2018 Stroud Entrepreneurship Awards
Thanks to James Stroud's generous annual gift to the Guitar Studio, I am able to acknowledge my students' special efforts in the field--their activities which reside over and above the demands of the college and conservatory curricula. I have long regarded such activities as one of the keys to success in the field and the time to dig in and begin doing such things is-- immediately. So, while I like to use the word "entrepreneurship"--this is not about launching an internet start-up or starting a mail-order cookie company. I am referring to activities in or close-adjacent to our field, such as additional performances, outside educational activities, composing and arranging, collaborations beyond our Guitar Ensemble programs, teaching students, blogging on the subject, recording, establishing a professional online presence, and so on.
This year, Mr. Stroud upped the award amount to nearly $9,000. Each student submits a resume or listing of their recognized activities during the previous year. And, based on the quality and quantity of such activity, they receive a cash award. This year, the awards were distributed as follows:
Julia Humphrey Bodian --$500.
Julia worked in collaboration with two Oberlin composers on new works and premiered the pieces. She worked with another composer on coding a new original game and creating music for it. She taught two private students and performed several times for services at a Jewish Center. With a band she formed (Deer Scout), Julia played a six-city tour. And she won 2nd prize in this year's Stroud All-Ohio Guitar Competition.
Rebecca Klein --$500.
Rebecca took several outside coachings and lessons on her newly adopted main instrument, the Baroque guitar, and learned a full program of music for it from original notation. She played a full pre-senior recital concert. She played for the Concert choir in a multi-instrument continuo. She created a website full of pertinent content, including links several videos she has recorded and put up on YouTube.
Aidan Wiley Lippke --$600.
Aidan played a full recital this year, his second. He gave the first performance of a student composer's piece. He played a concert at a rehab center in MA. He was the show guitarist for an Oberlin production of Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along. He arranged a song from West side Story for guitar duet, and he won 4th prize in this year's Stroud All-Ohio Guitar Competition.
Stephen Fazio --$600
Stephen maintained a private lesson studio at the Avon School of Music (since '14), in which he teaches 20 students. At Avon, he also runs a summer guitar school featuring ensemble and music theory classes. In addition, he taught privately 8 hours/week in Oberlin. He was positively-reviewed for his performance in the orchestra for the Oberlin premiere performance of the Tan Dun opera, Angel's Bone.
Collin Sterne --$850
Collin, besides his work on the guitar, dedicated himself to his new studies on the theorbo, playing continuo with the Baroque Orchestra, a Cantata Project which featured three concerts, (two in Cleveland), with the Concert Choir and in a full duo recital of Italian monody with soprano Abigail Hakel-Garcia. He took external lessons on it, and participated in both a guest master class with the Flanders Recorder Quartet, and the 2017 Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute.
Craig Slagh --$850
Craig gave numerous performances this year, his first at Oberlin, including a two-concert tour in nearby towns and a full Freshman Recital on campus. His duo with recorder player Peter Lim was selected to play on the prestigious Dannenberg Honors Concert and in a special performance in New York City. He played for several church services and in weekly open-mikes at the local music store. He took outside lessons on the Renaissance lute and used the instrument in his recital. In addition, he made a solo arrangement of a song associated with Frank Sinatra, and included it on his recitals.
Mohit Dubey --$2400.
Mohit gave three solo recitals, two of which were written up in newspapers. He performed in numerous extra collaborative settings, including duets with flutist Karisma Palmore, violist Emily Edelstein, violinist Delaney Meyers, guitarist Roberto Capocchi, with a student quartet for our Sergio Assad concert, and in a regular duet with guitarist Brian King with whom he played three full recitals in two states. He played with Contemporary Music Ensemble and in PI (Performance and Improvisation), pieces by Sergio Assad that he arranged. He co-commissioned (with Brian King) a new work for two guitars by an Oberlin student composer. He took lessons on jazz guitar. He made several videos, including one of an original hip-hop song with sitar, one of an original piece with PI, and several to assist luthier Michael Thames showcase his instruments. He recorded a full-length solo CD, edited and mastered it, designed it, and saw it through to production; it was reviewed positively online. He composed several new works for solo guitar and guitar in ensembles and made several new arrangements. He taught several students and did outreach sessions in collaborative songwriting with homeless children. He attended the Iserlohn Guitar Festival in Germany, where he played in several master classes, and performed both solo and in large ensemble. He wrote reviews of many of our year's guest artist concerts and published his reviews on his blog.
Brian King --$2400.
Brian gave numerous performances in collaborative settings. His flute and guitar duo, with Katie Kim, played a five concert tour in CA, taught and performed as faculty at the Oyster Bay (NY) Music Festival, and gave many additional concerts at Oberlin, including for the Commencement Recital and for Kendall Retirement Center. The duo had all-new professional photos taken and created an excellent website. They are finalists in the Southern Guitar Festival Chamber Competition and were offered scholarships to enter the MM program at the Royal Conservatory in Glasgow, Scotland. Brian won 3rd prize in the New Orleans International Guitar Competition. Additional collaborations include a concert with flutist Laura Patterson, in a guitar quartet for our Sergio Assad concert and the first performance of a student composer's chamber piece. He played with PI (Performance and Improvisation), the Bossa Nova Ensemble and the Contemporary Music Ensemble and with his band, the Laughing Yeti. His guitar duo, with Mohit Dubey, played a three-concert road-trip tour. They commissioned a new piece by a student composer. For this duo, Brian arranged two movements of Tchaikovsky's first string quartet. For his solo recital, he transcribed Rabello's arrangement of Lamentos do Morro. In addition, he was the President of the Oberlin Guitar Association.
Many thanks to James Stroud for his continuing and generous support of the Oberlin Guitar Studio. Many young musicians have had an easier path thanks to his kindness!!