Welcome to Class Notes online—a space for you to post your news and read about your classmates' recent activities.
News from your classmates
Since graduating from New England Conservatory with a master's degree in Jazz Studies, guitarist and composer Rob Levit '92 M.M. has had a successful career in the music industry and non-profit field. Shortly after graduation, he signed to Brownstone Recordings releasing two acclaimed recordings, Singularity and Afterimage, with fellow alums George Schuller '82, Michel Gentile '91 M.M. and Bob Nieske '78 '81 M.M. The group also performed at the Boston Globe Jazz Festival, opening for Steve Coleman and Arturo Sandoval. Levit moved to New York in the early-nineties and followed up his album East River View with dynamic performances at the Montreal Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival and New York Jazz Festival.
Moving to Annapolis, Maryland in 1995, Levit launched into jazz with a renewed energy recording the trio album Uncertain Path and his first solo guitar album, Touch The Spirit. Touch The Spirit charted nationally and music from it has since been used on PBS, numerous commercial film/television projects and receives near constant airplay on Sirius XM Radio.
An acclaimed musician and artist, Levit has created award-winning innovative "Life-Skills Through The Arts" programs through his non-profit, Creating Communities, for adults with mental illness, the homeless, adults in drug and alcohol recovery, youth in domestic/sexual abuse counseling, foster children, hospital patients, veterans and many more. He is currently the Artist-In-Residence at Hospice of the Chesapeake, where he creates and infuses healing activities for the well-being of staff, families and patients.
Rob is the 2012 Mentor of the Year for Anne Arundel County, 2011 recipient of the Martin Luther King Peacemaker Award, 2010 Rotary Club Service Above Self Award and was recently a Top 5 national finalist for the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame for community service. He is also a recipient of a Baker Award from the Baker Foundation and two leadership awards from Leadership Anne Arundel.
In 2006, he was a Fellow at UCLA's Center for Intercultural Performance working and collaborating with artists from around the world. Levit has also completed an acclaimed CD, Songs of Healing, for Hospice of the Chesapeake designed to give comfort to patients, workers and family in hospice care and it has since been distributed to over 1500 people.
Rob and his wife, Elaine have been married for almost twenty one years and recently adopted a beautiful baby boy, Joshua, who is now seven months old. He is currently working on a certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University. 2013-01-25
Vidal Sassoon The Movie, Craig Teper's revealing and inspirational portrait of one man who revolutionized hairdressing, features a soundtrack produced by David Spelman ’92, with music by American Music Club's Mark Eitzel, Jesse Harris, The Loving Spoonful, The Jam, George Gershwin, Noel Coward, Gustav Mahler, as well as post-rock ensembles Redhooker, Clogs (featuring Bryce Dessner and Padma Newsome of The National), and Arcade Fire side project Bell Orchestre. The film had its premiere at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. David studied Guitar Performance at NEC and is well known as a curator and as the artistic director of the New York Guitar Festival. 2011-05-12
Susan Sims ’92 M.M. is currently an orthopedic surgery resident at the University of Rochester Medical Center/Strong Memorial Hospital. She graduated in May 2010 from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine with her MD. She now lives in Irondequoit, NY with her husband Christopher Sims, two dogs, and a cat. Of her new journey into Medicine she says, “This has been an extremely interesting and challenging road and I am very happy to be on it!” Susan recieved her Master's in Flute Performance from NEC. 2011-04-26
Heidi Pankratz Albert ’92 M.M. recently won the job of Assistant Principal Cellist with Opera Cleveland. She began her duties this September with multiple performances of Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers”. Albert is also principal cellist with the Grammy winning Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and performs regularly with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, the Akron Symphony, and many other groups throughout northeast Ohio. She teaches cello at the College of Wooster, and is a former faculty member of Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA, Hiram College in Hiram, OH, and the Portage Arts Academy in Kent, OH. Ms. Albert also enjoys performing as founding member with the cutting edge cello quartet, Pizzicato4. 2011-01-05
Lauren Bernofsky '92 M.M. has recently had a number of her compositions published. Her Suite for Brass Quintet was recently performed by the distinguished Spanish Brass at the 2010 Festival Spanish Brass in Alzira, Spain. Three new pedagogical string orchestra pieces of hers were published this year: Double Trouble, The Red Iguana Rhumba, and Dinosaur Damage. All three received Editors' Choice ratings from J.W. Pepper. Bernofsky's Trio for Brass is now in print from Balquhidder Music, and a new recording of the piece by Chris Gekker, Gregory Miller, and Matthew Guilford '86, '88 M.M. will soon be released by Albany Records. 2010-12-20
Soprano Melanie Mitrano ’92 M.M., '95 D.M.A. is an active performer, teacher, composer, lecturer and writer who specializes in contemporary classical music and crossover repertoire. Her new recording, a jazz-focused disc of her original compositions, All Things Gold, was released in April 2010. 2010-08-03
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.
Jin-Hee Ahn, Luiz Britto Passos Amato, Melissa Susan Barnard, Peter Biloen, Rachel Lyn Braude, Sung-Eun Chang, Leonard Anthony Ciampa, Ludvig Kari Forberg, Michael Jordan Grigg, Gudrun Edda Gunnarsdottir, Choong Wan Hahn, Sue Joung Hahn, Joon-hee Han, Hua-Chen Hsieh, Anna Margret Kaldalons, Kwangmin Kim, Sue Yeon Kim, Ju-Young Kim, Yukiko Sato Kirito, Azusa Kodama, George Kostantine Kokkas, Minako Kosuge, Chizuru Koyama, Suk-Rahn Kwon, Seog Dong Lee, Amy Elzah Lindquist, Joao Miguel Vassalo Neves Lourenco, Fusako Matsuoka, Ariadna Goncalves Moreira, E. Ross Moyer, Keiko Suzuki Ono, Mie Hee Park, Steven Joseph Patchel, Beatrice Madge Petitet-Kircher, David Bryson Quiggle, Alamin Said, Chi-Won Suh, Keiko Suzuki, Matthew Philip Thompson, Enrique Ulloa, Minako Urushibata, Ming-Shiu You.