Pomona College Music Department Gazette
Spring 2022 – vol. 30/no. 2
April is here and the Music Department is steaming towards the semester’s finish line. We have already been treated to a number of fantastic performances by two of our department ensembles (orchestra and jazz ensemble), by many of our full-time and applied music faculty, and by two senior music majors (Kat Burgstahler ’22 and Andrew Zhao ’22). We are grateful to all of them, to those who will perform in the coming weeks, and to our audiences who remain both steadfast and enthusiastic in their support of our concerts.
Looking ahead, at the end of this academic year we will see the departure of two faculty colleagues, Jack Sanders(guitar) and Gregg Geiger (voice), and the arrival of new colleague, Malachai Bandy, who will fill the position in historical musicology held until 2018 by Professor Emeritus Bill Peterson. Jack’s 42 outstanding years of extraordinary service and Malachai’s arrival will both be featured in our next gazette.
Last spring we began the process of renovating the music library on the second floor of Thatcher. After spending months culling the collection with the expert assistance of Holly Gardinier and moving it into storage, the space underwent a major facelift, a process that took about eight weeks. The library remains mostly empty save our study tables and a few computers as our much-awaited bookshelves have yet to arrive. In the interim, the students have had access to a lovely study room. It’s going to feel small when we put back all of the materials we have! Let’s hope we can unveil the completed space in the next issue of the gazette. In the meantime, check out the photos on the back page showing before, during, and after shots.
Finally, we congratulate our 2022 graduates and wish them well: Kat Burgstahler, Derek Jin, Kahale Naehu-Ramos, Jack Sculz-Donnell, Ilana Shapiro, Anna Sipowicz, Sean Smith, Erin Tallman, Sara Uehara, and Andrew Zhao. The place won’t be the same without them around.
– Donna M. Di Grazia, Department Chair
Professor Gibb Schreffler’s AMERICAN MARITIME MUSICAL WORLDS class traveled to the Port of Los Angeles and went to sea on the brigantine Irving Johnson. While aboard, students experienced the practical application of chanties and other sailor work-songs historically used to coordinate hauling on the lines that set and maneuver sails.
Students from Professor Genevieve Feiwen Lee’s studio will present an evening of PIANO ENSEMBLE works on April 2 with a program of 4-hand and 2-piano duets, and Tom Flaherty’s piece “for many hands” entitled Time’s Up.
The POMONA COLLEGE BAND has been rehearsing mostly outdoors this semester in preparation for their concerts on April 22 and 24 on the front patio of Little Bridges. The program features new arrangements of four piano works by Robert Schumann created by associate conductor Stephen Klein. Works by Cabézon, Holst, Mozart, and Vaughan Williams will round out the program. The ensemble’s November concert featured a new work by Jack Stamp and music by Henry Fillmore, Frank Ticheli, and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
After its successful concerts in December 2021 featuring the music of Florence Price, Harry T. Burleigh (arranged for SATB chorus by their conductor Donna M. Di Grazia ), and Margaret Bonds, among others, the POMONA COLLEGE CHOIR continues to forge ahead working on its spring program despite the pandemic restrictions that remain in place: six-feet distancing, masks, and testing three times per week. Their resilience and commitment to music making has been unwavering, and their efforts this semester will result in performances with the Pomona College Orchestra on April 15 and 17 of Francis Poulenc’s Exultate Deo, and Gabriel Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine and Requiem. It will be the first PCC/PCO collaboration since April 2019.
Back in person for the first time since March 2020 (last year’s Glee Club was online, except for a late semester outdoor recording of our program from the steps of Frary and Little Bridges), the 2022 POMONA COLLEGE GLEE CLUB led by Donna M. Di Grazia is hard at work on music for its series of concerts in late April and May. The 21 singers in this year’s ensemble are working valiantly to make up for time lost when the College started the semester online, and they are doing well. In addition to their usual concerts, they are also honored to be singing for the memorial service of Professor Emeritus Robert Herman in early April. Bob and his beloved Carol met in Pomona’s choral program when they were students and remained staunch supporters of it for decades following his retirement. At the end of the term, the Glee Club will welcome back close to a dozen alumni members who graduated in 2020 and 2021 to sing with this year’s ensemble at the College’s “Take Two” celebration for 2020 and 2021 graduates. This event will keep the 2022 ensemble in Southern California for its annual tour; details of where it will sing during the week of 16-20 May will be listed on the ensemble’s website as they become available.
POMONA COLLEGE JAZZ ENSEMBLE, led by Barb Catlin, offered their March concert on the front steps of Little Bridges on a sunny Tuesday afternoon. The program featured groups and combos from the ensemble, one of which included Professor Joti Rockwell on mandolin. The ensemble’s late-April program, The Rolling Stones Project, will feature music by the eponymous rock band as arranged by New York jazz saxophonist Tim Ries (who tours with the Stones) and orchestrated by pianist Matt Harris. The concert will feature guest saxophonist and LA phenom Iban Lee.
Eric Lindholm and the POMONA COLLEGE ORCHESTRA have returned to live performance this academic year, adapting creatively to spacing requirements and rotating through unusual rehearsal and performance venues. The October program, which included music by Fanny Hensel, Chen Yi, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev, was presented in Bridges Auditorium, marking the orchestra’s first concerts on that stage in at least 30 years. For the November program, the orchestra rehearsed in Edmunds Ballroom of the Smith Campus Center, and split its string sections in half to be able to fit performances in its usual space, the Bridges Hall of Music stage. That program featured music by Beethoven, Rossini, Brahms, and the rarely heard Swanwhite suite by Sibelius. More Sibelius graced the March program in the form of the magnificent Violin Concerto, thanks to the victory by Megan Chang ’23 in the Department’s annual concerto competition. Also on the March program was a new piece by Tom Flaherty called Social Harmony and a suite of songs by Florence Price, sung beautifully by Melissa Givens and orchestrated by Professor Lindholm. Spacing considerations forced the woodwind section onto the floor in front of the stage, a challenge they responded to with remarkable vigor, flexibility, and musicianship.
POMONA COLLEGE BALINESE GAMELAN ENSEMBLE GIRI KUSUMA, under the leadership of directors I Nyoman and Nanik Wenten, will offer their spring performance on Monday, May 2 in Bridges Hall of Music and plan to feature special guest I Made Lasmawan, artistic director of the Colorado College gamelan ensemble.
POMONA COLLEGE AFRO-CUBAN MUSIC ENSEMBLE, Joe Addington, director, has been busy with rehearsals preparing for their 8 p.m. April 25 performance, which will be in Little Bridges this semester in order to adhere to the College’s pandemic protocols.
Alfred Cramer, Associate Professor, is in his second year as the Music Department’s Coordinator for Applied Music. In addition to moving forward with an online registration system to serve the Department’s record number of students taking music lessons, he is involved with projects such as the renovation of the Victor Montgomery Music Library on the second floor of Thatcher. His current scholarly projects include the development of a common theoretical framework for the phonological description of musical melody and linguistic intonation and a study of the genesis and cultural meanings of Woody Guthrie’s song This Land Is Your Land.
Along with her co-founders, Adrien Tishkowitz Redford ’14 and Hayden Eberhart ’07, Professor and Department Chair Donna M. Di Grazia is working on bringing their choral ensemble PRISM back to the concert stage after a two-year hiatus imposed by the pandemic. To that end, the ensemble recently received a $6,000 grant from the Sparkplug Foundation for a performance in September 2022. Concert details will be updated on the ensemble’s website as they become available. Her chapter on Franz Liszt as a conductor in Liszt in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2022) is available online for anyone who has library access through the Honnold online catalog.
In February, Professor Tom Flaherty’s piece Release, performed by The Smudges (Jeff Gauthier, violin and Maggie Parkins, cello), was released on The Smudges’s new album Song and Call (Cryptogramophone Records); early this spring, acclaimed guitarist Aaron Large-Caplan included Flaherty’s Steps and Leaps on his recent US tour. On campus, Tom’s works are also being performed with the recent premiere of Social Harmony by the Pomona College Orchestra, and with the Piano Ensemble’s performance of Time’s Up this April.
Tom’s newest album of electro-acoustic music, Mixed Message, is slated for release this June (New Focus Recordings) and includes performances by Genevieve Feiwen Lee, Maggie Parkins, Cynthia Fogg, and Sarah Thornblade, along with Mark Winges, organ, the Eclipse Quartet, pianist Vicki Ray, and The Smudges.
Assistant Professor Melissa Givens continues her leave this semester. In addition to singing Eric Lindholm’s wonderful arrangement of selected Florence Price songs with the PCO in March, she is preparing for performances in Riverside and Los Angeles, and for a lecture for the San Francisco Opera on Verdi’s epic Requiem. As she awaits the release of her album, The Artist at 50, on the Centaur label this summer, she continues to research unpublished and overlooked art songs by Black composers.
Professor Genevieve Feiwen Lee performed last November with violinist Fritz Gearhart at the University of Oregon’s School of Music and Dance as part of Gearhart’s 2021-22 Beethoven violin sonata cycle. The two also performed as part of the Redfish Music Festival’s Off-Season concerts in Port Orford, Oregon. In January Genevieve returned to the University of Oregon to give a public chamber music masterclass to student groups, and to work individually with undergraduate and graduate music students.
On campus this March, Genevieve will perform a four-hand work by Gao Ping with Brian Hsu. Later in May she and violinist Sarah Thornblade will appear on the Friday Noon Concert series to play works of Beethoven and Copland.
Postponed from February to April, a marathon celebration of Frederic Rzewski will include two pieces performed by Genevieve. The celebration, hosted by LA new music organization Piano Spheres, will take place at the Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles.
Professor Eric Lindholm has continued his work with the Pomona College Orchestra, which included orchestrating a suite of songs by Black American composer Florence Price and inviting Tom Flaherty to write a new piece for the ensemble, Social Harmony. He is also serving on the College’s Sustainability Committee.
Joti Rockwell, Associate Professor, co-authored an article with Teerapaun Tanprasert ’21 entitled “Sounding Thai: Instrumental Translation, Language-Melody Correlation, and Vocal Expressivity in Thai Sakon Music from the 2010s.” The article is published in the most recent volume of the journal Analytical Approaches to World Music. This spring, he completes his year as a Faculty Fellow in Pomona College’s Humanities Studio, where he is working on a project about motion in music and focusing on the pedal steel guitar. In March, he performed Bach’s Suite in D Minor (BWV 1008) and Sonata in C Major (BWV 1005) on mandola and mandolin at the “Known and Understood” exhibition in the Benton Museum of Art.
Associate Professor Gibb Schreffler’s decades-long ethnographic research on hereditary- professional drummers of the Punjab region is brought together in a new book, Dhol: Drummers, Identities, and Modern Punjab (University of Illinois Press, 2021). He spoke about the book, his journey to learning the dhol drum, and current challenges facing Punjabi traditional drummers on The Bhangra Podcast.
Gibb has also been working on two research projects concerning the history and form of the nineteenth-century chanty song genre. The first employs historiography to uncover the poorly remembered multiracial labor force that sang while loading cotton on ships, to elucidate the process by which European seamen acculturated to African- American work-singing methods. The second employs musical analysis to recover the forgotten, original rhythm of the famous song Shenandoah, which, before its early- twentieth-century transformation by music publishers, concert choirs, and folk singers, had exclusively coordinated group-work tasks aboard sailing ships.
Performance faculty member/luthier Jack Sanders built this guitar and case, patterned after a Jean Voboam guitar built in 1688 and held in the private collection of novelist Jonathan Kellerman, for use by Pomona students and faculty to practice and perform seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music. The materials used in the guitar include a European soundboard, Indian rosewood with maple strips for the sides, Swiss pear and rosewood for the back, and a black-stained maple neck. Holly, ebony, maple, and bone were used for decoration on the soundboard and headstock. It also features a Macassar ebony fingerboard and headstock veneer, with individually lathe-turned pegs of Macassar ebony, and with a genuine parchment “wedding cake” rose in the soundhole.
Flutist and performance faculty member Rachel Rudich is the featured artist on the new album release Karl Kohn Encounters – Complete Works For Flute (Bridge 9566A/B). According to the album notes: “Karl Kohn is represented on this impressive two-disc set by all of his solo and chamber music for flute. ...Though he has spent seven decades working in California, the 95-year-old composer writes, “I am struck how it seems to reflect, first, my Viennese musical heritage, and then my training in a neo- classical tradition.”” Pomona College faculty members who joined Rudich on the recording are Gayle Blankenburg (piano) and Jack Sanders (guitar).
Graydon Beeks’s article “Jenny Lind, Händel and Halle” appeared in February 2022 in Feuerwerk und Hallelujah, a book published to celebrate the centennial of the annual Handel Festival in Halle, Germany, the composer’s birthplace.
In addition to keeping up with his composing schedule, Karl Kohn can be heard performing four of his works for flute and piano with Rachel Rudich on the recently released recording, Karl Kohn Encounters.
William Peterson recently completed a paper, “Political Dreams and Musical Themes in the 1918–22 Formation of Czechoslovakia: Interaction of National and Global Forces,” with his brother James W. Peterson (Professor Emeritus, Valdosta State University). Their work was presented at the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies/58th Annual Meeting in late February.
Becca Blyn (HMC ’22), a euphonium student of Stephen Klein, participated in the Intercollegiate Band at the Northwestern / Western Divisional Conference of the College Band Directors National Association held in Tacoma, Washington in March. She will also be the soloist with the Pomona College Band in the first movement of W.A. Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in B-flat Major, K. 191, in concerts on April 22 and 24.
Violinist Megan Chang ’23 was the 2021 winner of the Pomona College Orchestra Concerto Competition. A student of Todor Pelev, she performed Sibelius’s Violin Concerto at the orchestra’s most recent concerts on March 4 and 6. Megan is majoring in molecular biology and is an avid chamber musician, having performed works by Johannes Brahms and Oliver Dubon ’20 with other students in the Music Department’s student recitals.
Matthew Cook ’20 performed the role of The Traveller in the University of Southern California Opera’s production of Benjamin Britten’s Curlew River in November 2021.
Composer Oliver Dubon’s ’20 work Welcome was premiered last October by the Ónix Ensamble in Mexico City as part of the RED NOTE New Music Festival Composition Workshop. He recently finished an artist’s residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna, Florida, studying under Timo Andres. While there, he worked on a new commission from pianist Anthony Ratinov to be premiered at the Yale School of Music next fall.
Anatolia Maya Evarkiou-Kaku ’13 earned a Master of Music in flute performance (with distinction) from DePaul University School of Music, and is currently pursuing a post- master’s graduate certificate. She is active in the Chicago area as a performer, most notably with the 5th Wave Collective. As a DePaul Community Music Division Teaching Artist, she coaches flutists of all levels across several Chicago public schools. She has also taught at The People’s Music School and Logos Christian Academy, and maintains a small private studio.
Brendon Randall-Myers ’09 is developing a new album- length work for cello and electronics with cellist/composer/improviser Jillian Blythe. Earlier this spring he was in residence with the electric guitar quartet Dither at Princeton. Future performances and projects include premiering a new song cycle by Josh Henderson at the University of Iowa; a new set of music for guitar, synths, and sound-reactive light/video with composer/electronics artist Phong Tran as part of a residency with ICE; and David Lang’s song cycle death speaks (with vocalist Shara Nova) at the Bang on a Can Long Play Festival on May 1. His compositions continue to receive performances throughout North America, including the premiere of his flail by the modular synth duo Retcon at the Bang on the Can Long Play Festival, and Grounding // Sparks by Warp Trio at the 2022 Cleveland Uncommon Festival in June. Aveilut, his microtonal black metal record with Doug Moore of Pyrrhon, will be released on The Flenser label in mid-July.
Alexander Cannon’s ’05 new book, Seeding the Tradition: Musical Creativity in Southern Vietnam, will be published next month by Wesleyan University Press. The project was supported by a 2021 publication AMS 75 PAYS subvention from the American Musicological Society. In the book, Alex examines notions of creativity used by Vietnamese musicians to sustain interest in traditional music and to rejuvenate debates concerning Vietnamese identity in an increasingly cosmopolitan and globalized Vietnam. He has researched over the past decade the changing nature of traditional music practice in southern Vietnam, primarily studying the genre đờn ca tài tử, a “music for diversion,” also called the “music of talented amateurs.” His next project will examine the impact of climate and environmental change on music practice among Vietnamese and Khmer Krom musicians of the Mekong Delta. Alex is Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Birmingham (UK).
Megan Kaes Long ’08 was named the winner of the 2021 Wallace Berry Award by the Society for Music Theory for her book, Hearing Homophony: Tonal Expectation at the Turn of the Seventeenth Century (Oxford University Press, 2020). The award is given for the most distinguished book published in the previous calendar year by an author at any stage of their career.
Eleen Hsu-Wentlandt ’00 played Miss Prism in the world premiere performances of The Importance of Being Earnest, A Wilde New Musical by Brett Simmons and David Howard at the Torrance Theatre Company in December 2021.
Margaret Hunter ’00 appears as soprano soloist with the ensemble Capella de la Torre under the direction of Katharina Bäuml on the recording Praetorius dances (deutsche harmonia mundi 19439849172).
Will Giamona ’97 performed the roles of Molotov in CHESS in Concert in September 2021 and Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm in A Little Night Music in November at 42nd Street Moon in San Francisco.
Lucas Harris ’96 performed on theorbo and guitar when he joined Jordi Savall and Le Concert des Nations on their spring tour, which included performances in La Jolla at St. James by-the-Sea, at Santa Barbara’s Lobero Theatre, on UC Berkeley’s Cal Performances series, and as part of Seattle’s Early Music series, among others. The program included music from the award-winning film Tous les matins du monde.
Carlo Caballero ’89 has been promoted to the rank of Professor of Music at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His most recent book, Fauré Studies, which he co-edited with Stephen Rumph, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2021.
Bonny Hough Miller ’75 received Honorable Mention for the 2021 H. Robert Cohen/RIPM Award given by the American Musicological Society for her book Augusta Browne: Composer and Woman of Letters in Nineteenth-Century America (University of Rochester Press, 2020). The award honors a work of scholarship of exceptional merit based upon eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century periodical literature related to music.
Robin Kunert Sacolick ’74 has just published her second article on the quantum tactics of twentieth-century El Salvadorean composer and ethnomusicologist Maria de Baratta’s ballet Nahualismo, in UC Riverside’s Diagonal music journal. Dr. Sacolick teaches Music in World Cultures at San Jose State University, having previously taught at the University of Arizona. She also once taught the Grateful Dead course at UC Santa Cruz, to her delight. Dr. Sacolick received an M.A. in piano in 2005 from Cal State East Bay and a Ph.D. in Latin American Culture and Music in 2016 from UC Santa Cruz.
We hope you will share your music-specific happenings
with us for our next Music Gazette.
Submit to: email@example.com
Please email broader life submissions to the PC Magazine at: