Sunday, December 10, 2017

James Sellars Memorial Celebration

On December 6, 7, and 8, 2017, The Hartt School celebrated the musical life and legacy of James Sellars, Professor of Composition 1978 - 2002.  Composers, performers, faculty, alumni, current students, and friends gathered for a series of performances of James' music and music composed in his honor.  Robert Black organized the effort with the help of many others.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Original School Brochure 1920-21

1920 - World War I had ended.  Jazz was just emerging.  Warren G. Harding was elected President of the United States.  Prohibition began.  Women attained the right to vote.  Mass media was born with a license given to the first commercial radio station.  America was about to start Roaring. 

And, The Hartt School was officially formed.  1920 is the founding date of our school and, thanks to the University of Hartford archives and Prof. Dee Hansen (leading the committee planning Hartt's centennial celebrations), below is the original brochure for the school.

Contained in these several pages is the philosophy on which our founders built their legacy.  The prose is elevated and contained within are a few surprises.

How many of us had heard of "Boris" Paranov?  Most of know Morris Perlmutter changed his named for professional reasons to Moshe Paranov, but I had never know that Uncle Moshe once went by Boris.  Ernest Bloch as a faculty member.

Citation - Julius Hartt Musical Foundation, Inc. records (ARCH161). University of Hartford Archives and Special Collections.


Monday, October 30, 2017

Obituary for Raymond D. Hanson

Raymond D. Hanson, beloved father, devoted husband, concert pianist and teacher, died peacefully of natural causes in his home in Heath, Massachusetts on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at the age of 98.

Born October 5, 1919 to David and Martha Hanson of Evanston, Illinois, Raymond began studying piano at the age of 12. By the age of 15, he appeared as a featured soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Raymond attended Northwestern University until the beginning of WWII, and his commitment to non-violence and peaceful protest led him to become a Conscientious Objector. This eventually brought him to Middletown, Connecticut.

After the War, in 1945, Raymond met Moshe Paranov and was offered a teaching job at Hartt College of Music. While at Hartt, Raymond worked with the renowned pianist and pedagogue, Harold Bauer, who took him under his wing and mentored him. Raymond was promoted to full Professor of Piano and eventually served as Head of the Piano Department where he remained for over 40 years. Throughout this time, he performed as a soloist with Hartford Symphony, Boston Symphony and Boston Pops; performed concerts and world tours with noted artists such as Roman Totenberg , Pinchas Zukerman, and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf; and he appeared on his own weekly television program, Piano Pops, with Leonard Seeber. In addition, he created the piano series En Blanc et Noir, which featured young and upcoming pianists.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Hartt Hall of Fame - Inaugural Class Induction

In 2016, the Board of Trustees of The Hartt School created The Hartt Hall of Fame.  As created by the Board:

The Hartt Hall of Fame recognizes and honors the accomplishments and contributions of individuals associated with The Hartt School who have helped in significant ways to further the mission of the School and showcase the best of the School to external audiences.

The Inaugural Class consists of the following people:
Samuel Berkman
Edward Diemente
Alfred C. and Primrose Fuller
Raymond Hanson
Julius Hartt
Irene Kahn
Jackie McLean
Elemer Nagy
Elizabeth Warner Paranov
Moshe Paranov
Imanuel Willheim

The induction ceremony for the Class of 2017 will take place on November 30, 2017 at 12:15 p.m. in Millard Auditorium during Paranov Hour (previously known as Musicianship Class).  The ceremony will be streamed live on the internet.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Remembering Brenda Lewis

Brenda Lewis passed away on Saturday in her home in Westport, CT.  She was born on March 2, 1921.  After a long and critically acclaimed career singing and acting on Broadway and, among others, at City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, she was a professor of voice and acting at Hartt.

Here is the obituary that appeared in the NY Times.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

March 1964 issue of International Musician, cover article re Moshe Paranov and Hartt

The March 1964 edition of International Musician, published by the American Federal of Musicians, featured an article about Moshe Paranov and the new Hartt building - the Fuller Building.  Moshe and a photo of the building appeared on the cover.  There are lots of interesting things in this article, including the fact that the original building cost a total of $2.6m to build.

Check out Uncle Moshe's quote about his decision to not strike out for Europe or other major metropolitan center early in his career as was the typical path.

"I hope that I have demonstrated that it is possible for a student of music to become a musician by the unorthodox method which I selected.  Less of glamour, yes; more of heartache, decidedly; but great satisfaction, definitely."

I also like the 1964 advertisements.

As we move toward the completion of the renovation of Millard Auditorium, it is amazing to think about the original dedication concert, with performances by Marian Anderson, Isaac Stern and Leonard Rose.  I would have liked to be in attendance!

Special thanks to Seth Bogdanove, Uncle Moshe's nephew who used to vacation with the Paranov family in Maine.  Seth saved this article and sent me the digital copy. 

(By the way - If anyone is in need of photo restoration and digital archiving skills, please reach out to Seth at Digital Archiving and Photo Restoration by Bogframe, 17 Bay 31st Street, Apt 2, Brooklyn, NY 11214, (718) 373-7575,

Monday, July 3, 2017

Allen Memorial Library Moves Into New Space

The Allen Memorial Library, a/k/a the Hartt Music Library, has moved into a new space.  What was formerly known as the main library on campus, the Mortensen Library, has been renamed the Walter Harrison Libraries, which now includes a section called Mortensen Library.  The Harrison Libraries now houses the Allen Library in what used to be the lower level of Mortensen.  The back wall of this space was blown out, new floor to ceiling windows were installed, and the space was reconfigured to serve Hartt's music, dance and theatre students and faculty.  Although still a work in progress, here are some photos.

Did you know that Hartt alumni have use and borrowing privileges in the Allen Library?  See the library website for details.

Here is your mini virtual tour.

As you walk down the stairs from the main level of Mortensen, here is the entrance signage to the new Allen Library.
Turn left and a staff workspace is visible through the window and you can see through the library space out the back windows.
In we go through the entrance and turn right to the circulation desk.

Looking past the work tables and the computer study stations.  (Bonus if you can identify the Hartt alumnus just beyond the computers from the back of his head.)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Two Hartt Alumni to Be Featured at Tanglewood

A pair of Hartt alumni, Phillip Boykin and Ryan Speedo Green, will be among the featured soloists at this seasons' Tanglewood performances.

On July 8, Phillip will perform with the Boston Pops Orchestra in a program titled Sondheim on Sondheim.  This follows Phillip's recent run on Broadway in Sunday in the Park with George.  More information on this performance can be found here.  Boykin Performance

PHILLIP BOYKIN (Bass-Baritone) is a 2012 Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards Nominee for his work in THE GERSHWIN'S PORGY AND BESS. He is the 2012 Winner of a Theatre World Award as well as the International Reviewers of New England Awards and The Distinguished Alumni Award from The Hartt School. Phillip is a native of Greenville, SC who now resides in NJ. Other performances include; the Broadway Revivals of ON THE TOWN and SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, the roles of Joe in the National Tour SHOW BOAT and at several Regional theaters including Sacramento Music Theater, The Pirate King/Samuel in PIRATES OF PENZANCE NY City Center and Barrington Stage, Ken in AIN'T MISBEHAVIN', Crown/Jake in the Opera PORGY AND BESS, Tarquinius in THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA, Caiaphas in JCS, and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR GOSPEL, the HARLEM GOSPEL SINGERS, Fred in SMOKEY JOE'S CAFÉ, and Don Alfonso in COSI FAN TUTTI to name a few. Phillip performed as Booker T. Washington in the Anniversary Concert of RAGTIME at Lincoln Center. He also made is Carnegie Hall debut in BROADWAY CLASSICS. Mr. Boykin portrayed the role of Big Hand in the movie FREEDOM starring Cuba Gooding Jr., and Sharon Leal. Recently The Driver in TOP FIVE a movie starring, written and directed by Chris Rock, Caiaphas in John O'Boyle's EASTER MYSTERIES and was featured as the cover story of Classical Singer Magazine. He's a graduate of the University of Hartford's Hartt School of Music in CT; he also studied Jazz and Vocal Performance at SC State University, Howard University and the NC School of the Arts. Phillip has toured throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, Russia, Poland and North America. Mr. Boykin is the Founder, Director and Manager of the NYGOSPEL BROTHERS. For more information or to purchase his CD/DVD entitled "You Believed In Me" please visit


Ryan Speedo Green will perform on July 30 with the BSO Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus as a featured soloist in William Walton's Belshazzar's Feast.  Additional information on this performance can be found here. Green Performance 

Bass-Baritone Ryan Speedo Green, a native of Suffolk, Virginia, recently completed the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera. Praised by Anothony Tommasini for his "robust voice," Ryan will join the Wiener Staatsoper as a company member in the 2014 - 2015 season member and will be featured as Sparafucile in a new production of Rigoletto, as well as Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia among several other assignments. He will also appear as Rambo in the Met premier of The Death of Klinghoffer conducted by David Robertson. The 2013-2014 season saw a return to the stage of the Met to sing the Bonze in Madama Butterfly and the Jailer in Tosca. The same season also saw his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Second Soldier in Salome under the baton of Andris Nelsons and a debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra singing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Other appearances included Son Beau-Pere in a new production of Milhaud's Le pauvre matelot and Zuniga in Carmen with the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap Opera. Ryan made his Metropolitan Opera stage debut in the 2012-2013 season.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dr. Macbride to Receive the Humphrey R. Tonkin Award for Scholarly and/or Artistic Creativity

At the 2017 Undergraduate Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 21, Professor David Macbride '73, Professor of Composition and Music Theory, will be presented with the Humphrey R. Tonkin Award for Scholarly and/or Artistic Creativity.

Composer and pianist David Macbride ’73, DMA, has written numerous works, ranging from solo, chamber, and orchestral music to music for film, TV, dance, and theatre, with an emphasis on percussion. During his more than 30 years teaching composition and music theory at The Hartt School, he has inspired and mentored hundreds of students, many of whom have gone on to become noted professional musicians.

An alumnus of The Hartt School, Macbride is universally recognized as one of the world’s most important composers of percussion music. The Humphrey R. Tonkin Award for Scholarly and/or Artist Creativity recognizes his works that challenge musicians technically, musically, and emotionally. His ability to embrace life’s issues and struggles is evident in pieces such as “Staying the Course,” a composition known to “shake the listeners to their core,” as it presents one note for every soldier who died in the Iraq war.

As a pianist, Macbride has toured much of the world performing recitals and is also known for his innovative audience-centered compositions. A recent work, “Percussion Park,” is a musical landscape where the audience is invited to freely roam the performance site in search of the music. The commissioned piece “Silent Hands” features an American Sign Language interpreter as part of the ensemble, and is intended to show connections between the expressiveness of sign language and musical gestures.

Macbride’s artistic endeavors have had a major influence on his teaching. He founded The Hartt School’s “Composers Ensemble,” providing an outlet for student composers to perform their own works, and initiated a course encouraging students to perform locally, having presented countless concerts himself throughout the Greater Hartford area and earning the University of Hartford’s Community Service Award in 2001.

Reflecting on his career at the University, Macbride acknowledges his mentor, Professor Emeritus Edward Diemente: “He provided me with positive experiences that set the stage for my composing to develop into a lifelong habit… I often remind my students that we are blessed to be in this world, the world of music, the world we live in.”     

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bert Lucarelli's Memiors

I had the pleasure to read Bert Lucarelli's memoirs.  Styled as "conversations," anyone who had the pleasure of working with or spending time with the professor would really enjoy reading about his philosophy and approach to music and life. 

There are lots of ways for young musicians to get their career going.  Bert made the decision not to take non-music jobs.  His view was that if he was going to be a musician, he was going to be a musician.  That being said, he also was clear that performing is performing, regardless of whether that is as a soloist, ensemble member, chamber music, or playing Ice Capades (yup, look for that story in here).  Even the title - We Can't Always Play Waltzes - is charming when you read that vignette. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Great Performances to Feature Ellis Island: The Dream of America by Peter Boyer

PBS’s Great Performances will be recording Ellis Island: The Dream of America by Peter Boyer (MM, DMA in Composition from Hartt) for an upcoming broadcast.  This performance by the Pacific Symphony’s American Composers Festival has been in the planning phase for two years.  This is definitely and exciting and well-deserved performance for Peter.
Here is a story in the Orange County Register.
This wonderful work is for orchestra, narrators and projected images.  The case for this performance includes:
  • Tony Award-winning Barry Bostwick (“Spin City,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” the original Broadway “Grease”)
  • Emmy- and Golden-winning Camryn Manhein (”The Practice,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Elvis”)
  • Michael Nouri (“Flashdance,” “The Proposal,” “Finding Forrester,” “Damages”)
  • Lesley Fera (“Pretty Little Liars,” “24,” “CSI Miami”)
  • Samantha Sloyan (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Hush”)
  • Lucas Near-Verbrugghe (“Our Idiot Brother,” “Lazy Eye”)
  • Kira Sternbach (“Neighbors,” “My Normal”)

Monday, March 27, 2017

In memorial - James Sellars

James Edward Sellars, the imaginative and original composer, outspoken commentator on music and art, and demanding but inspiring teacher of hundreds of students at The Hartt School, University of Hartford, died at his Hartford home on February 26, 2017. He was 76. In the last years of his life, he suffered from a degenerative nerve disease, which left him increasingly immobile and unable to read or listen to music, though he retained his incisive and sometimes cutting wit to the end.

Sellars was born at the Sparks Memorial Hospital in Fort Smith Arkansas on October 8, 1940 to Wayne Edward Sellars and Omah Dodson Sellars. Known as "Buddy" to his friends and family until he was in his thirties, he was drawn to music at an early age. He remembered Beethoven's Fur Elise as an early favorite. When his father took him as a boy to a record store to buy his first record of classical music, he asked the clerk for something sad - the clerk recommended the Pathetique Symphony by Tchaikovsky, who remained a favorite composer of his for the rest of his life. In Fort Smith he studied piano with Ester Graham who recognized his musical talent and recommended that he study music composition.

After high school, he moved to New York City. He first attended Julliard but quickly switched to the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Ludmila Ulehla and David Diamond. During the 1960's he lived with his life partner Gary Knoble in Brooklyn Heights where, in addition to his musical studies, he was music critic for the Brooklyn Heights Press, choral director of the First Unitarian Congregation Society, and owner of a photographic studio on Montague Street. He took a Masters Degree in Music at Southern Methodist University and a PhD in Composition and Theory at the University of North Texas.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

In memorial - Joan Glazier

Joan Leopold Glazier was an icon to generations of The Hartt School family.
She passed away peacefully at her home Saturday, March 25, 2017.

 The Daughter of Kurt A. and Henriette Leopold, Joan was born on November 4, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York and resided in West Hartford, CT. for much of her life.

 Joan was a graduate of Hall High School, class of 1953 and attended the University of Connecticut and The Hartt School (then Hartt College) receiving her Bachelor of Music Education in 1958.
A noted performer for over 50 years, Joan was a soloist with the Hartford Symphony and had leading roles in opera productions with the Hartt Opera Theater and the Connecticut Opera Association. She also performed with the Chamber Song Ensemble, summer stock music theater and appeared in concerts on radio and television. She was church soloist for 23 years, and sang in the Emanuel Synagogue High Holiday choir.

In addition to her performing career, Joan was member of the voice faculty of the Hartt School at The University of Hartford from 1964 until 2000, and also served as their academic advisor/evaluator for undergraduate studies from 1980 until her retirement. Joan was a devoted and beloved teacher and mentor at Hartt for decades and is fondly remembered as "Mother Glazier". Her legacy and voice will live on in all of her students.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2017 Alumni Award - Martha Summa

Martha Summa ('83) has been selected to receive the 2017 Hartt Alumni Award. Dr. Summa's career combines her passions for performance, education and music therapy. This honor will be awarded to Martha at the 2017 Commencement exercises in May.  Congratulations to Martha!

For additional information on Martha, see her website.
Here is a Ted Talk that Martha gave.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

5 Questions with Jason Solomonides

Mr. Solomonides graduated from the University of Hartford College of Engineering, Technology & Architecture (CETA) with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a Minor in Piano Performance from The Hartt School in 1985.  Jason is a long time student of Prof. Raymond Hanson, Chairman of Piano Emeritus at both Julius Hartt and the Hartt College School of Music; studying with Prof. Hanson from 1975 to 1988.  He is currently living in Cromwell, CT with his wife Dr. Kerry O’Neal and twin daughters, Alexis and Keira, ages 4 ½.

What have you been up to since you graduated from Hartt?
I am currently Chief Engineer, Controls & Diagnostics - Pratt & Whitney (P&W) – United Technologies Corporation (UTC); with a proud 32 year tenure and am the recipient of 4 technical patents.  As Chief of Controls, I have the program management and technical responsibility for the design, development and deployment of the Control & Diagnostic Systems and Software for all of P&W's commercial and military engine programs.

After graduating from the University of Hartford I completed my M.S.E.E from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1988 and went on to complete the Executive M.B.A program at the University of Connecticut in 2000.
Since graduating from Hartt, I have had also had an active musical career.  In addition to performing numerous solo recitals across Connecticut between 1985 and 1998, I was invited to performed as part of the prestigious Asylum Hill Music Series in Harford in 1991, and performed a solo United Way Fund Raiser Piano Recital called “Sonatas and Sweets” in 1994 at the Werner Centennial Theatre in Simsbury, CT, sponsored by UTC and was interviewed live on-air by Ray Dunaway of WTIC-AM, prior to the concert.
What are you involved with right now?
I was invited to give a lecture and perform a solo recital as part of the annual Mason & Hamlin University conference held at the piano factory in Haverhill, MA on September 15 & 16, 2016 and recently received the honor of being named a Mason & Hamlin Artist.  I am currently recording my active repertoire for the company, and in the process of producing a series of PianoDisc recordings. 

I continue to talk with and study with 97 year old Prof. Raymond Hanson!

What is most memorable about your time at Hartt?

Probably my most memorable moment while attending the Hartt School of Music was winning the Hartt School of Music Concerto Competition entering my Senior Year as an Engineering Major, and subsequently performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in Eb with the Hartt Symphony Orchestra, guest conducted by Maestro Frank Collura on March 7 & 8, 1985.

Of course, having studied at the Hartt School for so many years, there were many other memorable moments.  Performing solo recitals, as part of the Bach-Liszt and Mozart-Prokofiev recital series, at the ASK House on Prospect Ave. – including a performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 in C, K.503, with Prof. Anne Koscielny, accompanying. Still fresh in my mind was performing and participating in Master Classes with Dr. Moshe Paranov at Millard Auditorium.  During my high school years at Julius Hartt, I studied the violin for five years with Prof. Abraham Mishkind and was awarded First Prize – Piano at both the Hartford Symphony Competition (1981) and Performer of Connecticut Competition (1981). I was also chosen to perform the Grieg Piano Concerto in Am, with the Greater Hartford Youth Orchestra, conducted by Prof. Bernard Lurie on May 10, 1981.

What did you learn during while at Hartt that you did not appreciate or recognize until after time passed and you had some time to reflect?