Welcome to our Alumni News Highlights page!

Check out the recent activities and accomplishments of our alumni. 

Precollege | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s

In Memoriam


Angelo Badalamenti (BM ’58/MM ’59) was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2015 MSM Alumni Reunion and is on tap to compose the score for director David Lynch's reboot of the cult television series, Twin Peaks

Dianne Flagello (BM ’52, MM ’52 / MSM Honorary Doctorate 1999) In June 2014, Henry Fogel, nationally recognized critic, featured four hours of the music of Dianne’s late husband, Nicolas Flagello (BM ’49, MM ’50), on his widely syndicated radio series Collectors’ Corner.  In April 2015, Nicolas’s Divertimento for Piano and Percussion was performed by pianist Pam Asberry with the University of Maine Percussion Ensemble.  In July 2015, Pianist Tatjana Rankovich performed his Symphonic Waltzes at the International Music Festival in Tuscany, Italy.  This October, MSM alumnus Joseph Rescigno conducted two performances of Nicolas’s Notturno Romano with the string orchestra of the Chicago College for the Performing Arts and the University of Houston Wind Ensemble performed his Symphony No. 2.

Fredrick Kaufman's (BM ’59, MM ’60) composition Stars & Distances, performed by the Florida Grand Opera and conducted by Andrew Bisantz, will be played on loop at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Science Museum Planetarium in Miami starting in spring 2016. The piece will be performed live by the Florida Grand Opera at the opening next summer.  His new album Stars and Distances was released November 2015.

Kenneth Lane (’54) performed a solo concert at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City in June 2016. 

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CLASSES OF 1960–1969

Ron Carter (MM ’61, 1998 Honorary Doctorate) received a Guinness World Record in 2015 as the most recorded jazz bassist with 2,221 individual recording credits.

Capt. Kenneth Force, USMS (BM ’64, MM ’65, PD ’70 / 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient) received the 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the United States Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Foundation’s Board of Directors at this year’s USMMA Alumni Awards Banquet.

Rhoda Scott (BM ’66, MM ’67)
This fall, world-renowned jazz organist Rhoda Scott was featured in the Blues People Festival International Organ Jam at Newark Symphony Hall.  She also performed at the Music Village in Brussels, Belgium.  At the end of this year and continuing into January 2016, Rhoda will be performing with the Rhoda Scott “Lady” Quartet in Paris, France. 

Joseph Rescigno (MM ’69) guest conducted Roosevelt’s CCPA Contemporary Ensemble in its first concert of the 2015-16 season, which included repertoire composed by alumnus Nicolas Flagello.

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CLASSES OF 1970–1979

Edward Deptula (MM '77) received a Distinguished Service Award in June 2016 by the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO).  Edward retired as the Mahwah Township Public Schools Business Administrator/Board Secretary in 2015 and is one of only six awardees throughout the state. Joseph Kelly, President of Bergen County ASBO, said, “Mr. Deptula has worked in multi-faceted districts over his 25-year career as a BA, and has served as a resource for many newer BAs. His demeanor is professional, encouraging, and respectful, and has led to his service as an unofficial mentor to many BAs throughout the years.”

Douglas Hedwig (BM ’73) Douglas’s debut album as conductor, Thomas Coates: The Father of Band Music in America, has just been released on the MSR Classics label.  He has recently had two of his compositions accepted for publication by Carl Fischer Music Publishers, A Certain Slant of Light and Onyx.  The pieces will be available worldwide sometime in 2016.  Douglas has also been appointed symphony reviewer and music critic for one of the most important newspapers in the Southeast[or southeastern U.S.], the Chattanooga Times Free Press.  His article-length reviews began being published in November 2015.

Larry Hochman (BM ’75) was a 2016 Tony Award nominee for Best Orchestration for She Loves Me. He also orchestrated Broadway’s The Visit, On the Twentieth Century, and the 2015 Tony and Drama Desk nominated Broadway show Something Rotten. Larry orchestrated The Book of Mormon and he has received 5 Emmy awards as the composer of The Wonder Pets!

Katherine Hoover (MM ’74 and former MSM faculty member)
has been awarded the National Flute Association’s “Lifetime Achievement Award”, to be celebrated with concerts and honors at the San Diego NFA Convention in August 2016.  Katherine’s Flute Concerto “The Four Winds” was performed at the Masterworks Festival in Cedarville, Ohio, with Bonita Boyd as soloist. “The Four Winds” will also be performed on October 8, 2016 featuring Amy Porter with the Michigan Philharmonic. Ms. Hoover’s “Requiem for the Innocent” for chorus, soloists, brass, percussion and organ will be given at New York’s historic Trinity Church on September 21, which is World Peace Day. A CD of the “Requiem for the Innocent” will be issued in August by Fortay Records.

George Manahan (BM ’73, MM ’76 / 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient) George’s recording of Ask Your Mama with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra won a 2016 GRAMMY in the category of Best Engineered Album (classical).

Penny Prince (BM ’74, MM ’76) was awarded a prize by the Music Educators’ Association of New York City (MEANYC) for her collaborative teaching style in April 2015.  In June, she received the 2015 BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) Award for music composition from the Bronx Council of the Arts.  Professor Prince has written some 200 musicals and has won fourteen ASCAP merit awards. She is Assistant Professor of Music and also a supervisor of music student teachers and interns at Lehman College.

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CLASSES OF 1980–1989

Lorrie Ann Berkshire Brown (MM '85/PS '87) is the Director of Potentiating Love Potentiating Leadership ®, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that coordinates resources, customizes outreach, and provides musical advocacy to uplift the spirit and improve access to creative learning opportunities for those in society's hidden peripherals. She is also an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University's School of Music in Fairfax, Virginia. The first female to serve as Oboe Section Leader for The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own", Master Sergeant Lorrie Brown retired from the United States Army in 2015 and joined the ranks of Military Veterans who served with Honor.  As a Soldier-Musician since 1989, she performed around the globe, coordinated, designed and scripted many audience focused projects and supervised mentors and interns. Her initiatives featured world premieres, included esteemed guests, and attracted media and international recognition. Her former students enjoy careers as professional educators, performers and leaders in arts management and in the music industry. Former students are also giving back serving in the U.S. Military and in volunteer service capacities. 

Edward Cibener (MM ’85) participated in world premieres of works by Stanford-based composer and lyricist William Byron Webster at Bethany Lutheran Church in Menlo Park, California. In an evening of operatic songs and piano solos, the November 14th event celebrated France's contribution to American liberty. 

Anthony de Mare (BM ’80), acclaimed concert pianist and MSM faculty member, conceived Liaisons, a landmark commissioning and concert project based on the songs of legendary musical theater composer Stephen Sondheim. The Project invited 36 of the world’s foremost contemporary composers to choose a song by Sondheim and re-imagine it as a solo piano piece. This fall 2015, in celebration of the release of LIAISONS: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano on ECM Records, de Mare performed the entire collection across a three-concert series at Birdland, the Sheen Center, and Symphony Space in New York City. In addition, Anthony recently did a featured segment on NPR’s “All Things Considered” with Ari Shapiro, which aired nationally in October 2015. Liaisons is also one of NPR’s 50 favorite albums of 2015.

Rich DeRosa (MM ’85) was a 2016 Grammy nominee for Best Instrumental Composition.

Carolyn Enger (MM ’89) had a residency in Chicago, with performances at PianoForte Studios, the College of DuPage, and University of Chicago. She performed on her 3@3@3 series at Spectrum, which was aired and archived on David Osenberg’s Cadenza program on WWFM, along with an interview.  Carolyn’s latest “American Miniatures” video reached the top of the Apple Music Classical Music Video playlist in March 2016.

Matt Goeke (BM ’86, MM ’88) In addition to Matt’s regular performing and teaching schedule, there was a lot of preparation and recording for two CDs that are now out:  The Music of Merrill Clark (with the di.vi.sion piano trio; Albany Records) and Albert’s Window (with Eight Strings & a Whistle; PARMA Recordings).   Both chamber groups are also featured on Douglas Anderson: Chamber Symphonies 2, 3 & 4, which will be released on PARMA on January 8th, 2016.

Joseph Joubert (MM ’81) did the orchestrations for The Color Purple revival and Seth Rudetsky's Disaster, both currently on Broadway.

Aaron Jay Kernis (MM 81) premiered his new flute concerto with Marina Piccinini and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on February 4 and 6, 2016. Piccinini will perform the U.K. premiere in February 2017 with the London Philharmonic and it will be performed again in April 2017 with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra led by Leonard Slatkin. 

Steven Lutvak (’81) wrote music and lyrics for Broadway’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.  Steven attended MSM for the 1980-81 academic year.

Anne-Marie McDermott (BM ’82) was on the jury for the fifteenth edition of the Van Cliburn Competition at Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall.

Peri Mauer (BM ’88/MM ’90) received a 2015 ASCAP Plus award.  In November her composition Trumpet Trio received its world premiere at Good Shepherd RC Church in Brooklyn, NY. Upcoming performances include an encore of Thoughts Torsion at Symphony Space in June 2016 and a new work for the Jackson Heights Orchestra to be premiered December 2016. She can be seen playing her cello in the new hit Amazon TV series Mozart in the Jungle.

Susan Merdinger (‘87) Steinway Artist Susan Merdinger released her CD, Four Centuries, in September 2015. Recorded with internationally-acclaimed violinist, David Yonan, the CD has garnered excellent reviews and two prizes- for Silver Medals in the Global Music Award for Classical Album and Instrumental Performance, and First Prize in the Alexander and Buono International String Competition for David Yonan. The duo performed in Carnegie Hall to a standing ovation in October 2015.  In September, Merdinger and her three colleagues comprising Pianissimo! - Svetlana Belsky (DMA ’94), Elena Doubovitskaya (MM ‘01/PS ’02) and Irina Feoktistova - Chicago's Premier Virtuoso Piano Ensemble, performed their Chicago Debut Concert to critical acclaim. The Live Concert CD features world premieres commissioned by Pianissimo!, by James Stone, Margarita Zelenaia and Grammy-nominated composer, Ilya Levinson, and beloved classics by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Saint-Saens. The Chicago Debut Concert CD was released December 2015 and will be available for free streaming or purchase. www.pianissimoensemble.com Susan performed a chamber music program of Piano and Strings in a concert at the Northbrook Public Library and repeated this program on LIVE from WFMT with Host Kerry Frumkin in January 2016.

Pete McGuinness (MM ’87) Pete’s arrangements were featured on the Maiden Voyage Suite tribute to Herbie Hancock with the MSM Concert Jazz Band this fall 2015 at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Gregory Nissen (BM ’86) Greg’s score of Martin Eden was recently performed for the Museum of Music Project at the National Opera Center in New York City.

Ross Novgrad (BM ’83) finished his second year as camp coordinator of the Summer Jazz Camp at the Community Music School of Springfield in Springfield, MA.  Ross also played Lead Alto in the 25-piece Ray Gonzalez Latin Jazz Orchestra at the Ray Gonzalez Latin Jazz and Salsa Festival at the Riverfront Recapture in Hartford, CT in August 2015.

Jack Perla (MM ’84) released his new jazz recording Enormous Changes on Seattle-based Origin Records. The world premiere of his opera, An American Dream, was performed in April 2015 with Seattle Opera.

Ted Rosenthal (BM ’81, MM ’83) was honored this year as the 2015 recipient of the MSM Presidential Medal for Distinguished Faculty Service.  This fall he performed Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Piano Concerto in F during the 92nd Street Y’s opening night to rave reviews by the New York Times.

Sunita Staneslow (MM ’89) was featured on the front cover of the July-August 2015 issue of Harp Column.

Richard Sussman (MM ’85) performed a mix of original compositions, standards, and music by the great Hank Jones at Smalls in April 2016 with his quintet. 

Blair Tindall (BM 82, MM 83) is the author of Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music, the book that was the basis of the Amazon streaming comedy series created by Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola. Now shooting its third season, Mozart in the Jungle won two 2016 Golden Globes for best comedy series and best actor in a comedy series. It stars Bernadette Peters, Malcolm MacDowell, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Lola Kirke and features onscreen cameos by musicians Joshua Bell, Alan Gilbert, Lang Lang, and Emanuel Ax. 

Steve Turre (MM ’88) was named Trombonist of the Year at the 2015 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Award

Richard G. Williams (MM '87/MM '88) is keeping busy as the Principal Trombonist with the Westchester Symphonic Winds (www.westchestersymphonicwinds.org).  He is also performing a solo recital on Sunday, April 24th 2016 at Larchmont Avenue Presbyterian Church.

David J. Wolfsohn (DMA '84), partner at Duane Morris LLP, has been named Co-Director of the American Bar Association (ABA)’s Section of Litigation Division VI for the 2016–2017 year. David will oversee 10 section committees focused on the legal profession—Corporate Counsel, Ethics and Professionalism, Federal Practice, Implicit Bias, LGBT Litigator, Minority Trial Lawyer, Solo & Small Firm, The Woman Advocate, Young Advocates, and Young Lawyer Leadership Program. 

Dolora Zajick (MM ’83 / MSM Honorary Doctorate 2002) is performing as Azucena in Il Trovatore at the Metropolitan Opera this season.  She celebrated her 25-year anniversary with the Met and has sung the role of Azucena 53 times— more than anyone in the Met’s history—and marked her Met debut with the role in 1988.

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CLASSES OF 1990–1999

Kate Aldrich (MM ’98) sang the title role in the Chorégies d’Orange production of Carmen opposite Jonas Kaufmann in July 2015.

Rebecca Barnes (MM ’93) was recently appointed the Priest-in-Charge of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Scranton, PA.  The Scranton Times-Tribune wrote an article that was picked up by the Associated Press and ran nationwide:

Jamie Baum (MM ’99) In November 2015, Jamie’s ensemble, the Jamie Baum Septet, performed at the Rubin Museum of Art as part of their series “Jazz at the Rubin” playing the premiere of a commission by the Rubin Museum, Honoring Nepal, along with music from their recent Sunnyside CD, In This Life.  The Septet also performed as part of the “Jazz at the Atlas” series at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C. and at An Die Musik in Baltimore. 

Jay Brandford (MM ’93) Jay’s arrangements were featured on the Maiden Voyage Suite tribute to Herbie Hancock with the MSM Concert Jazz Band this fall 2015 at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Pianist Sara Davis Buechner (DMA '94) is giving two summer recitals at the Usdan Center for Creative and Performing Arts in Wheatley Heights, Long Island for students at the creative summer academy, as well as master classes and lessons at the Orford Arts Center in Quebec. In August Sara will give a solo performance for Music Niagara in Ontario at St. Marks Church followed by performances of the Ravel Piano Concerto No. 1 in F Minor for the Brott Music Festival at the McIntrye Performing Arts Center in Hamilton, Ontario. Sara will be the featured performer at the NY Mets Pride Night event at Citifield, performing her YouTube sensation arrangement of "Meet the Mets." Sara makes her solo debut performing music in honor of Busoni's 150th anniversary at the XX Festival Internacional de Piano En Blanco y Negro at Mexico City's Centro Nacional de las Artes in September 2016. October performances include a performance of Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with Maestro Gerhardt Zimmermann and the Canton Symphony at the Umstattd Performing Arts Hall as the Audience Choice performer pick for the season. Other performances include Sara's debut performance of Bartok’s Concerto No. 3 with the Harrisburg Symphony, conducted by Stuart Malina, at the Forum Auditorium  and Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 3 with Marc Taddei and the Vallejo Symphony at Hogan Auditorium. In November Sara performs a solo concert at Munetsugu Hall in Nagoya, Japan, including music of Mozart and Liszt’s Paganini Études, followed by her debut recital at Temple University, where Sara has recently joined the piano faculty. In December Sara makes her debut performance with the Shanghai Symphony performing Rhapsody in Blue.

Robert Cassidy (MM '92) released his new CD Pathways, featuring the music of Chopin, Debussy, and contemporary composer Joel Feigin, in February 2016.

Sarah Chan (BM ’94)
 presented a solo piano recital at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on December 22, 2015 and will perform at St. James’s Piccadilly in London on January 14, 2016.  She is currently Assistant Professor of Music (Keyboard Studies and Music Theory) at California State University, Stanislaus.

Bradley Colten (MM ’97, DMA ’14) was featured in an interview in Guitar magazine in September 2015.  He performs outreach concerts at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City.  In April 2015 he performed in a faculty concert at the Diller-Quaile School of Music.  He also lectured and performed a recital at the Guitar Foundation of America International Convention in Oklahoma City and the Classical Guitar Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

Marlon Daniel (BM '93) is making a debut in London at the Southbank Centre for the Chineke Foundation in the Royal Festival Hall and in the Africa Utopia Festival in August 2016. Marlon continues to work as the Artistic Director of the Bahamas National Symphony Orchestra (BNSO) Orchestra workshop project and is returning as a guest artist and lecturer at Columbia University Teachers College for the Diversity in Classical Music Project for Fall 2016-Spring 2017.  In February 2017, Marlon will be the Artistic Director and Music Director of the Saint Georges International Music Festival in Guadeloupe, France.  Marlon is also making his debut with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Cuba (National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba) in April 2017.  

Catina Franklin Sweedy (MM ’99) founded and directed the first George Mason University Summer Clarinet Academy held July 25th-29th, 2016.  Talented young clarinetists learned about reeds, historic clarinets, clarinet repair, sight-reading, taking auditions and performed in clarinet choir concerts. Learn more about the program here: http://www.catinasweedy.com/clarinetacademy.htm. Catina says, “We had such a fabulous time that we are already planning for next year! Please "Like" our FaceBook Page to stay up to date on future developments!” https://www.facebook.com/georgemasonuniversitysummerclarinetacademy

Eve Gigliotti (BM ’97) performed in the Ring Cycle with Washinsgton National Opera at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in May 2016.

Pianist Gila Goldstein (MM ’90) appeared with the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion at the 2015 Annual Festival for Israeli Music, performing a piano concerto by the late renowned composer Yehezkel Braun. She also gave recitals at the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York and at Florida International University in Miami. Gila adjudicated the Liszt–Garrison piano competition in Baltimore; performed at the 2016 American Liszt Society festival in Northridge, California; and taught and performed at three summer programs: the NYU Summer Piano Intensive, the Colburn Music Academy’s Piano Festival in Los Angeles, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

Kelly Hall-Tompkins (MM ’95) received an honorary doctorate from MSM in May 2016.  Kelly is the violin soloist in the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof and was featured on NBC's TODAY Show with Harry Smith discussing her role in the show.

Stephen Hamilton (DMA ’94)
, concert organist, recently returned from a four concert tour of Europe.  On Saturday, May 21, 2016, Stephen presented a solo organ concert in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris; on May 26, he performed on the new Dobson pipe organ recently installed at Merton College-Oxford, United Kingdom; and on May 28th Hamilton performed at Bloomsburg Central Baptist Church in downtown London.  The tour ended in at the Cathedral in Regensburg where Hamilton played the magnificent 120 stop Rieger pipe organ suspended from the ceiling of the Cathedral with an access only by elevator.  Hamilton’s repertoire included music by Widor, Messiaen, Alain and Dupré.  Stephen recently retired early from being organist/choirmaster at the Church of the Holy Trinity (Episcopal) in New York City from 1991-2011.

Stefon Harris (BM ’95, MM ’97) was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2015 MSM Alumni Reunion.  This fall he also led a master class at MSM.  Performances this year have included venues like the Jazz Standard in New York City, Lila Cockrell Theatre in Texas, and Berkeley Stage in Boston.  Upcoming shows include Miller Theater at Columbia University, San Francisco Jazz Center, Symphony Center in Chicago, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Shuler Hensley (BM ’90, MSM Honorary Doctorate 2014) played President James Garfield in TV’s most-watched history series, Murder of a President, on PBS in February 2016.  Shuler recently performed at the 2016 MSM Gala.

D.D. Jackson (MM ‘91) 
is an accomplished jazz pianist and Emmy-nominated composer/producer whose work spans 12 CD’s, featuring almost entirely original material, ranging from his Juno Award-winning solo piano CD “...so far” to his larger-scale meditation on the events of 9/11, “Suite for New York”. Jackson has performed all over the world and recorded with some of the most distinguished names in jazz and beyond, including Jack Dejohnette, James Carter, David Murray, and (most recently) Questlove and "The Roots" on their Grammy-nominated CD "Undun", and on "And Then You Shoot Your Cousin" (for which he also wrote, produced, and performed). Jackson is also a composer for such hit television shows as multiple-Emmy-winners "Peg+Cat" (PBS), and "The Wonder Pets" (Nickelodeon). Jackson is also a Visiting Lecturer at Hunter College and serves as Chair of Jazz and Contemporary Studies at the Harlem School of the Arts. 

Jason Jackson (MM ’95) Jason’s album Inspiration has been accepted as an official entry to be considered for the Recording Academy’s 58th GRAMMY Awards.  The new disc is on Planet Arts/Jack & Hill Music labels.  In August 2015 he played in the Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines Festival and in November he performed in Bill Charlap: Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Georgia Jarman (MM ’99) performed Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Santa Fe Opera. The New York Times wrote: “As Gilda, the soprano Georgia Jarman had a melting tone that benefited from hints of birdlike fragility.”

Internationally acclaimed violist Gilad Karni (BM ’93) was appointed Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at the Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland. She is also Professor of Viola at Lausanne HEMU. Principal violist of the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra since 2004, Gilad recently founded the K2K Viola & Piano Duo.

Jose Llana (’95) joined the cast of Lincoln Center Theater’s Tony award-winning revival of The King and I as the King, opposite Kelli O’Hara, who won a Tony for her performance as Anna.  Llana is on the Artistic Advisory Committee of MSM’s new Musical Theatre Program, which launches in fall 2016.  

Alex Mincek (BM ’98, MM ’02) received a 2015 Chamber Music America commissioning grant for the ensemble Yarn/Wire, for which he composes.

Anne Mironchik (BM ‘92) In January 2016, Anne received her Master of Science degree from Boston University in Speech-Language Pathology with a concentration in Voice Therapy.

Jane Monheit (BM ’99 / 2008 MSM Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipient) Jane was recently featured in Janes Way, a special concert celebrating the centennial of Frank Sinatra’s birth, with the MSM Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Justin DiCioccio (MM ’71). in  She is currently touring the U.S. with stops in New York City Birdland, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Blue Note Jazz Club, the Waldorf Astoria, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in spring 2016. Her new album, The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald, was recently reviewed in the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/07/arts/music/jane-monheit-songbook-sessions-ella-fitzgerald.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

Jason Moran (BM ’97 / 2011 MSM Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipient) was named Musician of the Year at the 2015 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards.


Kristin Norderval’s (DMA ’93) new opera, The Trials of Patricia Isasa, with a libretto by the Obie Award winning playwright Naomi Wallace, received a public reading in New York City in January 2016 and public discussion at Café Quebecor — Monument-National in May 2016.  The opera, presented by Chants Libres, premiered May 19-21, 2016 at the Monument National Theater, during Opera Conference 2016 in Montreal. Norderval sang the lead role of Adult Patricia.  Lucie Renaud reports, “An interesting libretto is surely not enough to make an opera memorable. One must seduce the public with a high level roster of performers, several memorable arias and scenography that espouses the story. This is the case here. One undoubtedly wants to see this opera again and get into a more detailed analysis. No weakness whatsoever with the main roles and the backing vocalists (l’Ensemble Kô), with Pauline Vaillancourt’s directing (memorable) or with Dominique Blain’s scenography".  She also remarks, “Composer Kristin Norderval chooses a lyricism that occasionally invokes tango (a bandoneon is part of the instrumental ensemble), which does not fall into any of the excesses usually attached to the genre, but instead builds on a lyrical score that avoids the kind of hermeticism one often associates with contemporary music One can acknowledge without a doubt the accomplished work concerning the musical and vocal timbres (the complementarity of the tones is very attractive).”  Neil Weisensel writes that it was "beautifully written, this music made the most of the fine voices in the cast…” Francine Grimaldi, music critic of Radio Canada Montreal, states that it’s “ an unforgettable opus, I would even say a masterpiece. This is not to miss.” 

N’Kenge Pacurar (BM ’96) In fall 2015 N’Kenge performed in Classic FM’s Four Decades of Radio Hits show with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.  She also performed excerpts from the Broadway-bound musical production Akhenaten: The Musical at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, performing the lead role of Queen Ti.  N’Kenge’s new album also recently debuted on the Angels Like Rebels record label.

Chris Potter (MM ’92) was named Trombonist of the Year at the 2015 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards.

Gene Pritsker (BM ’94) released his album, ‘Groove Possessed’ Electronic Groove Music of Gene Pritsker, on Composers Concordance Records in June 2016.  He and MSM alumnus Arthur Kampela (MM ’92) composed music performed for the concert “Convex vs. Concave” at (Le) Poisson Rouge in June.  Gene is also performing in Singapore with Absolute Ensemble and the Korean Ensemble Sinawi and is premiering a composition called 'Soul / Seoul Wave’.  In July 2016, Gene is co-producing the ‘Eclectic Music Extravaganza - New York Meets Berlin’ at Gruner Salon in Berlin, Germany, with four world premieres on this event. In August, Gene will presenting Composers Concordance Records European album release concert for the album 'The Mozart Influence’, performed by The Comp Cord Ensemble at the 2016 'Outreach Festival' in Schwaz, Austria.

Cynthia Scott (BM ’93, MM ’95) will be inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in October 2016. In March, she performed at the Iridium Jazz Club and Smoke Jazz & Supper Club in New York City.  Cynthia reported “Deshana Barber, a black woman, was crowned Miss USA and I had a flash back. Did you know I was the first Black girl to ever enter an all-white beauty pageant and Place... maybe in the whole world? It was 47 years ago, June 29th, 1969. Read the whole story here... ” 

 Jonathan Smith (MM ’94) continue in his role as Associate Music Supervisor of the global “Jersey Boys” franchise, having worked on new companies in The Netherlands, South Africa, and the UK, as well as 2 US tours.  Starting December 2015, Jonathan is Music Director of the world premiere of the new musical A Bronx Tale at Paper Mill Playhouse.  Written by Chazz Palminteri, with lyrics by Glenn Slater and music by Alan Menken, the show is co-directed by Robert De Niro and Jerry Zaks.  

Talise Trevigne (BM ’98) was a 2016 Grammy nominee for performer on the Best Classical Solo Vocal Album.

Yolanda Wyns (BM ’90) was selected as one of Musical America’s 30 Professionals of the Year for 2015.  She is the Music Program Director of Harlem School of the Arts.

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CLASSES OF 2000–2009

Andy Akiho (MM ’09) received an award from the 2015 Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund.  In May, the National Symphony Orchestra performed his composition New Work for Steelpan & Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  Andy wrote music for the recently released RighteousGIRLS album gathering blue.

Ambrose Akinmusire (BM ’05) was named Trumpeter of the Year at the 2015 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards.  He was recently highlighted in the Vanity Fair article “These Millennials are Shaking Up the Jazz World”.  Ambrose also wrote music for the recently released RighteousGIRLS album gathering blue.

Fabian Almazan (BM ’07, MM ’09) has been touring Europe, the U.S., and Canada with the Terence Blanchard Group, the Mark Guiliana Quartet, and the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble.  He was also featured on alumnus Adam Larson’s album Selective Amnesia, which was released in November 2015.

Hayk Arsenyan (PS ’08) performed an entire solo recital of Antonio Soler's Sonatas and Fandango on June 3, 2016 for the IV Encuentros Juaves Pianistas International Piano Festival in Havana, Cuba, a festival led by MSM faculty member Solomon Mikowsky.  On July 12 and 14 Hayk will be teaching master classes at the II Miami International Music Festival (Piano Institute) alongside MSM alumnus Alexandre Moutouzkine.  Hayk will also be opening the Summit Music Festival this year on July 27, 2016 with a solo recital. 

Camila Barrientos (BM ’08, MM ’11) won principal clarinet of the Orquesta Sinfonica do Theatro Municipal de São Paulo.

Erin Benedict (’02) released her debut jazz album, Steal Away, in November 2015.

Claudia Boonenberg (MM ’09) was appointed Senior Associate Attorney at Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook in November 2015.

Rupert Boyd (MM ’06) participated and performed in the Newport Music Festival this summer and the Gharana Music Festival this fall.  He also performed numerous solo recitals in India and the Philippines in October 2015.

J’nai Bridges (BM ’09) won 1st place in the Francisco Vinjas International Singing Competition in February 2016. The recipient of a 2016 Richard Tucker Career Grant, she was recently featured in WQXR’s Forty under Forty.  J’nai recently performed as Suzuki in Madame Butterfly with San Diego Opera. She will be performing the title role in The Rape of Lucretia at Wolf Trap Opera and as a soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Philadelphia Orchestra in summer 2016. In the 2016–17 season, J’nai will be performing the role of Bersi in Andrea Chénier with San Francisco Opera and Bayerische Staatsoper, as Nefertiti in Akhnaten with LA Opera, and as Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking with Vancouver Opera. She is also performing as a soloist in Mahler’s Second Symphony with the Louisville Orchestra in October 2016.  

Rachel Lynn Calloway (MM 06) performed in Haydn’s Nelson Mass and the NY premiere of Provost Marjorie Merryman’s Jonah at Carnegie Hall with the Oratorio Society of New York, conducted by Kent Tritle, Director of Choral Activities at MSM, in May 2016.

Christopher Cerrone (BM 07) received the prestigious Samuel Barber Rome Prize in 2015.  He has also been commissioned to write a piece for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Jeffrey Kahane, to be premiered in May 2017. Chris has composed for the Grammy award-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird and is one of four composers studied in a new book from Duke University Press, Sensing Sound: Singing and Listening as Vibrational Practice by Nina Sun Eidsheim.  https://www.dukeupress.edu/Sensing-Sound

Jenny Q Chai (MM ’06, PS ’07, DMA ’13) performed “Where Is Chopin?”, the second program in her Piano Steampunk series exploring the relationship between piano and electronics, at New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge in January 2016.  This past September Jenny performed Manoury’s double piano concerto Zones de turbulences with Adam Kosmieja and the National Radio Symphony Orchestra in the inaugural concert of Poland’s largest contemporary music festival, Warsaw Autumn Festival. Jenny’s dissertation, Manifesto on Marco Stroppas Miniature Estrose, was published in February 2015.  She was in residency at IRCAM until the end of February and participated in a series of residencies at Harvard, Boston Conservatory of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Roosevelt University, Piano Forte Salon Series, and the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz thereafter.

Elina Christova (MM 06), with her partner Andrew Smith of the Elan Duo, recently released Ludwig van Beethoven: Complete Violin Sonatas to rave reviews. Critics have praised their  "style that shows the way some of the finest artists perform Beethoven in the 21st century,"  "deeply considered interpretation," and a rendition to "rival any number of famous performers in this repertoire."  elan-duo.me/

Gerald Clayton (’05) 
was recently highlighted in the Vanity Fair article “These Millennials are Shaking Up the Jazz World.”

Anna Clyne (MM 05) won the 2016 Hindemith Prize. http://csosoundsandstories.org/anna-clyne-named-unanimous-…/ Anna Clyne

Joshua Cohen (BM ’01) received an extraordinary review in the New York Times for his recently released novel Book of Numbers.  Cohen’s book “is in its fractured way, more impressive than all but a few novels published so far this decade.  Mr. Cohen, all of 34, emerges as a major American writer.”

Chanell Crichlow (BM ’08) This fall Chanell, aka Tubafresh, performed with Shamir on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She is also the leader of PitchBlak Brass Band and in February 2016 will be performing with the band in the Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City.

Amanda Crider (MM ’01) In the summer of 2015, Amanda sang Laurey in Oklahoma with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra. The 2015-16 season will see her return to Eugene Opera as Olga in Eugene Onegin, her debut with Florentine Opera as Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus, Alma in the world premiere opera Persona with Beth Morrison Projects, her European debut as Nana in Jan Jirasek’s world premiere opera R.U.R. at the Prague State Opera House, a series of concerts with Seraphic Fire, and Handel’s Messiah with Augustana College.

Gideon Dabi (MM ’06) is a Studio Artist at Sarasota Opera.

Jeanine De Bique (BM ’06, MM ’08, PS ’09) performed the role of Climene in Theater Heidelberg’s production of Fetonte in early 2015.  Over the summer she performed the role of Pearl in Morning Star with Cincinnati Opera. She was recently the Brahms ‪Requiem soprano soloist with the Grand Rapids Symphony in November 2015.  This month she is the soprano soloist in Mahler’s Fourth with the World Doctor’s Orchestra in Barbados and the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Boston Baroque.

Alondra de la Parra (MM ’08) was recently appointed the Music Director, a designation that will include the combined roles of Chief Conductor, Artistic Director, and Community Arts Leader, of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Sequina DuBose (PS ’08) made her Carnegie Hall debut in October 2015 with pianists the Altino Brothers— Nerva (MM ’01) and Robenson (MM ’01).

 Shirin Eskandani (MM ’08)
 will be making her stage debut as Mercedes in Carmen with the Metropolitan Opera in the 2016–17 season.

Daryl Freedman (MM ’09) performed in the Ring Cycle with Washington National Opera at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in May 2016.

Carlos Gardels (BM ’09) recently joined the faculty of Citrus College, near Los Angeles.  He also appeared as the piano soloist in Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Beach Cities Symphony in November 2015.

Jeffrey Gavett (MM ’09) received a 2015 Chamber Music America commissioning grant for the vocal ensemble Ekmeles, of which he is the director.

Emma Gerstein (BM ’09) won the position of Principal Flute with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra in New Zealand.

Kirill Gerstein (MM 00) made his Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra debut at the end of January and Berlin Philharmonic debut in April. In March, Kirill also toured Europe with the Czech Philharmonic, traveling to Switzerland, Germany, and Italy. Kirill’s world première recording of the 1879 version of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto is one of three recordings nominated in the Concerto category for the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2016. Kirill will premiere a new piano concerto by Thomas Adès in the 2016–17 season with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  

Cooper Grodin (MM ’09) performed the role of Magaldi in Evita with Vancouver Opera in May 2016. He also performed in Town Hall’s Broadway by the Year Series, The Broadway Musicals of the 1960s.

Lisa E. Harris (MM ’04) recently performed “Work Songs” by Jason Moran (BM ’97) and Alicia Hall Moran (BM ’00) at the 56th International Biennale di Venezia 2015 in Venice, Italy.  She is also one of five inaugural artists in residency at The New Quorum in New Orleans, LA in January 2016.

Elizabeth Hartnett (MM ’09) is now the Creator Events Manager, Europe, Middle East & Africa for YouTube in London

Maeve Hoglund (MM ’07) will be joining PORTopera performing in a production of Carmen this summer.

 Soloman Howard (MM ’10) performed in the Ring Cycle with Washington National Opera at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in May 2016. Soloman is also performing the role of the Prince in Aida at the Metropolitan Opera in the 2016–17 season.

Amy Justman (MM ’02) joins The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway as the Spanish lady and is covering the role of Carlotta.

Jonathan Karschney (BM ’07) won the Assistant Principal Horn/Utility position with the Seattle Symphony in fall 2015.

Martin Labazevitch (PS ’08) released his debut CD with his label, Delos Records, in August 2015. For the recording, featuring the Beethoven Academy Orchestra, Labazevitch teamed up with emerging conducting star Ewa Stusinska.

 Rebecca Jo Loeb (MM ’07) 
is covering Garderobiere, Gymnasiast, and Groom in the Metropolitan Opera’s Lulu. She performed the same roles with De Nederlandse Oper in Amsterdam this past summer.  In September 2015 she performed as the 2nd Lady in Die Zauberflöte and 2nd Voice in Turandot with Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Clarissa Lyons (MM ’09) joined the prestigious Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Earlier this year she won the grand prize at Florida Grand Opera’s Young Patronnesses of the Opera Competition and the Glenn & Ginger Flournay Award at Shreveport Opera’s Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Competition.

George Mathew (Postgraduate Diploma ’03) is a recipient of the Bendetson Award for Public Diplomacy from the Tufts University Institute for Global Leadership.

Alex Mincek (BM ’98, MM ’02) is joining the Composition faculty at Northwestern University.

 Laquita Mitchell (MM ’01, PS ’02/ 2009 MSM Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipient) was recently featured in the New York Philharmonic’s “In Their Footsteps: Great African American Singers and Their Legacy” concert with renowned bass-baritone Eric Owens in October 2015.

Alicia Hall Moran (BM ’00) released her debut album, Heavy Blue, in October 2015.

Alexandre Moutouzkine (MM ’03, PS ’05, AD ’06/ 2012 Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipient) Alexandre received a glowing review from the Philadelphia Inquirer for his August 2015 recital as part of the Philadelphia Young Pianists’ Academy. According to Dobrin, “Clarity and brilliance propelled the last etude, gathering intensity to a rather thrillingly paced last few bars.”

Linda Oh (MM ’08) was recently highlighted in the Vanity Fair article “The Jazz Youth-Quake: Others on the Upswing.”

Simon O’Neill (MM ‘00) performed with the San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall as a featured soloist in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, D. 759 ("Unfinished”) in April 2016.

Lindsay Rider (MM ’09) was most recently involved in producing and performing in “More Than Me,” a benefit concert for BCEFA at Joe’s Pub.  This past season she also performed at 54 Below, Rockwood Music Hall, The Cutting Room, Toshi’s Living Room, and with Encompass Opera.  Last season she premiered her one-woman show “Uncharted” at the Triad Theater in NYC.  Ms. Rider can be heard on the recent CD release of Michael Mott’s Where the Sky Ends & Where the Sky Ends Remix albums (Broadway Records); on Fox’s Season 11 of American Idol; and as a soloist for the Philadelphia Phillies.  Ms. Rider is the Associate Director of Campaign & Constituent Engagement for Northwestern University.  

Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08) was nominated in the International Opera Awards this spring for Male Singer. He was also featured in Vanity Fair as one of the "7 emerging artists you should know about."  Anthony was recently a National Sawdust curator and performed as Orpheus in Orphic Moments in March 2016.  He also performed in Philip Glass’s Akhnaten with English National Opera and as Roane in Jake Heggie’s Great Scott at San Diego Opera.  In June, Anthony will be performing in the U.S. premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Only The Sound Remains at the Ojai Festival. In the 2016–17 season, he will be performing the title role in Akhnaten with LA Opera and as Prince Go-Go in Ligeti’s Le grand macabre with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Simon Rattle and directed by Peter Sellars.

Sahoko Sato Timpone (MM ’99, PS ’01) will be joining PORTopera performing in a production of Carmen this summer 2016.  She is also a member of the Metropolitan Opera chorus.

Kyle Saulnier (MM ’06) will be premiering his second symphony for the Awakening Orchestra on November 11th, 2016 at ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn NY. The ongoing project, entitled election year: a Work in progress, is a reflection on the 2016 election season and has been composed and premiered in real time as election year events have occurred. Additionally, the Awakening Orchestra will release Atticus Live! the Music of Jesse Lewis in December 2016 on the Biophilia label. The live recording also features MSM alums Jesse Lewis, Vito Chiavuzzo, Samuel Ryder, Nick Biello, Michael Boscarino, James Rogers, Max Seigel, Daniel Urness, Seneca Black, Nadje Noordhuis, Aaron Kotler, Joshus Paris, and Will Clark.

Joe Saylor (BM ’08) is the new percussionist for the Colbert Late Show.  Joe was recently highlighted in the Vanity Fair article “These Millennials are Shaking Up the Jazz World.”

Amy Shoremount-Obra (BM ’01, MM ’03) This November Amy performed the role of Donna Anna in Venture Opera’s production of Don Giovanni. During the 2015 season, Ms. Shoremount-Obra toured with a recital program of Rachmaninoff songs with pianist Christopher Cooley and appeared with the FL Keys Concert Association in two concerts of operatic favorites. In 2016, Ms. Shoremount-Obra will make her debut at David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center as the Soprano Soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the National Chorale.

Tara Simoncic (PS 01) has been named the new Music Director for Ballet West. 

Nicholas Simpson (MM ’09) In April 2015, Nicolas sang the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Hershey Symphony and the Altoona Symphony in PA.  In May 2015 he performed in Puccini’s La bohème with Hub Opera in Hagerstown, Maryland.  In July and August 2015, Nicholas sang his first full length Richard Wagner role, the title role in Tannhäuser with Apotheosis Opera. He was the first Tannhäuser seen in New York City in a decade.  Nicholas will return to Santa Fe, NM to sing selections from Tannhäuser for Performance Santa Fe in the fall of 2015. He will also sing Don José in Carmen with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra in February 2016.

Alissa Stahler (MM ’09) joined the new music app Wurrly as an ambassador in Summer 2015.  Starting in October she has been performing a standing gig with her jazz trio: Angelo Di Loreto (BM ’11/MM ’13) and Sean Richey (BM ’12) at Jules Bistro and with the Kengo Yamada Quintet at Tomi Jazz.  Alissa has also been involved with recording the demo of a new musical, "Devil and the Deep", written by Graham Russell of the band Air Supply and arranged by MSM graduate Josh Freilich (BM ’09).  She obtained her Actors Equity card by performing in the smash Off-Broadway hit "My Big Gay Italian Funeral".

Jeanette Stenson (MM ’09) After a successful summer tour of the Pacific Northwest, Jeannette, of the Fair Trade Trio, performed selections of the group’s tour repertoire at the National Opera Center in New York City in November 2015.

Raquel Suarez (MM ’09) made her debut with Opera Carolina in October 2015 at Marzelline in Beethoven’s Fidelio.

Renee Tatum (MM ’06) was recently featured in WQXR’s Forty under Forty. Renee also performed as Flosshilde in Wagner’s Gotterdammerung with Teatro Massimo di Palermo in Italy and in the Ring Cycle with Washington National Opera at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in May 2016.

Stephanie Tennill (MM ’01) was recently hired as an MSM Precollege voice faculty member and will begin in fall 2016.

Pablo Villegas (PD ’04, PS ’06, AD ’07) was honored with an Outstanding Young Alumni Award at the 2015 MSM Alumni Reunion.  He launched the 2015-16 season with the international release of his solo album, Americano, which marks his debut on the Harmonia Mundi label. In 2016, he will be performing with Grand Rapids Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Santa Barbara Symphony, and a tour in Japan with National Symphony of Spain.

Nadejda Vlaeva (PS 00) released a new CD of works by Sergei Bortkiewicz. The CD is now available on Amazon and iTunes.  http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDA68118

Charenée Wade (BM ’04/MM ’06) Charenée’s new jazz album Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson was released in June 2015.  She recently performed music in Abraham.In.Motion. at the Joyce Theater in NYC.  She is also performing on the European Tour with Terri Lyn Carrington’s Mosaic in Istanbul and the U.K.

Jorell Williams (MM 08, PS 09) will be joining PORTopera performing in a production of Carmen this summer.  In February 2016, Jorell was featured in Opera Noire’s sold-out LEGACY SECURED! concert honoring Paul Robeson, William Warfield, and Robert McFerrin at the National Opera Center in New York City.

Carrie Anne Wilson (PS ’03) recently performed the First Bridesmaid in Le nozze di Figaro with Atlanta Opera.  She is currently performing as Zerlina in Don Giovanni with the touring company Peach State Opera. 

Matthew Worth (PS ’04) performed the leading role in David T. Little’s JFK at Fort Worth Opera. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/17/arts/music/jfk-envisionsan-operatic-ending-forcamelot.html?ref=arts&_r=1

Kyung-A Yoo (DMA ’09) is currently working for Shepherd School of Music of Rice University as a full-time collaborative pianist. Since 2014, she’s been a staff pianist at The Aspen Music Festival and School.

Miguel Zenon (MM ’01) was a 2016 Grammy nominee for Best Latin Jazz Album and was named Alto Saxophonist of the Year at the 2015 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards.

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CLASSES OF 2010–2015

Darnell Abraham (MM ’13) has performed in The Festival of the Lion King as a lead Equity performer at Disney's Animal Kingdom for the past year and will be portraying the lead role of Coalhouse Walker Jr., in “Ragtime the Musical in Concert” July 9-10 in the Walt Disney Theater at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center in downtown Orlando.

Michael E. Anderson (MM ’16) is joining Central City Opera’s chorus for Tosca and Ballade of Baby Doe for their 2016 Summer Festival.   

SeungHyeon Scott Baek (MM ’13) is in the Young Artist Program at Sarasota Opera.

Allison Bates (MM ’13) was recently appointed Head Librarian at the Aspen Music Festival and Assistant Librarian & Personnel Assistant for the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra.

Alex Bender (MM ’13) is lead trumpet for the Broadway show Finding Neverland and former lead trumpet for Side Show.

Jordan Blair Campbell (BM ’14) is in the Young Artist Program at Sarasota Opera.

Christina Bouey (MM 11, PS 12, PS '13) won the coveted Grand Prize of the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Association competition as a member of the Ulysses Quartet.

Raehann Bryce-Davis (MM ’12, PS ’13) is the winner of both the 2015 Hilde Zadek International Voice Competition in Vienna and the 2015 Sedat Gürel-Güzin Gürel International Voice Competition in Istanbul.  She recently performed in recital at New York’s National Opera Center and sang the role of Lily in a European tour of Porgy and Bess this past spring.

Martha Cargo (MM ’12) is working as Assistant to the Music Director at Americas Society (Upper East Side), where she produces and promotes concerts for music and artists from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada, and is Social Media Coordinator for the new music blog ICAREIFYOULISTEN. Find her on Twitter at @marthaflutes for updates on her goings-on or visit her website at http://www.marthacargo.com

Silvie Cheng (BM ’13, MM ’15) Silvie’s ensemble, Cheng² Duo, has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.  Named by CBC Music as one of 2015’s “30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30,” the duo has been featured on CBC Radio Two several times, as well as on Vermont Public Radio. In 2016, the duo will be giving a two-week professional recital tour in Atlantic Canada as Debut Atlantic artists. She will be recording her debut album in February 2016 in Berlin with the German classical label Audite.

Sarah Childers (MM ’15) recently performed in O Pioneers! for the Museum of Music Project at the National Opera Center in New York City.  She recently returned from the tour of Dvořák’s Rusalka in British Columbia where she played the Second Wood Sprite.

Hannah Choi (PS ’14) joined the violin section in the New York Philharmonic in November 2014.

Kallie Ciechomski (MM ’12) After a successful summer tour of the Pacific Northwest, Kallie, of the Fair Trade Trio, performed selections of the group’s tour repertoire at the National Opera Center in New York City in November 2015.

Rebecca Convisor (PS ’10) won the 2015 St. Andrews International Aria Competition.

Ali Cook (PS ’11) performed for Pope Francis in Washington, D.C., this September at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Ashley Dannewitz (MM ’10) is a 2015-16 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions District and Region Winner.

Christie Dashiell (MM ’13) was a semifinalist in the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Vocals Competition.

Madeleine Allaire Davidson (BM '11) recently became the Managing Director at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, where she is also a Suzuki guitar faculty member.

Kate Davis (BM ’13) was the face of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2015-16 Season brochure and performed "World on a String: Swinging Songs of Broadway" with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in April 2016.

Marc Day (MM '11) was featured in the New York Times for his performance in Rachmaninoff’s Vespers by the Clarion Choir at St. Paul’s Chapel as part of its Twelfth Night Festival. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/01/02/arts/music/clarion-choir-delves-into-the-liturgy-of-st-john-chrysostom-a-rachmaninoff-rarity.html?_r=0

Matt Decker (MM ’13) won the Assistant Timpani/Percussion position with the Seattle Symphony this fall.

Jill Dewsnup (MM 10) will join Lyric Opera of Chicago's Core Supplemental Chorus in the 2016–17 season for performances in Les Troyens, Norma, and Carmen.

Angelo Di Loreto (MM ’13) won first place in the 2015 B-Jazz International Jazz Competition in Leuven, Belgium.

Erika Dohi (MM ’12) of RighteousGIRLS released an album gathering blue in July 2015, which was rated 4.5 stars in the November issue of DownBeat magazine.  RighteousGIRLS have received awards including a 2015 New Music USA Awards Grant, thirrd place in the 2015 International Songwriting Competition for GIRLS by composer/producer Pascal Le Boeuf, and a 2014 Independent Music Awards nomination for gathering blue (Best Album) and KARakurENAI (Best Instrumental) by composer/steel-pianist Andy Akiho.

Mark Dover (MM '12) joins Imani Winds as their new clarinetist in 2016.

Tom Duboski (MM ’15) won the first Ruth Widder String Quartet Competition as a member of Luminaria Quartet.  The quartet will be presented in a performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in February 2016. 

Caroline Dunigan (BM ’14)  is a current member of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program of the Bard College Conservatory of Music.  Highlights of Caroline’s 2015/2016 season includes debuts with the Albany Symphony Orchestra as Rey in “Star Wars: The Opera” and the Brevard Music Festival as Helena in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  In March 2016 she will be performing as Pamina in a one-act adaptation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute with the Graduate Vocal Arts Program of the Bard College Conservatory of Music.

Sullivan Fortner (MM ’10) won the prestigious piano competition, the 2015 Cole Porter Fellowship in Jazz.  He was recently featured as an emerging young jazz player in the Vanity Fair article “The Jazz Youth-Quake: Others on the Upswing.”  His debut solo album Aria was released this fall and reviewed in the New York Times.

Alaysha Fox (BM ’13/MM ’15) is a 2015-16 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions District and Region Winner. She also performed as part of the Metropolitan Museum’s recent live-music installation “Sonic Blossom.”

Brent Foster (PS ’15) won a fellowship with the New World Symphony.

Ana García Caraballos (MM ’13) Spanish saxophonist Ana García Caraballos was featured in the following highlighted performances during 2015: a recital as part of the PAM’ Acción Musical Festival and a Rising Stars Gala at Baluarte in Pamplona, Spain; a concert at Le Poisson Rouge for Jeff Scott’s CD release party; a performance with the Harlem Chamber Players at Miller Theater; a performance with the Kronos Quartet at Symphony Space; and two recitals at Instituto Cervantes NY. During this past year Ana launched two new ensembles: SOLARTE (http://www.solarte.org) and AnAlex Duo. She also became a member of ÆON Music Ensemble.

Jacqueline Choi (DMA ’15) has been appointed to Indiana University South Bend as Lecturer in Music/Cello as well as cellist of the resident ensemble Euclid String Quartet.  

Matt Gasiorowski (BM ’11, MM ’13, PS ’14) played trumpet in the Broadway show Doctor Zhivago in spring 2015.

Josh Gawel (BM ’14) is the trumpeter of the Lucky Chops brass band, now the house band of MTV's Girl Code: Live.

Izzy Gliksberg (MM ’12) won the 2015 Kevin Spacey Foundation Artist of Choice grant for The Writers Trilogy, a hybrid of music, film, and literature that will be released in the form of a short album and three short films with his band Berg.

Jake Goldbas (BM ’11, MM ’13) was Musical Director of the National Arts Awards ceremony and performed a tribute to Herbie Hancock (’61), Sophia Loren, and Lady Gaga.

Kate Christopher Goldbas (BM ’10) Teacher and musician Kate Christopher Goldbas and her band The Lost Boys were featured in an article at BluegrassToday.com regarding her unique way of involving young students in the rhythmic aspects of music.  She recently accepted a position at the Diller-Quaile School of Music in New York City and curates their monthly rug concerts.

Devin Gray (MM '08) was interviewed by Sony about the power of music and where he finds inspiration. http://www.sony.com/electronics/-jazz-drummer-composer-devin-gray-interview?cpint=SG_OUT_OF_FLOW_SEC-TOUT-HRA-OOFM-EN_GL-2016-01-DEVIN-GRAY

Lori Guilbeau (MM ’10) and Cooper Nolan (MM ’11) Lori and Cooper got married in October 2015.

Yitong Guo (BM '16) received 2nd prize in the 44th Annual HVP String Competition.

Miho Hazama (MM ’12) Miho’s new album, Time River, was released in October 2015 by Sunnyside Records. She celebrated her new recording at the Blue Note Club in Tokyo, Japan and at the Jazz Standard in New York City this fall. She was named the winner of the BMI Foundation’s 16th annual Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize at the BMI Jazz Composer Workshop’s 27th Annual Showcase Concert in June 2015.

Fangyue He (PS ’15) won a section violin position with the Oregon Symphony in fall 2015.

Jake Hertzog (MM ‘16) has a new CD, Well Lit Shadow, of solo electric-guitar works inspired by images from the Large Hadron Collider and experiments at the CERN particle-physics lab. It was reviewed by Physics World in March 2016. http://blog.physicsworld.com/2016/03/31/carried-away-by-a-well-lit-shadow/

Grace Ho (MM ’12, DMA ’17) won the coveted Grand Prize of the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Association competition as a member of the Ulysses Quartet.

Tiffany Hoffer (MM ’13) recently won a job in the United States Army Field Band.

Josh Holcomb (BM ’13) is the trombonist of the Lucky Chops brass band, now the house band of MTV's Girl Code: Live.  He was recently highlighted in the Vanity Fair article “These Millennials are Shaking Up the Jazz World.”

Gina Izzo (BM ’09) of RighteousGIRLS released an album gathering blue in July 2015, which was rated 4.5 stars in the November issue of DownBeat magazine.   RighteousGIRLS have received awards including a 2015 New Music USA Awards Grant, 3rd place in the 2015 International Songwriting Competition for GIRLS by composer/producer Pascal Le Boeuf, and a 2014 Independent Music Awards nomination for gathering blue (Best Album) and KARakurENAI (Best Instrumental) by composer/steel-pianist Andy Akiho.

Michael Jarrett (MM '16) recently won a percussion position with the New World Symphony.

Sol Jin (MM ’15) is the winner of the 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. 


Cameron Johnson (MM ’14) 
is playing the lead role of Misha in the off-Broadway production Die Goldene Kale with the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene in December 2015 and was featured in the New York Times.

Chloé Kiffer (MM ’14, PS ’15) won the 2015 Waldo Mayo Memorial Violin Competition and made her Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium debut with Tchaikovsky concerto under conductor David Gilbert.  She is acquiring her DMA at Stony Brook and working as a teaching assistant.

Kyoung Im Kim (MM '06/DMA '12) was the only staff pianist for the fourth consecutive year for Aaron Rosand's Intensive Violin Program at the Summit Music Festival in July 2016.  It was attended by 28 young violinists from all over the world. Dr. Kim will also be featured in Mr. Rosand's upcoming Sarasate DVD.

Kho Woon Kim (PS ’15) 
was featured in the Spring 2015 issue of Stay Thirsty magazine and most recently won first prize in the Panama International Piano Competition in 2014.

Jeff Koch (BM ’11, MM ’13) won first place in the 2015 B-Jazz International Jazz Competition in Leuven, Belgium.

Adam Larson (BM ’12, MM ’14) Adam’s latest record, Selective Amnesia, was released on Inner Circle Music this November and is being featured in the January 2016 issue of DownBeat magazine.

Pascal Le Boeuf (BM ’07/MM ’10) received a 2015 Chamber Music America commissioning grant for Imagined Reality. He also won Best Eclectic Album for The Le Boeuf BrothersRemixed and Best Jazz Instrumental for Pascal Le Boeuf’s Triangle What Your Teacher… at the 14th Annual Independent Music Awards.  He recently produced and composed music for RighteousGIRLS debut album gathering blue.

Earl Lee (MM ’13) recently won the position as Resident Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Jiye Lee (PS 15) has won a position with the New York City Ballet Orchestra.

Yeonji Lee (BM ’13, MM ’16) performed as part of the Metropolitan Museum’s recent live-music installation “Sonic Blossom.”

Philippe Lem (MM ’13) won first place in the 2015 B-Jazz International Jazz Competition in Leuven, Belgium.

Christopher Lilley (MM ’15) performed the role of Cherubino in Hiram Titus's Rosina with New York's Dell’Arte Opera and was reviewed by the New York Times.

Kate McNamara (BM ’10, MM ’12) is an Apprentice Artist at Sarasota Opera.

Robert Mellon (MM 11) will be joining PORTopera performing in a production of Carmen this summer.

Malcolm J. Merriweather (DMA ’15) was named the new Music Director of the Dessoff Choirs in May 2016. In addition to his work with the Dessoff Choirs, Malcolm is Assistant Professor and Director of Choirs at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, a faculty member and Guest Artist in Residence at Union Theological Seminary, and Associate Choirmaster at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and the Music Director of the “Voices of Haiti” children’s choir in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He has been instrumental in the programming of the 2016–17 season, which opens with a concert at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center—the first time the choir has performed there since 2010.

Matous Michal (MM 16) is joining the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s second violin section.

Guy Mintus (BM ’15) received a Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award at the ASCAP Foundation Awards Ceremony in December 2015.

Brian Michael Moore (BM ’15) will be joining the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at LA Opera in the 2016–17 season.

Thomas Mulder (MM ’14) is performing in the Metropolitan Opera’s 2016–17 season in the chorus of Guillaume Tell, Fidelio, and Der Flingender Höllender. In October 2016 Tom is performing as OB in the premiere of Roscoe: An American Grand Opera, starring Deborah Voigt, with the Albany Symphony.

John Myers (BM 10, MM 12) performed in Haydn’s Nelson Mass and the NY premiere of Provost Marjorie Merryman's Jonah at Carnegie Hall with the Oratorio Society of New York, conducted by Kent Tritle, Director of Choral Activities at MSM, in May 2016.

Adam Neely (MM ’12) received a Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award at the ASCAP Foundation Awards Ceremony in December 2015.

Sam Nester (MM ’12) won the 2015 Kevin Spacey Foundation Artist of Choice grant for The Writers Trilogy, a hybrid of music, film, and literature that will be released in the form of a short album and three short films, with his band Berg.

Margaret Newcomb (MM ’14) performed as part of the Metropolitan Museum’s recent live-music installation “Sonic Blossom.”

Scott Ninmer (MM ’13) received a Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award at the ASCAP Foundation Awards Ceremony in December 2015.

Adam O’Farrill (BM ’16) is mentioned in the New York Times Best Albums of 2015 review of Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Bird Calls, a tribute to Charlie Parker:  “Featuring a bladelike quintet with Mr. Mahanthappa on alto saxophone and the impressive young Adam O’Farrill on trumpet, it’s a whirligig of brisk dynamism and bustling modernity.” http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/arts/music/best-albums-of-2015.html?ref=music

Megan Pachecano (MM ’10) earned critical acclaim in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Soluna International Music and Arts Festival with the Orchestra of New Spain as Une Amante Enchantée in Boismortier’s Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse and Mystery in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen. She sang the soprano solos in Brahms’s Neue Liebeslieder with the Denton Bach Society, and created the role of Elizabeth on the cast recording of Stephen Melillo’s Son of the Storm, to be released in the summer of 2016. This coming season, Ms. Pachecano returns to the Ad Astra Music Festival to perform Iphis in Handel’s Jephtha and to the Astoria Symphony Orchestra for a summer pops concert at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center. She makes her Metropolitan Opera debut in the chorus of Beethoven’s Fidelio in the spring of 2017.

Elliott Page (MM ’15) is participating in the Opera Theatre of St. Louis Gerdine Young Artist Program in June 2016 and performing in Germany for a five-city tour of Porgy and Bess singing the role of Robbins in July 2016.  Elliott joins the Metropolitan Opera extras chorus in the 2016–17 season for performances in Der Flingender Höllender.

Aaron Patterson (DMA ’14) is teaching instrumental music and music electives at Bay Ridge Preparatory High School in Brooklyn.

Leo Pellegrino (BM ’13) is the baritone saxophonist of Lucky Chops brass band, now the house band of MTV's Girl Code: Live.

Joe Peri (BM ’13, MM ’15) won the 2015 Kevin Spacey Foundation Artist of Choice grant for The Writers Trilogy, a hybrid of music, film, and literature that will be released in the form of a short album and three short films, with his band Berg.

Mike Perdue (MM ’11) wrote music for the recently released RighteousGIRLS album gathering blue.

Alexandros (Sasha) Petrin (MM '16) recently won 1st Place in the Sixth Annual New York Chamber Players competition and will perform in Glazunov’s op. 82  in A minor with the New York Chamber Players Orchestra on December 9, 2016 at the Liederkranz Foundation.

Rachel Policar (MM ’12) made her off-Broadway debut in December 2015 with the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene performing the lead role of Goldele in Die Goldene Kale and was featured in the New York Times.

Jonathan Ragonese (BM ’11, MM ’13) wrote music for the recently released RighteousGIRLS album gathering blue.

Colin Ramsey (BM ’11) is a Studio Artist at Sarasota Opera.

Noah Reitman (MM ’10) recently won the Assistant Principal Bass position with the Vancouver Symphony.

Jordan Rutter (MM ’15) performed as part of the Metropolitan Museum’s recent live-music installation “Sonic Blossom.”

Megan Samarin (BM ’14) was a 2015 Glimmerglass Festival Young Artist performing as Marzia in Cato in Utica.

Christian Sands (BM ’11, MM ’14) was recently highlighted in the Vanity Fair article “The Jazz Youth-Quake: Others on the Upswing.”  He was featured on the Christian McBride Trio’s album, Live at the Village Vanguard, which was released in September 2015.

Nikolas Schriefer (MM 13) is the CEO and Founder of Stagelink, a digital fan platform crowdsourcing live events.  Stagelink was picked by London-based independent record label Marathon Artists to join their new “Marathon Labs” acceleration program this year.

Erik Saras (MM ’12) is now Rental Librarian at the major classical music publishing house, Boosey & Hawkes.

Maria Serkin (DMA ’13) recently accepted a position at University of North Carolina School of the Arts located in Winston-Salem, NC as Assistant Professor of Horn.

Evan Sherman (BM ’15) with his Evan Sherman Entourage was featured for an era-appropriate MTA subway A train performance as Jazz at Lincoln Center celebrated the centennial of Billy Strayhorn, which was featured in the New York Times.

Michelle Siemens (MM ’15) will be joining the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at LA Opera in the 2016–17 season.

Kyra Sims (MM ’12) received a 2015 Innovative Theatre Awards nomination for Outstanding Sound Design for her work with the New York Neo-Futurists on the production The Human Symphony.

Julia Suriano (BM ’15) recently performed the role of Maria in West Side Story with the Fireside Theater and was reviewed on BroadwayWorld.com.

 Yuma Sung (BM ’11) 
In November 2015 Yuma performed at the London Jazz Festival in the European premiere of trumpeter Ron McCurdy’s Langston Hughes Project, a setting to music of Hughes’s 1961 poem co-narrated by rapper Ice-T.

Krysty Swann (BM ’08) performed as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Verdi's Requiem with the National Chorale at David Geffen Hall in May 2016. She also performed as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with Distinguished Concerts International (DCINY) at Carnegie Hall in February 2016.

Hans Tashjian (MM ’13) is in the Young Artist Program at Sarasota Opera.

Jonathon Thierer (BM ’15) is the founder and General Director of Venture Opera, New York City’s newest opera company, which celebrated its opening production, Don Giovanni, in November 2015.

Jiaxin Tian (MM ’12, PS ’13) performed solo with the Manhattan Symphonie at Carnegie Hall in February 2016 as part of a celebration of the Chinese New Year.

Tong Tong (PS ’14) won the 2015 Liszt-Garrison Festival and International Piano Competition.

Daniel Tosky (MM ’13) won a job in the Atlanta Symphony in November 2015.

Costas Tsourakis (MM ’11) is a Studio Artist at Sarasota Opera.

Anna Viemeister (MM ’11) Anna’s most recent engagements include her first Wagnerian debut as Senta in the Flying Dutchman, displaying her renowned skill as Elvira in Ernani, and being invited as a guest artist to perform in La Rondine as Magda at Portland State University.

Alexander Vvedenskiy (MM ’16) won the principal oboe position with the Louisville Orchestra.

Jacquelyn Wagner (MM ’05) stepped in for Marina Rebeka as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich in January 2016.

Xiao Wang (BM ’13, MM ’15, AD ’16) won the 2016 William C. Byrd International Competition and the New York Concert Artists Competition. Xiao will be performing a recital in Berlin this October and will be performing with the Flint Symphony Orchestra in April 2017.

Xiayin Wang (DMA ’13) released a new album featuring Rachmaninoff’s Piano Sonatas No. 1 and 2 in May 2014 to excellent reviews.

Yunpeng Wang (MM ’13) was recently reviewed by Musical America. “Yunpeng Wang, who has been singing Prince Yamadori at the Met, made this bitter figure intriguing, his flexible and attractive dark baritone seething in anger in flowing phrases. His bedroom explosion, on overhearing Parisina’s dreams (she murmurs a couple of stanzas, not just "Ugo") raised the theatrical level considerably.” Yunpeng will be performing the role of Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera in 2017.

Kento Iwasaki Watanabe (MM ’13) founded the Traveling Opera Company, an organization that envisions bringing opera to a variety of locations, not just limited to the theater.  His “portable opera” concept was recently featured on JapanCulture•NYC, New York’s No. 1 blog for everything related to Japanese culture. He performed songs from his “portable opera” Beloved Prey at the Ikebana International’s AKI NO KOKORO: Autumn Portraits in Ikebana & Koto at NYC’s Kitano Hotel in October 2015. Kento participated in the EtM Choreographer + Composer residencies with choreographer Eun Sung Lee and was one of four teams selected to develop a new work at Jamaica Center of Arts and Learning.

Dan Wilkins (BM ’13) received a four-star review on All About Jazz for his album Jnana-Vijnana (Awake).  Also featured in the band are MSM current students/alumni Pat McGee (BM ’19), Kevin Bernstein (BM ’14), and Daryl Johns (BM ’18).

Ashley Windle (MM ’10) After a successful summer tour of the Pacific Northwest, Ashley, of the Fair Trade Trio, performed selections of the group’s tour repertoire at the National Opera Center in New York City in November 2015.

Ivy Wong (PS ’15) won a position with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in the double bass section and was a sub with the New York Philharmonic this past year.

Andrea Wood (MM ’13) Andrea’s new CD Kaleidoscope recently hit number 11 on the CMJ Top 40 Jazz Charts.

Liz Wright (MM ’15) won the first Ruth Widder String Quartet Competition as a member of Luminaria Quartet.  The quartet will be presented in a performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in February 2016.

Yi Xue (PS ’14) won principal oboe at the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra in November 2015.

Mina Yu (MM ’15) released a new jazz/soul album, Papa’s Records. Jazz pianist and educator Phil Markowitz writes, “Mina Yu presents some breezy compositions with contemporary grooves. The front line of vocal and trumpet is a great compliment to her solid piano playing.”

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India Carney made it to the “Top 5” on Season 8 of the hit TV show, The Voice.  In September she joined the Artists in Residence on the Crown Stage at the Crown Guitar Festival. She recently performed for Lady Gaga at the 2015 National Arts Awards. India will also be on ABC-TV for the Christian Cultural Center Christmas Show, to be broadcast on December 25, 2015.

Isabel Leonard performed as Ada in the world premiere of Cold Mountain with Nathan Gunn at the Santa Fe Opera in August 2015.  She returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago this fall in the title role of Rossini’s La Cenerentola and will also be performing as Rosina in The Barber of Seville at the Metropolitan Opera in December 2015.  In February 2016 she returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro.  The recent DECCA Classics release of Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortilèges, featuring Isabel as the Child, has been nominated for a 2016 GRAMMY for Best Opera Recording.  

Alexandra Wilkis Wilson was interviewed in the New York Times in the context of her role as Chief Executive Officer of Glamsquad, an app-based beauty provider.

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In Memoriam

We honor the memory of alumni, former faculty, and staff members who have passed away in 2015:

Laura Ahlbeck (MM ’81, oboe) passed away on June 11, 2015 at the age of 57.  Laura taught at New England Conservatory from 1993 to 2012 and was active in the College, Preparatory, and Continuing Education programs.  She was principal oboist with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera, Bard Festival Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Columbus (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Maracaibo in Venezuela. She was active as a chamber musician in Boston and a frequent substitute with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Christopher Buck (BM ’90, violin) passed away on February 16, 2015 at the age of 46.  Born in New York, he was a virtuoso violinist graduating from Manhattan School of Music with postgraduate studies at Rice University under Camilla Wicks.  After his first battle with cancer he became an expert in antique violins and then moved to Taiwan to continue studies in Mandarin, in which he became fluent. Subsequently he joined his family in New Zealand and taught violin at Nelson School of Music.

Robert Christesen (MM '72, voice) passed away on October 12, 2016 at the age of 73. Robert was known to his students and colleagues in the Wake County Public School System as “Mr. C.” He was a respected husband, father, grandfather, educator, and former opera singer. Born in Washington D.C., he was a Congressional Page Boy in high school, then continued his education at East Carolina University, University of Madison, Wisconsin, and NC State. He specialized in Danish, German, Spanish, French and Italian. His love for singing started when he was a young boy, eventually landing him a full scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music. He won numerous international vocal competitions including the 1973 Prague Spring Music Festival, where he met his Czech wife Mirka, a reporter for a radio station. He was a professional baritone opera singer in Frankfurt and Dortmund, Germany for thirteen years, with many guest performances throughout Europe. Among his favorite roles were Rigoletto, Onegin, and Don Giovanni. He moved with his family to North Carolina in the mid-1980s, accepting a teaching job within the Wake County Public School System. Robert taught foreign languages and Social Studies at Ligon and Carnage Middle Schools before becoming Foreign Language Chair at Wake Forest Rolesville High. His first job as an administrator was in Vance County in 1994 and then at Enloe High in 1995. He worked at West Cary Middle School as Assistant Principal until his retirement in 2009. As an administrator “M. C” was a teachers’ advocate and cared deeply about the students in his care. However, he never totally left his singing. Throughout the years, he performed with the North Carolina Symphony, Duke Chapel, and at memorial services for his close friends and co-workers. As a devoted Rotarian, he contributed to numerous charities to aid the needy both in the Carolinas and abroad. His commitment to the Wake Forest Rotary lasted until his final days. At 6’5” tall, his larger than life presence and booming voice made him an unforgettable figure on the stage and came in handy also in the school hallways.

Peter James Dimitriades (BM ’54, MM ’56, violin) passed away on March 14, 2015 at the age of 93. Peter’s distinguished and eclectic career began when he won first prize at both the Chicago Young Artists Competition and the Indiana State Violin Contest.  After serving as the principal second violinist for the Dallas Symphony, he moved to New York City in 1950 to become the assistant concertmaster at Radio City Musical Hall Orchestra. He also performed as concertmaster for the following orchestras: the Little Orchestra Society, National Orchestra Association, and Robert Shaw Chorale and Orchestra for its 1956 Europe and Middle East tour.  Along with being a member of the Classic String Quartet and the American String Quartet, he performed with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, Musica Aeterna, Master Virtuosi of New York, and Symphony of the Air.  Mr. Dimitriades also amassed an impressive discography as a freelance session musician on hundreds of recordings of Broadway musicals, soundtracks, jingles, television commercials, and studio albums, including those by Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Backstreet Boys, Frankie Valli, Carly Simon, Stevie Nicks, Wynton Marsalis, Luther Vandross, Roberta Flack, Shirley Bassey, Herbie Mann, and Chaka Khan, among many others.  He also toured with Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra and the Frank Sinatra Orchestra, the latter from the 1950s to Mr. Sinatra’s “80 Years My Way” final concert in 1995.  In his later years, Mr. Dimitriades moved to Salisbury, Connecticut, and taught violin at Simon’s Rock College, the Hotchkiss School, the Berkshire School, and the Indian Mountain School. 

Judith Paula Manley Dreher (BM ’72, MM ’74, viola) passed away on October 9, 2015. Judith studied viola with John DiJanni of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and with Rafael Bronstein at Manhattan School of Music.  After a season in North Carolina with the Charlotte Symphony, she performed for the next 36 years with Syracuse Symphony Orchestra until its untimely fall in 2011. She continued with the SSO’s successor, Symphoria, until her retirement at the end of the 2013-14 season. 

Leroy “Lee” Oliver Earle (BM ’61, theory / MM ’63 music education) of San Antonio, Texas passed away on July 28, 2016 at the age of 78. Lee was born Sept. 26, 1937, in Harlem, N.Y.  Lee’s childhood was filled with music lessons because his mother was fueled by the passion of the Harlem renaissance and the music of The Cotton Club and The Apollo Theater.  She felt that young Lee needed a craft that would assist him in going to college.  Lee worked as a music teacher and administrator for the New York City Board of Education, teaching primarily at I.S. 292 in Brooklyn for more than 30 years.  For more than 40 years he freelanced as a musician all over New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and upstate New York.  Lee’s hobbies were music, traveling with his wife, and being a dad.  He was active in his local churches and gave piano lesson until 2009, when his health began to fail. Lee married Priscilla Jane Fullerton on March 26, 1964; they were married 49 years. http://southsidedaily.com/2016/08/01/obits-leroy-oliver-earle-78/

Mabel Gerber (BM ’51/MM ’55, piano) (’96, cello) passed away on November 21, 2015 at the age of 85. In 1952 Mabel gave a recital at the original Circle-in-the-Square Theater in the Greenwich Village. She also appeared in recital at Carl-Fisher Hall and played for the Music Group of Mount Vernon in New York. Most notably Mabel performed at Carnegie Hall in 1961. Over the last six decades she was well-known by the Norwood community in the Bronx as an accomplished piano teacher who was dedicated to her young students.

David Gotay (’96, cello) passed away on April 3, 2015 at the age of 42 after a lengthy battle with kidney cancer.  Based in New York City, David performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the White House. His TV appearances included Saturday Night Live, MTV’s Unplugged, and The Jimmy Fallon Show with Florence and the Machine as well as Jim James; The Late Show With David Letterman, with Paloma Faith, and The Last Play at Shea with Billy Joel.  Throughout his career, David collaborated with a number of prominent artists such as Jay Z, Alicia Keys, Nas, Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, K. D. Lang, David Sanborn, Billy Ocean, Sheryl Crow, and Little Jimmy Scott.  He was a founding member of Sweet Plantain, a string quartet whose mission is to give voice to a contemporary, urban, Latino sound. 

Vlasta Jantzi (BM ’70, voice/MM ’73, music education) passed away on November 24, 2015 at the age of 90.  Born in Glina, Croatia, she immigrated to the United States in 1950, moving to Manhattan.  Vlasta was an accomplished soprano who often performed with the St. Cecilia in New York City.  She was also a music instructor in Brooklyn and Manhattan for 20 years for the former city Board of Education and taught music at the College of Staten Island, Willowbrook.

Camellia Johnson (1975-77, Special Graduate Studies, voice) passed away on August 26, 2015.  Camellia made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1985, as Lily in Porgy and Bess. Her other Met roles included Madelon in Andrea Chénier, Serena in Porgy and Bess, and the Priestess in Aida.  Carmellia also performed at Glyndebourne as the Strawberry Woman in Trevor Nunn’s production of Porgy. An exceptional recitalist and concert artist, Camellia has performed at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, as well as at the White House for President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama.

Margaret Juntwait (BM ’80, voice and 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient) passed away on June 3, 2015 at the age of 58. Margaret was “the voice” of the Metropolitan Opera for the last ten seasons. She was only the third regular host of the Met Broadcasts in its 83 years on the air and the only woman.  On the occasion of Margaret being awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award from MSM in 2014, , General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera Peter Gelb said, “There is something happily ironic in that a soprano graduate named Margaret Juntwait gets more air time around the world talking about sopranos, as the host of the Met’s radio broadcast, than any of the sopranos singing on the Met stage. Congratulations, Margaret, for making opera accessible to millions and for this award, a fitting tribute for such a distinguished and accomplished figure in the world of opera – that certainly is you.”

Irwin Katz (BM '51, Trumpet/ MM '52, Music Education), musician and recording industry executive, passed away in July of 2016 at the age of 87.  Beloved husband for nearly 67 years and devoted father of four children and eight grandchildren, Irwin is remembered for his dashing good looks, numerous creative talents, and his singular joy of life. A Brooklyn native, he attended Thomas Jefferson High School where he played soccer and met Rose, the love of his life. Graduate of Manhattan School of Music, he played the trumpet with many orchestras including the Boston Pops, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and the Cleveland Orchestra-- the first American orchestra to tour behind “the iron curtain” after World War II. He left the orchestra to help build the Discount Records chain (CBS).  During this time, Irwin reconnected with many performing artists, who were his kindred souls. He later joined RCA Records as the Director of Marketing for Classical Music and then returned to CBS Masterworks (Sony) as the head of Artists & Repertoire. In his retirement, he and his wife, Rose, established a boutique label, Helicon Records. (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/lohud/obituary.aspx?pid=180761728)

Ursula Mamlok (BM ’57, MM ’58, former College Faculty) passed away on May 4, 2016 at the age of 93.  Born in Berlin in 1923, Ursula’s life and musical studies were uprooted when she and family fled Nazi Germany in 1939 and found refuge in Ecuador.  She came on her own to New York and studied at the Mannes College of Music with George Szell.  She then earned bachelor of music and master of music degrees from Manhattan School of Music.  Ursula also studied with Roger Sessions, Ralph Shapey, and Stefan Wolpe.  For 66 years Ursula Mamlok lived in New York, composing, and teaching primarily at Manhattan School Of Music, and was a leading figure in New Yorkʼs musical scene.  Among her numerous commissions are those from the Koussevitsky and Fromm Music Foundations, Alaria Chamber Ensemble, Eastman School of Music, Earplay and the San Francisco Symphony.  She has received awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation, and in 1995, a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation.  Her works are regularly performed by major domestic and foreign ensembles and have been recorded by the CRI, Gasparo, Leonarda, Newport Classics, Music and Arts, Opus One, True Media, and Centaur labels and are published by C.F. Peters Corporation, American Composers Edition, McGuinness and Marx, and Hildegard.  In 1987, Ursula Mamlok received a Commendation of Excellence "for her contribution to the world concert music" by BMI.  Since her move back to Berlin in 2006, she had been championed by such leading musicians as Heinz Holliger, and performed widely throughout Europe.  She is the subject of a biography Time in Flux (in German) by Habakuk Traber.  Recordings have appeared on CRI, New World, Naxos, and Music and Arts.  The intrepid Bridge Records has recorded five volumes of her music. 

Edmund Niemann (BM ’68/MM ’73, piano) was a longtime member of Steve Reich and Musicians and founding member of the contemporary ensemble Parnassus.  He and Nurit Tilles formed the piano duo, Double Edge, which made its New York debut at Town Hall in 1987. The duo performed throughout Europe, Australia and the U.S. In March 2008, Double Edge returned to Los Angeles to play Visions de l'Amen in a celebration of Messiaen's centenary. Edmund also appeared as guest artist with the New York New Music Ensemble, the Da Capo Players, Speculum Musicae, and Newband. The New York Times said of his l984 Merkin Hall solo debut, "throughout the evening his playing was technically dazzling, his musicality unquestionable." His teachers included Artur Balsam, Robert Goldsand and Arminda Canteros. Edmund taught at Princeton University, Sarah Lawrence College, Hoff-Barthelson Music School and Third Street Music School Settlement.  MSM alumna and registrar of Hoff-Barthelson Music School, Terry Wager, said Edmund Niemann was a “treasured faculty member” and the School called him “a supremely gifted musician; he will be sorely missed by the students whose lives he touched and by all who had the good fortune to have known him.”

Erica Ohm (MM ’88 / PS ’88, Piano) earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Michigan State University after completing her Master’s degree and Professional Studies Certificate in piano performance at MSM. An exciting pianist equally at home in the music of J. S. Bach and George Crumb, and committed to performing music of her contemporaries, she was a first-prize winner in Korea’s most prestigious competition, the Dong-A Music Concours, and the International Institute of Music Competition. After her acclaimed first recital in Seoul in 1993, she performed as a soloist as well as an ensemble player throughout Korea, Japan, and China and the United States. The concert series of the complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas, with violinist Kyung Min Kim, and the complete Beethoven Piano Trios, with BINTRIO (cellist Hee Jin Paik, violinist Kyung Min Kim) have been featured on Korean radio and TV. Erica Ohm was named as one of “the best and the most active pianists in Korea” by Pianoforte (1997) and chosen as “pianist of the month” by Piano International (March 2011). Her solo CDs include Musical Moment (Blue Griffin Records) and Czerny—50 Kunst der Fingertigkeit (Ilsong Media). Erica served on the faculty of Michigan State University School of Music, Seoul National University, and Seoul High School of Music and Art, and was chair of the Department of Musical Arts, Seoul Arts College in Korea. 

Honorable Richard Owen (Special Undergraduate Studies, ’61 and MSM Board of Trustees from 1979-2009) passed away on November 20, 2015.  He was just shy of 93 years old.  His undergraduate studies at Dartmouth were interrupted for several years when he joined the United States Army Air Corps and served as a navigator in the Pacific during the WWII.  After returning and completing his A.B., he earned his L.L.B. from Harvard Law School.  He entered private practice and was also an assistant professor at New York Law School.  Richard became an assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, also serving as a special assistant U.S. attorney general. He was a senior trial attorney in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and worked as associate counsel to the New York State Commission on Alcoholic Beverage Laws.  In 1973, President Nixon appointed him to the federal bench, where he served for almost 40 years.  While maintaining a full-time legal career, Judge Owen also pursued his other passion: music.  He studied composition with Vittorio Giannini at the Manhattan School of Music where he later received an honorary doctorate and became a member of the Board of Trustees. Judge Owen went on to compose nine operas, including Abigail Adams and Rain, all of which have been performed and acclaimed throughout the U.S. and Europe, including in Lincoln Center, and five of his art songs were published by the General Music Publishing Company.  He met his late wife, Metropolitan Opera soprano Lynn Owen (1933-2014), while studying music at Tanglewood. Both his musical and legal legacy live on in his sons.  David attended the MSM Precollege Division and Richard Jr. received a Master of Music degree from MSM in 1998.

George Robert (MM ’87, jazz saxophone) passed away on March 14, 2016 at the age of 55.  While enrolled at Manhattan School of Music, he studied with Bob Mintzer.  He played lead alto in the Manhattan School of Music Big Band for two years, which earned in 1985 the 1st Prize in the College Big Band Category in the Down Beat Magazine Jazz Awards.  George is internationally recognized as one of the leading alto saxophonists in jazz today.  His discography includes more than 50 albums, among others with Kenny Barron, Clark Terry, Tom Harrell, Phil Woods, Ray Brown, Jeff Hamilton, Ivan Lins, Ray Drummond, Rufus Reid, Billy Hart, the Metropole Orchestra and many others.  In 1995 George was hired as Director of the Swiss Jazz School in Berne, the oldest independent jazz school in Europe.   In 2006 he founded the Jazz Department at the Lausanne Music University.   He was named Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic in 2008.  George had been touring throughout the world since 1984 and is the author of The Music of George Robert.

McNeil Robinson II (Organ Faculty 1984-2015) passed away on May 9, 2015. He was 72.  An acclaimed organist, composer, teacher, and gifted improviser, McNeil served as chair of the Manhattan School of Music organ department.  He was the organist of the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City from 1965 until 2012, and had also long been the organist and Music Director at the Park Avenue Christian Church.  He moved to the Holy Trinity Catholic Church on the Upper West Side, where he worked until last fall. McNeil studied in the United States and abroad with some of the most famous organists and composers of the day, including the French virtuoso Marcel Dupré, who praised Mr. Robinson’s recording of one of his pieces as “a magnificent performance of my work.”  Mr. Robinson’s own compositions for organ include the Concerto for Organ and Orchestra, first performed with the San Francisco Symphony in 1984, and the Dismas Variations. His works have been published by Theodore Presser, C. F. Peters, and Oxford University Press, and in many hymnals. Mr. Robinson played recitals in both hemispheres and conducted the premieres of works by Jacob Druckman and Jack Gottlieb. He also revived long-neglected works by Pergolesi, Scarlatti, and Cavalli, as well as early pieces by Mozart and Méhul.

Larry Rosen (’61, Percussion, MSM Honorary Doctorate 2012, MSM Jazz Gala Honoree 2013) passed away on October 9, 2015 at the age of 75.  Larry Rosen was the Chairman of Larry Rosen Productions, Inc., creator and producer of Jazz Roots – A Larry Rosen Jazz Series, co-founder of GRP Records, co-founder of LRSmedia, and co-founder and past Chairman of N2K, Inc. (NASDAQ). Larry was the creator and producer of the PBS television series Legends of Jazz and the creator and producer of multimedia TV series Recording: The History of Recorded Music, with hosts Quincy Jones and Phil Ramone.  He produced/executive produced over 350 albums, which won 33 GRAMMYS and were nominated for 80,  as well as numerous award-winning film/video productions and television specials.  Larry began his musical career as a drummer with the Newport Youth Band and met future partner Dave Grusin while working with singer Andy Williams and attending Manhattan School of Music. In 1972, the duo produced vocalist Jon Lucien for RCA and Columbia Records and went on to form Grusin/Rosen productions, which discovered and produced new recording artists Earl Klugh, Noel Pointer, Patti Austin, Lee Ritenour, and others. In 1978, Grusin/Rosen Productions signed a long-term contract with Arista Records president Clive Davis to develop new talent for the Arista/GRP label, including Dave Valentin, Angela Bofill, Bernard Wright, and Tom Browne. In 1979, he engineered and co-produced the Dave Grusin album Mountain Dance, the first digitally recorded nonclassical album.  Larry received Ernst & Young’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award in New Media & Entertainment; Forbes magazine named Rosen an “Internet Icon” in the cover story entitled “Masters of the New Universe.”  Mr. Rosen served as a member of the Board of Governors of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and served on the GRAMMY Screening Committee.  He received the NARAS Governor’s Award and was inducted into the A&R/Producers Honor Roll.  Larry served on the boards of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA), the Music for Youth Foundation (MYF), and the Music Educators National Council (MENC).  He also served on the board of the Brubeck Institute, the UM Frost School of Music Deans Visiting Committee, and, along with Mr. Grusin, co-founded the National Foundation for Jazz Education (NFJE), a philanthropic group that helps young jazz musicians.

Henry “Hank” Ross (BM ’50, piano) passed away on April 23, 2015 at the age of 88.  He continued his piano work for his entire life as a jazz stride player in NYC, in the tradition of Thomas Waller and James P. Johnson. He became a legacy player in Manhattan.  His album with Wild Carrot, I’ve Heard That Song Before, was released in 2008.

Robert Schrade (BM ’48/MM ’48: piano, College Piano Faculty: 1949 – 1955, Prep Division Piano Faculty: 1969 – 1991) passed away on December 14, 2015 at the age of 91.  Robert was an internationally known pianist, educator and patriarch of Schrade Family Pianists and Sevenars Music Festival in Worthington.  Mr. Schrade began performing masterworks of the piano repertoire as a child.  After serving as corporal in the Army Air Corps from 1942-1945, he continued his musical studies with Harold Bauer at the Manhattan School of Music.  He received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees simultaneously in 1948 and subsequently began a performance career that included solo, chamber music, concerti, and accompanying.  His international career was launched with his Town Hall debut in New York in 1949 and included numerous recitals in New York and tours of Europe, Canada, and the U.S.  Mr. Schrade also championed work by many contemporaries, including Nicolas Flagello, Paul Creston, Peter Mennin, and Ernest Bloch, among others.  He performed Bloch's Concerto Symphonique for piano and orchestra at Carnegie Hall with the National Orchestral Association in 1965.  Among other notable programs in Mr. Schrade's concert career were "Evening of Fantasies" (including Schumann's Op. 17, Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy, and works by CPE Bach); his "Op. 53 Program," a recital of works of that opus number by Beethoven, Chopin, Scriabin, and Arensky, among others); and "Around the World on 88 Keys".  Along with Mr. Schrade's performing, he maintained a distinguished teaching career at his alma mater, Manhattan School of Music and also at the Chapin School.  It was at the Manhattan School of Music that he met Rolande Young, whom he married in 1949. They were husband-and-wife for 65 years until her death last January.

Gunther Schuller (Precollege alumnus, MSM Honorary Doctorate 1987) passed away on June 21, 2015 at the age of 89.  He was a French horn prodigy as well as an influential composer, conductor, and educator.  At age 16 he performed Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony under Arturo Toscanini in the work’s first American broadcast.  He performed with the American Ballet Theatre, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the Metropolitan Opera, where he served as principal until 1959. When the Met was off-season, he played in the pits of Broadway theaters. Gunther was recommended as a hornist to Miles Davis and went on to record with Charles Mingus and Dizzy Gillespie.  At Aaron Copland’s invitation, Schuller began teaching in 1963 at the Berkshire Music Center, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, now called Tanglewood. He was Tanglewood’s Artistic Director from 1969 to 1984.  Schuller served as President of the New England Conservatory from 1967 to 1977.  Among his more than 180 compositions, Schuller wrote numerous pieces for orchestra, two operas, several concertos, many works for small groups, and a number of pieces for jazz ensembles. In addition to his book on French horn technique, he authored two books on jazz, as well as The Compleat Conductor.  In 1994, Schuller won the Pulitzer Prize for his Of Reflections and Reminiscences and was also awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, or “genius grant,” in 1991.

Joseph Seiger (Postgraduate Diploma ’51, Former Piano Faculty 1967-1990) passed away on March 3, 2015 at the age of 91. Joseph joined the MSM Piano Faculty when the School was still housed on East 105th Street, two years before the move to our current home in 1969, and went on to co-found the Vocal and Instrumental Accompanying Department in 1970. He was also, together with David Wells and violinist Ariana Bronne, a founding member of the Manhattan Trio.  Joseph was born in Israel in 1923 and began playing the piano at the age of eight. His prodigious talent earned him first prize in a national competition for young pianists in Tel Aviv just two years later, and he was subsequently accepted as a student at the Shulamit Conservatory, where he studied with Alexander Buch. After World War II, he continued his studies here at MSM, studying under Harold Bauer and Dora Zaslavsky, and winning the Harold Bauer Award for pianistic excellence on his way to earning his Master of Music degree in 1951. In 1952 he was selected by Mischa Elman to become the renowned violinist’s exclusive accompanist, and he collaborated with Mr. Elman throughout the world, in recitals, radio, and television appearances, and on a series of recordings, until Mr. Elman’s death in 1967. Joseph also performed with, among others, violinists Erick Friedman, Aaron Rosand, Ruggiero Ricci, Henryck Szering, Zvi Zeitlin, and Michael Rabin. In 1988, Joseph was invited to become a Visiting Professor at London’s Royal Academy of Music and appeared in concerts and festivals throughout Europe, presenting master classes in piano and chamber music in Germany, Spain, Hungary, Japan, and Australia. Since 1998, Mr. Seiger had been living in Tel Aviv.

Lew Soloff (Former Jazz Faculty 1986-2006)Lew joined MSM faculty at a pivotal time in the School’s history, just two years after MSM began offering a Master’s degree in Jazz in 1984 and just one year before our Jazz Bachelor’s degree program was announced in 1987.  Lew, who was born in Brooklyn in 1944 and took up the trumpet at age 10, was a fixture on the New York jazz scene for half a century. In 1968, he began a fertile and extremely influential five-year run with seminal jazz-rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears, with the high point of that stretch arguably coming at the two-minute mark of the band’s Top 40 smash, “Spinning Wheel,” when Lew’s memorable, upper-register, be-bop-fueled solo blew open the doors of rock and roll, offering up new possibilities and fusions to generations of jazz musicians. As The Late Show with David Letterman’s Paul Shaffer is quoted as saying in Lew’s New York Times obituary: “There was no jazz-rock before Blood, Sweat & Tears. [Lew] changed the idiom.” Lew’s long and fruitful career as a musician also saw him contributing regularly to recordings by Gil Evans and Carla Bley and serving as sideman for many other artists, including Barbra Streisand, Lou Reed, Dizzy Gillespie, Paul Simon, and Frank Sinatra. Lew was also a featured trumpet soloist on several occasions with innovative multi-instrumentalist Ornette Coleman, was lead trumpeter of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band under the direction of Jon Faddis, and spent six years as first trumpet in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. In addition, he recorded eight albums as a leader.

Phil Woods (’48, clarinet) passed away on September 29, 2015 at the age of 83.  A preeminent jazz alto saxophonist, Phil Woods was known for touring and recording with Quincy Jones and performing alongside musicians like Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman. He was prominently featured on Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are.”  Woods also played the alto sax solo on Steely Dan’s “Doctor Wu” from their 1975 album Katy Lied, as well as Paul Simon’s “Have a Good Time” from the 1975 album Still Crazy After All These Years. Although Woods was primarily a saxophonist, he studied clarinet at Manhattan School of Music in 1948 and then at the Juilliard School, where he graduated in 1952.  His education made him a sought-after player for his sight-reading skills.   Mr. Woods won four GRAMMY Awards and in 2007 was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and received a Living Jazz Legend Award from the Kennedy Center. 

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