Alum Notes: L.A. Newsbriefs
What ever did we do before e-mail? Information technology has transformed daily communication in remarkable ways. The response time can be (although not always be) immediate, and the cost of communicating over long distances to large numbers of people has shrunk to levels unimaginable a decade ago. Having e-mail is now assumed, and those without it now seem somewhat unusual.
What's my point? Communications from the Berklee Center in L.A. to Southern California alumni are increasingly handled via e-mail. Apart from postcard invitations to the December holiday social and to the alumni brunch that coincides with the NAMM Show, regular mailings have almost disappeared. On average, e-mail newsletters that list local job opportunities as well as special offers for alumni go out from this office twice each month. The special offers range from free concert tickets to alumni discounts on studio time and other related services.
The response to these e-mail newsletters has been very positive. I would like to invite all those who are not on the e-mail list to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Not only is this an easy way to stay in touch, but it has become the most immediate and cost-effective way to highlight opportunities and spread the word about alumni events. I would also like to hear from alumni with ideas for special offers. It could be a first-time discount offer to entice new business or it could be a "guest list" pass to a local performance. The Southern California alumni community is large and clearly represents a win-win market opportunity for anyone.
As a footnote to the cover story, Michael Thompson '75 has accepted an offer to tour with Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds in the fall. This tour of the United States and Japan will also feature vocalist Lynne Fiddmont Linsey '84. In June, the band will record a concert in New York for the VH1 "Storyteller" series.
Here is some more notable performance news. Bassist Ian Martin '96 is currently touring with MCA Records artist Res. Bassist Matthew Hager '91 is working as musical director for Mandy Moore, whose band also includes Mindi Abair '91 on vocals, saxophone, and percussion, and Kerry Griffin '89 on drums. The band will depart on a world tour this summer in support of Moore's new self-titled album. Hager co-wrote "When I Talk With You" on this album and also produced and/or wrote a total of six songs on the latest CD by John Taylor (of Duran, Duran fame), Techno For Two.
This year's 73rd Academy Awards Orchestra, led by Bill Conti, featured Neil Stubenhaus '75 on bass and Harvey Mason '68 on drums. Helping out in the orchestration and electronic media chores was Erik Lundmark '83.
As for other alumni in the news, Patrick Sabatini '95 recently graduated from law school and joined the Legal Department at Capitol Records. Steve Corn '84 was recently promoted to executive vice president of LicenseMusic.com. Steve can be reached at email@example.com.
In the world of film and TV music, Sharon Farber '97 scored the TV movie They Call Me Sirr (for Showtime) staring Michael Clarke Duncan. She was also commissioned by the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles to arrange Israeli songs for a performance by the La Shir Choir at an Israeli Memorial Day performance on April 24. Sharon is about to start scoring the independent feature Running at Midnight by director Pablo Toledo. Hummie Mann '76 composed the score to Wooly Boys starring Peter Fonda, Kris Kristofferson, and Keith Carradine. Mann also traveled to China in May where he lectured at the Beijing Conservatory's Film Academy. Roger Bellon '75 scored the April CBS movie Final Jeopardy, starring Dana Delaney. Music editor Tony DiMito '87, a staff member at Mike Post's Westwind Media, has been busy working on the TV series "Grounded for Life." Music for the show comes from the band Ween, and it's DiMito's job each week to fit it in with the footage.
Michael Levine '76 recently scored an animated short film entitled Hubert's Brain. This comic work features state-of-the-art animation and may well show up in the 2002 Academy Award nominations. James Sale '92 contributed orchestrations for the Lee Holdridge score to the Oscar-nominated film Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport. Bill Wandel '93 scored the USA Network's movie After the Storm, which starred Benjamin Bratt and Armand Assante. Music editor Curtis Roush '80 recently completed work on Final Fantasy: The Movie, scored by Eliot Goldenthal.
Lennie Moore '83 contributed a series of arrangements for a Peter Erskine project that involved several BBC concerts in the U.K. featuring Kenny Wheeler and Marty Ehrlich.
Mark Nemcoff '90 wrote the script (under the pen name Mark Yoshimoto) for "Val on Fire," an episode of Pamela Anderson's "V.I.P. Show" which aired in February. He also optioned a feature-length action script plus a feature-length comedy (cowritten by John Mickevich '88), and just finished a rewrite of a science fiction parody movie called Star Drek, which is now in final development.
That's it for now. Stay in touch.
--Peter Gordon '78, Director,