Success Stories

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

  • May 11, 2023Orchestra Performance Program

    OP cello student Jessamyn Fry (MM ’24) wins a section cello position with the Delaware Symphony

    Current cello student Jessamyn Fry (MM ’24), who studies with Alan Stepansky in the Orchestral Performance program, recently won a section cello position with the Delaware Symphony.

    Jessamyn grew up in the Bay Area of California where she began studying cello at age nine. She graduated with a bachelor of music degree in cello performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music after studying with Dr. Melissa Kraut, before her master’s studies at MSM.

  • Apr 6, 2023Orchestra Performance Program

    MSM Orchestral Performance program horn alumnus Andrew Angelos assumes managerial responsibilities at the Spokane Symphony

    MSM Orchestral Performance horn alumnus Andrew Angelos (BM ’20, MM ’22) was recently named Operations and Personnel Manager of the Spokane Symphony based in Spokane, Washington.

    He won the position of third horn in the Symphony in August 2022, which he continues to hold in addition to his managerial work with the respected orchestra.

    Information about the Spokane Symphony here.

  • Apr 4, 2023Orchestra Performance Program

    The New World Symphony accepts MSM Orchestral Performance program current cello student and an alumnus

    The New World Symphony has accepted MSM cello student Shirley Kim (MM ’23) who is graduating this year from the Orchestral Performance (OP) program, and OP alumnus cellist Marcie Kolacki (MM ’21, PS ’22). The prestigious New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, is based in Miami and prepares graduates of music programs for leadership roles in professional orchestras and ensembles.

    The New World Symphony consists of young musicians who are granted fellowships lasting up to three years.

    Learn more about the New World Symphony here.

  • Jun 18, 2022Orchestra Performance Program

    Seven MSM alumni are part of the historical Juneteenth celebration at the Hollywood Bowl

    Seven MSM alumni took part in the Re-Collective Orchestra at the June 19 concert JUNETEENTH: A Global Celebration for Freedom in Los Angeles. The event marked the first-ever performance of an all-Black symphony orchestra in the Hollywood Bowl’s 100-year history.

    The MSM alumni are: Alex Laing (MM ’98) Clarinet, Monica Ellis (PS ’98) Bassoon, Jannina Norpoth (BM ’03) Violin, Burt Mason (MM ’08) Trombone, Tia Allen (PS ’10, PD ’12) Viola, Chris Johnson (MM ’08) Bass, Kyra Sims (MM ’12) French horn.

    The concert featured performances by Khalid, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Roots, Chaka Khan, Lucky Daye, Robert Glasper, Billy Porter, and more.

  • Jun 19, 2021Orchestra Performance Program

    MSM orchestral students and alumni featured with MET Opera stars in free Central Park concert on June 28 presented by Opera Italiana is in the Air

    Opera Italiana is in the Air is presenting “REBIRTH!” on June 28, 2021 to launch the reopening of the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park.

    The showcase will feature musicians from Manhattan School of Music, The Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, The Juilliard School, and The New School.

    Among the major performers involved are Jennifer Rowley, Gabriella Reyes, and Stephen Costello.

    The organization will be partnering with the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to present the Rising Voices Choir, which will sing the national anthem. The performance will be streamed to the Music Therapy department patients and all patients and staff of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

    Learn more here.

  • Oct 2, 2020Orchestra Performance Program

    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.

  • Apr 9, 2020Orchestra Performance Program

    MSM Precollege on WQXR on June 17th

    Performances of the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras will be aired on WQXR on June 17.

    The two orchestras will be featured performing their concerts held on February 8 at Manhattan School of Music, showcasing works by Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Weber, and Poulenc.

    Learn more about the MSM Precollege program here.


  • Feb 19, 2020Orchestra Performance Program

    Bassoon alum wins job at Hartford Symphony

    On Monday, February 17, orchestral bassoonistPinghua Felix Ren (MM’19 and PS ’20) won the Assistant Principal Bassoon position of the Hartford Symphony. He will begin playing with them later this spring.

    For more about the Hartford Symphony, visit their website or view their performance calendar here.

  • Feb 18, 2020Orchestra Performance Program

    I-Jung Huang (PS ’20) wins the section violin audition at the NY Philharmonic

    I-Jung Huang (PS ’20, Orchestral Violin) won the section violin audition at the NY Philharmonic on Sunday. She will begin trials with them later this spring. As a student of Glenn Dicterow and Lisa Kim, Huang is a student in the Orchestral Performance program at MSM, which inaugurated in 1991 and is the first accredited degree program of its kind in the United States.

    Chaired by Glenn Dicterow, the former concertmaster of the NY Philharmonic, the program produces polished musicians of the highest artistic caliber, who are prepared intensively in the orchestral repertoire for careers as symphonic players.

  • Aug 6, 2019Orchestra Performance Program

    Marina Aikawa wins NSO opportunity

    Violinist Marina Aikawa (MM ’19, Violin), former student of Glenn Dicterow, won a section violin audition for the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. She will begin trials with the orchestra beginning next month.

  • May 28, 2019Orchestra Performance Program

    Two OP alumni earn orchestral positions

    The violinists, Julia Choi (PS ’17) and Jeremias Sergiani Velazquez (PS ‘18), are recent graduates of Manhattan School of Music’s Orchestral Performance (OP) program. Ms. Choi has won a position with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Mr. Velazquez has won a position with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Both graduates are former students of Glenn Dicterow, former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic and current Chair of the OP program.

    Photo: (From L to R) Julia Choi, Glenn Dicterow, Jeremias Sergiani Velazquez

  • Apr 16, 2019Orchestra Performance Program

    Zachary Merkovsky wins position with York Symphony Orchestra

    The current classical bass student of Orin O’Brien is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Performance. Zachary is on track to graduate May 2019 before beginning his career with the York Symphony Orchestra.

    View YSO’s performance schedule here.

  • Feb 7, 2019Orchestra Performance Program

    MSM exchange student appointed principal cellist of the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra

    Theodor Lyngstad studied with MSM faculty member David Geber during the 2015-16 academic year, on exchange with Royal Danish Academy of Music, where in February 2017, Theodor Lyngstad won the RDAM soloist competition. In 2011, as a member of the string trio Trio Patetico, he was named musician of the year at the Youth Music Championship in Oslo.

    Learn more about the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra here

  • Oct 9, 2018Orchestra Performance Program

    Violist Bradley Perrimore (BM ’17) named to inaugural Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship class

    The Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship is a comprehensive post-graduate program designed to increase diversity in American orchestras.

    Read more

  • Oct 8, 2018Brass

    Karen Geer (MM ’85) leads the InterSchool Orchestras of New York as Executive Director

    MSM Precollege and College alumna Karen Geer and the InterSchool Orchestras of New York program she leads are profiled in the Epoch Times. The non-profit is at the forefront of grooming the next generation of musicians. Geer “has watched kids go from not knowing how to play anything, to performing an outstanding piece at shows at Carnegie Hall and beyond.”

    Read more

  • Oct 7, 2018Orchestra Performance Program

    MSM alumna Sheri Scales-Neubauer is named concertmaster of Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra

    Scales-Neubauer studied with MSM faculty member and former NY Philharmonic Concertmaster Glen Dicterow. She is an active performer, teacher and music education advocate in Tulsa, OK.

    Read more

  • Oct 5, 2018Brass

    Manhattan School of Music alum Jeffrey Kaye (’87) profiled in Boca Raton, Florida newspaper

    Performer, teacher and clinician Jeffrey Kaye is both principal trumpet and Artistic Director of The Symphonia in Boca Raton, FL.

    Read more

  • Oct 4, 2018Orchestra Performance Program

    MSM alumnus Vijay Gupta (’04) named a 2018 MacArthur Fellow!

    “Vijay Gupta is a social justice advocate and violinist who is forging effective pathways to bring music to the marginalized and establishing new possibilities for social connection and support.”

    MacArthur Fellows receive a $625,000 award encouraging them to continue to innovate, take risks, and pursue their creative vision.

    Read more

  • Oct 4, 2018Orchestra Performance Program

    Two MSM graduates join the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

    Congratulations to Joseph Kelly (BM ’13, MM ’15) now Assistant Timpani/Section Percussion of the TSO.

    Violinist Dasol Jeong (PS ’17) joins the symphony in January 2019.

    Read more

  • Oct 3, 2018Orchestra Performance Program

    Veronica Parrales (BM ’99) named “Artist to Watch” by Jackson Free Press

    Principal cellist of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra since 2016, Parrales is an active educator and performer in Jackson, MS.

    Read more

  • Sep 28, 2018Orchestra Performance Program

    MSM Student, Oboist Tamara Winston, is named an Ensemble Connect Fellow

    The two-year fellowship awarded to Tamara Winston, currently a MSM Professional Studies Certificate candidate, will help prepare her for a career that combines performance with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, leadership, and entrepreneurship.

    Read more

  • Sep 14, 2018Orchestra Performance Program

    Alan Stewart (MM ’11) joins the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Percussion

    The 2018-19 season will mark Alan Stewart’s first full season with the ensemble. At Manhattan School of Music he studied with MSM Percussion Department Chair Christopher Lamb, faculty member Duncan Patton, and consultant She-e Wu.

    Read More

  • Jul 31, 2018Orchestra Performance Program

    Violinist Tian Zhao (BM ‘16 & OPMM ’18) wins a section violin position in the Singapore Symphony Orchestra

    Recent MSM graduate Tian Zhao (BM’16 & OPMM ’18) is excited about this opportunity with the respected Singapore Symphony.

  • Jul 18, 2018Orchestra Performance Program

    MSM Precollege Orchestras are featured on NYC’s classical music station, WQXR

    “This week on the Young Artists Showcase, we will hear music from a variety of talented students in the Manhattan School of Music’s Precollege Division. After the more symphonic fare of Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave and Kabalevsky’s “Youth” Piano Concerto, we’ll turn to the chamber music of Malcolm Arnold, Beethoven and Brahms”

    Listen to the broadcast stream here.

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