Motifs: April 2014

Crescendo issue: April 2014

Thom Working (AS 62, IAC/NMC 63-64, UM 65, IAC/NMC St 66-68) is conductor of the Holland (Michigan) American Legion Band. In June the band will participate in the 70th anniversary of D-Day with concerts and ceremonies throughout France, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands, including at the Utah Beach Museum and the Normandy American Cemetery.

Bob Snyder (IAA 62-65) wrote the "Memory for Music" chapter for the newest edition of the "Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology," which will be published in both English and Chinese.

James Carter Cathcart (IAA 68-71) will be performing a series of benefit piano recitals throughout 2014. The first one was held last month at St. Luke's Church in New York City, with proceeds going to St. Luke's soup kitchen. Other locations include Michigan City, Indiana; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Traverse City, Michigan; Dallas, Texas; and Seattle, Washington.

Composer Daniel McCarthy (IAC/NMC 69, IAA 70-74, IAC/NMC St 73, IAC Fac 95-06) received The American Prize in Orchestral Composition, The "Doc" Severinsen International Composition Prize, and an Individual Artist Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council this year. He is preparing to test to the 4th Degree Black Belt Taekwondo "Master."

Karen Alley (IAC/NMC 75, 77-78; IAA 77-81; IAC/NMC St 79-82) is a teacher in Memphis, Tennessee. She enjoys photography in her free time.

Leisa Rich (IAA 75-78) has an installation of soaring, rainbow birds entitled "Follow the Leader" in the Flight Patterns exhibition at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport's T- North Concourse. The installation will be there through April 2015. She will also be teaching Color and Texture: Stitch and Surface, a course on dyeing and printing techniques and surface embroidery manipulations, at Peters Valley Craft Center in Layton, New Jersey, August 8-12, 2014.

Deborah (Kalasz) Podolka (AS 75-77, IAC/NMC 78-79, ICCA 06, IAC St 08) opened the Flute Studio of Grand Traverse where she teaches flute students of all ages and levels. More than 15 of her students have attended Interlochen Arts Camp and Interlochen Arts Academy in the past 18 years.

Tom Ford (IAC/NMC 76-79), Dustin Tucker (IAA 94-98, IAC St 09), and Torsten Johnson (IAA 05-08, IAC St 13) are appearing in "As You Like It," directed by Edward Morgan, at Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival through August 2014.

Kimberly Brooks (IAC/NMC 79-82, IAC/NMC St 85) was featured on Vanity Fair's website last month. The post, entitled "Kimberly Brooks's Mesmerizing Oil Paintings" included a Q & A with her as well as a slideshow of her artwork (

Ranardo-Domeico Grays's (AS 88, IAC/NMC 89, IAA 89-90, IAC St 91) VISIONS Contemporary Ballet performed in "Under Exposed" at Dixon Place in New York City on April 1.

Paola Carvajal Chavez (IAC/NMC 90) lives in Shanghai, China, where she is managing director of China Elite Tennis Academy. She lives in Shanghai with her husband and two young children.

Russell Shedd (AS 93-94, IAC 95, IAA 95-96) was awarded the 2014 David Paul Schuchman Award by the San Diego Unified School District, given to the instrumental music teacher of the year. He was also nominated for the 2015 Grammy Music Educator Award.

Santino Fontana (IAC 99) voiced the role of Prince Hans in the Disney animated film "Frozen." This spring, he is playing the role of Moss Hart in the new play "Act One" at Lincoln Center.

Leeds Hill (IAC 01) made his Broadway debut as Bobby in the revival of "Cabaret" at Studio 54 last month. Leeds is also the understudy for the Emcee, played by Alan Cumming, and he stepped into the Emcee role for the first time on March 29. "Cabaret" is scheduled to run through August 31.

Farhad Hudiyev (IAC 01, IAA 01-04) is the artistic and music director for Youth Music Monterey County in Monterey, California.

Tory Wegerski (IAA 03-06) moved to Buffalo, New York, where she is the morning news producer at WKBW. She works as a writer, researcher, and reporter and spent the past year in Lexington, Kentucky, as the morning news producer for WKYT.

William Cooper (IAA 03-04, IAC St 08, IAC Fac 10-13) was awarded a Charles Ives Scholarship by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The award is given to composition students of great promise.

Ddendyl Hoyt (IAA 03-06) can be seen on NBC this spring as part of the singing competition "The Voice."

Vocalist Mikki Sodergren (IAA 06-08) was the 2014 winner of the Courtney Knight Gaines Gold Medal, the Ben Tucker Award for best jazz performance, and the Johnny Mercer Award for the best Johnny Mercer performance at the American Traditions Competition in Savannah, Georgia. Mikki currently resides in New York City.

Saxophonist Max Schwimmer (IAC 06-07, IAC St 08-11) is a member of the Asylum Quartet, an emerging chamber music ensemble. In Boston last month, the Asylum Quartet became the first saxophone quartet to win Grand Prize at the International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition. Max will be stopping by Traverse City and Interlochen Arts Camp this summer to work with saxophone students at camp and perform at the Traverse City Film Festival.

Maureen Young (IAA 07-11) will be an artist teacher at Curtis Summerfest in Philadelphia this summer.

Carly Gordon (IAC 09-10) and one of her classmates at The Eastman School of Music created Songs of Sochi, a web video series in which Olympic athletes share their favorite pieces of classical music. You can find Songs of Sochi on Facebook and YouTube as well as at