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Alumnotes

1960s  -  1970s  -  1980s  -  1990s  -  2000s

1965

Gene Perla of Easton, PA, and his band the Fine Wine Trio recorded the group's third album, Brilliant Circles, in Mexico for release in 2008. Perla is a music business professor at the New School University in New York City and at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He currently serves as the president of PM Records and Plug Records and owns CyberNet Communications.

1966

The Simpsons composer Alf Clausen of Canyon Country, CA, recently reached a career milestone. As of February 1, 2008, Clausen has composed 25,000 takes for the popular animated series.

1967

Pianist/composer Dan Tudor of Cape Coral, FL, released the solo CD Joyful Dreams, which is currently being broadcast on the C.A.R.E. Channel in more than 200 hospitals nationwide. He serves on the board of directors of Audubon of Southwest Florida and has been published in Times of the Island magazine.

 
  Brian Groder '73

1971

Saxophonist and composer Crispin Cioe of Westport, CT, and his band Cracked Ice (which includes bassist Ivan Bodley '92) released the CD Soul Noir. Cioe also cofounded the Uptown Horns and has played with the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and James Brown.

Songwriter and guitarist Michael Haydn, of Vineyard Haven, MA, performs frequently around Martha's Vineyard. Visit www.michaelhaydnmv.com.

1973

Trumpeter and composer Brian Groder of New York City released Torque, a collection of 14 original compositions and improvisations with members of the legendary Sam Rivers Trio. Down Beat magazine named the CD among the best of 2007.

1974

Composer Stuart Balcomb of Venice, CA, is working on two documentaries, one of which features Deepak Chopra. He has also developed 36 webisodes for Disney. Visit www.stuartbalcomb.com.

Doug Leess of New Canaan, CT, has been named the head of theory at the Suzuki Music School of Westport, CT. He is also leader of the popular local band the Wingnuts.

 
From the left: Jeff Meegan, Jeff Tyzik, and Brad Hatfield '75  

1975

Composer and keyboardist Brad Hatfield of Westwood, MA, orchestrated the song "Bring Them Home" with collaborator Jeff Meegan. The song was performed by conductor Jeff Tyzik and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, along with a chorus of 200 high-school students. He recently accompanied vocalist Rebecca Parris on the National Public Radio program Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, and is recording a new CD with Parris in New York.

Composer Rob Resetar produced the new DVD Southern Arizona Traveler. Resetar filmed and scored the wordless travelog. Visit www.resetar.com.

1976

Nathan Arnold Worsley of Tarboro, NC, composed, performed, and recorded the acoustic guitar track for the documentary The Heart of the People, an oral history of Tarboro. Jeremy Dean created the film, which is available on DVD.

1977

Guitarist Jamie Glaser of Lehi UT, released his first solo CD since 1990, Music for Pets and People. Two dollars from every purchase will be donated to animal rescue.

 
  Bob Resetar '75

1978

Drummer Elizabeth Ficalora of Franklin, TN, released the book How to Write a Fast and Easy Drum Chart, a 12-step guide to writing drum charts for cover songs and original material. It's based on a method Ficalora has used professionally for 30 years. Visit www.easydrumchart.com.

Saxophonist Ken Field of Cambridge, MA, and his street-beat brass band the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble performed at the 2008 New Year's Eve celebration on the Boston Common.

Composer/pianist Emil Viklicky of Prague, Czech Republic, released Ballads & More with the Emil Viklicky Trio. Visit www.viklicky.com.

1979

Richard Paul Clark of Canon City, CO, and his progressive jazz-pop concept band Novena Boy released their debut CD, Tales from the Burning Edge.

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, an orchestral work by composer Michael Gandolfi of Cambridge, MA, is the title cut for a new Telarc CD featuring conductor Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.Visit www.michaelgandolfi.com.

 
Composer Michael Gandolfi '79  
Peggy Friedland  

1980

Guitarist Matt Backer of London, England, won the New Music Award for Adult Contemporary New Artist of the Year. Visit www.mattbacker.com.

Anthony Resta of Westford, MA, owns Studio Bopnique Musique, where he recorded and mixed "Hollywood," the new theme song for American Idol.

1980

Composer Frank Macchia of Burbank, CA, was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Instrumental Arrangement category for his version of the folk song "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair." The song appears on Macchia's Emotions CD.

1982

Composer and guitarist Jamie Begian of New York City was recently promoted to the role of coordinator of jazz studies at Western Connecticut State University. He continues to perform actively in the New York jazz scene with his band the Jamie Begian Big Band and as a member of the PULSE Composer Federation. Visit www.jamiebegian.com.

Karen Cooper of Rockville, MD, earned JD and MSW degrees and works as a federal regulator of clinical research in Washington, D.C. A pianist, Copper previously spent 14 years performing around the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

Rick Koval of Pearl River, NY, wrote, arranged, and performed music for his new CD, Land of the Free, with guest artist the Noyles.

Composer Jeanne Ricks of Yonkers, NY, recorded an instrumental guitar work titled "Simple Pleasure" that was featured on the CD The Weather Channel Presents: Best of Smooth Jazz. The compilation CD recently reached number one on Billboard magazine's Top Contemporary Jazz chart.

Violinist Benjamin Smeall of Green Bay, WI, plays in SongCycleS, a group that performs original music and covers in English and Spanish. He performs with his two sons, Joseph and Arthur. Visit www.songcycles.net.

1983

Lisa El-Lakis of Waltham, MA, is a certified music therapist at the Fernald Center in Waltham, MA. In addition to her job duties, annually she coconducts a chorus of developmentally disabled adults.

 
(Back row, from left) Students and alumni Rene Del Fierro and Leonard Washington '06, (front row) Jennah Bell, Paris Strother, Denise Barbarita '93, and Kyrie Stern performed at the JP Unplugged Series at the Loring-Greenough House in Jamaica Plain, MA, on February 9.  

1984

Guitarist Pete Huttlinger of Nashville, TN, played a solo set to a sold-out audience at the Stern/Perlman Auditorium at Carnegie Hall on January 12, opening for the Beatles tribute band 1964.

1985

Scott Schroen of Alpharetta, GA, teaches at the Georgia Academy of Music and at Music and Art in Alpharetta, as well as a four-week songwriting course at Emory College. He also performs and tours with his Frank Zappa tribute band Ugly Radio Rebellion. Visit www.uglyradiorebellion.com.

1986

Composer Susan Botti of Ann Arbor, MI, premiered her work Un Bacio at Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall on February 14. In celebration of its 90th Anniversary, the Manhattan School of Music commissioned the piece. Members of the school's Zero Gravity group preformed the work.

1987

Paulo Camargo of São Paulo, Brazil, recorded keyboard, programming, and vocals on Onde Brilhem Os Olhos Seus, the first solo album by Fernanda Takai, the lead singer of the Brazilian band Pato Fu. It was named best Brazilian pop album of 2007 by the critics association of APCA.

Vocalist Marlon Saunders of New York City performed at the 80th Annual Academy Awards singing the nominated song "That's How You Know" that was featured in the Disney motion picture Enchanted.

 
  Trevor Watkis '89

1988

Michael Puwal of Madison, TN, has been writing, producing, and engineering records and performing with various touring acts throughout the United States and Europe. Six of the songs he's worked on have been number-one hits, and 12 others have made it into the top ten of the Billboard charts.

Joe Scopa of Boston, MA, and the Boston-based country band Digger Dawg were recently invited to perform for the U.S. troops in Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. Digger Dawg also features Justin Bethune '07, Dustin "Cooper" Jensen '07, Caitlin Nicol-Thomas '07, and current Berklee students Jenn Bostic and Roston Kirk.

Jason Vogel of New York City was named a partner at the law firm of Kilpatrick Stockton LLP. His practice focuses on international trademark and copyright law, and he has counseled leading companies in the entertainment and media industries. Prior to entering law school, Vogel worked as an independent recording engineer and record producer.

1989

Deborah Adams of Nashville, TN, was awarded an honorable mention in the annual poetry contest of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center magazine House Organ. And for the 11th year in a row, she also performed at the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival.

 
Amy Bob Engelhardt '90  

Arranger Chuck Butler of Sewell, NJ, is the music director of Monster Tracks Original Music in Philadelphia and has composed music for former presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

Pianist Doug Hammer of Lynn, MA, released his debut CD Solace, a collection of solo piano works. He also owns and operates Dreamworld Productions. Visit www.doughammer.net.

John Nixon of Grosse Pointe Park, MI, and his band 7and5 released their second album, Trading Stories, a unique blend of lush electro and contemporary new age tunes.

Powell Randolph of Virginia Beach, VA, together with Brent Havens '79, Dan Clemens '89, and Zebra lead vocalist Randy Jackson, play the music of Led Zeppelin with orchestras around the country. Visit www.themusicofledzeppelin.com.

Pianist Bob Villwock of Grass Valley, CA, is featured on Lorraine Gervais's CD A World Apart. He plays with the Perry Mills Project and with the Steely Dan tribute band Steelin Dan and runs a website for musicians at www.improvisemusic.com.

Trevor Watkis of Hackney, London, released his debut CD Straight Ahead . . . Ride for Tone! and will embark on his first tour as a leader in 2008. Joining him are fellow alumni Darren Barrett '90 on trumpet and Reuben Rogers '94 on bass. The CD has been released in the United Kingdom and the United States.

 
  Kurt Rosenwinkel '90

1990

Vocalist Amy Bob Engelhardt of Los Angeles, CA, released Not Gonna Be Pretty, her first solo album. The disc was produced by Bob Malone '88 and features 13 of Engelhardt's original songs. Visit www.coldfoot.net.

Javier Girotto of Rome, Italy, and his group Girotto, Biondini & Silvestri Ensemble released a self-titled CD. Visit www.javiergirotto.com.

Guitarist/composer Kurt Rosenwinkel of Lucerne, Switzerland, released the new album The Remedy: Live at the Village Vanguard. The two-disc album has been released on ArtistShare. Visit www.kurtrosenwinkel.com.

1991

Marc Chillemi of South Portland, ME, currently performs with several groups in the greater Portland area, including Primo Cubano. He also works as an employment specialist and business developer at Costal Enterprises Inc.

 
Alex Clements '92  

Spencer Seidel of Kinnelon, NJ, created the software for the Ultimate Guitar Chord Trainer. The program interactively quizzes students and teaches the fretboard by ear instead of sight. He also developed the Ultimate Guitar Ear Trainer.

1992

Bryan Beller of Nashville, TN, produced WesFest 3, an annual concert to benefit the Wes Wehmiller Memorial Endowed Scholarship at Berklee, as well as the DVD release of WesFest 2, a live recording benefiting the scholarship. Beller also tours with his band Dethklok and is recording his second solo album.

Pianist and composer Alex Clements of Las Vegas, NV, released his second CD, Waiting for You. He is performing in the Cirque du Soleil show O at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Visit www.alexclements.com.

Drummer Juanjo Orti of Tenerife, Spain, released Suite de la Amistad, recorded live at the Tenerife Auditorium in 2006 with his brother Polo Orti '90, Gary Burton '62, Victor Merlo '91, and the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra.

 
  From the left: siblings Avishi Cohen '99, Anat Cohen '98, and Yuval Cohen '95

1994

Guitarist "Metal Mike" Chlasciak of North Arlington, NY, joined the cast of Talking Metal, a TV program on FUSE Networks. Chalsciak's last CD, Angel Down, debuted at number 162 on the Billboard 200 chart and features performances by Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses.

1995

Alto saxophonist Yuval Cohen of Brooklyn, NY, and his siblings Anat Cohen '98 (alto sax) and Avishai Cohen '99 (trumpet) of the band 3 Cohens released their second CD, Braid. Visit www.3cohens.com.

Steve Earnhart of Los Angeles, CA, is a freelance musician in the Los Angeles area and also works as a comic book writer and publisher.

Ian McGlynn of Somerville, NJ, released his new EP, Diamonds, which is available on iTunes. Visit www.ianmcglynn.com.

Dave Pelman of Los Angeles, CA, recently formed DP Music Production, a music library and custom scoring service for film, television, and advertising. Recently, his company entered into an exclusive partnership with Lions Gate Entertainment.

1996

Lisa Hearns of Staten Island, NY, was awarded a grant from the Council on the Arts and Humanities of Staten Island to present a tribute to Billy Strayhorn and Ella Fitzgerald in the summer of 2008 at the Staten Island Botanical Garden. Visit www.lisahearns.com.

 
  Alma Micic '99

Composer Vincent Gillioz of Burbank, CA, has had four of his film scores released by Spheris Records. The score to L'écart won the silver medal in the Best Impact of Music in a Feature Film category at the 2008 Park City Film Music Festival. Both Pray for Morning and God's Waiting List also won awards. Visit www.vincentgillioz.com.

Bobby Stapf of Los Angeles, CA, composed the music and is the musical director for Beaverquest! The Musical, a show that runs at the Sacred Fools Theater until May 3. Berklee alumni in the band include Brian Robbins '95, Lydia Veilleux '04, and Steve Riley '04. Visit www.bobbystapf.com.

1997

Ayala Asherov of Columbia, SC, released her debut CD, Crossing the River, on the the Hed Arzi label and on CD Baby. The disc contains all original songs performed in Hebrew by Asherov. Visit www.ayalaasherov.com.

Bassist Paco Charlin of Pontevedra, Spain, has released the CD Nature's Sound for the Free Code Jazz Records label. The disc features Charlin with his quintet performing nine original pieces.

Guitarist Brian Donovan of Valencia, CA, released his first solo CD Mugu Point through Binca Music. Visit www.briandonovan.com.

1998

Chris Harper of Clapham, Barbados, produces the popular Cool Jazz Series. He has also worked to increase accessibility for students who wish to attend Berklee and has created audition workshops in Barbados.

 
Lettuce features Erick Coomes '99, Sam Kininger '95, Adam Smirnoff '99, Adam Deitch '98, Ryan Zoidis '99, Eric Krasno, and Neal Evans  

Wendy Roy of Boston, MA, published You Know You're a Glam-Granola Girl If ... The book speaks to women who live organically and celebrates their stylish, sometimes eccentric, holistic lifestyle. Visit www.glamgranola.com.

Gerard Salonga of Muntinlupa City, Philippines, conducted the Peace Philharmonic for the 13th ASEAN Summit 2007 gala. He serves as the music director and conductor of the chamber/studio orchestra FILMharminiKA and wrote music for the first 3-D animated feature films made in the Philippines.

Alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón of New York City released his third CD, Awake, on Marsalis Music. He was also named the best new artist of the year in the 2006 JazzTimes Critics Poll.

1999

Erick Coomes '99, Sam Kininger '95, Adam Smirnoff '99, Adam Deitch '98, Ryan Zoidis '99, Eric Krasno, and Neal Evans of the group Lettuce have released a the CD Rage, a tribute to the greats of funk music.

 
Maureen Murphy '99  

Drummer and songwriter Keith Harris of Chicago, IL, has written songs for Chris Brown, Black Eyed Peas, and Mary J. Blige, and produced recordings by Jully Black, Ginuwine, Fergie, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston.

K Ishibashi, of Brooklyn, NY, and his band Juniper One released their self-titled CD that features Mocha Ishibashi '02 and Pat Dougherty '01. K and Mocha, who met at Berklee, were recently married. Songs from the disc can be heard in sports video games such as Paradise Burnout, Madden NFL '08, and in the film Broken Windows.

Songwriter and vocalist Alma Micic of Bronx, NY, released her second CD, The Hours, featuring Montenegrin melodies, traditional gospel, standards, and original songs. She is backed by a quintet that includes guitarist Rale Micic '99 who produced the album.

Maureen Murphy of Nashville, TN, released her debut EP, Won't Wait Around, on It Is What It Is Music. Visit www.myspace.com/maureenmurphy.

Ajda Snyder of Cambridge, MA, and her band Black Fortress of Opium released their self-titled debut album in March. The disc was produced by Martin Bisi. Visit www.blackfortressofopium.com.

Eric Wirsing of Harrisburg, PA, transcribed the TAB book of fusion guitarist Greg Howe's 1993 Shrapnel Records release Introspection. Visit www.greghowe.com.

 
  Eric Wirsing '99

2000

Mario Calandrelli of Venosa, Italy, has toured with Valentina Mey and recently received his first Aquarian endorsement. In July of 2007, he received an award from the Italian Rotary Club chapter for outstanding musicianship.

Patrick Charles of Woodland Hills, CA, performs with the Patrick Charles Makandel Group, which was recently featured on the upcoming CD by jazz hip-hop artist Amber Ojeda. Visit www.myspace.com/soleiljazz.

Film composer Gunnard Doboze of San Francisco, CA, wrote the score for Iron Ladies of Liberia, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. Visit www.gunnarddoboze.com.

Singer/songwriter Kyler England of North Hollywood, CA, made Music Connection magazine's list Hot 100 Unsigned Artists of 2007. She has released several records on her own label. Visit www.myspace.com/kylerengland.

Film scorer Sean McMahon of Santa Monica, CA, published From the Classroom to the Scoring Stage, a book that discusses the early-stage career challenges for film composers.

Singer/songwriter Victoria (Davitt) Vox of Baltimore, MD, released the album Chameleon that features her ukulele and guitar playing on 13 original songs. The disc was produced by Mike Tarantino '00, and Charlie Paxson '01 played drums. Visit www.victoriavox.com.

2001

 
Victoria Vox '00  

Pianist Philippine Duchateau of Vienna, Austria, and Gina Schwartz '02 released the CD In the Zone, which also features saxophonist and Berklee faculty member George Garzone. The disc contains eight original compositions. Visit www.duchateau.at.

2002

Guitarist Kevin Devogel of Naucalean de Juarez, Mexico, is an active touring sideman. He performed at Live Earth at Wembley Stadium in London with Gogol Bordello.

Composer Pieter Schlosser of Woodland Hills, CA, wrote the underscore for Desperate Housewives. For nearly four years, he has worked with Steve Jablonsky. Visit www.paaxmusic.com.

2003

Bill Anderson of Brighton, MA, completed his debut CD, Liquid, with his band Slow Motion Driver. Visit www.myspace.com/ slowmotiondriver.

Ellen Lurie of Renton, WA, leads the audio team that has created sound effects, voices, and music for the game Dragon Age, a game developed by BioWare Corporation.

 
  Paul Csige '04

Drummer Kendrick Scott of New York City is the founder of World Culture Music and was recently featured on the Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary Tour.

2004

Ryan Almario of Roswell, GA, launched a site to help clients choose arrangers, musicians, and singers to develop their jingles. Visit www.jinglesforcommercials.com.

Paul Csige of Kamuela, HI, debuted Voyages, a mixed-media piece performed by the Kamuela Philharmonic, featuring Csige's orchestral score and art by Herb Kawainue Kane. Visit www.paulcsige.com.

Kenichi Doami of Brooklyn, NY, released his first album, Chronicle, featuring Donny McCaslin '88, Motohito Fukushima, and Ari Hoenig. It's available on CD Baby.

Saxophonist Aaron Henry of Astoria, NY, released Blueshift, a CD of original compositions featuring Christopher Gagne '05, Matthew Stevens '04, Michael Oien '04, and Nick Falk '05.

 
The Romain Collin Trio (from the left) Joe Sanders, Zach Harmon, and Romain Collin '05  

Robert Melamed of Toronto, Ontario, wrote a track for a Budweiser ad campaign featuring George Clooney doing voice-overs.

Composer Yuval Ron of Haifa, Israel, won the Best Original Motion Picture Soundtrack award and the Moondance Gaia Award at the Moondance International Film Festival for his score to the film Road to Victory. He also composed the score for West Bank Story, which won a 2007 Academy Award.

Composer and arranger Michael Teoli of Burbank, CA, debuted his new rock opera, Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, in Portland, OR, on February 21. Visit www.michaelteoli.com.

2005

Singer/songwriter Ingrid Gerdes of Boston, MA, released The Electric Collection, her debut album featuring eight neosoul tracks that she wrote and produced.

 
  Esperanza Spalding '05

Pianist and composer Romain Collin of New York City completed his studies at the Thelonious Monk Institute, and has recoorded the album The Rise and Fall of Pipokuhn.

Bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding of Boston, MA, has recorded her eponymous debut album for Heads Up International for a May 20 release. Spalding was backed by an array of top players including Ninõ Josele (flamenco guitar), Associate Professor Jamey Haddad (percussion), Horacio "El Negro" Hernández (drums), Leo Genovese '04 (piano), Donald Harrison '81 (saxophone), Gretchen Parlato (vocals), and others. Visit www.esperanzaspalding.com.

2006

Alex Ross-Iver of Moscow, Russia, signed an exclusive publishing agreement for his song catalog with Alpha Omega/Monster Tunes Music Publishing. He has been a finalist and semifinalist in two international songwriting competitions.

Singer/songwriter Lauren Zettler of New York City released the EP Call Me Out on her own Tree Swallow music label. The project was produced by Paul Vitolins '06 and recorded by Bernard Levin '06. Visit www.myspace.com/laurenzettler.

  Letters to a Friend

  Charlie Mariano '51, a renowned reedman and former faculty member, is 84 and bravely battling cancer. His family says that he would greatly appreciate hearing from his friends in the Berklee community.

Mailing address:
Charlie Mariano Lütticher Str. #34 50674 Köln, Germany
E-mail: cmariano@t-online.de