Early Fall 2017

Recent Orchestral, Academic and Professional Appointments 

  • Zach Bridges (MM '16) - Tuba section, U.S. Army Ceremonial Band
  • Lucinda Chiu (MM '17) - First Violin section, Los Angeles Opera Orchestra
  • John Church (current Master's student) - Principal Trombone, Portland Opera
  • Conrad Cornelison (MM '14) - Principal Bassoon, Jacksonville Symphony
  • Stephen Farrell (MM '17) - Trombone section, Naval Academy Band
  • Hunter Gordon (MM '16) - Second Bassoon (one-year position), Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
  • Sean Gordon (MM '15) - Second Bassoon, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra
  • Christian Gray (MM, currently LOA) - Double Bass section, Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center
  • Derek Jenkins (MM '13) - Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition, Arkansas State University
  • Jonathan Kaplan (MM '17) - Second Trumpet, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
  • Milton R. Laufer (DMA '98) - Director, Western Carolina University's School of Music
  • Robert McClure (DMA '13) - Assistant Professor of Composition/Theory, Ohio University
  • Boson Mo (current DMA student) - Acting Assistant Concertmaster, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
  • Mike Myers (MM '97) - Fourth Trumpet, Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Robert O'Brien (current Master's student) - Third Percussion, Houston Ballet Orchestra
  • Rebecca Reale (BM '15) - First Violin, Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Patty Ryan (MM '17) - Cello, Artaria String Quartet
  • William Shaub (former AD student) - Concertmaster, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
  • Timothy Steeves (current DMA student) - Acting Associate Concertmaster, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
  • Michael Stubbart (MM '15) - Section Percussion (one-year position), Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • Hugo A. Valverde Villalobos (current Master's student) - Second Horn, The Metropolitan Opera
  • Fei Xie (MM "06) - Principal Bassoon, Minnesota Orchestra
  • Dian Zhang (current DMA student) - First Violin section, San Francisco Opera


Two Shepherd School alums Frederick Ballentine (MM ’13) and Allegra De Vita (MM ’13) are members the 2017-18 Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists roster with Washington National Opera. The new class of young artists will perform in the Kennedy Center Opera House this coming season.

Composer Lembit Beecher’s (MM '05) work I Have No Stories to Tell You was part of a site-specific double-bill including Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Lembit also had his work Sophia's Forest premiered at Drexel University. This work is scored for five voices, custom-built sound sculptures, string quartet and percussion.

Three Shepherd alums Jennifer Johnson Cano (MM '03), Adam Lau (MM '10) and Jack Swanson (MM '16), performed their Mostly Mozart debut in the opening night presentation of The Singing Heart at the Lincoln Center with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra.

Alumnus Douglas DeVries (MM ’16) performed with the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra. Other Shepherd School students in the orchestra are current masters students Nicole Haywood, Megan Wright and Emmy Tisdel and alums Eva Dove (MM ’17) and Amanda Galick (MM ‘15).

Alumnus Tommy Dougherty (MM '15) was among the 2017 Morton Gould Young Composer Award winners from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Music Academy of the West’s 2018 New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program winners include Shepherd School alumna Hannah Hammel (MM ’17) and current graduate student Michael Marks.

Current undergraduate student Keith Hammer won the Aspen Music Festival and School Solo Percussion Competition. He performed Caméléon by Eric Sammut at the latest percussion ensemble concert.

Alumnus Michael Hewitt (MM ’17) performed the role of King Edward III in the 2017 Glimmerglass Festival’s American premiere of Donizetti's The Siege of Calais. A glowing review emphasized that Michael’s “focused baritone has the weight to convey the darker emotions of an unsympathetic character.” (Opera Warhorses, 2005-2017: William’s Reviews)

Violinist Luke Hsu (BM ’12) won second prize and the Chamber Music Prize in the 2017 Michael Hill International violin competition in New Zealand. The Violin Channel also announced him as a Violin Channel Young Artist.

Alumnus in orchestral conducting Paul H Kirby’s (MM '79) composition The Night of the Secretary General, a one-person music drama, will be presented October 21 and 22 in New York City, a joint sponsorship of Music at Our Saviour's Atonement Lutheran Church and the Musicians Club of New York.  James Parks will perform the role of Dag Hammarskjöld.  Further information can be found on the websites of MOSA and MCNY.

Pianist Christina Krause (MM '11) was selected as a winner of The Music Academy of the West’s 2017 Marilyn Horne Song Competition in Santa Barbara, along with soprano Hannah Rose Kidwell. Christina received the Regina Roney Prize ($5,000) and will be presented in a recital tour that includes a commissioned song cycle by composer Jake Heggie.

Alumnus Stephen Lamb (MM ’02) performed the Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto with the U.S. Coast Guard Band on their tour concert in July.

Alumnus Cristian Macelaru (MM ’06, MM ’08) conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra in two concerts at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. Christian has also been appointed tenured conductor with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.

Alumna Hilary Purrington (BM '13) is the 2017 Underwood Commission Winner. She has received a $15,000 commission for a work that will be premiered by the American Composers Orchestra in a future season. She has also been selected to compose a new work for the New York Youth Symphony which will open the NYY’s 2017-18 season.

The Houston Symphony production of Wozzeck conducted by Hans Graf won the 2017 German ECHO Klassik for best opera recording of the year. Five Shepherd School alumni were part of the production: Frederick Ballentine (MM ‘14), Julia Dawson (MM ‘13), Calvin Griffin (MM ‘13), Brenton Ryan (MM ’11) and Samuel Schultz (BM ’09, MM ‘11). The CD album has also been released by Naxos Music Library.

The Rolston Quartet (MM '17) were one of the guest ensembles at the 2017 Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival. They have presented masterclasses and given performances to twenty young artists and composers.

The Knoxville Orchestra shared a Q&A with alumnus and new concertmaster William Shaub (former AD student). William will be leading the orchestra is the upcoming 2017-18 season.

Alumna Caroline Shaw’s (BM ‘04) premiere of Broad and Free was performed by Shepherd School Professor of Violin Kathleen Winkler and pianist Conor Hanick at the Music Academy of the West. Caroline completed her undergraduate degree with Kathleen Winkler in violin performance.

Alumna Erin Wall (MM ’00) made her Blossom Music Festival debut with the Cleveland Orchestra singing in a performance titled A Night at the Opera this past July.