Winter 2019

Recent Orchestral, Academic and Professional Appointments

  • Aaron Alon (DMA ‘09) – Chair of the Department of Music and Drama at Lone Star College-University Park
  • Silvio Guitian (current graduate student) – Associate Principal/Second Clarinet and E-flat Clarinet, Kansas City Symphony
  • Xiaodi Liu (MM ’14) – Second Oboe, The Atlanta Symphony
  • Christine Murphy (current graduate student) – Associate Principal Flute, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
  • Jack Thonis (MM ’18) – Associate Principal Bassoon, Houston Symphony 
  • Ivy Ringel (MM ’18) – Principal Bassoon, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Gina Ford (MM ’15) – Principal Oboe, Dallas Opera Orchestra
  • Ziran Xu (MM ’17) – Violin section, Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra

Competitions, Awards, Performances and Premieres

Current Artist Diploma candidate Rashaan Allwood and alumni Bryan Anderson (MM ’18) and Grant Wareham (BM ’18) are semifinalists in the 2019 International Organ Competition. Ten organists will compete for the $40,000 Pierre S. du Pont first prize in June.

Oboist Jaren Atherholt (MM ’07) presented a guest artist recital at the University of Kentucky.

Current doctoral composition student Theophilus Chandler commissioned “The Elements”, a nature-inspired work for period instruments, for the 10th anniversary performance of “Les Délices”.

Scott Cuellar (current Doctoral student) was a former 1st place winner of The Waring International Piano Competition and was invited to perform at “3 Pianos, 6 Hands, a Thousand Cheers.”

Mezzo-soprano Abigail Dock (BM ’13) was a $2,000 Philip R. Nichols Encouragement Award winner at the 60th annual New England Regional Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall.

Bassoonist Hunter Gordon (MM ’16) returned home to be a guest soloist with the Port Angeles Chamber Orchestra at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Friday, Jan. 18.

The Key Pianists Series presented pianist Jason Hardink (MM ’01, DMA ’07) in an unusually rich and challenging program of 20th-century works, complemented by selections from Liszt’s Études d’exécution transcendante at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Benjamin Krause (DMA ’14) has been named the 2018 Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year. His work Taxonomies of Pulse was premiered at the 2018 State Conference at Sweetwater Sound in Fort Wayne.

Meghan Kasanders (MM ’16) won third place in the American Vocal Arts 2019 International Collegiate Singing Championship. She will also premiere the role of Donna Anna in the Juilliard Orchestra’s spring production of Don Giovanni.

Joseph Leppek (MM ’17) is one of four resident artist performers from the Lyric Opera of Kansas City who visited Northwest Missouri State University at the Charles Johnson Theater. For the 2018-19 season, Leppek appears at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Glad Hand in West Side Story, in High Fidelity Opera and in Mack the Knife is The Man I Love.

Nicholas Newton (current graduate voice student) won 3rd place in the 2019 Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers.

Alumnus Cristian Macelaru (MM ’06 & “08) conducted the National Symphony Orchestra of Romania in their first U. S. tour at the Wharton Center on January 13.

Shepherd School graduate conducting student Benjamin Manis will be the Resident Conductor of the Houston Grand Opera starting September 2019.

Current sophomore Julianne Mulvey won second prize ($5,000 cash) in the 2019 Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition and Bassoon Symposium.

Alumnus Alex Rosen (MM ’16) performed the role of Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis and Galatea with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra.

Alana Youssefian (MM ’16) will record an album entitled “Brilliance Indéniable: Virtuoso Violin in the Court of Louis XV” at Saint Rose of Lima Church beginning Feb. 25. It will feature never-before-recorded works for violin and chamber ensemble by the French composer Louis-Gabriel Guillemain, a virtuoso violinist in 18th-century Paris.

Tairan (Randy) Zhen (MM ’16) won third prize in the Hong Kong International String Competition.