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Grammy-winning album inspired by Carnegie Mellon University Press book

Composer Maria Schneider won three Grammy Awards on Jan. 26 for her album Winter Morning Walks, inspired by a book of a similar name published by the Carnegie Mellon University Press.

The album’s songs are based on poems by former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser in his book Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison. The book, published in 2001, is a result of the author’s battle with cancer and accompanying treatment.

Schneider’s album took home three awards for “Best Contemporary Classical Composition,” “Best Classical Vocal Solo,” and “Best Engineered Album, Classical.”

American soprano Dawn Upshaw performed with the Australia Chamber Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra to make Winter Morning Walks possible. Jazz musicians Jay Anderson, Frank Kimbrough, and Scott Robinson also performed in the album.

“There’s nothing to explain about the music, except to say it was very hard to pick which poems from Ted Kooser’s Winter Morning Walks I would choose,” Schneider wrote on her website.

Although the poems that the songs are based on were originally titled with dates, Schneider chose different titles because the order of the songs on the album does not correspond with the order of the poems in the book, according to her website.

“Ted Kooser is a poet of great acclaim, and we at the Press are pleased that Maria Schneider has taken Ted’s cycle of poems and extended its quality beyond the realm of poetry,” said professor of English and director of the Carnegie Mellon University Press Gerald P. Costanzo, according to a university press release.

Winter Morning Walks contains the nine-part “Winter Morning Walks” and the accompanying five-part “Carlos Drummonde de Andrade Stories.”

Heinz professor honored for work related to criminal and anti-social behavior

Daniel S. Nagin was recently named a 2014 fellow for the American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS) for his use of statistical methods to track certain behaviors. Nagin (HNZ, ’76), professor of public policy and statistics and associate dean of faculty at the Heinz School, specifically analyzes criminal and violent behavior through his methods.

Nagin has developed the statistical methodology of group-based trajectory modeling. This methodology changes the way that people can track learning and development, and determined that criminal and violent behavior stems from one’s early experiences. His work is important for stressing the need to stop these behaviors from developing when a person is young.

Nagin is one of only seven fellows elected by the AAPSS in 2014.

“We’re very pleased that each of these extraordinarily accomplished individuals will join the academy this year,” said Princeton University sociologist and president of AAPSS Douglas Massey in a university press release. “Each has made essential contributions to our understanding of how American society functions and whether our public policies act in the common good.”

The AAPSS will honor Nagin and the six other elected fellows in Washington, D.C. on May 8.