Motifs: September/October 2017

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Paul H Kirby's (AS 61, IAC/NMC 62-63, UNIV 64) composition, "The Night of the Secretary General," a one-person music drama, will be presented Oct. 21 and 22 in New York City, a joint sponsorship of Music at Our Saviour's Atonement Lutheran Church and the Musicians Club of New York. James Parks will perform the role of Dag Hammarskjöld. Further information can be found on the websites of MOSA and MCNY.

Valerie Gilbert (IAC/NMC 72-75, 77-78) released her fourth book. “Brilliance Brewing: A Meditation on Change” follows “Raving Violet,” “Memories, Dreams and Deflections: My Odyssey Through Emotional Indigestion” and “Swami Soup.” All four books are nonfiction memoir, with a focus on personal growth, spirituality and mysticism. A NYC native and Harvard graduate, Valerie combines humor with insight to explore the ins and outs of her path to offer inspiration to others wanting to plumb their own depths and heights.

Cristle Collins Judd (UNIV 79, IAC St 80-81, 83, IAC Fac 05) will be inaugurated as the 11th president of Sarah Lawrence College on Oct. 6, 2017.

William Friedson (IAA 80-81), pianist-composer, is showing audiences a new wave in merging classical and jazz. Mr. Friedson’s compositions have been performed in both U.S. and Canada. He lived in New York for 10 years, where he earned his masters in composition from Manhattan School of Music. In 1994, he was commissioned to compose new music for An Evening of Russian Poetry for NYU poet laureate Yevgeny Yevtushenko. He continues to be commissioned for his music.

Dawn Dreisbach (IAA 81-85) is presenting about special education at the annual conference of the Arts School Network. Her talk is titled, "'...and then what happened?' Teaching Narrative to Students with Autism." While Dawn is sad to miss the alumni reunion, she will be staying with Barbara Seiler Shaterian (IAA 82-85) during the conference. Definitely a chance for some late night giggles.

Johanna (Drasner) Haban (IAC/NMC 85-87, IAA 87-91) retired from teaching college English to deaf students in 2009 due to disability. She will graduate from University College, Cork, Ireland in spring 2018 with a first-class honors Master of Arts in Gaelic Literature, despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis while writing her dissertation. She will also celebrate her 10-year wedding anniversary to Paul Haban in Oct. 2017; they live in southern California (for now) with their cats and her frogs.

Samuel Hall (IAC/NMC 89, IAA 89-90) left his 20+ year IT career at the end of 2015 to return to singing. Hall will be make his role debut as the title character in Gounod’s Faust with the St. Petersburg Opera in October.

Rose Freymuth-Frazier (IAA 95-96) will be exhibiting six new figurative paintings in the exhibition Figure 8 at Gallery Victor Armendariz in Chicago, Illinois opening Sept. 8, 2017. The exhibition will include her largest work to date, "Horsemen of the Metropolis," a multi-figured, 60" x 90" canvas. Freymuth-Frazier lives and works in New York City.

Claire Suddath (IAC 96) had an article, “Is Midlife Crisis Real? Economists and Psychologists Can’t Agree” published in Bloomberg.

Emma Gerstein (IAC 97-02) recently joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as second flute.

Aaron Diehl (IAC 99-00) will perform the Gershwin Rhapsodies with the Amarillo Symphony during the ensemble’s first concert of the 2017-18 season. Fellow alumnus Jacomo Bairos (IAC 91-93, IAA 91-94) is the Symphony’s Music Director.

Julia Mortyakova (IAA 99-00) was recently named 2017 "Honored Artist" by the Mississippi State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Music by Women Festival, an international event dedicated to highlighting the contributions of women composers past and present.

Corey Ames (AS 00-02) was named a quarterfinalist for the Grammy’s Music Educator of the Year award.

Sara Noble (IAC 01-04) was selected for the inaugural class of women opera administrators in the newly-expanded Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors and Administrators at The Dallas Opera.

Katie Johannigman (IAC 01-05) has accepted a position as Visiting Adjunct Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre at her alma mater, the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.

Rachel Eskenazi-Gold (IAC 03-09, IAA 10-11, IAC St 11) made her New York City solo concert debut in “I Blame You: It's Your Fault I'm Doing This Show” at Feinstein’s/45 Below on Oct. 1. Eskenazi-Gold also plays Christine in select performances of The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.

Christopher Newlun (IAC 05, IAA 06-10, IAC St 10) attended Manhattan School of Music as an English Horn major and Pratt Institute for his Masters in Arts and Cultural Management. Newlun worked as Manager of Scheduling at MSM, as General Manager of Shattered Glass, as an Orchestra Manager at Aspen Summer Music Festival and School, and is now the Director of Operations and Librarian at the Erie Philharmonic in Pennsylvania.

Evita (Sonner) Jovic (IAA 07-09) and her husband, Stevan Jovic, published their guitar history book, "Gitara kroz vekove" (Guitar Through the Centuries) in June of 2017.

Lydia Winn (IAA 07-11) will pursue a PhD in Philosophy at Boston College beginning Fall 2017 and will serve as a research and teaching fellow for the program.

Taylor Fernandez (IAA 12-14, IAC St 14) won first prize in the 20th annual John Lennon Scholarship program for her song “Tomorrow Will Be Yesterday.” As the winner of the competition, Fernandez received a $10,000 scholarship, which she will split with her writing partner.