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Summer 2024 Student and Alumni Notes

Submitted by Joanne De Pue on June 18, 2024 - 2:23pm
Doctoral student Daren Weissfisch (DMA, Orchestral Conducting). Photo: UW Photography.
Doctoral student Daren Weissfisch (DMA, Orchestral Conducting). Photo: UW Photography.

School of Music students and alumni report recent academic and artistic appointments, awards and distinctions and new career directions in the beginning weeks of Summer 2024.

School of Music doctoral student Daren Weissfisch (DMA, Orchestral Conducting) was recently announced as the new music director of Seattle’s Lake Union Civic Orchestra. The selection followed a year-long search and a season of auditions. “The orchestra and the audience loved his infectious energy, charisma and musical intensity during his successful concert cycle earlier this year,” noted the official announcement of his appointment.  Weissfisch debuted in his new role on June 22 in a meet-and-greet and season announcement event hosted by the orchestra.

Weissfisch’s UW colleague, doctoral student Ryan Farris (who also serves as LUCO’s assistant conductor), was recently named the new music director and conductor of the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra. “This is a truly exciting time for Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra,” the official announcement of his appointment proclaimed, "and we're so grateful to have the opportunity to work with Ryan as he leads the orchestra into this bright new era.” Farris called the opportunity to lead and program his own orchestra “truly a dream come true.”

School of Music graduate Olivia Wang (’24 BM, Music Theory; BS Computer Science) was awarded a 2024 College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Medal in recognition of her outstanding academic record throughout her UW studies. The recognition is awarded to the top graduating senior of each division of the College. Wang is set to begin PhD studies in Informatics this fall at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne, where she plans to incorporate knowledge gained in her music, computer science, and accessibility work at the UW into her research and academic endeavors.

Class of 2024 graduate Sophie Ma (BM Composition, BA Communication) starts a new job with a video game company in Tokyo this October, working to adapt video game content for different markets as part of the company’s international operations team.

Mavis Chan (BM, Vocal Performance; BA, Business Marketing) begins a new position in September at the Boeing Corporation. The Class of 2024 graduate is set to work in Boeing's Defense, Space, and Security division as a global real estate and facilities strategic planner. "My job will entail working and maintain relationships with business partners in order to initiate facilities-related projects before they are sent to Project Management teams," she says. "Developing projects involves identifying scope, opportunities, and risks, creating proposals for stakeholders, and, ultimately, supporting my recommendations to be approved for implementation."

Former conducting students of Timothy Salzman are soon beginning new academic appointments. Corey Jahlas (DMA Wind Conducting) has been appointed Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the San Jose State University School of Music, where he will lead the SJSU Symphonic Band, the Spartan Marching Band, and the Spartan Pep Band. Prior to this appointment, he served as the Interim Associate Director of Athletic Bands and director of the Campus Band at the UW and as the director of the Wind Ensemble at Seattle Pacific University. Paul Bain (‘09 MM, Wind Conducting) has been appointed Director of Bands at Western Washington University. The announcement of his appointment states: “He brings his artistry, excellence, commitment to our students, and the respect and admiration from colleagues around the region. We are blessed and fortunate to have him on our music faculty!"

School of Music alumni: We’d love to hear from you. Send a note about your recent activities to, and we will include your news in a future update.

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