Achievements celebrated at annual Honors Dinner

Carol Colburn Grigor, recipient of the Samuel Simons Sanford Award

Left to right: Benjamin Polak, Peter Salovey, Samuel Simons Sanford Award winner Carol Colburn Grigor, and Robert Blocker

The Yale School of Music held its annual Honors Dinner on Sunday, May 7, welcoming students and alumni, faculty and staff, and distinguished guests to the Yale Commons for an evening of celebration. After thanking recently retired staff members for their service and acknowledging the University officers who were in attendance, YSM Dean Robert Blocker presented Carol Colburn Grigor ’69MMA CBE with the School’s highest honor, the Samuel Simons Sanford Award. Grigor, Blocker, said, “is one of America’s most generous … most thoughtful philanthropists.” Composer and former Edinburgh International Festival director Jonathan Mills congratulated Grigor via video.

Willie Ruff, recipient of the Nathan Hale Award

Left to right: Benjamin Polak, Peter Salovey, Nathan Hale Award recipient Willie Ruff, and Robert Blocker

Dean Blocker, with University President Peter Salovey and Yale Provost Benjamin Polak at his side, presented longtime YSM professor Willie Ruff ’53BM ’54MM, who will retire at the end of the semester, with the University’s prestigious Nathan Hale Award. “He’s changed all our lives,” Blocker said, before attendees were shown a video tribute to Ruff’s life and work. In a nod to the man who indirectly inspired him decades ago to study at YSM, Ruff said, “I thank, most of all, Charlie Parker.” The jazz office in the Yale School of Music’s Adams Center for Musical Arts was recently named in Ruff’s honor.

Left to right: Benjamin Polak, Peter Salovey, Ian Mininberg Distinguished Service Award winner Warren Lee, and Robert Blocker

Blocker presented the Ian Mininberg Distinguished Service Award to pianist Warren Lee ’00MM and the Cultural Leadership Citation to retiring Yale Collection of Musical Instruments curator William Nicholas Renouf ’71MMA. The Collection’s director, William Purvis, accepted the Citation on behalf of Renouf, who was unable to attend the Honors Dinner. Before presenting student prizes, Blocker referenced an impressive number of awards and successes earned and realized this year by students, faculty, and staff. He recognized longtime YSM faculty pianist Peter Frankl, who plans to retire in the fall, for his dedication to the School community.

At the end of the evening, Blocker told the students in attendance, “Claim the future. It belongs to you. You will make us better.” What follows is a list of the student prizes awarded during YSM’s 2017 Honors Dinner. MORE

Published May 9, 2017
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Inside YSM: Wil Wortley ’18MM, trombone

Wil Wortley ’18MM

Meet YSM student Wil Wortley ’18MM, who recently talked with us about switching his focus from euphonium to trombone.

“I’ve kind of had it in my head to focus more on trombone (as opposed to euphonium) since later in high school, because a teacher of mine kept pushing me to do so,” Wil explained. “The two instruments are similar enough that with a little individual practice I was able to play in the trombone choir at Eastman, where I did my undergrad. Eventually, I began taking secondary lessons beginning my junior year as I considered playing trombone more seriously. As grad school approached, I made the transition for a simple reason: There are more job opportunities on trombone than euphonium, although that isn’t saying much. The actual switch has been easy in some ways and difficult in others. The obvious difficulty is the difference in the technique mechanism. Moving a big ole piece of metal back and forth while trying to hit the right spot at the right time is exactly as hard as you’d think it would be. Luckily, the sound production is similar, which allowed me to very easily become an OK trombone player. It’s been much harder to learn some of the subtle differences between the horns, because, in a way, the similarities actually mask some of the differences. My professor here at Yale, Scott Hartman, has been tremendously helpful. We don’t really focus on the fact that I used to play euphonium, which is great. He always looks at what we’re working on from a musical perspective while managing to think about the technique required in a very logical and consistent way. The trick to balancing or integrating those two aspects of music-making is something I aspire to learn.”

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Published March 24, 2017
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YSM musicians featured in Essex Winter Series program

purvis

YSM faculty hornist William Purvis

The Yale School of Music will be well-represented when the Essex Winter Series kicks off its 40th season on Sunday, Jan. 8. Along with YSM faculty hornist William Purvis, the series’ 2017 Fenton Brown Emerging Artists — percussionist Sam Um ’17MM, trumpet players Aaron Plourde ’17MMA and Nozomi Imamura ’17MM, trombonist Matthew Russo ’12MM, and tubist Joseph Guimaraes ’18MM — will perform an arrangement of Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. Plourde, Purvis, and Russo will also perform as a trio on the program, which features an impressive roster of musicians and a diverse collection of works.

The mission of EWS is “to bring the finest music, in live performance, to the Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline Region during the winter months and to cultivate its appreciation to the widest audience,” according the the series’ website. The Emerging Artists program offers young, up-and-coming musicians the opportunity to perform in schools and retirement homes in the Connecticut River Valley and along the shoreline. MORE

Published January 7, 2017
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[ students & alumni ]

Hana Beloglavec joins faculty at Louisiana State University

Hana BeloglavecHana Beloglavec ’13 MM has been appointed Visiting Assistant Professor of Trombone at Louisiana State University. She previously held a position as Visiting Instructor of Low Brass at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Also deeply interested in orchestral music, Beloglavec has performed as a substitute trombonist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under conductors Charles Dutoit, Sir Mark Elder, Ludovic Morlot, and Esa-Pekka Salonen, as well as the Chicago based early-music ensemble Music of the Baroque under Jane Glover and Nicholas Kraemer. She also has performed as a member of the American Institute of Musical Studies Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria. MORE

Published June 1, 2016
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[ students & alumni ]

Seminole Trombone Quartet makes Carnegie Hall debut May 6

STQYSM alumni Stephen Ivany ’14 MM and Christopher Brown ’14 AD are set to make their Carnegie Hall debut with their ensemble Seminole Trombone Quartet on May 6 at 8 pm. The program, which takes place in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, features a world premiere by John Mackey alongside some of the best of the trombone quartet literature including works by Bach, Debussy, Koetsier, and more. The group will also be joined onstage by Ivany and Brown’s former teacher, YSM trombone professor Scott Hartman. STQ earned this prestigious performance opportunity by winning the recent “Noles in NYC” campaign.

MORE INFORMATION AND TICKETS MORE

Published April 29, 2016
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[ concerts ]

CANCELED: Brass of Yale performs at Carnegie Hall Jan. 24

Yale Brass Trio

Yale Brass Trio

Update 1/23: We regret that, because of the severity of the blizzard, this concert has been canceled.

The Yale School of Music continues its acclaimed Yale in New York series on Sunday, January 24 with a program of music for brass. The concert will highlight the school’s acclaimed brass faculty as well as the contributions to the brass repertoire of past and present Yale composers. The program honors the late composers Ezra Laderman and Gunther Schuller, both of whom served on the Yale faculty.

The evening is anchored by the Yale Brass Trio, comprising William Purvis, horn; Allan Dean, trumpet; and Scott Hartman, trombone. They are joined by fellow faculty member Carol Jantsch, tuba, and numerous YSM students and alumni.

Ezra Laderman

Ezra Laderman

A former dean of the Yale School of Music, Ezra Laderman (1924–2015) joined the Yale faculty in 1988 and served as Professor of Music until his retirement in 2013. He also served as the president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. William Purvis, Allan Dean, and Scott Hartman will perform the New York premiere of his Brass Trio, written in 2005. MORE

Published January 5, 2016
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[ alumni ]

Trombonist Matthew Russo joins UConn faculty, Norwalk Symphony Orchestra

russo-mattMatthew Russo ’12 MM will join the University of Connecticut faculty in the 2015–2016 academic year as an instructor of trombone. Russo was also recently appointed principal trombone with the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra.

Russo currently serves on the faculty at The Hartt School Community and Instrumental Studies divisions, where he is director of the Hartt Trombone Ensemble. MORE

Published June 22, 2015
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[ concerts ]

Trombone and tuba students shine in Oct. 6 recital

trombone

YSM Trombone Studio

The School of Music presents a recital featuring its trombone and tuba studios on Monday, October 6, 2014 at 7:30 pm. The program is directed by faculty member and trombonist Scott Hartman.

The program includes Luciano Berio’s Sequenza No. 5 for solo trombone; David Fetter’s Variations on “Dona Nobis Pacem”; and excerpts from Erik Nielsen’s Slidebone for solo trombone. Two pieces will feature brass with piano: a movement from Eric Ewazen’s Tuba Concerto, and Caleb Burhans’ Phantasie for trombone and piano.

Scott Hartman will perform the Nielsen Slidebone. Student performers include Richard Liverano, tenor trombone (Berio); Daniel Fears, bass trombone (Fetter); John Leibensperger, tuba (Ewazen); and Curtis Biggs, tenor trombone (Burhans). MORE

Published October 1, 2014
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[ alumni ]

Kevin Dombrowski ’14 MM chosen for cultural exchange with Sarajevo Philharmonic

dombrowski_kevinTrombonist Kevin Dombrowski ’14 MM was among four American musicians chosen for a cultural exchange with the Sarajevo Philharmonic. The International Cultural Exchange program will take them to Bosnia-Herzegovina for 10 months to perform with the Sarajevo Philharmonic. Dombrowski and the three other Americans in the programwill perform in opera, ballet, and symphonic concerts from September 2014 through July 2015. MORE

Published June 3, 2014
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