School of Music High Notes: October News

High Notes: News from School of Music

Welcome to the second 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.

October 2020

On winning…

We live in a world that places great value on winning. From an early age, we seem to be programmed with expectations of winning chairs in orchestras, winning competitions, winning awards for our books and articles, winning grants to further our education. And yet, if the past few months have taught us anything, it is that the we can reconceptualize participating and, well, showing up as a victory, as a significant win. As musicians we are industrious, and we have always trained ourselves to develop our ingenuity. We have all been winners this past semester as we dig deep into our resources to continue our artistic education.

The CFA School of Music community has many significant stories of victories and “wins” to share. And yet, we want to expand our understanding of what it means to “win” from the perspective of our SoM alums; we’d love to hear your stories. How have you won? Has it been in music? Has it been in another field? Medicine, law, culinary studies? Has it been within a family or in relationships? Has it been in the development of a new chocolate bar that you’d love to share (please!)?

Seriously, see the Call to Alums below. We’d love to hear from you. We will always be musicians, and we will only be inspired further by hearing the stories of our alums.

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.

2020 ArtPops Series Brings Collaborative and Spontaneous Art-making to the Sidewalks of BU

ArtPops is a CFA-wide initiative featuring a series of pop-up performances and art experiences from all three schools. BU SoM hosted three performances in September featuring current graduate string students. Performers included cellist Tyla Axelrod (CFA’23); violinists Freya Liu (CFA’20,’22) & Inga Liu (CFA’23); and violists Daelyn Kauffman (CFA’22) & Deberly Kauffman (CFA’22). Read about the college-wide collaborative effort here.

Anqing Liu Wins Position in China Academy Orchestra

2nd year MM viola student Anqing Liu, who studies with Michelle LaCourse, has just won a full-time position in the viola section of the China Academy Orchestra, a professional orchestra in Beijing associated with the China Conservatory. Congratulations, Anqing!

BU SoM at the Society for Ethnomusicology!

SEM’s annual meeting had featured papers and discussions by Dir. Melchor-Barz, Prof. André de Quadros, Alumni Ulrike Präger and David Kjar, and PhD students Margaret Rowley, Sebastián Wanumen Jiménez, Allison Smith, Jeff Dyer, Emily Howe, and Brian Barone. Also at SEM’s annual meeting, Director Melchor-Barz’s co-edited book Queering the Field was awarded the 2020 Marcia Herndon Book Prize by the Gender & Sexualities Taskforce and Prof. Michael Birenbaum Quintero’s monograph Rites, Rights, and Rhythms was awarded the Ruth Stone Book Prize.

BU Student Studying with Boaz Sharon Wins Competitions

Student Hsing-Ho (Simon) Hou recently won the Taipei International Youth Music Competition 2020 (piano category) in Taiwan. In addition, he won the Silver Medal in the Taiwan International Classical and Traditional Piano Competition in the professional adult category. He has also recently won second prize in the 4th Singapore International Classical Piano Competition (Preliminary Round in Taiwan), and will advance to the final round in Singapore in 2021. Congratulations, Hsing-Ho Hou and Prof. Sharon.

DMA Music Education Student Lina Hejjawi to Lead Committee Developing Music Curriculum in The United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Education announced its decision to include music as a compulsory subject for K-12 students to become one of the pioneer Arab countries that implements teaching music in public schools. The Ministry appointed Lina Hejjawi to head the committee that is currently working on developing the curriculum. The project will take three years to be completed (2020-2023), allowing time to pilot and modify the curriculum and train music teachers on how to implement it.

SoM Student Stephanie Pfundt—Camille Coloratura Finalist

Stephanie Pfundt, student of Lynn Eustis, recently advanced to the finals of the student division of the Camille Coloratura Awards. Stephanie’s magnificent performance of Strauss’ “Amor” can be heard at ~15:20 in the Finalist’s broadcast. Congratulations, Stephanie!

BU Opera Institute Alumna Featured in Gramophone Magazine

Boston-based soprano Kelley Hollis (CFA’15) is featured in Gramophone Magazine this month (see attached). Ms. Hollis is a student of Lynn Eustis.

He’s an opera tenor who grew up poor in El Salvador: Mario Arévalo’s amazing journey

Read this article featuring Salvadoran tenor Mario Arévalo (CFA’09) which details his journey from humble beginnings to gracing opera stages around the world. Arévalo shares, “With opera you can see it, feel it, hear it. Opera takes you to exciting, incredible places, even if you don’t understand the language.” Mario Arévalo studied with Penelope Bitzas.

Students and Alums Move Forward in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

Check out this article on the CFA website. Congratulations to our students and alums. Best of luck moving forward in the Council auditions. According to William Lumpkin, “Seeing our students achieve success in this challenging and unstable moment in time is truly rewarding.”

BU Opera Institute Students Curate “A Tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg”

The Boston University Opera Institute has recently launched the Digital Performance Series with a tribute to late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Some of the Opera Institute students expressed a desire to honor the life and legacy of RBG, so they created this video to celebrate this iconic figure in American history and culture. Featuring Gabrielle Barkidjija, mezzo-soprano (CFA’22); Maureen Brabec, soprano (CFA’21); Kaileigh Riess, soprano (CFA’21); Hyungjin Son, baritone (CFA’22); and Caroline Corrales, soprano (CFA’20, ’22). Read more and watch here.


Gregory Melchor-Barz, Ph.D.
Director and Professor
Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Music

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.

Learn More about School of Music



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