Commencement & Convocation

Alumni Achievement Awards

Major Dwayne S. Milburn received a master's degree in orchestral conducting from CIM after receiving a BFA from UCLA, where he also earned a Ph.D. Major Milburn was an arranger for the UCLA Band and Choral Programs, as well as the Special Projects Division of ABC-TV. He was also the Director of Cadet Music for the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, serving as the conductor for the internationally renowned West Point Glee Club. Major Milburn served as one of 24 commissioned officer conductors in the U.S. Army Band Program; his assignments include duties as the associate bandmaster for the U.S. Continental Army Band (Virginia), The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" (DC) and the U.S. Army Europe Band and Chorus (Germany). He commanded the Army Ground Forces Band in Atlanta.

Among his military honors are the President Benjamin Harrison Award, the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and the NATO Medal. Major Milburn is active as a composer, conductor and adjudicator. He has received commissions from the instrumental programs at UCLA, University of North Texas, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and contributed several arrangements to The Cleveland Orchestra. Several of his works for band are featured in volumes of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. In 2002 he conducted the Kennedy Center's Annual Messiah Sing-Along, and served as an adjudicator for the Conductor's Art Workshop, co-hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin National Guard Band. From 2005-2009, Major Milburn was the composer-in-residence for the Music Guild of the St. Matthew's Episcopal Church (Pacific Palisades, California), where he wrote three major works for the St. Matthew's Chamber Orchestra and contributed over 25 anthems, several psalm settings and a major service music setting to the parish choral music program. He continues to serve as an instrumental adjudicator for the Heritage Music Festival series and is currently completing commissioned works for Pacific Serenades Chamber Ensemble (Los Angeles, California) and the Vocal Arts Ensemble (Ann Arbor, Michigan).


Cellist turned technology entrepreneur Margo Tatgenhorst Drakos is a partner in The SwitchCase Group, a partner capital firm.

Drakos is focusing on business development and strategy for two companies in their portfolio: Instant, where she is co-founder and COO, and Interactive Fitness Holdings, where she is VP of Business Development. In 2010, she was recognized by the World Economic Forum headed by Queen Rania of Jordan with an invitation to join the Forum of Young Global Leaders, a community of extraordinary achievers under the age of 40.

Prior to business, Drakos performed as a solo cellist and chamber musician throughout Asia, Europe, South America and the U.S. The former cellist of the American String Quartet, Drakos has also held posts as the Associate Principal Cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Principal Cellist of the San Diego and Oregon Symphonies and Guest Principal of Seattle Symphony. Drakos has toured the U.S. with Musicians from Marlboro, and collaborated with the world's leading artists. She has served as Artist-in-Residence and faculty member at Manhattan School of Music and Aspen Music Festival.

Drakos has recorded for Arabesque Records and Sony Classical and produced for the Miro String Quartet on Longhorn Records. She entered music conservatory at fifteen at CIM and graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, studying with David Soyer. She received a master's degree in human rights from Columbia University in 2008.


Presser Scholar

Violist Allison George is a junior at the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Jeffrey Irvine, Fynette H. Kulas Professor of Viola. She has attended the Aspen Summer Music Festival and the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory. Ms. George has performed in master classes for the Alexander String Quartet, the Cavani String Quartet, the Jupiter Piano Trio, and the Daedalus String Quartet. Former instructors include Linda Kline Lamar and Nancy Buck. Additionally, Allison is pursuing a double degree in sociology at Case Western Reserve University. Outside of her musical and scholastic activities, Allison enjoys tango, martial arts, and opera.


Distinguished Alumnus

Maurice Kaplow has devoted his life to the art of music as a violist and conductor. He recently retired as principal conductor of the New York City Ballet (NYCB). He joined the NYCB in 1990 as a guest conductor, became a staff conductor in 1995 and was named Principal Conductor in 2006. After his final performance, the New York Times wrote, "the company's affection for the maestro was happily evident, as was his pleasure in receiving it. Mr. Kaplow is an authoritative conductor who has never suggested that he was the show."

Kaplow also guest conducted orchestras including Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, London Philharmonic and the Buenos Aires Philharmonic. Adept at both wind and strings, he performed as first horn with the U.S. Army's Third Armored Division Band and was a violist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He was a founder of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society as well as the Pennsylvania Orchestra and music director of the Pennsylvania Ballet.

His multifaceted career also includes composition, having penned a number of works including Return, a tone poem commissioned by the Penn State University; and Signatures, a commission by the Pennsylvania Ballet.


Honorary Doctorates & Keynote Speakers

Itzhak and Toby Lynn Perlman

Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician.

In 2009, Mr. Perlman was honored to take part in the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. President Reagan granted him a "Medal of Liberty" in 1986, and President Clinton awarded him the "National Medal of Arts" in December 2000. In 2003, he was a Kennedy Center Honoree. In 2007, he performed at the State Dinner for Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, hosted by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush at the White House. In fall 2010, Mr. Perlman traveled to Chile and Brazil for both orchestral and recital performances, and to six cities in Japan and South Korea with pianist Rohan De Silva. He joined the New York Philharmonic for their opening subscription week under Music Director Alan Gilbert. Other highlights include performances with the Toronto Symphony at Carnegie Hall, and with the Chicago Symphony to benefit the Rotary Foundation's End Polio Now campaign. Mr. Perlman also appears with students and alumni from the Perlman Music Program in New York, Washington, D.C., and Princeton.

Mr. Perlman also performs as conductor with leading orchestras; this season marks his third as Artistic Director of the Westchester Philharmonic Orchestra. He was Music Advisor of the St. Louis Symphony from 2002 to 2004, and he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Detroit Symphony from 2001 to 2005.

Toby Perlman was a young violinist at The Juilliard School when she first dreamed of creating a camp for prodigy musicians that would not only give the children the training they needed to help their musical gifts blossom but, more importantly, allow kids to be kids. With her husband Itzhak, Toby founded The Perlman Music Program. The Program is founded on the belief that the talent of young musicians needs to be supported. Left alone with their gift, without the instruction and mentoring that allows them to thrive, even the most exceptional young artists will struggle to reach their full musical potential. Without this next generation of world-class musicians, the musical world and its audiences will be the poorer.

A passionate advocate for arts and education, Toby has appeared as a frequent guest speaker for other educational institutions such as Public Television, The University of Michigan, The Juilliard School, Chamber Music America and others. Before founding The Program, Toby raised five children, and says she was "the prototype of the old-fashioned housewife...complete with carpools and endless cooking." The Perlmans have eight grandchildren.


Conservatory Studies

Adrian Daly

Dean of the Conservatory

216.791.5000 ext. 204

Caryn Reynolds

Administrative Assistant to the Dean

216.791.5000 ext. 273

Hallie Moore

Conservatory Registrar

216.791.5000 ext. 230

Kristen G. Zalar

Assistant Registrar
International Student Advisor

216.791.5000 ext. 233


For a complete list of our Conservatory departments, please see our Departments page.

Conservatory Faculty

For a complete list of faculty members and bios, please see our Faculty page.

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