Congratulations to Izzy Fincher—the College of Music’s Outstanding Graduating Senior this spring—who will graduate with a BM in classical guitar performance, a BA in journalism, and a business minor with a Music Entrepreneurship Certificate and a Music Theory Certificate, exemplifying the College of Music’s universal musician mission. Each semester, outstanding students are selected based on academic merit, a strong record of musicianship, and a record of service and leadership. As part of this award, Fincher will be recognized and deliver a speech at the College of Music commencement ceremony on May 11.
“I’m so grateful and honored to have been selected for this award,” says Fincher. “I’ve had such an incredible experience here at the College of Music over the past five years and it means so much to receive this recognition at graduation.”
Fincher has also been named Outstanding Graduate of the CU Boulder College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI).
As a student, Fincher was involved with several student groups, including as a writer and editor at the CU Independent, and as a member of the College of Music’s Diverse Musicians’ Alliance (DiMA).
“DiMA has been one of my favorite experiences over the past five years,” says Fincher. “It’s been wonderful to be part of such a supportive, diverse community. I’m Japanese-American and a really important part of my identity is advocating for marginalized, BIPOC composers and musicians—that’s something I’m really passionate about.”
Fincher also notes DiMA’s Persevering Legacy project as being particularly inspiring. The project elevates the stories of women composers, aligning classical music with social activism. “The Persevering Legacy events had a really big impact on me, inspiring me to seek out diverse composers and champion their works which has become a really important mission for me as a musician,” she shares.
“For my senior recital, I’m programming three female composers—that’s more than half of my program and that’s something I know I wouldn’t have been aware of or really advocated for unless I’d been a part of DiMA.”
Fincher felt especially supported and inspired by faculty from across campus—taking classes at the College of Music, CMCI and the Leeds School of Business.
“I’m grateful to all the wonderful faculty members I’ve studied with during my time at CU Boulder,” she says. “In particular, I wanted to thank my thesis advisor, Professor Chang, for all of his support this past year, Professor Nytch with the Entrepreneurship Center for Music [ECM]—and all of those incredible entrepreneurship opportunities—and my guitar teacher Professor Spera, of course. He’s been so encouraging over the past five years, it’s been incredible.”
To incoming freshmen, Fincher says she highly recommends the Music Entrepreneurship Certificate. “The College of Music is such a wonderful resource and we learn so much about music here,” she says. “The ECM adds to that by offering important practical skills that we’ll need in the real world beyond the classroom.”
After graduation, Fincher is headed to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she’ll pursue a master’s degree in classical guitar performance under René Izquierdo. “He’s a legend in the guitar world, so I’m really looking forward to studying with him,” she says.
Congratulations to Fincher and all of the College of Music’s 2022-23 outstanding students, selected by faculty vote:
Outstanding Graduating Senior—Izzy Fincher, classical guitar performance
Outstanding Junior—Ben Golden, music education—instrumental (trumpet)
Outstanding Sophomore—Anna Kallinikos, trumpet performance
Outstanding Freshman—Chloe Ehrmantraut, viola performance