Our Favorite Stories of 2017

In August, we featured the Summer Encounter program, during which campers, counselors, faculty, and staff came together to focus on the theme of resilience.

Our Favorite Stories of 2017

This year was full of artistic expression, achievement, and discovery for students across the Colburn School. Throughout the year, we celebrated the diverse, and sometimes unexpected, stories of our community. Here are some of our favorites from 2017.

Summer Encounter Campers and Counselors Focus on Resilience
This story took us inside the Summer Encounter program, a two-week arts-immersion program for 60 fourth and fifth graders who wouldn’t otherwise have access to performing arts education. The theme for this summer was resilience, which campers and counselors alike embraced.

The Treadwell Family Finds a Second Home at the Colburn School
Zach and Langka Treadwell have made a home for eight kids, seven of whom they adopted from around the world, and there’s another on the way. For this diverse family, music has become an essential part of their lives, and they’ve found a community at the Colburn School.

Librarian’s Corner: Cleanup Work, Bow Masters, and Lots of Erasers
It takes months of painstaking work prior to a concert to get sheet music ordered, then ready for the music stands. Meet the two women working behind the scenes with publishers, artistic leaders, and musicians to make it all happen.

Colburn School Receives $1 Million Bequest from Iona Benson
When Iona Benson, a longtime friend, board member, and supporter of the Colburn School, passed away late last year, she ensured that her love for the Community School of Performing Arts lived on with a generous and historic bequest. In this article, we published a 30-year-old letter she wrote to former President and CEO Toby Mayman about her love for the Colburn School.

Audience Engagement: How One Alumna Breaks Barriers in the Digital Age
Shortly after Karissa Zadinsky landed a coveted job in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra went on a 55-day strike. Starting then, Karissa took the opportunity to apply what she’d learned at Colburn and her social media savvy to build the musicians’ relationship with their community in the digital sphere, and continues to do so today.

Anthony Gonzalez Has His Shining Moment in Coco
Community School student Anthony Gonzalez originally was only supposed to provide the scratch track (preliminary voice tests) for Coco animators to work with when they set the animation to dialogue and songs. Then the Pixar team decided to cast him in the leading role. We explored his story, and the parallels between him and the main character, Miguel.


Jaya Dhand Talks Performance Focus, Her Colburn Experience
Dance Academy student Jaya Dhand is now studying at Indiana University. Right before she graduated, she talked to us about focusing in a performance, and her experience at the relatively new pre-professional division of the Colburn School, the Dance Academy.

Tips for Summer Practice and Motivation
Summertime—and holiday breaks—can be tricky for music students. It’s a much-needed time of rest, but also a valuable time to build and maintain your skills. Three students from the conservatory and music academy shared their tips for keeping up and branching out during the summer.

Commencement Speakers Reflect on Time at Colburn, and What’s Next
In June, the 14th class of graduates left Colburn. Undergraduate speaker Amelia Dietrich and graduate speaker Joseph Merchant were selected by their peers to speak for their class at the ceremony, and they shared their Colburn experiences with us.


Students Explore Their Entrepreneurial Side
Each spring, the New Venture Competition offers a new crop of students the opportunity to develop an idea and pitch a project. Since its inception, the competition has funded student and alumni entrepreneurial projects from Solar System Symphony, to the composer + coffee project, to one of this year’s winners, a classical music drinking game.

Saturday Spotlight Series
This year, we started putting the spotlight on students, faculty, and even parents each Saturday. Browse all the Saturday Spotlights to get to know Colburn, one story at a time.

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