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Alumni News: Fall 2012

Evan Meier's (DMA Composition '12) opera, Last Act of the Revolution, was performed on the 13th installment of the New York City Opera's Vox Contemporary American Opera Lab and received praise from the New York Times.

Kacy Clopton (BM Cello 2007 performed two compositions by the renowned composer/conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen on a November 8, 2012 concert featuring his works in the "Composer Portrait" series at Hertz Hall, sponsored by Cal Performances at UC Berkley. She also performed Mania, for Cello and Orchestra, (2001) with the Eco Ensemble, UC Berkeley's acclaimed professional new music ensemble-in-residence, as well as knock, breathe, shine, (2010) for solo cello. The composer himself invited Kacy to give these performances as a direct result of her Boston debut of Mania last April with the Discovery Ensemble at NEC's Jordan Hall, to critical raves. This is the first event in a four-concert residency at UC Berkley by London's Philharmonia Orchestra, of which Salonen is currently Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor.

This winter, David Blalock (Maryland Opera Studio) will sing in the Metropolitan Opera Chorus for their production of Parsifal. At the Met, he'll be sharing the stage with Jennifer Forni (Maryland Opera Studio ‘09), who will sing 1st Esquire and cover 2nd Flowermaiden. In March, David will make his debut for the Fort Worth Opera singing Young Thompson in Glory Denied, a new opera by Tom Cipullo about a POW in Vietnam, and covering Rodolfo their production of La Boheme. In the spring, he will return to Santa Fe for his second season, singing Bertram in La Donna del Lago, and First Prisoner in the world premiere of Oscar.

Sun Ha Yoon (DMA Piano ‘12) has been given an Adler Fellowship to be a pianist/coach for the next two seasons with the San Francisco Opera as a result of her summer with the Merola Opera Program. Click here to read more about Sun Ha and the Adler Fellowship.

Yvette Smith (MM Voice/Opera '01) filled in for mezzo-soprano Vickie Livengood as First Maid in Elektra on Saturday, October 13 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. This was Yvette's debut as a principal artist.

Ilya Sinaisky (DMA Collaborative Piano ‘09) was appointed Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano at Colorado State University.

Jose Sacin (MM Voice), Alvaro Rodriguez (MOS '11) and Alex Alburqueque (BM Voice) were in Teatro Lirico of DC's production of La Dolorosa, and earned praise in a review from DC Theatre Guide. Sacin was described as "the man with the baritone voice of velvet gold". Rodriguez "stunned [the audience] into a submissive state of awe". Alburqueque's performance was "dynamic." Congratulations!

Rebecca Racusin (MM Violin ‘10) performed Bruch's Violin Concerto no.1 in g minor with the Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, November 11th at 3pm at the Raritan Valley Community College's Nash Theater. Learn more about Rebecca at her website:

Excerpts of Elisabeth Greene's (DMA Composition ‘11) opera Reading Lolita in Tehran was performed on November 13th at 7pm at the MLK library in DC as part of the DC Reads program featuring the book by Azar Nafisi.

The Inscape Chamber Orchestra, founded by alumnus Richard Scerbo (MM conducting '04), gave the world premiere of Nathan Lincoln-DeCusatis's (DMA composition ‘08) latest piece, A Collection of Sand, this past October.

Elizabeth Goldman (MA musicology ‘12) is the Program Coordinator for the Changing Education Through the Arts Program (CETA) at the Kennedy Center.

Aaron Ingersoll (MOS '11) is a Young Artist with Virginia Opera this season. He just completed the 2012 season as an Apprentice Artist with the Central City Opera in Colorado.

Aaron Agulay (MOS '09) will sing "Dandini" in Cenerentola at the Stattheatre in Bern Switzerland, as well as the principal role in a new opera, The Rage of Life. Mr. Agulay has just completed a 2-year stint as a young artist, at the Zurich Opera.

Andrew Owens (MOS '10) moved from the Munich young artist program to Vienna's Theater an der Wien where he will sing in Tabarro, Mathis der Mahler, Fidelio, Attila and Le Comte Ory. Andrew will also be busy singing the tenor part in a Rossini cantata and his first B Minor Mass.

Dr. Tim Powell (DMA Jazz Saxophone ‘06) was appointed adjunct saxophone professor at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ. He will continue to teach at UMD, too.

Zoe W. Saunders (PhD Musicology 2010), former advisee of Barbara Haggh-Huglo, was awarded a three-year fellowship from the Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen (Flemish Foundation for Scientific Research), which she will hold for three years at the University of Leuven in Belgium.

Evan Meier (DMA Composition '12) will participate in The Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute. Co-presented each season by the Minnesota Orchestra and American Composers Forum in cooperation with New Music USA, the Institute provides the opportunity for emerging symphonic composers from across the nation to participate in an intensive immersion into the world of a major American symphony orchestra. Directed by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis, the 12th annual Composer Institute will run from January 7 to 11, 2013, highlighted by the seventh annual Future Classics concert of works by this year's seven featured composers, conducted by Osmo Vänskä.

Tom Schneider (MM Bassoon '10) recently won the principal bassoon position in the Richmond Symphony.

Tom Fleming (former DMA student and member of Graduate Woodwind Quintet SIREN) won a bassoon fellowship with the New World Symphony.

Samantha Brenner (former DMA Bassoon student) won the principal bassoon position in the Mexico City Philharmonic.

Phil Ravita (MM Jazz Bass '11) received a grant from the City of Baltimore Office of Promotion of the Arts to put on a jazz performance for the Free Fall Baltimore Series. Titled "Jazz 1959", the show took place at An Die Musik in Baltimore on 9/29, and included other alumni Tim Powell (MM Jazz Saxophone '06), Nucleo Vega (BM Percussion '00) and Greg Small (MM Jazz Piano '08).

Soprano Catherine Verrilli (DMA '97 Voice Opera Performance) made her Carnegie Hall debut in recital as a member of Trio Lorca (soprano, percussion, flute) in a program containing music of George Crumb, Xavier Montsalvatge, Joaquin Rodrigo. Dr. Verrilli is currently authoring a book on music and world cultures, to be published by Kendall Hunt. She has been on the faculty of St. Cloud State University since 1999.

Eliza Ching (DMA, Collaborative Piano ‘12) received a prize for "Best Collaborative Pianist" in the 2012 E-Gre National Music Competition, which is considered the most important annual contemporary music competition for exceptional emerging Canadian performing artists in piano, voice, and strings. Eliza is currently the Staff Accompanist at Rice University.

Andrew Owens (Maryland Opera Studio ‘10) has been engaged to sing in Ariodante at the Salzburg Festival next year. His role is Lurcanio, which Andrew says has three excellent arias. In addition to his Salzburg contract, Andrew will be singing in Vienna at the Theater an der Wien next spring. His roles include: the leads in Cambiale di Matrimonio and La Boheme ( the latter with a chamber orchestra), and smaller roles in Mathis der Maler, Fidelio, Comte Ory, and the second tenor in Rossini's cantata Nozze di Teti. His Vienna contract is for 2 years and he will be singing in at least one production with UMD alumnus, Charles Reid (MOS ‘98).

Daniel Lee Sender (DMA Violin Performance ‘11) is the concertmaster of the Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra and Ash Lawn Opera Orchestra. He recently joined the faculty at the University of Virginia's McIntire Department of Music and has summer faculty positions at the Interlochen Center for the Performing Arts' Adult Chamber Music Camp and UVA's Summer Chamber Music Camp.

Diana Saez (DMA, Choral Conducting '11) is the founder and artistic director of Choral Cantigas, the only chorus in Washington, DC with the mission of increasing awareness and appreciation of the many rich styles of Latino choral music, promoting diversity by uniting communities through the joyful and transformative power of music.

Karen Koner (PhD, Music Education '12) is Assistant Professor in Music Education at Northern Kentucky University.

Thomas Hunter (MM, Piano Performance '12) is a member of the International School of Music piano faculty.

Peter Joshua Burroughs (DMA Voice '12) is a Professor of Voice at Carroll Community College and a company member of the Washington National Opera.

Ja-Hye Koo (DMA, Piano Performance '12) is a faculty member at Northern Virginia Community College and the Levine School of Music.

Dusty Francis (MM, Choral Conducting '12) is the Music Director of the Repertory Opera Theatre of Washington.

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