Outgoing Lawrence University board chair receives surprise honor: $1M scholarship fund named in his honor

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Terry Franke ’68

As parting gifts go, Terry Franke could not have asked for a more meaningful one.

Franke, the outgoing chair of Lawrence University’s Board of Trustees, received a surprise going away present at the board’s recent Spring meeting: The establishment of the Terry and Mary Franke Scholarship Fund, courtesy of a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor given “in recognition of the amazing job he has done in the past four and a half years as the chairman of the Lawrence board.”

The $1 million gift will go toward Lawrence’s focused student scholarship campaign —  “Full Speed to Full Need” — launched last September with a gift of $25 million, the largest in school history. Lawrence alumni and friends since have contributed an additional $21.5 million in matching gifts for a total of $46.5 million toward a goal of $50 million. The funds will be used exclusively for endowed scholarships to help meet students’ demonstrated financial need.

“Terry Franke has led the Lawrence Board of Trustees during a time of immense growth and significant change for the university. I cannot think of a better way to acknowledge his service to his alma mater than this wonderful gift to establish the Terry and Mary Franke Scholarship fund,” said Mark Burstein, university president.

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Susan Stillman Kane ’72

Franke, a 1968 Lawrence graduate, has served on Lawrence’s Board of Trustees for 16 years, including as chair since January, 2011. He spent most of his career at Hewitt Associates, where he was a senior partner. More recently he has served as a senior consultant for Productive Strategies, Inc., a management and marketing consulting firm based in Northfield, Ill.

The end of Franke’s term as chair brings new leadership to the board. Susan Stillman Kane, an Oshkosh native who graduated from Lawrence in 1972, succeeds Franke as chair of the board. She has been a member of the board since 2002. During her tenure she has served in numerous leadership positions. Kane’s mother, Elizabeth Stillman, was a 1933 graduate of Milwaukee-Downer College, which merged with Lawrence College in 1964.

“It is a testament to the strength of the Lawrence community that after Terry’s incredibly successful tenure that the Board is fortunate to have someone as talented as Susie Stillman Kane to assume its leadership as the incoming chair,” said Burstein.

Kane, who resides in Swampscott, Mass., is a long-time dedicated community volunteer.  She spent 23 years on the board, including several years as board president, of the Citizens’ Scholarship Foundation of Marblehead, Inc., which provides scholarships for high school seniors and college students from the community. She also has served as an elected town meeting member in Swampscott.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Winner by a nose: Lawrence video wins CASE Grand Gold award

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Shea Love ’14 reads her spoken word piece “The Rabbit’s Nose.”

An in-house produced video earned Lawrence University Grand Gold honors — one of only 17 such designations from among a record 3,227 entries — in the 2015 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Circle of Excellence competition.

Lawrence earned the top award in the general information video category for “The Rabbit’s Nose,” a spoken-word piece written and performed by Shea Love ’14 before last year’s commencement for her classmates.

“The Rabbit’s Nose” summarizes Love’s four-year experience at Lawrence, combining video footage, animation, photography and music with video of Love reading her personal, emotional and evocative piece.

Created and edited by Rachel Crowl, web content and new media coordinator at Lawrence, the video provides an authentic glimpse of what it means to be a student and a soon-to-be graduate of Lawrence.

According to the judge’s report, one arbiter said they were “transfixed by the look and sound” of the video.

“Our judging panel unanimously applauded this wonderfully creative offering. That this was an in-house production, with its tiny budget used only for buying the rights to some footage, that impressed us a lot. We saw some big budgets for videos that did not achieve what this did. Kudos!”

Among some of the other institutions in the video category, Lawrence earned top honors over Brown University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, University of Southern California and Williams College.

rabbit-nose_newsblogThe international competition honors outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing at colleges, universities, independent schools and affiliated nonprofits.

This year’s competition featured entries in nearly 100 categories from more than 720 higher education institutions, independent schools and affiliated organizations located worldwide. Winners were selected by peer professionals as well as professionals from outside of education.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Trailblazer: App leads Lawrence students to finals of national entrepreneurship competition

If Joe Bazydlo has his way, visitors trekking through any of the U.S. National Parks one day soon will have instant access to fascinating information about the park at their fingertips.

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Joe Bazydlo ’16

Thanks to a smartphone app he helped develop — “Trailblazer” — hikers and other trail users will be able to magically add entries to their digital field journal via GPS technology. Each GPS point, or Trailblazer Beacon, once hiked through will unlock preloaded information about the hiker’s immediate environment provided by the people that know the most, the park’s rangers.

“It’s sort of a scavenger hunt,” said Bazydlo, who has spent time as an interpretive ranger at Hawaii’s Haleakala National Park.

Hikers will find themselves on a park-wide scavenger hunt to pass through all Trailblazer Beacons in the park trails and complete all entries in their field journals.

“The whole app works via GPS technology rather than using cell service, so it will work in even the most remote locations.”

The app is designed to be interactive.

“People could also create their own entries. A botanist, for instance, could go to a park, find a colony of a certain plant, save the GPS point on their phone, write a description about it that could be sent to park officials who then could approve or decline the entry,” Bazydlo explained. “Essentially, we want to use Trailblazer to crowd-source every park in the nation. We want to provide a platform for everyone to contribute their unique perspective on the parks.”

With help from Eddie Elizondo and Alex Shabazi, Bazydlo developed “Trailblazer” in Lawrence University’s “In Pursuit of Innovation” course last fall and took the idea all the way to the finals of the 2015 Tiger Launch Competition at Princeton University.

Bazydlo and Elizondo were among 20 finalists from an original pool of more than 250 teams from around the country that submitted 90-second video pitches for the first round of the competition when it began last November.

Bazydlo delivered the team’s four-minute presentation in front of three venture capitalists who served as the competition’s judges. The annual competition is sponsored by Princeton’s Entrepreneurship Club.

Lawrence was one of the only liberal arts college invited to the finals, which included teams from Princeton, Duke, Cal Tech, Clemson and Johns Hopkins universities, among others.

“It was an unbelievable experience…it certainly proved Lawrence students can run with the best of the them.”
— Joe Bazydlo

“I was a kind of shocked, but we certainly were honored to make it that far,” said Bayzdlo, a junior anthropology and Chinese major from Rocky River, Ohio. “There were some student presenters who were completing their MBAs and some who were working full time on their projects.”

The first- and second-place presenters as determined by the judges received funding awards of $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. Although he didn’t get any financial support for Trailblazer, Bazydlo felt the opportunity was priceless.

“It was an unbelievable experience, a great learning experience,” said Bazydlo, who was still tweaking the presentation on the train ride from Newark’s Liberty International Airport to Princeton. “It certainly proved Lawrence students can run with the best of the them. Without a business school, we had to learn everything from the ground up to even go into the project while still being full-time students.”

Adam Galambos, associate professor of economics and one of the drivers behind Lawrence’s innovation and entrepreneurship program, expressed pride in the Trailblazer team’s success.

“Joe and Eddie combined their expertise and worked very hard to pursue an idea they are both passionate about and we’re certainly proud of their success in this year’s Tiger Launch competition,” said Galambos. “I hope their success inspires others to pursue their own innovative and entrepreneurial ideas, whether they are in the realm of social enterprise, commercial ventures or innovation in any field. Our I&E program is here to support those initiatives through relevant courses and events such as LaunchLU, as well as the new I&E club coming this fall.”

The journey from Briggs Hall to the Princeton campus was a major triumph in itself considering the challenges the team encountered along the way, starting with the initial 90-second video pitch.

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Joe Bazydlo hopes his phone app will enhance users visits to the country’s national parks by providing additional information about their immediate environment.

“We shot it at three in the morning the day we were leaving for the end-of-term holiday break,” recalled Bazydlo. “It was not good.”

So “take two” was shot in Bazydlo’s living room back home in Ohio.

“I just propped up my iPad on the fireplace mantle and starting giving our pitch. It was a very awkward video, but we submitted it thinking it’s all about the idea, not the quality of the video.”

The team lived in limbo for nearly three months before finding out on Valentine’s Day weekend they had made the second round.

“Suddenly we realized we were running with the big dogs. We had made the semifinals,” said Bazydlo.

To earn a ticket to Princeton, the team had to survive a Skype interview, conducted by a business school professor from UC-Berkeley. With Elizondo in Chicago on an off-campus study program for the term, that required a three-way conversation.

“That went terrible,” Bazydlo said bluntly. “It was just a slaughterhouse. He was ripping apart every aspect of our plan.”

Despite their own poor self-assessment of the interview, to their complete surprise two weeks later they learned they made the top 20 and should start packing for a paid trip to Princeton.

“We were probably the most unusual team there, a combination of a computer science major and an anthropology major, neither with any business background,” said Bazydlo. “We had no idea we’d make it to be among the top 20.”

As for the next step for Trailblazer, Bazydlo says some additional tweaking is in the works.

“Right now we are still trying to perfect the app so that we can create a positive and impactful change in the way young people interact with our national parks. It will take a lot of outside learning, but we are so grateful to have the support of everyone at Lawrence and we are excited to see where Trailblazer will take us.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Ben Meunier awarded Gilman International Scholarship to study Arabic in Jordan

Sophomore Ben Meunier has been awarded a prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

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Ben Meunier ’17

Meunier, an anthropology major from Marshall, was one of 850 undergraduates nationally selected for the scholarship from among 2,700 applicants. The award will support studies abroad this fall (Aug. 23-Dec. 17) on the Middle East and Arabic Language Studies program in Amman, Jordan.

Administered by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest in partnership with AMIDEAST, the program immerses students in Arabic as well as the history and culture of the region.

Meunier, who his completing his first year of studying Arabic at Lawrence, sees the language skills as critical to his future plans.

“I expect to journey to the Middle East regularly during my professional career,” said Meunier, whose older brother Zechariah, a senior at Lawrence, received a Gilman International Scholarship in 2013. “I aspire to be a biblical archaeologist and learning Arabic is a necessary step if I hope to attain the fullest understanding of the region. Arabic, like Hebrew, is a Semitic language and this connection will only further help me study the Hebrew peoples.”

Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad program costs. The program’s mission is to diversify the students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go.

Lawrence Anthropology Professor Peter Peregrine said the Gilman Scholarship provides a perfect opportunity for Meunier to combine his Christian faith with his broader interests in the Abrahamic religions.

“Ben’s planned work in Jordan will allow him to develop his Arabic language skills while pursuing a greater understanding of Islam,” said Peregrine, Meunier’s academic advisor. “I have developed a great respect for Ben. He has not allowed his deep Christian beliefs to keep him from trying to understand and appreciate other faiths. He has used his interest in the Abrahamic religions to strengthen his understanding of his own Christian beliefs.”

Amman-Jorda_newsblogGilman Scholars have opportunities to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies, which prepares them to be leaders in an increasingly global economy and interconnected world.

“I am looking forward to the whole experience,” said Meunier, who will live with a host family while on the program. “I am very excited about the homestay because I will be directly immersed in the culture of the Middle East. I am also looking forward to meeting my fellow classmates and living as a Middle Eastern college student.

“As an anthropology major, this program will be ideal, providing me firsthand experience in the field,” he added. “I also will be able explore some of my personal interests in religion, and the influx of refugees from Syria and other neighboring countries has created an anthropological research topic of great interest. Jordan truly is the perfect location for me.”

Administered by the Institute of International Education, the program is named in honor of Benjamin Gilman, who represented New York in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1973-2003. According to Gilman, a strong advocate of studying abroad programs, the scholarship “provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Michael Mizrahi and NOW Ensemble release third album, “Dreamfall”

NOW Ensemble, an eclectic chamber ensemble co-founded by Lawrence University Professor of Music and pianist Michael Mizrahi, released its latest album, “Dreamfall,” May 27 on New Amsterdam Records.

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NOW Ensemble features electric guitarist Mark Dancigers, flutist Alexandra Sopp, bassist Logan Coale, clarinetist Sara Budde and pianist Michael Mizrahi.

The ensemble’s third full-length album in the past 10 years, “Dreamfall” explores vibrant new sonic possibilities while featuring several new commissioned works by some of today’s leading young composers, including Andrea Mazzariello, Scott Smallwood and John Supko.

Mizrahi launched NOW Ensemble in 2004 with a vision of creating new chamber music for the 21st century. With its unique instrumentation — flute, clarinet, electric guitar, double bass and piano — the ensemble provides a fresh sound and a new perspective to the classical tradition, reflecting the musical influences and diverse backgrounds of its members.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Professors Shimon, Lindemann honored with Wisconsin Visual Art Achievement Award

The creative accomplishments of Lawrence University faculty members, photographers and creative partners John Shimon and Julie Lindemann have been recognized with a Wisconsin Visual Art Achievement Award (WVAAA).

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John Shimon and Julie Lindemann were among the 2015 recipients of a Wisconsin Visual Art Achievement Award.

Awarded annually since 2004, the WVAAAs were created to honor artists who have contributed to the wealth of creativity in Wisconsin and to educate the public about the region’s rich artistic history.

The award was presented Sunday, May 24 at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) in West Bend, where a retrospective of Shimon and Lindemann’s work titled “There’s a Place: A Three Decade Survey of Photographs by J. Shimon and J. Lindemann, runs until June 7. They were two of 13 visual artists to receive the award this year.

Art historian Debra Brehmer, director of Milwaukee’s Portrait Society Gallery, accepted the award on Shimon’s and Lindemann’s behalf. She offered a David Letterman-like Top 10 list of things she learned from them in accepting their award.

The artistic duo has long been interested in blending contemporary and historic photographic techniques to tell meaningful stories about ordinary people in their native Wisconsin. By combining old and new photography techniques, Shimon and Lindemann have created a compelling, at times melancholy, body of work. Although rooted in Wisconsin, their images are neither regional nor documentary but deeply personal, reflecting slow, thoughtful meditations on relationships that reveal the human experience.

Associate Professors of Art, Shimon and Lindemann joined the Lawrence faculty in 2000. They were recognized with Lawrence’s Faculty Excellence in Creative Activity Award 2012 and were named 2014 Wisconsin “Artists of the Year” by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Their photographs are featured in numerous museums including MOWA, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

 

Lawrence composer weaves musical mosaic with help from 20 eighth graders

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Asha Srinivasan

A collaborative project between Lawrence University composer Asha Srinivasan, Lawrence graduates Jesse Dochnahl (2006) and Carrie Winkler (1986) and a pair of middle school bands in two different states led to a recent world premiere performance.

The Sheboygan Falls Middle School eighth-grade band, under the direction of Winkler, featured Srinivasan’s “Chroma Mosaic” in its spring band concert earlier this month.

The composition grew out of a first-year project called Mission to Commission. The brainchild of Dochnahl, who directs the eighth-grade band at CS Porter Middle School in Missoula, Mont., Mission to Commission seeks opportunities for year-long creativity, communication and collaboration for two middle school band programs.

Under Dochnahl’s baton, Porter Middle School’s eighth-grade band will perform “Chroma Mosaic” May 26 in its own concert.

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Assistant Professor of Music Asha Srinivasan addresses the audience prior to the world premiere performance by the Sheboygan Falls Middle School band of “Chroma Mosaic.”

Starting in April 2014, Srinivasan began working with Dochnahl on the idea of a joint collaboration. Starting last September, through personal visits to Sheboygan Falls and Skyping with the students in Montana, Srinivasan mentored the young musicians on the art and process of music composition.

Students from both schools composed a series of individual melodies and each school ultimately chose 10, ranging in length from 10 to 20 seconds, to submit to Srinivasan, who then skillfully arranged 14 of them into a single, moving mosaic of music.

“Some of them I used in their entirety and others I just used small snippets,” explained Srinivasan, who returned the finished composition in mid-March to the students to begin practicing. “I adjusted the melodies in terms of tempo, key and instrumentation to create the larger, composite piece.”

The culmination of the collaboration — the premiere performance of the six-minute composition by the Sheboygan Falls eighth-grade band — left Srinivasan feeling overwhelmed.

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Carrie Winkler ’86, director of the Sheboygan Falls Middle School band, congratulates Lawrence composer Asha Srinivasan following the premiere performance of Srinivasan’s “Chroma Mosaic.”

“I told the students afterward that was the best, most meaningful performance I’ve ever experienced. It wasn’t just my music, it was our music. I hope the experience, the impression, the memory stays with them just as it is going to stay with me.

“This was really one of the neatest projects I’ve been involved with,” added Srinivasan. “It’s really hard to compose music for the middle-school band level, so this was a major learning process on my end as well.”

Srinivasan, who joined the Lawrence faculty in 2008, has won two international awards for her competition “Dviraag.” She was the winner of the Ruam Samai Award at the 2011 Thailand International Composition Festival and earned first-place honors in the Flute New Music Consortium’s 2014 international composition competition, which attracted more than 250 entries from composers in more than 20 countries.

“Dviraag” is included on the CD “Millennial Masters Vol. 4” by Ablaze Records and also can be heard on SoundCloud.

The Mission to Commission project was supported by the Kohler Foundation and the Plum Creek Foundation.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

President Mark Burstein stresses the value of inner character in charge to UW-Fox Valley graduates

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Lawrence University President Mark Burstein served as principal speaker at UW-Fox’s 2015 commencement ceremonies. Photo by Max Hermans.

Lawrence University President Mark Burstein told graduates at UW-Fox Valley that “striving for inner character – to be kind, brave, honest or faithful – is as important or maybe more for your success than the degree you receive tonight” during the college’s spring commencement ceremonies.

Burstein served as the principal speaker May 20 for the Menasha campus’ annual graduation exercise held in the UW-Fox Fieldhouse, during which 224 Associate of Arts and Science degrees were awarded.

As part of the festivities, UW-Fox surprised Burstein by awarding him an honorary Associate of Arts and Science degree.

Burstein is the second Lawrence president to deliver UW-Fox Valley’s commencement address, joining Richard Warch (1979-2004), who served as commencement speaker for the 1989 ceremony.

In his remarks, Burstein assured the graduates that their experience at UW-Fox Valley helped build their inner character “as you read and listened and talked to each other in and out of class.

“Look back and take account of the learnings you gained from this experience,” Burstein said. “They will serve you well, surely as well as what you learned in books from English, biology and economics classes.”

He also credited the students’ UW-Fox Valley education for preparing them for a life of “deeper inquiry.”

“We live in a complicated time where opposing viewpoints are often expressed with great fervor and without consideration for other perspectives,” Burstein said. “It is easier than ever to take at face value the information available on the Internet, television and the press.

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Martin Rudd, UW-Fox Valley Campus Executive Officer and Dean (left) and Lawrence University President Mark Burstein share a moment prior to UW-Fox’s 2015 commencement ceremony. Burstein delivered the commencement address. Photo by Max Hermans.

“What has always been and what will always be more challenging, but I would argue also more rewarding, is to consider the issues that face this state, nation and world using the critical analysis you have employed in the service of your education to determine your own views and to help you plot your course in the years to come.  You have learned to question. That is an important and useful skill. It is a skill that builds character.”

Burstein issued a challenge to the graduates as they prepare to move on to the next chapter of their lives and confront the decisions and challenges that await them.

“Aim high and be bold,” he said. “The world is waiting for your talent and leadership.”

Watch President Burstein’s address.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Magnificent Music: Lawrence students earn national recognition from DownBeat magazine

What’s better than winning a Student Music Award from DownBeat magazine? How about winning two.

The Lawrence University jazz studies and improvisation department has double reason to celebrate after DownBeat’s announcement of the winners of its 38th annual Student Music Awards.

Lawrence claimed a pair of honorees — an individual and an ensemble — in the magazine’s yearly salute to the best in student music-making. Tim Carrigg was one of two winners in the college undergraduate jazz arrangement category. Tambo Toké, Lawrence’s Afro-Cuban percussion group, was cited for outstanding performance in the college undergraduate Latin Jazz Ensemble category.Tim-Carrigg-with-DB-award

The 2015 SMAs, announced in DownBeat’s June edition, are presented in 13 categories in five separate divisions (junior high, high school, performing high school, undergraduate college and graduate college) are considered among the highest music honors in the field of jazz education.

Carrigg, a senior from Westport, Mass., was recognized for his six-minute, big band arrangement “Once Upon a Time,” which was inspired by Herbie Hancock’s “Tell Me a Bedtime Story.”

“When I started arranging the piece, it turned out much, much different than the original tune, so I just renamed it,” said Carrigg, a music theory/composition major with a jazz emphasis.

The SMA was a well-earned reward for Carrigg, who began working on the piece in the fall of 2013 and once spent 40 consecutive hours hunkered down in his room notating the piece.

“Whenever you’re composing anything, you put in a lot of work, literally hundreds and hundreds of hours and at the end of the day, are you going to create something that is really great? Hopefully,” said Carrigg, whose compositions will be showcased in a jazz recital on May. 31.

He recorded “Once Upon a Time” in the spring of 2014, using a 17-piece band he recruited from members of the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble (LUJE) and Lawrence Jazz Band. Guitarist Sam Genualdi and drummer Dan Reifsteck are featured soloists on the recording.

Tim incorporates contemporary grooves, fresh harmonic ideas and unique methods of improvisation to create music that is exciting and compelling…He is incredibly talented and still so humble and down to earth.”
— Patty Darling

Carrigg says composition has been a part of his entire musical life, but he says his “serious composing” phase began three years ago when he joined the Lawrence composition studio.

“I’ve written pieces that were more compositionally sound, but this is the first piece I’ve ever written for big band,” said Carrigg, a pianist whose playing career has been sidetracked by a severe case of musician’s dystonia, a neurological movement disorder. “This one has a ton of excitement. It has a lot of adventurous things that I tried.”

Carrigg credited the late Fred Sturm, an award-winning composer and former director of Lawrence’s jazz studies program and Patty Darling, a DownBeat SMA jazz arrangement winner herself as a Lawrence student in 1984, for their mentoring on the project.

“Fred said he wanted me to write a big-band piece, so I started on it and it was really tough, really tough, but he kept pushing me and pushing me,” said Carrigg. “I wanted to make it as best for him as I possibly could. He loved it and even sent me an email saying ‘I’ve been listening to it all day.’ I felt I at least lived up to that goal.”

“Patty was fantastic on it, too,” Carrigg added. “She was extremely helpful with all the deadlines and making sure everything was in place. Through the entire process she was very encouraging.”

As a composer and arranger, Darling says Carrigg possesses “a powerful identity.”

“Tim incorporates contemporary grooves, fresh harmonic ideas and unique methods of improvisation to create music that is exciting and compelling,” said Darling, who co-directs LUJE and the Lawrence Jazz Band. “He also experiments with acoustic and electronic instruments to create new sounds that help create structure and form in his compositions. He is incredibly talented and still so humble and down to earth. Last spring, Fred told me how much he loved working with Tim and what great potential he has. Fred would be so proud right now of Tim’s success and national recognition.”

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Tambo Toké, Lawrence’s 17-member Afro-Cuban percussion ensemble, earned “Outstanding Performance” recognition from DownBeat magazine in its 38th annual Student Music Awards competition.

The SMA for Latin Jazz Ensemble is the second major honor in the past year for Lawrence percussionists. In 2014, the Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble (LUPE), of which Tambo Toké is a subset, won the Percussive Arts Society World Percussion Ensemble Competition and was a featured performer last fall at the PAS International Convention in Indianapolis.

The 17-member Tambo Toké, which includes non-percussion majors, is led by student director Eli Edelman, who submitted a video tape of a 30-minute medley of traditional Afro-Cuban drumming and songs that he arranged for his senior recital in February 2014.

“He’s done a tremendous job of teaching, creating musical arrangements and inspiring his colleagues to embrace this powerful music. The prestigious DownBeat award is well-earned testament to his great work.”
— Dane Richeson on Eli Edelman

“It was obvious to me the performance was strong enough for DownBeat to consider it in their annual national student competition. I know there are very few schools that are performing this style of Cuban music in this country,” said Dane Richeson, professor of music and director of Lawrence’s percussion studio.

Tambo Toké grew out of a presentation jazz studies instructor José Encarnación did three years ago on Afro-Cuban music, specifically Rumba.

“Some students from the percussion department starting getting together on a weekly basis to listen to the music and learn how to play the individual parts for the Rumba instrumentation,” said Encarnacion, a native of Puerto Rico, who turned the presentation into a tutorial. “Some of the students had been working on this music with Dane and Michael Spiro, so they were contributing as well on teaching other members of the class, including myself, on how to play this great music.”

With Edelman leading the ensemble, Richeson decided to incorporate it into his world music curriculum, expanding the repertoire to include other Cuban traditional music such as Arara and Bata.

“The fact that our students are open minded enough to learn, respect and embrace music and life from another culture is what makes Tambo Toké special and worthy of national recognition,” said Encarnación.

Edelman, a senior from Hoboken, N.J., brings the experience of two recent visits to Cuba to his position of director of Tambo Toké. With the support of some Lawrence research grants, including a Melon Senior Experience grant, he was able to spend two months in 2013 immersed in the Afro-Cuban folkloric music scene of Havana and Matanzas.

“Almost every single day I had a two-hour private lesson in the morning with one teacher, a two-hour private lesson in the afternoon with another teacher, and then I’d go find live music performances to watch in the evening,” said Edelman, a double degree candidate with majors in percussion performance and history.

“This music is part of an oral tradition, so everything I learned was taught by ear in the way that master drummers teach their students. In the four years that I’ve been in charge of the ensemble, I’ve drawn heavily upon material I learned from my teachers in Cuba.”

Dane and Eli Edelman_Tambo Toke
As its student director, senior Eli Edelman (front row, right), helped Tambo Toké earn a DownBeat award in the Latin jazz ensemble category of the magazine’s 2015 student music awards competition.

Richeson, who has used several sabbaticals to study music traditions in Ghana, Cuba and Brazil, says it is crucial for 21st-century percussion students to have both exposure to, and experience performing, the music traditions rooted in West Africa.

“Eli is a perfect example from several students I’ve had over the years who have fallen in love with one of these African-based music traditions,” said Richeson. “With his command of the Spanish language and his keen musical intuition, Eli learned an impressive amount of repertoire while in Cuba. It became clear that he was ready to take on the role of student directing our Afro-Cuban ensemble. He’s done a tremendous job of teaching, creating musical arrangements and inspiring his colleagues to embrace this powerful music. The prestigious DownBeat award is well-deserved testament to his great work.”

Since DownBeat launched its student music awards competition in 1978, Lawrence students and ensembles have won a total of 26 SMAs, including six in the past five years.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Ruby Dickson awarded Fulbright-Hays Scholarship for Chinese language immersion program in Beijing

Ruby Dickson will venture outside the United States for the first time this summer courtesy of the U.S. Department of Education.

Ruby-Dickson_newsblog
Ruby Dickson ’16

The Lawrence University junior from Louisville, Colo., has been awarded a $2,700 Fulbright-Hays Scholarship for the 2015 Associated Colleges in China (ACC) Intensive Language Program. In addition to the scholarship, Dickson will receive $800 for travel expenses.

This is the 10th year in a row at least one Lawrence student has been recognized by the Fulbright Program. Dickson is the 14th Lawrence recipient of a Fulbright award in the past five years.

Beginning June 14, Dickson will participate in a Chinese language immersion program at Beijing’s Minzu University. The program runs through Dec. 7.

“I’m really excited for the chance to go to Beijing, especially since this is my first time leaving the United States,” said Dickson, who is pursuing a double major in Chinese language & literature and economics. “The Fulbright-Hays will help me with funding this amazing opportunity and I’m incredibly grateful for the generosity of those responsible for the scholarship.

“While I’m in China, I’ll have the opportunity not only to learn the Chinese language, but also to understand Chinese culture, conduct research and make valuable friends and connections,” Dickson added. “The Fulbright-Hays represents an amazing opportunity to build on my experiences at Lawrence. I can’t wait to begin my trip.”

Minzu-University_newsblog
Minzu University, Beijing, China

Kuo-ming Sung, associate professor of Chinese and linguistics and one of Dickson’s academic advisors, said she is one of the brightest and hardest working students he has had in his classes.

“What is truly remarkable about Ruby is her creativity and imagination,” said Sung. “She transforms otherwise ordinary sentence patterns and vocabulary into fun-filled dialogues and compositions. Her oral presentations are always enthusiastic and infused with a wonderful sense of humor.”

Following her language program, Dickson will remain in China for several more weeks to complete an internship in the finance department of Deprag Industries, a Germany-based industrial manufacturing company with an office in Beijing.

David Gerard, associate professor of economics, said Dickson came to her economics major late, but has quickly distinguished herself.

“Ruby’s academic excellence is no accident. I call on people randomly and she has consistently demonstrated she had prepared for class and typically has a handle on even the more difficult material. She has very good foresight, is an exceptional planner and certainly does not shy away from academic challenges. Many students will take courses to protect their GPA, but Ruby shows no indication of taking that route. The internship abroad presents a great opportunity for her to operationalize her economics training and her liberal arts education more generally.”

Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the Fulbright-Hays Group Program Abroad seeks to strengthen foreign language expertise through advanced overseas study and research opportunities and by providing experiences and resources that enabling educators to strengthen their international teaching.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.