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A.B.Q. Premieres, New Cafeteria Era, Softball Season

A.B.Q. Premieres

American Brass Quintet


Since its founding in 1960, the American Brass Quintet has shaped the modern brass quintet repertoire, premiering more than 150 contemporary compositions. This month, two more of its commissions make their New York debuts after being premiered by the quartet at the Aspen Music Festival and School this summer: Missing Words II by Eric Nathan (Pre-College '02, trumpet) and Brass Quintet No. 2 by Kenneth Fuchs (MM '83, DMA '88, composition).

Missing Words II is part of a series of works composed in homage to Ben Schott's 2013 book Schottenfreude (Blue Rider Press), a lexicon of made-up “German Words for the Human Condition,” to quote the book's subtitle. An example: Leertretung—which lends its name to the first movement of Nathan's work—is defined by Schott as “stepping down heavily on a stair that isn't there.” Brass Quintet No. 2 (“American”) “embraces in sound and spirit the stylistic influence of the American symphonic school,” Fuchs wrote in his program note.

Also being performed: Osvaldo Lacerda's Quinteto Concertante (1990) and Venetian Renaissance music by early 16th-century composer Thomas Stoltzer as well as pieces edited by brass department chair Raymond Mase, Robert King and tenor trombonist Michael Powell, one of the group's members. The others are Kevin Cobb (MM '95, trumpet), Louis Hanzlik (MM '00, trumpet), hornist Eric Reed, and John Rojak (BM '80, bass trombone). —Joshua Simka (BM '14, voice) is the assistant editor of The Journal. (Photo: Rahav Segev​)

A New Era for the Cafeteria

Gretchen Mayer and Sean Grant

A sushi bar and a non-self-serve salad bar are among the changes at the revamped Juilliard-School of American Ballet cafeteria. Under new management and with a sparkling coat of new paint, it reopened in a soft launch during orientation week and then “for real” when the rest of the students arrived.

Following an extensive review of food and hospitality services begun a year ago, Juilliard and the School of American Ballet have named AVI Foodsystems to run the cafeteria. AVI, a family-owned company founded in 1960, manages hospitality services in 44 states; Hunter, Sarah Lawrence, and Alfred are among the colleges it serves in New York. AVI replaces Aramark Higher Education, which had run the café since 1991.

Sean Grant, resident director of the cafeteria, has a passion for cafeterias (and entrepreneurialism) that extends back to his days at Kenyon College, where he co-founded the Night Bites Café. He and executive chef Gretchen Mayer—who studied at the Culinary Institute of America, and whose kitchen motto is “love food, hate waste”—are both seasoned AVI employees. Under their leadership, the cafeteria will feature seasonal produce (pumpkin seeds and pears this month) and items made with trendy ingredients like turmeric, matcha, and spelt.

Inevitably, there are some universal questions. Can dining points paid for under the old regime still be used? (Yes, and you can also buy new ones.) And how are the desserts? On a recent visit the new dessert case, which sits adjacent to the Starbucks coffee, was filled with chocolate chip cookies and fudgy brownies, promising a sweet finish. —J.S.  (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)

Softball's Winning Season

the Juilliard softball team

Two years after winning the first-ever Arts Division Championship Trophy, the Juilliard softball team returned to the ballfields of Upper Manhattan in late August in an attempt to reclaim the top spot. With some quality off-season recruiting of new arts organization teams, we had faced new and fierce competitors that kept us on our toes throughout the season, which began in May. Though our 6-4 regular-season record vaulted us once again into the softball playoffs—for the third year in a row!—we were unsuccessful in our chase for the championship. Sadly, we lost to the Lincoln Center Culture Vultures. Throughout the season, our roster boasted 34 members across 18 different departments, and we continued to cultivate relationships with our fellow arts organizations across the city. A record-setting 13 new recruits joined our veteran squad this year, and we honed our softball skills on the field and our camaraderie off it. As we look toward the cold winter off-season, we know that those ball fields await our bats and gloves once more.        —Stephanie Gatton, the assistant director of Special Events, is a co-captain of the softball team.

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