Bienen School of Music alumni hold positions as performers, administrators, and educators in leading arts and educational institutions throughout the world.

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Alumni Achievements

Below are alumni updates from the spring 2019 issue of Fanfare.


Marshall William Turkin (50, G51) is the recent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Artistic Excellence and Leadership from the Southern Florida chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters. Turkin is the former executive director of the Pittsburgh and Detroit Symphony Orchestras, the Ravinia Festival, and the Cleveland Orchestra’s Blossom Festival.

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DuWayne H. Hansen (G61) was unanimously awarded the 2018 Genealogy Book Award by the Wisconsin Historical Society’s governing board of curators in conjunction with the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society for There Were Giants in the Earth in Those Days: Fourteen Generations of the William Cole Family in America. The award is given to the author of a book that best documents the history of a Wisconsin family. Hansen received his doctorate in music from Indiana University and was music education chair at Bowling Green State University and music department chair at Eastern Illinois University. After serving as director of the University of Akron’s School of Music, he retired as associate dean emeritus of its College of Fine and Applied Arts. Previously he authored A Guide for Planning Musical Experiences for the Ohio Department of Education.

Soprano Brenda Roberts (65, G67) recently presented a recital at the Laeiszhalle Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany. She was named an artist of the week by Operissimo in September.

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Aaron Alter (75) was named a silver medalist in the Global Music Awards for his composition Solar Rays for piano, violin, and cello. He was a finalist in the instruments of the world category of the Ravel Association’s Creative Composers 2018 Competition. In November, Susan Merdinger gave the premiere of Alter’s Piano Sonata.

Mark D. Camphouse (75, G76) is professor of music and director of concert bands at George Mason University. He recently served as guest conductor of the Houston Symphony Brass Ensemble, the United States Air Force Band in Washington, Banda de Conciertos de San José in Costa Rica, and the 2018 Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Band. Camphouse conducted the premiere of his recent composition Prelude, Processional, and Postlude with the Northshore High School Honor Band at Lake Forest (Illinois) High School.

James Millar (G78) is the director of choirs and orchestras at Tenafly High School in Tenafly, New Jersey. During his January–June sabbatical leave, he is serving as a visiting professor at the Institute of Musical Studies “Rinaldo Franci” in Siena, Italy, and will spend two weeks in Sarteano managing the fifth year of Summer Music in Tuscany.

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David Evan Thomas (81) was initiated into Sigma Alpha Iota’s Minneapolis– St. Paul Alumnae Chapter as a national arts associate in October. The designation honors “a man or woman who is nationally recognized for distinguished contribution to the arts.”

Mark Jenkins (G82) was named the CEO of Naxos of America in April 2018.

Virginia Lauridsen (82, G87) was appointed to the Opera America board of overseers. She is also president-elect of the Des Moines Opera board of directors.

Steven Bulmer (G83), bassist and president of the New England Jazz Ensemble, produced and released a CD of jazz ensemble music based on Prokofiev’s iconic Peter and the Wolf. Featuring over a dozen different jazz styles in Walt Gwardyak’s new arrangement of the complete work, the recording has received positive reviews from many jazz publications and significant national airplay.

Kevin Bartram (86), orchestra director at the University of Mary Washington, conducted the American premiere of Arturo Sandoval’s Concerto No. 2 for trumpet and orchestra. Having recently completed his term as president of the College Orchestra Directors Association, Bartram is leading “Unearthing America’s Musical Treasures,” a national research project with the Library of Congress for uncovering and recording lost symphonic works. Bartram has recently led performances with Renée Fleming, Itzhak Perlman, and Tony Bennett, among others.

Nancy S. Ypma (G86) was named a distinguished service professor at McKendree University’s honors convocation in recognition of her 30-year career there. During this time, Ypma reestablished the music major, added the dance minor, and was instrumental in the addition of the theater major. She has built a music department that now includes three full-time professors and twenty adjunct professors. Chair of the Fine Arts Series from 1988 to 2006, she chaired the humanities division from 2007 to 2011 and has chaired the visual and performing arts division since 2011.

James Crowley (G87, G93) recently completed his 20th year on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin– Parkside, where he is professor of music and chair of the music department. He remains active as a composer, and his percussion duet Archipelago was recently premiered at Kansas State University under the auspices of the Society of Composers Region VI Conference.

Henry Flurry (87), a piano teacher and composer based in Prescott, Arizona, collaborated with Prescott-area arts and choral organizations to form a local professional orchestra after Yavapai College invited him to organize a retrospective concert of his music. The resulting Arizona Philharmonic opened its inaugural four-concert season last August with a concert of Flurry’s music. In addition to a number of older works, the concert featured two premieres, including one performed by his wife, marimbist Maria Vomlehn Flurry.

Mark Cox (G88) is a professor of tuba and euphonium at Central Michigan University. As principal tuba of the Midland Symphony Orchestra in Midland, Michigan, he performed Reflections on the Mississippi for solo tuba and orchestra in November.

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Marcia Porter (91, G93) was installed as a region governor on the National Association of Teachers of Singing board of directors. Porter also presented a lecture-recital of Brazilian art song repertoire at the NATS 55th national conference.

Patricia Stowell (G91) presented four benefit piano concerts in coastal Maine for Lina’s Hope of Kompot, Cambodia, to benefit disabled young people with severe brain injuries. In Maine, Stowell teaches at Rockport’s Bay Chamber Community Music School and is in her 20th year as director of Blue Hill’s Kneisel Hall Youth Chamber Music Program.

Brother Mariano Di Cristofano OSB (G92), formerly Henry Daniel Di Cristofano, joined Marmion Abbey in Aurora, Illinois. A former music director and professional organist, he plays organ for the monastery.

Susan Cook (G93) was appointed dean of the Community School of Performing Arts at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. She was previously dean of the Royal Conservatory School of Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music.

Julie Krugman (G94) was installed as a region governor on the National Association of Teachers of Singing board of directors.

Joshua Thompson (95), band director at Lake Zurich School District 95, was chosen by his peers to conduct the Illinois All-State Jazz Ensemble at the Illinois Music Education Association’s Music Educators Convention in January 2018. Over spring break he took two Lake Zurich High School jazz ensembles to New Orleans, where the 45 students performed, toured the city, and did three days of community service in conjunction with His Hands 2 Go, a local service organization. This was Thompson’s fourth trip to New Orleans with student groups.

Katrina Lenk (‘97) is a principal vocalist on the cast album for the Broadway musical The Band’s Visit, the 2019 Grammy Award winner for best musical theater album. She previously won the 2018 Tony Award for best performance by an actress in a musical for the production, which also won the Tony for best new musical.

Dan Lipton (97) joined the orchestra of the Tony-winning Broadway musical The Band’s Visit. As associate conductor, Lipton alternates between playing keyboards and conducting the show.

Michael Maysilles (G97) became associate registrar for student systems in the registrar’s office at Princeton University. His 20-year career in higher education has included more than eight years in the registrar’s office at Northwestern and stints as registrar for Gettysburg College and Caldwell University.

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Ben Bokor (00) began a new position as ceremonial band saxophonist with the US Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in June 2017. He recently performed Bruch’s Concerto for Clarinet and Viola with violist Phillippe Chao and the Catholic University Orchestra. He also performed with the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra on the national tour of the Broadway musical An American in Paris and played reeds for a spring production of The Wiz at Ford’s Theatre.

Scott Harrison (02), executive director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, completed the National Arts Strategies CEO program, a yearlong leadership development program for 50 CEOs from arts organizations around the globe. The orchestra, in partnership with Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, launched a fellowship program for aspiring professional musicians from underrepresented communities.

Blaine Inafuku (02) joined the Santa Barbara Symphony as director of artistic administration in July.

Jennifer Kessler (03) is executive director of the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, a nonprofit that empowers girls and gender-nonconforming youth through musical endeavors, including playing an instrument, joining a band, or writing and performing original music. Kessler has played French horn in orchestras throughout Europe and Israel, thanks to her training with Northwestern horn professor Gail Williams (G76). She has also researched El Sistema, youth orchestras for social change, in Venezuela; led music education programs at the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Carnegie Hall in New York City; produced a music festival with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra focused on speaking out against injustice; and developed diversity initiatives with orchestras across the United States.

Beth Kirkpatrick (03) performed in the Hello, Dolly! national tour as a member of the ensemble. Kirkpatrick also understudied Betty Buckley in the title role.

Geoffrey Deibel (G04) is assistant professor of saxophone at Florida State University. Previously he taught for six years at Wichita State University.

Erin Kendall Murphy (G04) is assistant professor of flute at Oklahoma State University. Murphy performs frequently across the country with her chamber music ensembles Lakeshore Rush and the Analogue Duo.

Adam Levin (06) released his eighth album, Original Arrangements for Three Guitars, with the Great Necks guitar trio on the Frameworks/Sony Label. The album includes classics originally written for orchestra, organ, or piano. Kithara Project, a nonprofit organization that Levin cofounded, expanded its guitar education programming to Albuquerque in 2018. The program collectively serves 100 students in Albuquerque, Boston, and Mexico City.

Nora Lewis (G07) joined the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music as associate professor of oboe. She most recently taught oboe at Western Michigan University.

Josephine Lee (G07), president and artistic director of the Chicago Children’s Choir, received the Kennedy Center’s National Committee for the Performing Arts Award for Arts Advocacy. The biannual award recognizes those who have dramatically affected the performing arts landscape through arts advocacy efforts and passion for supporting the arts in schools, communities, and everyday lives. The Chicago Children’s Choir recently received the Spirit of Innovation Award at the 17th annual Chicago Innovation Awards ceremony.

Joshua Moshier (08) scored the film Happy Anniversary for Netflix, the third season of Baskets on FX, and the first season of the series Sick of It for the UK network Sky.

Jeffrey Strong (G08) was named third/utility trumpet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He had held the second trumpet position with the St. Louis Symphony since 2015.

Cory Hills (09) recently released his second children’s book, Beatrice and the POGs, published by Acute by Design. Hills runs Percussive Storytelling, which brings classical music and storytelling to kids in fun and accessible ways. The program recently marked its 500th performance and has reached more than 120,000 children in nine countries.

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William Curry (10) recently served as violist and assistant conductor for the Broadway revivals of Miss Saigon and My Fair Lady.

Cameron Bernard Jones (10) is an ensemble performer and the dialect coach for Motown the Musical in London’s West End. As of March, he has performed for two years in the production, which closes this spring.

Roderick Cox (G11) made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut in November, conducting the premiere of Christopher Cerrone’s The Insects Became Magnetic. The program also included works by Poulenc and Saint-Saëns.

Soprano Tasha Koontz (11) performed in Carmina Burana with the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus. She also performed with the San Diego Pro Arte Voices in its concert of new works.

Spektral Quartet—Northwestern alumni violist Doyle Armbrust (00) and cellist Russell Rolen (G11), with violinists Clara Lyon and Maeve Feinberg —received a Grammy nomination for best Latin jazz album for Yo Soy La Tradición, featuring Miguel Zenón. The CD was released in September by Miel Music. Spektral Quartet’s Serious Business was nominated for a 2017 Grammy Award for best chamber music/small ensemble performance.

Chase Hopkins (12) is founder and artistic director of Opera Edwardsville, a new nonprofit arts organization in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Its debut event, “Christmas at the Wildey,” featured performances by Hopkins, Evan Bravos (G13), and Sofia Troncoso (13).

Andy Hudson (G12, G18) is lecturer in clarinet at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Music. He performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall with the trio F-Plus in December 2017 and recently joined the mixed sextet Latitude 49. During the 2017–18 season, Hudson appeared as a concerto soloist with the Northshore Concert Band, the University of Alabama in Huntsville Wind Ensemble, and the Tennessee Valley Music Festival’s Festival Wind Ensemble. He also performed in Belgium at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest in July.

Evan Bravos (G13) is currently artist in residence with Opera Theatre of St. Louis. As a studio artist at Sarasota Opera this winter, he covered the roles of Papageno (The Magic Flute), Count Gil (Susanna’s Secret), and Gasparo (Rita).

Cellist Richard Narroway (13) was accepted into the Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program, a one-year postgraduate program of the Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School for artists on the cusp of a professional career.

Marissa Olegario (13) accepted a tenure-track position as assistant professor of bassoon beginning this fall at the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music, following her 2018–19 interim position as assistant professor.

Kelton Koch (14) has become a permanent member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, beginning with the 2019–20 season.

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