Alumni are encouraged to send updates to be posted on this page.

Derek Powell (’04 BS Biology and Music Performance)  recently won a section violin position with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. He will join the NSO in early 2020, after completing a four-year enlistment as a violinist in the US Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” In addition to performing, he teached privately and coached weekly sectionals for the DC Youth Orchestra program.

After graduating from UW-Madison, where he studied with David Perry and Felicia Moye, he earned a master’s degree at Rice University and completed a fellowship with the New World Symphony.

Dr. Colleen White (BM ’09) has been appointed assistant professor of flute at Kansas State University. Colleen has taught courses in applied flute, chamber music, and music entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University, and the Metropolitan State University of Denver. She currently serves on the National Flute Association’s Career and Artistic Development Committee. Colleen made her solo debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at age 16 and enjoys a varied career teaching and performing with ensembles across the country.

Prof. White studied with Stephanie Jutt.

MM and DMA 2018 cellist Kyle Price has been appointed as a member of the Cavani String Quartet. Kyle is nationally recognized for his multi-faceted musical career, innovative leadership style, and his advocacy for collaborative programing in the arts and humanities. His profound love of chamber music began as part of a family of dynamic musicians at The Chamber Music Connection of Columbus, Ohio, where he had the opportunity to work with some of the most respected and acclaimed musicians of our time, including members of The Cleveland, Cavani, Emerson, Guarneri, St Lawrence,and Brentano String Quartets. He has performed at internationally renowned music festivals such as The Perlman Music Program, Banff School of the Arts, and has been featured as a guest artist on NPR’s “From the Top!”  Kyle’s recital appearances include universities around the U.S. and abroad, most recently, The Nyon Conservatory (Switzerland). Honors and prizes include the 2018 Schubert Club Competition, Grand Prize winner of the 2015 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition and Honorable Mention recipient in the 2017 Gershwin International Music Competition. Kyle is a founding member of the KASA Quartet, Grand Prize winners of the 2017 Coltman Chamber Music Competition.

In addition to his cello studies, Kyle has been composing from the age of 10, and has distinguished himself with an original voice, receiving commissions from the Johnstone Fund for New Music, Chamber Music Connection and performances by Calidore Quartet, Chamber Music Connection Orchestra, Carpe Diem String Quartet, KASA Quartet, UW-Madison Orchestra, National Summer Cello Institute and Caroga Arts Ensemble.

Kyle’s energized and passionate chamber music experience, was a catalyst for his vision to form an artist -led creative community, and resulted in his creating the Caroga Lake Music Festival and Caroga Arts Collective in 2015. In his role as Artistic and Executive Director, Kyle has grown the organization from a “homemade” music festival of eight musicians in his grandmother’s house, to an organization that hosts five programs over the course of a calendar year, that features 150+ artists, attracting 8,000+ individuals to the small Adirondack town of Caroga Lake, NY (population 518) annually and is widely regarded to be the pride and joy of the community and a model for artist- led festivals around the country.

Kyle completed his masters and doctorate of music degree at the Mead Witter School of Music as a Collins Fellow and member of the graduate Hunt Quartet, studying with renowned pedagogue cellist and Feldenkrais practitioner, Uri Vardi. Kyle received his bachelor’s degree of music from the Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of cellist and former Cavani Quartet member, Merry Peckham. When he isn’t practicing or, writing grants, Kyle is an avid basketball player, and enjoys celebrating teamwork in every form, be it sports or music.

David Chidsey (MM ’06 Guitar Performance) moved to New York City in 2006 after receiving his degree from the UW and studying Classical Guitar with Javier Calderon.  He began a career as a performing musician and a private music studio teacher while working towards an EdM in Music Education from Columbia University.  After receiving certification to teach in public schools, David began a position as the High School General Music teacher and Guitar specialist at Monticello High School in 2009.  Finishing his 10th school year in this position, David now directs the Instrumental Chamber Ensembles.  He also advises the district’s Tri-M Music Honor Society and is the Public Relations liason for the Performing Arts Department.  David performs solo classical guitar recitals as well as with various jazz combos, chamber ensembles and choral ensembles.

Erin Kendall Murphy (DMA flute performance, music theory minor ’13) was recently appointed as the Assistant Professor of Flute at Oklahoma State University. In addition, she performs frequently across the country with her chamber music ensembles Lakeshore Rush and the Analogue Duo.

Erin studied with now-retired Professors of Flute Stephanie Jutt and Conductor James Smith and with theory and composition Professors Lee Blasius, Brian Hyer, and Laura Schwendinger. Earlier, she studied flute with Walfrid Kujala at Northwestern University, Trevor Wye in England, and Lorna McGhee and Amy Porter at the University of Michigan.

More information:

Ethan H. Martin, who earned a bachelor’s of science degree in 2014 in percussion, biology and zoology, was invited in 2017 to Costa Rica as a member of Barb City Percussion (formerly the NIU Graduate Percussion Quartet) for the Fifth International Festival of Percussion Ensembles. As featured artists, they performed in the capital city of San José, presented an outreach concert in Limón, and led master classes for students at the Centro Nacional de la Música. As a member of the nationally touring berimbau sextet Projeto Arcomusical, Ethan has performed and held residencies at the Juilliard School, Princeton University, Western Washington University, and Kansas State University. Projeto Arcomusical was chosen as a finalist in the 2017 SAVVY Chamber Music Competition, leading to his participation in the SAVVY Arts Venture Challenge entrepreneurial workshop held at the University of South Carolina. Projeto Arcomusical is currently in the process of recording its second album, scheduled for release in Spring 2019. Martin studied with Professor Anthony DiSanza and instructors Tom Ross and Todd Hammes.

Soprano Jennifer Lien, who received a DMA in 2015 studying voice with Professor Jim Doing and musicology with Professor Charles Dill, performed in Francis Poulenc’s one-woman opera, La Voix Humaine, with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s chamber music series in May. Directed by Singapore-based theater director Ivan Heng and featuring the orchestra’s pianist Shane Thio, the opera was the fruit of a fifteen-month workshopping and rehearsal period.

“At first, we imagined the performance in a more traditional mold: midcentury woman with clunky handset, draped over a chaise longue,” recalls Lien. “Then we realized that the piano version—Poulenc’s original instrumentation for this opera—allowed for the piano to become the telephone, and the pianist the lover.” The abstract staging, with the piano perched on a platform on a raked stage, and a silent movie featuring the performers on a giant screen, was received with rave reviews from audiences and critics.  Wrote Melvin Beng of the Singapore Straits Times: “Singaporean soprano Jennifer Lien, who is based in the United States, deserved full credit for her excellent singing in the role of Elle. She began calmly and lyrically, but as the work progressed, she gradually, almost imperceptibly, piled on the intensity and emotion as she desperately clung on to her failed relationship.”

Next up for Duluth-based Lien is more Poulenc in Singapore: Dialogues of the Carmelites with New Opera Singapore. “I can’t wait,” says Lien. “Whenever I sing Poulenc, it always feels like he wrote it for my voice.”

Amanda Horn Gunderson, a 2012 DMA in piano performance and pedagogy, received the 2017 Article of the Year Award from Music Teachers National Association for her publication titled “The Well-Crafted Question: Inspiring Students to Connect, Create, and Think Critically.”  The article appeared in American Music Teacher, the bi-monthly journal of MTNA. Gunderson serves on the faculty at Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania as assistant professor, teaching courses in applied piano and music theory. Her diverse research interests include biomechanics (especially for small-handed pianists) and asymmetrical meter in pedagogical repertoire.

Christopher Fashun, a 2003 master’s graduate in percussion performance who studied with Professor Anthony DiSanza, received a Postdoctoral Scholar Award in All Disciplines through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, one of five awards granted in this category for 2018-19. He will spend four months in 2019 from May to August researching Afro-Brazilian music in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.   Christopher currently teaches at Hope College in Holland, Michigan where he serves as the Director of Orchestras and the Brazilian Music Ensemble, the percussion instructor, and teaches courses in world music.

In 2015, trumpeter Eric Siereveld was wooed from New York City to become the instructor of jazz trumpet and director of the Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble at the School of Music. In 2017, with a brand-new DMA under his arm, he returned to New York City to pursue a multi-pronged career, including performing with his Organic Quintet, working as a private instructor at the United Nations International School in Manhattan, gigs on and off Broadway, and playing in many small groups and big bands.

He’s just released his debut CD, titled “Walk the Walk,” on Shifting Paradigm Records.

He writes: “As a DMA student at UW-Madison, I was provided the opportunity to pursue the musical endeavors that I felt a personal connection to. Under the guidance of tremendous professors like Johannes Wallmann and John Aley, they taught me to focus my energy toward musical pursuits that were both professionally and artistically fulfilling. It’s with that spirit that I approached this debut recording. This album reflects the creative spirit and artistic integrity at UW. The compositions on “Walk the Walk” are deeply rooted in the musical process I was going through while completing my DMA. I am particularly proud that this album was recorded, mixed and mastered in Madison and Milwaukee. Without the support of my professors and colleagues at UW and Madison, I do not believe this recording would have been as successful. I hope my teachers, mentors and colleagues at UW-Madison enjoy this recording and that the university shares this album with incoming DMA students. “Walk the Walk” is an example of the type of creative thinking that the DMA program at the Mead Witter School of Music allows its candidates to pursue.”

Eric Siereveld – Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Tony Barba – Tenor Saxophone
Jonathan Kreisberg – Guitar
Steve Snyder – Hammond B3 Organ
Mitch Shiner – Drums
Aaron Gochberg – Conga (track 8 only)

In November 2017, composition grad Nick Connors made his Broadway debut at The Green Room with “Nicholas Connors: From Wisconsin With Love,” including a cast of stars including Tony-award winner Karen Olivo. A few years ago, Olivo made Madison headlines with her cabaret show at Overture Hall, for which Nick served as musical director. Nick writes: “It’s my story of moving to New York after graduation and how my childhood and education in Wisconsin have had a major influence on my writing. So, naturally, the opening number has references to fried cheese curds and all things Wisconsinite.”

Alumnus Nathaniel Wolkstein (bachelor’s degree, violin, 2013) and his ensemble, the alt Default, just released their first album on CD Baby and Spotify. The alt Default (with Hannah Rose Nicholas on viola and vocals and Dave Connor, acoustic & electric bass) is an eclectic trio that plays everything from Nathaniel’s alternative and rock influenced original songs to Dave’s arrangements of classical and jazz tunes to Hannah’s unique interpretations of folk music from all over the world. The band formed in 2014 when they met in Miami Beach as members of the New World Symphony. They were 2015 winners of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Arts Challenge South Florida, and finalists in the 2016-17 21CM Emerging Artist Competition.

the alt Default. L-R: Hannah Rose Nicholas, Nathaniel Wolkstein, Dave Connors.

Allyson Fleck (MM, 2011; DMA, 2004, viola) participated in the 2017 (27th annual) Midsummer’s Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin, as both a performer and assistant artistic director.  MMF features multiple chamber music programs throughout the summer. This year, in addition to playing well-known pieces, the program highlighted female and Eastern European composers as well as an original composition by the current composer-in-residence.  Allyson now lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, where she also works as the orchestra manager with Cheyenne Symphony, the librarian and principal viola with Greeley Philharmonic; strings director with St. Mary’s Catholic School in Greeley; assistant principal viola with the Fort Collins Symphony; section viola with the Cheyenne Symphony; and a substitute violist with several area orchestras.  Allyson previously taught at Ripon College and Beloit College and lived in Georgia for a time, where she played with the Atlanta Ballet and Opera Orchestras and taught viola and directed the chamber music program at Kennesaw State University.

The CHROMOS Tuba Quartet recently released a CD recording on the Beauport Classical label titled Chromos Tuba Quartet Plays the Music of John Stevens. Works featured represent arrangements of standard brass chamber music repertoire and standard classical music as well as several original compositions, all from the pen of John Stevens, Emeritus Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Mead Witter School of Music.

Recorded, engineered, and additional performance personnel by Robert Wiley Deal (BS 2015), the CD also includes music by Anthony Holborne, Ludwig Maurer, Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Anton Bruckner, Tylman Susato, Johann Christoph Pezel, John Stevens, and Thad Jones/Alec Wilder.

Members of CHROMOS are Don Deal (DMA 2000), Griffin James (BME 2003), David Spies (BM-Honors 1991), and John Bottomley (BM 1991). CHROMOS was formed from members of the Wisconsin Tuba Quartet and the Willson Tuba Quartet, two quartets with ties to John Stevens reaching back to John Stevens’ first years at UW-Madison. CHROMOS had its debut performance at John Stevens’s retirement celebration alongside the UW-Madison Alumni Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble in March 2014.

The album is available from the Beauport Classical label ( and CD Baby, and is available for download from multiple distributors, including Amazon and iTunes.

J. Griffith Rollefson. Image by Kathleen Karn.

In October 2017, musicologist J. Griffith Rollefson, now a tenured professor at the University College Cork, National University of Ireland, announced the publication of his new book, Flip the Script, about European hip hop and the politics of post-coloniality. The book, published by the University of Chicago Press, is based on his dissertation, examining how the children of immigrants from the former colonies of Europe imagine hip hop as a way to both understand and voice their relationship to society. Rollefson graduated in 2009 with a PhD in historical musicology.

Click here to read an interview with Rollefson.

Flutist Reunion – August 2017

A group of five flutists who studied under Robert Cole performed in August at the 45th Annual National Flute Association (NFA) Convention held in Minneapolis.  Peggy Vagts (MM ’78), Kathy (Cook) Moss (MM ’82, DMA ’91), Cathy (Collinge) Herrera (MM ’84), Leslie Goldman Maaser (MM’85) and Wendy Mehne (DMA ’92) played as part of the annual Flutopia Initiative-NFA “Play It Forward” charitable concert. The program began with flute and guitar duos inspired by the Hispanic world (Cathy Herrara on flute and Brent Register on guitar), followed by our UW-Madison Quintet, then the University of South Alabama Celtic Crue (traditional Irish Fluters). It ended with a grand finale of all musicians together, performing David Morris’s “Play It Forward” which is featured at every Flutopia Initiative event.
The UW-Madison part of the concert was a tribute to our mutual mentor, Mr. Cole.
—Cathy Herrara

Cathy Herrara is the founder of the Flutopia Initiative (flutists inspiring musicians to change the world, one concert at a time), as well as the benefit concert project, which is part of the NFA Cultural Outreach Committee activity. The concert is held on the eve of each convention, and is the only convention performance open to the public. The purpose is to leave a positive imprint on the convention’s host city each year. The concert benefited the Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness rental assistance program.

L-R: Kathy (Cook) Moss (MM ’82, DMA ’91); Peggy Vagts (MM ’78); Cathy (Collinge) Herrera (MM ’84); Leslie Goldman Maaser (MM’85); and Wendy Mehne (DMA ’92).

John Kuehn earned both his bachelor’s of music education in 1964 and master’s of music in 1972 at UW, studying with Glenn Bowen. He has taught instrumental music at every level from kindergarten through master’s degrees and loves it all. Early in his public school teaching years, he worked closely with James O. Froseth, music education pioneer and former UW professor. Kuehn completed his DMA in clarinet at University of Colorado in Boulder, 1984.
Kuehn taught woodwinds and music education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania 1983-2014, during which time he took college interns and elementary jazz bands from the university’s since-closed laboratory school to music conferences in Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, and various locations throughout the US. He also hosted several music education workshops with international attendees.
He was awarded his institution’s two highest honors for faculty, Distinguished University Professor and the separate Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching.
Kuehn retired in 2014, but after eighteen months as professor emeritus, a local private school called him in desperation: their band director had quit, ten days before the spring concert. Would he please, please come see them through the concert? He would and did, and loved being back in the classroom so much he not only finished out the school year with them, but returned to teach in 2016 and again for the 2017-18 school year.
Kuehn lives with his wife Jacquelyn (x 1974) in the lovely rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, where they raised their children. He might retire sometime.
Then again, maybe not.
–Jacquelyn Kuehn

John Kuehn at the podium.

John W. Scheib (MM ’95, PhD ’02), who was Director of the School of Music and Professor of Music Education at the University of Kentucky, became Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah on July 1, 2017.

John W. Scheib

In June, recent violin graduate Matthew Lee won first place & Audience Favorite prize in the 2017 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition at the Texas Music Festival (University of Houston Moores School of Music). He performed Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 77, Cadenza & Mvt. IV.  Matt, who was also a winner of the 2017 Concerto Competition, studied at UW-Madison with Soh-Hyun Altino and Eugene Purdue.

James Bohn (BA, 1992) has just published a book, Music in Disney’s Animated Features: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Jungle Book (The University Press of Mississippi), which investigates how music functions in Disney animated films and identifies several vanguard techniques used in them. In addition he also presents a history of music in Disney animated films, as well as biographical information on several of the Walt Disney Studios’ seminal composers.

The popularity and critical acclaim of Disney animated features truly is built as much on music as it is on animation. Beginning with Steamboat Willie and continuing through all of the animated features created under Disney’s personal supervision, music was the organizing element of Disney’s animation. Songs establish character, aid in narrative, and fashion the backbone of the Studios’ movies from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs through The Jungle Book and beyond.

James Bohn

Bohn underscores these points while presenting a detailed history of music in Disney’s animated films. The book includes research done at the Walt Disney Archives as well as materials gathered from numerous other facilities. In his research of the Studios’ notable composers, Bohn includes perspectives from family members, thus lending a personal dimension to his presentation of the magical Studios’ musical history. The volume’s numerous musical examples demonstrate techniques used throughout the Studios’ animated classics.

James Bohn is a composer and educator who teaches music theory and technology at Stonehill College, Bridgewater State University, and Wheaton College.   His music has been performed internationally as well as throughout the United States.  He has had his music presented at the Bonk Festival, CYNETart, the Electronic Rainbow Coalition, the extensible Toy Piano Festival, the Florida Electro-Acoustic Music Festival, the La Crosse New Music Festival, the MAXIS festival of Sound and Experimental Music, MEDiA CIRCU[it]S, Most Significant Bytes, The Not Still Art Festival, the University of Alabama New Music Festival, and the University of Central Missouri New Music Festival.  His music appears on several recording labels: Capstone, The Experimental Music Studios, Frog Peak, and The Media Cafe.  James has received commissions from the Bonk Festival, the University of Illinois School of Music, The College of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, The Music Institute at Rhode Island College Choir, Part of the Oath Dance Ensemble, The Rhode Island College Choir, The Rhode Island College Wind Ensemble, and the Boston and Chicago Chapters of the American Composer’s Forum.   As a scholar, James has given papers at conferences for the American Musical Instrument Society, the Association for Technology in Music Instruction, Technological Directions in Music Learning, the MAXIS festival, and the American Chemical Society.

Brian Hughes
Brian Hughes

Brian Hughes (DMA 2014) currently directs two musical groups—the Bettendorf Park Band and the Quad City Wind Ensemble (QCWE) of Davenport, Iowa. Hughes and the QCWE were recently invited to play at the 87th Iowa Bandmasters Association (IBA) conference in Des Moines.

In February, 2017, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, opera alumnus James Kryshak (M.M.,  2009) will premier the role of Lightborn, the murderer of Edward the Second, in a new work by Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini. The opera is based on Christopher Marlowe’s 1593 play, “Edward II. The Troublesome reign and lamentable death of Edward the second, King of England, with the tragical fall of proud Mortimer,” as well as on the Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (Ralph Holisheds). The opera was commissioned by Deutsche Oper Berlin.

James Kryshak

James Kryshak

In 2009, James represented the university in the semi-final round of the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions in New York. He was an Apprentice Artist at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and a recipient of the Voice Excellence Distinguished Graduate Fellowship.

William Wielgus (BM ’80, former student of Marc Fink) recently performed a solo recital “Oboe Music from Peru and the United States” at the 45th Annual Conference of the International Double Reed Society in Columbus, Georgia.  In addition, he performed on the recital of Peruvian music of the Bulgarian-Peruvian bassoon virtuoso Toma Mihaylov.  Mr Wielgus is presently involved in a project to commission, perform, and record oboe music from Peru. In August he presented two recitals, “Panorama del Peru” at the Lima Conservatory, and “Musica de Trujillo y Otros Importantes Centros Musicales” at the Conservatorio Carlos Valderrama in Trujillo. These performances included premieres by Teofilo Alvarez, Fernando Munoz, Victor Hugo Marchand, and Seiji Asato.


William Wielgus

This November he will present some of this material in several recitals of the “Musica no Museo” series in Rio de Janeiro.

Wielgus has been a member of the oboe section of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C . since 1990 and will tour Russia in March 2017. He also serves as woodwind coach of The Capitol Symphonic Youth Orchestra and as Artistic Coordinator of Teatro Lirico of D.C., an organization which promotes the performance of Hispanic music in the nation’s capital.

Christian Elser (BM ’94) is currently Associate Professor of Music at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. He is the Voice Division Director and Director of the PC Opera & Musical Theatre program. Christian is also the founder and Executive Director of Glow Lyric Theatre in Greenville, South Carolina’s only professiochristianelsercond-jpgnal opera company. With Glow he recently music directed and conducted the orchestra for both Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette and Bernstein’s West Side Story as part of their highly successful 2016 festival season. Recent singing engagements have included performances with the Hilton Head Symphony, Florence Symphony and LOOK Musical Theatre. Upcoming projects include recording seven songs by Russian composer Sergei Tanayev as part of a new double CD release, and as a soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Augusta Choral Society.

The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia has hired William Rhoads (B.M. 1996) a rock/jazz guitarist and administrator from New York’s Orchestra of St. Luke’s to be its next executive director.

William Rhoads

William Rhoads

Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia board president Susan Schwartz McDonald called Rhoads “dynamic, deeply knowledgeable about music and arts management, brimming with ideas and energy, and very personable.” She said what sealed the deal was his experience in artistic collaboration. “That’s going to be a mantra for us in the coming years, and Bill has a track record for engaging creatively and productively with other groups and various stakeholders to advance common artistic and audience development goals,” she said. “You’ll hear the theme of ‘connectivity’ quite a lot from us, and it has multiple meanings – intimate audience engagement, creative partnerships, and genre linkages where they can enhance the musical experience. Bill clearly understood our vision from the start and was excited about it.”

Rhoads previously served as director of concert music at publisher Carl Fischer Music. As head of his own marketing, production and publishing company, Bill Rhoads & Associates, he represented the likes of Frank Zappa, John Zorn, Ornette Coleman, C.F. Peters Publishing and Arabesque Recordings.

Read the full announcement.

Kimberly Dunn Adams

Kimberly Dunn Adams

Kimberly Dunn Adams (DMA 2011 in Choral Conducting, student of Beverly Taylor) is currently the Director of Choral Activities at Western Michigan University, where she directs the University Chorale, Collegiate Singers, Grand Chorus, and graduate program in choral conducting. She also co-directs the Collegium Musicum and teaches choral literature, choral conducting, and advanced conducting. She has released two recordings with the WMU Chorale in the past two years.  In 2014, Adams conducted the premiere of Paul Lansky’s choral cantata, Contemplating Weather, which was subsequently recorded and released on the Bridge Records label in the spring of 2015.  In spring of 2016, the WMU Chorale independently released their latest album, Ex corde, which is available for sale through iTunes, Amazon, and other international retailers. During the 2015-16 school year, the WMU Chorale was selected to perform at the regional convention of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) in Chicago, IL.  They were also selected performers at the Michigan ACDA State Convention and the Michigan Music Conference.  This past year, Adams was named a Conducting Fellow in the International Conductors Exchange Program and traveled abroad to work with several Swedish choirs and present at the Nordic Choral Conference.  She is scheduled to present at the 2017 World Choral Symposium in Barcelona, Spain.  This coming year, her choirs will be featured performers at the National SCI Conference in Kalamazoo.

Dr. Merrin Guice is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Vocal Studies at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Dr. Guice and the Buena Vista University Concert Choir most recently won first place in the mixed repertoire and second place in the sacred category at the Riva Del Garda International Choir Competition in Riva Del Garda, Italy.  She also performed in Sarteano, Italy with the Sarteano Choral Festival, where she was invited to perform as a full conductor and singer, working with Simon Carrington, professor emeritus of Yale University and Brian O’Connell of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

In March, Dr. Guice will make her Carnegie Hall conducting debut in March with her choir, which was invited to perform in a debut spotlight series with Manhattan Concert Productions. She has performed in recital and operas with The Sounds of South Dakota Opera Company in Sioux Falls and will be singing with composer, Stacey Gibbs and the Stacey Gibbs Chorale at Carnegie Hall in the Spring.

Dr. Guice is the Iowa representative of the National Collegiate Choral Organization.

Soprano Christina Kay (MM Vocal Performance, 2014) recently received 2nd prize in the Handel Aria Competition, held in Madison on July 8, 2016. The preliminary round drew nearly 100 applicants from around the country, and the seven selected finalists presented two contrasting arias by George Frideric Handel, accompanied by the Madison Bach Musicians.

Christina Kay

Christina Kay

Since graduating in 2014, Christina has appeared with many local groups, including the Madison Choral Project, Fresco Opera Theatre, and Present Music’s Hearing Voices. In addition to performing, she has maintained voice and piano studios at the Madison Music Foundry, Beloit College, and privately around the city. Christina’s particular enthusiasm for early music has taken her to various summer festivals, mostly notably three summers at Madison’s own Early Music Festival, and two at the Queens College Baroque Opera Workshop. In August 2016, Christina will spend two weeks at the American Bach Soloists Academy, then relocate to New York City to continue pursuing performance.

Paul Bhasin

Paul Bhasin

In 2015, Paul Bhasin (DMA 2010, conducting, student of Prof. Scott Teeple) joined the faculty of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, as Director of Wind Studies. In this capacity, he conducts the Emory Wind Ensemble, directs all aspects of Emory’s wind, brass, and percussion program, and teaches conducting. He previously served for four years as Director of Bands at the College of William & Mary. Bhasin’s upcoming 2016-17 projects include premieres by composers James Syler, Richard Prior, and Geoffrey Gordon, a 2017 collaboration with celebrated filmmaker Nikoloz Kevkhishvili (featuring a newly commissioned film score performed live during Kevkhishvili’s feature film premiere), and projects with Atlanta Symphony soloists Emily Brebach (oboe) and Michael Tiscione (Trumpet). His most recent CD recording as a conductor features commissioned works of composer Brian Hulse was released on the Centaur Label in 2016 and features the principal players of the Virginia and Richmond Symphonies. Bhasin also joined the Emory Youth Symphony’s conducting staff in 2016. In 2015 Bhasin composed and conducted the score to 9:23 Films’ motion picture, Hogtown (official selection, Berlin and Calgary International Film Festivals, and Cannes Festival Marché du Film).  Michael Phillips of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that the film was “…scored beautifully by composer Paul Bhasin…better than the entirety of the last few features I’ve seen, period.” The film receives its New York, Paris, and Washington DC premieres in late 2016.

Matthew Mireles

Matthew Mireles

Matthew Mireles (DMA, euphonium, 2013) has recently accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Instrumental Studies at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. He will begin in August 2016. Dr. Mireles’ duties will include leading the Wind Ensemble and Athletic Band and teaching conducting. Dr. Mireles is in high demand as a performer, conductor, clinician, and educator. Prior to this appointment, he was the Director of Bands at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. He is also a member of the Boreas Quartet, which won the 2016 Roger Bobo Award for excellence in chamber music recording.

Claire Hellweg (BA, horn, 2005) is now principal horn in the Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra in Mexico and teaches at the University of Guanajuato and in a private music program for low-income kids called Orquesta Trinitate. Recently, she was interviewed for the online website, “James Boldin’s Horn World–Thoughts on Teaching and Playing the Horn.” Read the full interview here.

 Eli Kalman

Eli Kalman

Since completing his doctorate in 2006 with Professor Martha Fischer, pianist Eli Kalman has been teaching piano and chamber music at UW-Oshkosh, navigating the intricacies of a teacher-artist career and the comforting closeness to Madison.  As a performer, his passion for chamber music with strings has been featured the Weill Hall at the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C., on “San Francisco Performances” and “Tuesday Evening Concert Series” in Virginia, on the Emmanuel Music-Schumann Chamber Series in Boston, the Connoisseur Series at Wichita State University, the Myra Hess Series in Chicago, the Sylvia Adalman Artist Recital Series at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, “Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen” live on NPR, WFMT in Chicago, Farley’s House of Pianos Series in Madison, and Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, in addition to other venues. He was an enthusiastic artist-in-residence at the Chamber Music Festival at Banff, Canada, and a guest artist for five years at the Token Creek Festival directed by celebrated American composer John Harbison.

Kalman partners regularly with Pro Arte Quartet’s inspiring cellist Parry Karp from UW-Madison on recitals within the UW system and beyond – a genuine journey of friendship of their cello and piano duo.  As a recording artist, he offers Robert Schumann’s Sonatas for Violin and Piano with violinist Rose Mary Harbison (2006) and “The Jewish Soul” CD with cellist Amit Peled from the Peabody Institute on Centaur Records (2009). His very latest recording entitled Homo Ludens on Centaur (2015) honors solo piano music of Russian-American pianist-composer, poet and visual artist-extraordinaire Lera Auerbach. The musical journey recorded on this CD reflects on Auerbach’s borderless creativity in music, poetry and visual arts mirrored in three of her strikingly different works for piano written around 2000: Images from Childhood, 24 Preludes Op. 41 and Ten Dreams. These are short musings, “which remind us that music need not be grand to be great” (Tom Strini). As a scholar, Dr. Kalman’s research interests focus on neglected repertoire for strings and piano, the compositions of Romanian pianist Dinu Lipatti and Israeli composer Erwin Junger, as well as on unpublished chamber works by Ottorino Respighi. His research in the field has led to the world premiere publication of Respighi’s first violin and piano sonata (1897), published on A-R Editions/Special Publications, 2011. As an educator, Dr. Kalman spends his summers on the  piano faculty at the Young Artist Seminars at Rocky Ridge Music Center in Colorado, combining his teaching and music making with his love of mountains.

CD Cover

In February, violist Danny Kim, BA 2012, won a spot in the viola section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Since leaving Madison, Danny received his master’s degree at The Juilliard School with violist Samuel Rhodes, joined the Senza Misura Quartet, performed at the Marlboro Festival for three summers, and has been a member of the New York City’s Ensemble ACJW for two years. He has performed with pianist Mitsuko Uchida, cellist Peter Wiley, clarinetist Anthony McGill, cellist Marcy Rosen, and the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Madison audiences will remember him as a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and winner of the UW-Madison Concerto Competition.

2017 violin graduate Matthew Lee has won first prize and audience favorite in the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition at the Texas Music Festival, at the University of Houston Moores School of Music. Matthew recently graduated from the Mead Witter School of Music on with a BS in music performance and biology. He was a student of Prof. Soh-Hyun Altino. Matthew played in the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras in grade school, serving as concertmaster for Youth Orchestra from 2011-12, and won their 2013 Concerto Competition. At UW-Madison, Matthew studied with Eugene Purdue for two years, then with Soh-Hyun Park Altino for his last two. In 2016 Matthew was a winner of the Mead Witter Concerto Competition. This fall, he will attend UT-Austin for his M.M. degree with Sandy Yamamoto.

Elias Goldstein (lower res.)
On March 9, 2016, alumnus Elias Goldstein will be the first violist to perform all 24 caprices by Niccolo Paganini in a live recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Goldstein is a top prizewinner at the Primrose, Bashmet and Lionel Tertis International Viola Competitions, is currently Professor of Viola at Louisiana State University. In 2011, Elias received his DMA from UW-Madison where he was a Collins Fellow and a student of Prof. Sally Chisholm, violist with the Pro Arte Quartet.

When asked why he chose to perform the Caprices, he said, “I have resisted for several years in embarking on performing all 24 Caprices by Paganini on viola, largely because they are so difficult and require such flexibility of mind-set and hand position. At the urging of several colleagues, students and my grandfather in particular, I applied for and received a generous grant from my university to record for Centaur Records, publish an edition and perform the Paganini Caprices in entirety at Carnegie Hall in March of 2016. This was made financially possible because of the Manship Fund For Excellence at the LSU School of Music to which I am very grateful.”

Jonathan Posthuma (MM Composition, 2015) recently received 3rd Prize in the Karol Szymanowski International Composers Competition in Katowice, Poland. The awarded composition, “Fili di Perle” (Strings of Pearls) for large orchestra, was composed specifically for the competition in Fall 2015 and will be premiered by the Karol Szymanowski Academic Symphony Orchestra in their 2016 – 2017 season in Katowice, Poland. The work explores and builds upon musical ideas extracted from a work completed in Madison the same year for his master’s thesis: The God of Material Things, a song cycle for narrator, singers, chorus, and orchestra. Other recent large ensemble works include An Isthmus Aubade, dedicated to Scott Teeple and the UW-Madison Wind Ensemble and premiered in April 2015 and Concerto Grosso No. 1 for strings, percussion, and piano, commissioned and premiered by the Madison Area Youth Orchestra and Clocks in Motion in June 2015. Jonathan currently lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota as a freelance composer but also sings in VocalEssence and Kantorei, two auditioned choirs in the Twin Cities.

Nathaniel Wolkstein (BA, violin 2013) has been a member of the New World Symphony Orchestra for two years, where he co-founded the alt Default, comprised of Nate on violin, Hannah Rose Nichols on viola & voice, and Dave Connor, acoustic and electric bass. The alt Default is an an eclectic trio that plays everything from Nathaniel’s alternative and rock influenced original songs to Dave’s arrangements of classical and jazz tunes to Hannah’s unique interpretations of folk music from all over the world. Nate writes, “Upon arriving in Miami to play in the New World Symphony violin section, I quickly started playing jazz, rock and folk music with other NWS Fellows. I started to write my own music when I began to work with recording software, which allowed me to start layering in the many different musical ideas that I’ve had running through my mind for the past ten years. I started playing a lot of guitar with a fantastic bass fellow at the NWS, David Connor. From there, we began to collaborate with many different NWS fellows, and have created more than two albums worth of my original music in 18 months. Our band, The alt Default, has recently won a matching grant from the Knight Foundation. Our project will be teaching a songwriting workshop to middle schoolers in a K-8 school in Miami.”

Composer Filippo Santoro (DMA, 2014) recently placed third in The American Prize, a series of new, non-profit, national competitions in the performing arts recognizing and rewarding America’s finest performing artists, ensembles and composers—in schools and churches, and at community and professional levels. He won for Duplum, which was a commission from the Madison based percussion ensemble “Clocks in Motion” and is featured in Clocks in Motion first album Escape Velocity.Duplum was premiered at the UW-Madison School of Music in 2013.

Santoro writes: “The idea for this work arose some time ago while I was studying Berio’s Sequenzas and the musical vocabulary of the works of Franco Donatoni. The word Duplum carries multiple connotations that transcend its primary meaning, i.e., adding one voice to another that already exists. Duplum is semantically connected to the Latin word duplicare (meaning “to duplicate”). Through this meaning it also conveys the idea of something in nature that grows, proliferates, and changes into something else but maintains structural relation with its origin. Duplum is conceived in sections which I refer to as panels. In each panel there is a reiteration of “figure” (figures), that are characterized by sound, rhythmic articulation and gesture and that are passed from one instrument to another, eventually evolving into other figure. The way in which panels follow each other with relations of either similarity or opposition shapes the form of this work. This principle can be understood as analogous to modularity in painting, which some describe as integrations of partially independent and interacting units.”

Listen to Duplum here.

You can also read more about Filippo in a May, 2014 article in our newsletter, A Tempo!

Sean Greene (MM ’02, DMA ’05) has been elected Jazz Chair by the membership of the East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association for 2016-2018. As jazz chair, Sean will coordinate high school jazz clinic and work with the membership to provide professional development opportunities for teachers as well as promote jazz education in East Tennessee.
Sean has also been named an artist/clinician for Eastman Music Company, based in Pomona, California. Sean performs on Andreas Eastman brass instruments and teaches clinics, workshops and offers input on instrument design and development.
Sean is currently the band director at Robertsville Middle School and assistant band director at Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with his wife Melissa and their two daughters. In his spare time, Sean enjoys composing and arranging for school bands, and restoring his ’85 Camaro Z28.

Benjamin Schultz

Benjamin Schultz

Bass-baritone Benjamin Schultz, who received his DMA from the School of Music in 2012, has published a book, Singing in Polish: A Guide to Polish Lyric Diction and Vocal Repertoire, which “stands as the first book-length resource for non-Polish speaking singers, voice teachers, and vocal coaches that offers the essential tools to learning how to sing in Polish. Scholar and singer Benjamin Schultz offers a rich repertory of works virtually unknown outside of Poland, providing a unique catalyst for the introduction of Polish vocal music into the English-speaking world of performance. Never before has Polish vocal music been made so accessible to the musical world.” Learn more at the website of his publisher, Rowman & Littlefield. Ben currently serves as the Assistant Director of the School of Music.

Maureen O’Brien (BA, 2003, Music & French) has accepted a new position in Miami as Senior Vice President for Development with the New World Symphony.

MiLiChang2014Mili Chang, DMA Flute, 2015, took third prize in the Baroque Flute Young Artist Competition at the annual convention of the National Flute Association in August in Washington, DC. Dr. Chang studied Baroque flute with Prof. Jeanne Swack and modern flute with Prof. Stephanie Jutt. This fall,Dr. Chang began a graduate program in Early Music Performance at McGill University.

“Hill’s Angels” Regroup in Los Angeles

In August, twenty alumni horn graduates from the UW-Madison were invited to serve as Guest Artists, Participating Artist, Performers or Presenters for the 47th International Horn Symposium at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. Daren Robbins, a DMA graduate now the head of the brass area at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand, decided to group these individuals together to form a horn choir that someone, long ago dubbed the “Hill’s Angels.” Emeritus Professor Douglas Hill (1974-2011), the major professor for each of these graduates, conducted three of his own original compositions and an arrangement of one of his early duets done by MMus Graduate Patrick Hughes, Professor of Horn at the University of Texas-Austin.


The early morning post-rehearsal photo. Front row, left to right: Gina Gillie (Pacific Lutheran University), Jeffrey Snedeker (Central Washington University), Lydia Van Dreel (University of Oregon), Peggy DeMers (Sam Houston State University), Katie Johnson (University of Tennessee-Knoxville), Catherine McCarthy (Chicago Freelance), Leelanee Sterrett (New York Philharmonic, Ghengis Barbie), Kristina Mascher-Turner (Luxembourg Philharmonic, American Horn Quartet), Patrick Hughes (University of Texas-Austin), Steve Becknell (University of Southern California, Studio Freelancer). Back row, left to right: Douglas Hill (Emeritus University of Wisconsin-Madison), Jessica Valerie (San Francisco Symphony), Lin Foulk (University of Western Michigan), Nancy Sullivan (Northern Arizona University), Rose Valby (DMA, TA at University of Texas-Austin), Claire Hellweg (Orquesta Sinfonia de la Universidad de Guanajuato), James Boldin (University of Louisiana-Monroe), Tim Thompson (University of Arkansas), Kristin Thelander (University of Iowa), Amanda Skidmore Farasat (Illinois Center for Aston Patterning), Daren Robbins (Mahidol University, Thailand).

Nebojsa Macura (BM, composition, 2005). Former student of Stephen Dembski, Laura Schwendinger, Joel Naumann, and Scott Gendel.

After earning degrees in composition from the University of British Columbia (MM, 2007) and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (DMA, 2011), Nebojsa Macura (BM, composition, 2005) moved back to the Madison area, where he currently works as a freelance composer. His latest work, Symphony No. 1, was commissioned by a consortium of 15 high school, college and university wind bands, including the UW-Madison Wind Ensemble, who will perform it during the 2015-16 season.

SoundCloud page:

Nebojsa Macura

Christopher Van Hof (DMA, trombone, 2013). Former student of Mark Hetzler

Chris Van Hof

Chris Van Hof

I am finishing my first year as the tenure-track Assistant Professor of Trombone and Euphonium at Colorado State University. Since moving to Colorado in 2013, I have been featured twice as concerto soloist with CSU ensembles (the Symphonic Band and the Symphony Orchestra) and I will be soloing with the Wind Symphony in 2016 on a new concerto for trombone and band that we helped commission from composer Dana Wilson. I have also been active as a freelancer, performing with the Cheyenne, Wyoming Symphony and the Fort Collins Symphony, as well as chamber music performances along the Front Range. This school year I also hosted UW-Madison trombone professor Mark Hetzler as a guest artist and clinician. And just this past month, I have become an official Performing Artist for S.E. Shires instruments out of Boston and Facet Mutes out of Castle Rock, Colorado.

David Glickstein (B.A., music performance and political science, 2014). Former student of Les Thimmig.

David Glickstein at the 2014 School of Music Graduation & Awards ceremony, with Concert Bands coordinator Barbara Douglas.

David Glickstein at the 2014 School of Music Graduation & Awards ceremony, with Concert Bands coordinator Barbara Douglas.

David began his studies at UW-Madison in 2010 and declared majors in political science, music performance, and Latin during his first semester. As a music major, David studied under saxophone professor Les Thimmig, performing in his studio, the UW Wind Ensemble, and a saxophone quartet. Additionally, he played clarinet in the UW Concert Band for several semesters.

Shortly after graduating in May 2014, David accepted a position in the development department of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, one of the nation’s foremost lobbies that advocates for strong relations between the United States and Israel. In the position, David facilitates donor relations and helps manage mass communications, including most of the organization’s email blasts to donors and other constituents.

After internships with the Wisconsin Legislature and the White House, David decided to pursue an internship more closely aligned with both his music and nonprofit interests, securing an internship with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. In that position, David conducted analyses of businesses and executives to determine their giving potential, which resulted in new financial opportunities for the organization.

Daniel Black (B.M., composition, 2002). Former student of Joel Naumann (emeritus, composition); Stephen Dembski (composition) and David Becker (conducting, now at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas).

Conductor/composer Daniel Black recently received a 2015 Career Assistance Award from the Solti Foundation U.S., a charitable foundation established by Sir Georg Solti and his wife, Valerie, which annually recognizes exceptional young American conductors.  Daniel was one of ten conductors across the country to receive this award in 2015.

Daniel Black

Daniel Black

Currently the Assistant Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Oshkosh Symphony, Daniel was also recently named Director of Instrumental Music at the new Wildwood Academy of Music and the Arts in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Daniel has been a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, the Cabrillo Conducting Workshop, and the Brevard Music Festival.  He has also participated in masterclasses with Edo de Waart and  Kurt Masur.

As a composer, Daniel was a finalist at the 2008 International Prokofiev Composition Contest, and in 2014 was the Composer-in-Residence of the Southeast Horn Workshop.  In addition to his bachelor’s degree in music composition from the UW-Madison, Daniel has a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Eastman School of Music, an artist diploma in orchestral conducting from the St. Petersburg (Russia) Conservatory, and has finished coursework for a doctorate in conducting from Northwestern University.

Daniel resides in Fort Worth, Texas, with his wife Marie-Sonja Cotineau.

Sergio Acosta (BM, flute performance, 2011; MM, bassoon performance, 2013). Former student of Stephanie Jutt and Marc Vallon.

Bassoonist Sergio Acosta recently won an audition to become a member of The United States Army Field Band, a premiere wind ensemble based in Fort Mead, Maryland. He soon realized with performing with a military ensemble means more than just music.

“After winning the audition in September, 2014, I was not sure if I had made the right decision,” he writes. “It’s at least a four-year commitment, starting with Basic Combat Training, and it is an elite organization where you are first and foremost a soldier. Besides the physical fitness training, the early mornings, long days and even weapons training, I learned about discipline and the sacrifices needed to pursue my dream. I began to appreciate all of the privileges and freedoms that I had before basic training. There were many difficult times but I knew that after a few months, I would be lucky to have one of the best careers waiting for me.

Sergio Acosta

Sergio Acosta

“On February 19, 2015, I graduated from Basic Combat Training and was off to Maryland to join the U.S. Army Field Band.  This was probably the hardest transition. I knew that basic training was temporary, but Maryland was the real deal. It was a permanent change. It was very shocking in an overwhelming, but also relieving kind of way.

“Since joining the band, I have been provided with the greatest opportunities. I have worked with some amazing people, made great friends and am in the best shape of my life. I have been part of a recording project and will be going on my first tour this summer. I get the chance to work in the chamber music programs, such as the woodwind or brass quintets. I will be playing with the Opera Scenes programs where I’ll have the privilege to work with artists from the Washington National Opera and perform at venues like The Smithsonian Institution and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts . I have also performed with the United States “Pershing’s Own” Army Band Concert Band and the Pershing’s Own Contemporary Music Ensemble.

“I am very excited for my future with the United States Army Field Band. I get to perform all over the United States visiting places I never thought I would, as a soldier and musician. I am truly honored to be part of The U.S. Army and the Field Band.”

Jamie-Rose Guarrine (MM in vocal performance, 2002; DMA in vocal performance, 2005). Former student of James Doing.

This fall, Jamie-Rose will join the faculty of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst as Assistant Professor of Voice after serving this past year as Visiting Assistant of Voice at Illinois-Wesleyan University.

Jamie-Rose Guarrine

Jamie-Rose Guarrine

“While at UW-Madison, I served as the voice area teaching assistant, and was the first recipient of the Collins Fellowship during my doctoral degree. I know it was my education and training at UW that helped me begin my professional singing career. After completing my doctorate I transitioned smoothly into the Merola Young Artist Program at San Francisco Opera, which spring-boarded my professional career. Since leaving UW-Madison, I’ve sung on the stages of Los Angeles Opera, Minnesota Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Chicago Opera Theater, Utah Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Madison Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, the Santa Fe Symphony, and many others.

“This career trajectory would not be possible without the vocal training, mentoring, and guidance I received as a student of Professor Doing. I hope to continue this legacy of inspiring and educating my students as they pursue their musical aspirations.

“My path continues to take me back to Wisconsin: in May of 2016 I will be returning to the Florentine Opera of Milwaukee to sing the role of Adele in Die Fledermaus!”

Ben Davis (B.M., music education, 2014). Former student of John Aley (trumpet); also studied composition with Stephen Dembski and Filippo Santoro, DMA 2014.

SOM alumnus Ben Davis is now working on a master’s degree in music composition at DePaul University in Chicago, where he studies with Christopher Wendell Jones and Seung-Ah Oh. This August, he’ll participate in the Summer Academy for Young Composers at Akademie Schloss Solitude, a biennial event in Stuttgart, Germany, where the permanent faculty (Chaya Czernowin and Steven Kazuo Takasugi) will be joined by Rebecca Saunders. The participants, who were selected from a pool of close to 270 applicants, represent Australia, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the U.S.A. Each participant will have a piece performed by the Freiburg-based Ensemble SurPlus and will give a 90-minute presentation on their music.

Benjamin Davis

Ben Davis

In January, Ben finished DAY, a large-scale piece for the Madison-based, UW-Madison alumni-composed percussion ensemble Clocks in Motion. In February, his percussion duo Sketches was premiered by Sam Moon and Sean Kleve and THIS IS DAVIS, a piece for electronics and video projection, was premiered in March at DePaul. (Please note: Ben created a crowdfunding site to help him participate in the Schloss Academy. Click here to help and learn more:

Paola Savvidou  (MM in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, May 2008; DMA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, May 2012). Former student of Jessica Johnson.

I currently serve as Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy at the University of Missouri, where I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in piano pedagogy and wellness, and applied piano. I coordinate the Group Piano Pedagogy program as well as Experiencing Piano, a community program offering group and private instruction for young and adult beginners. I continue to research developing techniques for injury-prevention through creative movement and yoga. I also perform with alumnus and husband Jonathan Kuuskoski as a member of the New Muse Piano Duo.

Jonathan Kuuskoski and Paolo Savvidou

Jonathan Kuuskoski and Paolo Savvidou

While in Madison I was always very busy not just with my coursework and practicing, but also with many extra-curricular activities. I was very lucky to have an advisor, Jessica Johnson, who valued experiential learning and fostered an environment in which students could develop their interests and grow. I served as President for the UW-Madison Collegiate Chapter of the Music Teachers National Association, where we created self-sustaining, pedagogical events that brought the UW campus and the community music teachers together. We held fundraising concerts at the Steinway Piano Gallery (School of Music board member Grant Billings was incredibly supportive!), and then we funded our events. We put together an event called Piano Day @ UW in which younger piano students from the community came to campus for master classes with graduate students and faculty. Another event was Musicians’ Wellness Day in which we invited guests to present workshops on topics such as Feldenkrais and Yoga.

While a doctoral student, my assistantship involved coordinating Piano Pioneers. This was an incredible program funded by the Ira and Ineva Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment. The program targeted at-risk youth offering scholarships for piano lessons as well as free pianos for them to practice at home (again, through the extremely generous support of the Steinway Piano Gallery in Madison!).

Another project I initiated was a contemporary ensemble called New Music Everywhere. I started this along with two other graduate students, Jonathan Kuuskoski and Jerry Hui. The idea behind this project was to perform music by living composers in unconventional venues. We performed in places like the Madison Children’s Museum, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Plan B nightclub, and the Madison Farmer’s Market.

In some ways I feel like I’ve had a very traditional trajectory. I did all my degrees without a break and got a job while writing my dissertation. A year later that job became tenure-track and I’m lucky to be serving in this position. I love that I have been able to turn my passion into my profession. What is particularly meaningful to me is that I am constantly discovering new ways of teaching, allowing myself to be creative every single day, learn from my students, and go with them on their own journey of self-discovery.

Jonathan Kuuskoski (MM in piano performance & pedagogy, 2009). Former student of Christopher Taylor and Jessica Johnson.

At the University of Missouri School of Music (a/k/a “Mizzou”), I am the Director of Entrepreneurship and Community Programs, where I direct Community Music @ Mizzou, a set of community programs that employ more than 50 Mizzou music students and reach more than 2,000 community members annually. These programs form the backbone of Mizzou’s Music Entrepreneurship program, the first of its kind in the region, offering practical modules on arts marketing, entrepreneurship principles, community engagement, a music industry survey, not-for-profit management, and grant writing. This uniquely integrated approach, designed specifically for music students, helps them develop the personalized vision, skills, and network they need to succeed in the 21st century.

My time in Madison really set the stage for my work here at Mizzou. Through my work with Arts Enterprise, as the coordinator of the UW-Madison Piano Outreach Series (now Performance and Education Outreach) and as a co-founder of New Music Everywhere, I came to understand my goals as creating meaningful community-focused arts events. I truly believe that such events are the key to creating sustainable arts ventures. My primary mentor, Jessica Johnson, was instrumental in shaping my student-centered philosophy and encouraged me to find unique pathways to marry my interests in music and enterprise.

Most artists today craft a “portfolio career,” incorporating multiple roles (e.g. performer, teacher, advocate, manager, publicist, composer/arranger, etc.) rather than pursuing one narrowly defined career path. The interest in expanding our offerings to reflect this reality led me to design 12-credit Music Entrepreneurship certificates at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, the first certificates available at both levels concurrently in the nation. They feature courses addressing a broad variety of issues related to crafting a sustainable arts career. The curriculum blends semester-long courses with shorter modules that explore the development, business, and publicity aspects of a musical career. We also host monthly co-curricular workshops featuring arts professionals from throughout the country, and general career services.

We deliberately integrate our community programs into learning laboratories for students to develop a vision, holistic skills, and a professional network. This is modeled in the “Missouri Method,” made famous by the Missouri School of Journalism. These programs are 100% revenue-based, essentially modeling a sustainable arts business. The programs allow us to pay music students for their work every year, where they learn the ins and outs of building and sustaining private studios, gain hands-on teaching experience, and apply the organizational skills. Through Hire a Musician we book more than 120 paid performances every year, translating into more than $30,000 worth of music income for our student performer roster. These programs provide students the chance to earn part-time income as teachers, performers, and mentors — offering a slice of the life for which they are preparing.

Beyond this work, I play actively in the New Muse Piano Duo (a spin-off of New Music Everywhere) with my wife Paola Savvidou (profiled above). Over the last two years we have performed through the U.S. and in Norway, Greece, and Cyprus, premiered works by Amy Williams, Stacey Barelos, Jeffrey Hoover, and Mizzou students, and will record our first CD this fall. These interests stem from my study with Christopher Taylor and participation in the UW-Madison Contemporary Chamber Ensemble.

Julia Marion (BM, bassoon performance 2008). Former student of Marc Vallon.
Julia Marion graduated with a bachelor’s degree in bassoon performance from the UW-Madison School of Music in 2008.  She began her undergraduate studies in modern bassoon in 2004 in the studio of Professor Marc Vallon, who also introduced her to the baroque bassoon and historical performance practice, which then inspired Julia’s career choices. Next, Julia completed her Master of Music at The Juilliard School as a member of the inaugural class of the Historical Performance Program, and upon graduation, she moved to Basel, Switzerland, where she completed post-graduate studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and at the Conservatorio Giusepe Verdi in Milan.

Julia Marion

Julia Marion

Currently residing in Basel, Julia works as a freelance historical and modern bassoonist, performing in both Europe and the United States. Julia appears regularly with orchestras in Germany and Switzerland, including both of Basel’s professional period orchestras, La Cetra and Capriccio Basel, the latter of which recently invited her to perform as concerto soloist. On CD, she may be heard as bassoon soloist with the Zürcher Barockorchester. On this side of the Atlantic, Julia has performed and recorded with Tempesta di Mare, baroque orchestra of Philadelphia, and last summer recorded works by Vivaldi with Rachel Barton Pine in Evanston, Illinois.

As a native of Madison, Julia has performed with the Madison Bach Musicians, where she first experienced and found her passion for playing Bach while an undergraduate.  She loves sharing both known and lesser-known works with audiences and is fascinated by the unifying nature of making and sharing music with people of different cultures and backgrounds.

Scott Gendel (DMA 2005) lives in Southwest Virginia, working as a freelance composer, pianist, and vocal coach, as well as raising his two girls, Twyla and Lotte, ages 4 and 6. Scott’s art song, “At Last,” is featured on AN AIDS QUILT SONGBOOK: Sing For Hope, performed by soprano Camille Zamora, renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and Scott at the piano. Recent commissions include the song cycle “I’m Afraid It’s You” commissioned by Virginia Tech and tenor Brian Thorsett, and a choral cycle with cello and piano commissioned by Santa Clara University and Dr. Scot Hanna-Weir (MM in choral conducting from UW-Madison). Last year, Endstation Theatre premiered Scott’s full-length theatrical work UNEARTHED, which blends Appalachian folk music, operatic gestures, and musical theatre styles. As a pianist, Scott frequently collaborates with singers and instrumentalists on recitals, and is the official pianist and vocal coach for Madison Opera, where he works three times a year.  As of this year, Scott’s vocal works are published by Classical Vocal Reprints. Other works are available from ECS Publishing and the Tuba/Euphonium Press, while recordings of Scott’s music are available on Naxos, Albany, and GPR Records.

Scott Gendel. Photo by Katrin Talbot.
Scott Gendel. Photo by Katrin Talbot.

Ten current and former students of the graduate program in music theory gave papers at the joint meeting of the American Musicological Society and the Society for Music Theory at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, November 6-9, 2014.

Alumni presenting at the conference were Amy Bauer (MM, currently Associate Professor of Music University of California at Irving), “Ideology Compositional Process, Optics, and Form in Georg Friedrich Haas’s In vain,” William O’Hara (MA 2010, currently completing a PhD at Harvard University), “Possible Mozarts: Recomposition and Counterfactual Logic,” Joseph Salem (MA 2007, currently completing a PhD at Yale University), “Boulez Revised: Pragmatism in the Composer’s Formative Works,” August Sheehy (MA 2008, currently completing a PhD at the University of Chicago), “‘I Know What I Love in My Mozart’: Gottfried Weber and the Problem of Judgment,” and Allison Wente (MA 2011, currently completing a PhD at the University of Texas at Austin), “Stockpiling Memories: The Player Piano, the Phonograph, and Bergson’s Two Modalities of Memory.”

Recent PhDs giving papers were Christopher Barry (PhD 2013), “Song Analysis Beyond Representation: Inner Worlds in Mahler’s Second Kindertotenlied,” Jeffrey DeThorne (PhD 2010, currently teaching at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater), “Ionizing Timbral Agents through Prismatic Dispersion in Varèse’s Hyperprism (1924),” and Anders Tobiason (PhD 2012), “Rotational Form and the Price of Assimilation in Schubert’s ‘Sei mir gegrüßt.”

Two current PhD candidates also gave papers: James Bennett (currently teaching at Northern Iowa University), “Badiou, Music, and Music Theory,” and Garreth Broesche (currently teaching at the University of Houston), “Glenn Gould, Musical Ontology, and the Filmmaking Analogy.”

Steven Morrison (MM 1988) serves as Editor of the Journal of Research in Music Education. Steve is Professor of Music and Chair of Music Education at the University of Washington where he is also Director of the Laboratory for Music Cognition, Culture and Learning and conductor of the UW (the other UW) Symphonic Band.

Steven Morrison
Steven Morrison

Scott Roeder (DMA 2008) teaches Tuba and Euphonium at the University of Texas-Pan American and recently was promoted to Associate Professor and awarded tenure. This past year Scott was a featured artist at the 2104 International Tuba Euphonium Conference at Indiana University. In 2013 Scott was invited to be an adjudicator at the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Competition at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

Scott Roeder
Scott Roeder

 Warren Gooch (DMA 1988) has received multiple awards as a professor of music theory and composition at Truman State University in Missouri. His most recent awards include the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013, and he was named the Truman State University’s Educator of the Year in 2012.

Paula Matthusen (BM 2001) was recently awarded the 118th Rome Prize in Musical Composition by the American Academy in Rome. Recipients of this award are given the opportunity to travel to Rome for as little as six months to two years with a stipend, studio, and room and board.

Gina Rivera (BM 2002, MM 2004) completed her PhD at Harvard University. Her dissertation was a study of the dancers and actresses at the Paris opera in the 1700’s. Dr. Rivera is currently writing a book on the moralistic roots of Enlightenment opera criticism in the French sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Brad Carman (BM 2004) works as a freelance educator specializing in saxophone fundamentals, improvisation, and jazz. He has worked with the UW-Madison High School Honors Jazz Ensemble, UW Summer Music Clinic, Madison Music Foundry, and several other local student jazz groups. Brad can be heard on several recordings which include albums by The Big Payback, Quattro Formaggi Saxophone Quartet, Roundtree Wind Ensemble, and others. He will be speaking about the importance of improvisation in mainstream music education at the 2014 Wisconsin Educators’ Convention and hopes to publish his own improvisation method in the coming year.

Graduate Alexander Norris (BA, 2012) (second from left) is now second violinist with the Permian Basin String Quartet in Midland, Texas. He received a master’s degree in violin performance from Texas Tech in Lubbock.

The Permian Basin String Quartet.
The Permian Basin String Quartet.

News from F. Gerard Errante, MM 1964.

“I’m writing to you to let you know of my recent CD release on Ravello Records titled The Lyric Clarinet. This recording is a bit of a departure from my previous more contemporary ventures as it contains my transcriptions of French, German, as well as North and South American Art Songs.”

“Errante’s playing here is superb … There are twenty-one short little gems in this recital and this represents some beautiful and relaxing listening for anyone, I should imagine. For serious clarinetists, here is another look – perhaps that ‘rediscovery’ – at one of the country’s great players and whose artistry we should all emulate.”                                                                                                  Audiophile Audition


Recent graduate Matthew Lee has won first place and audience favorite  in the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition at the Texas Music Festival at the University of Houston
Moores School of Music, performing the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 77, Cadenza & Mvt. IV.  Matthew played in the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras in grade school, serving as concertmaster for Youth Orchestra from 2011-12, and won their 2013 Concerto Competition. At UW-Madison Matthew studied with Eugene Purdue for two years, then with Soh-Hyun Park Altino for his last two. His degree is in music performance and biology.

In 2016 Matthew was a winner of the UW-Madison Concerto Competition and performed with the UW Symphony Orchestra this February. This fall, he will attend UT-Austin for his M.M. degree with Sandy Yamamoto.

The 2017 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition is open to all Texas Music Festival Orchestra Fellows. All finalists will receive a cash prize and a medal. Subject to approval of the conductor and the availability of orchestral parts, the 2017 winner will perform with the Festival Orchestra under the baton of Brett Mitchell at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion in The Woodlands on Friday, June 23, 2017 at 8 p.m. and also at the Moores Opera House on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

Kent Eshelman
Kent Eshelman

Kent Eshelman
 (MM 2004) teaches tuba and euphonium at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He and his wife, released their newest album, Flavors, with Equilibrium®, available now on iTunes and Amazon. The CD features many unrecorded works by artists such as Bruce Broughton, Frank Lynn Payne, and Anthony Plog, as well as transcriptions of works by Schubert, Bozza, and Telemann.

Scott Brickman
Scott Brickman

Scott Brickman (BM 1987) composed his second album, Dear Darwin, with Ravello Records. The album sets twenty-six poems by Kathleen Ellis and explores many of Charles Darwin’s studies. Brickman is currently professor and chair of the Arts and Science Division at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

Eugene Anderson
Eugene Anderson

Tubist Eugene Anderson (BM 1968) remains active after sixty years as a performer and composer. Among his many accomplishments, Eugene has released more than 150 compositions for tuba, band, orchestra, musical theatre and more. Recently, Anderson was one of 80 nominees for the 2014 Governor’s Arts Award, a prestigious award presented by the Arizona Citizens for the Arts, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the Office of the Governor.

Fairbanks SymphonyThe Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra begins its 2014-2015 season with many UW-Madison School of Music Alumni (from left to right): Jim Kowalsky (BM 1957, MM 1963), Bob Olson (BM 1976), and Karl Knapp (MM 2002, PhD 2005), as well as (not pictured) Jane Aspnes (MM 1966) and John Aspnes (BS 1963, BM 1965). The late Gordon Wright (MM 1961), who also founded the touring Arctic Chamber Orchestra, conducted the FSO for twenty years.

Peter Wood (MM 1991) is an associate professor of trumpet at the University of South Alabama in Mobile and the ITG Publications editor, where he edits the International Trumpet Guild Journal and oversees all online and print publications.


Sean Greene (MM 2002, DMA 2005) lives in Knoxville, Tennessee where he teaches tuba and composition at Carson-Newman University. He is also the band director at Robertsville Middle School in Oak Ridge and the artistic director for the annual Calvin Smith Brass Quintet competition in Knoxville. Greene also composes and arranges for many bands and orchestras, including the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.

David Rentz  (MM 2002) lives in Southern California teaching at Scripps and Pomona College and serving as the music director of the Orange County Symphony. He is also the choir director at the First Congregational Church of Riverside, California.

Thompson Brandt (PhD 1985) published The Influence of Don R. Marcouiller with Bookstand Publishing as a tribute to Don R. Marcouiller, the UW-Madison Marching Band Director and Assistant Director of Bands from 1951-1955. The book also promotes funding to the Don R. Marcouiller Endowment for Band Excellence at Drake University.

Rebecca Stidolph (BM 1989), as a member of the Austin Vocal Arts Ensemble, was awarded the Chorus America/ASCAP Alice Parker Award for a performance on March 31, 2012. The “In Remembrance” concert featured “The Unutterable” by Robert Kyr, a work originally performed by the Austin Vocal Arts Ensemble.

Kathleen Theisen (MM 1996) is the current president of the Connecticut State Music Teachers Association, Inc., and has served in national offices of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). Theisen is also an independent piano and voice teacher, as well as a free-lance pianist and vocal performer.

Dr. Bruce Wood (MM 1980, PhD 2002) has worked to improve several states’ strings programs. Most recently at Texas Tech University, he was awarded with over $65,000 in teaching and research grants for multiple projects, including the Texas Tech String Project. His studies can be found in many strings-related magazines.