Faculty Notes

  Professor Walter Beasley

Ensemble Department Professor Walter Beasley released the CD Ready for Love on the Heads Up label. In May the CD hit the number one spot on Smoothjazz.com and the Radio & Records smooth jazz chart and debuted at number two on the Billboard contemporary jazz chart. Visit www.walterbeasley.com.

The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra performed the world premiere of "Dreaming of an Island" by Associate Professor of Music Synthesis Neil Leonard. Leonard also coordinated a composer exchange between Boston, New York, and Israel and will produce a CD documentary about the participating composers. And this summer, he will present an electronic music festival in Rome, Torino, and Venice, Italy.

Associate Professor of Harmony Kris Adams wrote the lyrics to the song "What to Do" written by Brad Hatfield '75. The song is featured in the opening sequence of the movie Puccini for Beginners.

Professor Oscar Stagnaro (bass), Assistant Professor Mark Walker (drums) Pernell Saturnino '95 (percussion), Alon Yavnai '95 (piano), Diego Urcola '90 (trumpet) and student Paulo Stagnaro (percussion) are members of the Berklee Brothers who back saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera on his new CD, Funk Tango. The disc was released in May.

Assistant Professor of Music Business/Management Andrea Johnson was elected to the national board of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association.

Associate Professor of Harmony Wayne Naus was the guest conductor for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Eighth District Jazz Band Concert in Berwick, Pennsylvania.

Associate Professor of Harmony Darrell Katz and Associate Professor of Guitar Norm Zocher contributed arrangements to the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra's recent tribute to Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, and Thelonious Monk.

Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Jay Kennedy was elected to the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame.

Professor Tiger Okoshi led a group of 20 trumpeters, 10 trombonists, and six Japanese taiko drummers who played the National Anthem at Fenway Park April 20 as a welcome for Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka of Japan.

Professor of Percussion Ralph Peterson had a signature cymbal released by Sabian titled the Vault Series Ralph Peterson 22" Ride Cymbal.

Media Center Manager Ralph Rosen released his second CD, No Secrets, featuring faculty members Bruce Katz, George Garzone, Greg Hopkins, and Jon Damian.

Associate Professor of Guitar Jon Wheatley performed on the CD Guess Who's in Town, which was mentioned in a New Yorker article as one of the top 10 releases for 2006.

Associate Professor of Strings John McGann released an instructional DVD titled Sound Fundamentals: Touch, Tone and Technique for Mandolinists.

The Other Land, an orchestra piece by Associate Professor of Composition Apostolos Paraskevas, premiered in Athens, Greece, in a performance by Alea III, Boston University's Contemporary Music Ensemble, which was conducted by Theodore Antoniou.

Associate Professor of MP&E Prince Charles Alexander was a judge for the Berklee-Essence magazine Hip-Hop Songwriting Contest.

Assistant Professor of Guitar David Newsam was a juror at the Fifth Annual St. Joseph International Guitar Festival and Competition held in May in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Associate Professor of Guitar John Baboian traveled to Southwestern University in Texas to present jazz clinics and concerts; he also presented jazz clinics for the Martin Guitar Company in Texas.

Piano Professor JoAnne Brackeen played in Minneapolis, New York, and Los Angeles. She also traveled to Sapporo, Japan, with faculty members Tiger Okoshi, Jim Odgren, Dave Clark, and Yoron Israel for instructional clinics and a concert.

Associate Professor of Percussion Kenwood Dennard will take his first trip to Africa to perform in Mozambique with Winnie Dahlgren, Winston Maccow, and Eguie Castrillo. Dennard also performed in Puerto Rico with Vice President for Academic Affairs/ International Programs Larry Monroe. Additionally, Dennard has developed a technique he calls Pansonic Coordination that enables him to play drums and keyboards simultaneously.

Percussion Instructor David Cowan has been on professional leave in California performing with Frank McComb, Pam Darden, and the Grammy Award-winning duo of Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. During the summer, he will tour Japan.

Piano Professor Laszlo Gardony performed at the 2007 Jazz Week in Boston preview event at Wheelock College with faculty members John Lockwood and Yoron Israel. In August, Gardony will also perform at the Cabaret Club with the David "Fathead" Newman Quintet.


Professor Bruce Gertz  

Composition Department Chair Gregory Fritze was one of two winners of the Renée B. Fischer Composer Awards. In addition to receiving a cash prize, Fritze was commissioned to compose a new work for solo piano that will be the set piece for the 2008 Renée B. Fischer Competition for Young Pianists.

Bass Professor Bruce Gertz released the new CD It Wasn't Me with Jerry Bergonzi '68 (saxophone), Professor Ken Cervenka (trumpet), Gabriel Guerrero (piano), and Tim Homer (drums). The disc contains eight original jazz compositions penned by Gertz, Bergonzi, and Guerrero.