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Dallas Doings

Posted on 30 December 2008 by admin

One mitzvah leads to another
Shearith Israel member Robert Yudkin shared the following with the TJP:
“Every little bit helps. Shearith Israel’s mitzvah day happens once a year. Some years I look more forward to it than others. However, regardless of the anticipation, I always come away from whatever we do with the positive feelings one gets from helping others.
“Following the mitzvah day in 2007, I brought the idea of a sandwich drive to my office. The Dallas office of the North Highland Company is a relatively new and growing office that had never before participated in such an effort. With encouragement from Jim Schwalbe, our vice-president in charge of the office, I contacted Mona Allen at Shearith Israel to help identify an agency that needed the help that we wanted to provide. Mona pointed us in the direction of the Family Gateway in downtown Dallas and one Friday in January was picked when North Highland would provide lunch.
“That Friday morning the office staff got together and made over 350 sandwiches of various types in an hour. The agency was thrilled to receive the sandwiches, sides and desserts. The event was good for the agency and was good for the office. It sparked camaraderie and let us get to know each other in different ways from our usual interactions.
“This past mitzvah day reminded me that it had been too long since our last sandwich drive. With Family Gateway undergoing renovations, I again reached out to Mona Allen for an agency in need. Her suggestion of the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas was well received for multiple reasons. We have at least one person in the office with firsthand experience of being on the receiving end from a Ronald McDonald House. In addition, I’m a member of the Addison Rotary Club that selected the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas as this year’s beneficiary of our annual golf tournament. Consequently, when North Highland delivered lunch to the Ronald McDonald House last month, I was able to put on my Rotary hat and give them a special dessert — a check for $100,000, representing one installment of the money raised from the tournament.
“Every little bit helps — and it does not necessarily take much time or much money. Mitzvah day inspires me to help and reminds me that there are so many places to help and so many ways to give help. North Highland will provide lunch again next month. What can you — or your company — do? That is up to you.”

Dr. Duilio Dobrin conducts
premiere of his newest
composition in Zagreb
Dallas composer, conductor and pianist, Duilio A. Dobrin, the newest artist-faculty addition at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, conducted the premiere of his own “Concerto for Bandoneon and Orchestra,” subtitled “Of All Things Lost,” with the Zagreb Philharmonic on Dec. 7. This large-scale, four-movement work will be published shortly by Pagani Music in Milan, Italy. The concert also featured eight short Argentine works, rewritten by Dobrin in a tango nuevo style. A second performance was followed by the Varashdin Chamber Orchestra in Croatia. The soloist for these performances was world-renowned bandoneón artist, Peter Soave.
Upcoming conducting engagements for Dobrin include a performance in New York of Cirque d’Orchestre, a program featuring one of the most innovative blends of live art forms: a collaboration between Cirque du Soleil and a traditional, live symphony orchestra.
Argentine-born Duilio Dobrin is no stranger to critical acclaim. His 500th performance at the helm of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra was described by James Roos of the Miami Herald as “…beautifully drawn out, with a wonderful sense of flow and an understanding of precisely how the musical line should unfold….” He further stated, regarding Cesar Franck’s “Symphony in D,” that Dobrin had “…caught the almost religious aura of its mystical dusk, understood precisely how the horns and winds simulate the reed stops of an organ, gave the English horn solo, exquisitely played, its unhurried space, and stirred up the finale to an incandescent glow.”
During Dobrin’s eight-year tenure as resident conductor of the Florida Philharmonic, he shared the stage with artists ranging from Pinchas Zukerman to Celia Cruz. He had previously served as music director of the Chamber Orchestra of Connecticut. Comprising musicians from the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera, the COC presented six subscription concerts, including presentations at Merkin Hall in New York City. Maestro Dobrin received frequent praise from Robert Sherman of the New York Times. As guest conductor, Dobrin led professional orchestras in such diverse musical centers as New York, Munich, Tokyo, Lugano, Montreal and Buenos Aires. His recent accomplishments include his intense direction of the esteemed Shearith Israel choir, with both Hebrew and English liturgical works.
In international competition, maestro Dobrin was a top prizewinner in the 1991 Masterplayers Conducting Competition in Lugano, Switzerland. He was also a winner in the Exxon/Affiliate Artists Arts Endowment Conductor’s Program and was the only American to have reached the finals of the Tokyo International Competition in 1988. As a pianist, he won the National Endowment for the Arts competition in his native Argentina. In 2000, Dobrin was given a special commendation from Pope John Paul II for his contributions to liturgical music and was dedicated a chapter in Enrique Cordoba’s book “Cien Voces de America” as one of Latin America’s top 100 personalities living in the U.S.
Dobrin had the privilege of studying under Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood, Sergiu Celibidache in Munich and Otto Werner-Mueller at Yale, where he received a Certificate of Post-Doctoral Studies. He holds Doctor of Arts and Master of Music degrees from Ball State University, where he received the Outstanding Alumnus Award. Dobrin graduated first in his class from the National Conservatory of Music in Argentina, earning a Gold Medal baccalaureate.
Duilio Dobrin’s catalog of compositions includes a special arrangement of the theme song for “CBS This Morning,” which was televised nationally, as well as vocal works and orchestral arrangements of Queen, Glenn Frey and others. Dobrin presently has a contract with Warner Chappell in London for his Nashville Symphony commissioned “Jerusalem Fantasy.” Other commissions have included an arrangement of “Porgy and Bess” for the English Chamber Orchestra, an orchestral “Homage to the Late Astor Piazzola,” over 70 orchestral arrangements of Latin American music and a large number of choral works in Hebrew and in English. Maestro Dobrin also serves as music director and organist at First Presbyterian Church in Rockwall.
UTD’s Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies awards first graduate certificate
The UT Dallas Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies in the School of Arts & Humanities awarded its first graduate certificate in Holocaust studies this past year. Melvin Macklin received the specialized certificate in conjunction with his doctoral degree in humanities studies and literature.
Macklin, currently an assistant professor of English in the School of Arts and Humanities at Ferrum College, a four-year liberal arts institution located in Ferrum, Va., uses his knowledge of the Holocaust to help his students explore some of the darkest themes in world. “In my English classes, for example, students often write on the theme of man’s inhumanity to man and the terror one human being can inflict on another,” Macklin said. “The Holocaust, I believe, is the greatest example of horror ever perpetrated by mankind; as such, students are able to focus on precise situations and events from this historical tragic era to better grasp such fundamental perplexing questions.”
The certificate in Holocaust studies is offered to master’s and doctoral students in the School of Arts and Humanities (A&H). Graduates of this 15-credit hour certificate will have a critical understanding of the Holocaust as well as modern Jewish culture, the history of anti-Semitism, and the major contemporary philosophical, aesthetic and analytical responses to this major event.
“Under the guidance of [Program Director] Dr. Ozsvath, the insights I gained about that horrendous event literally changed my world-view on life and the nature of human existence,” Macklin said. “Because Holocaust studies opened my ‘blind eyes,’ I now have more patience and tend to be less judgmental. I look at one’s underlying motivations for his actions before responding or making any kind of pronouncement.”

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