News briefs: Jan/Feb 2017

Interlochen is sad to report the passing of Bob Radock (IAC 65-67, IAA 68-69, ICA St 75-76, Trustee Emeritus) on Jan. 13 in Nashville, Tennessee, of advanced dementia. His sons Brian and Scott were with him. He was 65. “There was no greater advocate for Interlochen than Bob, and the Interlochen community shall miss his boundless enthusiasm and infectious spirit,” said Interlochen President Jeffrey Kimpton.

Matthew VanBesian (IAC/NMC 87) has been named the new president of the University of Michigan’s University Musical Society. VanBesian, who is currently the president of the New York Philharmonic, will leave the orchestra on May 1 and begin his duties as the president of the University Music Society in July.

Cecilia Munoz (AS 75-77, IAC/NMC 79) will serve as the vice president for policy and technology for social advocacy group New America, effective April 1. Munoz was previously the a senior White House official under the Obama administration.

Richard Brooks (IAA 78-80) will appear as his former Law and Order character Paul Robinette in an upcoming episode of the new NBC series Chicago Justice. Brooks will appear in the episode titled “Uncertainty Principle,” which will air sometime this spring.

Peter T. Kjome (IAC/NMC 80-82, 84; IAA 82-85) was appointed the president CEO of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, effective Feb. 1. Kjome was previously the president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Symphony, a position he has held since 2008. Before joining the Grand Rapids Symphony, Kjome worked in finance and management at 3M and also played in the Symphony’s oboe section for several years.

Elizabeth Marvel (IAC/NMC 82-83, IAA 83-87) will portray the president of the United States in the upcoming season of the Showtime thriller Homeland.

Zach Dean (IAA 88-92, IAC/NMC 82-87, IAC St 88-90, 93) will script a film adaptation of ’60s rock promoter Bill Graham’s autobiography, Bill Graham: My Life Inside Rock and Out. Dean recently scripted several other films, which are in various stages of production: Voyagers, 24 Hours to Live, Atlantic Wall, Methuselah and Beast.

Casting has been announced for a new play by Sarah Ruhl (IAC 87-88, 90) which will open on March 20 at the Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in New York City. How to Transcend a Happy Marriage has an award-winning cast that includes Lena Hall, Marisa Tomei, David McElwee and more.

Dwjuan Fox (IAA 87-89) co-produced a film that will be premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. The film, XX, is a horror anthology of four short films that were all written and directed by women. XX opens Sunday, Jan. 22 at the Library Center Theatre with additional screenings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert congratulated Interlochen Alumni siblings Damian Kulash Jr. (IAC 87-89, 91-92) and Trish Sie (IAC 84-88) for winning the Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Award for Visual Arts for their work on the OK Go music video "Upside Down & Inside Out."

Brit Marling (IAC 92) is the creator and leading actress of the new Netflix series The OA. The series, which debuted on Dec. 16, follows the seven-year journey of a young blind woman who returns home after seven years missing—able to see. Marling’s past works include Sound of My Voice, Another Earth, and The East.

Rob Rokicki (IAC 96-97) wrote the music and lyrics for a new stage adaptation of Rick Riordan’s popular young adult novel, The Lightning Thief. The production opens in March at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City and features rising star Chris McCarrell. Rokicki and stage adaptor Joe Tracz were recently interviewed in Playbill about their new project.

Al Silber (IAC 95-99, IAA 99-01, IAC St 01-02) has joined the cast of the world premiere of a stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. Silber will be portraying Countess Andrenyi in the production, which opens March 14 at the McCarter Theatre Center.

Ashley Fure (IAA 98-00) was featured in the New York Time’s article “A History of Classical Music (The Women-Only Version)” in December. Fure’s piece "Bound to the Bow," as performed by the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra at the NY Phil Biennial, was selected as The New Yorker music critic Alex Ross’s Current Obsessions.

Alexander Michaels (IAA 00-02, IAC 97-00) will appear as a contestant on the upcoming season RuPaul’s Drag Race under his stage name, Alexis Michelle.

Interlochen Trustee Stanford Thompson (IAC 00-03, IAC St 05-06, 08) was named one of 15 2017 TED Fellows. As a part of the TED Fellowship, Thompson will speak at an upcoming TED event in Vancouver, Canada in April. Thompson is a trumpeter, music entrepreneur and the founder of Play On, Philly!

Josh Lederman (IAA 02-03, IAC 00-01) has been assigned to cover foreign policy in the Trump Administration for the Associated Press. Lederman had previously been assigned to cover President Obama and the White House.

Michael Thurber (IAA 03-05, IAC 05-06) composed the music and lyrics for a new musical, The Booty Call. The musical will be featured in the sixth annual Roundabout Underground Reading Series by the Roundabout Theatre Company. The five-day event features new works written and directed by up-and-coming artists. The Booty Call will be read on Jan. 13 at the Black Box Theatre at The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre.

The Accidentals, featuring alumnae Savannah Buist (IAA 12-13) and Katie Larson (IAC 05, 08-12, IAA 12-14), have been signed by Sony Music Masterworks. The group will release their major-label debut in the spring.

Interlochen Arts Academy students Joshua McClendon (IAC 10-15, IAA 15-), cello, and Matthew Scott (IAC 14-15, IAA 14-), as well as Interlochen Arts Camp alumnus Ruben Rengel (IAC 09-10), violin, have been selected as semifinalists in the 2017 Sphinx Competition. McClendon, Scott and Rengel will participate in the live semifinal and final rounds of competition on Feb. 8-12.

Philip Sinder (IAC Fac 05-15) received the International Tuba Euphonium Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Sinder serves full-time on the faculty at Michigan State University and has spent ten summers as a Valade Fellow at Interlochen Arts Camp. Sinder is the second recipient of the award; in its first year, the award was given to fellow Interlochen Arts Camp tuba instructor David Zerkel (IAC Fac 09, 11-15) of the University of Georgia.

Several recent graduates and current students of Interlochen Arts Academy’s theatre program have developed the Doghouse Ensemble Theatre to continue the work they began together at Interlochen. Founded by Julia Steenstra (IAA 13-16), Mark Mazzarella (IAA 12-16) and Yoni Weiss (IAA 13-16), the ensemble features the talents of more than ten other Interlochen Arts Academy alumni and current students. Doghouse Ensemble Theatre’s next production, Shakespeare Translate: Romeo and Juliet, will be performed in New York on Feb. 10.