Laura Cocks (flute), Erica Dicker (violin), Kyra Sims (horn), Chris Wild (cello), Mabel Kwan (piano), Dennis K. Sullivan II (percussion), and Zachary Good (clarinet) performing contemporary music including works by Sarah Kirkland Snider, 2024 YMP Composer-in-Residence

Friday, August 2

The Walden School Choral Concert, showcasing the entire YMP community under the direction of choral director Kari Francis

COMPOSER PRESENTATIONS

Sunday, June 16

Oscar Bettison, CMR Composer-in-Residence

Sunday, July 28

Sarah Kirkland Snider, YMP Composer-in-Residence

COMPOSERS FORUMS

Creative Musicians Retreat Composers Forums

Tuesday, June 18; Wednesday, June 19; and Friday, June 21

Featuring newly composed/improvised works by CMR participants

Young Musicians Program Composers Forums

Each Tuesday in July: 2, 9, 16, 23, as well as Thursday, July 18

Monday–Wednesday, July 29–31 (Festival Week Composers Forums)

Featuring newly composed/improvised works by YMP participants

Walden is Hiring!

Join our year-round administrative team in San Francisco.

Walden is hiring for a Development Assistant to join our dynamic, fun, and collegial San Francisco-based administrative team. The part-time Development Assistant will play a crucial role in supporting Walden’s fundraising efforts. This position offers an exciting opportunity to contribute to Walden’s growth and sustainability while gaining valuable experience in the field of nonprofit development.

Please help us spread the word about this exciting opportunity! View the full job description here.

Please direct any questions and inquiries to us at jobs@waldenschool.org.

Photo: The Walden School administrative office in San Francisco

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.

Do you have memories and photos to send? Contact us: waldenschool.org/contact. We look forward to hearing from you!

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

Community News

Katie Balch performed by SF Contemporary Music Players

Katherine Balch’s Musica Spolia was performed on April 20 by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players as part of the Pierrot RE:Wind festival. The festival celebrates Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, featuring new and existing works for the “Pierrot” ensemble of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano. Musica Spolia was performed alongside pieces by Kevin Day, Massimo Lauricella, Andrew Norman, and Mason Bates. A past Young Musicians Program (YMP) faculty member, Balch currently teaches composition at Yale School of Music.

D. J. Sparr’s harp concerto premiered in Nashua alongside music by New Hampshire students

On April 20 in Nashua, New Hampshire, Symphony New Hampshire gave the premiere performance of Extraordinary Motion: Concerto for Electric Harp by composer D. J. Sparr and poet Janine Joseph. D. J. is a YMP alumnus, a past YMP faculty member, and a current CMR faculty member. Also premiered on the April 20 program was a new collaborative work created as part of New Hampshire Concerto, a project that commissions college composers to submit short movements for orchestra that exemplify or represent New Hampshire. Music composed by four New Hampshire students, from University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth, Plymouth State, and Keene State, made up the finished work.

Sky Macklay featured with portrait concert at WoCo Fest

Composer Sky Macklay, a former YMP faculty member, former CMR faculty and staff member, and Teacher Training Institute (TTI) alumna, was featured in a portrait concert on April 13 at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland. The concert was presented by Ghost Ensemble, in which Macklay performs as oboist, as part of WoCo Fest 2024, a three-day festival celebrating music by women and gender-marginalized composers, produced by the Boulanger Initiative. Five of Macklay’s compositions were performed, alongside an installation of her Harmonitrees, a unique set of interactive, inflatable harmonica-playing sculptures. Sky is on the composition faculty of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

Bob Bassett work performed by Federal Way Symphony

Bob Bassett’s string orchestra work Lodore received a Pacific Northwest premiere on April 14 by the Federal Way Symphony, based outside of Seattle, Washington. Bassett is a CMR alumnus and member of Walden’s Board of Directors. He was also featured on a podcast speaking about the work and his path as a composer with conductor Adam Stern. Congratulations on your premiere, Bob!

New Arrangement of Stacy Garrop’s Tribute to Justice Ginsburg

YMP alumna and past faculty member Stacy Garrop was commissioned by Jane and James Ginsburg, the children of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to compose My Dearest Ruth for the Justice’s 80th birthday tribute in 2013. Garrop’s work is a setting of the last letter written to Ruth Bader Ginsburg by her husband, Martin Ginsburg. Last year, the Bay area vocal ensemble 21V commissioned Garrop to create a version for soprano and alto voices. The new adaptation of My Dearest Ruth was performed by 21V on April 5-6, 2024 in Berkeley and San Francisco.

Theo Trevisan presents master’s recital

Theo Trevisan, a YMP and CMR alumnus and current YMP faculty member, presented his composition master’s recital at the University of Southern California on April 6. Theo performed as bass-baritone in the concert alongside many other performers, including Walden alumni Daniel Montes de Oca Tellez (YMP) and Hannah Rice (CMR). CMR alumna Ashlin Hunter helped with tech. The program for the recital can be viewed here.

Zach Layton performs live sci-fi film score in Albany, New York

On April 20, CMR alumnus and 17-string bassist Zach Layton and collaborators Geoff Gersh (electric guitar) and Bradford Reed (drums and pencilina) performed a live film score for the 1973 French sci-fi film Fantastic Planet at The Linda in Albany, New York. Together, as Order of the Illusive, Layton, Gersh, and Reed have performed accompaniment for other silent films at the same venue, including Nosferatu, F.W. Murnau’s Faust, and Metropolis. On April 21, Layton performed a new work for amplified piano, drums, and 17-string bass with Hamir Atwal and Phyllis Chen (a past Walden visiting artist who will return to Walden in 2024) in Kingston, New York. Check out more of Zach’s upcoming concerts and collaborations in New York State on his website.

Lukáš Janata cantata to be premiered in New York

CMR alumnus and YMP faculty member Lukáš Janata was commissioned by the Chorus American award-winning Cantori New York to write a new cantata. But Love Is Stronger, a 50-minute work for mixed choir, countertenor, clarinet, string quartet, and percussion, will be premiered on May 18 and 19 at the Church of the Holy Apostles in New York City. Janata describes the work as “a testament to the indomitable power of love to transcend even the darkest of circumstances, offering solace, healing, and the promise of renewal,” set to poems by Lord Byron, Emily Brontë, Christina Rossetti, and e.e. cummings. Lukáš recently completed a three-month Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Artist Residency in Taos, New Mexico, as part of a cohort of 11 cross-disciplinary artists.

PRISM Quartet to premiere new body of work

PRISM Quartet, the acclaimed saxophone ensemble and Walden School collaborative partner, will present a new body of work entitled Generate Music, exploring the ties between Black and Jewish artists. World premiere concerts will take place on June 8 in Philadelphia and June 9 in New York, preceded by panel discussions on May 28 and 30 in Philadelphia. Five of the project’s commissioned composers are also musicians—clarinetist David Krakauer, violinist Diane Monroe, poet/vocalist Ursula Rucker, drummer Tyshawn Sorey, and trumpeter/vocalist Susan Watts—who will join PRISM, guitarist David Gilmore, and bassist Reuben Rogers to form an all-star ensemble and perform each other’s works. The program includes additional commissions from Yotam Haber, Myra Melford (with poet Erica Hunt), and Fred Wesley. Project artists have previously collaborated with James Brown, Wayne Shorter, The Roots, Itzhak Perlman, The Klezmatics, and more. A trailer for the project can be viewed here.

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 – 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


eNews: InterNetzo – December 2023

Message from Seth Brenzel, Executive Director

Seth Brenzel headshot

Season’s greetings!

I hope you enjoy this edition of InterNetzo, filled with both seasonal and evergreen Walden goodies.

We are very excited to be hosting Walden holiday parties (New Year’s parties?!) in January. Please read on to find details about these wonderful events, and to RSVP!

We are so grateful to the many donors who have already given generously to support Walden’s 2024 summer programs through contributions to Walden’s 2024 Annual Fund. Will you support Walden today with a year-end contribution?

Applications for Walden 2024 are open, and so far this year, we have received a record number of applications for both of our programs! Our next application deadline is February 1, and there are several Young Musicians Program (YMP) information sessions coming up. Please spread the word, and I hope to see you (or your family member, friend, teacher, student, colleague, neighbor, etc.) in Dublin in June!

This edition of InterNetzo also features a profile of Tessie McGough and Solon Snider Sway, two YMP alumni who recently joined Walden’s Board of Directors, along with a roundup of competitions and calls for scores, and some exciting community news.

I wish you a very Happy New Year, and I hope to see you at a Walden event soon!

Sincerely,

Seth Brenzel signature

Seth Brenzel
Executive Director
415-587-8157

Walden Holiday Parties

Warm up with Walden holiday parties!

Walden community members will be gathering for holiday potlucks in cities throughout the country in January. So far, we have three confirmed dates:

  • New York City: Friday, January 5, from 6 to 8 pm
  • Portland, Oregon: Saturday, January 6, from 3 to 5 pm
  • Seattle: Sunday, January 7, from 3 to 5 pm

These events are open to Walden and Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC) alumni, faculty, staff, artists, donors, and board members, as well as friends and family. Please save the date and help us spread the word!

RSVP by email or call (415) 587-8157. When you RSVP, please let us know what you would like to bring, and we will send you the address.

And if you are interested in hosting a party in your area, please email us. We are so grateful to this season’s hosts and the many volunteers who have hosted Walden holiday parties over the years.

Year-End Giving

Thank you to the many generous donors who have 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.

It’s not too late to make a contribution! Make a donation online, or see below for more ways to give. Gifts postmarked on or before December 31, or online gifts made before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on December 31, can be counted toward the 2023 tax year.

Donate Today

Thanks again to our loyal and generous donors for empowering our students to pursue their love of music and creativity. Your gifts keep Walden flourishing for generations of creative musicians to come.

Ways to Give

  • Send a check payable to The Walden School at 7 Joost Avenue, Suite 204, San Francisco, CA 94131. If your check is postmarked on or before December 31, 2023, your gift will count in the 2023 tax year.
  • Give onlineYour gift made online by 11:59pm Eastern Time on December 31, 2023, will count in the 2023 tax year.
  • Arrange a matching gift from your employer.
  • Make a pledge. Contact us for more information.
  • Make a gift of stock shares.
  • Donate your car through Donate for Charity.
  • Join the David Hogan Society by including Walden in your estate plans. Contact us for more information.

Contributions to The Walden School, a 501(c)(3) organization, are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.

For more information, call (415) 587-8157 or email us.

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.

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!

Apply for Walden 2024

The winter-round deadline is February 1

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

Walden’s 2024 programs:

  • Young Musicians ProgramJune 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 at applicants@waldenschool.org 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, January 18, 2024

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Thursday, March 21, 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.

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 are some opportunities we are highlighting this month:

Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize

The Ithaca College School of Music, Theatre, and Dance invites composers to submit original compositions for wind ensemble/concert band. The winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000. There may also be the opportunity to perform the winning work with the Ithaca College Wind Ensemble in the following academic year, with travel and accommodation support of up to $1,000 for the winning composer. Apply by January 8, 2024. 

Heartland Symphony Composition Competition

Heartland Symphony Orchestra is a 50-piece volunteer, nonprofit, community orchestra located in and serving the central Minnesota area of Brainerd, Little Falls, and the surrounding rural communities. HSO invites composers nationwide to submit original orchestral compositions. Winners will receive a $1,000 monetary prize, an opportunity to work with HSO and its conductor, and a recording of the concert. Apply by January 21, 2024.

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.

Eight Strings & a Whistle Composer Competition

Held every two years, the Eight Strings & a Whistle Competition invites composers of all ages enrolled in an accredited degree program at the time of application to submit a work composed for flute, viola and cello. Eight Strings & a Whistle will perform the World Premiere of the winning composer’s work in the Fall of 2024. The winning entrant will also receive a working rehearsal with Eight Strings & a Whistle, a featured interview on the Eight Strings & a Whistle website and a stipend of $300 to help defer travel expenses. There is a $12 application fee. Apply by February 1, 2024.

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

In the Spotlight

Tessie McGough and Solon Snider Sway

Tessie McGough

In the midst of last summer’s Young Musicians Program (YMP), Walden’s Board of Directors held its annual summer meeting on the campus of the Dublin School. For two days in July, this group of dedicated volunteers met to work on plans for Walden’s long-term growth and sustainability.

Walden is very grateful to Christine Dokko and Loring Catlin, Jr., who both rotated off the board after completing their board terms. Both Loring and Christine made numerous contributions to the work of Walden’s board during their service to Walden, and we look forward to staying in touch for many years to come!

Two new directors joined the board at its July meeting: Tessie McGough and Solon Snider Sway. Both YMP alumni, Tessie and Solon are currently the youngest members on the board, and we are excited to profile them in this edition of InterNetzo. Tessie attended YMP from 2005 through 2007, and Solon attended in 2011 and 2012. Below, they share their reflections on Walden and the perspectives they bring to their new roles on Walden’s board.

How did you first get involved with Walden?

Photo: Tessie as a YMP student (right) with Freya Waley-Cohen

Tessie: My mom somehow found out about Walden and suggested that I should apply. This is when I was 11, and I thought it sounded great. And thanks to Walden for providing a lot of generous financial aid that made it possible for me to attend, and to come back for a second summer after that. Then when I got to high school, I moved on to other things, but I had three incredible summers at Walden.

Solon: I did a lot of music growing up, mostly performance-based music study, but then decided that that wasn’t the path I wanted to go down and heard about Walden from a close friend and about its amazing programming and community and decided to try it out, and I immediately fell in love with everything about it. I went back again for my last two years of high school. I wish I had discovered it earlier because I would have gone more, but it totally changed my trajectory in terms of my relationship with music and also my career path in so many ways.

Do you have any favorite memories from your time at Walden?

Photo: Solon as a YMP student (left) with Ted Moore, Tyson Laa Deng, and Meade Bernard

Solon: My first “Apple” dance, hearing my teachers play that song and sing it, and just being around so many friends that I felt really comfortable with—that was one of my first moments of feeling true community through music. I immediately sensed how much that song meant to people at Walden, even though it was my first time hearing it. I think that’s a really good example of what Walden can be, community through music, that song and the whole spirit and energy of Walden dances. I felt so included at those events and nobody was alienated. I feel like it was a space where people felt really comfortable and free to express themselves. It’s kind of like taking all the stuff we learn about how to make music in the classroom and putting it in a social space or a dance hall.

Tessie: I remember getting to Walden and thinking, “Oh my God, everyone’s older than me,” and then immediately these older girls—Morgan [Kusmer] and Danielle [Oberdier] and Cara [Haxo] and Lydia [Shaw]—they all immediately welcomed me. And we all hung out on the swing for a while and I remember thinking, “They don’t even know me, why are they being so nice to me?” They just had an incredibly generous spirit. That kind of encapsulates Walden. Even today, I think like all the people I’ve met are just kind of similar in that respect, the minute you say, Walden, then it’s like “you’re one of me!”

Recently I was at a friend’s place for Diwali, and we were watching a lot of Bollywood music videos. One of them came on and I said, “Wait a minute, I recognize this”—because of Walden! One of the specialty classes I took involved pop music from around the world, and I impressed a lot of people. And it was just an amazing moment that showed much I was exposed to at Walden.

What are you engaged in currently, and what are you excited to bring to Walden’s board?

Solon: I teach music mostly. I have a youth choir, 6th through 12th grade, and I teach college. Since leaving Walden, I’ve taught all the way from kindergarten up to age 80, and I’ve been hugely influenced by everything I learned at Walden. It’s one of the main motivators for how I approach teaching music: encouraging people to think about what music is on the broadest level when they start their relationship with music. And I try to carry what Walden taught me, which is that you can create your own path through music, by improvising and composing, figuring out what music means to you and finding your own language. I found that to be extremely useful as a teacher and as a student. As I’ve gotten involved with more and more organizations, and continued to realize how important Walden was to me, I thought joining the board might be a good way for me to give back to Walden.

Tessie: After Walden, I went to Harvard and studied economics, and I also played in the Pops Orchestra and the Mozart Society Orchestra, which is smaller chamber orchestra. That was really fun. After graduating, I worked at the Brattle Group in Boston for three years as an economics consultant. Now I work at Meta as a data scientist. I finished my MBA at Chicago Booth in 2022 and now I work supporting the VR devices team. In joining the board, I’m really excited to have an opportunity to contribute back to Walden after Walden gave me so much. And hopefully some of my tech experience will be useful. I want to appreciate the flywheel that is Walden and help support it as much as possible.

Community News

Laura Cocks included in Top 30 Musical Professionals of 2023

Flutist Laura Cocks has been named by Musical America as one of the Top 30 Professionals of the Year, a distinction awarded to musicians, administrators, and educators whose unique efforts “ensure the health of the artform and its essential value in our lives, now and for generations to come.” Cocks has been a visiting artist at Walden in multiple roles: as a member of The Walden School Players, and with TAK Ensemble and the International Contemporary EnsembleMusical America’s profile highlights Laura’s accomplishments as a performing flutist and commissioner of new repertoire for flute, as well as the activities and collaborative ethos of TAK , of which Laura is Executive Director. In addition to performing and commissioning new music, TAK also has a record label focused on emerging composers, and a podcast featuring interviews with composers and performers.

Riley Ferretti’s Dona Nobis Pacem performed by the Washington Master Chorale

A choral work by CMR alumna Riley Ferretti, originally composed for Walden’s Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) last summer, was given a Washington, D.C. premiere on December 10 by the Washington Master Chorale under the direction of Thomas Colohan, who served as choral director at CMR for the past six summers. Ferretti’s Dona Nobis Pacem was premiered in June by the CMR chamber chorus. The work was included on the Washington Master Chorale’s program “Sweet was the Song” alongside a program of Christmas carols and other holiday repertoire.

Audiobook by Alicia Jo Rabins released

The audiobook version of Even God Had Bad Parenting Days, by YMP alumna Alicia Jo Rabins, was released this month. Rabins, who read the audiobook herself, describes the book as “a series of micro-essays, many of them quite personal, about how Jewish traditions can support us through the difficulties and joys of pregnancy, birth and raising little ones.” Rabins is a writer, musician, composer, performer, and Torah teacher based in Portland, Oregon.

Felix Jarrar named Resident Artist Coach at Opera Naples

Felix Jarrar, a CMR alumnus, has been engaged as the Resident Artist Coach at Opera Naples in Florida for winter 2024. He will spend two months coaching in the company’s young artist program and serve as principal rehearsal pianist for its production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Felix is a pianist, coach, and composer who recently contributed the art song Sun of the Sleepless to soprano Laura Strickling and pianist Daniel Schlosberg’s 2024 Grammy-nominated album 40@40.

Osnat Netzer circle portrait

Osnat Netzer releases debut portrait album

Osnat Netzer, a veteran faculty member at both of Walden’s programs, has released her debut portrait album on New Focus Recordings. Dot : Line : Sigh features performances by past Walden visiting artists Ensemble Dal Niente and Mivos Quartet, among other performers. Netzer’s music engages with various abstract concepts, including cognitive linguistics and the experience of physicality.

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 – 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

 


eNews: InterNetzo – August 2023

Message from Seth Brenzel, Executive Director

Seth Brenzel headshot

Dear Walden friend,

Greetings from San Francisco! I have returned home after another incredible Walden summer filled with camaraderie, creative musicianship, and many, many Composers Forums—170 world premieres!—along with hikes, dances, open mics, and so much more. From our Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) to our Young Musicians Program (YMP) and our joyous 50th-anniversary Alumni Reunion, it was a summer that honored the best of Walden’s traditions while reaching new heights in community building and artistic expression.

I hope you enjoy this edition of InterNetzo, with reflections from CMR Director Caroline Mallonee on this summer’s Creative Musicians Retreat and recaps of our successful summer fundraising events. Watch out for future editions of our newsletter to find retrospectives of this summer’s Young Musicians Program and our wonderful 2023 Alumni Reunion.

As Walden continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary—as well as 70 years since the founding of the Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC), Walden’s predecessor program—I am filled with gratitude for our entire Walden/JCC family. The dedication to creativity and community shown by generations of Walden and JCC students, faculty, staff, visiting artists, and board members has made Walden and its transformative programs stronger than ever. In the coming months, I look forward to sharing more information with you about our ongoing commemoration of this milestone anniversary—and our exciting plans to usher in the next 50 years of Walden’s history.

Seth Brenzel signature

Seth Brenzel
Executive Director
415-587-8157

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

Please save the date for our next alumni reunion! This summer, The Walden School is hosting a weekend of events to celebrate Walden’s 50th anniversary and the 70th anniversary of the Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC), Walden’s predecessor program.

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

Fundraising Events

A recap of Walden’s July celebrations

Last month, Walden hosted two successful fundraising events during our Young Musicians Program (YMP).

On our July 25 online Giving Day, Walden friends near and far tuned in to our Facebook page as we shared videos of classes and choral rehearsals, interviews with students and faculty, a rehearsal of a student composition, and the first Composers Forum of our 2023 YMP Festival Week. We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did! Our goal was to raise $5,000 in honor of Walden’s 50th anniversary. With your support, we raised $7,156—143% of our goal. If you didn’t have a chance to see the videos on Giving Day, they will remain available here.

Donate today
Students holding a "Thank You" sign

On July 29, Walden held a 50th-anniversary celebration and fundraiser in New Hampshire. The afternoon began with a breathtaking solo recital by acclaimed violinist Miranda Cuckson, who has been visiting artist at Walden, both as a recitalist and as a member of The Walden School Players, Walden’s professional ensemble-in-residence during YMP. Cuckson performed works by a diverse selection of composers, ranging from J.S. Bach to Walden-affiliated composers Caroline Mallonee and Lei Liang.

The celebration continued at Windy Knowe, the home of Ellen and Ed Bernard in nearby Harrisville. The Bernards opened up their barn for a warm reception, featuring delicious drinks and bites and wonderful Walden community. Thank you, Ellen and Ed!

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Anne Haxo, an educator, member of Walden’s Board of Directors, and parent of Walden alumna and faculty member Cara Haxo, spoke movingly of how Walden has shaped her daughter’s life, both as a musician and a as person. Walden is a place where “everyone is brought into the circle,” and each student’s differences and unique contributions are celebrated—with lifechanging results. Thank you, Anne, for sharing your beautiful reflections on Walden.

We are so grateful to our host committee and all our event donors for their generosity. With their help, we raised $13,275 as part of this event.

Donate today
Anne Haxo speaking at the New Hampshire fundraiser
Anne Haxo gives remarks at the New Hampshire fundraiser

If you would like to support Walden’s 50th-anniversary season, 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. You can support Walden’s 2023 summer with your gift by September 30, the end of our fiscal year.

Upcoming Community Event

A concert of new music in Denver, 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, on 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.

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!

Community News

John Weaver at the organSecond annual John Weaver Memorial Organ Concert presented in Portland, Maine

An organ concert celebrating the late John Weaver, a Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC) alumnus and faculty member, was performed on the Kotzschmar Memorial Organ in the Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine, where John concertized annually for half a century. The concert was performed in August by Grammy-award-winning organist Paul Jacobs, a former student of Weaver’s, who now chairs the organ department at the Juilliard Conservatory.

"Luminous" album cover

Nnenna Ogwo releases new album

Pianist Nnenna Ogwo—a YMP and CMR alumna, past YMP faculty member and visiting artist, and former Walden board member—has released a new album of solo piano performances on MSR Classics. Luminous features works by Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Ulysses Kay, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Bach-Brahms, and Ogwo herself. The album was released as part of Ogwo’s Juneteenth Legacy Project and dedicated to the memory of her mother, Carmen Hague.

Davey Hiester with a bassoon

Davey Hiester wins concerto competition

On Thursday, July 6th, after a three-round competition over multiple weeks, conductors Kazem Abdullah and Kraig Allan Williams named YMP alumnus Davey Hiester as a winner of the 2023 Jan and Beattie Wood Concerto Competition at Brevard Music Center in North Carolina. On July 30, Davey performed the first movement of Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto, including his own cadenza, with the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, the festival’s professional ensemble. Congratulations, Davey!

Nicholas Lell Benavides

Opera by Nicholas Benavides previewed in San Francisco

Dolores, a new opera with music by Teacher Training Institute (TTI) alumnus Nicolás Lell Benavides, was presented in an hourlong orchestra preview in San Francisco on August 13. The opera, with a libretto by Marella Martin Koch, follows the story of labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, focusing on the period around the assassination of her friend and ally Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Benavides is a cousin of Huerta, and he spent time with her to learn her story in preparation for composing the opera. Dolores was commissioned by West Edge Opera and will have a rolling premiere in 2024/25.

"Set" album cover

Dana Jessen releases solo album

Bassoonist Dana Jessen, a past YMP faculty member, past visiting artist as part of Splinter Reeds, and past member of The Walden School Players, has released her latest solo album, Set, featuring compositions by composer and electronic musician Taylor Brook. Set presents a collaborative album-length electro-acoustic work that combines through-composed and improvised sections. The album was released on New Focus Recordings, an artist-led collective label cofounded by guitarist Dan Lippel, a Walden visiting artist as member of the International Contemporary Ensemble.

Arte Warren

Arté Warren begins graduate studies in education

Arté Warren, a YMP alumnus who has also been a staff member at YMP and CMR, has graduated from Morgan State University with a B.A. in music and will earn his M.A. in teaching from Morgan State next year. His accomplishments were highlighted in a newsletter from the Baltimore Bridges proram, which has supported him and other Baltimore students in attending Walden’s YMP. Arté credited Bridges with introducing him to Walden, which gave him “a circle of connections and peers.” At Morgan State, Arté played marching and symphonic bands, was a member of a national honor band fraternity, and served as a music education intern at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, his alma mater.

Wendy Griffiths

Wendy Griffiths premieres new work 

CMR alumna Wendy Griffiths premiered a new work, Watching Birds, along with her band Changing Modes in Brooklyn. Wendy is a keyboard player, singer, and bassist in the band, which “leap[s] from one radically dissimilar style to another with gusto, guile, and a tunefulness that won’t quit” (Lucid Culture). The concert, a double billing with the ensemble Double Entendre, was held at Soapbox Gallery on Wednesday, August 30. The livestream of the concert will remain available on the Soapbox website for two more days.

Joel St. Julien

Joel St. Julien featured on KQED Sunday Music Drop

CMR alumnus and YMP parent Joel St. Julien was featured on Bay Area radio station KQED’s Sunday Music Drop. The radio and online feature explored the song “Masking Two” from St. Julien’s album Masking, released in June 2022, which is “is a collage of samples that incorporate his voice, guitar, and synthesizer” (KQED). In the feature, St. Julien describes his inspirations and intentions for the song, including the process of healing and the natural beauty of the Bay Area.

Steve Messner welcomes grandson

CMR alumnus and Walden School Board member Steve Messner welcomed his first grandchild on July 14. Congratulations to Steve and his family, and welcome to baby Ari!

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 – 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

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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

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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


eNews: InterNetzo – April 2023

Message from Seth Brenzel, Executive Director

Seth Brenzel headshot

Dear Walden friend,

As warm weather returns, we at Walden are warming up for an incredible season of creative music making and celebration!

I invite you join us at two upcoming benefit concerts marking Walden’s 50th anniversary:

New York: Sunday, May 7, from 4 to 6 pm

Washington, DC: Saturday, May 13, from 4 to 6 pm

Read on for more details about these celebrations, featuring two great pianists in spectacular venues!

We are also busily planning our Walden/Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC) Alumni Reunion over the weekend of August 4–6. We hope you will make plans to join us at this very special gathering of the Walden and JCC communities in Dublin, New Hampshire.

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 hope you enjoy this edition of InterNetzo, with updates on exciting Walden events and lots of community news. Plus, Tamar Bloch shares her reflections in anticipation of this summer’s Walden/JCC reunion. A luminary of both Walden and JCC, Tamar’s brilliant teaching and generous spirit have made a lasting impact on generations of students.

I hope to connect with you at a Walden program, fundraiser, or reunion soon!

Seth Brenzel signature

Seth Brenzel
Executive Director
415-587-8157

Community Events

Join us for a Walden/JCC alumni reunion: August 4–6!

Attendees at the 2018 Walden/JCC reunion
Attendees at the 2018 Walden/JCC reunion

Please save the date for our next alumni reunion! This summer, The Walden School is hosting a weekend of events to celebrate Walden’s 50th anniversary and the 70th anniversary of the Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC), Walden’s predecessor program.

 

During the weekend of August 4–6, 2023, dozens of alumni and Walden friends will gather on the Dublin School campus to experience a bit of the Walden/JCC magic once again. We hope you will make plans to join us!

Registration will be available soon on our website, but we encourage you to email us now at alumni@waldenschool.org to let us know of your interest or to ask us any questions you might have as you begin to make your plans to come to New Hampshire in August!

Nicole Mitchell celebrated with portrait concert

Nicole Mitchell
Nicole Mitchell (photo by Caitlin Ochs, courtesy Miller Theater)

Acclaimed composer, flutist, and poet Nicole Mitchell was the subject of a Composer Portrait concert presented by the International Contemporary Ensemble at Columbia University’s Miller Theater on March 30. Mitchell, whose music defies classification and celebrates contemporary African-American culture, will be joining the Walden community as Composer-in-Residence at this summer’s Young Musicians Program (YMP). A review in I Care If You Listen stated that “each work was a masterful display of composition and musicality.” Several past Walden visiting artists were among the featured performers, including Isabel Lepanto Gleicher (flute), Joshua Rubin (clarinets), Mazz Swift (violin), and Clara Warnaar (percussion). Congratulations to all on a wonderful performance and discussion! We at Walden are incredibly excited for our YMP students to have the opportunity to learn from Nicole Mitchell this summer.

International Contemporary Ensemble performers, including Isabel Lepanto Gleicher (flute), by Rob Davidson (photo courtesy Miller Theater)

Fundraising Events

Spring events infographic

Two exciting Walden celebrations—join us and invite your friends!

As we celebrate Walden’s 50th anniversary, our season of in-person benefit events is in full swing. If you are in or around New York or Washington, DC, please join us for these exciting Walden fundraising events, featuring music, refreshments, and Walden community in spectacular venues. And spread the word to any friends, family members, or other contacts in these cities who might be interested in learning about and supporting Walden!

New York City

Salmagundi Club Skylight GallerySunday, May 7
4 to 6 pm

Acclaimed jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut, a Walden alumnus, will perform in the Skylight Gallery at Salmagundi Club, a historic arts club south of Union Square. Don’t miss Walden’s first in-person fundraiser in New York in three years!

DACOR Bacon House exteriorWashington, DC

Saturday, May 13
4 to 6 pm

Join us for a very special performance by pianist Pedja Mužijević, a former Walden faculty member and current Artistic Administrator of the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York. Pedja will perform a richly varied program, ranging from Haydn, Schumann, and Chopin to Morton Feldman and George Crumb. This event will be held at the DACOR Bacon House, a private club and historic residence located near the White House.

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

Donate today

Summer 2023 Programs

Apply to Walden today!

Students clapping at an outdoor concert

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 here.

Spring application deadline: April 5

Write to us with any questions.

Walden is Hiring!

Join our teamStudent and staff member at outdoor concert

Walden is hiring for two exciting positions. 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:

2023 Young Musicians Program Camp Nurse (June–July, 2023; Dublin, NH)

Administrative Manager (full-time, year-round position in our San Francisco office)

Read the job postings to learn more! Please direct any questions and inquiries to us at jobs@waldenschool.org. All positions are open until filled.

In the Spotlight

Tamar Bloch on Walden/JCC reunions

Tamar Bloch

Tamar Bloch was a student during the last four summers (1969–1972) of the Junior Conservatory Camp (JCC), the predecessor program to The Walden School. Tamar went on to teach at Walden for many summers between 1975 and 2004, and she has also attended Walden’s Teacher Training Institute (TTI). Tamar is a longtime champion of JCC and Walden’s distinctive pedagogy, and she is a beloved presence in the lives of generations of Walden students. She lives in Rhinebeck, New York, with her husband, musicologist Peter Laki.

Here, Tamar shares reflections on Walden and JCC while looking forward to the Walden/JCC reunion that will be held the weekend of August 4–6 in Dublin, New Hampshire. This reunion will celebrate Walden’s 50th anniversary and the 70th anniversary of the founding of JCC by Mrs. Grace Newsom Cushman. Join us this summer to reconnect with Tamar and other wonderful Walden and JCC alums!

On her experience at JCC and Walden

I was a student in the last four summers at JCC. Going to JCC and teaching at Walden laid the groundwork for a lot of things in my life. It really informed my approach to teaching and listening, and it opened my ears to new music. When I was 16 or 17 at JCC, we analyzed Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children, which today might not seem so radical. But in the early 70s, that was radical. We were weirdos in high school; I was interested in Schoenberg. At JCC I found my people. That’s what Walden and JCC are about, finding your people and this way of teaching that opens you up.

From left to right, Andrea Loukin, Ellen Hoffman, Georgia Cushman (holding ferns), Humphrey Evans, and Tamar Bloch at JCC (photo courtesy Tamar Bloch)

On relationships formed at JCC and Walden

There’s also the social aspect; dealing with people who you might have differences with. And there’s a mentoring aspect to the relationship with students, which is a 24-hour relationship—except when you sleep! There’s a deep level of caring and respect. There are so many people who were my students, and then they were my colleagues, and now quite a few of them have become very successful professionally. It’s very heartwarming to see that.

I’m still in touch with many of the people I knew from JCC: Ellen Hoffman (my husband, Peter, and I just took a class with her via Zoom and it was just fabulous); my former roommates Robin Seto, in Hawaii, and Sheree Clement, in Jackson Heights, New York; Jeff Cohen, who’s in Paris; and Matt Hunter, who is a violist in the Berlin Philharmonic. And Marilyn Crispell lives 20 minutes from me, so we see each other. I think it’s extraordinary that that these friendships still continue through the decades. When I lived in Hungary, Walden was home for me when I would come back to teach in the summers. And I think a lot of people feel that way.

Walden student Shayla Cheeks with Tamar at Walden

On Grace Newsom Cushman, the founder of JCC

Mrs. Cushman (at right) after a forum at JCC (photo credit: Dr. Edward Max)

To me, it’s just amazing that one woman started this all in the 1950s. She just loaded these kids on a bus from Baltimore and went up to Vermont. How crazy is that? No one did that. And the curriculum she wrote is just phenomenal. It’s open enough so that the curriculum stays fundamentally the same, but it can be changed. Which is incredibly hard to do. She really was quite revolutionary. I’ve always thought she could be the subject of a book or dissertation.

What Mrs. Cushman created at JCC is now an intentional community at Walden. The same gestalt lives on. The idea of having a beautiful place to live away from the hubbub of the city is part of it. You’re up here for a certain number of weeks out of the summer.

On Walden/JCC reunions

I’ve been to three or four reunions. At the last one I attended, there were some wonderful classes. I remember Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy did an impromptu workshop on Indian music and dance. The dances were great, and the Composers Forums—I actually moderated one or two. But it’s mainly the music making and camaraderie that are so special.

I also enjoyed meeting people from JCC that I’d never met because I was in the last bunch. It was great to talk with the previous generation of JCCers who had the same memories of Mrs. Cushman as I did. At the Zoom reunion a couple of years ago, I remember we talked about how none of us has ever thrown out anything which Mrs. C sent to us—a lot of which I’m finding now that I’m clearing out my apartment. So there’s a real connection. And I don’t know that that exists at all summer music programs.

Tamar Bloch, David Drucker, and Flora Cushman at the 2007 Walden/JCC reunion (photo courtesy David Drucker)

Remembering those we’ve lost

At a reunion, it’s also important to honor the people who have died, like Lance Reddick, whom I was really looking forward to seeing. Lance was a student and colleague at Walden. I knew him when he was a teenager. There’s David Hogan, there’s Flora and Georgia Cushman, Lynn Taylor Hebden, Paul Nauert, and John and Marianne Weaver. And more recently we lost Peter Krag.

Humphrey Evans III was a student and on faculty at JCC, and he sadly died in 1982. He was my teacher and mentor and just an off-the-charts musician. I found an analysis we did together of the Eroica, and his handwritten manuscript was just gorgeous. Now there’s someone named David Victor Feldman who’s gathering Humphrey’s recordings and scores and documenting his life. I recently did an interview with him about Humphrey. It’s important to remember these extraordinary people.

Why you should come to the Walden/JCC reunion!

The Walden School sign at the Mountain School, Walden’s home campus from 1976 to 1982

It’s a milestone reunion for Walden and for JCC. And it could also be the last time that some people might be able to make it there. Because you know, there’s not a reunion every year. So I think it’s very important to connect. And it’s always different in person than on Zoom; it’s multidimensional in person. I hope people from near and far will make the trip to celebrate this landmark and to share memories and experiences. I think it’s very important.

 

Community News

Lisa Bielawa and Nicole MitchellNicole Mitchell and Lisa Bielawa honored with Guggenheim Fellowships

Nicole Mitchell and Lisa Bielawa were among the ten composers awarded 2023 Guggenheim Fellowships. Lisa Bielawa (upper photo) was Composer-in-Residence at Walden’s 2020 Online Creative Musicians Experience (OCME). Nicole Mitchell (lower photo) will be Composer-in-Residence at the Young Musicians Program (YMP) this summer. The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awards fellowships in 48 scholarly disciplines and artistic fields. Fellowships are awarded on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise. Congratulations to these two inspiring artists!

Stacy Garrop

Stacy Garrop and Walden at the San Francisco Symphony 

On a series of concerts in April, the San Francisco Symphony performed Spectacle of Light by YMP alumna and former faculty member Stacy Garrop. The concerts also featured the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, which includes several Waldenites: YMP faculty member Lukáš Janata, Executive Director Seth Brenzel, administrative assistant Elizabeth Susskind, bookkeeper Brielle Neilson, and Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) alumnus Drew Kravin. Congratulations to all! A new work by Stacy Garrop, Terra Nostra, will be premiered in San Francisco by the San Francisco Choral Society on April 29.Annie Gosfield

Annie Gosfield awarded OPERA America Discovery Grant

Annie Gosfield was one of eight exceptional composers selected as recipients of 2023 Discovery Grants from OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Women Composers program. Gosfield has been Composer-in-Residence at Both of Walden’s programs. The grant will support the development of a new opera by Gosfield entitled Peggy and Jackson, which explores the relationship between art collector Peggy Guggenheim and the iconic painter Jackson Pollock. Among the panelists who selected the grant recipients was CMR alumna Laura Jobin-Acosta.

Aurora Nealand

Aurora Nealand featured on new album

Multi-instrumentalist Aurora Nealand is featured on an adventurous album by a newly formed trio alongside saxophonist Tim Berne and cellist Hank Roberts. On Oceans And, Nealand contributes accordion, bass clarinet, and voice. Nealand is a former YMP faculty member, a CMR alumna, and a frequent visiting artist at Walden, where she will return during this summer’s YMP for a popular outdoor concert of New Orleans jazz.

Lukas Janata

Lukáš Janata releases videos of recent performances

YMP faculty member Lukáš Janata has released a video recording of the premiere of his work Silver Lining, for cello and percussion. The unique performance took place in February in Helsinki, Finland, in the Vapaan Taiteen Tila, a resonant former bomb shelter that is now used as an arts space. And in March, Lukáš presented his piece Mezi Horami, for piano, violin, and cello, and voice, at the San Francisco Conservatory, with Lukáš playing the piano part and singing. A video of the performance is available hereMezi Horami received its premiere at Walden’s YMP last summer as part of the School’s Faculty Commissioning Concert. Lukáš will return as a faculty member at YMP this summer.

Cara Haxo

Choral work by Cara Haxo premiered

A new work by Cara Haxo was premiered on April 2 by the Cleveland Chamber Choir as part of a collaboration with the Cleveland Composers Guild. A review at clevelandclassical.com stated that Haxo’s Sea Grass and another work by Inna Onfrei “made fine impressions and additions to the choral repertory.” Cara Haxo is a YMP alumna and a former YMP faculty member and academic dean.

Andrea Grody

Andrea Grody nominated for Olivier Award 

YMP alumna Andrea Grody was nominated for an Olivier Award for her work on the critically acclaimed musical The Band’s Visit. Grody was the music director, music supervisor, and additional arranger for the musical’s Broadway production, which won 10 Tony Awards. The Band’s Visit is now playing in London’s West End. The Olivier Awards are Britain’s most prestigious theater awards.

Eric Wubbels

Eric Wubbels joins Peabody composition faculty

Composer and pianist Eric Wubbels has been appointed to the composition faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, joining current Walden faculty member Sam Pluta and former faculty member Sky Macklay at one of the most sought-after composition programs in the world. Wubbels has been a visiting artist at Walden for several summers, both as a member of The Walden School Players and with the Wet Ink Ensemble, of which he is the co-director and which also includes Sam Pluta.

Paul Moravec

Paul Moravec’s The Shining featured in Opera News

The Shining, an opera with a score by Paul Moravec, was performed by the Lyric Opera of Kansas City in March. The production was lauded by Opera News, which praised Moravec’s “dazzling, sophisticated score.” The opera, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, will be reprised by Opera Parallèle in San Francisco from June 4–6. Paul Moravec is a past Composer-in-Residence at YMP.

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