Motifs: November/December 2017

Dr. Larry Starr (IAC/NMC 59-65) retired from University of Pennsylvania where he directed the Master's program of Organizational Dynamics, and moved to Thomas Jefferson University where he directs the Doctoral program in Strategic Leadership.

Lynn (Bogen) Sanders (IAC/NMC 65-66) was awarded "The 2017 Conservation Author of the Year" by The Illinois Conservation Foundation, in recognition of raising environmental awareness through her best-selling children's book, "Dancing With Tex: The Remarkable Friendship To Save The Whooping Cranes." This true friendship story between a world-famous ornithologist and a rare bird helped save the Whooping Cranes from extinction. Sanders also composed an original song, "Keep Your Dreams Alive" for her presentations. Sponsors are invited to participate in an educational outreach.

Dr. Lawrence Probes (IAC/NMC 68, IAA 68-71, IAC St 71-72) will join fellow alumnus Mark Mathias (AS 67, IAA 68-70) and his wife Donna (Shugart) Probes (ICA St 81-94) for musical performances in Florida in November 2017, as Peter, Paul & Mary Remembered. The group formed seven years ago after meeting with Paul Stookey and Peter Yarrow when they performed at Interlochen in 2010. The ensemble is based in Michigan.

Jeff Dalton (IAA 76-79) had his article, "The Pedagogy Principle," published in the October edition of the Cutter Business Technology Journal (CBTJ). CBTJ is a leading journal for information technology executives, and his article explored ways to improve capability of IT leaders to teach, mentor and coach young technology practitioners. Dalton is President of Broadsword, a process innovation firm, and Chief Evangelist at

Beth (Stone) Crutcher (IAA 78-80, IAA St 79-80) returned to the French horn after decades on hiatus. As Director of Advancement at the American School in London, she gratefully accepted the opportunity to serve as a chaperone on their High School Music Program tour to Luxembourg and Belgium and subbed in with the ensemble when a hornist took ill. UK alumni reunion anyone?

Dr. Michael Lowenstern (IAC/NMC 79-84, IAA 84-85, IAC St 85-86, 88) accepted a position in June 2017 as Group Creative Director for Amazon, leading their internal advertising group in New York City. He continues to teach at the Manhattan School of Music, and his “surprisingly popular and occasionally controversial” YouTube series reaches young players all over the world. He lives with his wife, clarinetist and teacher Katherine Cooke (IAC 1984-85, IAA 1986, IAC Staff 1986, 89).

Dr. Melissa Kraut (IAC/NMC 80-84, IAA 84-86, IAC St 88-92, IAC Faculty 95-02, 04-05, IAA Fac 05-06) is in her 12th year at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she is Co-Chair of the Cello Program and is a key leader in running CIM’s newly launched Center for Innovative Musicianship (CIM2). In the summers she is co-founder and Education Director of the Sitka International Cello Seminar in Sitka, Alaska with Grammy Winner and IAC alum Zuill Bailey (IAC 87-88).

Ranardo-Domeico Grays (AS 88, IAC/NMC 89, IAA 89-90, IAC St 91), Founder/Artistic Director of VISIONS Contemporary Ballet and a three-year brain cancer survivor, is creatively flourishing with even more of a story to share through his work! His new ballet “Through the Valley,” inspired by his journey, and two other inspirational ballet works will be presented on December 7, 2017 in VISIONS Contemporary Ballet’s 10-year anniversary performance, “Healing Works,” at Dixon Place.

Liza Prijatel Thors (IAC 88-89, IAA 93-94) was appointed Vice President of Communications for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She will begin her tenure on Jan. 2.

Dr. Scott Lefurgy (AS 88, IAC/NMC 90-93, IAC St 94) teaches chemistry and biochemistry at Hofstra University, where he was recently tenured and promoted to Associate Professor. He will sing the role of Germont in a production of La Traviata with Regina Opera, Brooklyn, NY, in November 2017. He appeared with the Clarion Choir of New York City on the 2017 Grammy-nominated album Passion Week.

Doug Hirlinger (IAA 92-94) has been selected as one of three jazz artists-in-residence at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

Amanda Mountain (IAA 92-96, IAC St 96, IAC Fac 00-02, IAA St 05-06) recently moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and is now Associate Director of Development at McCurdy Ministries Community Center in Espanola.

Jayson Kerr Dobney (IAC 94) was appointed as the Frederick P. Rose Curator in Charge of Musical Instruments at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in July of 2017.

Meredith K. Marder (IAC 94-97, IAA 97-01) has been selected as one of Arizona's top 100 attorneys and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from America's Top 100 Attorneys.

Lesley Skousen (IAC 94, IAA 94-97) joined the faculty of The Chicago Academy for the Arts.

Lisa Steltenpohl (IAC 97-98) now plays viola with the Baltimore Symphony.

Matthew Odell (IAC 97, IAC St 99) completed a European tour of concerts, lectures and master classes in France, Spain and England in March. Highlights included a solo recital at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, a vocal recital with soprano Rosa Tamarit at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, and a lecture on the music of Messiaen and a masterclass for pianists and singers at the Universitat de Barcelona in Spain. Matthew Odell teaches at The Juilliard School.

Caitlin Mundth Abraham (IAA 97-99) is featured in the new documentary Salt Water, which also features Desmond Richardson, among others.

Courtney (Gyves) Foley (IAC 99-01, 03) is currently employed as the Executive Director of Events and Special Projects for Netflix.

Jacqueline Pollauf (IAC 01) recently published "Fauré Songs," a set of five songs originally written for voice and piano, here transcribed for voice and harp, through Vanderbilt Music Company.

Keitaro Harada (IAA 02-04, IAC 03) will conduct George Bizet’s Carmen at the Sofia Opera.

Davone Tines (IAC 04) stars as “Ned” in the new John Adams opera Girls of the Golden West, which premiered on Nov. 21.

Sarah Tate (IAA 04-05) is now Conflicts Staff Attorney at Frost Brown Todd.

Adam Arango (IAA 04-05) accepted a position as Assistant Director of Development at All Stars Project, Inc.

Claudie Mabry (IAC 05-07, IAC St 11) accepted a job with Center for Court Innovation. She will be managing a project focused on community engagement strategies through communities in New York City.

Weston Jennings (IAC 07-08, IAA 08-09, IAC St 10-11, 13) is now the organist and music director at First Presbyterian Church in Tyler, Texas.

Ari Axelrod (IAC 10) performed a one-man show at Feinstein's/54 Below on Oct. 28.

Chad Eric Murnane (IAA 07-09) will be a full-time Casting Director at Binder Casting beginning in January.

David Koch (IAA 10-11) graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec with a Masters in Trumpet Performance in May 2017. Koch also participated in the Music Academy of the West 2017 in Santa Barbara, California for 8 weeks, and has taken the position of the Principal Trumpet of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra for the 2017-2018 season.

Elmer Churampi (IAC 10, IAA 10-13) was named one of this year’s El Mundo Boston Latino 30 Under 30.

Cristina Cutts Dougherty (IAC 13-15, IAA 13-15, IAC St 14) won second prize in the brass division of the 31st Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition.