Spring 2015 Student and Alumni Update

Doctoral percussion student Memmi Ochi was named a Distinguished Staff Member in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature (Photo: Kaoru Share).

Memmi Ochi, a doctoral student of percussion at the UW School of Music, has been recognized by the Department of Asian Languages & Literature with its prestigious Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award. Awarded for excellence in teaching and based on nominations by students and supervisors, the honor was established in 2003 to recognize the vital role and important contributions of student teaching assistants. Ochi has taught first and second year Japanese classes in the department for the past two years while working on her doctoral degree in percussion at the School of Music.

In other percussion-related news, undergrad music major Matt Drumm recently took a turn at the timpani with Seattle Symphony Orchestra, filling in for his UW teacher, SSO principal timpanist Mike Crusoe, who was out of commission while recovering from a foot injury. 

UW Composition students Shih-Wei Lo and Joshua Archibald-Seiffer earned honorable mentions in the 2015 American Composers' Forum National Composition Contest. They were among three winners and seven honorable mentions selected from 479 applicants. Presented in partnership with the acclaimed new music collective wild Up, the competition encourages creativity by student composers who are currently enrolled in graduate and undergraduate institutions in the United States.  Winners and honorable mentions came from noted university and conservatories across the country, including Yale, Stanford, Cornell, and Northwestern universities and the Curtis Institute of Music.

UW Jazz Studies swept the 2015 Golden Ear Awards presented in March by local nonprofit Earshot Jazz. Jazz studies alums were represented in seven of nine categories awarded on the basis of a public ballot returned by more than 5,000 voters.  Winners included Seattle band Chemical Clock (Jazz Studies grads Cameron Sharif, keyboard; Raymond Larsen, trumpet; Mark Hunter, bass; and Evan Woodle, drums) winning Recording of the Year for their release Bad Habitat. Sequoia Ensemble (featuring recent grads Levi Gillis, Brennan Carter, Nick Rogstad, Evan Smith, Carmen Rothwell, and Evan Woodle) won NW Acoustic Jazz Ensemble of the Year. Industrial Revelation, whose members include bassist Evan Flory-Barnes, a former UW Music student, won for Alternative Jazz group of the Year (Flory-Barnes was also named NW Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year), Seattle record label Table and Chairs, founded by students and alums from the UW Jazz program, won NW Concert of the Year for their spring showcase at last year's Ballard Jazz Walk, and Jazz Studies grad Carmen Rothwell, bass, was named Emerging Artist of the Year. 

Mona Sangesland, fourth year flute performance major at UW, was named the top prizewinner in the Collegiate Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion Division of the 2015 Coeur d’Alene Symphony National Young Artist Competition. Sangesland, a student of Donna Shin, performed her winning entry, Carl Nielsen’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, with the orchestra in March.

Doctoral wind conducting student Lewis Norfleet has been named Director of Bands/Assistant Professor of Music at Central Washington University. His appointment is effective in fall 2015.

Former UW Wind Ensemble graduate assistant and doctoral grad Vu Nguyen, now director of bands/assistant professor of music at the University of Indianapolis, has been appointed visiting conductor in the wind ensemble/band program at Indiana State University. Vu joins UW DMA wind conducting alumnus Eric Smedley at IU, the largest school of music in the United States.