John Douglas, associate professor in the Department of Voice and Opera and music director and conductor of Temple University Opera Theater, lost his battle with cancer yesterday. He was 54.

Boyer College of Music and Dance associate professor John Douglas lost his battle with cancer this week. He was 54

Since joining Temple’s faculty in 1989, Douglas directed 50 productions and brought the opera program to national prominence, garnering four prestigious National Opera Awards and receiving rave reviews for cutting edge productions. He was honored with the Temple University Faculty Award for Creative Achievement in 2006.
Douglas ensured each of the twice-annual, fully-staged productions were meticulously produced so that students had performance opportunities that would groom them for major operatic roles. In an April 2010 interview with The Philadelphia Daily News he said, “We treat our productions in the same conceptual way that are done in a professional company, with no less time, interest or detail.”

Read the full obituary here.

Temple University Opera Theater's 'The Cunning Little Vixen.' Valerie Gay (Jay), Grant Uhle (Woodpecker) and Chad Summers (Badger) Joseph Labolito, Temple University Photography

Little-noticed Temple University company performs stellar shows

Philadelphia Daily News

EVER SINCE the Academy of Music opened in 1857 with Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” Philadelphia has been a mecca for opera lovers. Within just a few blocks of the academy, the home of the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the oldest opera house still in use, are two of the world’s great conservatories, the Academy of Vocal Arts and Curtis Institute. Both not only stage operas but train future stars in the operatic constellation.

Yet, less than two miles north on Broad Street, the Temple University Opera Theater has been consistently presenting two superb shows each season, with little fanfare and not much attention.

In recent years, their “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Candide,” “Falstaff,” and brilliant double bill of “L’Enfant et les Sortileges” and “Le Rossignol” still register strongly in the memory. But opera mavens who regularly travel to the Met in New York and Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., never head five subway stops up Broad Street for Temple’s performances.

That’s their loss.

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Former Temple music professor Bill Cunliffe will share the stage with jazz legend Dave Brubeck

Bill Cunliffe’s dream is coming true. The former professor at the Boyer College of Music and Dance is teaming up with Temple once again as the Temple University Symphony Orchestra becomes the first to perform his composition “fourth stream … La Banda.”

“I had a dream that this big artillery of musicians was playing this piece I wrote and I was sitting in the audience,” said Cunliffe, composer, arranger and jazz pianist.  “I’m very grateful to everyone at Temple. It’s been a great experience.”

“La Banda,” a 16-minute original piece, combines the elements of classical, jazz and world Latin percussion. While the work isn’t Cunliffe’s first composition, it is his first true collaboration with Temple.

Trumpeter Terrell Stafford, director of Jazz Studies at Boyer, approached Cunliffe about composing something for the Symphony to play. What Cunliffe came up with — “La Banda” — features music in the salsa vein that’s integrated firmly with classical music and the symphony orchestra. The premiere on Sunday, March 21st, at the Ninth Annual Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts concert will also feature the music of famed jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, and his son, Chris.

“If it wasn’t for Dave Brubeck, I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing because he was one of my first loves,” said Cunliffe. “He paved the way for all of us. He’s a very important musician.”

The Philadelphia premiere of “La Banda” will be followed by a performance next month at New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. For information about the concerts, visit the Boyer College of Music and Dance website.

–   Megan Chiplock

Jim Mertz, Marketing Manager Vandoren, Paris Danny Janklow, 2010 #1 Jazz Saxophone Soloist Sylvain Carton, Vandoren Product & Artist Consultant

What would it be like to be the youngest artist to ever be recognized as the number one saxophone jazz soloist in North America? Just ask Daniel (Danny) Janklow, a 20- year old junior at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance in Philadelphia, who was awarded top honors and $1,500 prize money from the North American Saxophone Alliance Competition.

Danny was the youngest in his division, winning after performing “Alone Together” and “My Foolish Heart” on alto saxophone.
“Danny Janklow played beautifully at the North American Saxophone Alliance conference this past weekend,” said Will Campell, coordinator of this year’s event. “The five jazz competition finalists were all very impressive, so to be selected as the winner is quite an honor. Danny’s talent and professionalism are truly extraordinary and I look forward hearing how he continues to grow and impact the jazz scene. I feel certain that he has a bright future ahead of him.”
Danny, who began taking saxophone lessons at age 12, now studies with Dick Oatts, professor of saxophone and Terell Stafford, director of Jazz Studies at the Boyer College.
With his focus on jazz performance, Danny has enjoyed sharing the stage with jazz legendsWynton Marsalis, Benny Golson and Jimmy Heath. “The honor to play with great musicians has inspired me to present truthful and soulful musical sentiments,” he said.
This year’s international event which has been held every two years since 1987, took place on March 5 and 6 in Athens, Georgia. Hundreds of talented young musicians from schools throughout North America and other countries enter the Competition. For more information on the Jazz Studies program at the Boyer College of Music and Dance, visit our website.

William Dougherty will study music composition at the Royal College of Music

William Dougherty, a Boyer College of Music and Dance composition major and Honors student, has been awarded a Marshall Scholarship to study music composition at the Royal College of Music, London.

Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to 40 scholars are selected each year to study at the graduate level at a UK institution.

“William demonstrates an exceptional love of music, and an unusually broad knowledge of music literature,” said professor of music theory Jan Krzywicki. “From Arvo Pärt to Prokofiev to Bach to Brahms to Wolfgang Rihm, he is always listening to new literature — exploring and absorbing.

Hailing from Ellicott City, Md. Dougherty began his studies of piano at the age of 5 and composition at 16. In his senior year of high school, he was mentored in music composition by Eric Stewart, a student at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.

An avid reader, Dougherty uses current world events to influence his compositions. While studying abroad in Vienna, Austria, Dougherty composed a work for cello and soprano set to a poem by Iraq War Veteran Brian Turner. “Eulogy” tells the story of a young solider, overcome by the horrors of war, who commits suicide. It was premiered in the Palais Corbelli in Vienna, Austria in December 2008.

Visit the Temple Newsroom for full story.