Winter 2021 Student and Alumni Notes

  • Orchestral conducting alumnus Tigran Arakelyan
    School of Music alumnus Tigran Arakelyan (’16 DMA, Orchestral Conducting). Photo courtesy Northwest Mahler Festival.

School of Music students and alumni report recent appointments, performances, career milestones and other notable achievements.

Gabriela Garza (DMA, Orchestral Conducting) has been working this year with the Seattle Youth Symphony as assistant conductor to music director Juan Felipe Molano for both the Advanced and Intermediate Virtual Orchestras. She is also in her first year as Music Director of the Poulsbo Community Orchestra, organizing and leading five virtual community events.

Lorenzo Guggenheim (’18 MM, Orchestral Conducting) is one of four finalists for the position of Music Director of the Oakville Symphony in Ontario, Canada. He is founder and current music director of the University of Toronto Campus Philharmonic and assistant conductor of the University of Toronto Symphony and Contemporary Ensemble.

Tigran Arakelyan (’16 DMA, Orchestral Conducting) is in his fourth year as Music Director of the Port Townsend Symphony and the Northwest Mahler Festival, his sixth year at the Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestra and his seventh year at the Federal Way Youth Symphony. During the summers, he is the assistant conductor of California Philharmonic in Los Angeles. He is the host/DJ of a new radio show on KPTZ Port Townsend where he shares music in different genres with a unifying theme. During the past year he has recorded 70+ episodes for his podcast Off The Podium, with notable guests such as Evelyn Glennie, Sharon Isbin, Richard Stoltzman,  Mark O'Connor, Christopher Theofanidis, JoAnn Falletta, Vijay Iyer, Roger Bobo, Yolanda Kondonassis, and many others.

As current president of the Northern California American Orff-Schulwerk Association, Elisabeth Crabtree (PhD, Music Education) recently hosted Kofi Gbolonyi, Ewe musician, in a day-long workshop on drum and dance for teachers in elementary and middle schools. She presented at the NAfME national conference on her research, “Life through Music: Musical Enrichment in a Retirement Home“.  Her first book, on Orff-Schulwerk, will be published in English and German this coming summer.

Clayton Dahm, a doctoral student in Music Education, presented a session at the national NAfME conference Pre-K-12 Learning Collaborative. The session, entitled,“West African Mande Music in the Elementary Classroom,” served as a professional development opportunity for inservice music teachers looking to diversify the music taught in their classrooms. While most West African resources for general music are focused on percussion and dance, this session provided opportunities for meeting standards of creating and responding with Mande music using melodic instruments and song.

 Kaity Cassio Igari (21 MA, Music Education) co-presented "Digital Resources for World Music Pedagogy" at WMEA 2021 with Dr. J Christopher Roberts and presented her research on "Culturally Responsive Teaching: Music Educators' Beliefs" at NAfME 2021. Her latest publication, "In-Between: Culturally Responsive Teaching and Cultural Humility in Practice" appears in the March issue of WMEA Voice.    

 PhD student in Music Education with a cognate in ethnomusicology, Ke (Kelsey) Guo was born in Wuhan, China. Her previous degrees were in applied mathematics (B.S., UCLA), management science & engineering (M.S., Stanford), and music education (M.M., San José State University). Before pivoting into music education, she worked in the consulting and tech industries. Kelsey’s research in world music education and ethnomusicology has encompassed both Chinese music and Sephardic Jewish music. As a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, she is active in concerts in North America and Europe. Her current research is in the worldwide transmission and acquisition of Sephardic music both within and outside the Sephardic community, and she will be conducting field research as a music educator and ethnomusicologist on the Iberian Peninsula, Turkey, and Mediterranean countries.

Brian Winnie (’14 DMA Choral Conducting), director of choral activities at Western Illinois University, was the editor and contributing author of The Choral Conductor's Companion, published by Meredith Music Publications. The book consists of 100 articles written by 100 internationally and nationally renowned choral/vocal professionals from around the world. Other recent publications include articles in The Choral Journal, International Choral Bulletin, and the ACDA-IL, Podium. Winnie has been a workshop leader and virtual guest conductor for several honor choirs during the pandemic, including Illinois Central Honor Choir, Missouri Valley Honor Choir, and Belt Workshop for Music Theatre Wichita. Under Winnie’s direction, the Western Illinois University Singers were named the third-place national winners of the 2020 American Choral Prize in Choral Performance (University/College Division) and were finalists in the American Music category. The University Singers were also named the first-place winners of the 2020 Harmony in Cultures International Choral Competition (Folk Songs category) and Grand Prix Finalists for the 2020 Rimini International Choral Competition (Folk Songs category). Winnie was named the second-place national winner of the 2020 American Prize in Conducting (Chorus, Schools Division) and was selected to present at the 2021 Estill World Voice Symposium.