You are here

Autumn 2021 Student and Alumni Notes

Submitted by Joanne De Pue on November 1, 2021 - 6:22pm
Alumna Elizabeth Yao.
Alumna Elizabeth Yao.

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

Sarah J. Bartolome (’10 PhD, Music Education), an Associate Professor of Music Education at Northwestern University, recently contributed a chapter to the forthcoming book General Music: Dimensions of Practice (Abril & Gault, Oxford University Press) and co-authored an article, “An Ethnography of an Individual Music Instruction Program for Students With Disabilities" in the Journal of Research in Music Education (Draper & Bartolome, 2021). She serves as Co-Lead of the Northwestern University Buffett Institute’s Music, Trauma, and the Breath Initiative, an interdisciplinary research project that seeks to examine the ways music might be used as an intervention to mitigate childhood trauma. 

William J. Coppola (’18 PhD, Music Education) recently joined the faculty of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music as Assistant Professor of Music Teaching and Learning. He previously was on faculty at the University of North Texas from 2018–2021. In the past year, his primary research, which examines egotism and humility in musical practice, has been published in the field’s flagship journal, the Journal of Research in Music Education, as well as in Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, Psychology of Music, Music Education Research, and others.

Elisabeth Crabtree, Ph.D. student in Music Education, presented on the globalization of Orff-Schulwerk at the Pan African Society for Musical Arts Education (July 2021), with focus on how musicians in Ghana are using Orff-Schulwerk to decolonize music education practices.

Clayton Dahm, a second year doctoral student in Music Education, presented scholarly papers at the Autumn 2021 meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology (“Activating Music Archives and Disrupting Bias: A Case Study of Smithsonian Folkways Learning Materials”) and Cultural Diversity in Music Education (“Representation in Music Education Research: Intersections of Race and Gender”). In October, he presented clinical sessions for the Society for Ethnomusicology’s World Music Pedagogy workshop, the Western Division of American Kodály Educators, and local teachers in Seattle Public Schools on the newly available Star-Songs and Constellations educational materials he co-created with UW Music professor Patricia Campbell from the musical archive of the Lomax family’s Global Jukebox. The project was featured in the September 2021 edition of the National Association of Music Educators Music Educators Journal.

Gabriela Garza (DMA, Orchestral Conducting) was recently appointed Artistic Associate of the Seattle Youth Symphony and manager of the Seattle Conservatory of Music.

Recent Music Ed graduate Jay Gillespie (20 BM, Music Education), now director of bands at Ballard High School, was featured in a recent Seattle Times feature on the Ballard marching band’s return to live performance after many months of remote learning. 

Nicole Hovland (’05 BM, Saxophone Performance) was spotted recently as a leading contestant on the television game show "Wheel of Fortune,” solving several puzzles and taking home cash winnings of $19,000. Hovland serves as the undergraduate advisor at California State University, Northridge, and is an active saxophonist and private woodwind instructor.   

Karen Howard (’14 PhD, Music Education) is Associate Professor of Music at the University of St. Thomas. Her recent publications include First Steps in Global Music and Dance Like a Butterfly: Songs of Senegal, Liberia, Nigeria, and Ghana. She also is the founder and editor of a new series through GIA Music titled World Music Initiative (WMI), whose aim is to “uplift and feature underrepresented and marginalized music cultures in education.” 

Lum Chee Hoo (’08 PhD, Music Education) is Associate Professor of Music at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. He is Head of UNESCO-NIE Center for Arts Research in Education.  His latest book is The Artground Ecology (2021, Springer), a presentation of qualitative research narratives on children’s engagement and learning in play and arts experiences. He is currently involved in intersectional research on identity politics among Singaporean artists, leading a team in examining artists’ excavations of forsaken histories, their formulation of alternative narratives, and the tenuous equilibrium between subversion and submission as agents inscribed in a globalized field of practice rife with the pressures of market capitalism, identity discourses and power dynamics.

Former UW Wind Ensemble TA and DMA graduate Christopher Koch (DMA, Wind Conducting), was recently named  music director of the Juneau Symphony Orchestra. He is currently Music Director of Ozarks Lyric Opera, and Music Director of the Missouri Philharmonic, among other appointments. 

Chris Mathakul (DMA Wind Conducting), who has served for the past three years as teaching assistant for the UW concert band program, will conduct the Symphonic Band and serve as Ensemble Programs and Public Engagement coordinator at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Sahara Naini ('20 BM, Ethnomusicology) has been hired into the position of Inventory Coordinator at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in Washington D.C., following her successful internship there that began soon after her graduation from the UW.

Matt Swanson (’14 PhD, Music Education) spent the last two years teaching and developing an elementary music program at St. Johnsbury Academy Jeju in South Korea. Among the highlights there, Matt's fourth grade students engaged in a music activism project during online learning, producing a Climate Change song recorded from their individual homes. While in Korea, Matt also met and formed a band called "The Swansongs" and made a pandemic project of recording an album of originals called "The Long Road Home." Now back in Seattle, Matt is beginning his new position as a Music Specialist at the Bush School.

Ross Venneberg ('19 DMA Trumpet) has been appointed Assistant Professor/Director of Bands/Applied Brass Instructor at Franklin College in Indiana. While a student at the UW, he studied trumpet performance under the expert tutelage of David Gordon and was a member of the graduate wind conducting cohort.  

Juliana Cantarelli Vita (PhD, Ethnomusicology) has been hired by the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music to a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Music Education (Elementary and Early Childhood Music Education). Her co-authored article on "World Music Pedagogy: Gateway to Global Citizenship and Children’s Creative Impulses" was published in the Malaysian Journal of Music in October. She was an invited speaker to the Permanent Research Forum of the Brazilian Association of Music Education (ABEM) on “Collaborative Networks: An International Dialogue), along with Dr. Patrick Schmidt (Western University, Canada) and Dr. Evelyn Orman (University of North Carolina). As the featured keynote speaker for the Pennsylvania Collegiate Music Educators Association in mid-October, she spoke on issues of cultural sensitivity in the teaching of music K-university.

Rylan Virnig (MM, Orchestral conducting) was appointed as Youth Orchestra Director and Chamber Orchestra Coach for the Snoqualmie Strings in Snoqualmie, Washington.  

Sarah H. Watts (’10 PhD, Music Education), who is Assistant Professor of Music Education at the Pennsylvania State University, continues to advance her research and teaching on children’s musical development, World Music Pedagogy (as author of World Music Pedagogy: Early Childhood Music Education, 2019), and issues of empathy in early childhood music. She is the co-author of the recently published Field Guide to Student Teaching in Music (with fellow UW Music Education alumna, Ann C. Clements) as well as the forthcoming Voice Collectors: Stories and Songs of Chinese Culture Bearers (with Le Zhang). 

Elizabeth Yao ('13 BM, Piano Performance) has joined the piano faculty at the Indiana University as a lecturer in the Jacobs School of Music, where she recently completed a doctoral degree in piano. In her new role, she coordinates and oversees the secondary piano program, which provides piano instruction to more than 800 music majors and non-music majors at Indiana University. She also co-directs the Indiana University pre-college piano program and the IU Summer Piano Academy and will assume full directorship in December 2021.