School of Music High Notes: Summer 2021 News

School of Music High Notes - Summer 2021

Welcome to the summer 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 Gregory Melchor-Barz.

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.

June 2021

CFA Students Represented at the Ian Hobson 7th International Piano Festival

DMA student Chengcheng Ma (CFA’17, ’22) and MM candidate Yuyeon Lee (CFA’22), both from the studio of Prof. Boaz Sharon, participated in the Ian Hobson 7th International Piano Festival in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, held May 29–June 4. Chengcheng and Yuyeon performed in concert and participated in open masterclasses.

Student Success at the World Piano Teachers Association

Chengcheng Ma (CFA’17, ’22), in his final year of the DMA working with Prof. Boaz Sharon, has won second place at the World Piano Teachers Association. Another one of Prof. Sharon’s students, undergraduate Hsing-Ho (Simon) Hou (CFA’22), came in fourth. These are obviously exceptionally hard-working, tenacious, and talented individuals.

MM Student Advances to NATS National Student Auditions

Aleksandar Reupert (MM’22), a student of Prof. Lynn Eustis, has advanced to the Semi-Finals of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) National Student Auditions! Aleks was one of 12 semi-finalists who placed in the top-14 in the Nation in their Categories. During the Spring 2021 semester, Aleks received an Honorable Mention in the Advanced Classical category for Tenor, Baritone, Bass at the New England NATS Regional Student Auditions, which enabled him to move forward and compete in the National Student Auditions (NSA). The NSA will take place July 7–10, 2021.

Music Education Alumna Presents on Two Continents

Congrats to DMA alumna Emelyne Bingham (CFA’21), who was featured in a webinar produced by the Sound Health Network, a collaboration between the National Endowment of the Arts, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Institutes of Health, and Renée Fleming. This webinar was titled, “Music and Developmental Differences.”  Two days later she was the keynote speaker for the 16th Fachtagung für Inklusives Musizieren in collaboration with the Universität für Musik und darsetllende Kunt Wien and Musicschule Wien (Vienna).

BU Well-Represented in Latest Issue of MMEA Journal

Dr. Karin Hendricks shares with excitement that BU SoM is well-represented in June’s issue of the Massachusetts Music Educators Journal. DMA candidate Tina Nospal (CFA’10, ’22) wrote, “Building Digital Bridges in Times of a Plague.” Former Master of Music student Nicholas Quigley (CFA’19) also has an article titled, “Intermodal Arts Processes: Creativity and Expression in General Music.” View their work, along with two faculty submissions by Gareth Dylan Smith and Kính T. Vu, here.

Three Music Education DMA Candidates Present at ISSME

The 12th biennial International Symposium on the Sociology of Music Education (ISSME), held online from June 21-24, 2021, included presentations from two DMA Music Education candidates and one alumnus:

  • Amy Catron (CFA’24): “Habitus and Democracy in a Community Cello Choir.”
  • Warren Gramm (CFA’21): “’Hey, Teacher, Leave Those Kids Alone’: Shared Power through Peer Mentoring.”
  • Austina Lee (CFA’24): “Where Do I Begin? A High School Teacher’s Approach to Care Ethics and Culturally Responsive Teaching in a Season of Turmoil.”

Graduate Students Earn Highest Honors at Quebec Music Competition

Not one, not two, but three SoM doctoral students earned the highest honors as Platinum Medalists at this year’s Quebec International Music Competition. Congratulations to Estelle Bang (CFA’21), piano; Jacky Ho-Yin Li (CFA’22), horn; and Kyra Xuerong Zhao (CFA’21), piano. All three submitted video recordings along with competitors from all over the world. Follow the links to read all winners’ biographies and view performances for the Top Platinum Medalists.

CFA Violin Grad to Join Faculty at New World School of the Arts

Violinist Hyunjee Chung (CFA’21) will be joining the New World School of the Arts at Miami Dade College as a full-time violin professor and conductor starting this fall. Dr. Chung previously studied with Professor Bayla Keyes.

July 2021

Soprano Kelley Hollis Gives Recital Through Juventas New Music Ensemble

On July 1, former Opera Institute graduate Kelley Hollis (CFA’15) presented a live-streamed recital with James Dargan (baritone) and Julia Scott Carey (piano), organized through Juventas New Music Ensemble. Titled “Yearning to Breathe Free,” the program featured music by Margaret Bonds, Oliver Caplan, Tom Cipullo, Marek Harris, J. Rosamond Johnson, Steven Mark Kohn, Shawn Okpebholo, William Grant Still, Andre Thomas, Gwyneth Walker, and Christopher Wicks, plus 2 world-premieres by Maria Corley and James Dargan. The program book can be found here and a video recording of the performance is available on YouTube indefinitely. Ms. Hollis studied with Prof. Lynn Eustis.

Updates from Alumnus Nicholas Brown

Clarinetist Nicholas Brown (CFA’15) has played an active role in the Boston music scene since graduating from BU SoM. He currently serves as Principal Clarinet with the New Bedford Symphony, Second/Bass Clarinet with the Boston Lyric Opera, and Clarinetist with Hub New Music.

Most recently, Nick and his colleague Alyssa Wang launched a new organization, the Boston Festival Orchestra. Set to debut in July 2020, the global health crisis postponed the festival to Summer 2021. The organization hosted some of the first live performances in the city in over a full year.

BFO’s Summer Season 2021 included three concerts on July 17, 24, and 31, all held by The Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts.

DMA Pianist Concertizes in China

Pianist Yu Jin (CFA’18), from the studio of Prof. Boaz Sharon, has a number of frequent appearances through the end of 2021 in major concerts halls in China. Some of the primary venues with this concert tour include Shanghai Symphony Hall, Suzhou Culture and Arts Centre, and Shenzhen Concert Hall. In total, Dr. Jin will give 20 performances from July through December 2021.

Jacky Li Finalist in Busan Maru Concerto Competition

We are pleased to announce that our own Jacky Ho-Yin Li (CFA’22), from the studio of Eric Ruske, is 1 of 8 finalists for the 2021 Busan Maru International Music Festival Concerto Competition. Jacky brings honor to us all. Follow this link for the complete listing of finalists. The final performances will be judged on September 15 and the Competition Winners will be announced on the BMIMF website on September 17.

Latest Accomplishments for DMA Candidate Alice Tsui

Earlier this month, DMA Music Education Candidate Alice Tsui (CFA’21) presented alongside Dr. Karin Hendricks and Juliet Hess from Michigan State University at the International Conference on Music, Spirituality, and Wellbeing. Their peer-reviewed paper is titled “Anti-Racist Music Education.” Additionally, Alice has just become a board member for the Association for Popular Music Education. Congratulations!

More Peer-Reviewed Research from Music Education

Prof. Tawnya Smith and MM Alum Nick Quigley (CFA’19) had a peer-reviewed research article come out in the Journal of Popular Music Education: “The Educational Backgrounds of DIY Musicians.” According to Prof. Karin Hendricks, this was a project they began working on together while Nick was pursuing his master’s degree.

Additionally, Dr. Hendricks, DMA Alum Megan Lewis (CFA’18), and Megan’s sister Erianne Weight (Assoc. Professor of Exercise and Sport Science, UNC Chapel Hill) also recently had a peer-reviewed research article appear in Psychology of Music: “Teaching methods that foster self-efficacy belief: Perceptions of collegiate musicians from the United States.”

Terrific Achievement by Alum Nash Tomey

This in from Prof. Ed Barker: “I want to let you know that my former BU student Nash Tomey (CFA‘17) recently won Second Place in the International Society of Bassists solo competition. Nash is presently a member of the Kansas City Symphony.

August 2021

School of Music Hosts Rock and Pop Show at Midway Café

This summer, Music Education faculty member Gareth Dylan Smith taught an in-person (LfA) Rock and Pop Pedagogy summer course, which culminated in a gig at the Midway Café in Jamaica Plain on Saturday, August 7. Three bands performed–the Rock and Pop Pedagogy Band, Black Light Bastards, and Rebekah Lamb.

Music Education Celebrations

Prof. Karin Hendricks brings us more good news from the Music Education Department: “Congratulations to two more of our own who have just landed new academic positions! DMA alum Michael Sundblad (CFA’20) will be Dean of Liberal Arts, Business, and Information Technology at Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois. Michael’s research on community colleges will position him very well for this work.  DMA candidate Allyn Phelps will be a lecturer in music education at UMass Dartmouth – a position that has the potential to turn into an Assistant Professor line. Our previously-celebrated DMA alum Darryl Singleton (CFA’20) and DMA candidate Jacob Wittkopp both reported this week that their transitions are going well.”

News from Conducting Alum Jamie Hillman

We are pleased to announce that our alum Jamie Hillman (CFA’14) has accepted the Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. He will conduct the MacMillan Singers and lead the MM and DMA programs in Choral Conducting. Congratulations, Jamie. Click here for his faculty page.

Alum Wee Kiat Chia Accepts New Positions

Countertenor Wee Kiat Chia (CFA’20) is pleased to announce that he has accepted two new positions. First, he is the new music director of HeartFelt Voices. Check out this launch video about the new collaboration. He is also a member of the teaching faculty at the North End Music and Performing Arts Center (starting in September). Congratulations, Wee Kiat.

Recent Appointments of Alum Ryan Noe

MM and DMA alum Ryan Noe (CFA’11, ’15) was appointed as Artist Faculty Trumpet at the University of Southern Maine. His faculty page can be found here. Over the summer, Dr. Noe also served as Associate Lecturer of Trumpet at UMASS Boston.

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, including the Boston University Opera Institute.


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