Motifs, November / December 2014

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Arthur Michaels's (IAC 63-65) wind ensemble piece "Euphotrombotonia" was named one of five winners in the third annual Sul Ross State University Wind Ensemble Composition Contest. The piece will be performed in the winner's concert at the university in October. "Euphotrombotonia" was chosen from 80 entries from 30 states and 15 countries. Arthur's string orchestra piece "Danzetta" will be performed by the Knox-Galesburg (Illinois) Symphony Orchestra on November 15.

Peter Sparling (AS 64-66, IAA 66-69), Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Dance at University of Michigan's School of Music, Theatre and Dance, has been named the Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished Professor of Dance. Sparling was one of eight professors recognized by the University of Michigan board of regents last month for exceptional scholarly or creative achievement, national and international reputation and superior teaching skills. Peter's new work for the Martha Graham Dance Company will be performed in New York City in September.

David Glass (IAC 65-66, IAA 65-67, IAC St 69) will be featured in an online interactive educational curriculum based on the study of "The Urantia Book" in the 2014-2015 term of Urantia University. He is serving a two-year term as president of the Urantia Society of North Texas.

Lyda Kuth's (IAA 68-70) documentary, "Love and Other Anxieties," was screened on the Interlochen campus last month, followed by a Skype session between Lyda and motion picture arts students. "Love and Other Anxieties," which was released in 2011, explores love and long-term commitment.

Jonathan Newmark's (IAC 68) recently retired from the United States Army Medical Department as a colonel. He is using the Post-9/11 GI Bill to return to school and is now a full-time composition graduate student at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Jonathan's trombone sextet, Six Bones for Six Bones, was premiered at CCM, and a trio for saxophone, percussion and piano was premiered at the Walden School, both this year. This summer, he participated at the Bennington Chamber Music Conference for the 33rd summer as pianist and violist, and had his new wind quintet read.

Linda Leavell (IAA 1969-71) won the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography for her book "Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore."

Susan Freeman (IAC 70, 72-73), executive coach and president of Step Up Leader, spent two weeks in Rwanda this summer. She guest lectured in leadership at the Akilah Institute for Women, which empowers young women economically by preparing them for careers in entrepreneurship, hospitality management, and information technology. She also trekked in Volcanoes National Park, saw mountain gorillas, went on safari, and stayed on a tea plantation in the Nyungwe Forest. She ended her visit with a private luncheon with President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame.

Larry Tuttle's (IAC 1971) orchestral piece "Chorale and Fiddle Tune" was the winner of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's 2014 H.J. Heinz Company Audience of the Future Composition Competition. The P.S.O. performed the piece as part of its Audience of the Future concert on April 22, 2014, under resident conductor Fawzi Naimor.

George Balch Wilson's (IAC Fac 72-75) music, "Concatenations," was released on the Equilibrium label and featured performances by violinist Patricia McCarty (IAC 67, 69-70; Univ 71-74; IAC Fac 77, 79).

Rebecca (Haefner) Giselbrecht (IAA 74-76) received her Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary this summer. The title of her dissertation is "A Hermeneutic of Female Testimony in the Zurich Reformation (1518-1575)." She is senior teaching and research assistant in the department of practical theology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Laura Bond (AS 76-77, IAA 77-80) overcame chronic wrist tendonitis and was able to perform some Bach at her brother's wedding in Michigan in April. Laura and her family now reside in Denver.

Thomas Wise (IAA 76-80, IAC St 78-79) is head of music and conductor at Opera Bonn in Germany. Last season he conducted performances of "Thais" (Massenet) and "Written on Skin" (George Benjamin). For the coming season he will lead performances of "Rinaldo" (Händel) and "Fidelio" at the Beethovenfest Bonn. A recording of Schubert´s "Schwanengesang" with baritone Giorgos Kanaris will be released in early 2015. Thomas lives in Bonn with his wife, Uta, and their three children, Felix, Adrian, and Miranda.

Stephan Pawl (IAA 78-81) serves as the minister of music at St Andrew Catholic Church in Rochester, Michigan.

Lana Marina (IAC 83, IAC St 87) participated in the Cliburn Amateur Video Competition this summer. Lana shared that she was the recipient of the the Van Cliburn scholarship at Interlochen in 1983 and met Mr. Cliburn that summer, so the opportunity to participate in the competition was very special to her.

Blair Sinta (IAC 84-86, AS 87-88) returned to the Kresge stage on July 19 as the drummer for Five for Fighting.

Katherine (Kate) Weatherly (84-85, 87-88; IAA 89-91) was appointed as a U.S. administrative law judge with the Social Security Administration in Eugene, Oregon. Kate is proud to be part of a three-generation Interlochen family that includes daughter Leila Weatherly (IAC 09, 11) and father John Weatherly (AS 66-67, IAA 67-68).

Na-Rae Ohm Petro (IAC 85-86, IAA 86-88) presents The OHM Gallery in Washington, D.C. The gallery is devoted to the enhancement of the public's appreciation of 20th Century and Contemporary visual arts. Work can be viewed online at

Mark Rosenberg's (IAA 87-91, IAC St 91) book of poetry "I Can't Shut My Eyes" was published online in 2007 by UMass ScholarWorks press. It has been downloaded nearly 1,000 times and taught in reading groups at Cambridge University.

Erika Randall (IAC 88-89; IAA 89-91; IAC Fac 98-01, 03-06) is director of dance at University of Colorado Boulder. She was featured in their online Faculty in Focus series in September.

Misty Tolle (IAC 91-92, IAA 92-93) and Nicole Abissi (IAC 99-01, IAA 01-03) are members of the Stiletto Brass Quintet, a group of women from the U.S. with careers in the fields of orchestral, wind band and brass chamber music.

Gary L. Gatzke Jr. (AS 92, 94, HSB 95, IAA 96-98, ICA St 06-13) is manager of operations and annual campaign at the Traverse Symphony Orchestra.

George Stamakakis (IAC 92) created VITALtuner, an app for tuning musical instruments on mobile devices.

Don Dixon (IAA 93-96) completed work as an animator on "Book of Life," which is currently in theaters. This is Don's second project with Reel FX Animation Studios in Dallas, Texas. His first was last year's "Free Birds."

Alexandra "Al" Silber (IAC 95-99, IAA 99-01, IAC St 01-02) performed the role of Lilli Vanessi/Katherine in a concert production of "Kiss Me, Kate" with the John Wilson Orchestra at London's Royal Albert Hall on August 2. The performance, part of the annual BBC Proms series, was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and will be televised on BBC Two in December. A recording of her performance as Maria in last year’s San Francisco Symphony concert production of “West Side Story” was released in June.

Kristen Martin (IAC 96, 98-99; IAA 00-01) performed the role of "Ariel" in the Maine State Music Theatre's production of "Footloose." She previously was in the cast of "Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark" on Broadway.

Matthew Prescott (IAA 96-99) is in the Broadway cast of "The Phantom of the Opera" in New York.

Yalin Chi (IAA 97-98, IAC St 98) serves as the staff pianist for the West Point Band. She was the featured soloist at A Gala Concert Commemorating the Yale Bowl Centennial in late September.

Benjamin Lulich (IAA 98-01) has been appointed principal clarinet of the Seattle Symphony, beginning September 2014. Previously, he was principal clarinet of the Pacific Symphony in Orange County, California, and performed frequently with such groups as The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra.

Elisa J. Wood (IAA 98-99) was sworn into the Washington State Bar Association in May 2014. She lives and predominantly practices criminal and animal law in Seattle, Washington.

Michael Arden (Michael Moore; IAC 99, IAA 99-01, IAC St 01) is directing "Spring Awakening" this fall at Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles. The production features deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing actors, and is performed simultaneously in American Sign Language and spoken English. Performances take place at the Rosenthal Theater September 7 through October 19.

Megan Summers (IAA 99-02, IAA St 06-07) recently completed her master's degree in history and education at Columbia University. She also launched Summers Academy, a college guidance firm serving students in New York City and New Jersey.

Ezra Donner (IAC 01-03, IAA 02-04, IAC St. 06-08) will be on tour with 'The American Piano' this fall starting with an interactive lecture/recital in Chicago, IL. In December, Ezra will present excerpts from 'The American Piano' in Buffalo, New York and will lastly return to Chicago to perform 'Rhapsody in Blue' in the George Gershwin International Music Competition.

Joan Wallace (IAA 03-05, IAC St 06-09) has joined Woodstock International School in Mussoorie, India, as piano faculty.

J. Adam Briggs (IAC 04-05; IAC St 06, 10-11) completed his D.M.A. at Michigan State University. This fall, he will release his debut CD, "Transcension," a two-CD set which includes a commentary disc to help connect the contemporary music with a wider audience.

Meggie Cramer (IAA 04-07) lives in Chicago where she works as the development and communications coordinator for the Chicago Family Health Center, a nonprofit clinic on the South Side serving high-risk communities. She raised over $100,000 at their annual Healing Hands Celebration gala and is spearheading new partnerships with both for-profit and nonprofit organizations throughout Chicago to raise funds, promote awareness, and advance the community health cause. She is looking for passionate young professionals in Chicago to join her CFHC Foundation Junior Board and would love to feature any Interlochen alumni interested in becoming a member.

Allie Papazian (IAA 04-06) graduated from the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Dominican University in 2010. She lives in Spain where she dances with the Compañía Nacional de Danza de España.

Chris Newlun (IAC 05, IAA 06-10) graduated from Manhattan School of Music with a performance degree in English horn in May. Notable performances include Carnegie Hall with the New York Youth Orchestra and Tuscia Opera Festival in Viterbo, Italy. He is general manager of Shattered Glass String Ensemble, a nonprofit group based in New York City, and is pursuing a master's degree in Arts and Cultural Management at Pratt Institute in Manhattan.

Lindsay Petroff (AS 05) is a member of Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys, a bluegrass band that has toured the U.S. over the past two years.

Jessica Newham's (IAC 07, IAA 07-10, IAC St 10) album "Take Me When You Go" was released in early October.

Anthony Bellino (IAC 08, IAA 09-10) and Jennifer Zhou (IAC 05, 08) will study and perform with the New York Philharmonic this January as members of the Global Academy Fellows.

David Koch (IAA 10-11) won the trumpet solo competition at the El Curs Internacional de Musica Vila de L'Olleria (CIMVO) Trumpet Conference in Spain last month.

Olivia Millerschin (IAC 10-11) and her group "Livy, Matt & Sammy," made it to the quarterfinals of "America's Got Talent" and appeared on the live broadcast on NBC in August.

Haley Robinson (IAA 10-11, IAC St 13) was a guest speaker on HuffPost Live about teen dating violence awareness. Haley's article on this same topic, "No One Will Love You More Than I Do" was published in late October.