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Summer 2022 Student and Alumni Notes

Submitted by Joanne De Pue on September 21, 2022 - 6:05pm
Music PhD student Ke Guo.
Music Education PhD student Ke Guo collaborates with Sephardic musician Paco Diez in upcoming performances in the Seattle area (Photo: Courtesy Ke (Kelsey) Guo).

Accolades, academic appointments, scholarships, awards, fellowships and other accomplishments of School of Music students and alumni.

School of Music Class of 2021 graduate Caitlin Beare (’21 DMA Woodwinds) begins a new position this fall as Assistant Professor of Clarinet at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, where she will direct the clarinet studio, teach undergraduate music courses, and perform with the music department faculty locally and nationally. 

Professor Timothy Salzman reports good news from University of Washington instrumental conducting grads. Paul Bain (’09 MM, Instrumental Conducting) has been named Acting Director of Bands at Western Washington University; Christopher Koch ('03 DMA, Instrumental Conducting) is the new music director of the Juneau Symphony; and Chris Mathakul ('22 DMA, Instrumental Conducting) is coming 'home' to Seattle in his new role as an assistant professor of music/Symphonic Band conductor at Shoreline Community College.

Elisabeth Cherland (’19 DMA, Choral Conducting) recently accepted a new position as Director of Choral Activities at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Since completing her degree studies in Seattle, Cherland and her family have been based in St. Peter, Minnesota, where she formerly taught as assistant professor of music at Gustavus Adolphus College

Virginia Elizondo (22 MM, Voice), student of Carrie Shaw, will be singing the role of Alicia (Mariana’s mother)/Frida Kahlo in Seattle Opera’s 2023 School Opera Tour production of Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World.

Limuel Forgey III, doctoral candidate in Voice and student of Thomas Harper, has been named the new interim director of Tacoma Opera. Harper says Forgey’s plans for the future of Tacoma Opera include not only exciting new repertoire, but also the increased inclusion of talented performers from the Pacific Northwest as well as a new young artist program for singers who are starting professional careers.  

Lorenzo Guggenheim ('17 MM, Orchestral Conducting) has been appointed Music Director of Oakville Symphony in Ontario (Canada). He begins his leadership of the orchestra in the 2022-23 season. Guggenheim guest conducted the orchestra in April 2022 at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts. Former OS Board President Anna Hewitt recalls: “From the minute Lorenzo stepped onto the stage, he conveyed confidence, warmth and passion for what he does, and a genuine desire to share that passion with the audience.” In other news, Guggenheim was recently appointed by York University in Toronto as the course instructor and conductor for the York University Symphony Orchestra for the fall semester of 2022.

Ke (Kelsey) Guo, PhD candidate in Music Education, has been awarded the 2022-2023 Antoinette Wills Endowed Scholarship in support of her research and travel. Dr. Wills, a former longtime UW staff member, created the endowment to support the research and educational endeavors of graduate students in the arts and humanities. Guo's research in world music education and ethnomusicology has covered topics in both Chinese music and Sephardic music. As a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, she is also active in concerts, performing both solo and collaborative concerts in America and Europe. Currently, she is focused on the topic of worldwide transmission and acquisition of Sephardic music both within and outside of the Sephardic community, with plans to conduct future field research as a music educator and an ethnomusicologist in the Iberian Peninsula, Turkey, and other countries around the Mediterranean sea. Closer to home, Guo performs at Bellevue's Meydenbauer Center on October 23 in a collaborative concert with Sephardic musician (and former UW Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist) Paco Diez and special guest Hazzan Isaac Azzose. The concert, presented by the Honorary Consulate of Spain, includes Sephardic repertoire, lyrical ballads, and songs that the Sephardim have passed down through generations in worldwide diaspora.  For more details and ticket information, visit Guo's website here.

Doctoral voice student Meaghan Guterman has been awarded a generous Finish Line fellowship, which brings with it a $24,000 stipend, paid over three quarters, to support her dissertation work on Yiddish opera. “With this support, she's planning a trip this year to NYC to look through archives,” says Voice faculty Carrie Shaw, with whom Guterman studies, “and I'm so thrilled that she's going to have this support.” 

Kevin Helppie ('95 DMA, Voice) retired as Professor of Music from Western Oregon University in April, 2021 after 23 years on the faculty. In July of 2022, he was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus at Western Oregon University. He currently serves as Instructor of Voice at Oregon State University and serves on the Board of Directors of Eugene Opera.

Harpist Kelly Guangyin Hou, student of Valerie Muzzolini, was one of three student award winners in the American Harp Society’s annual awards competitions, held virtually in May.  The winners received scholarship awards of $3,000 each and the honor of having their names displayed on a permanent plaque in the Lyon & Healy showroom where the live competitions are normally held. Hou is pursuing degrees in Informatics and Music at the UW and performs in the UW Symphony Orchestra and UW Wind Ensemble.

Alumna Laura Stambaugh ('09 PhD, Music Education), who serves as Professor and Head of Music Education at Georgia Southern University,  recently celebrated the publication of her new book, Music and the Brain for Musicians: Understanding the Research and Getting Involved (2022, Conway Publications). Lauded for its straightforward and user-friendly approach, the book rated high marks from UW Professor Timothy Salzman, who avers that the volume opens an "important portal for the performer" in understanding the overlapping intersections of neuroscience and music performance.  

Mario Alejandro Torres (DMA Orchestral Conducting) has been appointed Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and Conductor of the Sewanee Symphony at Sewanee, the University of the South, Tennessee. The Symphony's season opener on September 17 was a literal underground concert, with Torres leading the orchestra in a collaboration with the popular band Copeland at The Caverns, a subterranean concert venue in Pelham, Tennessee.