The piano program at VCU features a wide range of concerts and events during the course of the year, including guest artists, faculty recitals, piano ensembles and community outreach concerts.
Colby Mullen, vocal performance, will be interning in New York City this summer with the Multicultural Arts Management Internship Program, hosted by the Arts & Business Council of New York a division of Americans for the Arts. He will be working at The Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens NY.
Anna Bishop, violin, will begin her graduate studies in the fall at Chicago College of Performing Arts for Violin Performance where she received a large scholarship. She will also be interning with Fifth House Ensemble, an innovative Chamber Music group in Chicago.
Marcus Redden, horn, will be pursuing a Master of Music in Horn at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music as a recipient of the Artistic Excellence Award, the Jacobs School’s most prestigious award.
Marla Smith, flute, will be attending the Eastman School of Music in the fall for a Master’s degree in Flute Performance. She will be the teaching assistant to Bonita Boyd, play in the Conducting Orchestra, as well as teaching a course on flute methods to the music education majors as a graduate student.
Justin McConchie, percussion, will be pursuing his Master’s Degree at the Butler School of Music at University of Texas, Austin in the fall.
Stephanie Barrett, cello, was accepted to Meadowmount to study with Clive Greensmith.
Jack Flores, cello, was accepted to California Summer Music to study with Irene Sharp.
Flutist Marla Smith’s story is one that many VCU Music students and alumni can relate to. A native of Chesapeake, VA, she attended Hickory High School and then the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA, Marla came to Richmond after a long and lively familiarity with the performing arts. After her contact with classmates who attended VCU Music and were progressing well into their artistry, a lesson with assistant professor and flutist Tabatha Easley, and a guest conductor appearance by Daniel Myssyk, her decision to become part of the VCU Music family was solidified.
A good teacher doesn’t simply lecture, mark up test papers, and repeat the process endlessly for semesters; a good teacher enlightens and challenges students. To so many students, Daniel Myssyk, Assistant Professor and Director of Orchestral Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, has done just that in their lives. In the words of Justin Williams, a 2011 VCU music education graduate, Myssyk is a “master teacher.” Williams stated, “[He] focuses on the student before the music…[he] is just as focused on creating skilled people as he is focused on creating skilled musicians.” Senior flutist Marla Smith stated similarly that her experiences with Myssyk “opened up a lot of things for me.” Read more »
VCU Music alumni have fascinating stories on their undergraduate years. Bawar, VCU Music Financial/Human Resource Assistant, (’90) is no different. With such a varied background as hers (she nearly majored in synthesizers, people!), it’s no surprise that her career has spanned from nearly every facet of music administrative support at VCU to composing and even teaching.
Bawar has worked in various support positions for the Department of Music since studying for her Bachelor of Music in Composition and Theory from VCU. She began assisting the department as a student employee as a concert hall assistant where she worked lighting and sound for concerts and box office sales. Over the years, she’s even done quite a bit of admissions, marketing, and alumni relations work for the department. Bawar is certainly a “Jane of all Trades” when it comes to music – in the department and beyond. Read more »
You might not think that one teacher’s reach from an elementary music classroom at Rural Point Elementary in Hanover County, Virginia would extend very far. But Paul Bakeman has touched a lot of lives — in Virginia and around the world.
Bakeman earned his Bachelor’s degree from VCU in 1994 and as a trombonist and self-declared marching band kid, he planned to become a high school band director until a decisive summer job opportunity turned his heart to elementary music education.
Senior Vocal Performance major Stephanie Auld hasn’t had the most direct path through her degree program at VCU, but the journey has been full of life lessons and opportunities.
Stephanie transferred to VCU after one semester at George Washington University in the spring of 2007 and began as a part-time student with a full schedule of music and general education classes. She began full-time study the next fall and immersed herself in classes, ensembles, and additional singing and teaching opportunities in Richmond.
Three semesters later, she lost her in-state residency status due to her parents’ move to North Carolina. “The best thing I ever did was to take a break from school, become financially independent, and grow up,” Stephanie said. “It made me take school much more seriously.”
For the past 24 years, Linda Johnston has served VCU Music tirelessly–always ready with an answer, a smile, and an encouraging word. Her official title is Administrative Director and her responsibilities primarily include handling the department’s finances and human resources, but she is so much more.
In the late 1980s, while sitting in Convocation in the Performing Arts Center at VCU, Darren Otero never dreamed that one day he would be living in Los Angeles, working on film after film for the Walt Disney Studios and other studios around Hollywood. His credits to date include the 2012 Oscars
telecast, Up, Cars 2, all the Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformer movies, the entire runs of LOST and Desperate Housewives, and many more.
Darren works in the small, but critical field of music preparation. “We’re the people who put the dots on the page for the orchestra — the composer will send us a score and we generate the individual instrument parts for a soundtrack that will be recorded in post-production,” Darren explained.
He describes it as part-copyist, part-proofreader, and part-librarian. But to hear Darren speak of his work, it becomes obvious that it requires much more than just incredible musical chops.
Bass-baritone Matthew Burns graduated from VCU Music with his Bachelor of Music degree in 1997 and since then he has steadily climbed the ladder of the opera world – performing with regional opera companies across the country, performing regularly with New York City Opera, and joining the roster of the Metropolitan Opera. At the time of this writing, he was in Albuquerque, NM preparing to perform the title role in Gianni Schicchi with Opera Southwest.
But he didn’t start out at VCU with his sights set on being an opera star.