Fall 2020 Class Notes
In a special video for graduating student artists, CFA alums sent their well-wishes and advice to the Class of 2020. Actor Kim Raver (’91), top right, told grads, “Stay curious. Stay disciplined. Stay connected to your friends. Stay creative. And stay true to yourself.” Other alums featured in the video were, clockwise from top left, painter Sedrick Huckaby (BUTI’95, CFA’97), opera singer Sandra Piques Eddy (’99,’02), film producer John Bartnicki (BUTI’02, CFA’07), oboist Eugene Izotov (’95), and actors Uzo Aduba (’05), Julianne Moore (’83), and Michael Chiklis (’85).
Emory Fanning (’64), an organist, performed a solo recital on March 8, 2020, at Middlebury College’s Mead Memorial Chapel. The performance featured works by Louis Couperin, César Franck, and Johann Sebastian Bach.
Kate Katcher (’73) was one of 10 writers to participate in theater company Thrown Stone’s Acts of Fate, which premiered on Zoom in June 2020. The show was a collection of memoir, performance, and poetry that answered the prompt: “What was the moment in your life that changed everything?”
Peri Schwartz (’73) showcased her recent body of work, “Studio Interiors,” which features dynamic, flattened compositions that focus on the interplay of color, light, and space at Gallery NAGA in Boston in January 2020.
Carol Barsha (’75,’77) had her closely observed nature studies and flowery landscapes featured in the exhibition Landscape in an Eroded Field at the American University Museum in Washington, D.C., from January to March 2020.
Paula Plum (’75) received the 2020 Elliot Norton Award in the Outstanding Actress, Midsize Theater category for her performance in The Children with SpeakEasy Stage Company.
Sue O’Daniel (’78) retired from her 42-year career as a music teacher at Vergennes Union High School (VUHS) in Vergennes, Vt., in June 2020. During her time at VUHS, she grew the music program, school musicals drew ticket requests from across the state of Vermont, and band participants grew to 25 percent of the student body.
Paul Schulenburg (’79), a painter, is represented by Addison Art Gallery in Orleans, Mass. The gallery recently published a book of his work, Paul Schulenburg: Oil Paintings (Addison Art, Inc., 2020), which features landscape and figurative oil paintings from the past 20 years.
Todd London (‘80,’81) is an essayist, novelist, arts journalist, and theater historian. He presented his workshop “Let Me Sit With You a While, or the Challenge of Theater is the Challenge of the World” in February 2020 as part of the School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech’s colloquium series “Art, Community, Ecology, and Health.” The series focused on the “power and practice of art and culture as essential elements of healthy communities.”
Julia Shepley (’80) was a resident at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy, and exhibited her sculpture work in RING, the Boston Sculptors Gallery annual members’ group exhibition, from January 29 to February 23, 2020, and in The Gold Standard of Textile and Fiber Art at Westbeth Gallery in New York City in February 2020.
Jason Alexander (’81, Hon.’95) starred in Closing the Distance, a scripted podcast exploring social distancing, quarantine, and isolation in a series of 10 short audio dramas. Alexander also participated in Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday celebration concert on Broadway.com along with Brad Oscar (’86) and Greg Hildreth (’05).
Karen Carpenter (’81) directed a reading of Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies, a one-woman show that tells the story of Bette Davis’ fight against the male-dominated studio system, in February 2020. The play has had multiple runs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the United Kingdom and had a US tour in 2015.
Julianne Moore (’83) is starring as Gloria Steinem in the film The Glorias. The film is based on Steinem’s memoir, My Life on the Road. In January, Moore moderated a roundtable discussion in New York City during which gun violence survivors shared their personal stories. The event was sponsored by People magazine and the nonprofit advocacy organization Everytown for Gun Safety. Moore also signed an open letter by Guns Down America urging studios to end contributions to candidates who take money from the NRA and vote against gun reform.
K. Johnson Bowles (’86) had 46 works from her most recent body of work, Veronica’s Cloths, selected for publication in 24 art and literary journals, including the American Journal of Poetry, Twyckenham Notes, and The William and Mary Review. She showed Veronica’s Cloths in an online solo exhibition with PH Gallery of Troy, N.Y., through July 2020.
Brad Oscar (’86) played Frank Hillard in Broadway previews of the musical comedy Mrs. Doubtfire.
Suzanne Teng (’86), a flutist, received the Album of the Year award from the Native American Style Flute Awards and a gold medal from the Global Music Awards, both in April 2020, for her newest album with musical partner Gilbert Levy, Autumn Monsoon.
Nanette Kaplan Solomon (’87) is a pianist who performed in “From the Salon to the Shtetl: A Selection of Works for Clarinet, Violin and Piano” at the Hoyt Art Center in New Castle, Pa., on March 12, 2020. Solomon is also a professor emerita of music at Slippery Rock University.
Suzanne Wilson (BUTI’88) became the president and CEO of the Phoenix Symphony in January 2020. Wilson was previously the executive director of the Midori Foundation, which provides high-quality, sequential music education programs to students in over 70 New York City public schools and organizations that have little to no access to the arts.
Beth Morrison (BUTI’89, CFA’94) is an opera producer whose company, Beth Morrison Projects, offered an “Opera of the Week” during the pandemic. Each opera was posted on bethmorrisonprojects.org.
The Philadelphia Orchestra commissioned a new work, “Seven O’Clock Shout,” from Grammy-nominated composer, flutist, and teacher Valerie Coleman (BUTI’89, CFA’95). The piece, which honors frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, debuted at the Philadelphia Orchestra’s online HearTOGETHER event in June 2020 (pictured here), which featured performances by individual members of the orchestra, as well as stars such as Wynton Marsalis (Hon.’92). Coleman was also the featured keynote speaker for the closing of the League of American Orchestras online conference in June 2020.
Rebecca A. Hartka (BUTI’92, CFA’02,’07), a cellist, has performed with Grammy-nominated guitarist José Lezcano as Duo Mundo. They performed together this past winter in New York and Mexico until COVID-19 shutdowns.
Abraham Higginbotham (’92) was a writer and producer for the Emmy Award–winning series Modern Family, which concluded in spring 2020 after 11 seasons.
Nancy King (’93) directed a production of selections from Purcell’s epic tragedy Dido and Aeneas, performed by UNC-WOOP! in March 2020 for the 18th annual Opera Sunday event in Southport, N.C. King created UNC-WOOP!, an opera outreach project at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, as a means to provide her students with opportunities to hone their live performance skills and introduce the public to opera in a relaxed, lighthearted manner.
Michael Medico (’94) directed the January 30, 2020, episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “A Hard Pill to Swallow,” which also featured Kim Raver (’91) as the character Dr. Teddy Altman. He also directed a table read of the pilot episode of the show The Fosters over Zoom, which reunited many of the show’s cast members. The Fosters co-creator and executive producer Peter Paige (’91) read the stage directions for the virtual event, which benefited The Actors Fund.
Brian Reagan (‘94) was appointed superintendent of schools for Waltham, Mass., in March 2020. Reagan was previously the Wilmington, Mass., assistant superintendent.
Amanda Gentry (’95) opened her contemporary ceramic exhibit Murmuration at the Cuesta College Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery in spring 2020 in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The interactive exhibit explored the individuality of one’s voice in isolation.
Susanna Klein (’96) has self-published Practizma Practice Journal: 16 Weeks of Efficiency, Empowerment & Joy for Musicians, which includes strategies for musicians to get more out of their practice sessions. She blogs and presents nationally on musician health and empowered and joyful practice in music.
Hannah Barrett (’98) was appointed the director of the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. Prior to this appointment, Barrett, an award-winning artist and educator who has taught, lectured, and exhibited widely, was the international program coordinator at Bard College Berlin, Germany.
Angela Fraleigh (’98) presented an exhibition of her work, Sound the Deep Waters, at the Delaware Art Museum in fall 2019. The exhibition presented a contemporary look at gender and identity through the lens of historic narrative art.
Gregg Mozgala (’00) starred in Caryl Churchill’s Light Shining in Buckinghamshire at the New York Theatre Workshop and in the play Teenage Dick, both in 2018. Mozgala is an activist for the disabled community in the arts.
James Perrin (’01) had an exhibition of his paintings, Percept Upon Percept, at Hope College in Michigan in February and March 2020. Perrin’s paintings “explore the integration and resolution of disharmonious elements relating to themes in painting and its processes: abstraction and representation, surface and illusion, discord and resolution, chaos and structure.”
Duncan Cumming (’03), a pianist, performed at the First Presbyterian Church of Ironton in Ironton, Ohio, in January 2020. He performed as one half of the Capital Duo, which also features his wife, violinist Hilary Walther Cumming.
Uzo Aduba (’05) will appear in Americanah, a 10-episode miniseries set to air on HBO Max. The series is based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2013 novel of the same name, which tells the story of a young Nigerian woman who immigrates to the United States.
Sara Chase (’05) played Cyndee Pokorny in the Netflix interactive movie Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend, a role she also played in the series.
Greg Hildreth (’05) was set to play Peter in the Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical comedy Company at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater before Broadway performances were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jennifer Bill (’07), Emily Cox (BUTI’08, CFA’13,’15), Zach Schwartz (’13, CAS’13), and Amy McGlothlin (’15), members of the Boston-based saxophone group Pharos Quartet, performed with composer and pianist Thomas Weaver (’13) in January 2020 at BU’s Marsh Chapel.
Steve Eulberg (’07) plays the dulcimer and frequently collaborates with mountain dulcimer player Erin Mae Lewis. The two have shared their music through radio broadcasts, master classes, and performances.
Beth Willer (’08,’14) joined the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., as associate professor and director of choral studies. Willer is also the founder of Lorelei Ensemble, a women’s vocal ensemble.
Jason Berger (BUTI’09, CFA’14) became known as “Delaware’s opera singing barista” after a customer filmed him serenading her husband while serving him coffee at a Starbucks in Wilmington. Berger is studying at OperaDelaware’s Young Artist Program.
Clare Longendyke (’09), a pianist, and Rose Wollman, a violist, performed in a concert in February 2020 at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Ind. The concert drew from their album Homage to Nadia Boulanger (2019) and consisted of four pieces by the late French composer Boulanger and her composition students.
Alex Wyse (‘09) is the co-creator and cowriter, with Wesley Taylor, of Indoor Boys, an LGBTQ+ digital comedy series that “follows two homebody roommates as they navigate the boundaries of their no-boundaries friendship.” Wyse, who also stars in the show with Taylor, won a 2020 Indie Series Award for Best Actor. He and Taylor together received awards for Best Comedy Series, Best Directing-Comedy.
Richard Andrew Schwartz (’10) is an associate professor of music at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, N.M. The saxophonist released his album Song for My Mother, which features two original compositions, “Alpha Cat” and “7-11 Blues,” recorded with the late jazz legend Ellis Marsalis.
Samantha Silverman (’11) illustrated a Curbed New York story on how New Yorkers are using their apartment building stoops as spaces for connection and community during the pandemic.
Jimmy Greene (’12) released Flowers: Beautiful Life – Volume 2, a companion to his 2014 album Beautiful Life. Both albums remember the saxophonist’s daughter, Ana, who was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Greene also performed with the Jimmy Greene Quintet at Columbia University School of the Arts as part of its 2019–2020 jazz series in February 2020.
Francesca Blanchard (’14), a folk singer-songwriter, released a new song, “Ex-Girlfriend,” in February 2020.
Maya French (’15) is a cofounder, coartistic director, and comanaging director of Palaver Strings, a string ensemble and nonprofit organization based in Portland, Maine. The violinist is also a faculty member at Bay Chamber Concerts Music School and the education director for Chamber Music Now, an annual weeklong festival in Portland, Ore.
Ellen Humphreys (’15) plays Sharon Russell in the CBS All Access drama Interrogation. She also makes an appearance as a bank teller in the forthcoming film Silk Road.
Courtney Miller (’15) is an assistant professor of oboe at University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. She released her second album, Portuguese Perspectives (MSR Classics, 2019), which features world-premiere recordings for the oboe by Portuguese composers.
Rebecca Ness (’15) exhibited her paintings in a show that ran from December 2019 through January 2020 at the Alexander Berggruen Gallery in New York City. Her body of work featured in the exhibition explores both portraiture and the objects of domestic and artist-studio life.
Laura Randall (’15), a flutist, and Jessica Cooper (’17,’19), a violist, participated in Newton Covenant Church’s hour-long live “Concert for Chromebooks” on Zoom on April 9, 2020. The Newton, Mass., church’s benefit concert raised money to provide 20,000 Chromebooks for Boston Public School students without access to a computer at home. The concert also supported professional musicians whose scheduled engagements during Holy Week and beyond were canceled due to the pandemic.
Aija Reke (’15) performed “Memoire de Claire,” a piece inspired by the French composer Olivier Messiaen, on the violin as part of the Charm of Impossibilities concert at BU in February 2020. The piece was written by Elena Levi (’21).
Alexander Golob (’16) painted a mural memorializing George Floyd in Jamaica Plain, Mass., in June 2020, outside a marijuana dispensary, which funded the project. In late July, it was moved for display inside the dispensary. Proceeds from the mural were donated to Boston Art & Music Soul (BAMS) Fest, a nonprofit that works to “break down racial and social barriers to arts, music, and culture.” Courtesy of Alexander Golob.
Natalie Guerrero (’16) launched a Venmo campaign to support the National Bail Fund and the George Floyd Memorial Fund. She raised more than $67,000.
Christian Frentzko (’17) and his wife, Jennifer Sisco, are public school teachers in New Jersey and perform as the musical duo The Harrisons. Throughout the pandemic, they have been streaming their performances on Facebook.
Matthew Scinto (’17) is the music director of the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra (CCCO). He conducted the CCCO in its second annual An Afternoon of Chamber Music winter concert in February 2020.
Annalise Cain (’18) played The Bastard character in Shakespeare’s King John at the Calderwood Pavilion at Boston Center for the Arts from January 30 to February 16, 2020.
Lina González-Granados (’18) was awarded a Sphinx Medal of Excellence, which recognizes extraordinary classical Black and Latinx musicians. González-Granados is an internationally celebrated conductor and the founder and artistic director of Unitas Ensemble, a chamber orchestra that performs the works of Latinx composers and provides access to free performances for underserved communities.
Scott Humphries (’18) was named the Indiana Music Education Association’s 2020 Outstanding Collegiate Educator. He was nominated by a student at Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., where he is assistant professor of music and director of instrumental studies and music education.
Krishan Oberoi (’18) is the new artistic director of the Falmouth Chorale in Falmouth, Mass. Oberoi is also the founder and principal guest conductor of SACRA/PROFANA, a San Diego–based chorus, and in 2018 he founded the Boston-based Analog Chorale. Oberoi has engaged diverse populations through innovative education and outreach programs, including an after-school program for students impacted by homelessness.
Leyla Tonak (’18) had her first solo show, New Mythologies, at Ghost Gallery in Brooklyn, N.Y., in January 2020. Tonak makes large-scale oil paintings that explore gesture and metaphor through the lenses of sex, power, and family.
Keith Heimann (’19) has been named executive director of the Association Répertoire International d’Iconographie Musicale (RIdIM), an international index of visual sources of music, dance, theater, and opera.
Colleen Kinslow (’19) launched Cadmium, an independent online magazine, in May 2020. Kinslow created the magazine “in the hopes of memorializing and honoring those who matter most: our communities, friends, peers, colleagues, family, and ourselves.” You can read the magazine at cadmiummag.com.
Zimeng Wang (’19) received a 2020 American Inhouse Design Award from Graphic Design USA for work she created for her 2019 thesis project, A Banned Exhibition. The project focused on Chinese government censorship. Wang sourced thousands of words banned by Chinese media and presented various forms of banned information in a subversive and humorous way.