Saturday, May 31, 2014
Rani Arbo ’89 grew up a cellist and chorister in New York City, where she sang everything from Hildegarde to Poulenc. At Amherst, she took up fiddle and fell for the rootsy sounds of old-time, Cajun, honky-tonk and bluegrass music. She co-founded the bluegrass-folk band Salamander Crossing in 1991 and the quartet Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem in 2000. She has released nine CDs, with a new one in the works this spring. Ben Gundersheimer ’89 spent 20 years as an indie rocker before getting a master’s degree in education (at Smith) and transitioning to writing and performing for families. These days, he tours throughout the USA and Latin America as “Mister G.” His most recent bilingual CD, ABC Fiesta, is on the Latin Grammy ballot as the Best Latin Children’s Album of 2014. John Paluska ’89 discovered the musical giants Phish when he was still a student at Amherst and before Phish was known beyond a small circle of fans. He became their manager and, for 17 years, directed all aspects of Phish’s operations. Greer Shephard ’89 is a TV producer and the co-founder of The Shephard/Robin Company based at Warner Bros. Television. She has been the executive producer of the Golden Globe-winning series Nip/Tuck and the Emmy-winning series The Closer. Presently, she serves as the showrunner of the A&E Western series Longmire. Eric Zicklin ’89 is a sitcom writer/producer whose fanciest credits are Dharma & Greg, Frasier and Hot in Cleveland. In 1995, in one of his first television jobs as a writer, he won a Primetime Emmy Award for the Michael Moore series TV Nation, as a part of the writing team. In 2001, he was nominated for another Emmy for his work on Frasier. Presented by the Class of 1989.