Alumni Achievements

Alumni: If you would like to let your classmates know what you have been doing, please send your information to our online submission form, or submit via email to You can also send the information to Fanfare, Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, 70 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL 60208. (Note: If you are submitting digital images to go along with your news item, you must use the email address and attach those images to the email.) We reserve the right to edit your item for either online or print publication. Below are alumni updates from the spring 2016 issue of Fanfare.

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Royce Saltzman (G54) received the International Federation for Choral Music’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 World Choral Expo in Macau, China. Saltzman served as IFCM’s president for eight years. He also received the Robert Shaw Award at the 2015 American Choral Directors Association national conference.


Louise Dixon (G72) retired from her position as second flute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra after 42 years. She ties as the third-longest-serving flutist in CSO history.

Hollis Thoms (G73), a composer and educator, has written two recently premiered operas: Conversations, based on short stories by Hemingway and Joyce, in October at New York’s Concordia College; and O, know, sweet love, I only write of you, based on Shakespeare’s sonnets, in February in Edgerton, Maryland, commemoratingthe 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. A recital of his chamber music was presented in May at St. John’s College in Annapolis.

David Loebel (G74), associate director of orchestras at New England Conservatory, has recently appeared as a guest conductor with the Utah Symphony, Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, Indiana University Symphony Orchestra, and Symphoria in Syracuse, New York. Loebel is also music director of NEC Preparatory School’s senior orchestra, the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. He is pictured above with violinist Ari Vilhjálmsson (08), soloist in Chausson’s Poème during the Youth Philharmonic’s June 2015 tour to Vilhjálmsson’s native Iceland.

Mark Camphouse (75, G76), professor of music and director of bands at George Mason University, was the featured composer at the 68th annual convention of the Texas Bandmasters Association in San Antonio. Camphouse hosted the 10th convening of the National Band Association’s Young Composer/Conductor Mentor Project at GMU with “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band as ensemble in residence. 


Jeffrey Schleff (G80) was appointed full-time director of music ministries and organist at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Ardmore, Oklahoma, where he coordinates liturgical music and supervises all aspects of the church music program. After a three-decade career as a public school teacher, administrator, university professor, and part-time church musician, Schleff is fulfilling a longtime goal of working full-time as a church music professional.

David Evan Thomas (81) received a 2015 Minnesota Sinfonia/McKnight Foundation New Works Award for his Suite Populaire and a Renée B. Fisher Composer Award for 2017. His work In the blue glen was featured on the Debussy Trio’s new album Three by Three.

Bruce Briney (G83, G97), trumpeter and professor of music at Western Illinois University, collaborated with colleagues in the WIU Faculty Chamber Ensemble in the premiere recording of James Stephenson’s The Devil’s Tale for Ravello Records. The ensemble also performed the work at the 2013 International Trumpet Guild convention in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the 2014 College Band Directors National Association convention in Muncie, Indiana.

Janet Guetle (G84) retired at the end of the 2014–15 school year after teaching music in Ohio for 30 years, 27 of which were in the Mansfield City School District. She continues her music career as organist at the First Congregational Church of Mansfield, a position she accepted in fall 2014.

Thomas J. Trimborn (G84), professor emeritus of music at Truman State University, has been inducted into the Missouri Music Educators Association Hall of Fame in recognition of his lasting contribution to the stature of music education in Missouri and beyond. Trimborn retired in 2014 after his 45th year as a teacher.

Fred Karpoff (85) is founder and artistic producer of Entrada Piano Technique, a video resource library and the online successor to his DVD series and book The 3-D Piano Method. Karpoff is working to influence piano pedagogy on a global level, presenting monthly webinars with repertoire tutorials and traveling frequently to give presentations for state and national conferences and teachers organizations.

Sherry Kujala (G85) performed in Cynthia Folio’s Winds of Change with the Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra in an October 29 concert at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

Henry Flurry (87) is active as a composer, private teacher, and performer, appearing with his wife, Maria Vomlehn Flurry, as the duo Sticks and Tones. His Impulso: Concerto for Marimba, Flamenco Guitar, and Dancer, a collaborative project with guitarist and composer Chris Burton-Jacome, premiered in 2014, and his piano concerto Currents will premiere in the Dallas area this April. Flurry has been studying with Michael Zev Gordon and will complete his master’s degree in composition at the University of Birmingham this spring.

Augusta Read Thomas (87) spearheaded and is cocurating a new festival celebrating Chicago’s classical contemporary music scene. The Ear Taxi Festival will take place this October 5–9, with the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and Contemporary Music Ensemble among its performers.


Brayer Teague (90) was a finalist for the 2016 Music Educator Award, a joint partnership of the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation. The award recognizes current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining quality music education in schools.

Giancarlo Guerrero (G92), music director of the Nashville Symphony, won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Compendium for the orchestra’s Naxos American Classics recording of music by Stephen Paulus:Three Places of Enlightenment, Veil of Tears, and Grand Concerto for Organ and Orchestra.

Julie Krugman (G94) maintains a home studio in Westborough, Massachusetts, where she teaches voice lessons to middle and high school students. She is also an applied music instructor and adjunct professor of voice at Worcester State University.

Tara Simoncic (G97) was appointed music director of Salt Lake City’s Ballet West. Simoncic has collaborated with the company since 2012 on productions of Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, The Rite of Spring, Bolero, and The Lottery.

Rebecca Dunne (98) of Fairbanks, Alaska, plays violin with Opera Fairbanks and the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra and fiddle with the old-time band Ice Jam. Her active teaching studio includes fiddle and violin students of all ages.

Margaret (Margie) Halinski (98, G14) recently completed her doctor of audiology degree at Northwestern. She is now a clinical audiologist at Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital in Albany, New York.


Lisa Grevlos (G01), associate professor and director of the Opera Workshop Theatre program at Augustana University, was promoted to professor.

Phillip Serna (G01, G07), a performer and teacher of double bass and viola da gamba, recently presented the program “Viola da Gamba Unleashed!” as part of Classical Revolution Chicago’s series at Chicago’s Constellation.

Ryan Belongie (02), Klaus Georg (G15), and David Govertsen (G10) were among the featured soloists in two performances of James MacMillan’s Quickening with the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus in June. The performances took place in Millennium Park as part of the Grant Park Music Festival.

Scott Harrison (02) was appointed executive director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, where he is responsible for vision, strategic direction, and oversight. He previously served in several roles with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, most recently as vice president for advancement and external relations. Harrison’s background also includes work with the symphony orchestras of Indianapolis, New Jersey, Dallas, and Boston.

Cory D. Wikan (G02) was named a winner of the American Choral Directors Association’s 2014 Julius Herford Dissertation Prize.

Paul Bhasin (G03) is director of wind studies at Atlanta’s Emory University, where he directs the Emory Wind Ensemble and teaches conducting. He came to Emory after four years as director of bands at the College of William & Mary.

Lindsey Goodman (G03) performed in Cynthia Folio’s Winds of Change with the Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra in an October 29 concert at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

Named 2015–16 artists in residence at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, eighth blackbird—including Lisa Kaplan (G03), Matthew Duvall (G04), and Nicholas Photinos (G04)—won a Grammy for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for its Cedille CD Filament.

Stephanie Bonjack (G04) is assistant professor and head of the Howard B. Waltz Music Library at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Michael Schutz (G04) was awarded tenure at McMaster University, where he is associate professor of music cognition and percussion. In addition to conducting the percussion ensemble, he directs the Music, Acoustics, Perception, and Learning Lab.

Ashima Scripp (G04) released the recording Antonio Vivaldi: Six Sonatas for Cello and Piano with pianist Eleanor Perrone.

Aaron Holloway-Nahum (05) conducted the Riot Ensemble in the United Kingdom premiere of the late Lee Hyla’s My Life on the Plains at the opening night of the 2015 Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music. Hyla was a Bienen School faculty member from 2007 until his death in 2014.

Benjamin Coy (G06) teaches private lessons on all brass instruments as a full-time faculty member at South Texas College in McAllen, Texas.

Adam Levin (06), a classical guitarist, launched sustainable domestic and international guitar outreach programs in Boston and Mexico City through his nonprofit Kithara Project. The program provides intensive short-term guitar residencies, ongoing weekly workshops, concerts, and instruments for youth and adults in areas that have limited access to music and music education.

Amanda Majeski (06) starred as Countess Almaviva in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Le nozze di Figaro in September and October and played the same role at Opera de Oviedo in November.

Alexander K. Rothe (06) received his doctorate in musicology from Columbia University in October. The adviser for his dissertation (“Staging the Past: Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle in Divided Germany during the 1970s and 1980s”) was Walter Frisch. Funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Rothe spent a year in Berlin conducting archival research at the Akademie der Künste.

Blake Yarbrough (06) performed Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 2 on November 1 with Navy Band Northwest and on December 6 with the Poulsbo Community Orchestra.

Michael Martin (07, G08), a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra trumpet section, was commissioned by Northshore Concert Band artistic director Mallory Thompson, the Bienen School’s director of bands, to compose a piece commemorating the group’s 60th anniversary. His Zero to Sixty! premiered at the opening concert of the band’s 2015–16 season.

Andrew Nogal (07, G10) was featured in a joint recital with fellow oboist Alison Lowell at the International Double Reed Society’s 2015 Conference in Tokyo last August. They performed virtuosic oboe duets by contemporary Asian composers.

Kirsten Broberg (G09) was one of seven emerging composers selected from 158 entries to participate in the Minnesota Orchestra’s 13th annual Composer Institute. Broberg was recognized for her orchestral work Celestial Dawning.

Brad Whitfield (09) is now assistant principal and second clarinet with the Alabama Symphony in Birmingham.


T. Logan Chopyk (G10) has been named second trombone in the San Diego Symphony.

Caroline Davis (G10), an alto saxophonist and composer, released her second album, Doors: Chicago Storylines, in November. The idea for the album came while Davis was teaching a course on the history of Chicago jazz at Northwestern in 2007. After realizing that the period between 1980 and 2000 was poorly documented, she filled in the blanks by interviewing musicians who were active at that time. This led her to compose the music on the new album, which interweaves segments of the interviews.

Errik M. Hood (G10), baritone, was a featured vocalist at the 2015 Troy Mayor’s Concert with the Dayton Philharmonic Concert Band and Summer Chorus. He is currently on the University of Dayton voice faculty.

Alex Lewis (10) won a National Edward R. Murrow Award for Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio, a radio documentary he cowrote and coproduced. The documentary examines the legacy of black radio, with a special focus on Philadelphia’s legendary WDAS. Going Black was hosted by music producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Kenny Gamble (center) and coproduced by Yowei Shaw (right).

Kyung Myun Lee (G11) has joined the tenure-track faculty of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology as assistant professor of humanities. Reuters recently ranked KAIST the world’s 10th most innovative university.

Alison Wahl (G11), a doctoral candidate in continuation at the Bienen School, won praise for her portrayal of Rosa in Haymarket Opera Company’s world premiere of Andina. A reviewer in Musical America wrote that Wahl “brought a clear, flexible soprano voice to Rosa.”

Benjamin Adler (12) has joined the Milwaukee Symphony as second clarinet.

Andrew Jacobi (12) has won a clarinet position in the United States Marine Band.

Guillermo Muñoz Küster (G12) was appointed director of adult choirs at Glenview (Illinois) Community Church.

Matthew Lee (12) was named music director of New Jersey’s Morris Choral Society.

Patrick O’Malley (12) won the 2015 American Prize in Composition in the student orchestra division for his Even in Paradise. For the same work, he won Symphony in C’s 2015–16 Young Composers’ Competition. He was also named an alternate for the Minnesota Orchestra’s 13th annual Composer Institute.

John Shawger (12) was named fourth horn in the Virginia Symphony.

Mikhailo Babiak (G13) was named principal horn in the Canadian Opera Company.

Amy Hess (G14) recently won a viola position with Lyric Opera of Chicago. She was previously a principal viola of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Orin Larson (G14) recently won a position in Minnesota’s Rochester Orchestra.

Thomas J. Tropp (G14) was named a winner of the American Choral Directors Association’s 2014 Julius Herford Dissertation Prize.

Cody Monta Jarrett (G15) made his role debut as Marcello in La bohème at the Bay View Music Festival.

Chia-Hsuan Lin (G15) was named associate conductor of Virginia’s Richmond Symphony.

Matt Penland (G15) won a percussion position with the United States Air Force Band’s Ceremonial Brass.

Andrew J. Yang (15) won a top prize at the 2016 Metropolitan International Piano Competition, which provides performance opportunities at major New York City venues in the coming season. He performed a solo recital for San Francisco’s Noontime Concert Series in January and has been invited back for a recital in June. Yang’s New York engagements as part of the Mannes Sounds Festival included performances at Arnold Hall, Steinway Hall, the Union Club, and the German Consulate at United Nations Plaza.

In Memoriam

All dates are 2015.


Lucille Sylvester (38) in Melrose Park, Illinois, on December 13


Genevieve G. Marturano (42) in Littleton, Colorado, on August 6

Betty Fletcher Mast (45) in Edina, Minnesota, on October 25

Mary Joan Higgins (47) in Boston on October 19

Beatrice Anderson Miller (47, G47) in Lake Oswego, Oregon, on July 25

Alice Van Stavern (G47) in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, on August 15

Harriet Emrich Sallade (48) in Charleston, West Virginia, on December 20

Ralph C. Berger (49, G55) in Glenview, Illinois, on September 9


Kenneth C. Krause (51, G55) in Brentwood, Tennessee, on November 19

Marilyn Laning (51) in Oak Brook, Illinois, on August 10

Harold Turner Jr. (51) in Smithfield, Virginia, on November 5

Louis K. Bodecker (G52) in Wichita, Kansas, on August 21

Raymond B. Makeever (G52) in Ottawa, Illinois, on October 29

Larry P. Deagon (G53) in Birmingham, Alabama, on December 28

Irving Bunton (54) in Chicago on September 8

Thomas B. Johns (57, G58) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on December 1

Russell W. Goodell (G58) in Quincy, Illinois, on September 12

Garreth M. McDonald (G59) in Greensboro, North Carolina, on December 9

Vincent B. Mottola (59) in Elgin, Illinois, on November 1


Aaron B. Robinson Jr. (60) in Jackson, Tennessee, on October 24

Richard Holmberg (G61) (see below)

Mary Lou Bauer Martin (G62) in Wichita, Kansas, on September 8

John Boe (G69) in Green Valley, Arizona, on September 27


Willis Carl Severt (G75) in North English, Iowa, on December 13

Diane Berger Foley (G79) in Eugene, Oregon, on December 21


Elizabeth Rohm Vergara (G80) in Northbrook, Illinois, on August 1

Timothy David Tull (G81) in Houston on September 21

Ed C. Senechal (83) in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on October 16

Robin B. Fellows (G88) in Whitewater, Wisconsin, on October 20


Richard Holmberg (G61) passed away on November 24, 2015, at age 77. Holmberg served as director of music at Munster High School in Munster, Indiana, for 35 years before moving to Estero, Florida, in 2000. Over the next 15 years he continued to teach music and direct several musical ensembles, including the New Chorale of Southwest Florida, a group he founded in 2012. Holmberg was a loyal and generous donor to the Bienen School. He is survived by his companion of more than 50 years, Gene A. Fort, as well as two sisters, several nieces and nephews, and numerous friends. 

Musicologist and Northwestern professor emeritus Theodore “Ted” Cyrus Karp died peacefully at his home on November 5, 2015. He was 89 years old. See full obituary

French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, who died January 5 at age 90, visited Northwestern several times as a guest artist of the music school, beginning in the mid-1980s. For those who witnessed these visits, the memories remain vivid. Read full story.

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