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February 03, 2012

Melodious Milestone

School of Music Celebrates Centennial Anniversary

By Dana Casto

For 100 years the sweet sounds of music have been emanating from the College of Fine Arts, and the School of Music, founded in 1912, is celebrating with events throughout the year.

Highlighting the many celebrations are two extraordinary concerts - Saturday, March 31 at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, and Monday, April 2 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The concerts will showcase award-winning School of Music alumni representing six decades, and current students in the world-class Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, Repertory Chorus and Concert Choir. Faculty members Ronald Zollman and Robert Page will conduct, and Manu Narayan (BFA'96), screen actor/vocalist, will be master of ceremonies.

The illustrious alumni cast of musicians and vocalists includes Jeffrey Behrens (BFA'03) and Liam Bonner (BFA'03), who will sing the Belcore/Nemorino duet from Gaetano Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love." Graham Fenton (BFA'05) will sing the hit song "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" from the Broadway show "Jersey Boys."

Performing Schumann's "Konzertstück for Four Horns" will be an elite brass quartet: New York Philharmonic's Howard Wall (BFA'72); San Antonio Opera's principal horn Peter Rubins (BFA '86); CMU faculty member and principal horn of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra William Caballero; and Brice Andrus, principal horn of the Atlanta Symphony. Chicago Symphony's principal horn Dale Clevenger (BFA'62), who received an Alumni Association Distinguished Achievement Award in 2011, will conduct.

Highly acclaimed sopranos Lisa Vroman (MFA '81) and Christiane Noll (BFA '90) will also perform. Vroman starred in the Broadway production of "The Phantom of the Opera" as Christine Daae, garnering Theatre Critic's awards for the role in a record-breaking run in San Francisco. She also played a return engagement at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

Noll was nominated for a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for her portrayal of Mother in the Kennedy Center Revival of "Ragtime."

Prior to both concerts, cocktail receptions and dinners will be held, offering attendees the special opportunity to meet the featured performers and reconnect with colleagues, classmates and friends. Ricky Ian Gordon (BFA'80), distinguished composer of songs, stage musicals and opera ("Grapes of Wrath"), will perform at the dinners along with Diane Sutherland (BFA'78).

For the latest news and information on the Centennial Celebration, go to