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L.A. Newsbriefs


 
  From the left: Joe Greenier '04, Justine Taormino '06, Daniel Zimmerman '04, President Roger Brown, Leanne Summers '88, and Christoph Bull '89 at the January alumni brunch

Held in Santa Monica, CA, in January 2008, the Los Angeles Alumni Brunch was a huge success. President Roger Brown was on hand and presented an overview of the state of the college and more. The event always has an upbeat feel, but this year's installment featured more interaction and networking among alumni than in previous years.

The Academy Awards telecast employs a house orchestra that traditionally comprises Hollywood's most elite musicians. This year's ensemble was no exception. It featured such session veterans as trombonist Dick Nash '48 (who recently turned 80), bassist Neil Stubenhaus '75, and drummer Harvey Mason '68.

 
David Van Slyke '93  

The 35th Annual Annie Awards were recently announced, and Alf Clausen '66 was once again a winner for his music in The Simpsons episode "Yokel Chords." It's worth noting that Clausen reached a monumental milestone: he recorded scoring session take number 25,000 for the show. Clausen has enjoyed a remarkable 19-season run with the popular series.

Oren Hadar '02 mixed the score for the 2007 indie hit movie Juno. Hadar has been busy this year; he produced the EP Like Water for Elizaveta and engineered and mixed two other albums. He also had songwriting success after cowriting six songs on three albums, and he composed extensively for the MTV show Next.

Matthew Hager '91 recently finished mixing the song "Cry Baby Cry" for Duran Duran's upcoming album Red Carpet Massacre, which was produced by Timbaland and Justin Timberlake. Hager also engineered the album's new single "Falling Down." He is currently working on a new disc by Mindi Abair '91 for Concord Records. Abair's last album debuted at number one on Billboard's contemporary jazz chart, and her last two singles (both of which were written by Hager) reached number one on the Radio & Records charts. For more info, visit www. myspace.com/matthewhager.

 
  Matthew Hager '91 and Mindi Abair '91

The 2007 Hollywood Post Alliance Awards were announced late last year, and sound designer David Van Slyke '93 won for his work on the CSI episode "Living Doll."

After a busy year on the road as the musical director for the successful Josh Groban tour, Tariqh Akoni '91 has recently been appointed as the head of the Guitar Department at the Los Angeles Music Academy. In what he describes as a major step forward, Akoni assumes a leadership role in a growing program that also includes Philip Bynoe '81 and Steve Billman '83 as members of the Bass Department faculty, and Jeff Richman '76 on the Guitar Department faculty.

In other news from the road, Steve Fekete '96 is playing lead guitar with Avril Lavigne on her current tour, and Warren Johnson '02 is mixing sound for the Ashlee Simpson tour.

Peter Gordon '78

pgordon@alumni.berklee.edu