2016 Commencement | Goodbye, Graduates!

July 22, 2016

compiled by Katharine Luce

On Sunday, May 22, the ISM presented its newest graduates with their ISM certificates at a banquet at the New Haven Lawn Club. Some of them accepted our invitation to reflect on their experience at the Institute, and their plans and hopes for the future.

Emilie Casey (M.Div.) is grateful to the ISM faculty and staff for their support throughout her studies at Yale Divinity School. She deeply enjoyed her coursework with professors Teresa Berger, Melanie Ross, and Tom Troeger. Emilie says she especially thrived while serving as a Chapel Minister in Marquand Chapel under the mentorship of Maggi Dawn. She looks forward to continuing her studies at Yale Divinity School through the S.T.M program, as well as continuing in her ordination process with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Brendan Fitzgerald (M.M.) is thankful for the opportunity to learn with and get to know wonderful people, work with talented and friendly colleagues and professionals, and have so many life-changing experiences. He sends his thanks to all at the ISM who make it such a wonderful place to call home for two years.

Tyler Gathro (M.A.R.) would like to thank the faculty and staff for their guidance and inspiration as well as his wife, Sarah, whom he met and married while attending Yale. While a student, Tyler worked as the ISM staff photographer for many events and also premiered his documentary film, “The Living Stones: Arab Christians in the Middle East.” Tyler often wrote about contemporary art and the Christianity in the Middle East. His work was published in Reflections magazine at Yale Divinity School. He holds an B.F.A. in photography from The Cooper Union School of Art and plans to continue working as a fine art and documentary photographer and filmmaker after graduation.

Jeremy Hamilton-Arnold (M.A.R.) will begin work towards a Ph.D. in Comparative Studies at The Ohio State University in the fall. He looks forward to continued interdisciplinary scholarship, primarily within the fields of religious studies and art history, studying the material production of religious spaces as they manifest in aesthetic constructions and contestations. Jeremy will look back fondly on the ISM capstone student project he worked on with Aaron Peisner and Sarah Ana Seligman on the Marc Chagall murals at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House. He’ll especially cherish close friendships made during his time at the ISM.

Natasha Huang (M.A.R.) will look back on her time at the ISM with fond memories of the trip to Estonia, Finland, and Russia. She will be moving to Boston this summer to take on the position of Director of International Student Advising at The Newman School. She hopes to stay connected with hospice work in a volunteer capacity through spirituality and the arts.

Kristian Kohler (M.Div.) cherishes the opportunities he has had at the ISM to bring together his musical background and his pastoral formation. In the 2016-2017 academic year, he will serve as vicar of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Santa Monica—a Reconciling in Christ Congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Southwest California Synod.

Daniel Moody (M.M.) will spend summer 2016 at Tanglewood Festival as a Voice Fellow, Lakes Area Music Festival in Minnesota singing a Britten opera, and taking part in a workshop and performance at Grace Farms titled “Practicing Awe.” In the fall, Daniel will be traveling to Australia and Mexico performing and teaching. He has upcoming engagements with the Charleston and Winston-Salem Symphonies and the early music group La Fiocca. He will be based in New York City and singing at Saint John the Divine. Daniel writes, “My two years at Yale and the ISM changed my views of the relationship between music, religion, and art with the Colloquium project and presentations, Divinity School classes and Marquand Chapel. In addition to asking several questions about religion and spirituality, I was challenged and pushed to be a better musician working with my teacher and the many conductors of Schola. I encourage incoming students to take full advantage of all that is offered.”

Patrick Murray (M.M.) will be pursuing a D.M.A. in choral conducting at University of Illinois starting in August 2016. Reflecting on his time at the ISM, he says “I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have studied music in such a rich, interdisciplinary environment. Thank you ISM for connecting me with a lifetime’s worth of friends and colleagues!”

Zack Nyein (M.Div.) is grateful for the ways in which the “ISM has continually helped me to perceive artistic virtue and beauty in the world, through the complexities of story and narrative.” He will bring his training to bear when he is ordained into the Episcopal priesthood, “equipped by the ISM to interpret the mystery of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection through collaboration in musical, liturgical, visual, and literary arts.”

This fall, Sarah Paquet (M.M.) heads to Avon Old Farms School in Avon, CT, where she will serve as Director of Choral Activities. She is grateful for her time at the ISM with her teachers and colleagues, and” particularly for Bethany Carlson’s (M.Div.) positivity and enthusiasm throughout the preparation of our colloquium project.” She extends many thanks to all in the ISM community for their support throughout these last two years.

Aaron Peisner (M.M.) will begin a D.M.A. in choral conducting at the University of Maryland, College Park, as a student of Edward Maclary. He is grateful to the ISM for “all the incredible experiences and opportunities!”

Robbie Pennoyer (M.Div.) will be returning to New York City where he will be ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church. He writes: “I came to Yale hoping to expand my vocabulary of faith and to find fresh and credible ways to speak about God. Whatever success I had in doing so is a credit to the staff, students, and faculty of the ISM, and I will remain forever grateful to the Institute—and especially to my wise and generous advisors, Peter Hawkins and Christian Wiman.”

Adam Perez (M.A.R.) is deeply grateful for the last three years as a member of the ISM learning community. Indebted to brilliant family, friends, and mentors, he will continue his interdisciplinary work in the Th.D. in liturgical studies at Duke Divinity School, where he will study the role of Christian popular music in the theology, culture, and worship practices of North American evangelicalism, under the guidance of Lester Ruth.

After his time at Yale, Tyler Ray (M.M.) plans to live in New Haven, hoping to perform locally and nationally with various orchestras and chamber choirs. As a lover of travel, Tyler hopes to perform on stages across the country. He’s excited to make his solo debut with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in their performance of Handel’s Messiah this December. He plans to explore new vocal repertoire and hone his technique. He thanks the Institute of Sacred Music for investing in him and giving him so many tools to continue his career in sacred vocal music and oratorio.

Nola Richardson (D.M.A. expected 2020) will be living in New Haven for the next year and performing professionally with several ensembles. In the fall, she will be touring to Russia with early music ensemble Clarion and appearing as a soloist with the New Dominion Chorale in Virginia. In the spring, she will make two solo appearances with the American Bach Soloists in San Francisco. Of her time at the ISM, Nola writes, “I have learned so much in my time here and have made some incredible friendships! I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity to study and sing among such wonderful people.”

Carolyn Rolleston (M.A.R.) is grateful for being a part of “the gifted and diverse ISM community. The ISM resources provided an indescribable enhancement to my experience at Yale Divinity School.”  After graduation, Carolyn will continue to pursue her call to ordained ministry by working as a hospital chaplain in Denver, CO.

Joshua Sullivan (M.Div.) will be moving to Seattle, WA to complete the internship year requirement for his ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He will be serving at both Ballard First Lutheran and The Faith Action Network of Washington. He enjoyed helping highlight the visual arts at the ISM and YDS through exhibiting artwork in conjunction with Jon Seals’s (M.A.R. ’15) curation projects, being a visual arts chapel minister, and collaborating with resident artist little ray, other professional/graduate students, and his ISM Colloquium partners.

Stephanie Tubiolo (M.M.) will be directing the choral divisions of the Yale Music in Schools Initiative and Morse Summer Music Academy and teaching at Neighborhood Music School next year. After six years at Yale, first as an undergraduate and then as a master’s student in choral conducting, she is thrilled to continue calling New Haven her home. “I feel unbelievably fortunate to have collaborated with such brilliant, creative, and compassionate people and will cherish all the friendships I have formed at the ISM.”

Other ISM Graduates: Timothy Cahill (M.A.R.), Bethany Carlson (M.Div.), Mary Copeley (M.M.), Omar Dairanieh (M.A.R.), Stephen Douglas (M.Div.), Jacob Drake (S.T.M), George Fergus (M.M.), Audrey Fernandez-Fraser (M.Div.), Kathryn McNeal (S.T.M.), Sarah Seligman (M.A.R.), Jacob Street (M.M.), Sydney Thomas (M.A.R.), Thomas Williford (M.M.), and Jonathan White (M.A.R.).

  • Photo by Jimmy Taylor.

“Graduating” ISM Fellows

The 2015-2016 fellows were also invited to write about their ISM experience and future plans.

John A. Graham is grateful for “the incredible support of the entire ISM team, thank you so much! Your help with my various projects, especially the symposium on Georgian Orthodoxy: the Revival of Art and Religion in the Caucasus was instrumental to their overall success. What my wife Ekaterine and I will remember most from our academic year here at Yale is the camaraderie and intellectual curiosity and vigor of this year’s group of fellows. Andrew, Tala, Meredith, Eben, Hugo, Claire, and Michael… I look forward to meeting you wherever our paths may cross in the future! Thank you, Martin and everyone at ISM, for your support. Thank you, Henry Parkes, for being a wonderful friend and colleague; one day I will put up better competition in squash! And thank you to all the participating singers in the Yale Georgian Chant Group; it’s been a good year.”

Eben Graves will begin a new position as a Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at Columbia University in July 2016. He will be teaching courses in the department of music and continuing his research on devotional song in South Asia.

Beginning in July 2016, Hugo Mendez will be a postdoctoral fellow in religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is grateful for the support of the ISM community throughout the two years of his fellowship at Yale.

Of her time at the ISM, Claire Pamment writes, “The ISM has fostered brilliant interactions among departments at Yale whilst providing valuable time for independent research, which has spurred the completion of my author’s book project Comic Performance in Pakistan: The Bhand which is being published by Palgrave this year. A particularly rich part of the fellowship were the opportunities for undergraduate teaching and the generous support from ISM to bring in invited guest/ performers such as the Muslim comedian Azhar Usman. ISM nourishes work both academic and creative, and the support of the Pakistani transgender theatre performance Teesri Dhun, shows that they are probing the boundaries of what constitutes the sacred in art.”

Other fellows leaving the ISM are Andrew Albin, Michael Dodds, Meredith Gamer, and Tala Jarjour.