Success Stories

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

  • 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 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

  • Nov 11, 2020Musical Theatre

    Randy Graff interviewed by OnStage Blog

    In a new interview with Joe Szekeres of OnStage Blog, Musical Theatre faculty member Randy Graff talks about teaching during a pandemic, the challenges and advantages of virtual learning, and the future of theatre.

    “As an educator, I see my students finding imaginative ways to connect with each other and with students all around the country. Some are doing Zoom play readings, their own work included, and having group discussions after. Many are using the time to self-tape monologues and songs and get them up on their websites. They’ve started Youtube channels and some are Zoom directing as well. All motivated by the pandemic.”

    Read the full interview here.

  • Nov 6, 2020Strings

    Kelly Hall-Tompkins performs in PAUSE series

    MSM faculty member Kelly Hall-Tompkins (MM ’95, HonDMA ’17) and Tony nominee Daniel J Watts perform in the second episode of OneTable’s new series, PAUSE.

    #takeaPAUSE with OneTable takes place on the first Friday of every month. In the series, creators mix ritual with innovation, asking and answering the questions: What do we do with the things we inherit? What can we gain from taking a PAUSE? How might we imagine the world not as it is, but as it could be?

    “Watts’ spoken word artistry juxtaposed with Tompkins’ violin mastery intertwines modernity and tradition, all the while wrestling with what can come from pressing pause before we press play again.”

    Learn more:

  • Oct 29, 2020Voice

    Amy Justman selected for Lotte Lenya Competition Songbook

    Alumna Amy Justman (MM ’02) was selected to perform “The Kettle Song” from Darling Grenadine in Kurt Weill Foundation Project’s new recording, the Lotte Lenya Competition Songbook. The hardships COVID-19 have caused for songwriters and performers has prompted The Kurt Weill Foundation to provide financial support to participants chosen for the Songbook, a collection of sixteen contemporary theater songs by nineteen emerging writers.

    Broadway luminaries Kelli O’Hara (HonDMA ’20, MSM Artistic Advisory Board Member), Andrew Lippa, and Andy Einhorn selected the collection of songs with Tony-winning composer Jeanine Tesori as an architect of the project.

    Read the full press release here.

  • Oct 27, 2020Composition

    Reiko Fueting awarded Barlow Commission Prize

    Composition, Theory, and Skills Department Chair Reiko Fueting (DMA ’00) has received the Barlow Commission Prize from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University. Fueting was one of fifteen composers chosen from 285 applicants from 20 different countries. See the full list of recipients here.

    Fueting was also recently interviewed by Composium, a newsletter covering everything from music technology to film composition. You can read the interview here.

  • Oct 26, 2020Jazz

    Terri Lyne Carrington receives NEA Jazz Masters award

    Drummer and composer Terri Lyne Carrington (HonDMA ’20), a member of MSM’s newly announced Artist Scholars program, last week received the nation’s highest honor in jazz: a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award.

    “I’m so proud to join the distinctive list of jazz masters, many of whom are mentors of mine,” said Carrington. “Apprenticeship is so powerful in this music, which is why I have focused my efforts in the area of jazz activism.” Read the full press release here.

    Terri Lyne is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice.

  • Oct 20, 2020Woodwinds

    Brandon Patrick George releases debut recording

    Alumnus Brandon Patrick George (MM ’10) has released an album of flute sonatas and solo works by J.S. Bach, Boulez, Aho, and Prokofiev. George describes his debut album as a dialogue between the past and the future, and this CD indeed represents a walk through musical history spanning 300 years. You can learn more about the recording here.

    Brandon Patrick George is the flutist of the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds and has made appearances as a concerto soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, and the American Composers Orchestra, among others.

    George was also interviewed by The New York Times in anticipation of his album release. Read the New York Times feature here.

  • Oct 18, 2020Strings

    Kelly Hall-Tompkins to guest host WQXR

    MSM faculty member, alumna, and renowned violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins (MM ’95, HonDMA ’17) will be a guest host on WQXR this Thursday, October 22 at 7 PM EST. For her guest appearance, Kelly has chosen works and recordings that inspire her by Mahler, Debussy, Brahms, Price, and others.

    Ms. Hall-Tompkins is an entrepreneur who has been acclaimed for her “tonal mastery” (BBC Music Magazine), and named New Yorker of the Year by The New York Times.

    Read more about the session here.

  • Oct 16, 2020Composition

    Anna Clyne and BBC Symphony Orchestra release Mythologies

    The BBC Symphony Orchestra has released a new album today devoted to orchestral works of alumna Anna Clyne (MM ’05). The album was released by the label Avie Records, and features conductors Marin Alsop, Sakari Oramo, Andrew Litton, and André de Ridder.

    Clyne composed the last piece, >>rewind<<, while still a student here at MSM. It was premiered in 2005 by the MSM Composers’ Orchestra and David Gilbert, and last year Nathan Hetherington conducted it with the Precollege Philharmonic.

    Purchase or stream Anna Clyne’s Mythologies here.

  • Oct 13, 2020Woodwinds

    New album by MSM Alum Brandon Patrick George (MM ’10) featured in the New York Times

    The New York Times writes about MSM alum Brandon Patrick George (MM’10), a member of Imani Winds, in its Arts section on October 13, 2020, reviewing his debut album with music by composers Bach, Boulez, Prokofiev and the Finnish composer Kalevi Aho.

    Read the article here.

  • Oct 11, 2020Piano

    Faculty member Kariné Poghosyan is featured artist for Armenia Humanitarian Relief event

    MSM piano faculty member Kariné Poghosyan performed at the fundraising event presented by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations. The concert raised money for the ArmeniaFund Humanitarian Relief Effort, with Kariné performing Khachaturian, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Debussy, and Chopin.

    The event can be watched here.

  • Oct 10, 2020Voice

    Justin Austin stars in The Three Penny Opera

    MSM alumnus Justin Austin (BM ’14, MM ’17) will star in City Lyric Opera’s virtual production of The Three Penny Opera running October 29–November 15.

    The singer was featured by PIX11 News in a video segment, available to watch here. “Being able to have that release through my craft is extremely important especially during this time,” he told PIX11 News.

    For tickets and more information, visit

  • Oct 5, 2020Brass

    Kesem Ninio wins at Bucharest Music Competition

    Tenor trombonist Kesem Ninio (MM ’22) recently won third prize in the brass portion of the 2020 Bucharest International Music Competition. Ninio is currently studying with Haim Avitsur at Manhattan School of Music.

    You can watch several of Ninio’s performances on his YouTube channel here.

  • Oct 2, 2020Orchestra

    MSM Alumna I-Jung Huang (PS ’20) appointed to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s first violin section

    I-Jung Huang comes to the SLSO with an impressive resumé of competition appearances and wins, as well as a long list of orchestras with whom she’s soloed, including the Houston Symphony, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Taiwan Philharmonic, and Taipei Symphony. She served as the concertmaster of prestigious music school orchestras, including the Manhattan School of Music, where she received a Professional Certificate in 2020.

    Read more here.

  • Sep 28, 2020Precollege

    Ole Akahoshi joins Horszowski Trio

    Last month, the New York-based Horszowski Trio announced the appointment of MSM Precollege faculty member Ole Akahoshi to the ensemble. Akahoshi will replace cellist Raman Ramakrishnan, who performed with the ensemble for the past nine years.

    Of his new position, Ole write: “I have been admiring the Horszowski Trio for many years and being on stage with them has always been a tremendously invigorating, inspiring, and highly gratifying experience for me.”

    Read the full press release from The Violin Channel here.

  • Sep 27, 2020Strings

    DMA student featured on the cover of Strings

    Cellist and DMA candidate Thomas Mesa is featured on the cover of the September/October edition of Strings Magazine. Print and digital versions of the issue are available to purchase here.

    Mr. Mesa was the winner of the $50,000 First Prize in the 2016 Sphinx Competition; the Thaviu Competition for String Performance (Chicago, 2013); The Astral Artists 2017 National Auditions; and the Alhambra Orchestra Concerto Competition.

    He is currently studying with MSM faculty member Julia Lichten.