Who we Are
Tenley Albright is the first American woman to win a world figure skating championship and is the first winner of figure skating’s “triple crown”, capturing the World, North American, and United States ladies figure skating titles in a single year. In 1956, she became the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating. She has served on the International Olympic Committee and as a member of the United States Olympic Committee, becoming the first woman to serve as one of its officers. Dr. Albright has also been named one of the “100 Greatest Female Athletes” by Sports Illustrated magazine.
Diagnosed with polio in 1946 at age ten, when treatments for polio were not well developed, she was hospitalized and had to remain inactive for several months. Upon release from the hospital she returned to the ice and won her first skating title four months later. At the age of 16, Dr. Albright won the first of five consecutive United States singles titles and in the same year won a silver medal at the 1952 Olympics. Her gold medal came four years later at the Winter Olympics in Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy.
Dr. Albright began a major in pre-medical studies at Radcliffe College in 1953, practicing her skating in the early morning hours before her classes. She took a leave of absence for one year from Radcliffe in 1955 to pursue her second world championship. After three years of study she left Radcliffe in 1956. She returned to her studies in 1957, entering Harvard Medical School as one of only five women in a class of 135, completing her M.D. in 1961.
A successful surgeon and leader in blood plasma research, today Dr. Albright is a faculty member and lecturer in general surgery at Harvard Medical School and also serves as the Director of the MIT Collaborative Initiatives. She has served on multiple corporate boards, received numerous awards and honors, and acted as a delegate to the World Health Assembly where she was involved in international polio eradication efforts.
Nathan Birch began his professional skating career in 1983 when he was invited to skate in the John Curry Skating Company, an artistic dance company on ice founded by 1976 Olympic Champion, John Curry. Prior to that he’d enjoyed a long competitive sports career that ranked him among the top figure skaters in the country and offered him a promising future. While in The Curry Company, Mr Birch had the unique privilege of working with numerous celebrated choreographers from the world of dance, providing him with an education in composition and structure rarely found in the skating world.
In 1988 Mr Birch, along with former and fellow Curry member Tim Murphy, founded The Next Ice Age in Baltimore, Maryland. Shortly after, Birch was awarded City, State and Federal Arts funding, including three consecutive Fellowship Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in the field of Dance: Choreography.
Throughout his career he has appeared in, choreographed, and co-directed a number of television specials for the BBC, PBS, and NBC, and has worked extensively with Dorothy Hamill since 1983.
In 1997 Mr Birch was invited to bring The Next Ice Age to The Kennedy Center Opera House and perform with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. In 1998 he was among the first recipients of the Doris Duke Awards for the Creation of New Work. The result premiered at the highly respected American Dance Festival at Duke University on the Reynolds Stage. That same year the Company was presented by Dance St Louis with a gift from then director Sally Bliss. In 2000 he carried NIA to the Columbia Festival of the Arts and in 2001 was invited back to the Kennedy Center, this time at the Eisenhower Theater for the America Dancing Series.
After thirteen years of triumph, Mr Birch made the bold decision to take a hiatus, resulting in a nine-year break from creating new ensemble works of skating choreography. The near decade served as a healthy incubation period for him as an artist, and he is back producing new work for NIA’s newly-formed student company after securing an In Residence presence at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Maryland. Reenergized and with a new vision and mission accompanying a rich and fertile past, co-artistic directors Nathan Birch and Tim Murphy, with the help of an experienced and talented staff, are dedicated to leading The Next Ice Age to even greater heights.
Amy McPartland began her professional skating career in 1989 when she joined The Next Ice Age. As an amateur competitive skater, she was trained by Tim Murphy, which made her transition to The Next Ice Age a natural one. Ms. McPartland was next invited to join the cast of Dorothy Hamill’s Nutcracker on Ice, and served as understudy to Ms. Hamill for two years of that production.
Amy continued performing with The Next Ice while attending the University of Maryland. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Communications, Ms. McPartland joined The Ice Capades as a soloist in its production of Cinderella Frozen in Time, where she was able to continue working with Tim Murphy and Nathan Birch. Amy also served as the company’s media coordinator for two national tours. Ms. McPartland continued with The Ice Capades as Performance Director for Warner Bros. Family Entertainment on Ice, touring Canada, Central America and Southeast Asia.
After leaving The Ice Capades, Ms. McPartland began a career in Human Resources for the federal contracting industry. This included five years of contracting to law enforcement agencies like the FBI and the US Secret Service. Amy is also an attorney, earning her JD from the University of Maryland School of Law.She is a member of the bar in Maryland, the District of Columbia and the US District Court for Maryland.
Ms. McPartland currently serves as Human Resources Director and General Counsel for a company serving the defense and intelligence communities. She has been a member of The Next Ice Age board since 2014 and is excited to serve as President.
Ann Nunn holds a BFA in Fine Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology. A former partner and business manager of Hand & Hammer Silversmiths, she is an independent floral designer, specializing in events and small weddings.
Ann has been a member of The Next Ice Age board of directors since 2011. Prior to that she was a founding member and on the board of directors for the Commonwealth Dressage and Combined Training Association for 22 years. Ann also volunteers for Longwood Gardens and is a member of Meadow Wildflower Team and Meadow Stewart Team. She enjoys gardening, art, travel, photography, dressage, and literature.
George Johnston recently retired after 40 years at Venable LLP where he served as the firm's Chief Operating Officer. He has long had an interest and been involved with the arts, having served on the boards of the Walters Art Museum, the Baltimore Opera Company, and the Handel Choir while having chaired both Maryland Citizens for the Arts and Arts Education in Maryland Schools for many years. He is a longtime supporter of The Next Ice Age. Additionally, he has chaired the Baltimore Urban League's Advisory Board and the board of the Information Processing Training Center.
Currently the Artistic Associate of The Next Ice Age, Ian competed as an ice dancer, qualifying for 10 U.S. National Championships and representing Team USA for just as long in International Competitions, including the 2008 Junior Grand Prix Final in Tokyo, Japan. He began his professional career as a performer in 2016 here at the Carousel, and is currently featured in American Public Television’s “The World of Ice Dance International”, and “In Flight”, both of which are being broadcast around the country. He is also featured in “The Ice King”, a New Black Films’ Documentary on British Olympic Champion John Curry. Ian has been teaching skating for over a decade, and opened an Artistic Skating School last year with his wife Laura.
Tim Murphy’s professional skating career began in the ‘Ice Follies And Holiday On Ice Combined Shows!’ where he performed the role of the Big Yellow Chicken in The Old MacDonalds Farm number. His second job was as a featured soloist and ensemble skater in The John Curry Skating Company. While with the Curry Company, he performed on some of the world’s greatest stages including The Metropolitan Opera House, The Royal Albert Hall and the Kennedy Center Opera House while skating to the work of some of the finest choreographers of the time including Laura Dean, Lar Lubovitch and Mr. Curry himself.
In 1988 his choreographic career began when he co-founded The Next Ice Age with Nathan Birch. These early dances include ‘Machines’ and ‘The Stroke of Midnight’ – an ensemble dance commissioned by Maryland Public Television featuring John Curry and broadcast nationally on the PBS special ‘Happy New Year USA’. Murphy holds the distinction of being the only skating choreographer ever to choreograph for John Curry.
Mr. Murphy began a long choreographic collaboration with Dorothy Hamill in 1991. For nearly 20 years, he was her only choreographer for her many tours and television appearances. These dances include ‘Requiem’, ‘Here’s to You’, ‘April’, and most notably, a commission by Dorothy Hamill’s Ice Capades to choreograph ‘Cinderella Frozen in Time’ – a full length skating ballet set to an original orchestral score. ‘Cinderella’ was seen by millions of people around the world and became a network television special. He and Mr. Birch also collaborated on a full length orchestral version of Humperdinks’ ‘Hansel and Gretel’.
Since then, Murphy’s work with The Next Ice Age has appeared in The American Dance Festival, The Columbia Festival of the Arts, The American Academy of Achievement (featuring Quincy Jones and his orchestra), and two appearances at The Kennedy Center. These dances include ‘Bright Blue Skating’, ‘The Steely Dances’ and ‘Turn’ – an ensemble dance set to Sibelius’s entire Fifth Symphony.
He has choreographed many dances for The Next Ice Age summer series at the Carousel Hotel in Ocean City, MD which is in it’s 18th season. He continues to teach skating classes grounded in strict John Curry technique. These classes are arguably Mr. Curry’s best gift to figure skating and Tim is honored to pass this knowledge down to young skaters. He now divides his time between Maryland and Florida.
Dr. Robert Garnet has been a member of the Next Ice Age Board since 2013 and has been its Treasurer since 2016. He became familiar with the company’s art form in the late 1970’s after moving to New York City and meeting John Curry, the 1976 Olympic gold medal winner who developed and introduced the art form of ice dancing to the figure skating world. After retiring and moving to Baltimore, Dr. Garnet renewed his interest in ice dancing after becoming friends with Nathan Birch and Tim Murphy, two of Mr. Curry’s acolytes who continue to carry on his legacy and art form as the founding directors of the Next Ice Age.
Dr. Garnet is currently a visiting scholar and fellow at the Institute of Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University and is active member of the University’s Alumni Council.
Mia Choi received her undergraduate degree and scholarship from Seoul National University and continued her education at Universitat fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria. She studied for 5 years under Professor Edward Melkus, a renowned expert in Baroque music, and received her Performance Degree in 1992. She performed in Amsterdam, Budapest, Salzburg, Munich and Berlin as a member of the Frauen Chamber Orchestra, and made her solo debut at the Kennedy Center in 1991. Since moving to Baltimore in 1994, she has played with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Annapolis Symphony, Key West Symphony and Frederick Symphony. She is currently a member of the Washington Chamber Orchestra and is the Chairperson for the Maryland Music Teachers Association’s Jack Weaver Strings Competition.
Mia has also served as the Show Director of the Columbia Figure Skating Club for seven years from 2007-2014. She volunteered as The Next Ice Age’s District Manger for one year before joining The Next Ice Age Board of Directors in 2016. She is actively involved in fundraising and event planning for the company.
Wendelyn Jones has been involved in figure skating since
childhood. She is a double gold medalist and former professional
skater. She is active as a US Figure Skating judge. From first-
hand experience, she relishes the life lessons she learned on the
ice and is committed to the mission of the Next Ice Age.
Professionally, Wendelyn leads a scientific organization that
advances food safety and nutrition science. In this role, she
applies her scientific training to promote public health by bringing
together stakeholders in government, academia, and industry.
Wendelyn has been quoted in top media, including Wall Street
Journal and Forbes.
She received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and was a
Postdoctoral Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT). Additionally, she completed Executive Education at the
Wendelyn is honored to be a part of the company’s future.