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Motifs: March/April 2021

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Janet Bez Ebert (IAC/NMC 52) is in her 68th year of teaching music privately. Ebert taught in public schools for 34 years, and at Urbana University for several years. Ebert headed the music department, and took her choirs on extended tours to the East Coast and mid-America. Her summer at Interlochen probably was the most influential in her lifetime, as she knew when she left that her career was to be in teaching music. Over the years, Ebert has sent some of her best students to Interlochen (including her son), and was able to attend two alumni reunions.

Deborah K. Shepherd (IAA 62-64) released her debut novel, "So Happy Together," with She Writes Press on April 20. The book explores the conundrum of love and sexual attraction, creativity and family responsibilities, and what happens when they are out of sync. It is a story of missed opportunities, the tantalizing possibility of second chances, and what we leave behind, carry forward, and settle for when we choose. Deborah lives in Maine with her husband, Henry Wyatt (IAC/NMC 62, IAA 62-65), and two rescue dogs.

Cindy Housh Glovinsky (IAC/NMC 64-65, IAA 64-66, UNIV 66) recently published “Music, Lakes & Blue Corduroy: A Memoir of Interlochen” through Thunder Bay Press. The book is dedicated “to Joseph E. Maddy, Thor Johnson, and all the Interlochen faculty, staff, and trustees who helped to make a bunch of struggling Sixties teenagers into loving, giving artists.”

Sam Pilafian (IAC/NMC 66-67), former tubist with the Empire Brass Quintet, Boston Brass, Boston University, and Arizona State University, was posthumously awarded the 2020 Latin Grammy Award for Best Classical Music Recording for his work as producer and composer of Eternal Gratitude. Pilafian passed away on April 5, 2019.

David Sporny (IAA Fac 66-81, IAC Fac 72-75, 79) was selected as the winner of the International Trombone Association's 2021 Neil Humfeld Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award honors living teachers who have demonstrated an exceptional level of excellence in their work.

Anne Moscona (IAC/NMC 68-73) was a co-developer of a lipopeptide nasal spray that may prevent transmission of COVID-19, including new variants of the virus.

Laura Ross (AS 72-73, IAC/NMC 74-76, UNIV 78, 80, IAC St 77) has been a member of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra for more than 30 years. The orchestra recently received the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for their world-premiere performance of Christopher Rouse’s Symphony No. 5. The orchestra has now received a total of 15 Grammy Awards.

Dermot Mulroney (IAC/NMC 79) has joined the cast of the forthcoming spy thriller Agent Game. The film’s cast also features Mel Gibson, Katherine MacNamara, Rhys Coiro, and Annie Ilonzeh.

Jim Stephenson (IAC/NMC 79-84, 86, IAA 83-86) composed a new score for Wooden Dimes, a new ballet that premiered at the San Francisco Ballet on March 4. Wooden Dimes was choreographed by Danielle Rowe and accompanied by the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra under the direction of Martin West.

Conductor Liza Grossman (IAA 82-85, IAC faculty 99-14) is the founder of Kaboom Collective, a program for musicians and composers ages 16-21 to work with industry professionals in the arts and entertainment industry.

Holly Wren Spaulding's (IAC/NMC 83, IAA 91-91, IAC Fac 00-01) latest poetry collection, Familiars, was published in fall 2020 by Alice Greene & Co. Former Academy Creative Writing instructor Anne-Marie Oomen described it this way: "In these brushstroke poems, Holly Wren speaks with the fine-tuned force exhibited by the masters of concision. By touching the essential with such delicate linguistic energy, an entire world balances on her pages: vital and tender and alive. Her stanzas illuminate the white-spaced world of the page with hawk-crested beauty, with acorn, beech, heron, newt. Holly Wren’s interactions with language and the natural world are like a light that is always new, or a bird’s quick and stunning song—look, here, look here, here, here." Holly is the founder of Poetry Forge, where she works with emerging writers, and lives on the southern seacoast of Maine.

John Duncan (IAA 87-88) collaborated with local musicians to record an album of songs, Camperdown House, which he wrote over the last ten years.

On March 8, Joel Dallow (IAA 88-90) launched The Cello Sherpa Podcast, which is focused on covering all the topics on the journey from intermediate musician to the professional stage. The inaugural episode features an interview with world-renowned cellist Steven Isserlis. Many more episodes are in the works, with experts speaking on a wide range of topics surrounding this challenging field. The Cello Sherpa Podcast is available on Apple, Spotify, Google and many other platforms.

Kate Angus (IAA 90-94) is the founder and editor of Augury Books. One of Augury’s recent publications, & more black by t’ai freedom ford, has been selected as a finalist for the 2021 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, one of the most prestigious prizes in poetry. The book also won a 2020 LAMDA Award and was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.

Kerin Black (IAC 93, IAA 93-95) and Jo Withers formed the London Horn Duo during lockdown in the UK and gave their debut concert via Zoom on Feb. 7, 2021. They look forward to performing live in the future.

Megan Baxter (IAC 02, IAA 02-04, IAC Fac 19-20, IO Fac 21) released her memoir, Farm Girl, from Green Writers Press on April 22. New York Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult described the book as “A startlingly lovely memoir about how things die, how things grow, and how we reap what we sow … even when we might wish differently. Baxter’s language is as rich as the soil she tends; it will be a joy to see how she blossoms in her career.”

William Cooper (IAA 03-04, IAC St 08, IAC Fac 10-13) composed the music for a new setting of the Passion According to St. Luke which premiered at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Manhattan on April 2. Fellow alumna Addy Sterrett (IAA 10-12), soprano, performed the role of Jesus, while Elliott Encarnación (IAA 05-06) portrayed the evangelist.

Tyler Collins (IAA 05-07) continues to enjoy a successful career as an actor, writer, musician, and voiceover artist in Scotland. Collins has appeared in the award-winning film Where Do We Go From HereAladdin at the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline; the hit television series Outlander; and several high-profile ad campaigns. Collins was also recently the featured guest on an episode of the Putting It Together podcast.

Maggie Hinchliffe (IAC 09-11, IAC St 15) recently graduated with her Master of Music in Collaborative Piano from the Eastman School of Music. Now in Boulder, Colorado, she is the pianist for Boulder Opera Company, choir accompanist at University of Colorado Boulder, piano instructor at Harmony Music House, and co-host of the podcast How It's Musically Made.

Hadley Robinson (IAA 12-14) stars as Vivian Carter in the Netflix original film, Moxie. The film, which was released on March 3, was directed by comedy great Amy Poehler.

Jacob Dalton (IAC 08, 10-12) placed first in the short film category of the ScreenCraft Action and Adventure Screenplay Competition for his screenplay, “Dangerous.” Jacob lives in Los Angeles where he is pursuing a career in writing and producing. “Dangerous” begins filming later this year.

Stephen Fry (Green Vest Volunteer) was one of three students selected for a once-in-a-lifetime event called “Journey for Perspective.” During the summer of 1966, between his first and second years at UCLA business school, Fry participated in a five-week, all-expenses-paid tour of England and Europe to learn business practices in seven different countries, including Russia. The students met J. Paul Getty, government ministers, and U.S. State Department officials; took place in cultural events; traveled the Danube; visited the site of Mozart’s first piano performance; and even spent half a day in eastern Berlin.