1999: Aaron Payne Lesher. In the course of his career at Davidson College, Aaron Payne Lesher has made significant contributions of excellence to the musical life of the college. An accomplished pianist, Aaron has given a wide range of solo and chamber recitals; as a trumpeter he has been an integral part of the Wind Ensemble, the Jazz Bande and Symphony Orchestra. In the fall of 1997, he conducted witht eh College Symphony in his role as assistant conductor. In all of these endeavors, Aaron has shown a genuine and consistent passion for sharing his music in both the realms of performance and intellectual pursuit.
1998: Erika Rissing. In a most distinguished class of graduating majors, Erika Rissing has stood out her entire Davidson career. Her mastery of the French Horn, perhaps the most difficult of all orchestral instruments, has increased dramatically, through her perseverance, motivation and her constant study of the instrument, both on campus and at many summer programs. The rewards of her efforts are obvious, with the many superior conservatories and schools of music that have accepted her for graduate study. Beyond her great musicianship, however, has been her unswerving dedication to the music department, its teachers, and its students. With a double major in music and English, a nearly pefect grade point average, and tremendous musical sensitivity, Erika is, indeed, the embodiment of the best elements of a liberal arts education.
1997: Ethan Raser McCutchen. The Richard Ross Award in Music expects its recipient to exemplify not only musical excellence, but other qualities that underscore the liberal arts tradition. This year's winner, Ethan Raser McCutchen, possesses in excellence all of the qualities that are components of the award. Beginning his career as a trombonist, he has expanded his musical world as a composer, and as a tenor in our Chamber Singers. His academic achievements place him among the small handful of the most distinguished members of his class. His sense of Christian character is evident in all of his interactions with others. Whether in his former peorsona as a longhead, his current persona as a skinhead, or his career as a bonehead, Ethan has been a loved and valued part of the Music Department.
1996: Jonathan Pieslak. As the recipient of the Richard Ross Award for a graduating music major, Jonathan Pieslak has had an exceptional career at Davidson College, excelling as a practicing musician and as an intellectual force in the department. His contribution to the musical life of the colege has been manifested as a bass player in the Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra. His creative talents have yielded numerous original musical compositions athat have received successful performances at Davidson College. He leaves Davidson to pursue graduate studies at the University of Michigan in the areas of theory and composition.
1995: Jennifer Lauren Julyan. This year's Richard Ross Award winner has made contributions in all areas of the music department. In performance, she has distinguished herself on the clarinet, her primary instrument, in solo ensemble, and especially in chamber settings, where she has been an organizer and a leader. She has also performed on her secondary instruments, saxophone and piano. Her commitment to music and the music department has resulted in many innovative policies and practices that help all of us better utilize our facilities. Above all, she has always been willing to give of herself to help the students and faculty of the music department in whatever way possible. In ways both small and large, her energy and her commitment have made lasting changes in the life of the music department. The 1995 winner of the Richard Ross Memorial Music Award is Jennifer Lauren Julyan.
1994: Frank Stuart Guzek. The 1994 Richard Ross Memorial Music Award honors a Phi Beta Kappa music major who in his four years at Davidson has approached composition with imagination, music theory with creativity, and performance with flair and originality as bassist in the award winning band Electro-Luxe and guitarist in the Davidson College Jazz Ensemble. The music department is proud to honor Frank Stuart Guzek with the Richard Ross award in Music.
1992: Michael Glaser. Michael Glaser represents the best aspects of the scholar-musician. His writing on music shows both an elegant use of language, as well as a thoughtful and sensitive intellectual imagination. His performing combines discipline, skill and an ability to find common emotional groudn between divergent musical cultures. His intelligence, compassion and strong moral grounding should produce a life that will gently enhance the lives of others.
1991: Robert Garland Walker. The 1991 recipient of the Richard Ross Memorial Music Award combines a keen and disciplined mind with an extraordinarily creative gift in composition. On its annual tour this spring the Wind Ensemble took two of his works, one a jazz piece and the other a two-movement quintet which is one of the finest compositions ever written by a Davidson student. A third work for solo piano was completed since the tour. For his high academic achievements as well as his dedication to musical excellence, the Richard Ross Award goes this year to Robert Garland Walker.
1990: Alice Elizabeth Shuffield. This year's recipient of the Richard Ross Award has successfully wed the disparate musical worlds of performance and scholarship. As a member of several ensembles, and as a solo flutist and pianist, she performs with a fluent and polished style which belies countless hours of industrious practicing. In the classroom, her insights demonstrate that musical facts are always at the service of musical sounds, and that sounds in turn emanate from a single human spirit and a vivid social impluse. Her love for this labor has earned The Richard Ross Award for Alice Elizabeth Shuffield.