Compiled by Emily Floyd
The newest ISM alumni, pictured below, were honored at the annual commencement banquet on Sunday, May 22 at the New Haven Lawn Club. Some of them accepted our invitation to share something about their experience at the Institute, and their plans and hopes for the future.
The Class of 2011. Photos by Robert A. Lisak
Andrew Barnett (MDiv) serves as music director at the Episcopal Church of St. Paul and St. James, where the Theodicy Jazz Collective leads worship every Sunday. Andrew continues an active career as a jazz pianist and band leader with Theodicy, including upcoming engagements at Trinity Church (Wall Street), the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and a world premiere of "Canterbury Jazz Mass" in England. Canterbury Cathedral commissioned this work from the Theodicy Jazz Collective, and the June 2012 premiere will headline Theodicy's European tour. Andrew has worked closely with professor Tom Troeger at the ISM.
Brian Bartoldus (MMA) plans on entering the workforce in the fall, and is currently "researching for the best means of doing so." He also looks forward to marrying his fiancée Santana Haight, whom he met at Camerata auditions in his first year at Yale.
Dashon Burton (MM) will be entering the world of the freelance musician with a “great smile on my face” from his time at the ISM. Summer concert highlights include the Victoria Bach Festival (TX), Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute, and the Carmel Bach Festival (CA). Please visit www.dashonburton.com for more information. He will miss interacting with scholars from different fields, and the ensuing conversations which opened his mind to new and beautiful experiences.
Dann Coakwell (AD) will continue to make New Haven his home as he further pursues performing opportunities, both nationally and internationally, which have been empowered by his amazing experience at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. He is also joining the staff of the ISM as Concert Production Assistant (see Notes on the Staff).
"Studying with an internationally recognized performer such as James Taylor has honed my expertise as a soloist, and having the honor of performing under such renowned conductors as Masaaki Suzuki, Simon Carrington, and a whole list of others, has propelled my sensibilities and connections in the field to a whole new level." Dann is most grateful to the Yale ISM for the “unforgettable training and enlightenment that it has brought me, and I hope to show that gratitude with the future successes of my singing career.”
Barton Creeth (MAR) received a Fulbright scholarship to study Irish at a language school in the Donegal Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking region). He plans to be involved with the development and promotion of the Irish language in Protestant churches in Northern Ireland over the course of the next year. During this time he will be working on his PhD proposal, intending to research Protestant liturgies in the Irish language.
During his time in the ISM, Barton discovered Sacred Harp singing, an American folk tradition of sacred choral music that places emphasis on collective participation rather than performance. When he gets to Belfast, Barton hopes to start a Sacred Harp group there.
Judith Dupré (M.Div.) hopes to develop and produce arts programming that illuminates the abiding relationship between creativity and spirituality. She will continue to write about art, architecture, and the nature of ethical community building, her perceptions honed by her studies at Yale and enlivened by the stunning array of scholars who have presented at the ISM. She remains deeply grateful for the inspiring journeys to the Balkans and Germany, and for the ISM’s help in bringing the Global Village Shelters, 14 Stations by David Michalek, and Luminous Transportations installations to campus.
Nathaniel Gumbs (MM - Organ) thoroughly enjoyed his ISM experience and is immensely grateful for the endless support he received from both faculty and colleagues. Nathaniel would like to give a special thanks to Martin Jean, his principal teacher, for his immeasurable patience, motivating words, and belief in him. Some of his best and most memorable ISM experiences include coaching with Tom Murray, studying conducting with Maggie Brooks, singing in Camerata, accompanying Marquand Chapel services, performing on the Newberry organ, and attending weekly student recitals. Nat plans to continue to work for the church and keep up with his organ studies before applying to DMA programs in the fall.
Amanda Mole (MM - Organ) will continue her studies this fall, studying with David Higgs in the doctoral program at the Eastman School of Music. She is grateful to the ISM for having provided the opportunity to go to Germany and to explore art, religion, and some of the history of the organ. She would like to thank Martin Jean for a wonderful two years of organ study, as well as her family and friends for their support.
Sherezade Panthaki (AD- Early Music, Voice) will keep New Haven as her base while continuing to pursue an active performing career. She has recently signed on with a prominent artist management agency in New York City; her solo contracts for the upcoming year include work with Simon Carrington at the Norfolk Summer Music Festival, Julian Wachner at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City, Nicholas McGegan with Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, and John Scott at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City. She is delighted to be able to maintain her connection with Yale, working with Professor Ellen Rosand as a coach for undergraduate students in the Yale Baroque Opera Project. She is deeply grateful to the ISM faculty, particularly Professors James Taylor and Markus Rathey, for providing her with extraordinary learning opportunities, and extends her heartfelt thanks to her colleagues in the Yale Voxtet for their support and talents.
Hannah Peck (MDiv) plans to remain in New Haven for the next year and is currently in the process of job hunting. She is considering work both in the non-profit sector and the academic world. Hannah is not quite sure what form that work will take, but she is “very sure it will be thrilling.” The many opportunities she received to travel last summer turned her thoughts towards advocacy work, particularly with women and children around the world.
Spencer Reece (MDiv) will be ordained an Episcopal priest on September 29th at the Episcopal Cathedral in Madrid. His ISM presentation on Benjamin Britten's Abraham and Isaac was a high point in his educational experience. The project explored the relationship between art and biography. It was an academic investigation that led in unexpected directions; prior to the project he knew nothing about Britten. The ISM provided Spencer with many opportunities, and he says his formation as a priest was changed by the experience.
Thomas Russell (MM) has been appointed organist at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN where he will play for weekly services on the Fisk Op. 134 organ, accompany the Chancel Choir, direct the handbell choir, and assist with the brass quintet. Thomas greatly appreciates the way his organ skills have improved in all directions while at the ISM, but especially in learning to play "off the page" in the Liturgical Keyboard Skills and Organ Improvisation courses.
Shakira Sanchez-Collins (MDiv) will begin her Doctor of Medicine degree studies at the Duke University School of Medicine in the fall. She thanks the ISM for many opportunities to explore the great possibilities of liturgy and worship. More specifically, from the ISM Shakira received her inspiration to pursue her interests in utilizing liturgy and worship as tools for health promotion. In October 2011, Shakira will complete the ordination process in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Rachel Kerrisk Teubner (MAR) will live in Cambridge, England for the next several years continuing her studies in literature and religion at the University of Cambridge, where she is currently Visiting Scholar in Italian. She plans to focus on Dante and intertextuality, looking particularly at the formal influence of Dante on contemporary poetry. She also plans to continue writing poems and singing with regional choirs. Rachel would like to thank ISM faculty, staff and students particularly for the many musical and literary opportunities the ISM presented to her, and also, in general, for three wonderful years.
Kat Zukaitis (MAR) plans to spend the next year in Krems an der Donau, Austria, where she will teach high school English and run an after-school drama program as part of a teaching fellowship through the Austrian Ministry of Education, Arts, and Culture. She hopes to further her acquaintance with European languages and literatures--particularly German literature, which she began studying in Heidelberg as an ISM/YDS exchange student--and aspires to remain active in local dance and theatre communities.
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