Award Honorees

Chris Fenwick '97
Chris Fenwick '97

Chris started aiming for Broadway when he was eight years old. That dream has been fulfilled many times over since he left Minnetonka High School. He opens on Broadway again as associate music director for The Addams Family starring Nathan Lane, in a few weeks.

Chris began studying piano at three years of age. He studied locally until seventh grade, when he entered the MacPhail School of Music in Minneapolis for lessons throughout high school. Paula Crist, the pianist and accompanist for Minnetonka High School, mentored him as he played for high school productions. "He took advantage of all that Minnetonka Public Schools had to offer," said his mother, Mary Fenwick. "His teachers went out of their way, encouraging and helping Chris to fulfill his dreams," she added.

Trained in classical music, Chris also studied jazz piano and worked at the Minneapolis Club playing jazz through high school. Chris attended the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in Ohio, earning a Bachelors degree in piano performance. He then moved to New York City, arriving on September 8, 2001, three days before the 9/11 tragedy.

As a musical director, Chris most recently directed the world premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's Giant, the Broadway productions of Grease (which was nominated for a 2008 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical) and Les Liaisons Dangeureuses (which was nominated for a 2008 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play). Other Broadway credits include The Pajama Game (2006 Tony Award winner, Best Revival of a Musical), Chicago, Wonderful Town, The Apple Tree, and Elaine Stritch at Liberty. Off-Broadway, he conducted Mother Courage, starring Meryl Streep, and See What I Wanna See, both at the Public Theater. Other off-Broadway credits include Happiness at Lincoln Center, ROAD SHOW at the Public, and Here Lies Jenny, starring Bebe Neuwirth. As musical director for Patti LuPone, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Ravinia Festival and many more venues nationwide. His work can also be seen in the documentary film, Theater of War.

Concert credits include Michael Feinstein's Now and Then series at Zankel Hall, Rob Fisher and Sheldon Harnick's celebration of Ira Gershwin at Lyrics and Lyricists, Wall To Wall Sondheim at Symphony Space, and appearances with Elaine Stritch, Jennifer Holliday, Debbie Harry, Annie Golden, Michael Cerveris and many more. He released four albums in 2006.

2017 Alumni Award Honorees
Lori Palmer '65

Received the Distinguished Alumni Award on Sept. 16, 2017.

Marty Benson '63

Inducted (posthumously) into the Skippers Hall of Fame on Sept. 16, 2017.

Howard Young

Inducted into the Faculty Hall of Fame on Sept. 16, 2017.

Walt "Doc" West​

Inducted posthumously into the Faculty Hall of Fame on Sept. 17, 2016.