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BluesNotes eNewsletter
November 2009 Edition

Alumni Events & Activities

Alumni v. Varsity Basketball Games
Saturday, November 28, 2009

Come relive your glory days on the court or cheer on your favorite team in this year's Alumni v. Varsity Basketball Games in St. Agnes Gym. We would like to start a new tradition of having an annual woman's alumni basketball game preceding the men's game. If you're interested in playing in either game or would like more information, please contact Alison Brand at or 415 593 9540.

NEW! Women's Alumni vs. Girls' Varsity Basketball Game   4:30 p.m.
Men's Alumni vs. Boys' Varsity Basketball Game   6 p.m.

Winter Concert at Herbst Theater
Sunday, December 13, 2009

Please join us for the 2009 Winter Music concert on Sunday, December 13, at 5 p.m., at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. The concert features the Urban A Jazz Band, the Lab Jazz Band, the Chamber Orchestra and The Urban Singers. The Herbst Theatre is located inside the War Memorial Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue at McAllister Street in San Francisco. General admission is $5.

Save-the-Date! Alumni Holiday Happy Hour
Monday, December 21, 2009

Come have a drink and catch up with fellow grads and teachers at Urban’s Alumni Holiday Happy Hour, hosted by this year’s Alumni Council and catch up with old friends and faculty members. Further details are forthcoming. Contact Alex Volberding ('99) at, or for more information.

Recent Grad Reunion for Classes of 2005 - 2009
Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 3 p.m.

Urban's faculty, staff and this year's seniors and juniors look forward to welcoming back alums from the classes of ‘05, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08 and ‘09 for the ever-popular, annual Recent Grad Reunion. Come hang out in the Old Library and enjoy refreshments while catching up with your Urban friends and teachers. We hope to see you there! RSVP online or by emailing

Urban’s Blue Velvet Underground Auction
at Bimbo’s 365 Club
Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 6 p.m.

All alums are invited to join the Urban community for this festive and lively celebration! If you can't make it to the event, be sure to check out the fabulous items, some of which are donated by fellow Urban grads, in the Online Auction.

Alumni Networking

The Urban School Networking Program is a great way to get back involved in the school while also giving advice and leadership to students and other alumni. The students and alumni will have short alumni bios on an internal website and will contact you through email to ask your advice on subjects from college and careers to the arts.

The network is valuable for current students and recent alums returning from college because it gives them a broad, diverse network to access. We are not only looking for alums to add to the network, but also alums that would want to help spread awareness of the program. If you have any questions or are interested in helping out, please contact Lock Bingham ('98) at Check out the alums who are currently participating by going to the following link.

Fall Dessert Recipes from alum chef Carolyn Weil ('76)

Carolyn Weil (’76) has spent over 30 years in the food industry in California. She was the first pastry chef at San Francisco's acclaimed Stars restaurant. She owned The Bakeshop in Berkeley which received noted attention from Sunset, Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines and the San Francisco Chronicle. She strives to make baking approachable to the home cook through teaching and writing. She is a contributor to The Bakers Dozen Cookbook, Fine Cooking Magazine and The Washington Post. She has two books for the William-Sonoma Collection, Pie and Tart and Fruit Desserts. Carolyn has appeared on television and radio in 17 states as a spokesperson for The C&H Sugar Company. Her new book Sweet Treats, a kids cookbook, for 9-12-year-olds, was published in 2006.

Bourbon-Pecan Tart
Recipe by Carolyn Beth Weil
Photograph by Elinor Carucci

8 to 10 servings

1 12-inch round Pie Crust (click for recipe)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecan halves or pieces

Place crust in 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom; press crust into pan. Trim overhang. Chill crust 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans. Bake until crust is set and pale golden, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Bake crust until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Place pan with crust on rimmed baking sheet.

Meanwhile, using electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in medium bowl. Beat in corn syrup. Add butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt; beat until blended. Stir in pecans.

Pour pecan filling into hot crust. Bake until center of filling is set, about 25 minutes. Cool tart on rack 1 hour; remove pan sides. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. DO AHEAD Can be made 8 hours ahead. Rewarm slightly before serving, if desired.

For more delicious recipes and cooking tips from Carolyn, visit her recent feature in Bon Appétit magazine online

 Interview with Circus and Drama Teacher Wendy Parkman 

Wendy Parkman is a member of Urban's Performing Arts Department, teaching Circus and Drama, and parent of alums Galen Rogers ('08), Olivia Rogers ('03) and Molly Rogers ('01).

Q: When did you start working at Urban? What was your first year like?

W: I started teaching circus at Urban in 1989 or was it 1988? Anyway it was the year after Gypsy Snider’s graduation. Gypsy currently lives in Montreal, has had an amazing career performing with Cirque du Soleil all over the world and now is part of her own circus production and performing company, with other ex-Cirque du Soleil performers. She is also a renowned director of circus/theatre with two shows that travel world wide—7 Fingers and Traces.

I loved and still love teaching circus at Urban. It was all I taught for some years– it was just so exciting bringing such a unique art form (the Pickle Family Circus was still around so everyone knew of it) into a school setting.

Q: What is your favorite memory from your years of teaching at Urban?
W: I have many favorite memories – too many to recount – but many that have to do with someone breaking through a shy timid persona to give an all out dynamite performance of strength, courage, and beauty on the trapeze. 

Q: Have there been any particularly memorable or powerful Urban performances for you?
W: Powerful performances? They happen all the time!

Q: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from teaching at Urban?
W: Being able to do what you love is amazing.

Q: How has the Theater/Performing Arts department changed over the years since you started working at Urban?
W: We still do amazing things in our versatile, intimate black-box theatre named GUMPTION.  But I guess the style and process has evolved. The standards are very high and the expectations are high – across the board, from audience member to performer. It’s not that the standards weren’t always high; there is just a higher standard of what high standards are! We used to have a theater tech class and now it is a somewhat a secret club of sorts. But it is not really secret.  You just have to come to theater tech calls and be useful. We used to have costumes stuffed in boxes you could not access, now we have a great costume closet.

Q: What is the take-away value from drama/theater for students? In what ways does theater/drama impact student’s lives beyond Urban?
W: Well, that is a question for the students to answer, but what I know is that theater is a truly collaborative endeavor, where you put everything you have on the line, discover what you didn’t know you had, and put that out there too. I think the collaborative nature of theater is an important part of what you learn being part of a high school production...that it really does take a village…and I’m always impressed with how many people there are behind the scenes. When a group dedicates themselves to an artistic cause, from all the different and necessary vantage points, it is a powerful force.

Q: How has your perspective on the school changed since becoming a parent as well as a faculty member? What’s it like teaching at your child’s school?
W: I feel so lucky to know the teachers my children were so lucky to have. It was great having my children here. I loved it. Their thoughts on the issue have probably changed over time.  

Q: Do you ever hear from/keep in contact with many alums?
W: It is great to hear from alums. I got an email this year from a circus student that made me cry…

Alums in the News

Stand-up Comedy Tour Featuring Brad Wollack (’96)
December 5, 2009, 9 p.m.
Warfield Theater, San Francisco
Urban grad and two-time Emmy nominated television writer, producer and on-camera correspondent, Brad Wollack (’96), will be stopping off in San Francisco with fellow comedians from the hit E! Entertainment series Chelsea Lately for an evening of live comedy at the Warfield Theater on Saturday, December 5, 2009. For more information about the show or to buy tickets, click here.

Holiday Choral Concerts Featuring Katie Innes ('02) and Emily Wynbrandt ('02)
Katie Innes ('02) and Emily Wynbrandt ('02) warmly invite you to join them and the other members of Musae, the 12-voice women's vocal ensemble, for its sixth annual holiday concert sharing the joyous spirit of the season with audiences in three venues around the Bay Area. The program includes the seventeenth century Canadian hymn Huron Carol, the Tamil song Ödi Ödi, and selections from local composer Kirke Mechem's Seven Joys of Christmas: A Sequence of Carols, for women's ensemble and harp. Tickets are $10-$25. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

Friday, December 11, 2009, at 8 p.m.
Old St. Hilary's Landmark, Tiburon

Saturday, December 19, 2009, at 8 p.m.
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Berkeley

Sunday, December 20, 2009, at 4 p.m.
St. Mark's Lutheran Church, San Francisco

Emily Howland (’05) Protecting the Amazon in Ecuador
During a study abroad program in Ecuador, Emily Howland (’05), alum and daughter of Urban’s very own Jonathan Howland, grew to know and love the people and the land. After graduating with majors in Hispanic studies and English at Macalester, she has returned to Ecuador to work with the nonprofit Amazon Watch to organize for the protection of this amazingly biodiverse area. After taking a certification course for teaching English, Emily will be living in the town of Tena, part of a bioreserve established to conserve rainforest habitat. For more information about Emily’s experience, visit

Urban Community Magazine Available Online
You should all receive your Fall 2009 Urban Community magazine in the mail sometime this week. If you don’t see it soon, please send us your current mailing address to The magazine is also available online at

Follow Urban on Twitter
Do you Twitter? If so, you can hear the most up-to-date news from the school through our Twitter address at urbanschool.

Join the growing network of alums on Facebook and LinkedIn as a way to communicate and interact with the alumni and school community.

Alumni Council Still Recruiting New Members
Do you feel passionately about your experience at Urban and want to get involved in the school community? Do you have time, talent and leadership to lend to your alma mater? If so, we would love for you to participate on Urban's Alumni Council. If interested in learning more about the Alumni Council or would like to get involved, contact Alumni Council President, Aisha (Lowe) Toney ('95) at or Alison Brand or 415 593 9540.

  • May 2018
    • 05/15 Senior Luncheon with Urban Alumni Panel CHANGED: This event has been changed. 10:55 AM to 12:20 PM

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