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The Distinguished Alumni Award is an honor bestowed upon select alumni who have demonstrated exceptional career achievement and have provided extraordinary service to the School.


  • 2019 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Dr. Elaine Bearer (BM ’70, Theory)
    Neuroscientist, professor, and composer

  • 2019 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Dr. Nicholas Goluses (BM ’81, MM ’82, DMA ’85, Guitar)
    Professor of Guitar, Eastman School of Music

  • 2019 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Cori Ellison (’79, Voice)
    Dramaturg, Santa Fe Opera

  • 2017 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Adolphus Hailstork (BM ’65, MM ’66, Composition)
    Composer

  • 2017 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Susan Quittmeyer (MM ’78, Voice)
    Mezzo-soprano and educator

  • 2017 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Steve Turre (MM ’88, Jazz Trombone)
    Jazz trombonist and educator

  • 2017 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    David Wolfsohn (DMA ’84, Piano)
    Lawyer

  • 2016 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Larry Hochman (BM ’75, Theory)
    Tony Award-winning orchestrator

  • 2016 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Hyung-Ki Joo (BM ’93, MM ’99, Piano)
    Pianist, composer, and educator

  • 2016 Outstanding Young Alumni Award

    Kimberly Thompson
    (BM ’03, Jazz Drumset)
    Drummer and Recording label President

  • 2015 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Angelo Badalamenti (BM ’58, French Horn / MM ’59, Music Education)
    Grammy Award winning composer

  • 2015 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Stefon Harris (BM ’95, Percussion / MM ’97, Jazz Vibraphone)
    Jazz Vibraphonist

  • 2015 Outstanding Young Alumni Award

    Pablo Villegas (PD ’04, PS ’06, AD ’07, Guitar)
    Classical Guitarist

  • 2014 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Joseph Joubert (BM ’79 / MM ’81, piano)
    Broadway pianist, conductor, music director

  • 2014 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Margaret Juntwait (BM ’80, voice)
    “The Voice” of the Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts

  • 2014 Outstanding Young Alumni Awards

    David Handler (BM ’04, composition) and Justin Kantor (BM ’02, cello)
    Co-Founders, (le) Poisson Rouge

  • 2013 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Robert McGrath (MM ’59, voice)
    “Bob” on Sesame Street

  • 2013 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Dr. Cynthia Boxrud (BM ’78,theory)
    Ophthalmologist

  • 2013 Outstanding Young Alumni Award

    Kirill Gerstein (BM ’99 / MM’00, piano)
    Pianist

  • 2012 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Yusef Lateef
    (BM ’69 / MM ’70)
    2010 NEA American Jazz Master

  • 2012 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Jesse Rosen (BM ’75)
    President and CEO, League of American Orchestras

  • 2012 Distinguished Alumni Honoree

    Lauren Flanigan (’84)
    Soprano
    Founder, Music & Mentoring House

  • 2012 Outstanding Young Alumni Award

    Alexandre Moutouzkine (MM ’01 / PS ’04 / AD ’05)
    Pianist

  • 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

    Johanna Meier (BM ’60)
    Soprano

  • 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

    Carol Wincenc (BM ’71)
    Flutist

  • 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

    John Musto (BM ’76 / MM ’80)
    Composer

  • Outstanding Young Alumni Award

    Jason Moran (BM ’97)
    Jazz Pianist

  • 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

    Roy Eaton (BM ’50 / MM ’52)
    Pianist and music marketing executive

  • 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

    James Petercsak (BM ’66 / MM ’68)
    Percussionist and educator

  • 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

    Judy Blazer (BM ’77)
    Vocalist and actor

  • 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

    Sebastian Currier (BM ’82 / MM ’83)
    Composer

  • 2010 Outstanding Young Alumni Award

    Olivera Medenica (BM ’96)
    Attorney

  • 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

    Joe Wilder ’53
    Jazz performer and educator

  • 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

    Capt. Kenneth Force ’64 / ’65 / ’70
    Director of Music, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

  • 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

    Elliot Goldenthal ’77 / ’79
    Grammy- and Academy Award-winning composer

  • 2009 Outstanding Young Alumni Award

    Laquita Mitchell ’01 / ’02
    Soprano