Success Stories

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

  • Mar 3, 2024Woodwinds

    MSM woodwinds student Lucy Rubin wins 3rd prize at the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia’s Young Artist Competition.

    MSM woodwinds student Lucy Rubin (MM ’25)  from Highland Park, Illinois, has placed third at the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia’s Young Artist Competition.

    Lucy Rubin is flutist and music theorist pursuing a Master of Music in Classical Flute under Linda Chesis at the Manhattan School of Music. She recently graduated from the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia as a First Honors Graduate (4.0 GPA) with degrees in music performance and music theory, studying under Angela Jones-Reus. She was principal flute of the UGA Symphony Orchestra, Hodgson Wind Ensemble, a member of the UGA Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, and numerous chamber ensembles.

    More information about Lucy Rubin here.
    More information about the competition here.

  • Mar 2, 2024Woodwinds

    MSM student Lorien Britt wins first place in the Central Ohio Flute Association (COFA) Collegiate Flute Competition

    MSM student Lorien Britt (BM’26) won first place in the COFA Collegiate Flute Competition in Ohio on March 2.

    Lorien Britt currently studies flute performance with MSM Woodwinds Department Chair Linda Chesis. She is from Dallas, Texas, where she studied flute with Claire Johnson.

    Lorien received the Outstanding Performer distinction at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest every year she had been in attendance. She has performed for several world-renowned flutists, such as Jasmine Choi, Paul Edmund-Davies, Lorna McGhee, and James Walker.

    More information about the competition here.

  • Feb 2, 2024Woodwinds

    MSM alumnus Yi Xiang named Co-Principal Flute at the China NCPA Orchestra

    Yi Xiang (BM ’16) has been named Co-Principal Flute at the China NCPA Orchestra, the resident orchestra of the China National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

    Yi Xiang has also released an album of flute and harp music with the respected China Record Cooperation, sponsored by the NFA career enhancement fund.

    The National Flute Association will feature Yi’s achievements in an upcoming issue of Flutist Quarterly.

    Yi studied at MSM with Woodwinds Chair Linda Chesis.

  • Jan 11, 2024Woodwinds

    MSM student Tomas Milerius performs at the Musikverein Wien with the Vienna City Chamber Orchestra

    Clarinetist Tomas Milerius (BM’25), who studies at MSM with Charles Neidich, performed at the Musikverein in Vienna with the Vienna City Chamber Orchestra (Wiener Kammer Orchester) on January 10.

    Tomas was born into a family of musicians and was drawn to music early, receiving his first music lessons at the age of four from his father, Antanas Milerius, who was a Principal clarinetist with the Klaipeda State Symphony Orchestra in Lithuania.

    Tomas is a winner of many international competitions, including the Silverstein Clarinet Contest 2022, and Grand Prize at the International American Single Reed Clarinet Competition 2022. He is a featured artist with the instrument manufacturer Royal Global USA.

    Information about the concert here.

    Learn about Tomas Milerius here.

  • Nov 12, 2023Woodwinds

    MSM flute students win first and second prize at the RAFA Artist Competition

    MSM flute student Kyrese Washington (MM ’24) who studies at MSM with Valerie Coleman, and Lorien Britt (BM ’26) who studies with Linda Chesis won first and second prize respectfully at the RAFA Artist Competition (Raleigh Area Flute Association in Raleigh, N.C.). Lorien also recently won first prize at the Colorado Flute Association‘s Young Artist Competition.

    The RAFA Artist Competition was created to provide advanced flutists ages 17 and above an opportunity to compete on a worldwide level.

    The first place winner receivse a cash prize of $1000 and will be invited to perform at an event during the Raleigh Area Flute Association’s 2024-2025 season. The second place winner will receive a cash prize of $500.

    Learn more about the competition here.

  • Oct 1, 2023Woodwinds

    Sophia Lee (MM, OP ’23) is appointed Principal Librarian, Florida Orchestra

    During her studies at MSM, Sophia Lee (MM, OP ’23) worked at MSM as Assistant Performance Library Manager. Since Sept 2022 she has been Assistant Librarian of the New York Pops, and she has worked previously as Associate Head Librarian of the

    Sophie begins her appointment with the Florida Orchestra on October 1.

  • Sep 25, 2023Strings

    Grammy-nominated flutist and MSM faculty member Valerie Coleman along with MSM alumnus Thomas Mesa are featured soloists on new release by Sphinx Virtuosi

    MSM faculty member Valerie Coleman and MSM alumnus cellist Thomas Mesa (DMA ’17) are both featured soloists on the new album Songs for Our Times by Sphinx Virtuosi released on the Deutsche Grammophon label.

    Ms. Coleman is featured on two songs, Tracing Visions for String Orchestra I: Till. and Tracing for String Orchestra II: Amandla!

    Cuban-American cellist Thomas Mesa, first prize winner of the 2016 Sphinx Competition and the Astral Artists 2017 National Auditions, is soloist on the concerto Divided, written for Thomas and Sphinx Virtuosi by Jesse Montgomery.

    Sphinx Virtuosi is a groundbreaking self-conducted American string ensemble comprised of 18 exceptional young Black and Latinx string players.

    More about the album here.
    Listen to the album on Spotify here.

  • Aug 10, 2023Woodwinds

    Nikolas Rodriguez (MM ’23) wins position of Piccolo with the Bogota Philharmonic in Colombia

    Recent MSM graduate Nikolas Rodriguez (MM ’23) won the position of Piccolo with the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra in Colombia on June 16, 2023.

    Originally from Ibagué, Colombia, Nikolas studied at MSM with Robert Langevin.

    Nikolas has won many awards including first prize at the First Colombia National Competition for Flutists and second prize at the Third RC International Flute Competition, as well as the III Competition for Young soloists of the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra.

    Learn more about Nikolas Rodriguez here.

  • Apr 10, 2023Woodwinds

    MSM alumna Coreisa Janelle Lee (BM ’17) is principal flute in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Bad Cinderella on Broadway

    Coreisa Janelle Lee (BM ’17) is the principal flute in Andrew Lloyd Weber‘s production of Bad Cinderella on Broadway, and she will be the featured artist for the final installment of the 2022-23 Flutes Out Front series sponsored by the New York Flute Club‘s DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) Committee on Sunday, April 30

    Coreisa studied for her Bachelor of Music degree at MSM with Linda Chesis. She earned her Master of Music degree from Bowling Green State University, and is currently working on her doctorate at West Virginia University.

    More about Coreisa Lee here.


  • Dec 1, 2022Woodwinds

    MSM Alumnus Yevgeny Faniuk (BM ’01) appointed Assistant Principal Flute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

    MSM alumnus Yevgeny Faniuk (BM’01), who studied at MSM with Linda Chesis, has been appointed Assistant Principal Flute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

    Yevgeny has performed in numerous subscription programs with the Chicago Symphony, and has appeared regularly with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Yevgeny has played principal flute with Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra and the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and his past engagements include work with New York City Ballet Orchestra, the American Symphony, and DCINY Orchestra, among others.

    Read Chicago Symphony Orchestra news release sbout Yevgeny’s appointment here.
    Learn more about Yevgeny Faniuk here.

  • Nov 6, 2022Woodwinds

    Flutist and MSM student Joohyung Park wins first place in the American Protégé International Woodwinds and Brass Competition

    Flutist and current MSM student Joohyung Park (MM ’23), a native of Seoul, South Korea, and student of Michael Parloff, was one of five first-place winners in the American Protégé International Woodwinds and Brass Competition in the Advanced Category, College Students and Professionals.

    As a winner, she will be performing on May 31, 2023, at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.

    More information about the competition here.

  • Sep 8, 2022Woodwinds

    MSM doctoral student Leo Sussman joins DePauw University

    Flutist Leo Sussman, a current doctoral student at MSM, joins the faculty at DePauw University as Part-Time Assistant Professor of Music and will lead the university flute studio. 

    A native of San Francisco, Leo recently completed a fellowship with Ensemble Connect and has performed with groups including Alarm Will Sound, SEM Ensemble, and Metropolis Ensemble. Leo is a member of the New York-based wind quintet ConnectFive as well as Bash the Trash, an environmental arts group. 

    Learn more here.

  • Jan 7, 2022Woodwinds

    MSM alumnus Chris James (BM ’13) is appointed to the position of piccolo with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra

    Chris James will begin his position as piccolo with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal later this year.

    Since 2017, Chris has been the Assistant Principal Flute/Piccolo with the Vancouver Symphony. Prior to Vancouver, he held the piccolo position with the Memphis Symphony (which he won during his senior year at MSM) as well as principal flute with the Ann Arbor Symphony.

    Learn more about the Montreal Symphony Orchestra here.

  • Nov 23, 2021Woodwinds

    MSM student Blue Shelton (BM ’25) named principal flute of the NY Youth Symphony

    Blue Shelton (BM ’25) is from Philadelphia, where he’s been a member of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, the Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth, and the Philadelphia Orchestra Fellowship. Blue studies at MSM with Marya Martin.

    The NYYS is an independent, not-for-profit institution dedicated to enriching the lives of young people through the study and performance of music.

    Learn more about the NYYS here.

    Listen to Blue perform here.

  • Nov 9, 2021Woodwinds

    MSM alumnus Brandon Patrick George (MM ’10) featured on WQXR

    Flutist and MSM alumnus Brandon Patrick George (MM ’10) along with pianist David Fung were featured in the WQXR Artist Propulsion Lab concert series on November 9. The musicians presented an evening amplifying neglected compositions of the past and highlighting new ones, in The Greene Space.

    Watch the livestream here.

  • Jun 17, 2021Woodwinds

    MSM Alumna Sara (Tate) Yarmuth (BM ’09, oboe) joins board of Kentucky Performing Arts

    Sarah Yarmuth is an attorney and manager of a locally owned small business in Louisville, Kentucky. A 2009 graduate of Manhattan School of Music, and a 2013 graduate of the University of Kentucky Rosenberg College of Law, Yarmuth practiced in both the private and public sectors in Louisville for several years.

    After her son’s birth in 2019, Yarmuth left the practice of law to assist in her family’s business, a preschool owned and operated by her mother and grandmother for 31 years.

    Sarah’s father-in-law is Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth, a former newspaper editor who has been the US Representative for Kentucky’s 3rd congressional district since 2007.

    Read about Sarah’s appointment here.

  • Jun 6, 2021Woodwinds

    Imani Winds featuring MSM Alumni named Faculty at Curtis Institute

    The GRAMMY-nominated 21st-century ensemble will begin as the faculty wind quintet at Curtis Institute at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.

    Imani Winds members include MSM Alumni Monica Ellis (PS ’98), bassoon; Toyin Spellman-Diaz (MM ’98), oboe; Brandon Patrick George (MM ’10), flute; Jeff Scott (BM ’90), French horn; Toyin Spellman-Diaz (MM ’98), oboe;  and Mark Dover (MM ’12), clarinet.

    Imani Winds will work with student ensembles, as well as Curtis’ wind studios. They will also commission  works with community partners.

    “I am thrilled to welcome Imani Winds to our faculty,” says Curtis President and CEO Roberto Díaz.

    “Imani Winds has set a great example of how to forge a unique career path, have meaningful community impact, and embody an entrepreneurial spirit throughout all of their work. We will all benefit greatly from having Imani Winds at Curtis.”

  • 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 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.

  • Sep 18, 2020Woodwinds

    Coreisa Lee wins AKADEMIA award

    Alumna Coreisa Lee (BM ’17) was recognized at the 2020 AKADEMIA Music Awards competition in Los Angeles, California for her performance video, “To You”. The composer, Eugene Magalif, shares the “Best Song: Ambient/Instrumental” award with Lee. Watch the award-winning video here.

    Lee is a former student of MSM faculty member Linda Chesis.

  • Aug 26, 2020Woodwinds

    Conor Nelson joins flute faculty at Mead Witter School of Music

    Alumnus Conor Nelson (BM ’03) has been appointed to the faculty of the Mead Witter School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as Assistant Professor of Flute. Nelson will also serve as flutist of the Wingra Wind Quintet. He leaves a position at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

    Read Conor’s full bio here.

  • May 21, 2020Woodwinds

    Flute alumni Coreisa Lee and Conor Nelson featured in BGSU interview

    Alumna Coreisa Lee (BM ’17), who graduated from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) this month with her Master’s in music performance, shares her journey in this interview with the institution. After studying with Professor Linda Chesis at MSM, Lee moved to Bowling Green, OH to continue her studies with another MSM alum (and former student of Chesis), Conor Nelson (BM ’03). This Fall, Lee will pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at West Virginia University this fall, where she earned a provost fellowship.

    Lee’s professor and MSM alumnus Conor Nelson recently accepted a flute professor position at University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he will also perform as a member of the faculty ensemble, Wingra Wind Quintet.

  • Apr 23, 2020Woodwinds

    Amanda Blaikie featured by Bulletproof Musician

    Alumna Amanda Blaikie (PS ’09, Orchestral Flute) was interviewed by Noa Kageyama, Ph.D for Bulletproof Musician as a part of their “What Audition Preparation Strategies Work Best for You?” series. In the episode, which can be found here, Amanda talks about “believing in yourself, letting Go of attachments, and giving yourself permission to be kind to yourself”.

    Flutist Amanda Blaikie has been a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra since 2016, and is also on the faculty at Oakland University.

  • Mar 28, 2020Woodwinds

    David Krakauer and Kathleen Tagg to stream weekly “Sunday Connections”

    Clarinet faculty member David Krakauer and his frequent collaborator Kathleen Tagg (DMA ’09) have started weekly livestreams featuring their favorite performers, composers, filmmakers, philosophers, and thinkers. The series, entitled “Sunday Connections”, will take place on their Facebook and YouTube pages each Sunday at 11am EDT.

    Lineup for the next few episodes includes clarinetist & composer Kinan Azmeh; Abraham Inc’s Socalled & Fred Wesley; filmmaker Eric Steel; composer & beat-maker, Jeremy Flower aka Keepalive; South African jazz pianist Andre Peterson; bassist & guitarist Jerome Harris; singer & rapper Sarah MK; accordion virtuoso Rob Curto, and more.

    Learn more about “Sunday Connections” here.

  • Mar 24, 2020Woodwinds

    Linda Chesis interviewed by Haynes Flutes

    Woodwind Department Chair Linda Chesis talks about teaching at Manhattan School of Music in a new interview by Wm. S. Haynes Flute Company. Professor Chesis is on the roster of official Haynes Artists, and performs with her custom Haynes flute (14K Custom, Silver Keys, Inline G, B Foot, D# Roller, C# Trill). You can watch the “Meet the Artist” interview here.

    Ms. Chesis has been on the flute and chamber music faculties at MSM since 1986. In 1988 she was appointed Chair of the Woodwind Department, and in 2012 she was the recipient of the President’s Medal for Distinguished Teaching.

  • Mar 3, 2020Woodwinds

    MSM Students take top prizes in the New York Flute Club Competition

    Jonah Murphy (BM ’22), flute student of Michael Parloff, and Julie Nah Kyung Lee (BM ’18, MM ’20), student of Linda Chesis and Robert Langevin, recently took 1st and 2nd prize respectively in the New York Flute Club Competition on Saturday, February 29. Jonah and Julie will be featured in recital as part of the NY Flute Club concert series on April 19 at 5:30 pm.

    For more information regarding the competition and the upcoming recital, click here.

  • Feb 27, 2020Brass

    Eisenberg-Fried Competition winners announced

    Congratulations to the winners of the 2020-21 Eisenberg-Fried Competition! MSM students from Brass, Woodwinds, Piano, Strings, and Voice departments participated in the competition. Winners will be featured in an orchestra concert next school year.

    Brass: Liana Hoffman, horn
    Student of Michelle Baker
    Strauss, Horn Concerto No. 2

    Woodwind: Shogo Urahata, clarinet
    Student of Charles Neidich
    Francaix, Clarinet Concerto

    Strings: Luxi Wang, violin
    Student of Lucie Robert
    Glazunov, Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 82

    Piano: Sophiko Simsive, piano
    Student of Solomon Mikowsky
    Brahms, Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15

    Voice: Rosario Hernandez Armas, mezzo soprano
    Student of Joan Patenaude-Yarnell
    de Falla, Siete Canciones Populares

  • Feb 21, 2020Woodwinds

    MSM faculty David Krakauer premieres first film score, sets album release date

    Clarinetist David Krakauer recently collaborated with Kathleen Tagg in writing and performing the film score for Minyan by Eric Steel, Krakauer’s first film score. The film premiered in late February at the Berlin International Film Festival.

    “Director Eric Steel sets his sensitive portrait of a gay Jewish youth in the as yet un-gentrified, roughshod New York of the 1980s. In his feature-film debut, he depicts unobtrusively and with quiet humour how one young man squares social attributions – immigrant, Jew, homosexual – with his own feelings and learns to define them anew.”

    The film received a listing on IndieWire’s Top 15 films to view at the Berlin Festival.

    For more on Krakauer’s contributions and currently projects, visit his website.

  • 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 11, 2020Woodwinds

    DMA student Beomjae Kim featured in Symphony Magazine

    DMA flautist Beomjae Kim (AD ’17), student of MSM pedagogues Michael Parloff, Linda Chesis, and Robert Langevin was recently featured in the winter issue of Symphony distributed by the League of American Orchestras. In the article called “Pathfinders” by Vivien Schweitzer, Kim was one of six emerging artists to discuss their visions for the classical music world, to which the MSM flautist described his main goal as a musician “is to tell a story and not just play an instrument.”

    For more inspiring words and the full article, click here.

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