Office of Academic Affairs

2014 Induction Ceremony

Inductee Biographies


Calvin Yi-Yan Chan
Cellist Calvin Chan was born in Chicago and grew up in Seattle, Washington, where he began his cello studies at the age of 11. From an early age, Calvin performed as a member of the Everett Philharmonic, Seattle Youth Symphony, Bellevue Youth Symphony, and the Academy Chamber Orchestra. Equally committed to academic excellence, Calvin has been recognized as a National Merit Scholar, AP Scholar, and a recipient of the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

Calvin is graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Steven Doane and was awarded the prestigious Lois Smith Rogers Scholarship for four years. At Eastman, Calvin pursued orchestral and chamber music studies with the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, the Eastman Philharmonia, and the String Quartet Seminar with the Ying Quartet. Calvin also participated in the National Orchestral Institute and the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific. He has played in masterclasses with renowned musicians such as Hans Jorgen Jensen, Phoebe Carrai, Robert DeMaine, Michael Tree, and the Ying Quartet.

In addition to his musical studies, Calvin is an active student leader as the Vice President of the Undergraduate Students’ Association and a Resident Advisor in the Student Living Center. In the fall, Calvin will be pursuing a Master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music to study with Julia Lichten.

Sarah Kramer
Harpist Sarah Kramer will receive her B.M. and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music in May. While studying with Kathleen Bride at Eastman, she performed with the Eastman Wind Ensemble and Eastman Philharmonia. Recently she was principal harpist for Eastman Opera Theatre’s production of Dialogues of the Carmelites and for “Trilogy,” the Eastman Wind Ensemble’s latest recording project. Other notable achievements include playing Handel’s Concerto in B-flat with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, performing works of Canadian harpist and composer Caroline Lizotte at the Women in Music Festival, and joining the Ohio Light Opera for the 2014 summer season.

Sarah has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and accolades, including the National Merit Scholarship, Levy Merit Scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania, and nominations for Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Beta Kappa academic honors societies. During her time at Eastman, Sarah has especially enjoyed playing chamber music and participating in the Arts Leadership Program. In addition to her degree from Eastman, she will receive a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Rochester in May and will be attending the University of Pennsylvania Law School in the fall.

William Rich
Will is a senior graduating with a B.M. in Music Education (Piano Primary/Vocal) this May. Will has studied piano privately with Professor Vincent Lenti during his time at Eastman, in addition to taking secondary voice lessons for 3 years. He recently presented a senior piano recital featuring music of Schumann, Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev, and Bolcom. He has sung in the Eastman Chorale, Repertory Singers, and Eastman-Rochester Chorus.

As a music education major, Will recently finished his student teaching placements at Helendale Road Primary School in the East Irondequoit district, and Gates Chili High School in the Gates district, teaching general music, choir, and private voice lessons. He is pleased to announce that he will be filling in as a long-term substitute music teacher at Gates Chili High School for the remainder of the school year. Starting next year, Will plans on teaching choral and general music at the secondary level in the NY tri-state area, in addition to teaching piano and voice privately.

Will also serves as an accompanist for a number of school choirs in the Rochester area as well as those near his home in Rockland County, NY. During the summer, he pursues his other passion as a musical director for youth theatre. Will is currently the music director at Helen Hayes Youth Theatre in Nyack, NY, working primarily with ages 8-11, though he has also worked with high school students, most recently in a production of Les Miserables: School Edition this past summer.

Will extends his sincerest gratitude to all of his friends, family, teachers, and staff for their unflinching support during his time here at Eastman. He will always be proud to look back on his Eastman education in the future.

Sophie Rusnock
Classical harpist Sophie Rusnock originally hails from Ottawa, Ontario. Since 2011 she has been studying at the Eastman School of Music with Professor Kathleen Bride. An avid orchestral player, Sophie has worked with a number of student, amateur, and professional ensembles in and around Ottawa and Rochester, as well as spending two summers as a member of the prestigious National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Additionally, she recently made her concerto debut performing Debussy’s Danses Sacrée et Profane with the Eastman Wind Ensemble.

Sophie is also passionate about contemporary music: she regularly performs with Eastman’s Musica Nova and Ossia ensembles, has worked as a guest performer with Ensemble Signal, and has taken part in the world and U.S. premieres of several new works. During her time at Eastman, Sophie has come to love Rochester and continually seeks out ways to be a part of the life of the city. In 2013, she served on the board of directors of the University of Rochester’s ArtAwake arts festival, and she also volunteers regularly in the community. Sophie will graduate from Eastman in May of 2014 with high distinction and a Performer’s Certificate.

Lili Sarayrah
Having grown up in both Amman, Jordan and East Tennessee, violinist Lili Sarayrah believes in bringing people of diverse cultures and interests together. She returned to Jordan through the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship, which in conjunction with her experience teaching violin lessons to at-risk youth at the Joy of Music School and Enrico Fermi School No. 17, has inspired her to combine music and cross-cultural communication to promote social change. To do so she will complete a tuition-free fifth year at the University of Rochester through the Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year Program to begin a project on working with refugees through music. This will contribute to the education initiative of the Interactive Classical Visions Project, which the Sound ExChange Project will produce over the next year through a $100,000 Farash Foundation grant in collaboration with the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Rochester Institute of Technology professors, RocMusic, and Microsoft Studios in order to integrate interactive technology with contemporary classical music to reach the broadest possible audience.

A versatile performer, Ms. Sarayrah is a founding member of the Windsor String Quartet. Recently awarded the Messinger Chamber Fellowship, the quartet programmed a residency in rural Keuka, New York and performed for more than 600 elementary school students, among others. In addition to her chamber experience, Ms. Sarayrah has performed as concertmaster and principal second of the Eastman Philharmonia and the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra. She is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and has attended the Aspen Summer Festival, Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival, Sewanee Summer Festival, and the Castleman Quartet Program, among others.

Ms. Sarayrah is a student of Charles Castleman and will graduate from the Eastman School of Music in 2015 with a Bachelor of Music Performance in Violin, an Arts Leadership Program Certificate with funded internships at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC and Ensemble Signal, a Literary Translation Certificate (from Arabic to English), and completion of the Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year Program. This summer Ms. Sarayrah looks forward to attending the contemporary music festival Bang on a Can.


Samantha Inman
Samantha Inman is a Ph.D. candidate in music theory at the Eastman School of Music. Her dissertation builds connections between Schenkerian theory and Hepokoski’s and Darcy’s sonata theory in the context of Haydn’s late sonata movements. Other research interests include form in music of the nineteenth century and rhythmic theory. A dedicated teacher, she received the Eastman School of Music Teaching Assistant Prize in 2012. Samantha’s previous studies include a B.M. in theory and flute performance at Baldwin-Wallace College and a M.M. in theory at the University of Cincinnati.

C. Aaron James
Born in Toronto, Aaron James is a doctoral student at Eastman, completing a dual-degree program in organ performance and musicology (PhD/DMA). He has studied organ with Edoardo Bellotti, Hans Davidsson, and Michel Bouvard at Eastman and with Paul Merritt at the University of Western Ontario, where he received the Faculty of Music Gold Medal. He has won numerous prizes and scholarships for his organ playing, including first prize in the 2011 RCCO National Organ Playing Competition, and first prizes in the 2010 Osborne and Fairclough Competitions; most recently, he was a finalist in the 2012 Franz Schmidt International Organ Competition (Kitzbühel, Austria). He performs regularly as an organ recitalist in both Canada and the United States, and has appeared as a soloist with the Eastman Graduate Chamber Orchestra, the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. An advocate of contemporary music, he has presented national or world premieres of works by Emily Hall, Martin Herchenröder, Michael Nyman, Daniel Ochoa, and Kyle Quarles. Other honours include the Fellowship diploma of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (the College’s highest academic distinction, for which he received the 2012 Healey Willan prize), and the Performer’s Certificate from Eastman.

Aaron’s most recent research focuses on issues of genre, theological symbolism, and devotional culture in the sixteenth-century motet, with recent and upcoming research presentations hosted by McGill University, the University of Sheffield (U.K.), the New York State-St Lawrence chapter of the American Musicological Society, and the national meeting of the Renaissance Society of America. His research on the polyphonic Salve regina has been honoured with the Charles Warren Fox award, and is the basis of a forthcoming article in the Journal of the Alamire Foundation, to appear in spring 2014. Under the direction of Honey Meconi, he is preparing a dissertation on processes of adaption in the Latin motet repertory in the aftermath of the German Reformation. He serves as organist at Holy Cross Anglican Church and for the Fellowship of St Alban, and sings with the Christ Church Schola Cantorum.

Emlyn Johnson
A North Carolina native, flutist Emlyn Johnson has by now spent enough of her adult life at Eastman that Rochester is truly a second home. As a graduate student at Eastman she has been a proponent of and an advocate for new music and has recently performed with Ensemble Signal, Slee Sinfonietta, Fifth House Ensemble, OSSIA New Music Ensemble, and Eastman’s Musica Nova.

Emlyn is equally at home in the world of standard repertoire and is a recent prizewinner of the Texas Flute Society’s Myrna Brown Competition. She has attended myriad national and international festivals, including Aspen, Chautauqua, June in Buffalo, Orford, and Tafelmusik. More locally, Emlyn is an active performer in western New York and has been a writer, editor, and event coordinator for the Rochester Flute Association.

An enthusiastic teacher, Emlyn is on the faculty of Eastman’s Community Music School and also teaches privately in the Rochester area. She was a 2013 winner of Eastman’s Teaching Assistant prize, and in 2012 she taught flute at the summer arts camp Belvoir Terrace.

Emlyn is currently a doctoral candidate at the Eastman School of Music, where she studies with Bonita Boyd. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastman and two master’s degrees from the University of Michigan. Her past teachers include Amy Porter and Dr. Brooks de Wetter-Smith. When she is not playing or teaching, you can find Emlyn dabbling in traverso, singing Appalachian folk songs, and hosting elaborate dinner parties.

Zachary Preucil
Zachary Preucil is a candidate for the M.M. degree in Cello Performance and Literature at Eastman. Highlights of his time here included participating in the Arts Leadership program, interning at the RPO’s Development Department, working with River Campus students as a teaching assistant, performing with area ensembles such as Sound ExChange and Ad Hoc Ensemble, presenting to local high school students participating in “From the Top,” and blogging about Eastman-related events for the Huffington Post’s Arts Blog. Additional Rochester-related activities included teaching at the nearby Kanack School of Music and blogging regularly for, which is based in the Institute for Music Leadership. Zachary is deeply indebted to his studio teacher, David Ying, and chamber music coaches Elinor Freer, Janet Ying, and Alan Harris.

Before coming to Eastman, Zachary received his B.M. in Cello Performance with Academic Honors from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Yeesun Kim of the Borromeo String Quartet and served for two years as co-editor of “The Penguin,” NEC’s student-run newspaper. In recent summers, he has studied at the National Cello Institute, the Aspen Music Festival, the Castleman Quartet Programs, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. Additionally, he has performed with the Midsummer’s Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin, since 2011. This fall Zachary is looking forward to pursuing professional opportunities in his native Chicago.

Mark Yan-Wei Sim
Canadian pianist Wei Sim recently made his solo and chamber debuts in Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall performing with the Columbia University Chamber Players. A four-time national finalist of the Canadian Music Competitions, he placed first in his age category at the 2010 National Finals. Performance highlights also include solo and chamber performances at the 2013 National Arts Centre Summer Music Institute, Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Ottawa, Columbia University Miller Theatre, Kilbourn Hall, and Hatch Recital Hall.

Two-time recipient of the Columbia University Richard and Brooke Kamin Summer Music Performance Fellowship, Mr. Sim has had the privilege to participate in summer festivals such as the Orford Arts Centre, Toronto Summer Music Festival, and Banff Arts Centre Piano Masterclass Program, and Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival. He has appeared in masterclasses by renowned artists including Yoheved Kaplinsky, André Laplante, Louis Lortie, Robert McDonald, Richard Raymond, and Jacques Rouvier.

Mr. Sim received his Bachelor of Arts in Music and Premedical Studies from Columbia University, graduating magna cum laude with departmental honors in theory. He is currently a scholarship student at the Eastman School of Music completing his Master of Music in Performance and Literature with Dr. Douglas Humpherys. As part of his broader interests in actively promoting the intersection of music and medicine, Mr. Sim plans to pursue medicine in the fall.


Vincent Lenti
Vincent Lenti earned BM and MA degrees from Eastman. He completed additional studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has held various professional memberships including a 15-year term as treasurer of the New York State Music Teachers Association. He is a recipient of the NYSMTA 25th Anniversary Award for Outstanding Service (1986), NYSMTA Citation (1992), Jack L. Frank Award (1998) for outstanding leadership at Eastman, and Eisenhart Award (2002) for excellence in teaching at Eastman, as well as the University’s Hutchison Medal for distinguished public service (2010).

He has served on the Boards of Trustees for St. Bernard’s Seminary (1978-81) and St. Bernard’s Institute (1981-83) as well as participating as a board member for the Young Audiences of Rochester (1982-83) and the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (1996-2000). He acted as Director of Eastman’s Community Education Division (1970-96), Senior Advisor to the Director on Liturgical Music (1996-2000), and Administrator of the Piano Department (1998-2001). In addition, he has acted as the coordinator of the Eastman Piano Teachers Workshops for ten years.
Professor Lenti lectures for various piano teacher groups, including appearances for NYSMTA and the Music Teachers National Association. He has contributed research, lectures, and publications on Rochester’s musical history. His numerous publications on church music topics including articles in journals such as Sacred Music, Pastoral Music, The American Organist, The Hymn, Studia Liturgica, and Worship. He is the author of For the Enrichment of Community Life: George Eastman and the Founding of the Eastman School of Music (2005). Professor Lenti has been a faculty member at Eastman since 1963.

Induction ceremony photography provided by Amanda Sharpe.