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Spring 2023 Student and Alumni Notes

Submitted by Joanne De Pue on May 24, 2023 - 12:49pm
UW Voice alums Virginia Elizondo and Darrell Jordan in Seattle Opera's April 2023 production of "Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World."
UW Voice alums Virginia Elizondo and Darrell Jordan in Seattle Opera's April 2023 production of "Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World."

Academic appointments, performances, career milestones, and other notable achievements.

 Alumnus Anthony Vine ('13 MM Composition), a former student of Huck Hodge, has been awarded a Rome Prize in Composition, one of the world’s most prestigious composing awards. Vine joins an elite group of renowned composers who have received the coveted award and residency, including the UW’s Huck Hodge (2010), and William O. Smith (1958, 1980).  A PhD candidate in music composition at the University of California, San Diego, Vine has been recognized with numerous top composing awards. In 2016, he received the Gaudeamus International Composers Award, with the jury noting, "Anthony Vine creates a solid, mature, beautifully crafted fragile sound world. He knows how to blur the identity of the different sources of sounds including the use of electronics in a very singular way." Other honors include fellowships from the Watermill Center and Camargo Foundation, John J. Cali String Quartet Composition Award, Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award, and funding from the Jerome Foundation, New Music USA, and Johnstone Fund for New Music. Through support from the Creatives Rebuild New York’s Artist Employment Program, Vine is the composer-in-residence at The Filomen M. D'Agostino Music School, where he helps people with vision loss pursue their study of music. 

Current and former UW Voice students are a commanding force in the region’s opera scene, with recent appearances in productions by Seattle Opera, Tacoma Opera, Pacific Northwest Opera, and others. Alumni Virginia Elizondo ('22 MM, Voice) and Darrell Jordan ('20 DMA, Voice) performed in Seattle Opera’s production of “Frida Kahlo and the bravest girl in the world” by Joe Illick this spring. Tess Altiveros ('10 MM, Voice) appeared as Nana/Wajma in Seattle Opera's production of  A Thousand Splendid Suns. Students and alumni seen in Pacific Northwest Opera’s April production of Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss included Justin Birchell (DMA Choral Conducting), performing the role of Fanina, and Brendan Tuohy (’04 BM Voice) in the role of Italian Tenor. Music History Professor Stephen Rumph performed the role of Valzacchi.

Tacoma Opera’s 2023-24 season features a raft of UW Music students, alumni, and faculty in a variety of roles both on stage and behind the scenes. Limuel Forgey, III (DMA, Vocal Performance) is the company’s general director and Daren Weissfisch (DMA Orchestral Conducting) was recently named principal conductor. Current master's student Elizabeth Mitchell is opera chorus director.  Director of the company’s Oct. 2023 production of Carmen by Georges Bizet is Kelly Kitchens, a member of UW’s opera workshop faculty, and the cast includes Brendan Tuohy as Don José; Justin Birchell as Zuniga; and Darrell Jordan as Morales/Escamillo cover. Kitchens is also director of The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach, set for April 2024. Voice professor Thomas Harper, meanwhile, is director of the company’s February 2024 production of A Streetcar Named Desire by André Previn, and Brendan Tuohy has been cast as Mitch.

Alumnus Max Shaffer (’20 BM Guitar) was a prize winner at the Troy University Guitar Competition and released a video for Federico Mompou's "Cuna," from the composer's Suite Compostelana. Based inTallahassee, Florida, the former student of Michael Partington is a teaching assistant at Florida State University. 

Emily Moss (BM, Music Education) has been appointed as the new Director of Bands at the University of New Mexico Department of Music. Moss is currently Professor of Music and Director of Bands at California State University, Los Angeles where she conducts the Wind Ensemble, teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting and music education courses, and oversees the Instrumental Area. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Moss began her collegiate music studies at the University of Washington, earning a bachelor’s degree in Music Education.

Kaity Cassio-Igari (’20 MM, Music Ed) was a panelist for a recent Teachers of Color panel hosted by the Future Teachers of Color (FTOC) group at the University of Washington. The panel highlighted the experiences in the teaching profession of teachers of Color committed to educational justice, sharing their work in coalition building with students, families, and community members, providing advice to future teachers, and sharing the joys of teaching. Cassio-Igari is an elementary music specialist and racial equity clinician who teaches at Highland Park Elementary School. Her UW research focused on Culturally Responsive Teaching and professional development. She holds certificates in Kodály and World Music Pedagogy and is a co-lead within the UW's EduDesign program for in-service BIPoC teachers, providing a professional development for music teachers in the Seattle area.

Hanyan Zhang, a DMA piano student of Robin McCabe, soloed with the EastSide Symphony on May 20, performing Mozart’s Concerto K. 595.

Nicole Stankovic, MM student of Robin McCabe, is pursuing a second degree as MPH in Health Systems and Population Health. She has been selected for the UW’s Dark Empire Study Abroad Program, a four-week exploration seminar based at the University of Greenwich Maritime campus in London, England, in which public health students will explore the National Health Service and analyze the historical and contemporary factors responsible for England's health disparities. Stankovic also is a certified bartender, and she has been selected from 500 global applicants to train as one of 40 apprentices this July in New Orleans at the “Tales of the Cocktail," the largest cocktail conference in the world. This year’s incoming class hails from eight countries and 19 states.