This series features the quick-hit successes of VCU Music students, alumni, and faculty and staff. Sign up for our mailing list to get the latest department news and information on upcoming events from VCU Music.
Yin Zheng has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure.
Erin Freeman has been appointed to the tenure-eligible position of Director of Choral Activities at VCU and Director of the Richmond Symphony Chorus at RSO.
John Patykula was published in Classical Guitar Magazine. His article, “A Night to Remember: A look at the 1956 premiere of Villa-Lobos’ immortal Concerto for Guitar performed by Andrés Segovia,” appears in the Summer 2017 issue. Click here to see the article.
Susanna Klein was awarded a Presidential Research Quest Fund award (PeRQ), the highest research award at the university. Susanna’s project aims to design and develop a mobile app allowing players to self-regulate their practice habits. She is working in collaboration with Sandy Goldie and Molly Sharp, and with partner company Shockoe Mobile Solutions.
Rebecca Tyree was awarded a Service-Learning Faculty Fellowship by the Division of Community Engagement for her continuing work with the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community’s LIVE ART program.
Terry Austin will guest conduct the band at Musashino Academia Musicae in Tokyo, Japan this fall. This is Terry’s second invitation to Musashino. Terry also recently served as guest conductor for the President’s Own Marine Band at the American Bandmaster’s Association Convention in Lexington, Ky.
Colleen Potter Thorburn and Susanna Klein organized the first-ever VCU Harp Day in collaboration with the Virginia Harp Center. Harp Day was successful and well-attended, and included masterclasses, workshops, performances, and a concert from harp-voice duo Addi&Jacq.
Magdalena Adamek‘s research on Polish composer Feliks Nowowiejski appears in the newly published collaborative book, “Interpretation-Reception: New Research On the Music by Feliks Nowowiejski” edited by Krzysztof Szatrawski. Her chapter is titled “Feliks’s Nowowiejski’s masterful stylization of the Polish folk dance: Polish Dance No.2 in D minor.” She performed Nowowiejski’s works in recital at the Kosciuszko Foundation House in Washington, and was invited to perform in Poland this summer.
Steven Cunningham earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from University of Maryland, College Park.
Antonio García is the recipient of a Dean’s Research Reassignment Award and will be on leave in Fall 2017 to pursue various research projects including a book publication.
Alice Hammel was interviewed by the National Association for Music Education about the Endrew v. Douglas County School District case, and how the ruling may affect music education for students with special needs.
Michelle Huang was awarded a School of the Arts Adjunct Research Grant for her proposal to create musical works in collaboration with painters.
Horn player Alexandra Mattson won the 23rd annual Sigma Alpha Iota Scholarship Competition. Mattson was awarded a $350 prize and a performance opportunity for the Sigma Alpha Iota Alumnae Chapter of Richmond Alpha.
Euphoniumist Brian Harold won the Symphonic Wind Ensemble concerto competition and performed with the ensemble in April as a featured soloist.
Kirsten Ferguson and Zack Forbes were featured in VCU’s Community Engagement News for their teaching assistant work with School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community ’s LIVE ART program.
Bass-baritone Shyheim Hinnant is singing Zuniga in Bizet’s “Carmen” and the Second Commissioner in Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites” this summer at Georgia State University’s Harrower Summer Opera Workshop. Hinnant was also a semi-finalist in the Classical Singer International Vocal Competition in Chicago, and will participate in the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival and Academy. Watch his performance of “Vecchia zimarra, senti” from Puccini’s “La Bohème” at convocation in April:
Vecchia zimarra, senti Colline's aria from the Italian opera La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini(VCU Music Convocation 4/18/16)
Posted by Shy Hinnant on Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Clarinetist Emory Freeman was selected to participate in the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival in New York this summer.
Violist Caleb Paxton was selected to participate in the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Soprano Emily Nesbitt was accepted to the prestigious La Musica Lirica in Italy for their 5-week festival as the youngest singer in the Young Artist program. She will perform the role of Maestra delle Novizie in Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” and will cover the lead role of Mimi in “La Bohème.”
Soprano Victoria Jackson qualified for NATS National Student Auditions to be held in Boulder, Colo. this July.
Double-bassist Andrew Brunson and clarinetist Nathan Frost will pursue master’s degrees at Eastman School of Music.
Percussionist Gilson Fearnow was awarded a graduate assistantship at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and will be attending UNCG for a master’s degree in percussion performance.
Pianist Jordyn Burton will pursue a Master of Music at North Carolina School for the Arts.
Seth Taft was accepted into the music education doctoral program at University of Colorado – Boulder with full graduate assistantship.
Ryne Siesky will pursue a Master of Music in music composition at Ohio University and was awarded a graduate assistantship.
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The dean’s list is a recognition of superior academic performance. A student is automatically placed on the dean’s list for each semester in which a semester GPA of at least 3.5 is attained, based on a minimum of 12 semester credits, with no grade below C. The following students have made Dean’s List for Spring 2017:
Julia Lougheed is attending Arizona State university for a Master’s degree in clarinet performance. She recently commissioned and premiered a new work for clarinet and trombone.
For Spacebomb Records, Matthew E. White produced a new EP Black History featuring the Richmond-based ensemble Resound.
Alden Bean was recognized by her principal for exemplary teaching at Randolph Elementary School.
Trey Sorrells was recently named a D’Addario Woodwinds artist.
In January four alumni were featured on Conan O’Brien’s show with the group Foxygen: Trey Pollard, Cameron Ralston, Pinson Chanselle, Rob Quallich, and Reggie Chapman.
Tony Garcia’s latest book Jazz Improvisation: Practical Approaches to Grading was published this past fall. Garcia is interviewed by VCU News.
Darryl Harper has been named the Joseph E. and Grace W. Valentine Visiting Professor at Amherst College and will spend the 2017-18 school year in residence there.
Susanna Klein released the new CD “Mosaic” with Trio 826.
Doug Richards’ 2016 CD “It’s All in the Game” was recognized as one of the top 10 recordings of the year by noted author and critic Royal Stokes.
Charles West was featured in the PBS program Charlottesville Inside Out for his work with the Charlottesville Youth Symphony.
Junior Rachel Lustig won a Dean’s International Study Grant to travel to the Czech Republic and study the music of contemporary Czech composers.
Senior Danielle Gibbons has been accepted by the law schools of the College of William and Mary and University of Virginia.
The following students won placements at the Virginia chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition in February: Calvin Bremer, Jaylin Brown, Evan Coldiron, Taylor DaCosta, Samantha Garcia, Shyheim Hinant, and Tess Ottinger. The following students won honors at VA-NATS: Micah Baldwin, Colleen Christman, Alexis Gruber, Victoria Jackson, and Emily Nesbitt. Shyheim Hinant also won the superlative award for “Best College Male – Classical.”
The dean’s list is a recognition of superior academic performance. A student is automatically placed on the dean’s list for each semester in which a semester GPA of at least 3.5 is attained, based on a minimum of 12 semester credits, with no grade below C. The following students have made Dean’s List for Fall 2016:
Adams, Jake K.
Barbarji, Haidar M.
Bennett, Jacob R.
Bessicks, Cameron W.
Bourhill, Lida A.
Bradley, Michael J.
Brunson, Andrew C.
Christman, Colleen M.
Cole, Richard K.
Coleman, Tyler J.
Connolly, Bryan K.
Cotter, Georgia R.
Culver, Benjamin J.
Dacosta, Taylor D.
Dickinson, Michael S.
Dodd, Colton T.
Douthwaite, Sarah E.
Duong, Minh Vy
Eichenberger, Kevin A.
Fearnow, Gilson L.
Ferguson, Kirsten K.
Freeman, Emory S.
Frierson, Chet C.
Frost, Nathaniel A.
Gault, Desean W.
Graham, Abigail A.
Harold, Brian C.
Hazelwood, Cathern M.
Heiter, Evan P.
Hoster, Samantha M.
Jackson, Victoria A.
James, Mark P.
Jeffrey, Ian P.
Johnson, Elliot W.
Kelly, Benjamin B.
Kincy, Jason P.
Kreck, Marie L.
Lincoln, Kelleen R.
Liverman, Eric C.
Mekhail, Mark S.
Mitchell, Robert S.
Ossi, Thomas C.
Ottinger, Tess N.
Pauley, Charles W.
Resmini, Marissa R.
Roberts, David A.
Roche, Samuel J.
Santiago Crespo, Alfred L.
Schuhle, Charlotte G.
Siesky, Ryne J.
Skelly, Connor J.
Taylor, Olivia N.
Tekamp, Austin R.
Terrell, Connor A.
Tilghman, Kayla M.
Villanueva, Abigail L.
Vincenti, Peter D.
Whittenburg, Savannah A.
Wilkins, Ashley D.
John Bullard released a new CD to critical acclaim, Classical Banjo: The Perfect Southern Art. A feature article about Bullard recently appeared in Virginia Living magazine.
Steven Cunningham passed his comprehensive exams at University of Maryland and is now plunging into his dissertation.
Victor Haskins is Instructor of Jazz Trumpet at William & Mary.
Marcus Grant finished his Masters degree in Trumpet Performance at Indiana University this past May and has been appointed adjunct Applied Brass Teacher at Virginia Union University.
Since leaving the public school system, Maureen Mallory is the Assistant Program Director for The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Norfolk and is experiencing great success with their after school program. She writes to one of her former teachers here, “I am very proud to be a Ram and tell others about the wonderful experiences I had there. I appreciate all of the work and dedication you provided to me and the many other students whose lives you impact.”
Having recently earned her Master’s degree in Voice Performance from Arizona State university, Vanessa Naghdi began her first year of full-time singing which included roles in Arizona Opera’s Education Outreach program and in their production of Madama Butterfly.
Eleven VCU Music alumni sang in Henrico Theatre’s recent production of Noli me tangere and were recognized for their professionalism and strong preparation: Michele (Orr) Baez, Alan Chavez, Liz Carlton Dowdy, Chloe Fortin, Forrest Glass, Vicky Kinney, Fred Newhouse, Catherine Pelletier, Chase Peak, Emma Claire Polich, Nicole Savage.
Wells Hanley received an Adjunct Faculty Research grant from the School of the Arts in support of the upcoming release of his new album Outside Inside.
Cheryl Van Ornam performed an organ recital on the historic Flentrop Organ at Adolphus Busch Hall, one of Harvard University’s Art Museums. The program of Dutch music honored the native country of the builder (Dirk. A. Flentrop) and memorialized her own studies at the Haarlem Summer Organ Academy in the Netherlands.
Charles West published a new book, Woodwind Instruments (Meredith Music). This publication comes on the heels of his Woodwind Methods book last year.
Dr. Zheng led another successful Global Summer Institute of Music the first week in August at VCU. A group of more than 70 musicians, students and parents from around the globe spent an enriching week at VCU presenting concerts and being immersed in a variety of both artistically and culturally inspiring events such as lectures, masterclasses, workshops, English conversations, and excursions to the VMFA and the nation’s Capitol.
Horn student Gloria Ramirez played an outstanding mock audition with members of the USMC President’s Own Band horn section in May. The reviewing committee remarked at Gloria’s positive energy and level of preparation.
Richmond Music Teachers Association (RMTA) awarded Jordyn Burton an RMTA Collegiate scholarship in recognition of her strong work.
Supported by a Department of Music Student Research Grant, Emory Freeman attended the Buffet Clarinet Academy this past summer and writes about his experience at his blog.
Trevor White was profiled in the VCU News story “Rising Freshman Finds His Voice Through Vocal Arts Project.”
Stephanie Barrett is attending the Lynn Conservatory to pursue graduate work with David Cole.
Jack Flores received a full tuition + stipend Graduate Assistantship at Florida State University to pursue his graduate work with Greg Sauer.
Lanjiabao Ge accepted a full teaching assistantship and living stipend to attend the University of Miami Frost School of Music for fall 2016.
Malcolm Jones is attending San Jose State with a scholarship and a waiver of out-of-state tuition. He is studying vocal performance and choral conducting.
Hannah Standiford’s project, “Shadow Ballads,” was performed at the University of Richmond, and was profiled in the Richmond Times Dispatch.
Eric Jacobs is tenured in the Seattle Symphony, and performed a series of concerts to bring music to those behind bars.
Rustin “Cetch” Waters has accepted the position of Band Director at Kempsville High School in Virginia Beach.
Anna Bishop is beginning her second season as a violinist with the Richmond Symphony.
Aaron Jones is attending graduate school at Arizona State University.