Established in 2004, the graduate program in Collaborative Piano offers master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees. Pianists receive specialized training in instrumental and vocal accompanying with appropriate emphasis in each student’s area of interest, and take additional coursework in a wide range of topics such as basso continuo and opera coaching techniques. They also gain accompanying experience in the choirs, large ensembles and opera rehearsals, and as a result acquire expanded practical skills and an understanding of the collaborative career possibilities ahead.
One of the unique features of this program is that pianists study with both collaborative piano faculty. In addition to multiple lessons each week with the collaborative piano faculty, students have the opportunity to play for the various performance studios across the college. The entire faculty of the college is an outstanding resource for the program, including the vocal coaching faculty and the acclaimed Takács Quartet.
Pianist Margaret McDonald, a native of Minnesota, is an Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano at the University of Colorado Boulder. She joined the College of Music keyboard faculty in the fall of 2004. She helped to develop the college’s new graduate degree program in Collaborative Piano and directed the undergraduate collaborative curriculum. Praised for her poetic style and versatility, Dr. McDonald enjoys a very active performing career and has partnered many distinguished artists including the Takács Quartet, Kathleen Winkler, Zuill Bailey, Paula Robison, Carol Wincenc, Ben Kamins, David Shifrin, William VerMeulen, David Jolley, Ian Bousfield, Steven Mead, and Velvet Brown. Read Dr. McDonald's full bio.
A native of Montréal, Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano Alexandra Nguyen maintains a diverse career as a collaborative pianist, teacher, and arts administrator. She is an accomplished pianist who has appeared throughout the United States and Canada, including performances at the Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall (New York, NY), BargeMusic (Brooklyn, NY), the Strings Music Festival (Steamboat Springs, CO), and the Societe Pro Musica Chamber Music Series (Montréal, Canada); recent performances include concerts with members of the Takács Quartet, baritone Patrick Mason as well as bassoonist Peter Kolkay, a long-standing collaboration. She has been an invited speaker at the National Association of Schools of Music Annual Meeting, the College Music Society Annual Conference, the Music Teachers National Association National Convention, and the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. Read Dr. Nguyen's full bio.
Pianist and Instructor of Collaborative Piano Hsiao-Ling Lin, a native of Taiwan, joined the keyboard department faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder in fall of 2011. Ms. Lin enjoys an active performing career as a collaborative pianist throughout the world in such prestigious halls as the Weill Hall at Carnegie in New York and the Rachmaninoff Hall in Moscow. Her performances have been broadcasted live over the radio, and she has collaborated with many distinguished artists including: Lynn Harrell, Matt Haimovitz, Kenneth Grant, Basil Reeve, and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and so on. Read Dr. Lin's full bio.
Korean pianist Suyeon Kim is an instructor in Collaborative Piano at the University of Colorado, Boulder, joining the faculty in 2013. Dr. Kim is an experienced and versatile collaborator, with significant instrumental and vocal accompanying experience. She has earned her B.M. in Piano Performance and an M.M. in Collaborative Piano in Korea, an additional M.M. in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music from the Eastman School of Music, and a D.M.A. in Collaborative Piano from the University of Texas at Austin, studying with Kihoon Yang, Jean Barr, Anne Epperson and Jonathan Feldman. Read Dr. Kim's full bio.
Meet our faculty
Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano Margaret McDonald
Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano Alexandra Nguyen
More information about Collaborative Piano
Alaina DeBellevue, AD in Vocal Coaching
Alaina de Bellevue is a freelance pianist, vocal coach, and music director. She recently re-established herself in Boulder after living in Germany, where she collaborated with numerous vocal and instrumental artists as a coach and recitalist. Previously she served as a staff coach for Colorado State University’s Ralph Opera Center, James Madison University's German Singer Sommer in Freiberg, Germany, and Opera Colorado. Alaina is also active as an orchestral pianist, having appeared with Fort Collins Symphony, Boulder Chamber Orchestra, and Front Range Chamber Orchestra. Alaina received her Master of Music in collaborative piano from CU Boulder in 2015 and is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma in vocal coaching, studying with Dr Mustumi Moteki and Dr Jeremy Reger. In her free time she enjoys road cycling, mountain biking, and learning to play fiddle and accordion.
Keith Teepen, DMA
Pianist Keith Teepen has performed in Europe, Asia, South America, and throughout North America. He has collaborated with many of today's important artists including: famous trumpeter, Tine Thing Helseth, internationally renowned euphonium virtuosos, Adam Frey, David Thornton, and Glenn Van Looy, tuba virtuosos, Alan Baer, Øystein Baadsvik and Aaron Tindall, and internationally renowned trombonist, Scott Hartman. Keith has taught on the piano faculty at Pró-Música Music Festival in Juiz de Fora, Brazil and the International Music Camp at the Peace Garden. For the past 3 years, Keith has been the “official pianist” for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions – North Dakota-Manitoba District. He is also a collaborative pianist for the International Euphonium and Tuba Festival in Atlanta, Georgia.
Keith stays active as a soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist performing throughout the United States and internationally. Recent concerts include performances in Jacksonville, FL, Houston, TX, Albany, NY, as well as Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto at Purdue University in Lafayette, IN. In the fall of 2017, Keith performed a series of joint recitals with pianist, Nariaki Sugiura. Together they performed solo and duo repertoire in major cities across Asia, including: Hong Kong, Shanghai, Macau, and Xiamen.
Keith is frequently sought after as a pianist and music director for musical theatre. Recently, Keith performed a cabaret with Broadway Cinderella and Grease star, Laura Osnes, as well as Broadway Wicked star, Donna Vivino. Keith travels annually to St. Augustine, FL to music direct and perform cabarets at Flagler University. He has recently recorded several videos that have grabbed the attention of composers, Jason Robert Brown and Adam Guettel.
After earning a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from DePauw University School of Music, Keith received a scholarship to study with Gerald Stofsky in Vienna, Austria. While working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, he received his Master of Music degree in piano performance from the University of North Dakota. Keith has held collaborative piano positions at DePauw University School of Music, Summer Vocal Arts at DePauw, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the University of North Dakota. Keith is currently working as a Teaching Assistant while pursuing his doctorate degree in collaborative piano at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Zerek Dodson, DMA
Zerek Dodson is a second-year DMA student in the College of Music at the University of Colorado Boulder. A consummate performer on piano, harpsichord, and organ, he has extensive collaboration experience across many musical styles and periods. Over the course of his lengthy academic career, Zerek also enjoys pursuing secondary performance on oboe and viola, as well as supplementing his German fluency with speaking ability in Spanish and French. Research interests have spanned from medieval codicology and paleography (in music manuscripts as well as biblical hermeneutics and homilies) to performance considerations of EDM and digital mashups. During his Master’s degree at Baylor University (MM Collaborative Piano and Musicology ‘19), he performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as a winner of the Semper Pro Musica competition. Since then, he has enjoyed working with numerous singers, instrumentalists, and choirs, as well as participating in opera rehearsals and orchestra performances.
Gabriel Schirn, MM
Gabriel Schirn is a collaborative pianist beginning his graduate studies at University of Colorado
Boulder. Before coming to Boulder, he graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors from the
University of Arizona, studying Piano Performance. Schirn’s teachers include Dr. Alexandra
Nguyen, Dr. Margaret McDonald, Dr. Fanya Lin, Dr. Rex Woods, and Mr. Edward Roman. In
addition to pursuing music, he enjoys devoting himself to cooking, knitting, and exploring new
Sam Bachelder (MM 2020)
A native of Farmingdale, Maine, Sam Bachelder received his B.M. in Piano Performance from New York University in 2011, where he studied with Seymour Bernstein. While at NYU he also spent a semester abroad in Prague, studying piano under Martin Vojtišek from the Prague Conservatory. Notable performances while at NYU included appearances at Palffy Palace in Prague, the International Society for Music Education World Conference in Beijing, China, as well as Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall.
While in New York, Sam maintained an active teaching studio, teaching privately as well as at Riverdale Music Studio, Natalia Huang Piano Studio and 88 Keys Music Studio. In addition to his teaching activities he performed in a wide variety of New York venues, including Gracie Mansion, Tenri Cultural Institute, DROM and Cornelia Street Cafe.
In 2014, Sam was invited to join the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West, with whom he toured actively as a pianist until 2018. In four years with the Air Force Band he gave 285 performances in nine states and six countries, including the Netherlands, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar and Afghanistan. While in the the Air Force band he performed alongside Terrell Stafford at Berks Jazz Festival as well as with Jazz at Lincoln Center musicians in Doha, Qatar.
In August 2018 Sam began a Master's degree program in Collaborative Piano at University of Colorado, Boulder, where he is a student of Margaret McDonald and Alexandra Nguyen.
Xi Zhang (MM 2020)
Xi Zhang is a first-year Masters student in Collaborative Piano at the University of Colorado Boulder. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from China Conservatory and a Master of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Wyoming. Xi has maintained an active career as a collaborative pianist. Since 2015, she has been working as a staff pianist in the String Academy of Wyoming, and as a Teaching Assistant at UW, has played for vocal and instrumental recitals, orchestra, and opera rehearsals. During summers, she enjoys participation in different collaborative music camps, including The Chamber Music Courses and Activities “Musica Mundi” in Belgium and the Killington Music Festival in Vermont.
Lennart Triesschijn (DMA 2020)
Lennart Triesschijn (Rotterdam, 1992) is a Dutch pianist. His musical education started in a children’s choir at age 6, and he started playing the piano at age 7. At age 18, Lennart was admitted to the preliminary program of the Conservatory of Amsterdam, where he studied for two years with Prof. Marcel Baudet. At the Conservatory of Amsterdam, he also earned his bachelor degree in Piano Performance, as a student of Prof. Frank Van De Laar. Lennart studied in the USA at the University of Wyoming with Dr. Theresa Bogard, where he earned his Master of Music degree in Piano Performance in May 2018.
In the Fall of 2018, he began his doctoral degree studies in collaborative piano at the University of Colorado Boulder. Lennart studies with Dr. Margaret McDonald and Dr. Alexandra Nguyen.
Lennart loves everything about music, whether it is playing, teaching, coaching, collaborating or learning. He performs regularly in recitals as a soloist and in collaboration with others. He performed twice as a soloist with a symphonic orchestra in The Netherlands.
Lennart studied for 2 years in the Piano Methodology class with Prof. Marc Pauwels at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and studied Piano Pedagogy in the USA with Dr. Theresa Bogard for one semester. He had a thriving piano studio in Amsterdam, with student from age 4 - 65. He was employed as a professor at the University of Wyoming as part of his graduate assistantship, where he taught lectures for a music appreciation class to undergraduate students for 3 semesters.
In his free time, Lennart enjoys sports including running, soccer and martial arts. He also likes being in nature, hiking, literature, movies and dogs.
Sarah Thune (MM 2020)
Sarah Thune, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, began her piano studies at the age of 7. Ms. Thune holds degrees from Drake University (B.M. Piano Performance) and Syracuse University (M.M. Piano Performance), where she was the first pianist at the Setnor School of Music to be awarded the prestigious title of University Fellow. Her past teachers include Dr. Nicholas Roth, Dr. Daniel Paul Horn, and Dr. Fred Karpoff. Additionally, she has played in master classes for notable pianists including Leon Fleisher, Vadym Kholodenko, Nelita True, Alan Smith, Martin Katz, and Graham Johnson. An active chamber musician, Ms. Thune has participated in workshops with the Chiara and Miro String Quartets and has attended the Zodiac Music Festival and Academy in Valdeblore, France, and Songfest in Los Angeles. Along with giving collaborative recitals at Arizona State University, the University of Alabama, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and Chandler-Gilbert Community College, she has also been featured in chamber music concert series hosted by the Civic Music Association of Des Moines, Iowa, Civic Morning Musicals in Syracuse, New York, and the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. Prior to beginning graduate studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, Ms. Thune was based in Phoenix, Arizona working as a freelance collaborator and a pianist for Ballet Arizona, the School of Ballet Arizona, and Interlochen Arts Camp. Ms. Thune is pursuing an MM in Collaborative Piano at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is a student of Margaret McDonald and Alexandra Nguyen.
Barbara Noyes (DMA 2020)
Barbara Noyes received her Bachelor of Music degree in composition from Willamette University in 2013. Her experience playing in orchestras, wind ensembles, marching bands, choral and chamber ensembles offers her a uniquely diverse background and approach to playing with collaborative partners at the University of Colorado – Boulder, where she studies collaborative piano with Margaret McDonald and Alexandra Nguyen.
At Willamette University, Barbara studied composition and orchestration with Department Chair and Composer-in-Residence John Peel. Her deep interest in film scores and collaboration inspired many of her undergraduate compositions, most notably the Four Movements for Chamber Symphony, written 2012-2013. While studying in Paris through a university immersion program, she pursued research that compared the compositional habits of French film composers versus their Hollywood counterparts, as well as the diverse business practices in these two divergent areas.
Under the tutelage of Anita King, professor of music emerita, Barbara also studied solo piano and accompanying during her undergraduate years. During that time she developed the sensitivity and passion for collaborative work. Creation of the Waller Piano Trio at Willamette University inspired her to pursue graduate studies in collaborative piano.
In addition to her graduate studies, Barbara also freelances around the Denver-Boulder area and can be found at the piano with the Boulder Suzuki Strings, musical theater programs, and in recitals around the Rocky Mountains.
Nathália Kato (DMA 2020)
Brazilian pianist Nathália Kato discovered her vocation in collaborative piano at a very early age and has been dedicated to this specialized skill ever since. She received her Bachelor of Music from Pará State University (Brazil) studying with Glória Caputo, and her Master of Music degree from Campinas State University where she studied with Mauricy Martin and Ricardo Ballestero.
Ms. Kato attended piano and chamber music master classes with many prominent musicians such as Wenzel Fuchs, Rita Sloan, and Martin Katz. She has worked as a staff pianist in many important music festivals in Brazil. Ms. Kato has immense experience in orchestral and operatic activities, and has worked with such renowned conductors as Marin Alsop and Steven Mercurio. Her repertoire list includes numerous vocal works, including complete operas and musicals including Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, and Bernstein’s West Side Story.
In December of 2010, Ms. Kato performed with clarinetist Herson Amorim in Portugal; the recital was promoted by the Embassy of Brazil in Lisbon, and it was entirely dedicated to Brazilian repertoire. In the summer of 2015, Ms. Kato performed with clarinetists Cristiano Alves and Whatson Cardozo at ClarinetFest in Madrid, where they presented Brazilian repertoire to a Spanish audience. In 2017 and 2018, Ms. Kato was awarded a full scholarship to attend the prestigious Aspen Music Festival during the summer, studying with Andrew Harley and Rita Sloan.
Currently, Ms. Kato is pursuing her DMA degree in Collaborative Piano from the University of Colorado Boulder, where she also finished her second Master of Music degree. Ms. Kato studies with Margaret McDonald and Alexandra Nguyen, and holds a teaching assistantship for which she is one of the rehearsal pianists and coaches for the Eklund Opera Program working with maestro Nicholas Carthy.
Aric Vyhmeister (MM 2019)
Aric Vyhmeister is pursuing an MM in Collaborative Piano at CU Boulder and is a student of Dr. Margaret McDonald and Dr. Alexandra Nguyen, having previously earned degrees in Physics, Mechanical Engineering and Music at Walla Walla University in Washington State. In addition to performing with numerous chamber groups and a jazz ensemble, he served four years as principal choral accompanist for the WWU University Singers and the touring chorus, I Cantori.
Also an active brass player, he was principal horn of the WWU Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony, and was a member of the Walla Walla Symphony and various local chamber ensembles.
His original works as a composer have been performed by numerous ensembles, including the Maitland Symphony Orchestra in Florida, and the Walla University Symphony Orchestra and Brass Choir.
Prior to enrolling at CU Boulder he worked as a Systems Engineer with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., supporting multiple programs including NASA’s Orion project.
Madeleine Vande Polder (MM 2019)
Madeleine Vande Polder received her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Truman State University in 2017 under the instruction of Dr. David McKamie. While at Truman, she gained experience in playing with wind symphony, orchestra, choir, musical theater, chamber ensembles, jazz, and opera. She was the recipient of the Truman Piano Fellowship Award.
She quickly realized her love for collaborative playing early into her college career, and accompanied soloists ranging from sopranos to saxophonists.In her final year, she took collaborative piano lessons with Dr. Michael Bunchman. During her time at Truman, she was able to tour as the accompanist with the Truman Cantoria Choir in Hungary, Germany, and Austria. She also studied music at the University of Ireland, Maynooth for a semester in her junior year. Madeleine has been able to play in master classes under teachers including Dr. Steven Spooner, Dr. Scott McBride Smith, Dr. Pamela Mia Paul, and Dr. Nelita True.
Madeleine will continue her studies at University of Colorado Boulder and pursue a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano.
Xinqu Li (MM 2019)
Xinqu Li, born in Bejing, China, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in composition from China Conservatory of Music, where she was a student of Wanchun Shi. Currently, she is a graduate student in collaborative piano at the University of Colorado Boulder, studying with Margaret McDonald and Alexandra Nguyen.
She has experience performing in choral, string and vocal ensembles. She received the China Youth Music Competition best collaborative piano award in 2016, and in the same year she worked as a piano accompanist and sight-singing teacher in the Junior and Females Chorus of Chinese Symphony Orchestra. She took part in the Ulf Bästlein Voice Masterclass in 2015-2016, and studied vocal coaching with Robert Heimann. She joined the Tsinghua University School of Civil Engineering Chorus in 2014, and during this time they won the first place in 9.12 Chorus Competition.
As a composition student, Xinqu often composes and adapts chamber music, also performing parts for piano in concerts. She performed her composition piece “Lost” at East Horizon Line Concert in 2013. Some of the music she has adapted has been performed in China, Singapore and Italy.
Cecilia Lo-Chien Kao (DMA 2019)
Taiwanese Pianist Cecilia Lo-Chien Kao enjoys performing in a wide variety of settings, ranging from chamber music, opera and orchestral ensembles, and choral music. She has collaborated with many distinguished artists including Lynn Harrell, Stefan Jackiw, Robert McDuffie, Bion Tsang, David Coucheron, Jennifer Stumm, and many members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Kao joined the collaborative staff of the prestigious Meadowmount School of Music, in Westport, New York, in the summer of 2015. She has been a staff pianist at Columbus State University and Mercer University in Georgia, where she collaborated with students of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings.
In the Summer of 2018 Ms. Kao performed with Lynn Harrell on the Meadowmount School of Music concert series. She has appeared at Carnegie Weill Hall on a University of Colorado Boulder showcase and can be heard with cellist Bion Tsang on his CD The Blue Rock Sessions (2017). She was also a member of the Boulder Altitude Directive, a modern music ensemble dedicated to commissioning and performing new music, during their inaugural season. Cecilia has received fellowships for both the Aspen School of Music and Music Academy of the West, and has performed in the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival in Florida.
Ms. Kao holds a Master of Music degree in collaborative piano from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied with Anne Epperson, and a Master of Art degree in collaborative piano and bachelor’s degree in solo piano from National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei. She is currently a Doctorate candidate in collaborative piano at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Rebecca Golub (MM 2019)
A native of Long Island, NY, Rebecca Golub began her piano studies at the age of seven. She received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education, vocal emphasis, from the Eastman School of Music. While at Eastman, Rebecca studied piano under the tutelage of Vincent Lenti and frequently sought out opportunities to collaborate with her peers through chamber music and accompanying, sparking her interest in the field of collaborative piano.
Currently, Rebecca is pursuing a Master’s Degree in collaborative piano performance at the University of Colorado-Boulder, studying under Alexandra Nguyen and Margaret McDonald. She was awarded a teaching assistantship for which she is one of the opera pianists for the Eklund Opera Program.
In preparation for her graduate studies, Rebecca spent six weeks of the summer in Graz, Austria studying collaborative piano with a German lieder emphasis at the AIMS music festival. Other summer festivals include the Brevard Music Center and Green Mountain Chamber Music. Rebecca has performed in masterclasses and workshops with artists including Stephen Carr, Mira Zakai, Jeffrey Sharkey, Dmitri Shteinberg, Paul Orgel, and Bo Skovhus. She is thrilled to be a new CU collab!
Emily Alley (DMA 2018)
Emily Alley, 26, born in Worcester, Massachusetts, is a doctoral candidate in collaborative piano at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she studies with Margaret McDonald and Alexandra Nguyen. She graduated with a master's degree in collaborative piano from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where she won first place in the 2014 Conrad Art Song Competition and received the Virginia Marks Collaborative Piano Award. As an undergraduate in music education at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, she was the recipient of the Herb-Deibler Award, given to an outstanding pianist. She has played with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Civic Youth Ensembles and has performed chamber music at Niigata University in Japan. In 2015 she was a fellow in the collaborative piano program at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, and will be returning in the summer of 2016.
Deborah Hui (DMA 2017)
Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Deborah Hui currently attends the University of Colorado Boulder and is pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano, studying with Alexandra Nguyen and Margaret McDonald. She holds a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano and Piano Performance from Baylor University and received her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of British Columbia. Hui was a finalist in the Mid-Texas Symphony Young Artists and Baylor Concerto Competitions. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda and was twice awarded the Roger L. Keyes Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Piano at Baylor. Hui has attended the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, the Vancouver International Song Institute, the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival and fresh inc, and received a fellowship to the Marrowstone Music Festival. She has served as collaborative pianist at the Interlochen Center for the Arts and at the International Lyric Academy in Italy. Her previous primary teachers include Miranda Wong, Rena Sharon, Kae Hosoda-Ayer and Jane Abbott-Kirk.
Mac Merchant (MM 2017)
Mac Merchant received a bachelor’s degree in piano derformance from Whitworth University and his master’s degree in piano performance from Washington State University. Merchant has collaborated with numerous musicians, ensembles and theater groups in both Washington state and Colorado. One of his favorite gigs was playing a keyboard part in the national touring production of “Wicked.” Merchant's wife, Sarah, is a pastor in Boulder; they recently welcomed their first child.
Ben Sieben (MM 2017)
Ben Sieben grew up in Bay City, Texas, where he began piano lessons at age 6. He began studying music at the college level at Brazosport College and later transferred to Houston Baptist University, where he studied piano with Melissa Marse. Sieben received at Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from HBU in 2010, the same year that he was awarded HBU's annual Outstanding Music Student award.
Sieben attended graduate school at the University of Utah, studying with Heather Conner, and received his Master of Music degree in Piano Performance in 2012. After completing his master's degree, he took a job at Texas A&M University, where he worked as the pianist for the Texas A&M Century Singers and Women's Chorus. In addition, Sieben was the accompanist for the Brazos Valley Chorale, played keyboard at Houston's First Baptist Church in Cypress and frequently played at wedding receptions in the Houston area with the Royal Dukes Band. Outside of his academics, Sieben enjoys skiing, running, playing video games and going out for tacos with other music students.
Allan Armstrong (DMA 2016)
Pianist and vocal coach Allan Armstrong is a visiting assistant professor of collaborative piano (instrumental and vocal) at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He is also the official accompanist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions for the Colorado/Wyoming district and Rocky Mountain Region. Previously, he was a member of the applied piano faculty at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where he co-directed the national award-winning UTRGV Bravo Opera Company.
Armstrong has been a principal production coach at Eugene Opera, Opera Colorado, St. Petersburg Opera, Opera on the Avalon and Opera Tampa. He served as a pianist/coach for nine seasons with the Sherrill Milnes' Savannah Voice Festival and with the International Vocal Arts Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia, from 2010-2014. In 2010, he was awarded a residency at the Arrigo Pedrolla Conservatory in Vicenza, Italy. There, he performed chamber, lieder and solo piano concerts.
A particular interest in the music of the 20th and 21st centuries has led Armstrong to multiple collaborations with noted composers. He recorded the newly revised version of Bartok's "Bluebeard's Castle" under the direction of the composer's son, Peter Bartok. Armstrong has performed the music of Richard Wernick and Louis Andriessen under their direction. In 2010 he was a featured solo pianist in a recital of the complete piano works of Pulitzer-winning composer David Del Tredici at NYU Steinhardt School.
Armstrong took a non-traditional route to music, as he didn't begin studying the piano until the age of 19. His teachers include the late pianist/composer Robert Helps, Svetozar Ivanov, Margaret McDonald and Alexandra Nguyen. When he is not at the piano, Armstrong is an avid runner and mountain climber.
Yen-Meng Tung (MM 2012 DMA 2015)
Christina Lalog Seal (DMA 2015)
Christina Lalog Seal earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano at CU Boulder (2015), where she was a teaching assistant and music director of the Eklund Opera Program's Opera Theater Singers. Prior to her studies in Colorado, she worked extensively with the Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard Conservatory, led by Dawn Upshaw and Kayo Iwama. Seal has spent previous summers collaborating at Tanglewood Music Center, Music Academy of the West and Brevard Music Center, among others. She has held staff pianist positions with the National Summer Cello Institute, Interlochen Summer Arts Camp and Neale Silva Young Artists Competition. A varied musician, Seal prepared the keyboard reductions for Handel’s Messiah: The Solo Variants with critical commentary by Chester Alwes. She also studied at the Eastman School of Music (MM Piano Accompanying & Chamber Music) and Stetson University (BM Piano Performance). Seal is currently a staff pianist at Northern Kentucky University.
Alaina DeBellevue (MM 2015)
Ben Lubbers (MM 2015)
Daniel Benitz (MM 2015)
Doreen Lee (DMA 2015)
Doreen Lee received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano at the University of Colorado Boulder, studying with Margaret McDonald and Alexandra Nguyen. She specialized in solo piano performance under the tutelage of Walter Ponce at the University of California, Los Angeles, and went on to earn her Master of Music degree at the Peabody Institute with Benjamin Pasternack. She has participated in master classes for renowned pedagogues and performers including André Watts, Martin Canin, Oxana Yablonskaya and Ronan O’Hora. Lee has also concertized internationally at the AMEROPA Music Festival in Prague, as well as in Orvieto, Italy, at Orvieto Musica. She was selected to perform in master classes for pianist and music theorist Robert Levin at the Summer Academy Mozarteum in Salzburg. As a collaborative pianist, Lee has received instruction from members of the Takács, Cassatt and Tokyo quartets as well as Jean Barr, Anne Epperson and Jonathan Feldman. An avid performer of chamber music, Lee has participated in various music festivals including the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and School and the Music Academy of the West.
John Cockerill (MM 2014)
Hemi Kim (MM 2014)
Angela Miller-Niles (DMA 2013)
Rachel (Schrag) Ehring (DMA 2013)
Rachel (Schrag) Ehring currently serves as staff accompanist at Concordia University Irvine in Southern California, where her roles include instrumental coaching, choral accompanist and instructor. Ehring has instructed courses in collaborative piano, accompanying and chamber ensemble, and has led piano area-specific recruiting initiatives, such as planning CUI’s annual Keyboard Day. She also serves as choral accompanist for Christ Lutheran Church in Costa Mesa, California. Ehring completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2013. Prior to her enrollment, she served as instructor of piano at Henderson State University in Arkansas. Ehring holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Kansas, where she studied with Robert Koenig, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Moody Bible Institute, where she was a student of Dr. Un-Young Whang.
Hyun Kim (DMA 2013)
Laura Brumbaugh (MM 2012)
Laura Brumbaugh is a vocal coach and staff accompanist at DePauw University and is on the faculty of the Savannah Voice Festival. She also serves as music director for the Centerstage Theatre Company’s summer productions in Boulder, Colorado. Equally at home with instrumental collaboration, she has performed in recital with principal musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera Orchestras. A champion of new music, Brumbaugh has worked closely with composers Mark Adamo and Gabriela Lena Frank on their music. Brumbaugh has appeared at numerous festivals, including the Savannah Voice Festival, V.O.I.C.Experience-Sherrill Milnes and friends, Colorado College Summer Music Festival and the Oberlin in Italy Festival. She received her Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2012. In 2010, she graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory’s double-degree program with a BA in Russian and East European Studies and a BM in Piano Performance. Her principal teachers include Margaret McDonald, Mutsumi Moteki, Monique Duphil and James Howsmon.
Megan McElroy (MM 2010)
Kaju Lee (DMA 2010)
Heralded as a “very accomplished pianist [who] provides first-class partnership at the keyboard” Kaju Lee has performed as a collaborative partner in Australia, Austria, Canada, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea and the U.S., at institutes including the Sydney Conservatorium, the University of South Africa and the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in South Africa (the world’s second largest arts festival). She teaches and collaborates at Georgia College and State University and will be working at the Interlochen Arts Camp during Summer 2016. She has worked at the New York Choral Symphony Society, the University of Miami in Salzburg (Austria), Sam Houston State University, the Young Texas Artists Music Competition and the Pre-College Division of the Manhattan School of Music. Her recording with Emily Duffill, “100 Years of Music for Cello and Piano,” is available for sale.
Susan Olenwine (MM 2009)
Claire Mallory (MM 2009)
Sara Parkinson (DMA)
Chuck Koslowske (MM)
Alex Maynegre-Torra (DMA)
Recently appointed principal keyboard in the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Alex Maynegre-Torra has a versatile career as collaborative pianist, solo performer and music editor. Maynegre-Torra has been working as collaborative pianist at the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin since 2010. Active also in summer music festivals, he was on the piano accompanying staff of the renowned Meadowmount School of Music in New York from 2008 to 2013. He has also held positions at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the Hartt School in Hartford, Connecticut.
Maynegre-Torra also has a deep interest in revising standard piano reductions for instrumental concerto scores. In 2013, OvationPress published his piano reduction of "Schelomo" by Ernest Bloch. The original reduction of this piece is known in the field as one of the most impractical scores to read and to play. Maynegre-Torra holds degrees from the Conservatori del Liceu in Barcelona, the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut, and the University of Colorado Boulder, where he completed his Doctor of Musical Arts in Collaborative Piano under the tutelage of Anne Epperson. His other teachers include Enric Torra, Luiz de Moura Castro and Dr. David Westfall. He currently lives in Austin with his wife Beth and sons Òscar and Fèlix.
Chuck Dillard (DMA 2009)
Michael Tilley (MM 2006)
Naoko Suga (MM 2006)