Spring 2023 Music Gazette


As I write, the Pomona Music Department is well through a semester of exciting courses, senior presentations, and many performances featuring guests, faculty, and students. You can read about many of these within this newsletter. I particularly want to mention some of the courses. In addition to our core offerings such as Engaging Music (an introduction to historical ways of thinking about music), Music Theory I and III, and others, we have Gibb Schreffler’s Music in Punjabi Culture as well as an advanced history seminar, Music and the Art of Eloquence, taught by Malachai Bandy; and I’m enjoying another time through Perception, Cognition, and the History of Sound
     Every year hundreds of students take part in the Department’s educational programs—performance ensembles, classroom courses, private vocal or instrumental lessons. That’s a lot of students (as well as audience members) ready and waiting to be drawn into a learning community. Fortunately, music builds community in many ways. You can witness it in our classrooms—students at the Claremont Colleges are wonderfully collaborative and supportive of each other. It goes without saying that communities are being built when our ensembles work on performing together. And communities are nurtured when performers and many others gather outside Lyman Hall or Little Bridges to share the joy after a successful concert. 
     One more community focal point is the Victor Montgomery Music Library. Read about it in this issue of the Gazette.
     And read about the many and varied pursuits of our alumni. Much of what you will read here is news about alumni in the music profession. But the Music Department knows that the thousands of alumni who have participated in music at Pomona carry their experience and their learning forward in all walks of life. Please keep in touch!

– Alfred Cramer, Department Chair


The Music Department welcomes Niloufar Shiri, the 2023 Barbara B. Smith ’42 Visiting Artist, for engagements across the semester. Hailing from Tehran, Iran, Shiri will teach kamancheh, as well as enrich the community with her knowledge of Persian music theory and her compositional work blending traditional Iranian music with noise and electronics. A performance in the Ussachevsky Festival of Electroacoustic Music Festival in February and a feature with the UCSB Middle East Ensemble on April 15 bookend a series of class visits, teaching sessions, and performances. For details on these activities, contact Prof. Schreffler.

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The Department was pleased to host pianist William Chapman Nyaho for a campus concert after he taught for Professor Lee during her spring 2021 sabbatical. He presented solo works by composers from Africa and the African diaspora and Genevieve joined him in three duets.

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Here is what was happening the other day when I popped into the Victor Montgomery Music Library to check on some materials I had left on reserve for one of my courses: 
     Rosy Falzon, senior music major and student library-staff member, cheerfully but intently working at the front desk. Gibb Schreffler, ethnomusicology faculty member, writing at a table. Two other students studying in the main library room. Four more students working together in the small seminar and listening room at the back of the library. Some but not all of these students had just participated in a writing session sponsored by the faculty’s new music historian, Malachai Bandy. 
     All I could think was: “The Library is back!
     The Victor Montgomery Music Library has been a center of Department life ever since Thatcher opened in 1970. Its magnificent window, with its view over Marston Quad, is one reason. The large, sturdy wooden tables and chairs that encourage students to work communally—and allow them to spread out—are another. (Funds given by Pomona trustee and Southern California arts benefactor Gladys K. Montgomery in memory of her husband Victor paid for that furniture.) Over the years, the Department has celebrated many of its graduating seniors at receptions in the Library. And at one time or another many groups of students have found ways to make the space their own, through large stuffed animals, irreverent signs about appropriate conduct, and so on. Once, a student in my first-year seminar with a work-study job in the library wrote an analysis of the whimsical entries in the librarians’ log-book.
     Of course, we must not forget the main point of the library. As a resource center that supports the educational mission of the Music Department, it is the home for a large collection of books, music, and recordings, and it provides a congenial place where students and faculty can study. The Pomona Music Department has over 2,000 books about music, over 2,000 study scores, and over 15,000 other pieces of printed music. It supports our teaching. The Claremont Colleges’ central Honnold-Mudd Library contains a larger collection suitable for research.
     In recent years the Music Library was looking well worn, to put it charitably, and its spaces—designed for a time when students studied for music courses by listening to vinyl records on turntables—needed updating. The renovation took place from 2020 to 2022, while the campus was emptied out for COVID-19. Supply-chain problems slowed its completion, but now the space is finished, better than ever. The grand window, which had always been bisected by a wall, now spreads across the north wall in its full 35-foot glory. The books live in ample new shelving a safe distance away on the opposite wall. Because of student demand, we kept the original tables and chairs, which have been resurfaced and refinished. (The library kept Victor Montgomery’s name, too.) We’ve added some soft chairs. Towards the end of the Fall semester, a student librarian decorated the tables with floral centerpieces (made of Legos). The place is inviting.
     The library is still a work in progress. A portrait of the marvelous composer William Grant Still painted by Tom Craig (Pomona class of 1934) was recently installed, but the walls are still a little bare. Some of the collection is still stored elsewhere in the building, and the collection needs an updated cataloging system. We have plenty of jobs for our new half-time department librarian. A search is under way. 
     Many thanks to all who worked on this project: Profs. Donna Di Grazia, Tom Flaherty, and Eric Lindholm; Sherrill Herring, Music Facilities General Manager; Holly Gardinier, recently retired Claremont Colleges performing arts librarian; former Pomona Dean Bob Gaines and Associate Dean David Tanenbaum; Bob Robinson and Brian Faber from Pomona’s Facilities Department; and Tim Stevens of Solomon Cordwell Buenz architects.

– Alfred Cramer


The POMONA COLLEGE BAND, conducted by Graydon Beeks, will perform concerts on April 21 and 23 featuring Gustav Holst’s Second Suite for Military Band and Gordon Jacob’s William Byrd Suite, as well as works by Michael Colgrass, Karl Kohn, Philip Sparke, and others. Rehearsals are back in Bridges Hall of Music, on Mondays and Wednesdays.

This spring the POMONA COLLEGE CHOIR, under the direction of Donna M. Di Grazia, is preparing four pieces for their collaborative performances with the Pomona College Orchestra. These performances, which will take place on April14 and 16, will feature two works that, to our knowledge, are West Coast premieres: Florence Price’s Song of Hope (given its world premiere by Ithaca College in March 2022) on a text by the composer herself, and Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s Hiob, a three-movement piece in the style of Bach on biblical texts from the Old Testament Book of Job. Complimenting these pieces are F. Joseph Haydn’s upbeat Te Deum in C Major, and Johannes Brahms’s Schicksalslied, the latter of which is on a secular text by the German Romantic poet, Friedrich Hölderlin. The Brahms is especially meaningful to some of the singers in the choir who had already started learning it in March 2020 when the pandemic sent everyone home.

The POMONA COLLEGE GLEE CLUB, also led by Professor Di Grazia, appeared at the Pacific Southwest Intercollegiate Choral Association’s annual festival, hosted this year by Cal State Long Beach, on March 4. PSICA was created in 1922 with Pomona as one of its three founding members; its first festival took place in 1924. There are currently 13 Southern California institutions in PSICA. Additional on-campus appearances by the Glee Club include their traditional performances in and around Alumni and Commencement weekends in April and May respectively. Immediately following Commencement, the ensemble will embark on the fourth international tour in its long history of educational travel and music-making. This year’s trip, to England and Scotland, will include performances in London (St. James Piccadilly), Cambridge (Trinity College), York (a benefit concert at St. Michael LeBelfrey for people experiencing homelessness), Durham (Durham Cathedral), St. Andrews (Holy Trinity Church)—a joint concert with the St. Andrews University Madrigal Group, and Edinburgh (St. Giles Cathedral). Their repertoire, both here on campus and on tour, will feature music by composers from the UK and America. Selections include pieces by the great English Renaissance composers William Byrd and Thomas Weelkes, for whom 2023 represents the 400th anniversary of their death, as well as works by Amy Beach, Elaine Hagenberg, David Hurd, Marques L.A. Garrett, Shawn Kirchner, Eric Whitacre, Moses Hogan, and others.

POMONA COLLEGE JAZZ ENSEMBLE, led by Barb Catlin, had a surprise guest conductor for their November concert when Barb was out ill—Wayne Bergeron, the internationally acclaimed trumpeter and Barb’s husband. This spring the ensemble has two concerts. The first was on March 7 and featured student arrangements by saxophonist Jasper Davidoff ’23 and Coleman Gliddon ’23 (HMC), with the full ensemble featured on swinging charts by Thad Jones and John Clayton, as well as a contemporary offering by Bob Mintzer. The ensemble’s second concert on April 28 is entitled Spaces, and features arrangements that explore open textures, through-composed forms, world music influences, and elements of Third Stream. Senior violinist Charlie Yun’23 and pianist Coleman Gliddon ’23 (HMC) will be featured on Maria Schneider’s tango-inspired, Choro Dancado. Alto saxophonist Dylan Yin ’23 will be highlighted on the delicate composition, Union by Mike Conrad, and Los Angeles jazz bassist and guest Sophia Augustine will be featured on the chorale-inspired Madelyn’s Song by Matt Harris and on an arrangement of The Peacocks by Esperanza Spaulding

Eric Lindholm and the POMONA COLLEGE ORCHESTRA, continue the gradual return to pre-COVID normalcy. Although masks are still required during rehearsals, spacing requirements have been relaxed, and the orchestra presented a full-blooded symphonic work of the late-nineteenth century for the first time since March 2020. This honor goes to the magnificent Symphony No. 7 in D Minor by Antonín Dvořák, celebrated by scholars as one of this composer’s finest achievements. The February program also included Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 2, with concerto competition winner Hannah Caris ’23, and the delightful overture to Otto Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. In April, the Pomona College Choir and the full orchestra will join forces for the first time in four years, in a program featuring music by Haydn, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Brahms, and Florence Price. On the recruiting front, more than 170 high-school students aspiring to join Pomona’s Class of 2027 have submitted application supplements on orchestral instruments, often showing a conservatory level of musicianship.

POMONA COLLEGE BALINESE GAMELAN ENSEMBLE Giri Kusuma, under the leadership of directors I Nyoman and Nanik Wenten, welcomed I Putu Danika Pryatna last fall, an expert in Balinese musical arts and an award-winning performer, educator, and composer. From Sading, Bali, he was taught drumming from his father, I Wayan Budha, and his uncle, I Nyoman Wenten.

The POMONA COLLEGE AFRO-CUBAN MUSIC ENSEMBLE, Joe Addington, director, has been busy with rehearsals preparing for their 8 p.m. April 24 performance, which will be back in Lyman Hall this semester.


Associate Professor and music theorist Alfred Cramer is serving as Chair of the Music Department this year, having served for the past two years as the Department’s inaugural Coordinator for Applied Music. While chair he is managing to move forward in small ways on a major research project on Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land. Other projects in the hopper include work on topics from the melodic codes of nineteenth-century Romanticism to early twentieth-century Expressionism. What all of this scholarship has in common is its emphasis on music’s structural and cognitive relationships to language. As a baroque violinist, Alfred joined with Pomona colleagues in the Cornucopia Baroque Ensemble for a Friday Noon Concert on March 24 performing the music of Locatelli, Handel, and Boismortier.

Assistant Professor Malachai Komanoff Bandy is enjoying an exhilarating spring full of performances and conferences up and down the West Coast and farther afield. In February, alongside early musicians Eva Lymenstull and Marisa DeSilva, Malachai gave a lecture-performance about symbolism and alchemical puzzle-canons titled “Mercurial Multimedia: Chasing Music and Image in Michael Maier’s Atalanta fugiens (1617)” at the Benton Museum of Art’s Captured Vision: Art/Science Colloquium. Following this, Malachai directed his ensemble Artifex Consort’s out-of-state debut in Feste Champêtre: Courtly Delicacies for Viols, Rustic and Refined, as part of the Taylor Johnston Early Music Series at Michigan State University. After playing violone in J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Bach Collegium San Diego in March and again with Musica Angelica in Los Angeles in April, in May Malachai will organize and perform in a viol-consort program for Tesserae Baroque. He will also lead viola da gamba workshops exploring connections between late-Renaissance musical rhetoric, compositional logic, and string articulation for three Viola da Gamba Society of America (VdGSA) regional chapters.
     Malachai presented a paper titled “Dismemberment and Devotion: Christ, Orpheus, and Viol Consort Mysticism in Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu nostri (BuxWV 75)” at the annual meeting of the Society for Christian Scholarship in Music, held at Duke University in March. In April he will present a second paper treating this general topic, titled “The Tortoise and The Herr: Buxtehude’s Viol Consort as Paracelsian Harmoniain Membra Jesu Nostri (BuxWV 75)” at the annual meeting of the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, held this year at the Cleveland Museum of Art and hosted by Case Western Reserve University. Finally, Malachai is thrilled to announce the recent publication of his article “‘With the base Viall placed between my Thighes’: Musical Instruments and Sexual Subtext in Titian’s Venus with Musician Series” in the journal Early Music (Oxford University Press)

Professor Donna M. Di Grazia continues to work with her PRISM co-directors on their next series of concerts, which are tentatively planned for early fall 2023 and February/March 2024. She is currently serving on two national committees: the American Choral Directors Association’s Julius Herford Dissertation Prize committee, and the Society for American Music’s Hampsong Education Fellowship in American Song committee.

Professor Tom Flaherty, coming off the 30th Ussachevsky Festival of Electroacoustic Music highlighted by music written by 15 composers and performed by 11 musicians—mostly faculty members—has been busy with many composing projects. Among his new works is a piece for organ four hands and four feet entitled Processional written for and premiered by William Peterson and Carey Robertson as the concluding piece on the duo’s March recital, and a work for mandola and viola to be premiered in April by Joti Rockwell and Cynthia Fogg. Among his not-as-new pieces being heard from the concert stage are Trio for Cello and Digital Processor with cellist Jeffrey Krieger in his program for the Desert Hot Springs Classical Concert Series Desert Crawl, and Internal States, which will also appear this fall on Brightwork newmusic’s soon-to-be-released recording.

Assistant Professor Melissa Givens made her Ussachevsky Festival debut this year performing Nor Hope, a piece for soprano and electronics by Wenbin Lyu. Last October she was a guest speaker for Dr. Fay the Vollrath’s 5th grade class at St. Rose Catholic School in Roseville, CA over Zoom. This visit came about after Dr. Vollrath, also an organist and college teacher, shared a video of Melissa singing pieces by Zenobia Powell Perry to her class, and how excited the students were to find out that Vollrath and Givens knew each other. Melissa shared that it was a great zoom gathering and the students were full of wonderful questions about music, singing, and being a musical professional. In February she was interviewed about her March 5th concert on 91.9 KVCR Radio’s “Musically Speaking” hosted by Margaret Worsley.

Professor Genevieve Feiwen Lee has recorded Kurt Rohde’s Famous Last Words, for speaking keyboard player and assorted items, in Bridges Hall of Music. The video was directed by Louis Ng and can be seen on YouTube. This recording was made possible with the support of a Pomona Faculty Research Grant.
     During the spring and fall of 2022, Genevieve performed several concerts with violinist Fritz Gearhart and cellist Andrew Smith as members of the Redfish Piano Trio as part of the off-season Redfish Music Festival. The performances were held in Berwick Hall at the University of Oregon in Eugene; on the live radio show “Thursdays @ Three” at the all-classical Portland music station; at the Cultural Center in Crescent City, CA; and at other venues in Port Orford, Coos Bay, and North Bend in Oregon. In January she embarked on a project of performing all ten Beethoven piano and violin sonatas joining with six different violinists. Programmed alongside the Beethoven sonatas are a variety of newer and underplayed works. Collaborators include Pomona faculty members Todor Pelev and Sarah Thornblade this spring and Martin Chalifour, Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, in the fall. Other on-campus chamber music concerts she has performed on are listed in the department’s music calendar.

In the Fall Professor Eric Lindholm conducted the Pomona College Orchestra in music by eight composers, of whom three are living, two are women, and five are from under-represented backgrounds. Among the highlights were Gabriela Lena Frank’s Elegía Andina and the world premiere performances of Transient Moments by Oliver Dubon ‘20. As a cellist, Eric performed with the Manzanita Piano Quartet in a program of music by Frank Bridge, Gernot Wolfgang, and Gabriel Fauré on the University of Redlands and Pomona College campuses in September. This semester, in addition to working with the PCO and serving on the college-wide Faculty Executive Committee, he is laying the groundwork for his Fall 2023 sabbatical, which will include two or three distinct projects.

Joti Rockwell, Associate Professor, is on sabbatical this spring, researching concepts of motion in music with a focus on the American mandolin family and the pedal steel guitar. This past fall, he gave a concert at Mount San Antonio Gardens that featured Bach suites on mandolin, mandola, and mandocello. In January, along with co-author Hao Huang, he published the article “Relational Practices in Bali: Balinese Hinduism, Subak, and Music” in International Journal of Asia Pacific Studies, Vol. 19, No. 1. The article includes interviews with I Nyoman Wenten about Balinese gamelan music. In February, he presented the paper “Mandolin Methods and the American String Band: What Carlo(s) Curti has taught Bluegrass Mandolinists” at the String Band Summit at East Tennessee State University. Later in the spring, he will complete the performance of Bach’s violin and cello suites on plucked string instruments: first, with an interactive concert at Claremont’s Folk Music Center, and then with an April 8 Lyman Hall concert, which will also feature a new work by Tom Flaherty and selected jazz combo pieces that include pedal steel.

While on sabbatical in the fall, Associate Professor Gibb Schreffler initiated a three-part scholarly-creative project on sailors’ work-songs, chanties, and their developmental relationship to an important piece of historical ships’ equipment, the windlass. The project’s first part, an audio album of chanties reconstructed from primary sources, was released in October as Songs of the Windlass: Classic Chanties of Shipboard Labor. Claremont Colleges students performed the choruses, and the album was recorded by Music Technologist Barry Werger-Gottesman in Bridges Hall of Music. The second part, a documentary film featuring singing at work on a ship that carries one of the last existing windlasses, is in post-production; it is expected in April. Gibb is currently working on the third piece, an article that supplies the evidentiary underpinning for the project’s arguments.

Lecturer Barb Catlin represented Pomona College as the President of the California Alliance for Jazz at California’s All-State Music Educators Conference (CASMEC) held in Fresno in February 2023.


Graydon Beeks conducted the Pomona College Band in a pair of concerts in November 2022 featuring Heart on Fire, a new work by the composer Viet Cuong commissioned by a consortium of colleges and universities including Pomona. Other music included works by Holst, Latham, Schütz, Shapiro, and Sousa. Later that month he joined his colleagues in the Cornucopia Baroque Ensemble as continuo harpsichordist in a Friday Noon Concert of music by Boismortier, Croft, and Telemann. His article “‘O Come, Let us Sing unto the Lord’: Performances of the Cannons Anthems during Handel’s Lifetime” appeared in October 2022 in New Perspectives on Handel’s Music, a collection of essays published to honor the Handel scholar Donald Burrows by the Boydell Press. His review of new editions of two volumes of early eighteenth-century harpsichord music was published in the October-December issue of Fontis artis musicae, the journal of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres.

Karl Kohn’s new work, Impromptu 2022 was premiered by Carolyn Beck, bassoon and Gayle Blankenburg, piano on this spring’s Fête musicale concert in February.

Last October William Peterson presented a solo concert on the Hill Memorial organ in Bridges Hall of Music, and this spring he was joined by local organist Carey Robertson in a duo organ recital celebrating organ traditions in Claremont. The program featured music from the 1920s to the 2020s by William Blanchard, Joseph Clokey, Tom Flaherty, Wilbur Held, Karl Kohn, Carl Parrish, and Orpha Ochse including two pieces for one organ, four hands and four feet.


In November, senior Annika Hoseth gave a lecture and performance of five pieces she composed for an original musical entitled It Just Takes Time. This spring, the other seniors will also bring together scholarship and performance. Sarah Wang will perform piano music and discuss her study of Bartók’s influence on Chinese composers. Maya Goodwin will present research and feature music involving Cherokee, Scots-Irish, and African American influences on Southern Appalachian fiddling. Rosy Falzon will give a lecture-demonstration on connections between musical rhetorical figure and physical gesture in Baroque practice as exemplified in Barbara Strozzi’s È pazzo il mio core.

Last fall professors Genevieve Lee and Joti Rockwell took the Music 184 class to see the LA Opera production of Omar, composed by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels.


Lucy Shelton ’65 continues to be recognized for her major contributions to the field of music, most recently by the prestigious Chamber Music America, who awarded her the 2023 Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award. The annual award is presented to “an individual or organization who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the chamber music field and enriched our national culture by fostering a greater appreciation for chamber music.” “I think it is really wonderful that vocal chamber music got the focus this year,” shared Lucy, “it has indeed been the most satisfying aspect of my life in music, starting in high school and on through Pomona College and on and on and on!”
     Lucy’s vast chamber music repertoire includes major works by Schubert, Brahms, Ravel, Berio, Villa Lobos, Schoenberg, Dallapiccola, Boulez, Hindemith, Crumb, Shostakovich, Ives, and Crawford Seeger, and new works are continually being written for her. 
     Soon after her graduation from Pomona, she found herself at the center of new music in New York, where she premiered works by some of the most prominent living composers, including Elliott Carter, Oliver Knussen, Alexander Goehr, Mario Davidovsky, Joseph Schwantner, György Kurtág, Charles Wuorinen, Susan Botti, Shulamit Ran, Louis Andriessen, Augusta Read Thomas, Stephen Albert, Milton Babbitt, and Kaija Saariaho. Current and emeritus Pomona faculty members Tom Flaherty and Karl Kohn are grateful to have heard her sing their music in local and national venues.
     Lucy has been featured at festivals such as Santa Fe, Ojai, Aspen, Tanglewood, Yellow Barn, Chamber Music Northwest, Marlboro, Salt Bay, Lake Champlain, Caen, Kuhmo, Lockenhaus, and Togo. She has sung with the Juilliard, Mendelssohn, Chiara, Enso, and Guarnieri string quartets and with mixed ensembles including the 21st Century Consort, Da Capo Chamber Players, Continuum, eighth blackbird, New York New Music Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, Dolce Suono, London Sinfonietta, Nash Ensemble, Ensemble Variabile, and Ensemble Intercontemporain. 
     Her many previous honors include two Walter W. Naumburg Awards—as a chamber musician and as a solo recitalist—the Distinguished Alumni Award from the New England Conservatory and honorary doctorate degrees from Pomona College (2005) and the Boston Conservatory (2013). She was nominated for a Grammy® with the Enso String Quartet for their recording of Alberto Ginastera’s Quartet No. 3. She recently made her grand opera debut in the premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Innocence in Aix-en-Provence. Other productions are scheduled in London, Amsterdam, and San Francisco through the spring of 2024. Lucy’s role is that of The Teacher and is written in sprechstimme.
     She has taught for the Eastman School, Tanglewood Music Center, New England Conservatory, Britten-Pears School, the Cleveland Institute, and the Manhattan School of Music, and maintains a private studio in New York.


Trombonist Steven Osorio ’22, received a Fulbright to Spain for a year-long study focusing on how Spaniards, particularly women vaudevillians, performed dance band jazz amidst the Second Spanish Republic (1931-39) and early Franco years (1939-50). His research also analyzes the role that bandleaders, musicians, and arrangers had in provoking economic, racial, and gendered musical change, tolerance, and resistance. In conjunction, he is exploring the early Franco regime’s tolerance toward the distribution of jazz records by German and Spanish companies and why jazz bandleaders were able to record a wide array of musical genres in a culturally-conservative regime.

Matthew Cook ’21 performed the role of the Steward in the University of Southern California’s fall opera production, Flight by Jonathan Dove, in November 2022. His master’s recital in February 2023 included Bach’s cantata Ich habe genug, BWV 82, with orchestra and Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Songs of Travel

Composer Oliver Dubon ’20 had his composition Transient Moments premiered by the Pomona College Orchestra under the direction of Eric Lindholm in November 2022. In 2021 Dubon was a Fulbright Student Researcher in Tallinn, Estonia, where he studied composition with Toivo Tulev and orchestral conducting with Toomas Kapten. He is currently studying composition with Kurt Stallmann at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.

Zachary Freiman ’20, who was a double major in music and public policy analysis, is a legislative aide for Rep. Shontel Brown (D-Ohio), having previously worked for the Biden/Harris campaign in North Carolina and for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY). He recently sang the Verdi Requiem as a member of The Washington Chorus with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, James Conlon conducting.

Eron Smith ’16 completed her Ph.D. at Eastman School of Music in November 2022 and will be a new assistant professor of music theory at Oberlin College and Conservatory beginning in fall 2023.

Elizabeth (Libbie) Schrader Polczer ’01 is a doctoral candidate in Early Christianity and New Testament at Duke University and is currently completing her dissertation. After writing a song about Mary Magdalene, Libbie was moved to change careers, and in fall 2023 she will become Assistant Professor of New Testament at Villanova University. Her studies focus on textual criticism, Mary Magdalene, and the Gospel of John.

Jennifer Mitchell Spier ’00 appeared as oboist on the season opening concert of Jacaranda in September 2022, and performed with pianist Tali Tadmor and soprano Laurence Servaes on a recital at California State University, Northridge in January 2023. She continues her oboe repair work at RDG Woodwinds, which has now moved to Pasadena, CA.

Deborah Jenkins Teske ’85 conducted 84 members of the Colorado Springs Chorale as they served as the official chorus at ceremonies commemorating the anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France in June 2022. The performances were her last after eight years as director of the 120-voice auditioned choir which was founded in 1956. She continues to serve as artistic director for the Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble and director of choirs at Colorado College. In February 2023 she conducted the Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble and the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs in Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B Minor.

Katharine Rawdon’s ’82 online Launch Concert—a live-streamed performance celebrating the release of her new recording—finally took place last February after two delays. The new recording includes music by Ivan Moody, Alexandre Delgado, and Katharine Rawdon, among others. 

Brian Holmes ’68 has completed his term as President of the American Beethoven Society, whose primary work is the creation and support of a comprehensive collection of Beethoven materials at the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies housed at San Jose State University. Professor Emeritus of Physics at San Jose State University, Holmes remains active as a composer and horn player.

In memoriam

Laurel W. Simpson ’47 died on November 7, 2021 at the age of 98. After service in World War II, during which he flew 35 missions as a B-17 pilot, he received his B.A. from Pomona College. While at Pomona, Simpson played trombone in the orchestra. Upon graduation he was hired as an Instructor in Music to conduct the Pomona College Band, which he did for four years while concurrently studying at the Claremont Graduate School, from which he received an M.A. in Education in 1950. He taught music to elementary and high school students for 15 years before serving as a district administrator for a further nine years and retiring in 1972.

Correction: Eleen Hsu-Wendtland was listed as from the class of 2020, instead of 2000 in the Fall 2022 edition.

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