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Steve ScarpaJanuary 3, 20238min
Are you already able to sing Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, Hon. ‘15’s Hamilton word for word? Have you already binged Bradley Whitford ’81, Hon. ’20 in “The West Wing” and “A Handmaid’s Tale"? Have you read all of Amy Bloom’s books? So now where do you go next to get your Wesleyan creative fix? As winter curls around us, Wes grads and faculty have conjured a new batch of books, music, performances, and television shows to delight and challenge us as we get cozy over the chilly months. Here’s just a small sampling: “From Scratch” Tembe Locke ’92’s powerful memoir From…

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Cynthia RockwellSeptember 16, 20193min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Wesleyan in the News The Washington Post: "How the NRA Highjacked History" In this op-ed, Associate Professor of History Jennifer Tucker writes about the history of the legal debate over the Second Amendment, and explains how the court's understanding of that history may shape the nation's response to the current gun violence epidemic. Her op-ed was reported on in The Trace. 2. The Hill: "A Tragic Misperception About Climate Change" Gary Yohe, the Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental…

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Lauren RubensteinJuly 25, 20193min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Wesleyan in the News The Hill: "Advice on Climate Policy for the 2020 Presidential Candidates" In this op-ed, Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, Emeritus Gary Yohe and his coauthors write that they are encouraged by the "unprecedented attention being given to climate change among those vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination" and offer words of advice for creating an ambitious but credible climate policy. 2. AINT — BAD: "Isabella Convertino" The photography of Isabella Convertino '20…

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Cynthia RockwellMarch 4, 20192min
When Opium Moon won the Grammy Award for the Best New Age Album this year, “Thank you, Julie Yannatta…” were the first words from singer/violinist Lili Haydn's lips once she reached the stage. Yannatta ’91 is founder and owner of Be Why Music, the label that released the self-titled debut album by the eclectic band—Lili Haydn on violin/voice, Hamid Saeidi on santoor (Persian hammered dulcimer) and voice, M.B. Gordy on ancient percussion, and Itai Disraeli on fretless bass. Their haunting music draws from each member's cultural traditions: Iran, Israel, Canada, and the United States. Yannatta, with a career path as eclectic as…

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Lauren RubensteinNovember 12, 20181min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Recent Wesleyan News 1. Inside Higher Ed: "Voting Is Good, but Higher Ed Must Do More" In this op-ed, President Michael S. Roth writes: "In a year when inducements to political violence have become normalized at the highest level, colleges and universities must do more than just encourage our students to vote." It is crucial that colleges actively work to protect free expression, free inquiry, and fact-based discussion, Roth argues. (more…)

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Olivia DrakeOctober 1, 20182min
Kitchen Ceilí and Friends performed at Russell House on Sunday afternoon of Family Weekend. Formed in 1993, Kitchen Ceilí features private lessons teacher Stan Scott PhD '97 on vocals, guitar, mandolin, and banjo; Dora Hast PhD ’94 on vocals, tin whistle, and recorders; and George Wilson on vocals, fiddle, banjo, and guitar. A ceilí (English pronunciation: kā'lē) is a traditional Gaelic social dance or gathering with music. On Sunday, the trio was joined by "Friends"—the Hindustani vocalists of the Rangila Chorus and vocalist/guitarist Sam Scheer—and the group widened their geographic focus, performing not only original and traditional music from Ireland, America,…

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Cynthia RockwellSeptember 26, 20183min
Already an actor and blogger, Lynn Chen ’98 is now also a director, with her first feature film, I Will Make You Mine. She wrote about the experience for Filmmaker magazine: “I Just Finished Directing My First Feature Film, Why Do I Feel Like I Have Post-Partum Depression?” The editors note that these low feelings are common for first-time directors but not frequently discussed. Chen, however, is an activist—the ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association since 2012—and not afraid to tackle emotional content and bring taboo topics to the forefront. “When I was a women's studies/music double major at Wesleyan in 1998, I found…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 29, 20183min
Graduate student Suhail Yusuf Khan recently performed at two international music festivals with his group Yorkston / Thorne / Khan. The band comprises James Yorkston, a folk singer and guitarist; Jon Thorne, a jazz bassist; and eighth-generation musician Khan, a sarangi violinist and a vocalist of Indian classical music. The sarangi is a short-necked bowed string instrument from northern India, regarded as sounding similar to the human voice. On March 19, Yorkston / Thorne / Khan performed at the International Sacred Art Festival in Madrid, Spain. The festival included 39 concerts held over five weeks. And on March 23, Yorkston / Thorne / Khan dazzled…

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Cynthia RockwellMarch 19, 20182min
On March 8, Wesleyan's Facebook post read: ”In honor of International Women's Day, we're celebrating some of the most talented musicians we know with our ‘Women of Wes’ Spotify playlist. There's something for everyone in this eclectic mix of Wesleyan alumnae, including Amanda Palmer ’98, Santigold '97, J.R. Rhodes ’90, and Dar Williams ’89. Listen here, or go to #NowPlaying #IWD18." Also included on this list of 43 songs were pieces by Flo Anito ’01, Jess Best ’14, Amy Crawford ’05, Beanie Feldstein ’15, Mary Halvorson ’02, The Overcoats (JJ Mitchell ’15 and Hana Elion ’15), Chris Pureka ’01, Anna Roberts-Gevalt…

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Cynthia RockwellDecember 11, 20171min
The Broadway cast recording of the Tony Award–winning musical Dear Evan Hansen earned a Grammy nomination for Best Musical Theater Album on Nov. 28. Produced with Atlantic Record’s President of A&R (artists and repertoire) Pete Ganbarg ’88, along with music supervisor and orchestrator Alex Lacamoire, creators Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and Broadway producer Stacey Mindich, the album had debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 when it came out last February. (more…)

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Cynthia RockwellDecember 11, 20172min
This year the list of Grammy nominations includes work by Gail Marowitz ’81. Founder of The Visual Strategist, a company devoted to designing for music, Marowitz is not a first-timer on the coveted list. Her work has garnered her three nominations in the Best Recording Package category, with a win in 2006. Now in the running is Marowitz’s work on Jonathan Coulton’s Solid State. Marowitz, who claims “a misspent youth, looking at albums in record stores” and sends e-mails under the name “childorock,” says that her fascination with album covers began when she was 6 and her older brother brought…