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Olivia DrakeJanuary 10, 20193min
Neely Bruce, the John Spencer Camp Professor of Music, was named Music Ambassador for the City of Middletown in 2019. He received the honor during a reception Jan. 10 at the Municipal Building in Middletown, Conn. Bruce, a composer, pianist, conductor, and scholar of American music, was previously an artist-in-residence at Middlebury College, Bucknell University, the University of Michigan, and at Brooklyn College. He is the chorus director for Connecticut Opera and music director at South Congregational Church in Middletown. His compositions include three full-length operas; five one-act operas; works for orchestra, chamber orchestra, and wind ensemble; about 300 solo songs;…

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Olivia DrakeNovember 26, 20182min
For his contribution to the field of ethnomusicology and music scholarship, Sumarsam, the Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music, was recently named an honorary member of the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM). The encomium was presented by Wesleyan alumna Maria Mendonca MA '90, PhD '02, during the 63rd SEM General Membership Meeting, Nov. 17, in Albuquerque, N.M. Sumarsam was commended for his scholarship on gamelan and wayang performance traditions, which inspired the SEM membership, explained Gregory Barz, president of the Society for Ethnomusicology. "Your mentorship of countless students and colleagues, both directly and by example, is held in high esteem, and the ways that…

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Lauren RubensteinOctober 29, 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 Inside Higher Ed: "Career Path Intervention--Via a MOOC" An open online course by Gordon Career Center Director Sharon Belden Castonguay, which helps young people explore their interests and career options, is featured. 2. NPR: "Midterm Election Could Reshape Health Policy" (more…)

Cynthia RockwellOctober 12, 20188min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Recent Wesleyan News Inside Higher Ed: “Career Path Intervention–Via a MOOC” An open online course by Gordon Career Center Director Sharon Belden Castonguay, which helps young people explore their interests and career options, is featured. 2. NPR: “Midterm Election Could Reshape Health Policy” Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, explains why Democrats are “laser-focused on health care” this election season. Fowler also recently was quoted on advertising in the midterm elections in The Washington Post and USA Today, and interviewed…

Lauren RubensteinOctober 1, 20182min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Recent Wesleyan News The New York Times Magazine: "Letter of Recommendation: Phyllis Rose's 'Parallel Lives'" Professor of English, Emerita Phyllis Rose's 1983 book Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages, is featured in the New York Times Magazine. The book, which the reviewer notes she has re-read every few months recently, is a "group biography of several notable Victorians and their marriages," through which the reader can gain deeper insight into intimate relationships and societal change. Middletown Press: "Middletown Musician Noah Baerman Wins Guilford Performing Arts Fest…

Olivia DrakeSeptember 27, 20182min
Three Wesleyan music graduate students and two faculty were accepted to present at the Society for Ethnomusicology's 2018 Annual Meeting Nov. 15–18 in Albuquerque, N.M. Bianca Iannitti will present a case study on the queer Indian-American DJ, Bianca Maieli, in order to explore the queer female identity within Desi music and virtual spaces. Gene Lai, MA '16, will present a study titled "Disdained at Home Embraced by Motherland: The Revitalized Tamil Folk Drumming Ensemble in Singapore." And Douglas Kiman will present a study titled "Mapping Klezmer Music in Contemporary Europe: A Case Study of the Jazz’n Klezmer Festival." He will also be presenting at the Society…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 25, 20184min
On Sept. 20-21, core members of the Grammy-nominated Haitian "roots" band Boukman Eksperyans, along with the band leaders’ son Paul Beaubrun (band leader of Zing Eksperyans), engaged with several groups on campus. Boukman, founded in 1978, is one of Haiti’s best-known bands and performs traditional Vodou rhythms with pop, reggae, and blues. After learning that the group was touring between Brooklyn, N.Y., and Montreal, Canada, faculty from African American Studies and the Music Department invited and coordinated their visit at Wesleyan. On Thursday, band members led a workshop for students enrolled in the West African Music and Culture course, taught by John Dankwa, adjunct…

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Olivia DrakeJune 4, 20184min
Two Wesleyan faculty were honored for their artistic excellence by the 2018 Artist Fellowship Program. Nicole Stanton, associate professor of dance, African American studies, and environmental studies, and Noah Baerman, director of the Wesleyan Jazz Ensemble, each received a $3,000 grant in the program's Performing Arts category. The Artist Fellowship Program recognizes individual Connecticut artists in a variety of disciplines and allows these artists the opportunity to pursue new works of art and to achieve specific creative and career goals. The program is highly competitive: for the 2018 round, more than 235 applications were received and reviewed by 48 professional panelists…

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Olivia DrakeMay 7, 20183min
In this issue, we speak to Noah Baerman, director of the Wesleyan Jazz Ensemble.  Baerman is a teacher, jazz pianist, composer, and author. He is also founder and artistic director of the nonprofit Resonant Motion, Inc. (RMI). Q: You've directed the Jazz Ensemble at Wesleyan for 11 years. Was there an ensemble before you? A: Wesleyan’s history of jazz is intense, and perhaps its most significant architect was the great Bill Barron, which I’ve always found kind of cosmic given that his “little” brother Kenny (now 74 and an NEA Jazz Master) was my own mentor. The group I direct runs parallel…

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Laurie KenneyFebruary 12, 20181min
Molly Bogin ’18 and Tekla Monson '18 represented Wesleyan in the university's inaugural program with the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, Connecticut, last month. The students joined 36 established and emerging composers and lyricists to participate in the two-week creative residency—the only one of its kind solely dedicated to the creation of new musicals. Kathleen Conlin, Theater Department chair, and Ellen Nerenberg, dean of the arts and humanities, initiated Wesleyan’s involvement with the program. (more…)