Welcome to Class Notes online—a space for you to post your news and read about your classmates' recent activities.

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News from your classmates

Greg Wall '82Rabbi Greg Wall ’82, saxophonist, recently opened the Center For Jewish Arts and Literacy at the Sixth Street Community Synagogue in the East Village which he has lead since 2009. Programming includes klezmer music, the Jazz Rabbi's Invitational, film nights, readings, lectures, and other visual-arts presentations dealing Ayn Sof Arkestra with Jewish themes by artists from the area. He recently performed a duo concert with Alon Nechushtan ’02 M.M., and co- leads a composer's orchestra, the with Frank London ’80 that plays once a month at the Center. Also in the Arkestra is NEC alumni Ben Williams ’83. 2012-01-27

Herschel GarfeinAfter Fred Hersch ‘77 fell into a two month coma in 2008 he collaborated with Herschel Garfein ’82 M.M. on a theater piece entitled “Coma Dreams” based on the dreams he had while unconscious. “My Coma Dreams” is a 90-min production that blends Hersch’s music and Garfein’s script based on interviews with Hersch, his doctor and his partner, with theatrical interpretations of his dreams and experiences, supported by video projections. The show’s 12-piece ensemble accommodates his mood shifts; various dreams including one with Thelonious Monk, and a gig at a jazz diner in the woods. The piece was commissioned by New Jersey’s Peak Performances and premiered at Montclair University. It will play in San Francisco at the Herbst Theater and will also play in Berlin at the European Society of Intensive Care. 2012-01-26

Thomas Wilkins '82 M.M. on April 13 and 14, 2012 will conduct the National Symphony Orchestra Pops' world premiere of Affirmations by Bill Banfield '83. The Grammy Award–winning a cappella group, Sweet Honey in the Rock, brings its renowned African American vocal styles to this NSO co-commission. Thomas is the music director of the Omaha Symphony, a position he has held since 2005. Additionally, he is principal guest conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and was recently appointed the youth and family concerts conductor for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Past positions have included resident conductor of the Detroit Symphony, as well as the Florida Orchestra (Tampa Bay), and associate conductor of the Richmond Symphony (Virginia). He served on the music faculties of North Park University (Chicago), the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

During his conducting career, Thomas has been featured with orchestras throughout the United States, including the Dallas Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Houston Symphony and the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. He is also a frequent guest conductor of the Baltimore Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Recently he debuted with the Utah Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Rochester (NY) and Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestras. 2012-01-26

Toni P. Anderon '82 M.M.Toni P. Anderson ’82 M.M. won the 2011 Georgia Author’s Book Award for her historical book on women during the Civil War “Tell Them We Are Singing for Jesus.” Toni is Professor and Chair of the Music Department of LaGrange College, a small liberal arts college south of Atlanta.  She previously taught for fourteen years at Morris Brown College in Atlanta. She continues to sing professionally on the local level and serves as the Governor of the Southeastern Region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). 2011-12-08


Dominique Eade ’82, ’89 A.D., and Ran Blake recently released their duo cd “Whirlpool.” Eade studied under Blake as a Third Stream Studies major (now Contemporary Improvisation), this album is their first recorded collaboration.  Blake was the founding chair for Gunther Schuller’s Third Stream program from 1975-2005 which served to explore the "third stream" formed when the streams of classical music and jazz are creatively combined.  Both Eade and Blake currently serve on faculty at NEC and have performed together for three decades.  Eade is a renowned vocalist, composer, and lyricist, particularly known for her versatility. She currently resides in Auburndale, MA. 2011-11-08

Arthur Houle '82 MM, Piano PerformanceDr. Arthur Houle ’82 M.M. was honored by the Music Teachers National Association as a Foundation Fellow at their March 2011 Annual Conference. The MTNA Foundation Fellow program recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of music teaching. Houle is a tenured Professor of Music and Director of Keyboard Studies at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. He is also founder & director of the Festival for Creative Pianists, a unique and innovative competition for young pianists that promotes improvisation, versatility, composition, interpretive distinctiveness, and repertory excellence in all styles by offering prizes, masterclasses and online educational information. Houle performs often as piano soloist and collaborator. He also gives frequent presentations for professional conferences and has given coast-to-coast lecture/recitals and master classes for many institutions and teacher organizations. His Cowboy Jazz, a collection of original intermediate level compositions for students, is published by the Hal Leonard Corporation. A private teacher since the age of thirteen, Houle has taught previously at New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, the Universities of Iowa, North Dakota and Texas-Austin, and the College of Idaho. 2011-06-21

"Life's Little Dramas" George Schuller '82, Jazz PerformanceLife’s Little Dramas is the new trio release from Brooklyn drummer, composer, arranger George Schuller ’82, leader of Circle Wide, and a long time veteran of the New York Jazz Scene. Featuring the young and “brilliant” pianist Dan Tepfer ’05 M.M., and the imaginative and venerable bassist Jeremy Stratton, Schuller set out to document several of his own compositions and arrangements, along with a couple of standards resulting in a rich display of restless creativity and thoughtful re-examinations. 2011-05-20

Help find your lost classmates

Unfortunately, NEC has lost touch with some of your classmates. If you have e-mail or other contact information for any of the people listed below, please let us know so that we can keep them informed of reunions and other NEC activities.

Robert L Bay, Meryl Dorris, Biff Fink, Marisela Gonzalez de Hernandez, Elizabeth Greenberg, Raqib I. Hassan, Cheryl L. Hastings, Gillian Levine, Thomas Michael, Anne Muller,  Laraine J. (Rosorea) Brown, Cynthia Sue Warf, Glen-Kelly Winchell, David Jay Whitman, Mi-Sun Youn.