NYAAC Virtual Sunday Coffee Reunites Global Alumni

(To see photos from the event, log into I-House Connect.)

Scores of Alumni from across the globe logged on for “Sunday Coffee,” an International House virtual reunion hosted by I-House and the New York Area Alumni Chapter (NYAAC) Inspired in part by the I-House Sunday Supper tradition, the mid-day event on Sunday, January 24, 2021, was open to all Alumni and included remarks by Interim President Brian Polovoy, a presentation by I-House Lead Archivist, Caroline Donadio, time and space for attendees to interact with one another, and exquisite musical performances. Anita Haravon ’11, head of NYAAC, and Senior Advisor John Wells co-hosted the 90-minute Zoom, which was produced by I-House Associate Lesley Perez and featured break-out groups as well as performances by classical pianists Javor Bracic ’12 and Johnny MacMillan. Croatian-born Bracic currently lives in Brooklyn, and MacMillan, of Toronto, resides in I-House North while studying Composition at Juilliard.

Complementing the piano performances were a powerful music video and personal introduction provided by London-based singer/songwriter/cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson ’11 of her recently released single, “Rise Up.” Acknowledged during the event were former Alumni Relations staff members Nicole Davidson and Julie Pape, and Katherine Miller, who recently departed her post on the Development team. In all, the Sunday Coffee drew Alumni from across the United States as well as from Canada, Germany, Italy, Israel, Kenya, The Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, and the UK.

The emotional high point for many was Johnny MacMillan’s performance of Chopin’s “Nocturne, op. 9 no. 2,” which was streamed live from Davis Hall to conclude the program. As he played onstage, Lesley Perez panned her camera across the vast interior of Davis Hall, vacant but for the colorful flags of a hundred nations. The combination of MacMillan’s playing and this familiar sight brought tears to the eyes of many on the call.

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