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Student and Alumni Notes: Summer 2018

Submitted by Joanne De Pue on May 21, 2018 - 2:07pm
UW flute students with Prof. Donna Shin (far right).
Students from the UW flute studio reunite with Professor Donna Shin at last year’s Welcome Barbecue (Photo: Joanne DePue).

UW Music students and alumni head into summer busy with festival appearances, new employment opportunities, fresh honors, competition wins, and more.

 Students and alumni from Music Education and Ethnomusicology are finishing up their degree programs and accepting university positions beginning in fall of 2018 including: David Aarons, University of North Carolina-Greensboro (Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology); Will Coppola, University of North Texas (Assistant Professor of Music Education); Anita Kumar, Georgia State University (Lecturer in Music Education). Sarah Watts, Pennsylvania State University (Assistant Professor of Music Education); and Bryan Nichols, Pennsylvania State University (Assistant Professor of Music Education). 

In other news from the program, Music Ed PhD student Giuliana Conti was recently elected president of the University of Washington's Graduate and Professional Student Senate. She will lead the Senate in the 2018-19 academic year, working on the multiple matters of interest to students in master's and doctoral degree-granting programs across all university programs, disciplines, and fields. 

William J. Coppola, PhD in Music, Education, accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of North Texas for Fall 2018.  He is co-author, with alumnus Mark Montemayor (Professor, University of Northern Colorado) and PhD student Chris Mena, of World Music Pedagogy, Vol. IV: Instrumental Music Education (Routledge, June 2018).

Juliana Cantarelli Vita organized and taught at the first Orff-Schulwerk Symposium in March 2018, at Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil. She published a review of early childhood research for Perspectives: Journal of the Early Childhood Music & Movement Association (Volume 13:1, 2018). She is on staff this summer in the Smithsonian Folkways certificate course in World Music Pedagogy, at West Virginia University and the University of Washington. 

Chris Mena, Ph.D. student in Music Education, will make his third visit to Yangon, Myanmar, for the UW-Gitameit partnership in Music—this time with language chops due to his year spent as a FLAS recipient in study of Burmese language and culture in the program in Southeast Asian Studies. He is co-author, with alumnus Mark Montemayor (Professor, University of Northern Colorado) and PhD student William J. Coppola, of World Music Pedagogy, Vol. IV: Instrumental Music Education (Routledge, June 2018).

David Aarons ('17 PhD, Ethnomusicology), who has been on the faculty at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica since January 2018, starts a new appointment as assistant professor of ethnomusicology at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro this fall. 

Claire Anderson, PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology, returned in March from a year’s fieldwork in Sweden.  She published an article in the  Elektronisk tidskrift för Musik & Samhälle (No. 4) titled “Americana in the Swedish Countryside: The Purpose and Function of Bluegrass Festivals in Sweden.”

Maren Haynes Marchesini ('17 PhD, Ethnomusicology) will teach in the departments of music and university studies at Montana State University in Bozeman starting this fall.  She also will continue to direct the Helena Youth Chorus and Youth Orchestra Advanced Ensemble. 

Dr. Joseph Kinzer ('17 PhD , Ethnomusicology) presented a paper at the 2017 Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting in Denver titled “A Musical Mahjar: Idiom, Translocality, and Agency Across the Indian Ocean Region.”

Ethnomusicology doctoral student J. Mike Kohfeld is a contributing author to K.S. Hendricks and J. Boyce-Tillman’s forthcoming edited compilation Music and Spirituality Series, Vol. 6. Queering Freedom: Music, Identity, and Spirituality (Oxford: Peter Lang). The book, along with Kohfeld’s chapter “Gender and Sexual Diversity in Santería,” is now in press and is expected to be released this fall.  Kohfeld also presented a paper, “Musical Belonging among the Seattle Garínagu: Approaching ‘Yurumein’ through Somatic Historiography” at the 2018 Society for Ethnomusicology Northwest Chapter Meeting in Bellingham.

Jocelyn Moon, PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology, presented papers at the 2017 Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting in Denver and at the 2018 Society for Ethnomusicology Northwest Chapter Meeting in Bellingham.  She has also been invited to participate in the International Doctoral Workshop in Ethnomusicology in Hildesheim, Germany in June.  She returns to Seattle to teach marimba at the 10th annual Smithsonian Folkways certificate course in World Music Pedagogy. As a Simpson Center Summer Fellow, she is engaged in producing a series of digital stories this coming July that draw from her dissertation field recordings and will be distributed among the musicians in Zimbabwe with whom she worked via WhatsApp.  Jocelyn also returns to Zimbabwe for a month this summer to conduct follow-up research and repatriate two additional sets of archival recordings.

 Ethnomusicology doctoral student Solmaz Shakerifard’s book review of Soundtrack of the Revolution: The Politics of Music in Iran by Nahid Siamdoust, was published online on May 10, 2018 in the journal Iranian Studies.  She also took part in a roundtable discussion at the 2017 Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting in Denver titled “Decolonizing Ethnomusicology: Circular Reflexivity.”

Former UW Wind Ensemble teaching assistant Vu Nguyen (’13 DMA Wind Conducting) has accepted the position of assistant professor of music/director of wind ensembles and conducting in the School of Fine Arts at the University of Connecticut. Erin Bodnar (DMA Wind Conducting) is the new director of bands at the University of North Florida, effective in fall 2018.  Jian-Nan Cheng, ('14 MM Wind Conducting), is serving as assistant conductor for the Opernfestspiele Heidenheimin Heidenheim, Germany this summer, working with the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, the orchestra for the productions. Jian-nan is currently a teaching assistant at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where she is enrolled in the DMA program in orchestral conducting. She will be serving as a conducting fellow with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra this coming season. Wind Conducting doctoral student Doug Morin (ABD), who served served for the past three years as a teaching assistant in the UW athletic band program, has accepted an appointment as associate director of bands at Illinois State University.  

Choral Conducting alumnus Brian Winnie (’14 DMA Choral Conducting) is on a winning streak with a number of recent recognitions: He has accepted a new position as director of choral activities at Western Illinois University. His recent publications include "Bridging the Gap between Classical and Contemporary Vocal Technique: Implications for the Choral Rehearsal" in the Voice and Speech Review journal, and "Reconsidering the Use of Metaphor in Choral Rehearsals" in ChorTeach, the online journal of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). He is the editor and contributing author of The Voice Teacher's Cookbook: Creative Recipes for Teachers of Singing, published by Meredith Music Publications. He was awarded the Exemplary Teacher Award at Southwestern College and serves on the Voice and Speech Review editorial board, and he was recently selected to present "Horse before the Cart: Revitalizing the Choral Warm-up with Estill" at the Estill World Symposium in Quebec. 

Choral Conducting graduate student Elisabeth Cherland spent a week in February as guest conductor with the Vancouver Chamber Choir (a professional choir in Canada) in the organization's National Conductor’s Symposium, where she had the opportunity to prepare and conduct the ensemble for a week leading up to the concert, in which she conducted Brahms’ Darthulas Grabesgesang, George Oldroyd’sPrayer to Jesus, and Stephen Chatman’s Skitegate Love Song. Cherling also recently learned she has been awarded the University of Washington’s Howard B. Dallas Endowed Fellowship for highly deserving students in the Arts for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Meg Stohlmann, who graduates in June 2018 with a DMA in choral conducting, has accepted a new position as assistant professor of choral music at Appalachian State University.  She will present research related to her dissertation, entitled “a brotherhood with one sister,” a collective case study: women conductors of collegiate men’s choirs, this fall at the 2018 Symposium on Research in Choral Singing at Northwestern University.

Heather MacLaughlin Garbes (DMA, ‘08) continues her work as founder and artistic director of the Mägi Ensemble, a professional women's chamber vocal ensemble that performs and records music from the Baltic region. The ensemble has released two albums, "Baltic Sounds" and "Musica Baltica," and recently performed on Classical King-FM's "Northwest Focus Live." Other recent and upcoming performances include appearances at the Northwestern Division ACDA conference in Portland, Oregon and at the 2018 Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies International Conference at Stanford University, and the 2018 Lithuanian Song Festival in Vilnius, Lithuania. The group also is a featured performer in the upcoming 2018 Latvian National Song Festival in Riga, Latvia, the first non-Latvian choir to be given this honor.

Amanda Huntleigh (’17 DMA, Choral Conducting) has accepted an offer to join the faculty at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa. As assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, she will conduct choirs and oversee the university's music education program. Since 2015, Huntleigh has served as assistant director of choral activities and lecturer at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. 

In the second year of his DMA program in orchestral conducting, Mario Alejandro Torres made his Benaroya Hall conducting debut in February, leading the UW Symphony in Rossini’s William Tell overture. He has also worked with the UW Modern Ensemble this academic year performing works by Marc-André Dalbavie and Steve Reich. As conductor of the UW Campus Philharmonia, he led performance in Meany Theater of works by Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn and Marquez, including a collaboration with UW choirs, and a Side-by-Side concert with the Bellevue Youth Symphony. He formed and led a summer orchestra at UW in 2017 and will do the same in 2018. He appeared as a guest conductor with the Bainbridge Symphony this past winter, and is also music director of the Poulsbo Community Orchestra. 

In her first year in the DMA orchestral conducting program, Gabriela Garza led the UW Campus Philharmonia Orchestras, in works by Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov and Mendelssohn. She also led the UW Modern Ensemble, in Something to Hunt by Ashley Fure. Additionally, she conducted “the armless clock understands time [ii]” by DMA student composer Kevin Baldwin in his last doctoral recital at UW. This summer, she will appear as a guest conductor in her hometown of Monterrey, Mexico with the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon’s Philharmonic Orchestra in a program of works by Lalo and Brahms. Gabriela will also appear as a guest conductor this summer with the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra in a program of works by Schubert and Mozart.

Lorenzo Guggenheim, who graduates this year with his masters in orchestral conducting, has led performances this year with the UW Campus Philharmonia of music by Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Fauré and Grieg, including a collaboration with the winner of the third annual UW Campus Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition for High School students. He has also led the UW Modern Music Ensemble in works by Boulez and Jolas. He was assistant conductor for UW Opera Workshop’s production of Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges. His Masters recital “Mozart in Vienna” featured graduate students of the SoM as soloists in an all-Mozart program. Off campus, he has assisted at the Seattle Opera orchestra library and assisted Maestro Pablo Rus for the Prokofiev Concerto Festival with the Seattle Symphony. Next fall, he will be attending the University of Toronto to begin his DMA in orchestral conducting. 

Abbie Naze ('17 MM, Orchestral Conducting) is  conductor of the Pierce College Concert Orchestra and serves on the faculty at Music Center of the Northwest.

Tigran Arakelyan ('16 DMA, Orchestral Conducting) was recently named music director of the 2018 Northwest Mahler Festival. He is currently music director of Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestras, the Federal Way Youth Symphony and artistic director/conductor of Port Townsend Community Orchestra. This year he led collaborations with the Olympic Performance Group, Evergreen Choir, Olympic Girls' Choir, appeared as guest conductor with the Inverted Space Ensemble, and is  a finalist for the music director position with the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra. He was recently named a finalist for the American Prize in Orchestral Programming for his work with the Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestras.

Students of oboe instructor Mary Lynch report recent successes. Diego Espinoza Masias has been accepted at the Arizona State University, beginning in Fall 2019, where he will pursue a DMA under the tutelage of Martin Schuring. Undergraduate Logan Esterling recently won the English Horn/Third Oboe position in the Yakima Symphony.  This summer he attends the Sewanee Summer Music Festival on a full scholarship.

Current and former students of flute professor Donna Shin continue to shine in academic and performance arenas. Mona Sangesland (BM ’15) just completed a Graduate Diploma (’18) and Master of Music degree (’17) from the New England Conservatory in Boston and was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship Award to pursue studies in Finland beginning  in fall of 2018. This summer, she is a featured performer at Festival Napa Valley in California with fully funded housing and tuition support from the program. Elise Kim ('20 BM) is a featured performer this summer at Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina. Grace Jun ('20 BM), Rachel Reyes ('20 BM), and Audrey Cullen (’19 BM) are all featured performers this summer at ARIA International Summer Academy in Massachusetts. Miao Liu (’18 MM, Flute), winner of the 2017 Don Bushell Concerto Competition hosted by Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra, performed Jacques Ibert’s Concerto for flute with the orchestra in March. This summer, she is the fellowship flutist at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Tennessee.

Piano students of Cristina Valdés are busy with summer engagements. Flannery Youngblood is attending both the NYU Summer Piano Institute and the Apple Hill Chamber Music Institute. Student JJ Guo, meanwhile, recently performed Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 on the Ten Grands concert both in Portland and in Seattle at Benaroya Hall.

In news from the piano studio of Robin McCabe, Yiyi Chen (DMA candidate) has been invited to the International Holland Music Sessions in Amsterdam this coming August. Nicole Chen  (BM candidate) has been elected President of the Tolo/UW chapter of the national Mortar Board Honor Society. Hexin Qiao (DMA candidate), winner of the 2018 Seattle Philharmonic Concerto Competition, perform Liszt’s Concerto No. 1 with the orchestra on April 6, 2019.  Jeremy Samolesky ('08 MM), professor of piano at Auburn University, has been honored by the university with an Excellence in Teaching Award. Amy Grinsteiner ('10 DMA) has been promoted to associate professor with tenure, University of St. John’s and St. Benedict’s, St. Cloud Minnesota. Dainius Vaicekonis ('04 DMA) has been reappointed as assistant professor of music at Seattle Pacific University.
UW doctoral students in organ—Andrew Koch, Samuel Libra, and Wyatt Smith—and Professor of Organ Carole Terry travel to central Germany in June as part of an eleven-day intensive study trip. They will visit significant instruments known to J.S. Bach, Franz Liszt, and others, built by a variety of notable German builders. In addition to churches in Dresden, Chemnitz, Erfurt, Altenburg, and other cities, they will examine instruments at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, where Bach was Kantor for the last 27 years of his life. 

Erika Meyer, BM, a voice student of Kari Ragan, was accepted to the Nadia Boulanger Institute for training in France for budding young composers this summer. Voice students Gemma Balinbin ('18 MM Voice) and Amy Kueffler ('16 MM Voice) were accepted into OperaWorks Emerging Artist Program this summer in Los Angeles.  

Passages: Mitchel Strumph, Music Education


Mitchel Strumpf, graduate of the UW’s doctoral program in Music Education and academic director at the Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA) in Tanzania, died in January 2018. Strumpf dedicated most of his life and expertise to the development of music in Africa and played a central role in the establishment of music programs at African universities in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

“He was an inspiration for how to give selflessly to his students, and he graduated many hundreds of students in music at the University of Malawi, Zimbabwean College of Music, University of Zimbabwe, University of Dar es Salaam, and Dhow Countries Music Academy in Zanzibar,” says UW Music Education and Ethnomusicology professor Patricia Campbell. “Mitch hosted UW Ethno and MusEd grad students and faculty for at least the past 10 years and was helpful in forming the partnership with U-Dar es Salaam. I was in exchange with him only four days before he died about a course we were planning together for July, in Zanzibar. RIP, Mitchel Strumpf, another amazing UW light.”