Success Stories

Explore Recent News and Success Stories about MSM Students, Alumni, and Faculty.

  • Apr 2, 2021Jazz

    Jazz bassist Noah Jackson (MM ’12) named Music Director and Artist in Residence of Influential Detroit Jazz Club Cliff Bells

    “I want to bring Detroit back into its prominence that most musicians around the world know it to be,” says Noah Jackson. “But many people outside the music don’t.”

    “I’ve always felt that Detroit was going to be a major factor in my life one way or the other, and that it was a major component towards my personal artistic identity,” says Jackson, who has been a highly sought-after bassist in NYC where he plays with Brandford Marsalis, Kenny Garrett, Christian Sands, and others.

    Cliff Bell’s reopens to the public on Friday, April 2, and will feature Sean Dobbins and the Modern Jazz Messengers April 2-3.

    Learn more about his appointment here.

  • Mar 31, 2021Opera

    Savannah VOICE Festival Names MSM Faculty Member Jorge Parodi to Board of Directors

    The respected Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) has announced the expansion of its Board of Directors to include three new members including MSM Senior Opera Theatre Music Director, along with Michael Ching and Howard Watkins.

    The Festival brings classical vocal excellence to the Savannah area through a two-week celebration of concerts, events and educational presentations during the month of August and throughout the year.

    Learn more here.

  • Mar 29, 2021Composition

    MSM Faculty Member Susan Botti is named a recipient of a Fromm Foundation Commission

    Susan Botti is one of fourteen composers selected to receive a 2020 Fromm Commission by the Harvard University-based organization’s Board of Directors.

    These commissions represent one of the principal ways that the Fromm Music Foundation seeks to strengthen composition and to bring contemporary concert music closer to the public.

    In addition to the commissioning award, a subsidy is available for the ensemble performing the premiere of the commissioned work.

    Learn more about Susan here.

  • Mar 28, 2021Precollege

    National Association of Teachers of Singing Eastern Region name four MSM Precollege students as award-winners

    The MSM Precollege student award winners are:

    Lower High School Music Theater Treble Voice

    Honorable Mentioned – Lauren Marchand – Student of Giuseppe Spoletini

    Upper High School Musical Theater Treble Voice

    2nd Place – Meghna Das – Student of Jeanai La Vita

    Upper High School Tenor Bass Baritone – Classical

    3rd Place – Henry Hsiao – Student of Jeanai La Vita

    Learn more here.

  • Mar 27, 2021Precollege

    Precollege student Alex Cha wins 2nd place in NJ Youth Symphony Concerto Competition.

    Precollege student Alex Cha (top left in photo), Precollege student of Jo-Ann Sternberg, won second place in the annual NJ Youth Symphony Concerto Competition.

    The annual competition for members of the NJYS Youth Symphony was held virtually this year, with 19 entrants performing for guest adjudicators Ilmar Gavilan, violinist of Harlem Quartet, and Mark Laycock, professor of orchestral studies at Wichita State University.

    Learn more here.

  • Mar 24, 2021Strings

    Judith Insell appointed to Executive Director of Bronx Arts Ensemble

    Bronx Arts Ensemble announced the appointment of MSM alumna Judith Insell (BM ’92, MM ’93, Classical Viola) to Executive Director today in a press release.

    Judith has previously served as BAE’s Artistic Director and Director of Curriculum and Artist Development.

    “It is my honor to assume the leadership of an organization that was founded nearly 50 years ago through the grit and passion that William “Bill” Scribner had for supporting the arts and culture of the Bronx through music performances and arts education. As a musician born and raised in the Bronx, I am thrilled to be leading BAE’s charge into the future, further lifting up performing arts and arts education in the communities of the Bronx, greater New York City, and worldwide,” says Insell.

  • Mar 11, 2021Jazz

    David Zheng interviewed by JAZZIZ Magazine

    Alumnus David Zheng (MM ’20, Jazz Piano) talks about his time at Manhattan School of Music in a new interview from JAZZIZ Magazine’s Spring 2021 issue, “When Jazz met Hip-Hop”. JAZZIZ subscribers can read the full interview here.

    “Merging jazz, R&B and hip-hop sensibilities, and featuring collaborations with and performances by top talents from a multitude of genres in the NYC music community, Loading… finds Zheng floating his jazzy sensibilities atop a sophisticated blend of hard-hitting dance-floor grooves, intricately textured electronics and dreamy atmospheres,” writes Jonathan Widran.

    Zheng signed with Ropeadope Records shortly after graduating, and released his first album Loading… in December 2020. Follow David Zheng on Instagram for the latest news and updates.

  • Feb 13, 2021Jazz

    Alumnus wins prestigious jazz composition award

    Last month, the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers (ISJAC) announced the 2021 winner of the prestigious ISJAC/USF Owen Prize in Jazz Composition: recent MSM graduate Robert Buonaspina (MM ’20, Jazz Composition). During his time at MSM, Robert studied with esteemed faculty member Jim McNeely.

    Mr. Buonaspina’s winning composition, “Smile Pretty”, will be performed virtually by an acclaimed professional jazz orchestra at ISJAC’s Un[chart]ed Territory (March 18-20). Learn more about the event here.

  • Feb 12, 2021Strings

    MSM Faculty member and alumna Kelly Hall-Tompkins (MM ’95, HonDMA ’17) is a featured artist on WQXR’s new Artist Propulsion Lab

    Kelly Hall Tompkins (MM ’95, HonDMA ’17)  is one of six artists, hand-selected by the WQXR team, who are receiving an honorarium of $15,000 and a budget of up to $5,000 to engage collaborators and commission works. The artists will be able to take advantage of WQXR’s various outlets to reach audiences, too, via Greene Space performances, on-air curation opportunities, and much, much more.

    “I am really excited for their support in bringing some of my projects to life, particularly in such challenging times,” says Kelly.

    Learn more here.

  • Feb 9, 2021Voice

    Soprano Jeanne Gérard (MM ’15), MSM Alumna, is nominated for France’s Victoires de la Musique Classique

    The prestigious Victoires de la Musique Classique are important classical music awards in France. The ceremony featuring the winners takes place on February 24th and will be broadcast live on French national TV and radio.

    Half of the votes that determine the winner are cast by the public, with voting closing on Feb 15. Votes for Jeanne can be placed here.

    View the nominees’ concerts featuring Jeanne:
  • Feb 4, 2021Precollege

    The Garden State Philharmonic names former MSM Precollege student as President of the Board

    Dr. Nancy Mezey, the Dean of the Honors School at Monmouth University, has been appointed as the President of the Board of The Garden State Philharmonic, the critically acclaimed professional orchestra that is “Orchestra in Residence” at Ocean County College in Tom’s River.

    In addition to the professional orchestra, the GSP sponsors a three-tiered Youth Orchestra program comprised of more than 100 students between the ages of eight and 21, and an auditioned Community Chorus.

    Learn more about Dr. Mezey’s appointment here.

  • Jan 29, 2021Voice

    MSM Alum and Board of Trustee member Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08) a winner of the 2021 Beverly Sills Artist Award

    Congratulations to MSM Alumnus and Board of Trustees member Anthony Roth Costanzo (MM ’08) for this prestigious award!

    The Metropolitan Opera has announced that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it will be splitting the 2021 Beverly Sills Artist Award between five artists including Erin Morley, Brenda Rae, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Ben Bliss, and Ryan Speedo Green.

    Each artist will receive $10,000 awards. This is the first time in the company’s history that the award is given to more than one artist in a given year.

    Learn more here.

  • Jan 22, 2021Strings

    Biden economic advisor and MSM alum featured on The Argument episode

    Alumnus Jared Bernstein (BM ’78, Classical Double Bass) is a special guest on this week’s episode of The New York Times’s podcast, “The Argument”.

    As a member of Joe Biden’s Council of Economic Advisors, Bernstein talks about the economy and his ideas. Around the 46 minute mark, he mentions his time at Manhattan School of Music and recommends one of his favorite Bach concertos.

    You can listen to the full episode here.

  • Jan 21, 2021Piano

    Kariné Poghosyan profiled by The Armenian Mirror-Spectator

    MSM College and Precollege faculty member Kariné Poghosyan (MM ’05, DMA ’07) is described by the publication as a “truly one-of-a-kind classical performer” who “inspires listeners with her vivacious, passionate piano interpretations of a wide range of classical music”.

    The article also discusses Dr. Poghosyan’s weekly Facebook Live concert series that she began at the beginning of the pandemic. Her 45th concert in the series—dedicated to the music of Arno Babajanian—is slated for this Friday, January 22.

    You can read the full article here, and follow Dr. Poghosyan’s Facebook page here.

  • Jan 20, 2021Composition

    MSM alumnus’s composition performed at Presidential Inauguration

    Adolphus Hailstork (BM ’65, MM ’66, HonDMA ’19) will have his composition, “Fanfare on Amazing Grace”, played by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band during pre-ceremony festivities at today’s inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Listen to a rehearsal of the performance here.

    The historic performance will mark the second time that a contemporary African American composer’s music has been selected to be part of the repertoire performed at a presidential inauguration.

    Hailstork is currently working on a requiem cantata for George Floyd, “A Knee on the Neck,” one of many compositions that reflect his engagement with Black history. He expects to complete it in April.

    Read the full press release here.

  • Jan 19, 2021Musical Theatre

    Recording release by MSM Musical Theatre faculty member Judith Clurman in honor of the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States

    MSM Musical Theatre faculty member Judith Clurman, the conductor and music director of the preeminent NYC chorus ESSENTIAL VOICES USA and record label Acis announce the release of America at Heart via streaming platforms.

    The chorus is joined by Tony Award® winners Randy Graff, also a MSM Musical Theatre faculty member, and Brian Stokes Mitchell for a release in honor of the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, on January 20, 2021.

    Learn more here.

  • Jan 2, 2021Musical Theatre

    Musical Theatre students and alumni to perform in original play by Samantha Hahn

    Current students Paul Esswein (BM ’21), Jack D’Emilio (BM ’21), Subiya Mboya (BM ’22), and Alesha Jeter (BM ’23), as well as alumna Raquel Nobile (MM ’17), will star in The Right Way, a new play written by Musical Theatre Senior Samantha Hahn (BM ’21). The Right Way is a school-set comedy in one act filled with wacky characters, wordplay, and little lessons.

    The online event, which is part of the Jocunda Festival’s Virtual Play Reading Series, will be held on Sunday, January 10, at 8pm EST on Zoom. Tickets are a $15.00 donation benefitting the Riant Theater, and are available to purchase here.

  • Dec 29, 2020Musical Theatre

    Sarah Thorn nominated for BroadwayWorld Regional Award

    Musical Theatre senior Sarah Thorn (BM ’21) has been nominated by BroadwayWorld Boston for Performer of the Decade. Voting has closed and results will be announced on the Broadway World Boston website. Sarah performed the role of Lucy Barker/Beggar Woman in last year’s production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

  • Dec 15, 2020Composition

    Paolo Marchettini to release debut album

    Composition faculty member Paolo Marchettini will release his first album of five orchestral works on January 8, 2021. The album will be released by New Focus Recordings. Marchettini draws inspiration from Verdi, Frescobaldi, Morricone, and sets texts by Emily Dickinson in this collection of recorded performances by both American and Itl Orchestra della Toscana, the Orchestra Roma Sinfonietta, and the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Orchestra.

    The album is available for pre-order here.

  • Dec 8, 2020Precollege

    Precollege students place first and second in NY Young Virtuoso Competition

    Two students of pianist Robin Freund-Epstein were named winners in the New York Young Virtuoso Competition, which took place virtually this year. Jeffrey Li, age twelve, won first prize in his age category, and Aaron Liu won second prize in the category.

    Due to the ongoing global health crisis, winners recitals have been postponed indefinitely. You can view the full list of winners here.

  • Dec 3, 2020Precollege

    MSM Precollege students among 2021 YoungArts Winners

    Five Precollege students have been selected as winners by the National YoungArts Foundation, one of the most comprehensive programs for emerging artists in the United States. Meghna Das was named a Finalist in the Popular Voice, Oliver D’Avolio received a Merit Award in Jazz Piano, Eugene Hong earned a Merit Award in Classical Piano, Olivia Park won a Merit Award in the Singer-Songwriter division, and Jack Towse acquired a Finalist spot in Jazz Trumpet.

    Winners are chosen for their caliber of artistic achievement by esteemed discipline-specific panels of artists through a rigorous blind adjudication process and are awarded in three categories: Finalist, Honorable Mention and Merit. You can view the full list of winners here.


  • Dec 2, 2020Strings

    Alumnus Jared Bernstein Named to Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers

    AP reports that President-Elect Joe Biden has tapped Manhattan School of Music alumnus Jared Bernstein, who studied double bass at MSM and earned his Bachelor of Music from the School in 1978, for a role on his Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). Learn more about Bernstein’s appointment here.

    To read an exclusive MSM Q&A with Mr. Bernstein from May 2018, please visit this Alumni Spotlight page.

  • Dec 1, 2020Music History

    Pianist Kariné Poghosyan celebrates “Beethoven in C” with December concert series

    Kariné Poghosyan, a member of the Music History (College) and Piano (Precollege) faculty, will perform works by Beethoven during her weekly virtual concerts throughout the month of December.

    Armenian Weekly writes, “In honor of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, Ms. Poghosyan had originally scheduled her annual Beethoven’s Birthday Concert for Carnegie Hall. But, when that was cancelled due to the pandemic she was determined that the show must go online.”

    The concerts are free with the option of sending voluntary contributions to the artist. You can watch them live each Friday at 8pm EST on Ms. Poghosyan’s Facebook page.

  • Dec 1, 2020Voice

    Susan Graham stars in Three Decembers

    World renowned mezzo-soprano and Manhattan School of Music alumna Susan Graham (MM ’87) stars in Opera San Jose’s THREE DECEMBERS, streaming December 3–31.

    With a brilliant, witty libretto by Gene Scheer and a soaring musical score by Jake Heggie, THREE DECEMBERS is a 90-minute full-hearted American opera about family – the ones we are born into and those we create.

    Susan shares,”I’m so impressed by what everyone here has created for us to move forward in a safe way, and in an artistic way. It’s so fulfilling. It really is. It’s powerful.”

    Info + Tickets:

  • Nov 22, 2020Voice

    Rachel Querreveld wins Ernst Bacon American Song Prize

    Recent MSM graduate Rachel Querreveld (MM ’19, Classical Voice) has won the Civic Morning Musicals Ernst Bacon American Song Prize. The award was announced today via the Civic Morning Musical’s Facebook page. You can watch Rachel’s winning performance here.

  • Nov 20, 2020Jazz

    Jazz students featured in NYTimes article

    Three freshman jazz students are captured performing in Central Park in a new story from The New York Times, “A Bright Spot in the Pandemic Gloom: Jazz Is Everywhere in New York”. The article features a short video clip of students Kellin Hanas (Jazz Trumpet), Zoe Harrison (Jazz Double Bass), and Adam Lamoureux (Jazz Tenor Saxophone) busking in the park.

    Kellin Hanas, an 18-year-old from Wheaton, Ill., can’t quite believe her new venue: “Central Park, holy cow! I saw this on the Disney Channel.”

    Read the story and watch their performance here.

  • Nov 19, 2020Strings

    Maïthéna Girault to compete in Sphinx Competition semi-final

    The Sphinx Organization has announced 18 semi-finalists for its 2021 Annual Sphinx Competition, which will take place virtually in January 2021. Violinist Maïthéna Girault (BM ’20, MM ’22) has been selected to compete in the senior division for musicians aged 18–30.

    Founded in 1997, the Sphinx Competition for Black and Latinx strings players provides an opportunity for young musicians of color to compete under the guidance and mentorship of internationally renowned musicians. Read the full press release here.

  • Nov 17, 2020Musical Theatre

    Musical theatre students selected to compete in national voice competition

    Musical Theatre students Libby Johnston (BM ’22) and Tirza Meuljic (BM ’22) are semifinalists in The American Pops 4th Annual “NextGen National: Finding the Voices of Tomorrow” competition.

    Libby, Tirza, and 28 other college students from coast to coast will compete this Saturday, November 21st at 8:00 PM for the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship and paid performance opportunity with APO in their 2021-2022 Season.

    For more information visit The American Pops website.

  • Nov 15, 2020Precollege

    Lauren Marchand wins Schmidt Vocal Arts Competition

    Precollege student Lauren Marchand received the “Most Promising Sophomore” award during the Schmidt Vocal Arts Competition, an honor given to the highest scoring participant in the sophomore group.

    The Schmidt Vocal Competition reaches more than 400 students each year and takes place in 17 locations throughout the U.S. The day-long competition affords singers an opportunity to perform live in front of an audience for the chance to win cash awards and scholarships, and offers coaching and master class training with premier artists. Learn more about the competition here.

  • Nov 12, 2020Jazz

    Alumnus inducted into Long Island Music Hall of Fame

    Saxophonist Pat DeRosa (BM ’54, MM ’56), who turned 98 this year, was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021. DeRosa, who grew up in Huntington, performed with the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band, bandleaders Lionel Hampton and Tommy Tucker and jazz legend John Coltrane, with whom he played for three years until Coltrane’s death in 1967.

    DeRosa’s induction video can be seen at