Alumni Notes: Spring 2016
Posted 04/27/2016 10:00AM

Ninah Marz '05 at EXPO Milano

Ninah Mars ’05 is a multi-talented artist who has sung on stage with bands like Paramore and exhibited her artwork around the world. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Ninah began singing at the age of 5 and composing soon after. She has also been interested in art since childhood and won a prestigious Italian children’s painting prize at the age of 8. She came to TASIS at age 14, where she continued her involvement in music and the arts. She found her Service Learning experience in Romania to be “the most rewarding experience of my life.”

Ninah’s first album came out in 2005, and she continued to record after moving to Florida for college, where she majored in Show Production and Touring. She returned to Venezuela in 2007 and formed the band Ninah Mars & the Stickfaces, which performed shows in Italy, Switzerland, Spain, the US, and Mexico. She was a featured act on the TASIS takeover day of the Swiss Pavilion at ExpoMilano on October 10, 2015. Her albums “This Is How we Pray” and “Alboom!” are available on iTunes.

Ninah has remained a keen artist, citing sculpture and painting as her passions. She continues her studies in both mediums and is hoping to fund a solo exhibition in Rome featuring her completed works. Her Indiegogo campaign was over 30% funded in the first two weeks, and we wish Ninah luck as she embarks on this exciting project.

Michele Josue '97

Congratulations to Michele Josue ’97, who was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her documentary feature film Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine. The film has received accolades from film festivals around the world since its premiere in 2013. It went on limited release in US cinemas last year and is available on Netflix. The film aired on Logo TV last fall and is nominated in the “Outstanding Special Class Special” category. The awards ceremony is on April 29.

Michele is currently working on a feature documentary that follows the life and rehabilitation of the notorious Filipino Dancing Inmates, who hit internet stardom nearly a decade ago with their audacious performance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in their prison yard.

Peregrine Island by Diane B Saxton PG '66

We are delighted to share that Diane B. Saxton PG ’66 has a novel coming out in early August! Peregrine Island is inspired by a painting by Luigi Loir and follows the story of a troubled family who learn that a beloved heirloom painting is both incredibly valuable and hides incriminating papers that uncover deeply hidden family secrets.

Diane has written for Vanity Fair, the Huffington Post, Holiday Magazine, and Greenwich Review, covering subjects such as animal rights, Hollywood families and producers, and exotic travel. She is a staunch supporter of the arts and an animal rights advocate who lives in New York City and the Berkshires. You can pre-order Peregrine Island from Amazon here.

Russian Stories

Vasiliy Vavilov ’03 has been creating videos for seven years for a Russian audience, mostly covering car racing and travel, but he’s recently branched out to an English-speaking international audience in his YouTube vlog, Russian Stories.

Vasiliy hopes to convey what everyday life is like for Russians, featuring the people who make up this fascinating country. He promises no stories about bears roaming the streets and won’t cover anything political; he’s more interested in what life is like for regular people. Topics so far have spanned shopping, family, insurance, flight, and weddings, and we look forward to more insight into daily life in Russia from Vasiliy.

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We congratulate local architect Andrea Bernardazzi on his election to the Collina d’Oro Municipio! Andrea attended summer programs in Lugano (TSLP ’82, ’83, ’84, and ’85) and at TASIS England and sent his children to CDE in the summer of 2014. His architecture office is located where Angelo’s famous store used to be—a familiar location for many of our alumni! He is also Angelo’s nephew.

Do you have a vlog or YouTube channel? Any news? Share it with us here!

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