#MSMspotlight

Conversations about creativity, inspiration, and life at MSM.

“In almost any situation here at MSM, you will find somebody who's an incredible and unique musician. The opportunities to play with great musicians here are endless.”

Varun Das (PC '18, BM '22, MM '24)

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“Every single person in the rehearsal room brings something completely unique to the table and that amalgamation of creativity allows such magical things to be created.”

Benjamin Hahn (BM '24)

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“Valentino’s Tango is a wonderful example of how the classic can be made contemporary, and really holds space for performers and audiences who perhaps traditionally favor more golden age material.”

Victoria Baroni (BM '24)

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“While [moving has] definitely been an adjustment, I really love being in the heart of all the action. There's not a single time where there's nothing for me to do.”

Leor Arbel (BM '26), classical trombone

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“Playing in a MSM orchestra surrounded by your friends and colleagues not only makes you feel welcome and at ease, but also united as a group of artists actively pursuing what we all love to do.”

Marcos Ruiz (BM '23)

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“My most favorite memories from MSM involve the friends I’ve made throughout the year... It’s a community I’m grateful to be a member of.”

Andrew Conover (MM '23)

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“This gradual, yet still somewhat sudden return to in-person music making, has led to a heightened appetite for collaboration and a more profound sense of community. These are the things that I hope to preserve as I carry on, beyond MSM.”

Shimon Gambourg (MM '22)

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“From my professors, other trumpet players, and just other friends I have made during my time at MSM, I really feel I have found my MSM Family here -- and it hasn’t even been a full year yet!”

Themba Pieterse (BM '25)

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“MSM has the most comprehensive curriculum for singers that extends from classical to contemporary, musical theater, and more. As our school motto says, 'those who excel reach the stars', and it keeps encouraging me and my fellow classmates to strive for success in this spirit.”

Daiyao Zhong (BM '19, MM '23)

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“I’m really excited about the International Students Concert! I feel that will be a singular experience, because both audience and performers will have a place to share so many kinds of uniqueness from each country.”

Gabriele Leite (MM '22)

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“I enjoy the creativity and skill possessed by a large amount of my classmates, the rigor of the curriculum in several different areas of performance and composition, the highly competent and accomplished faculty, and the truly amazing library...There are few music programs in the world which would allow you to investigate these kinds of academic and musical resources.”

Will Lyle (MM '22)

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“MSM has taught me to be industrious, resourceful, and self-reliant. I've developed a passion here for collaboration, especially with artists outside my discipline.”

Elliot Roman (PC '17, BM ’21, MM ’23)

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“"Upon my arrival in 2019, I was approached by another student who invited me to the first meeting of the Black Student Union. Instantly, I was struck with a sense of belonging. I was hit with a sense of  '...we see you and you are not alone'."”

Jaydon Beleford (BM '23)

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“One more little helpful tip is to not listen to any recordings as the performance approaches, I do this because I want all the musical ideas to come from me.”

Luxi Wang (BM '22), Classical Violin

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“"The faculty, community, and location of MSM are truly incomparable. Also, who wouldn't want to go to a school that's a 15-minute subway ride from BROADWAY!?!?" ”

Zane Zapata (BM '22), Musical Theatre

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“Being a part of Opera Outreach is very important to me because Opera is important to me.”

Jasmine Ismail (MM ’21, PS '22), Classical Voice

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“I believe music can be used as a powerful tool that can raise people’s awareness and shed a light on things that deserve to be noticed and exposed. I would be beyond grateful if my music can be served as a voice that stands up for others and inspires the listeners.”

Euna Joh (MM ’22), Classical Composition

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“New York City is one of the best places I could imagine to explore the depths of music and creativity. A strong community of peers and faculty members to learn from put MSM at the top of my school options.”

Dylan Holly (MM ’22), Classical Double Bass Performance

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“Whether it’s hearing the classical voice majors sing in the practice rooms or walking past a symphony orchestra rehearsal in Neidorff-Karpati Hall, I love being surrounded by people’s art. It’s what makes MSM such a wonderful educational setting.”

Lyda Jade Harlan (BM ’24), Musical Theatre

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“A strong community that radiates love, compassion, and empathy will always persevere amidst any obstacle. In the future I wish to be a part of institutions and projects that share that idea by offering others the tools and resources needed to reach their goals and dreams.”

Remee Ashley (MM ’22), Jazz Tenor Trombone

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“MSM is such a supportive community and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know everyone so far. I feel very motivated by this environment since I am surrounded by so many hard-working and talented musicians. I like getting feedback on my playing from friends and colleagues here, and it’s nice to have other people to bounce ideas off of.”

Megan Torti (MM ’23), Orchestral Performance

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“Being part of the Opera Scenes is like being with a family.”

Daniel Choi (MM ’21), Classical Voice

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“Due to MSM’s close-knit quality, it is so easy to find new opportunities, experiences, and even new collaborations. The students and faculty are very approachable and accepting, so it is a great environment to thrive and improve during your educational journey.”

Sophia Filippone (BM ’22), French Horn Performance

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“But because of the commitment of being artists regardless any situation and the hard work, we made it, we embraced the amazing content of Langston Hughes artwork, we made it part of our essence as humans and we gave our voices in service of the arts.”

Ricardo Rodriguez (BM ’22), Classical Voice

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“My one major hope for the future is that we as a society can all bring each other together through music. Music connects souls. It’s a language that everyone can understand and interpret and digest.”

Jennifer Ahn (MM ’21, Classical Violin)

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“There is nothing I’ve experienced in my life more rewarding than having a chance to play beautiful music for people of all kinds, creeds, and races knowing that everyone may take something different from the performance, but nobody will leave unchanged.”

Cosmos Fristachi (MM ’21, Classical Clarinet)

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“My priority each day is to make sure that our students are well cared for, that they feel seen and part of a greater community, that their needs are met, that they are meeting our community expectations and that we are meeting theirs.”

Samantha Tymchyn (Director of Residence Life)

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“My favorite part about the show is how lively it is. It really depicts what theatre really is: performers coming together to take the audience on a journey to escape from everyday life.”

Max Kuenzer (BM ’22, Musical Theatre)

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“Filming this production was something I will never forget. When the virus hit last March 2020, we were roughly a week out from opening our vibrant show in all of its live, theatrical glory. I would often imagine my family there—in that beautiful auditorium—just waiting for the lights to go down and the orchestra to play. But I am so grateful we found a way to prevail despite the circumstances.”

Elizabeth Baxley (BM '21, Musical Theatre)

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“I consider the spirit of the Lives of the Piano series to be about connections: connecting classical music with contemporary music, the past with the present, older faculty like me with young students.”

Lisa Yui (DMA '05, Piano Faculty)

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