Mr. & Mrs. von Ehrenberg: You are underwriting a concert by acclaimed pianist Tamir Hendelman and his jazz trio. What inspired you to share this incredible evening of music with the USD community?
Eric: We both wanted an opportunity to showcase USD’s newly formed Department of Music in such a way that would encourage current and potential future USD students to consider its merits. In addition, it’s a great opportunity for the community at large to become aware of what the department has to offer.
How would you describe Hendelman’s music? Do you have a favorite piece?
Aveline: Tamir’s jazz style is extremely versatile. Both his own compositions and arrangements of well-known pieces are inspired by his personal life and travel. Some have described his style as similar to Oscar Peterson. As for a favorite? Well, of Tamir’s own compositions, “Spring Action” (action packed) and “Almost Summer” (soft and expressive). Our favorite arrangement of all is “The Cape Verdean Blues.” It will knock your socks off! Guaranteed to get you moving in your seats!
Mr. von Ehrenberg, you graduated from USD in 1964. What, in your opinion, makes our Alma Mater special?
Eric: To see firsthand the caliber and quality of the students, faculty, and graduates, all evidenced by the ranking of the university today given its relatively short history.
"Our favorite arrangement of all is “The Cape Verdean Blues.” It will knock your socks off! Guaranteed to get you moving in your seats!"
- Aveline von Ehrenberg
I understand you both possess a deep appreciation for the arts. Can either of you share a particular performance or artist that sparked your lifelong interest?
Eric: I have always been interested in the arts even though I don’t possess any artistic talent myself. Art, whether it is spoken, written, painted, or played can be enjoyed as a true emotional experience that can last a lifetime. My parents were involved with the Old Globe and the Athenaeum early on.
Aveline: Growing up, my parents exposed me to all types of music, Opera to Mariachi, and I took piano and dance lessons. The one person that stands out, for me, is my middle school piano teacher who reassured me (unlike my private piano teacher) that I didn’t have to be perfect to enjoy playing the piano! I still keep in touch with him!
How can music and performance enhance a liberal arts education?
Eric: One needs an avocation in life to be complete. Having been a business major, the arts have been a wonderful diversion and have actually aided my creativity in the business world.
Aveline: My career was in health care administration, but now in retirement I have been able to transition back to my true passion, music and arts. For 12 years I have run a non-profit, all-volunteer music docent program here in San Diego, integrating my business education with my early music training.
What inspired you to commit your planned gift to USD for scholarships in music, visual, and performing arts?
Eric: You can see from the responses above, we have found the perfect blend, as a couple. I am the USD Alum. That coupled with Aveline’s and my love of arts and music makes including USD in our living trust the right decision for us. There is no greater gift we could bequeath promising students than that of financial assistance. Our lasting endowment will continue providing students with the ability to achieve their academic goals and personal dreams, regardless of financial ability.
- Anne Malinoski ‘11