School of Music High Notes: January News


High Notes: News from CFA School of Music

Welcome to the fifth issue of High Notes: News from CFA School of Music. High Notes is intended as a monthly information column that highlights the high notes achieved by our students. Feel free to pass along any items of interest, especially related to our students and alums, directly to Cami Sylvia.

January 2021

On Monday, January 25th I woke up to read the following in The New York Times. According to [Pres.] Biden, “In my campaign for President, I made it very clear that the moment had arrived as a nation where we face deep racial inequities in America and systemic racism that has plagued our nation for far, far too long. I said it over the course of the past year that the blinders had been taken off of the American people. … What many Americans didn’t see, or had simply refused to see, couldn’t be ignored any longer.”

Our work on antiracism within the CFA School of Music is centrally rooted in critical conversations that extend far beyond Commonwealth Avenue. These conversations are already occurring in a variety of contexts, regardless of backgrounds, status, and roles in the Academy. Any school of music has the potential to bridge different cultures and different peoples. As performers and scholars, we are engineers, we are bridge-makers, we create connections to audiences and communities, and…to our students. Our colleagues around the world are marking changes in the music field in a challenge to create antiracist institutions.

I acknowledge and celebrate efforts to learn about ourselves from our community of faculty, staff, students, and alums. I am grateful for the tremendous work over the past semester by the Director’s Task Force on Antiracism, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access. Check this space soon for a link to the fine School of Music Task Force Report on Antiracism.

Calling All CFA School of Music Alums Out There!

We’d like to hear from all alums. What are you up to? New jobs or positions? New creative projects, compositions, performances? Any awards? We want to hear from you. Please communicate directly with Director Gregory Melchor-Barz at with your degree and class year please.

Pappoutsakis Flute Competition — Sunday, January 31, at 1 p.m.

The online finals for the Pappoutsakis Flute Competition will take place this Sunday, January 31 at 1 p.m. The finals are normally live, but this year they will be held online. Thanks to Chris Dempsey for assisting with the set up and recording in the Concert Hall. It would not have been possible without his help and expertise. This year, all four finalists are BU students, both undergraduate and graduate. They are Grace Helmke, Barrett Yueh, Matthew Lee, and Pauline Jung. According to Prof. Linda Toote, “I am so ridiculously proud of all of the finalists.”

More Terrific News from the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions

The CFA SoM is pleased to announce that mezzo-soprano Megan Callahan (OI’20) was awarded an Encouragement Award at the North Carolina District Metropolitan Opera National Council competition. Additionally, Sarah Kay Rogers, soprano (MM’21), received the Encouragement Award at the recent MONC Florida District finals. Both Ms. Callahan and Ms. Rogers have studied with Prof. Penelope Bitzas. The Voice Department is also pleased to announce that Stephanie Pfundt (MM’22) won an Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Seattle District auditions. Stephanie is a student of Prof. Lynn Eustis.

Music Education Department Publications to Celebrate

Prof. Tawnya Smith shares in the most recent publication of the Massachusetts Music Educators Journal, both Prof. Andrew Goodrich and Prof. Ruth Debrot have articles as do two Department of Music Education alums—Nicholas Quigley (MM’19) and Erin Zaffini (DMA’16). Also, Allyn Phelps (DMA’23) has taken on a new leadership role as the General Music Editor! Download the “January 2021” issue here.

Prof. Diana Dansereau extends her congratulations four alums—Jennifer Greene (DMA’15), Heather Katz Cote (DMA’16), Matt Koperniak (DMA’15), and Laura Moates Stanley (DMA’15)—on their recent publication in the Journal of Music Teacher Education titled “A Foot in Both Worlds: Navigating the Landscapes of P–12 Education Postdoctorate.” The article is a report on their collective autoethnography in which they explored their experiences teaching music in P-12 schools after completing a doctorate online at Boston University.

Prof. Karin Hendricks shares news from alum Bryan Powell (DMA’11) on his recent publication, “Popular Music Pedagogies: A Practical Guide for Music Teachers,” which provides readers with a solid foundation of playing and teaching a variety of instruments and technologies, and then examines how these elements work together in a comprehensive school music program. Dr. Powell is an Assistant Professor of Music Education and Music Technology at Montclair State University.

BU UROP Announcements

This in from Prof. Karin Hendricks: “Please join me in congratulating undergraduate student Rozime Lindsey (BM’23) on receipt of a BU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Award for the spring semester. This research project will take place with the mentorship of Brian Kellum, who worked in great detail with Roz last fall to prepare and submit the UROP and IRB applications. Roz and Brian will be a ‘dream team’ and there is much to celebrate here!”

Prof. Mike Reynolds happily reports that Mike D’Arrigo (BM’22) also received a UROP grant to continue his work with the Classics for Kids Foundation on an ethnicity study and an evaluation program along with Prof. Reynolds.

The SoM is so pleased and proud of our students’ success in the BU UROP program!

Student Excels at the Golden Classical Music Awards

Terrific news from SoM sophomore Hsing-Ho Hou who recently participated in the Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition. Hsing-Ho, a student of Prof. Boaz Sharon, was selected as one of the first prize winners with the award of performing at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in July. Congratulations to Hsing-Ho!

DMA Violin Graduate Releases Album

A former student of Prof. Peter Zazofsky, violinist Marcio Candido (DMA’17) invites you to listen to an album he released last summer entitled “Brazil x Argentina” with pianist Kátia Balloussier. It is available on all digital platforms. Fanfare magazine describes the album as “well planned and excellently performed.” You can read the complete review and an interview with Dr. Candido here.

SoM Success in Manhattan International Music Competition

Pianist Chengcheng Ma (AD’17, DMA’23) was the 1st prize award winner and recipient of the John Liu New York State Senator Award at the 6th  Manhattan International Music Competition. He will perform with orchestra at the “Concert Night” concert in NYC later this year.

Recent Flute Graduate Begins Orchestra Career in China

Prof. Geralyn Coticone shares exciting news of former student Xiao Liu (MM’19) who began her professional orchestral career this fall in China. Ms. Liu won her current position at the beginning of the pandemic.

DMA Conducting Graduate Joins Faculty at Longy School of Music

This past summer, Jamie Hillman (DMA’14) joined the faculty at Longy School of Music of Bard College teaching graduate conducting and various graduate music education courses. Dr. Hillman graduated with a DMA in Choral Conducting.

BU Pianist Performs With Harvard Musical Association

Along with pianist Chi Wei Lo, DMA candidate Xiaopei Xu (CFA’21) gave a virtual concert last Friday with the Harvard Musical Association. Featuring primarily works by Louis Moreau Gottschalk, the performance is archived and available for viewing on YouTube.

Updates from Composer Trevor Kowalski

Composer Trevor Kowalski completed his undergraduate studies at BU SoM in 2018. Originally leaving Boston for California to pursue an internship at Hans Zimmer’s studio, Trevor now resides in Los Angeles. He’s currently working on a few soundtracks and a lot of studio recordings! Learn more about Trevor and his work at

Founded in 1872, Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Music combines the intimacy and intensity of traditional conservatory-style training with a broad liberal arts education at the undergraduate level and elective coursework at the graduate level. The school offers degrees in performance, conducting, composition and theory, musicology, music education, and historical performance, as well as artist and performance diplomas and a certificate program in its Opera Institute.

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