Only Wanna Give It To You – Essence’s Spring 2013 Concert

Recently Essence had their spring concert entitled Only Wanna Give It To You. Essence is Tufts’only all female a cappella group specializing in music of the African diaspora.

Essence, originally named Spice, was founded in 1990. In 1994, the group officially became Essence, but it was not until the fall of 1998 that they became an a cappella group.

Watch the video below from their spring concert for a taste of their great sound and check out their YouTube channel for more videos.

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Strawberry Fest

Tufts Dining recently held a Strawberry Fest in both the Dewick and Carmichael Dining Halls. Strawberries were incorporated through all three meals in various forms including treats like strawberry pancakes, strawberry shortcake,  and strawberry cream pie.

On their Facebook page, Tufts Dining showed off some of the great strawberry-centered meals. Check out some of the photos below and see  their Facebook page for the complete album.

Strawberry Fest

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Tufts on Jeopardy!

Tufts senior Jed Silver was on Jeopardy! last night! Although he did not move forward in the round, he still has a chance to come back in the tournament later as a wildcard player.

The Jeopardy! College Tournament was started as an annual tournament on Jeopardy! in 1989. Interested students take an online test and based on their results are invited to a second round of testing. From there, 15 undergraduate students from colleges and universities all over the country are chosen to participate. The competition works like every other tournament on Jeopardy! – the participants are broken into groups of three for the first round and then advance and play other winners until the final round. The first place winner receives a minimum of $100,000.

This year Jed Silver, A13, competed in the tournament, which began airing last night. Silver is not the first Tufts student to participate in this competition – in 2008 Katherine Winter, A08, competed in the tournament and in 2009 Andrew Ceppos, A09, participated.

Jed Silver was interviewed by Jeopardy! here about being a contestant – check it out!


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iCadenza is the start-up founded by Julia Torgovitskaya, A09, and Jennifer Rosenfeld. They won the second place prize in the Social Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition in 2009. After taking  second place in the competition, they had the opportunity to really redefine and strengthen their business plan. Torgovitsakaya says that because the business plan happened when it did, she and her co-founder really had the opportunity to follow their dreams.

Now iCadenza is a company that works with performing artists on career development. They work with the individuals on self-promotion and understanding the value of who they are, essentially giving the individuals more of an entrepreneurial mindset. They offer individual consulting, group programs and a three-month long online program called the “Career Development Bootcamp.” They also conduct workshops at universities and conservatories, and this year they had their first official course at Stanford University. They also work with performing arts organizations on various aspects related to organizational development.

Their newest initiative, iCadenza Sensations, focuses on working with brands and retailers on connecting with potential customers on a deeper level through music and performance. The idea is to actually hold performance events directly in stores and showrooms.

Through their work on iCadenza, they have actually launched a second business called Cadenza Artists. It is an artist management company representing performing artists in various music and dance genres.

Watch the video below with co-founder Julia Torgovitskaya to learn more about iCadenza, iCandeza Sensations and Candeza Artsits:

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The Tufts Traveling Treasure Trunk

Founded in 1987, the Tufts Traveling Treasure Trunk, or just TRUNK for short, is Tufts’ only children’s theater troupe. The members of TRUNK write, direct and create costumes for their original skits, songs and plays. They perform for children at daycare centers, hospitals and preschools up to five times a week. They are dedicated to showing kids that being grown-up does not mean always being serious and having no fun. Additionally, every show they perform contains different morals, from sharing and helping others to the importance of being creative. This year TRUNK is raising money for Birthday Wishses, a non-profit organization based in Massachusetts that provides birthday parties for homeless children.

Currently TRUNK is in the midst of preparing and performing their latest show, “Toco the Toucan’s Color Conundrum,” which tells the story of a toucan who is in charge of giving leaves their fall colors. After losing the colors right before he has to paint, he ends up going on a incredible adventure with his best friend who is a mouse.

For more information about what TRUNK does and its dedicated members, watch their video below:

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ScratchJr is a new, innovative software program to support integrated STEM learning in early childhood education. The program is designed specifically for K-2. ScratchJr will work to teach children through three main strategies: discipline-specific knowledge, foundational knowledge structures and complex problem-solving skills.

ScratchJr is a project led by Professor Marina Umaschi Bers and her DevTech Research Group at Tufts University and by Professor Mitch Resnick from the Lifelong Kindergarten at the MIT Media Lab. The project is being funded by the National Science Foundation.

Watch the video below for more information on this ongoing project:

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TCU Presidential Campaigns

Congratulations to Joe Thibodeau, A14, the newest elected Tufts Community President.This year’s election was a heated race between Thibodeau, Christie Maciejewski, A14, and Joe Donenfeld, A14. All three candidates really embraced social media as part of their campaign strategies with the inclusion of  various hashtags on Twitter such as: #christiefortufts, #letsdothis and #thibsgetstufts.

During the past weeks, the Tufts campus was transformed in to a sea of yellow (Thibodeau), purple (Maciejewski) and red (Donenfeld) flyers, posters, shirts and chalk drawings. All three candidates were backed by large groups of passionate undergrads who wanted to help elect the candidate they believed would be best for the position for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Two of the candidates even released videos about themselves and why they should be elected the next TCU President. Check them out:

Joe Thibodeau:

Jon Donenfeld:

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Tufts Bhangra at Pao Bhangra XII

Tufts Bhangra recently went to Pao Bhangra XII, Cornell University’s 12th annual Bhangra Exhibition. Pao Bhangra features renowned teams to share their love and passion for Bhangra.

At Pao Bhangra this year were Tufts Bhangra, Anakh E Gabroo, First Class Bhangra and Yale Jashan Bhangra. Pao Bhangra is the largest student-run show at Cornell as well as the largest Bhangra exhibition in all of North America – last year’s show had an audience of more than 2,600 people. The theme of this year’s event was The Bhangra Olympics.

The Tufts University Bhangra Team was founded in 2001. The group is comprised of energetic and talented student dancers who are dedicated to bringing the best of Bhangra to audiences at Tufts and elsewhere.

Watch the video below to see Tufts Bhangra’s great performance at the 2013 Pao Bhangra:

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2013 Tufts Alumni Senior Award Winners Reflections

The 2013 Tufts Alumni Senior Award winners recently reflected on their experiences at Tufts in a video released by the Tufts Alumni Association. The winners were chosen because they are individuals that each serve as an “example for their peers and all alumni by demonstrating service, loyalty, commitment, and leadership to Tufts and/or their community.”

In the video below, this year’s 12 winners reflect on their best memories of Tufts, from wearing Jumbo hats and joining Greek Life to the craziest places they found themselves at 2 am.

Congratulations to these amazing seniors and good luck with life beyond Tufts!

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A Single Noon – Gregg Kallor

Tufts Alum Gregg Kallor, A00, has recently released a CD entitled A Single Noon. Kallor started playing the piano as a toddler and before high school graduation he had already performed at the White House and toured Europe twice. As a double major in American studies and music while at Tufts, Kallor had the opportunity to further sharpen his skills.

Since graduating from Tufts, Kallor moved to New York to pursue music. In 2007, he had the opportunity to play his New York concert debut in Carnegie’s Hall Weill Recital Hall. Kallor’s most recent Carnegie Hall concert, in 2011, featured the first premiere of A Single Noon. He won the Aaron Copland Award for Composition which gave him the opportunity to live in Rock Hill, Aaron Copland’s restored, longtime New York home and take time to focus on his creative work, free from distractions and other professional responsibilities.

Unlike his first album, There’s a Rhythm, which featured his jazz trio with bassist Chris Van Voorst Van Beest and drummer Kendrick Scott, his newest album is a nine-movement suite for solo piano. It is told through a combination of composed music and jazz improvisation. A Single Noon was inspired by Kallor’s life in New York – the music represents moments of caffeinated bliss, embarrassing subway mishaps, the buzzing energy of a city driven by dynamic, thoughtful, talented and slightly crazy individuals.

Watch the music video below for the first single ‘Espresso Nirvana.’

For more information and updates on Kallor, like his Facebook page or follow him on Twitter.

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