Motifs: July/August 2017

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Pamela Frucci (IAC/NMC 44, 48-49, IAC St 53) is working with the Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center and composer Ken Medema to turn the children's book she wrote in 2006 with her granddaughter, Emily, into a musical titled A Visit to My Great Great Grandpa.

Dr. Polly McMahon (IAA 64-67) was honored as Washington State Teacher of the Year by Washington State Board of Trustees for Community Colleges.

Brad Warnaar (IAC/NMC 65, IAA 65-68) had his Horn Concerto performed by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Giancarlo Guerrera, with Leslie Norton, the orchestra's principal horn, as soloist. The concerts, which took place in April of 2017 and were recorded for future commercial release on the Naxos label. Warnaar has also composed the scores for several films, including xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Power Rangers, The Fate of the Furious, and The Mummy.

Rev. Jeff Paulson (IAC/NMC 70, IAA 70-74, IAC St 74-75) has been appointed as the Senior Pastor to Liberty Grove United Methodist Church in Burtonsville, Maryland and is currently working on his D.Min. Theological Project Writing focusing on, "Leadership in an International Setting in the Context as a Second Career Pastor and the Effects it has on the Relationships Between Leaders."

Scott Frankel (IAC/NMC 73-78) is the composer of the musical War Paint, currently running on Broadway at the Nederlander Theater. The original cast recording is available on Ghostlight Records.

Jeff Dalton (IAA 76-79) was appointed Chairman of the CMMI Institute Partner Advisory Board, a research and development organization that provides performance models for software and engineering teams doing business with Federal and State governments. This is his second appointment as Chairman.

Michael Cansfield (IAC/NMC 82-83, IAA 82-83) was named Associate Director of Development at Lookingglass Theatre Company in late 2016. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Lookingglass is winner of the 2011 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater and is known for developing new works such as LookingGlass Alice and Metamorphoses, which incorporates circus arts and strong visual and aural elements into its storytelling. In his position, Michael oversees a staff of four which raises $3 million for the non-profit company each year.

Michael Schlesinger (IAC/NMC 82-85) is Vice President of the Motion Picture Association of America, serving the Asia region in Singapore to protect and promote US movies and television programming. Michael also has two albums out, “Songs of You,” and “Hear What I See,” available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and all digital platforms. Michael is active in the performing arts, appearing most recently in The Music Man at Arena Stage (Washington, DC), Netflix's House of Cards and HBO's VEEP. Michael sings with the Singapore Symphony Chorus.

Paula Herbart (AS 80, IAC St 83-84, 89-92, IAA St 89-91) was recently elected President of the Michigan Education Association, the statewide public educators' union. Paula will serve a three-year term beginning September 1, 2017 and is eligible for three terms as state president. Paula holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Michigan.

William Tell (IAC/NMC 85-86) changed careers and returned to his love of music in 2014 after 20 years in corporate research and consulting. Tell recently completed his Master of Arts in Teaching in choral and general music education at the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.).

Ranardo-Domeico Grays (IAA 89-90, IAC/NMC 89, AS 88, IAC St 91) will have his VISIONS Contemporary Ballet presented by the Harlem Arts Festival 2017. VISIONS will perform “Roots,” Ranardo's latest ballet, including the premier the new final movement "Confirmation."

Glenn Seven Allen (IAC/NMC 90) appears in the off-Broadway revival of Amerike--The Golden Land. The play will run through August 20 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Vanessa Thomas (IAC 93) has been the vocalist for Grammy-award trumpet player and TV personality Doc Severinsen for nearly a decade, performing concerts with 'Doc Severinsen and His Big Band, singing in a variety of musical styles that showcase her four-octave range. She sang a showstopping walk-on in the 2008 world premiere of Kirke Mechem's John Brown. Thomas was recently featured in KC Studio Magazine as an artist to watch (2017), and has been hailed as “the newly-discovered, present day Frank Sinatra,” and has shared the stage with such performers as Wayne Bergeron, Ed Shaughnessy, Ernie Watts, Bill Cunliffe, Joseph Wolverton, Luis Conté, Byron Stripling, Allen Vizzutti, and Mike Metheny.

Kerin Black (IAC 93, IAA 93-95) opened the Süddeutsches Alexander-Technik-Zentrum (South German Alexander Technique Center) in Stuttgart, an Affiliated Societies' recognized training school for Alexander Technique teachers, where she is head of training. Kerin also continues to play the horn professionally, mostly in musical theater in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Dr. Anna Akbari (IAA 96-97) published a new book, “Startup Your Life: Hustle and Hack Your Way To Happiness” through St. Martin's Press.

Deena Rosenberg (IAC 97-00, IAA 00-02, IAC St 01) and her husband, Benjamin Stuhl, welcomed their daughter, Elise Rose Stuhl on June 22, 2017 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After a rough recovery, mother and baby are home and doing well.

Ian Whitney (IAA 96-98) is serving as Legislative Aide to the Chair Pro Tem of the Tampa City Council. From 2015-2016, he was Campaign Manager for a successful countywide race in Hillsborough County, Florida.

Jessica Hernreich (IAA 00-03) was recently appointed Executive Director of the Ecosa Institute for Ecological Design, a non-profit educational organization. The mission of Ecosa Institute is to restore health to the natural environment, and thus the human environment, through education in design.

RJ Magee (IAC 02-05, IAA 06-08) is currently playing the iconic role of Herbie Marx (Zeppo) in the musical Minnie's Boys at the Broward Stage Door Theatre in Coral Springs, Florida until August 6.

Olivia Lilley (IAC 05, IAA 06-07) was recently a 2017 recipient of the Pivot Arts Residency for her original dance musical in Chicago, Illinois. Olivia recently launched production company Pop Magic, which specializes in micro budget runs of original theatre, dance and music performances. Pop Magic's The Other Sarah Bernhardt, a biopic dance pop drama about the life of the mother of modern acting, Eleanora Duse, will be co-produced with The Prop Thtr in Chicago, Illinois. The show opens in late October and runs through the end of the year.

Conrad Cornelison (IAC 06-07, IAA 07-08, IAC St 09) will join the Jacksonville Symphony as principal bassoon in the fall.

Melanie Chitwood (IAC 09-10, IAA 10-12) will pursue a Master's of Science in Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health on a full academic scholarship.

Steven Banks (IAC 11) has accepted a position as Interim Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory.

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