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Kudos: January – February 2014

During this January’s celebrations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and National Mentoring Month, it is only natural to reflect on “service.” VCU Music works to serve the Richmond community and beyond.

Last month, the Department held its 27th Holiday Gala, an annual fundraising concert for Richmond’s Hospital Hospitality House. VCU Music faculty, staff, alumni, and community supporters lent their talents to present an event full of holiday cheer. The concert raised nearly $4,200 for the organization whose goal is to provide lodging and non-medicalservices to families and individuals in medical crisis.

In addition to our many entertainment events featuring guest artists, faculty, and students spanning classical to jazz music, the Department sponsors a number of educational events that not only engage students at VCU, but those throughout the Richmond community and beyond. From Greater Richmond Bands to Jazz Day and the many instrument-specific festivals, summer camps, and master classes the Department Presents, VCU Music helps aspiring musicians develop their craft. Click to read more on how the Department is serving (and being acknowledged for its service)in this month’s Kudos.

  • Susanna Klein is one of  five grant recipients of VCU’s Center for Teacher Excellence Small Grants Program for her project “It’s All in the Game.” The purpose of the Small Grants Program is to provide faculty members with resources to advance their development as teachers and scholars in the VCU community. She also had an article published in American String Teacher entitled “Practicing in Tune.” Klein, along with Atlantic Chamber Ensemble, was awarded the Chamber Music America/American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) award in “Adventurous Programming” for mixed ensemble for the 2012/13 season.
  • Darryl Harper’s album “Edenfred Files” made Ted Gioia’s “The 100 Best Albums of 2013” list.
  • Visiting Assistant Professor Justin Alexander recently had an article entitled “The Value of Orchestral Excerpts” published in Percussive Notes, the main publication of the Percussive Arts Society.
  • Rebecca Tyree was awarded the Sidney Swiggett Award for Outstanding Service to Choral Music Education by Virginia Choral Directors Association at the Virginia Music Educators Conference (VMEA).
  • Antonio Garcia presented an improv workshop at Tromblow’in, a day-long music festival at JMU. Alumnus Nate Lee, now on the faculty of UVA and principal of the Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra, appeared at the event as well.
  • Tabatha Easley is presenting several sessions at the Flute Society of Washington’s MidAtlantic Conference February 22-23, 2014, including performing a bass flute selection, a presentation entitled “BiCulturalism in American Music with pianist Tracy Cowden, a panel presentation on College Auditions, and lastly the world premiere of a work for flute quartet and two laptops, written by Matthew Burtner.
  • Alice Hammel was a headline presenter for the Michigan Music Conference where she discussed topics such as label-free learning, and intellectual giftedness. She is also presenting multiple sessions at the Indiana Music Educators Conference on the issues of cognition, communication, and socialization in students with autism. In between those two conferences, she taught at universities in Michigan and Indiana.
  • Two of the VCUarts Undergraduate Research Grant six recipients were music majors: Sulaiman Popal for his project “Afghanistan’s Rubab: The Lion of Instruments” and Chanel Hurt for her project “musicspace.edu: Education re-form through space and creativity.”
  • Students Kevin Newton (horn) and  Vasilije Gagovic (double bass) are the winners of the Student Aria and Concerto Competition. Both will perform on the March 6, 2014 VCU Symphony concert.
  • Flute Performance Major Madison Bunch is a finalist for the Collegiate Soloist Competition for the Flute Society of Washington, and will be compete live in the final round on Saturday, February 22, 2014 in Reston, VA.
  • The VCU Flute Choir, directed by Tabatha Easley,  was selected to perform at the Flute Society of Washington’s MidAtlantic Conference on Saturday, February 22, 2014.
  • Julia Lougheed, Lydia Newlon, Nathan Frost and Michael Saunders represented Virginia in the Regional Chamber Music Competition for Music Teachers National Association.
  • Alumni of the VCU Jazz program Brendan SchnabelVictor Haskins, and Reggie Pace with Jazz Director Antonio Garcia performed at the Nelson Mandela Memorial Service at The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. in December.
  • Alumnus Jessie Nunn currently holds a contract to sing  at Disney’s Animal Kingdom “The Lion King”. He will also be playing the role of Dracula in the all-new Beetlejuices’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Graveyard Review.