Read on for notes on accomplishments and accolades for College of Music students in 2020

Mariama Alcântara (DMA Violin)

Alcântara serves as research intern with the Boulanger Initiative. She was also selected by the Festival Academy Budapest to participate in master class sessions in Hungary this summer and was awarded a fellowship by the National Alliance for Audition Support online audition intensive sponsored by the Sphinx Organization, League of American Orchestras and New World Symphony.

Jocelyn Armes (PhD Music Education)

Armes published an article, titled "Backward Design and Repertoire Selection: Finding Full Expression" in the March issue of Music Educators Journal. She also advanced to the campus finals of the 2019-20 "3 Minute Thesis" competition, where she won the People's Choice Award and a prize of $500 in research funding for her presentation "Measuring Gender Bias in Music Education." Armes was also a recipient of a summer 2020 Graduate School Fellowship. 

choral group posesJackson Bailey (MM Violin)

Bailey was accepted into the Lucerne Festival Academy for Summer 2020.

Skylar Belice (BM Musical Theatre)

Belice released five original song recordings on all major streaming platforms and has moved to Los Angeles to continue her recording career.

David Bernot (MM Jazz) 

Bernot received the 2020 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer scholarship from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Emilie Bertram (DMA Choral Conducting)

Bertram presented a poster and lecture along with Aaron Harp titled “Music-Text Relationships in Schubert’s Final Masses” at the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) national conference in College Park, Maryland, in November 2019.

Patrick Bessenbacher (BM Voice)

Bessenbacher was a lead in two Eklund Opera Program productions this year, including Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life and Hector Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict. This fall, he is attending The Juilliard School to begin master’s studies. 

Kimberley Bill (MM Violin)

Bill was accepted to the Aspen Music Festival and School with a scholarship.

Elizabeth Bowersox (BM Voice) and Elizabeth Healy (BM Voice)

Bowersox and Healy both placed in the classical and musical theater categories at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition. Healy also won the Undergraduate Vocal Scholarship Competition.

Margaret Brady (BM Violin)

Brady was accepted to the Aspen Music Festival and School with a scholarship.

Rachel Crowell (DMA Flute)

Crowell was a finalist in the National Flute Association's Young Artist Competition.

Raul Dominguez (DMA Choral Conducting)

Dominguez won fourth place in the Southwestern American Choral Directors Association (SWACDA) graduate conducting competition in Little Rock, Arkansas, in March.

Graduate Marimba Quartet

Andrew Grossman, Jake Henneford, John Sevy, and Nathan Siegel performed at the McCormick Marimba Festival in Florida this year. While at the festival, Siegel, Sevy, and Henneford also performed solo pieces in recital.

Rebecca Hamel (MM Music Theory)

Hamel successfully defended her master's thesis, "Die schöne Müllerin: Sexuality in Schubert's Song Cycle."

Robbie Herbst (AD Violin)

Herbst created a summer concert series called Music at Martin Acres, sponsored in part by the City of Boulder’s Creative Neighborhoods project and a grant from the Entrepreneurship Center for Music (ECM). Many other CU students have been involved, including Kimberly Bill, Seth Bixler, Alaina de Bellevue, Mary Evans, Jonathan Galle, Claire McCahan, Kelly Riordan, Jake Saunders, and Rosalee Walsh.

Mira Hickey (BME)

Hickey was elected as the state president for the state chapter of National Associate for Music Educators (NAfME) Collegiate. She will serve a one-year term on the CMEA state board, representing music education majors at universities in Colorado. Katelyn Wojniak was elected secretary of the organization. This continues a strong representation of Music Buffs in the NAfME Collegiate state leadership, following previous student presidents Eva Aneshansley and Anoushka Divekar.

Ivalas Quartet

Reuben Kebede (Violin), Anita Dumar (Violin), Aimeé McAnulty (Viola), and Pedro Sánchez (Cello) participated in the Young Performers’ Career Advancement program in New York City, culminating in a showcase performance at Carnegie Hall in January. As teaching artists, Ivalas participated in residencies in Aspen and at the University of Iowa, offering performances, masterclasses, and discussion panels designed to engage students in thinking about diversity in the arts. Summer engagements include performances at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Michigan and activities presented by the Colorado Music Festival.

Tanner Johnson (MM Voice)

Johnson played one of the lead roles in Eklund Opera Program It's a Wonderful Life by Jake Heggie in November 2019.

Er-Hsuan Li (DMA Piano)

Li won second prize in the Bruce Ekstrand Memorial Graduate Student Performance Competition.

Emmi Lindsey (BME)

Lindsey was chosen as a finalist for the SWACDA undergraduate conducting master class with conductor Z. Randall Stroope in Little Rock, Arkansas, in March.

edges cast on stageMaximillian McNutt (DMA Trumpet)

McNutt won the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Young Artists Brass Competition and the College of Music’s Honors Competition and placed third at the Roger Voisin Memorial Trumpet Competition at Lynn University.

Ian Mertes (MM Trumpet)

Mertes was named a finalist for the International Trumpet Guild Wind Band Excerpts Competition.

Samuel Milam (MM Trumpet)

Milam began trumpet doctoral studies with an assistantship at the University of Missouri - Kansas City this fall.

Ben Morris (DMA Composition)

Morris won a Downbeat Award for best graduate jazz arrangement and commissions from the National American Opera Initiative, New York Youth Symphony’s First Music program, Playground Ensemble, New Music on the Point and the Colorado State Music Teachers Association. He attended the Red Note Music Festival at Iowa State University in February with the NOW Ensemble and was invited to the Sibelius Academy Creative Dialogue workshop in Santa Fe. During COVID-19 quarantine, Morries worked on a collaborative project with his partner Maggie Hinchliffe entitled “Pandemic Pieces and Poems, ”a weekly poem and accompanying piano miniature.

Sophie Oehlers (BM Oboe)

Oehlers was the only American finalist and prize winner of the International Double Reed Society Young Artist Competition. 

Daniel Parks (PhD Choral Conducting)

Parks won third place in the SWACDA graduate conducting competition in Little Rock, Arkansas, in March.

Megan Pryor (BM Voice)

Pryor played one of the lead roles in Eklund Opera Program’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life by Jake Heggie in November 2019.

Kenny Ross (MM Trombone)

Ross won the International Women's Brass Conference bass trombone solo competition. He was also selected to attend the 2019 Christian Lindberg master class at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival as the only participant from the United States.

Jacob Rylko (BM Trumpet)

Rylko won the undergraduate division of the Brigham Young University Solo Competition.

Caitlin Stokes (DMA Violin)

Stokes (MM ’17) started a position as development assistant at the College of Music in April.

Grace Stringfellow (BM Oboe)

Stringfellow won the College of Music’s Undergraduate Honors Competition. 

Seth Taft (PhD Music Education) 

Taft had two articles published during the Fall 2019 semester. “Composition in the Ensemble Classroom: Ideas From Eight Researcher-Designed Methods” was published in Update: Applications of Research in Music Education in October, followed by “Harnessing Optimism in Response to Musical Challenges” in Music Educators Journal in December. He also gave a research presentation at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in San Francisco alongside Jocelyn Armes and Jacob Holster. The presentation was titled “The Role of Job Fit in Teacher Migration.”

Aaron Zalkind (DMA Trombone)

Zalkind was the 2nd prize winner in the Zellmer Trombone Competition in Spring 2019, first prize winner in the International Women's Brass Conference orchestral mock audition and first prize in the IWBC military band mock audition.

Music Education students stand out at CMEA
students at conferenceMusic education students presented excellent work at the 2020 CMEA conference in January. Presenters included Ariel Chien, MME (“Investigating the Relationship Between Stress and Environment in College Music Majors”); Rebecca Fix, MME (“Preservice Music Teacher Use of YouTube to Facilitate Teaching and Learning”); Jacob Holster, PhD (“16 Weeks and Counting: Becoming a Student Teacher”); Zachary Kambour, MME (“Exceptional Individuals: Strategies for Teaching Instrumental Music to Student with Autism Spectrum Disorder”); and Dylan Koester, MME ("Critical Pedagogy for Educators.)" Music Education students also attended and presented at the 2019 SMTE Symposium on Music Teacher Education, including Jocelyn Armes (PhD), Kate Bertelli-Wilinski (PhD), Jacob Holster (PhD), Ian Miller (PhD) and Seth Taft (PhD).

Getting creative with Sibelius Academy

students on stage at sibelius academyErin Hodgson (AD Voice) was a part of the Sibelius Academy’s Creative Dialogue program held in Helsinki in August 2019. Conceived by Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg, and Anssi Karttunen, the 10-day program serves to construct a collaborative space for performers and composers to create new works. This year’s cohort, Creative Dialogue XI, consisted of four singers, four composers, and six string players. Operatic baritone Daniel Belcher was invited as a guest teacher and gave singers guidance in extended techniques and creative collaboration. The students participated in daily improvisation exercises, which encouraged them to move past traditional technique and form to find their own artistic voice. “It made me feel like more of an artist. We were given permission to let technique go a little bit and to just go for it,” Hodgson says..” She also felt that the cultural activities were enriching and inspiring. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Creative Dialogues moved online for 2020, and Hodgson was in attendance for a second year in a row.