The Colgate Scene
May 2000
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People on the go

Steady rockin'
Geoff Ziegler '94 is still rockin'.

     A force on the campus music scene as an undergraduate, Ziegler has taken his act to Hollywood, where he is making a name for himself on several fronts.

     One of his projects, Venice Blues Legends, performs regularly at the premier House of Blues, Dan Aykroyd's club. Zeigler and his partner in the group started as street musicians on the Venice Beach Boardwalk, then slowly but surely rocked their way up to the house band at the world-famous blues club. They perform between five and eight shows a week, backing up the likes of Jethro Tull, George Thorogood and Christina Aguilera.

     That schedule is grueling enough, but the guitar king is also fronting Geoff Ziegler and Captain Black (keeping the name of the campus band that made him famous), his original-material hard rock project.

     The band, which has made numerous recordings, is just completing work on its first full-length album.

     "Stand in a Row and Learn (taken from a W.S. Merwin poem) is my first recording of this depth and breadth." Ziegler wrote eight of the album's songs (his sister contributed a ninth) and produced the project as well.

     "There's a lot of administration and logistics. With the help and generosity of a couple of friends I was also able to put together the production budget to record and release the album on my own record label, evil Z Records." The album is available through Amazon.com. Use the search words Geoff Ziegler.

     Ziegler is also venturing into movies. In February he answered a casting call for a Brendan Fraser vehicle, Bedazzled.

     "I got a nice part playing -- you guessed it -- the lead guitarist in Brendan's character's rock-n-roll band." Shooting, including scenes in front of 3,000 extras, wrapped in March.

     Ziegler also can be heard singing on the trailer for Any Given Sunday, the Oliver Stone football film starring Al Pacino.

     Other gigs include session work with former Doobie Brother Skunk Baxter and a benefit concert with Jim Belushi's Blues Brothers.

     There have been "day jobs" aplenty, too. In addition to working for Tower Records, Ziegler has taught SAT and achievement test prep courses, worked for new age guru Deepak Chopra and was event coordinator for Hot Rod Magazine.

     "I'm dodging the gas bill, but I'm extremely proud of the path I've trudged and the achievements I've racked up. I arrived in L.A. six years ago almost completely broke. I didn't know a soul, but I've worked steadily and persisted, cobbling together a unique, interesting and challenging life.

     "Colgate was one of the finest opportunities I've ever been afforded in life. I don't often get the chance to discuss the Symbolist urge in Eliot's poetry with club owners and record execs, but I do find the ability to speak, write and think with confidence rewards me daily. The basic life foundation built in such a supportive environment as Colgate must surely last a lifetime."

     Rock on.

In the music
"Midori inspires you to put yourself in the music," said senior Kimberly Holmes after a master class with the world renowned violinist.

     The class was part of a weekend of activities for Midori, who had returned to campus following a chapel concert she gave with performing partner Robert McDonald last fall. Midori also lectured, and she and McDonald performed again, playing works by Bach, Poulenc, Webern and Beethoven.

     Holmes, like Midori, began playing the violin at a young age. At three, Kimberly wanted to be like her big sister Kirsten. She took Suzuki lessons and her mother saw to it she continued to play through high school.

     After a year at Northwestern, Holmes transferred to Colgate from the school of music and fell in love with the "small, intimate" atmosphere of the department here. The lack of competition and absence of cut-throat attitudes suited her.

     "I love doing violin -- not to prove I'm better than someone else."

     The instrument has taken Holmes around the world. While in high school she toured with a group known as World Harmony Through Music, and she has performed in Mexico as part of a Colgate contingent led by Professor of Music Laura Klugherz. It's also taken her to area hot spots since joining Club Ed, Madison County's ageless rockers.

     "Music is kind of a nice way to reach out to people for me. I love all kinds."

     Making that connection was a big part of the lesson in Midori's master class.

     "She didn't focus on technical aspects," said Holmes, "but rather interpretation and the musicality of the piece. When Midori plays she puts all of her emotions into the music. You really have to -- not exaggerate things -- but let the audience know what you're thinking."

     Holmes played Ravel's Tzigane and wasn't nervous, both because of her experience playing in concerts (she is first student violinist and president of the orchestra) and because she was taking the class "out of love for the instrument."

     With the morning sun splashing onto the chapel stage, Holmes and two others played for Midori.
"My Mom was there, which was nice because she was the one who kept me playing in school."

     During lunch Holmes and Midori had the chance to talk.

     "She's a quiet person who ex-presses her emotions in her music, but she also didn't want the violin to be her sole focus. It was good to see she was interested in other things, too."

     As a senior, the future is on Kimberly Holmes' mind. She thinks about medicine, maybe teaching, but certainly helping in some way.

     "I like violin because you are giving people something. I think it's a real giving of yourself."

Nothing but iron
People told Josh Loew '86 he was out of his mind to contemplate entering an ironman distance triathlon.

     Why? Well, a 2.4-mile swim immediately followed by a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run, for starters.

     Loew, director of marketing for Hanes Her Way Casualwear in Winston-Salem, also recognized what training for an ironman would mean to his wife Janet and two young daughters. Janet understood her husband's dream, though, and supported his effort. Josh began to work out.

     Loew devised a training plan and followed it for 10 months during early mornings, lunches, even nap times. Evenings were for family only.

     He also had to determine his food and fluid needs and a cure for a nagging hip pain.

     Last October Loew was ready for the Great Floridian Ironman in hilly Clermont. At 7:30 a.m., 600 competitors started swimming. One hour and one minute later, Loew was out of the water and ready to ride.

     Fighting the hills, 20 mph head-winds, a stomach in revolt and then lower back pain, he pressed on. After six hours and 14 minutes on the road, Loew was done with the bike and ready to run a marathon. He stood in 151st place.

     With his body dictating his pace, Loew eased into the run -- four miles through a neighborhood, then three seven-mile laps around a lake. At mile six the eventual winner whizzed by. At mile 12 he and Janet shared a kiss, but Loew was so focused he thought of nothing beyond his body.

     With 2.5 miles to go Loew was wobbly and his sprint home was no record kick, but he had finished. He had run for five hours and 36 minutes and he was an ironman. Total time was 13 hours and five minutes. He placed 257th out of 551 finishers and was seventh out of 22 in his age group among the "Clydesdale" (men over 200 pounds) division.

     The tribulations hadn't ended, though. A temperature of 95, dehydration and memory lapses all may have contributed to Loew's "panic mode" back at the hotel. He was restless and couldn't fall asleep, his mind out of synch with his body. Sleep finally came and the next day Loew was stiff, but it all seemed worthwhile as he reentered his life of work and family.

     "I reached new heights physically and mentally, and I discovered a tough and determined side of myself," said Loew.

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