Motifs: May 2024

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Conductor and trumpeter Gerard Schwarz (IAC/NMC 60-62) was recently featured on an episode of David Krauss’s (IAC/NMC 86-87) Speaking Soundly podcast. In the episode, Schwarz discusses his formative musical experiences—including his summers at Interlochen—his early musical influences, and his decision to pivot from trumpet to conducting. The episode can be streamed on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or the podcast’s website.

After graduating from Interlochen Arts Academy as a tuba major, Dr. Gerald Rogan (IAA 62-64) attended the University of Michigan, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and performed with the marching band at the Rose Bowl. He graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1972. Rogan moved to northern California and practiced as an emergency medicine and family practice physician for 23 years. He served a total of eight years as the California Medicare and Medicaid Director, and currently works as a consultant to the medical industry. Rogan is married and has two step-grandchildren. He lives in Sacramento, California and Fairfax, Virginia.

Christopher Pilafian (IAA 70-71) presented a solo one-day show of representational and abstract paintings at The Lantern House in Los Angeles, California, on April 21. Piliafian is a visual and theatre artist and Studio Professor Emeritus at the UC Santa Barbara Department of Theater and Dance.

Violinist, conductor, and professor Andrés Cárdenes (IAC/NMC 72, IAA 72-75) will retire this May after 47 years of teaching. Cárdenes has spent the past 35 years on faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, where he currently serves as the Dorothy Richard Starling & Alexander Speyer, Jr. University Professor of Violin, Director of Orchestral Studies, and Music Director of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic.

After 38 years directing multi-camera network television, Jeffrey Kay (IAA 73-75) is now the Senior Director/Multimedia at Charter Communications. Following his planned retirement in 2025, Kay and his wife will be exploring the East Coast from Nova Scotia to the Caribbean aboard their Nordhavn trawler. Kay now has a two-year-old grandson and reports that "life is pretty good."

Arturs Weible (IAC/NMC 81-85, IAA 85-89) has been a music teacher in the Chicago Public Schools for 25 years. Weible recently connected with Chicago Civic Orchestra clarinetist Dr. Amy Hur (IAA 11-14, IAC 13), who gave a presentation and a performance for second graders at Frederic Chopin Elementary School through a partnership between the orchestra and Chicago Public Schools. Hur and Weible enjoyed talking about their Arts Academy faculty and reflecting on the ‘ripple effects’ of their instructors’ teaching through their own work in the Chicago area.

Angie Kim’s (IAA 84-87) New York Times best-selling novel Happiness Falls will be adapted as a television series by Stone Village Television and Under the Influence Production. Actor Ethan Hawke will serve as an executive producer for—and potentially star in—the series. Kim will return to Interlochen later this month to deliver the commencement address at the 62nd Interlochen Arts Academy Commencement.

Christine Smith (IAA 87-88, ICA St 93-95) recently retired from her 15-year federal government career in cybersecurity and counterterrorism. Smith received the civilian medal for Operation Enduring Freedom from Secretary Hagel and the Joint Civilian Service Award from Central Command commander GEN Austin for her assistance in improving U.S.-Pakistan relations after Usama bin Laden was killed.

Hornist Brad Gemeinhardt (IAC 94, IAA 94-96) and pianist Martha Locker premiered Kevin Newton’s Hill House during the Juilliard Pre-College Faculty Recital on April 20, 2024.

Allie X (IAA 01-03) released her third studio album, Girl With No Face, on Feb. 23, 2024. The album, which was almost entirely written and produced by Allie X, received favorable reviews from critics including Metacritic, AllMusic, and Slant Magazine.

Nathan Lutz (IAC 02-03) was recently appointed executive director of the Carmel Bach Festival. Lutz previously served as director of operations and education programs at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and was a double bass fellow for the New World Symphony.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph (IAC 03, IAC St 05) will star alongside Halle Bailey and Kelvin Harrison Jr. in Pharrell Williams’ coming-of-age movie musical. The yet-unnamed project is inspired by Williams’ childhood home in Virginia Beach and features a screenplay by Martin Hynes and Steven Levenson.

Joshua McClendon’s (IAC 10-15, IAA 15-18) musical studies—including his time as a student of Crispin Campbell at Interlochen Arts Academy—were chronicled in a new book by Voncile Campbell, Joshua’s Journey to Juilliard. McClendon currently serves as the cellist of the Isidore String Quartet, which won the 2022 Banff International Quartet Competition and a 2023 Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Asia Pyron (IAC 12, IAA 12-16, IAC St 16) has been selected to participate in the University of North Carolina School of the Arts School of Dance’s Choreographic Institute. Pyron is one of just four choreographers chosen from a pool of more than 150 applicants for the four-week summer residency program.

Levi Boylan (IAC 13-17, IAA 18-19) graduated from The Juilliard School and currently serves as the principal trombone of the New Jersey Symphony. He recently performed Ferdinand David’s Concertino for Trombone with Imperial Brass during their April 28 performance at the Montclair Salvation Army Citadel.

Majo Rivero (IAA 15-17) will co-produce and direct a performance by the International World Tour Cast of West Side Story at 54 Below on May 28, 2024.

Conor Dailey (IAC 15, 17-18; IAA 15-19; IAC St 19-23) will be completing field work at the Sagarmatha National Park and Buffer Zone in Nepal during the month of May, assessing reforestation and carbon sequestration in the region. The research is being conducted in partnership with the Himalayan Trust through Ball State University, where Dailey is currently completing graduate studies in Geology and Natural Resources.

Robin Easter (IAC 16, IAC St 18-19) recently published their debut graphic novel, Upstaged. The book, which is both written and illustrated by Easter, is set at a summer theatre camp.

Broner McCoy (IAC 18-19, IAA 18-19) has been selected as the first recipient of the Al Fisher Scholarship Grant by the Interlochen Society of Bassists.

T.G. Sparks (IAC 23) published his debut novel, which was workshopped at the Interlochen Arts Camp Novel Writing Intensive last summer, in February 2024. The Last Siren (Blue Forge Press) explores a world where the boundaries of gender, species, and love are as fluid as the sea itself.