It's Hard to Keep Up with these Profs

The faculty voice quartet -- Randie Blooding, Carol McAmis, Beth Ray, and David Parks -- performed this spring at Elmira High School, Corning Community College, and Kendal at Ithaca. Last year the group performed at Cornell University and Onondaga Community College.

Diane Birr, assistant professor of piano, served as one of three official accompanists for the national competitions sponsored by the Music Teachers National Association. The competitions were held in conjunction with the MTNA national convention in Nashville, Tennessee, March 27-April 1. Birr was also a judge at the intermediate and senior advanced piano competitions sponsored by the Central New York Association of Music Teachers in Syracuse.

Music education professor Verna Brummett recently gave two presentations on "authentic assessment" for the collegiate chapters of the New York State Music Education Association. The collegiate conference was held at the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York College at Potsdam. Brummett also presented two sessions at the biennial convention of Music Educators National Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. One session was a panel of teacher educators, practicing public-school teachers, and preservice teachers discussing implications of national standards in music education. In the second session Brummett joined colleague Nancy Tittelbaugh-Riley on the topic of "Authentic Assessment: Implications for Teacher Education."

Music education professor Mark Fonder guest conducted the New York State Band Directors Association all-state middle school band in Syracuse in March. In April he gave a presentation on national standards at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association convention in Erie and a presentation on assessment and the school instrumental ensemble at the Music Educators National Conference in Phoenix.

Photo by Green Apple Photography

In March flute professor Wendy Mehne gave master classes and played concerts at Michigan State University, Eastern Michigan University, and Bowling Green State University. She also had two articles on J. S. Bach's Continuo sonatas published in the January and February issues of Flute Talk.

Saxophone professor Steven Mauk and assistant dean Jamal Rossi '80 were busy performing and presenting master classes during the months of March and April. They traveled as members of the Empire Saxophone Quartet (see below); Mauk was also featured guest artist at the biennial conference of the North American Saxophone Alliance, held at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He performed the Heitor Villa-Lobos Fantasia for Soprano Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra at the closing concert. In addition, he was a member of a panel discussing "How to Get a College Position."

In March Rossi released a new compact disc recording, Relentless. The disk features major works for saxophone and piano by composers David Maslanka and John Anthony Lennon and a work written for Rossi by former Ithaca faculty member Robert Keefe.

Photo by Green Apple Photography

David Parks, tenor, has recently appeared with the Syracuse Symphony in Bach's Coffee Cantatas, in recital with Beth Ray, and with the Elmira Bach Festival as the evangelist in St. John's Passion. He is also singing Haydn's Creation with Colgate University this spring.

Peter Rothbart, associate professor and director of electroacoustic music, was the only American selected to attend the Banff National Centre for the Arts workshop "Mixing, Micing [sic], and Mastering: New Directions for the Future" in Alberta, Canada. During the weeklong intensive program, Rothbart studied advanced multitrack mixing and signal processing with George Massenburg, who has engineered for Linda Ronstadt, Billy Joel, and Earth, Wind and Fire, among others.

The Wind Symphony of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, under the direction of former Ithaca professor Rodney Winther, premiered a new work by Gregory Woodward, associate professor of music composition. The Charles Bridge is dedicated to Professor Woodward's mentor and friend, Karel Husa, and borrows some of the themes from Husa's great work Music for Prague 1968. The Charles Bridge is a major landmark of Prague, Husa's native city, connecting the two halves of the Czech capital. The composition symbolically traverses the bridge, with various movements or sections commenting musically on several of the statues that adorn the structure.


Choir, Sax Quartet Hit the Road

The Ithaca College Choir went on a five-day tour to points south during the March spring break. Director Lawrence Doebler and the ensemble performed in Williamsport, Pennsylvania; Ellicot City, Maryland; and Herndon, Richmond, and Winchester, Virginia. Selections included Frank Martin's Mass, Fern Hill by John Corigliano, Chen Yi's Spring Dreams, and Liebeslieder polkas by P. D. Q. Bach. The choir members and Doebler conducted clinics at the three hosting high schools. The choir was also selected to perform at the eastern division American Choral Directors Association conference in Providence, Rhode Island, in early February. In addition to offering two well-attended clinics, the group performed a concert to standing-room-only crowds.

Pennsylvania dreaming: The choir soaks up some spring sun on tour.

Photo by Candice Ruffalo '98

The Empire Saxophone Quartet performed a concert at Williams College in Massachusetts during March. Included in the concert was the premier performance of Music for Marimba and Saxophones, a work by David Kechley written expressly for the ESQ; Kechley's saxophone quartet, Steppin' Out; and Ithaca College professor Dana Wilson's Come Sunday Mornin'. Ithaca College associate professor of percussion Gordon Stout was soloist on marimba for the new Kechley work. The ESQ also gave a clinic for composition students at Williams. April found the quartet on a minitour of Ohio. Their main performance was at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as guests of Rodney Winther. The ESQ was featured artist with Cincinnati's wind ensemble in Urban Requiem by Michael Colgrass. The quartet provided a master class for the conservatory students, as well. The ESQ was also guest at Wright State University in Dayton, where it presented a concert and master class.


Senior Signs with the Air Force

Senior saxophonist Jeffrey Saunders recently won the audition to join the Air Force Band of Liberty, stationed at Hanscom Air Force Base near Boston. Saunders will be performing on alto with the concert band and tenor in the jazz group, the Ambassadors. He has also been asked to start a saxophone quartet and will serve as the soprano player of this chamber ensemble. He will begin his service in September.  

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Web pages created by Andrejs Ozolins. 19 Oct 1999