Congratulations to the Class of 2010
compiled by Rachel Winter
The newest ISM alumni, pictured below, were honored at the annual commencement banquet on Saturday, May 22 at the Grassy Hill Country Club. Some of them accepted our invitation to share something about their experience at the Institute, and their plans and hopes for the future.
Photo: Robert A. Lisak
Horace Ballard (MAR, Religion and Literature) will be working this summer at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, as an intern in the Education Department. He will give tours of the house and help write curriculum for K-12 students visiting the museum. In August, Horace will begin a PhD program in American Civilization at Brown University. His three years in the ISM were, in his words, “blessed, incredible, and fantastic.” He will be “forever indebted to the Institute for their generosity, support, and encouragement to explore fully the meaning of religion and art to their broadest and richest conclusions.”
Charrise Barron (MDiv) will begin doctoral studies in the African American Studies PhD program at Harvard University in the fall. She plans to focus her research on modern black gospel music. Charrise is thankful for the opportunity to pursue her interest in modern gospel music, worship, and theology through her colloquium project. She is also thankful for her fellow ISM musicians and scholars and professors,“who helped to make her ISM experience unforgettable.”
Carl Bear (MAR, Liturgical Studies) will begin working on a PhD in Liturgical Studies at Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, CA) in the fall of 2010.
After graduation, Caitlin Beck (MAR, Liturgical Studies) will be going back to her life before ISM and YDS: back to Ottawa, back to Saint Paul University where she did her undergraduate degree, and back to her childhood parish, St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church. Her time at the ISM has given her new skills, which she will be bringing back to these communities in a variety of ways. At Saint Paul University, she will begin a PhD in theology with a concentration in Eastern Christian Studies, exploring the role of hospitality in worship as a starting point for ecumenical dialogue. She will also be starting a Chapel Choir to support congregational song in Anglican, Eastern Catholic, and ecumenical worship at the University. In her parish, she will continue her work in ministry with children and youth,“enlisting into the life and worship of this community.” Her participation in classes on congregational song and choirs that lead this music in worship has been invaluable to her future pursuits. Most importantly, the friendships with talented faculty and students who work in this field will give her people to turn to for advice and encouragement in these projects. She is thankful “for all that the ISM has provided over the past two years, but will miss worship in Marquand Chapel led by the dynamic ministry of Siobhán, Patrick, Jim, and Krista (and many, many others) most of all.”
Colin Britt (MM, Choral Conducting) will be joining the adjunct faculty at the Hartt School this fall, where he will be conducting a choir and teaching one or two classes. He will continue working at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, where he assists the organist and conductor. In addition, he will join the staff at the ISM (see Notes on the Staff) and hopes to conduct a choir in the region. He will also continue to be involved in area theatres.
Esther Cristina Cabrera (MAR, Visual Arts) plans to start applying to PhD programs in Latin American Studies next year. In the meantime, she intends to learn German (as a “consequence of the wonderful 2010 study trip”). Her experience at the ISM has inspired her “to pursue deeper interdisciplinary understandings of cultural and social issues in Latin American history.” She would like to thank classmates and faculty for “wonderful community and academic experiences” at the ISM.
Ireri E Chavez Barcenas (MAR, Religion and Music) is deeply grateful for all the opportunities and experiences gained at the ISM. She wishes to thank her teachers, friends, and members of the staff for making her last three years an outstanding time. In the coming days, she and her husband are going to be parents of two newborn boys, Leo and Ben. This fall, she will be starting her doctoral studies in musicology at Princeton University. Ireri “believes that raising a family will enrich her academic formation and love for music.”
Justin Haaheim (MDiv) will continue working as a freelance jazz drummer and church percussionist in New Haven after graduation, focusing on leading Marquand Chapel-style congregational song, crafting jazz worship services, and playing jazz “anywhere and everywhere.” He is tremendously grateful for the people, friendships, conversations, study tours and the abundance of other opportunities that have formed and shaped him as a theologian, minister and musician during his three years at the ISM.
Rebecca Henriksen (MAR, Visual Arts) plans to apply for PhD programs in Performance Studies and Gender Studies. She plans to study the experiences of queer women in evangelical communities in the United States and Rwanda. She is extremely grateful for “her time in the ISM, for the opportunity to study in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Germany, and for the wonderful people she has met and become friends with in the ISM.” Before returning to her studies, Rebecca is joining the ISM staff as choral/vocal program assistant. (See Notes on the Staff.)
Noah Horn (MM, Organ) is grateful for the “immeasurably valuable teaching and friendships” he has experienced at Yale, and is delighted to be returning to the ISM in the fall to begin the MM program in choral conducting. He is especially grateful for the expert, kind guidance of Professor Thomas Murray, “who provided the support that enabled my endeavours to be successful.”
Ng Tian Hui (MM, Choral Conducting) “loved the seemingly limitless possibilities at the ISM. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the Yale Camerata, Schola Cantorum, Voxtet, Berkeley Chapel Choir, Marquand Chapel Choir and the many other kind and generous scholars and artists on campus.” He wishes to thank his instructors Marguerite Brooks, Simon Carrington, Jeffrey Douma, and Masaaki Suzuki for their unstinting support. After graduation, Tian Hui will conduct the festival choir in the finale of the 2010 Festival of Song organized by the Chinese Christian Herald Crusades of New York. Thereafter, he will return to his native Singapore for the summer, where he will help direct the interdisciplinary arts festival NOMAD 2010 in Ang Mo Kio, Singapore. Finally, he will be coming back to the United States in August and moving to Philadelphia, where he has been appointed the Interim Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges. There, he will conduct the bi-college Chorale and Chamber Singers and teach courses in art song and voice.
Emerson Morgan (MAR, Religion and the Arts) will build upon his work at the Institute by beginning doctoral studies in historical musicology at the Department of Music at Harvard University. His planned concentrations include medieval and early American music, particularly psalmody. He continues research into the visual and aural dimensions of organs as a graduate associate of the Yale Initiative for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion. He remains deeply grateful to classmates, advisors, and teachers for helping him become a more productive, creative, and collegial thinker during his time at the Institute.
This fall Adam Pajan (MM, Choral Conducting) will be the first to enroll in the University of Oklahoma’s new DMA in organ with church music emphasis, as a School of Music graduate assistant and graduate college fellow. The program will include teaching and curriculum in both the organ and choral conducting departments, as well as working in the American Organ Institute shop restoring organs. In addition to his studies, he will serve the 4,000-member congregation of St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church as Director of Music. He is deeply grateful for his time at the ISM, most especially his inspiring colleagues and his studies with Professors Jean, Murray, and Brooks, whom he wishes to thank for their encouragement and support.
After two full and wonderful years at the ISM, Beverly Shangkuan (MM, Choral Conducting) will be pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting at University of Michigan next year. She is grateful to the ISM and to all the faculty for instilling in her an interest in interdisciplinary work and a fascination for forms of art other than music. She is especially grateful for the study trip in Germany (“my first trip to Europe!!”) and thanks all the people who made this an enjoyable and memorable learning experience for the students.
After serving for the last two years as Director of Music and Organist at the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston, Leslie Smith (MM, Organ) will begin serving as Director of Music and Liturgical Arts. Leslie has moved to Norwalk, Connecticut and will spend her time working with church choirs, as well as building a program of music for the church youth.
Though graduating this year, Benjamin Straley (MM, Organ) will remain at the ISM two more years in order to complete a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Anglican Studies through Berkeley Divinity School. This July, Straley will compete against seven others in the Haarlem International Competition in Organ Improvisation. He is one of very few Americans ever to have been extended an invitation to this prestigious competition. In the upcoming year, he will remain at Trinity Church on the Green as Organ Scholar, and at the Episcopal Church at Yale as Organist & Choirmaster. Straley looks forward to continuing at the Institute, precisely because of its interdisciplinary nature; he has enjoyed working alongside not only other musicians, but with future scholars and clergy as well, with whom he will be working and serving the church. It is this integrated environment that allowed him to begin the joint degree program (MM/MDiv) this past year, for which he is “most thankful.”
Chad Tanaka Pack (M.Div) is an Associate Minister at Middle Collegiate Church, a 750-member multicultural congregation in the East Village of New York City that celebrates the arts. In addition to preaching, leading worship, teaching, and providing care, Chad’s responsibilities include ministries related to financial stewardship, LGBTI communities, and the arts in social justice. Chad is pursuing ordination in the Reformed Church in America. He recently renewed his license as a certified public accountant, and continues to write plays and poetry.
Paul Max Tipton (MM voice) has been invited to join the Rose Ensemble, a ten-voice early music group based in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, for the 2010-2011 season. The Rose Ensemble brings research from the world’s manuscript libraries to American repertoire and recreating ancient melodies with period instruments. Now in its twelfth performance season, the Ensemble tours internationally and is the recipient of the 2005 Chorus America Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence as well as the winner of the 2007 Tolosa International Choral Competition (Spain). Praised for “an almost supernatural blend of voices” (Early Music America Magazine), the Rose Ensemble has produced several recordings, which receive regular international airplay and have received widespread critical praise.
Angela Shelley Wiggins (STM, December ’10) is completing her thesis on Episcopal and Anglican burial rites. In her thesis proposal Angela writes, “This service, perhaps the most beautiful Episcopal rite, functions as a sacred place of transition… The gathered assembly celebrates the sacrament of the Eucharist, and the sacramental rites of confirmation, marriage, ordination, and reconciliation lurk in the words of the homily. It seems the whole life and work of the church is present in the liturgy for the burial of the dead.” Angela’s thesis is an exploration of the theology of this liturgy and its evolution in the American prayer books.
Next year Debi Wong (MM, Voice) will start her preliminary research for her Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Sibelius Academy. She will begin research in London, England, where she will study music, poetry, and drama from the English Renaissance. Her DMA studies will focus on musical conventions and performances within English theatre from the late sixteenth century. Debi hopes that these studies will allow her to create and present interdisciplinary performances using theatre, music, dance and the visual arts. In the far future, she hopes to start an ensemble of players that will continue to explore interdisciplinary performance practice. Debi is “grateful for her entire experience at the ISM, excited about my future plans, and sad to be leaving such a wonderful community of scholars, artists, and friends.”
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