Fall 2016 Student and Alumni Notes

Taro Kobayashi (BM guitar, '14) has entered St Hugh's College, Oxford, to pursue a Master of Philosophy in Music.
Taro Kobayashi (BM guitar, '14) begins doctoral studies at Oxford University in January.

UW Music students and alumni report a host of artistic and scholarly accomplishments at the University and around the world in this update for Fall 2016.

Student Notes

Anita Kumar (Ph.D. Candidate in Music Education) presented her research on the role of trust in the social and musical dynamics of adult community ensembles at the Symposium on Music and Lifelong Learning at Ithaca College and as part of the Commission on Community Music Activity in Glasgow, Scotland. Earlier, in July, she and faculty member Steven Morrison spoke at the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition in San Francisco on ways in which conductors' movements affect how listeners interpret music performances. She also co-authored a paper published this summer, along with Prof. Morrison, "The conductor as visual guide: Gesture and perception of musical content."

Claire Anderson, Ethnomusicology PhD student, completed preliminary fieldwork on bluegrass music in Sweden in summer 2016, and returns to Malmo, Stockholm, and Uppsala this winter for a year’s work through a fellowship award from the American-Scandinavian Foundation.

Jocelyn Moon, Ethnomusicology PhD student, began in September a year’s Fulbright-funded research in Zimbabwe, where she is engaged in study of matepe mbira, its transmission and pedagogy locally and through a global network of online musicians, teachers, and learners.

Michiko Urita, Ethnomusicology PhD student, has published components of her dissertation work on Shinto ritual music, and specifically the performance and transmission of secret and sacred songs, in Common Knowledge (an interdisciplinary journal published by Duke University Press).

J. Mike Kohfeld, Ethnomusicology graduate student, presented his musical and cultural analysis of polyrhythmic facets of Afro-Peruvian music at the meeting of the Society for Ethnomusiclogy, Northwest chapter, at the University of Oregon.

Solmaz Shakerifard, Ethnomusicology graduate student, received the Roshon Fellowship for Excellence in Iranian Studies for work on Iranian performance and pedagogy.  She was also selected and supported for study in summer 2016 of music research techniques at the Max Planck Institute for Aesthetic Research in Frankfurt, Germany.

Ethnomusicology and Music Education faculty and students were active at the national meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology meeting in Washington DC in November, including papers and panel sessions by Chris Mena, Michiko Urita, Patricia Campbell and Shannon Dudley. 

Chris Mena, MA student in Music Education and formerly band director for Hoover High School in San Diego, was in residence August-September 2016 at the Gitameit Music Center in Yangon, Myanmar, for the development of their Teaching Artist Program. Chris is serving as liaison to the UW-Gitameit Music Partnership, under the official auspices of the UW Office of Global Affairs. He was instructor of record this summer for the Music 162 American Popular Song, and will serve as TA for courses in American Ethnic Studies (alongside his Music Education coursework and research). Chris is preparing for forthcoming presentations on topics of music education and cultural equity at the annual meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology (Washington DC) and the California Music Educators Conference.

Skúli Gestsson, MA student in Music Education, presented in July at the Modern Band Rockfest in Fort Collins, Colorado, on the work of the Biophilia Educational Project (based upon the “app album”, Bjork’s Biophilia, that links music, natural sciences and technology together), for which he serves as consultant. He is writing graded music textbooks for the Icelandic Directorate of Education. Skuli played with his band, Dikta, while in Iceland late summer; their fifth album is a featured audio-choice on IcelandicAir.

M.A. student Giuliana Conti traveled all the way to East Africa to present a paper at the International Ethnomusicology Symposium of the University of Dar es Salaam: "Children's musical practices as cultural foundation."

PhD student Will Coppola was a world traveler this summer, giving three papers at two different conferences: 

  • “Humility, egoism, & music education: An examination of social-musical constructs,” presented at ISME (International Society of Music Education), in Glasgow, Scotland;
  • “Secret, sacred, and social surroundings: Teaching Native American music, musicians, and cultural values,” also presented at ISME (co-presented Prof. Campbell);
  • “Losing their Voices: The effect of musical venue on collective identity formation in jazz performance,” presented at the International Symposium of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania,


Alumni Notes

Taro Kobayashi (BM guitar, '14), a former student of Michael Partington, has entered St Hugh's College, Oxford, to pursue a Master of Philosophy in Music.  

Choral conducting alums Wendy Moy (DMA Choral Conducting)and Jeremiah Selvey (DMA Choral Conducting) continue their work with Chorosynthesis, a professional project-based ensemble they founded in 2010 while students at the School of Music. The group’s project “Empowering Silenced Voices,” a program of choral premieres championing issues of social justice, was March 19 at Seattle’s Good Shepard Center. 

Moy and Selvey were both selected to present at the 2015 National Association for Music Education National In-service Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. They also both were named semi-finalists in the conducting division (professional choruses) of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts, two among four nominees in the category, for their work with  Chorosynthesis Singers.

Moy is director of choral activities and music education at Connecticut College in New London. Selvey serves as lecturer of choral and vocal music at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, where he teaches applied voice majors and diction and directs the Choral Union.

Piano students of Craig Sheppard are engaged in teaching and performance in the United States and internationally, including alumnus Ned Kirk, artistic and managing director of the Minnesota Beethoven Festival. Head of Keyboard at St. Mary's University, Winona, Minnesota, Kirk also has served recently as guest professor at Huizhou University, China. Sheppard notes a number of academic and artistic accomplishments of former students, including:  

  • Becky Billock, founding member of Trio Nova Mundi, celebrated the release of the group’s CD Canticum and made appearances at Semanas musicales de Frutillar, Chile. Billock serves on the faculty at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, where the Trio Nova Mundi is in residence.
  • Dmitriy Kosovskiy, director and president of the Pacific Piano School, San José, CA, served as director of the 2nd Annual Pacific Piano School Summer Camp in South Lake Tahoe, CA.
  • Tony Cho, opera coach at Oberlin College, served on the faculty for Songfest at The Colburn School, Los Angeles, CA; and worked with Enchantment Opera, Gallup, NM.
  • Nanyi (Neil) Qiang, assistant professor, Central State University, Wilberforce, OH, served on the faculty of Songfest, The Colburn School, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Chris Bowlby, co-founder and artistic director of the Seattle International Piano Competition, also co-founded the Chopin Academy, Issaquah, WA.
  • Jinhwa Chon serves as founder and director of the Seattle Piano Academy.
  • Jairo Geronymo, professor at Leo Kestenberg Musikhochschule, Berlin, Germany, recently made a solo appearance with the Templehof Symphony Orchestra.

Alumnus Bren Plummer, a former student of Barry Lieberman has been appointed principal bass of the Yakima Symphony and interim bass professor at the University of Montana, Missoula.

Joseph White (’91 DMA Orchestral Conducting) has been named music director of the Thalia Symphony, Seattle's oldest community-based orchestra. The orchestra’s 2016-17 season includes a guest soloist appearance by organ professor Carole Terry (May 2017) and a performance of work by late UW music faculty George Fredrick McKay on (November, 2016).

Alumnus and former School of Music lead piano tech Steve Brady (’82) was recently honored with the Golden Hammer Award from the Piano Technicians Guild, the industry’s highest award recognizing exceptional service to the craft of piano technology. Brady served as the head piano technician at the University of Washington from 1978 to 2003.

Articles by two UW Music Education graduates appeared in the most recent edition of Journal of Research in Music Education, the flagship journal of NAfME. Mark Montemayor (PhD ‘06) wrote a piece entitled, "Evaluation of intrarehearsal achievement by listeners of varying levels of expertise” and Bryan Nichols (PhD ’13) penned "Task-based variability in children's singing accuracy.”

Chee Hoo Lum, 2007 PhD in Music Education and now Associate Professor of Music at the National Institute of Education, Singapore, is a scholar-in-residence at the School of Music for a period of six weeks in October-November.  His book, Teaching Living Legends: Professional Development and Lessons for the 21st Century Music Educator (2016), was published by Springer Press. 

Alumni Susan Taylor (’73 BA, BM, MA) and Louise Hullinger (’85 BA Music) send word of music-related activities in the years since graduating from the School of Music.

“I taught public school band, orchestra, chorus, swing band, composition, and drumming and dancing of Zimbabwe (student of Dumisani Mariare),” writes Taylor. “I was selected to conduct several honor bands and was thrilled that my bands won every state contest they entered. I am thankful that I studied piano with Bela Siki, Randolph Hokanson, Neal O'Doan, conducting with Sam Krachmalnick, Stanley Chappelle, and composition with Bill Smith (Willian O). During my time at the UW School of Music, the faculty and students were amazing. I was proud to be in classes with Penny MacLeod Degraff, Chung Lee, Eunmee Lee, Kevin Aanerud, Gary Hammond, Rick Kemp, and so many talented musicians. Thank you all for a lifetime of great music.”

After graduating from the UW in 1985, Hullinger launched a 30-year career as a self employed piano/ singing teacher and professional accompanist. “I was a performing artist with my singer Heather Burke for three and a half years,” she writes, adding that she accompanied churches, artists, ballet and singing studios on the piano.


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