Office of Academic Affairs

2018-2019 Pi Kappa Lambda Inductees

Undergraduate Students

Raina Arnett

Raina Arnett began playing violin at age 4, convincing her mom to buy one for her after spending months parading around her house with two chopsticks pretending to play them as a violin. She is currently a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree with majors in Violin Performance and Music Theory at Eastman, where she studies violin with Renée Jolles. At Eastman, she has appeared as a principal with the Eastman Opera Orchestra, Musica Nova Ensemble, and OSSIA New Music. She was also a previous winner of the Eastman Honors Chamber Competition.

Passionate about contemporary music, Raina has premiered many new works and has collaborated with many living composers including Charles Wuorinen, J. Matthew Curlee, and George Lewis. Raina was chosen last year to play and premiere several pieces with the award-winning innovators of the German avant-garde group Ensemble Garage at the Eastman Image and Sound Festival. Last June she studied contemporary music theory at the IRCAM Centre in Paris through a partnership between Eastman and the IRCAM/ManiFeste Festival. She has also attended programs such as the Castleman Quartet Program, LyricaFest Boston, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and Interlochen Summer Arts.

This coming summer she will be performing at the “June in Buffalo” Festival as a member of the Slee Sinfonietta, a professional contemporary ensemble based at the University at Buffalo. She will also take part in the Creative Dialogues XI Symposium in Finland at the Sibelius Academy, where she will collaborate with renowned composer Kaija Saariaho and 9 other students from top conservatories all over the world. In the coming year, Raina will be serving as an ArtistYear AmeriCorps Fellow in Queens, NY where she will be teaching music through the public school system.


Jack Courtright

Jack Courtright will receive a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music in May 2019 with a double major in Trombone Performance and Jazz Studies. He currently studies trombone with Professors Mark Kellogg and Larry Zalkind, and previously studied jazz arranging with Professor Bill Dobbins. Jack is a recipient of the Lois Smith Rogers scholarship and was awarded a Performer’s Certificate by Eastman’s brass department in 2019.

Jack was the winner of the International Trombone Association’s 2016 Carl Fontana Competition as well as the American Trombone Workshop’s 2018 National Solo Jazz Competition, Division 1. In 2018 he was selected to participate in the Generations International Jazz Workshop with Maria Schneider in Frauenfeld, Switzerland, and will return in 2019 as part of the Generations Unit 2019.

While at Eastman, Jack has performed with the Eastman Philharmonia, Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Wind Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Studio Orchestra, New Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band, Jazz Workshop, Trombone Choir, and various student-run ensembles. He also appears regularly with the Dave Rivello Ensemble and the Amendous Quartet, and has appeared on recordings with Charles Pillow (Electric Miles – 2017); the Saplings (The Saplings – 2017, Go Digital – 2019); and SPACE (Non-Trivial Problem – 2019). Jack has also presented two masterclasses for Eastman’s brass department on the technique known as Doodle Tonguing. An avid arranger, his works have been performed by the Eastman Jazz Ensemble, Eastman Trombone Choir and several student chamber groups.


Wilhelmina Esary

Wilhelmina “Mina” Esary is a composer of chamber, choral, and electronic music whose works have been performed by members of the Seattle Symphony, Women’s Works of Ithaca, and the American Creators Ensemble. Her compositions range in character from contemplative to whimsical, dark to ethereal, and are often inspired by emotional reactions and connections that stem from human perception of the natural and physical world. Equally delighted by music making within and outside of the concert hall, Mina has contributed to various community projects such as the Eastman Audio Research Studio’s installation of David Tudor’s Rainforest IV at the Memorial Art Gallery, where participants created sculptural objects and played sounds on the objects through transducers.

Originally from the greater Seattle area, Mina began her composition studies under faculty at the Academy of Music Northwest, and she went on to study with Samuel Jones and Huck Hodge in the Seattle Symphony Young Composers’ Workshop. She also studied music at Bellevue College, where she received an Associates degree in Arts and Sciences with a Concentration in Music.

Mina has participated in several festivals, such as the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium and Adamant Music School’s Summer Festival, and has received recognition from organizations including the American Guild of Organists, Women’s Works of Ithaca, and the Hymn for Mercy Competition. This summer, she will be collaborating with poet Athena Kildegaard on a new song setting for the Art Song Lab festival, which will be held in Vancouver.

In addition to composition, Mina has classical training in piano performance and sings regularly in various choral ensembles and scholas. At Eastman, she has sung in the Eastman Chorale and Repertory Singers and is a section leader for St. Thomas Church in Irondequoit. Active in arts administration and leadership, Mina was the 2018-2019 president of OSSIA New Music, the student-run new music ensemble at Eastman. She also previously served as the secretary and treasurer of OSSIA and has several years’ experience working in the Eastman Concert Office. She is honored to be a member of Phi Theta Kappa and Sigma Alpha Iota.

Mina will graduate with her Bachelor of Music in Composition from Eastman in December 2019. This past year, she studied with Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon and has also studied composition at Eastman with Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, David Liptak, and Oliver Schneller; and piano with Vincent Lenti. Some of her most savored moments are writing double bar lines, feeling a drizzle on gray days, and smelling old books. 


Matthew Figel

Matthew Figel will graduate next May with majors in Piano Performance and Musical Arts, as well as an Area Studies Concentration in Art History. A member of the University’s Take 5 Scholars Program, he will continue coursework next year to study the culture of art museums. He will receive the Anne T. Cummins Prize in Humanities and the John Celentano Award for Excellence in Chamber Music at this year’s Commencement.

As a performer, Matthew has been praised for “a tone and approach entrancing from the outset” (NY Concert Review). The first musician in his family, Matthew began his piano studies at age 10 in Midland, TX, making his recital debut that same year. An alumnus of Interlochen Arts Academy, he was chosen as that school’s first-ever Senior Performer, an honor given to a student to represent the graduating class with a solo performance at the final Commencement ceremony. Matthew has performed in numerous solo and collaborative masterclasses for artists such as Emanuel Ax, Paul Lewis, Simone Dinnerstein, Renée Fleming, and Jon Nakamatsu, among others.


While at Eastman, he has studied with Marina Lomazov and Nelita True. In his second year, Matthew performed with the Eastman Philharmonia after winning the Eastman Concerto Competition. Among his other awards are first prizes in the Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition and the Harold Protsman Classical Period Competition. A past fellow at PianoFest in the Hamptons, he has also attended summer festivals such as the Gijón International Piano Festival and the Aspen School of Music. Recently, Matthew was chosen as the Artist-in-Residence at Valley Manor, where he will perform concerts monthly for the community next year. For more information, please visit


Victor Labozzetta

Victor LaBozzetta will graduate from Eastman this May with a Bachelor of Music with majors in Applied Music (Percussion) with a Performer’s Certificate and in Music Theory.  He is a student of Michael Burritt, Rich Thompson, Charles Ross, and James Ross.

Victor’s senior thesis for his Music Theory major, advised by Henry Klumpenhouwer, examines Schoenberg under the lens of Howard Hanson’s harmonic studies.  Another music theory venture during his time at Eastman is the co-writing of a textbook with fellow Pi Kappa Lambda inductee Raina Arnett, providing modular exercises in improvisation targeted at busy classical musicians. They anticipate publication of the book later in 2019.

In addition to his percussion and music theory studies at Eastman, Victor has written several new works in the percussion repertoire.  One such piece, Hocket Sandbox, he will perform with fellow Pi Kappa Lambda inductee David Yun at the Pi Kappa Lambda Induction Ceremony.

Other such pieces include his percussion octet, The Feeling of Coming Home, which was premiered by the Eastman Percussion Ensemble as part of their PASIC 2017 IPEC Showcase Concert in November 2017.  The piece has since been integrated into the repertoire of several high schools and universities around the United States, as well as the Showa University of Music in Japan.  In June 2018, Up/Down Percussion performed his percussion quartet, Chukka Low, on their Georgia summer tour.  In October 2018, the University of North Florida Percussion Ensemble premiered his percussion quintet, Interim. In March 2019, Colleen Bernstein premiered his drum set + tape piece, Do Your Dance Anyhow, and Brant Blackard premiered his vibraphone solo, IV.  Victor is currently working on two marimba solos, a vibraphone/trumpet duo, a drum set concerto with percussion ensemble, and a book of vibraphone solos.

After graduating from Eastman, Victor will pursue a Master’s degree in composition at the Peabody Institute, studying with Felipe Lara.


David Mayrhofer

David Mayrhofer is a dual degree student at the Eastman School of Music and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Rochester, studying Clarinet Performance and Physics. Originally from Pennsylvania, he has studied with Elizabeth Stimpert, Soo Goh, and Deborah Andrus; and is currently in the studio of Kenneth Grant. 

David has gained a wide range of research experience at multiple universities over the past several years. In the summer of 2017, he worked in the lab of Brian Washburn at Kansas State University to construct an extended cavity diode laser for use in methane spectroscopy. This past summer, his work included growth and analysis of a new family of frustrated magnetic materials in the lab of Gregory MacDougall at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Currently, he is working with Andrew Jordan’s group at the University of Rochester to develop a stochastic simulation of a mesoscopic, thermoelectric engine. 

In addition to his research, David is also a teaching intern for the physics department, and has taught all three of the introductory physics courses the department offers. He is a member of the Kapitza Society as well as the physics honors society Pi Sigma Pi. Recently, his paper “An Exploration of the Seismograph” won the University’s Writing Colloquium contest for the best paper in the natural and applied sciences category. 

In the coming fall, David is participating in the University’s Take 5 program, where he will study religious art for one year. After this program, he plans to attend a PhD program in order to study theoretical condensed matter physics.


Matthew Nedvin

Matthew Nedvin is a music educator, performer, and scholar. Awarded the Presser Undergraduate Scholar award in 2018, Matthew will graduate from Eastman with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a Certificate in Arts Leadership. Matthew has been deeply involved with the music education community while at Eastman. He has taught with the ECMS as a lead teacher in a partnership with the YMCA and School 44 and as a substitute for the Theory in Motion program. He has also served as President for Eastman’s chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) for the 18/19 academic year. In fall 2018, Matthew was awarded a Special Opportunity Grant from the Institute for Music Leadership to attend the NAfME National Conference in Dallas, TX.

In addition to teaching, Matthew has performed in a wide variety of settings. He has won several competitions, including the Song of the Seven Hills vocal competition and the Georgia Literary Men’s Solo competition. He has performed regularly with Voices, a professional chamber choir under the direction of William Weinert; the Eastman Chorale; several church choirs; and the Eastman Repertory Singers. He has performed as the tenor soloist in such works as the Haydn Requiem and Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb. He has also helped record the choral works of several Eastman composers, some of which can be heard in the video game Light Borrower.

After graduation, Matthew will begin working as the general music and chorus teacher at East Central Elementary in Rome, GA.


Jing Tian Ngiaw

Jing Tian Ngiaw will graduate with a Bachelor of Music with majors in Music Education and Musical Arts. A passionate teacher, Jing Tian is devoted to the field of music education; she is a faculty member of the Eastman Community Music School, leading early childhood music classes with young children and their parents on a weekly basis. Jing Tian is also currently a teaching artist at ROCmusic Collaborative, specializing in elementary general music and choir.

At Eastman, Jing Tian is the vice president of the school’s National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Collegiate chapter, striving to promote music education within the school community. To cultivate her passion in academia, Jing Tian is a Grand Challenges Scholar at the Hajim School of Engineering with a focus on personalized learning. This past year she presented her first research study (“Prepared to Teach? Head Start Teachers’ Perceptions”) at the New York State School Music Association Winter Conference and the Suncoast Music Education Research Symposium XII.

Beyond her academic and teaching responsibilities, Jing Tian expresses strong interests in arts administration. She is a candidate for the arts leadership certificate, and has interned in multiple organizations. This summer, Jing Tian will work as an education intern at Wolf Trap’s Institute for Early Learning through the Arts. She will also be working on publishing her first children’s book, My Musical Trip around China: Lunar New Year! through the Institute for Music Leadership’s Grant and Mentorship program.

Jing Tian is immensely grateful for her family, friends and mentors for the unconditional love and support.


Ellen Robertson

Soprano Ellen Robertson is originally from Murfreesboro, TN. A passionate performer of both musical theater and opera, her musical theater roles prior to beginning her collegiate studies include the Leading Player in Pippin and Asaka in Once On This Island. Now a senior at the Eastman School of Music, her roles with Eastman Opera Theatre include a spirit in Jules Massenet’s Cendrillon, Virtù in Claudio Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Euridice in Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. She has also enjoyed opportunities to sing with various Eastman choirs, Collegium Musicum, and as the soprano soloist in a performance of BWV 102, Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben. She is also a member of the professional chamber ensemble Voices.

Ellen is an alumna of the 2017 American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria where she studied German Lied with Kenneth Griffiths, as well as the 2014 Summer at Eastman Music Horizons program and the 2013 Tennessee Governors School for the Arts vocal program. She received the Renée Fleming Scholarship and the Ornest Award for her freshman and junior year jury performances at Eastman. Ellen has participated in masterclasses with Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, and Kenneth Merrill at Eastman, and with Barbara Bonney at the American Institute of Musical Studies.

Ellen studies voice with Dr. Jonathan Retzlaff and will graduate from the Eastman School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance as a Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program fellow. Through this program, she completed internships with the Nashville Symphony and WXXI Classical 91.5.


Lev Roshal

A Rochester native, Lev Roshal is a dual-degree triple major entering the final year of his five-year program, pursuing studies in Violin Performance, Music Theory, and Mathematics.  He began his studies of the violin at the age of 4 at the Hochstein School here in Rochester.  He has performed as a prize winner in concerto competitions with Ars Viva Chamber Orchestra and Hudson Valley Music Club, where he was selected as winner of the Francesca Church Award.  Over the past few years he has given performances at Bowdoin International Music Festival both as a soloist and as a chamber musician.  In the summer of 2015, he twice appeared in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall as a Grand Prize Winner of the New York Artists International Competition and as First Place Winner of the American Protégé International Competition. 

At Eastman, he studies with Mikhail Kopelman.  In February 2017, his string quartet was selected to perform in a masterclass led by the Danish String Quartet, and in April 2019, he was invited to perform in a masterclass led by Miriam Fried.  As a music theorist, Lev especially enjoys explorations of Russian music of the 19th and 20th centuries and has twice won a silver medal in the American Council of Teachers of Russian National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest.  In addition, Lev has explored his passion for mathematics from an early age, twice winning top awards in math competitions. 

This past year, he has worked as a math teaching assistant at the River Campus.  Lev plans to apply his knowledge of mathematics to cancer care research this summer as a data analyst at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where his previous contributions led to several scientific publications.  Lev is happy to be able to combine his passions for music and math here at Eastman and University of Rochester.


Elena Rubin

Born into a musical family, flutist Elena Rubin began her musical studies on piano at age four. A candidate for a Bachelor of Music at the Eastman School of Music, she regularly performs as a principal flutist in the Eastman Philharmonia Orchestra and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Elena also actively performs new music as a member of Eastman’s Musica Nova and OSSIA. In 2017 she had the opportunity to work and perform with the JACK String Quartet through the OSSIA new music ensemble.

In summer 2018, Elena attended Chautauqua’s Music School Festival Orchestra program as a scholarship student. She also spent summers at the Eastern Music Festival in 2016 and 2017 where she was a concerto competition winner. Previously, she attended the ARIA International Summer Music Academy in 2014 and 2015, performing in masterclasses led by Bonita Boyd, Linda Toote, Christina Jennings, and Jonathan Keeble. Other masterclass engagements include those led by Robert Langevin, Lorna McGhee, Marina Piccinini, Nora Schluman, and Tara O’Connor. Currently a student of Bonita Boyd, Elena has previously studied with Anne Harrow and Sue Ann Kahn.


David Yun

David Yun will graduate from the Eastman School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance under the studio and mentorship of Professor Michael Burritt. He has participated in numerous performance settings including the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program, NAfME All-National Honors Ensemble, Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Eastman Philharmonia, Eastman Opera, and the Eastman Percussion Ensemble. Most notably, he performed with the Eastman Percussion Ensemble at the 2017 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) where the group received glowing reviews and widespread approval from the percussion community. David was also selected to participate in the 2018 TROMP International Percussion Competition where thirty percussionists from around the world gathered in Eindhoven, Netherlands to compete. While there, he was also given the opportunity to perform with several members of the jury such as Arnold Marinissen and Emmanuel Séjourné.

In addition to David’s classical percussion education, he also has an extensive marching percussion background. In 2015, he was selected as a battery member of the United States All-American Marching Band, performing a show in the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX after an intensive week of music and drill. That same year, he was also a member of the Q2 Indoor Drumline, an Open Class division group based out of Atlanta, GA. In 2017, David was also selected as a battery member with The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, a World Class Drum Corps based out of Tempe, AZ. Currently, he is the battery instructor for the Heritage High School drumline and is still active within the marching percussion community.

After graduation, David will be attending Boston Conservatory and furthering his education in percussion performance. In addition, he also discovered a newfound passion for digital music and hopes to build a future career on recording, production, and mixing along with his percussion background.


Graduate Students

Stephen Armstrong

Stephen Armstrong is a PhD candidate and Sproull Fellow at the Eastman School of Music, where he is currently writing a dissertation on the intersections of 19th-century Italian opera and the British Grand Tour. Completed and upcoming presentations on this research include the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Centro de Estudos de Sociologia e Estética Musical (Portugal), and the Royal Musical Association (United Kingdom). He has won several awards for research and conference travel, including from the ESM Musicology department, the ESM Professional Development Committee, and the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. This fall he will be conducting archival research at Durham University (UK), examining operatic reception within unpublished tourist accounts in their Wharton Papers collection.

Stephen also researches music and sound design in video games, the history of virtuosity, and music and literature studies. His articles appear in Women and Music (2017) and the Journal of the American Liszt Society (2015). He has presented at the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, the International Congress on Medieval Studies, the North American Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, and the North American Conference on Video Game Music.

In addition to his teaching experience at Eastman and the University of Rochester, Stephen is passionate about spreading the joy of music to the broader public. He has given pre-concert lectures at the George Eastman Museum and Michigan State University, and he teaches high school and gap-year students for the Eastman Experience and Eastman Immersion programs. As a private piano teacher, he specializes in teaching adults and retirees.

An avid pianist and sometime rock keyboardist, Stephen has performed across his native Michigan as well as in Umbria, Italy. He holds Master’s degrees in Piano Performance and Musicology from Michigan State University. He currently serves as pianist/organist at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Hilton, NY.


Kyrsten Chambers-Jones

Mezzo-soprano Kyrsten Chambers-Jones is graduating with a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. She graduated summa cum laude in 2016 from Stetson University in DeLand, FL, with a Bachelor of Music in both Voice Performance and Piano Performance. During her time at Stetson, she also learned the harpsichord and played continuo for Scarlatti’s Griselda and Handel’s Messiah. In recognition of her academic pursuits, she was named Presser Scholar in 2015.

During her studies with Katherine Ciesinski at Eastman, she has enjoyed many diverse performance opportunities. She recently sang the mezzo-soprano solo in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 with the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra. This April, she presented both her master’s degree recital and, as a Concerto Competition Winner, Debussy’s Chansons de Bilitis with the Eastman Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. Kyrsten has performed with the professional chamber ensemble Voices on multiple occasions, most recently in March as a soloist in J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion. This winter, Kyrsten performed the title role in Orfeo as part of Eastman’s Voice and Opera season. Last May, she performed the role of Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel. In addition to these opportunities, she has also enjoyed being a member of Eastman’s ACDA chapter, an organization that promotes excellence in choral singing.

Kyrsten will be returning to Eastman in the fall for her DMA in Voice Performance. Because of her passions for voice pedagogy and music education, she hopes to become a professor of voice.


Michael Galvin

Michael Galvin is graduating with his Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Literature this May from the studio of Kathryn Cowdrick. While at Eastman, Michael has had the fortune of being involved with three Eastman Opera Theatre productions, singing Leporello in Don Giovanni, Seneca in L’incoronazione di Poppea and Bass Voice in The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Michael believes in the value of versatility as a modern classical singer, leading him to be involved in numerous projects off the operatic stage in both Early and New Music.

While at Eastman, Michael performed with the Eastman Collegium Musicum in presentations of Fairy Queen, King Arthur, and L’Orfeo (Rossi). He also premiered a composition by Eastman distinguished professor emeritus Benton Hess. This summer Michael will join the Boston Early Music Festival as a Young Artist where he will sing Zoroastro in Handel’s Orlando. He will also attend the summer language and opera program “Si Parla, Si Canta” in Arona, Italy. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice from Ithaca College, where he graduated summa cum laude.


Daniel Minnick

Daniel Minnick will graduate from the Eastman School of Music with a Master’s degree in Organ Performance and Literature from the studio of Professor Nathan Laube. Daniel began piano studies at the age of 7 in Australia, his homeland. He completed both a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at Bob Jones University in 2013 and 2016, respectively, where he studied piano with Professor David Lehman and organ with Dr. Ed Dunbar. 

In 2013, Daniel participated in the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition and was the recipient of an encouragement award and a cash prize.  In 2015, he won the BJU Concerto and Aria Competition and performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in E-flat Major, Op. 73 (“Emperor”) with the BJU Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his piano and organ studies, Daniel also enjoys the study of composition, improvisation, and working as piano technician.  In 2016, he completed the required examinations of the Piano Technician’s Guild to attain the status of Registered Piano Technician (RPT) within the PTG.

Daniel currently serves as pianist and organist at Bethel Baptist Church in Bergen, NY. In the fall of 2019, Daniel will continue his organ studies at the Eastman School of Music in pursuit of the DMA degree.


Charles Reed

Charlie Reed is an avid performer of music spanning many eras. As a gambist and baroque cellist, Charlie has performed at the Boston Early Music Festival with Oberlin Baroque, and has collaborated as a continuo player with esteemed artists such as Cathy Meints, Paul O’Dette, Mark Edwards, and Alessandro Quarta. He is particularly fascinated by the viol consort repertoire, working with the Eastman Viol Consort and various Oberlin viol consorts. Charlie is currently principal cellist of Eastman Collegium Musicum, having also served as the former principal cellist of Oberlin Baroque Orchestra.

As a modern cellist, Charlie actively explores underrepresented repertoire. His most recent research includes 19th century performance practice, and he employs an all gut-string setup on his modern cello. Charlie also extensively performs new music, having worked with Ossia New Music, Eastman’s Musica Nova, and Oberlin’s Contemporary Musicum. He performed Korngold’s Cello Concerto as a finalist in Oberlin’s Senior Concerto Competition.

Charlie will soon complete a Master’s degree in Cello Performance and Literature at Eastman, where he also received the prestigious Performer’s Certificate, studying with Steven Doane, Rosemary Elliot, and Christel Thielmann. He has also studied at the Oberlin Conservatory with Amir Eldan and Cathy Meints, and this fall will begin a Master’s in Historical Performance at the Juilliard School on a full scholarship, studying baroque cello with Phoebe Carrai and gamba with Sarah Cunningham.


Samuel Reenan

Sam Reenan is a PhD student in Music Theory at Eastman. He holds a Master of Arts in Music Theory from Eastman (2018) and a Bachelor of Music in Music Theory and a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Connecticut (2014). A dedicated educator, Sam received Eastman’s 2017–18 Teaching Assistant Prize for Excellence in Teaching. He is co-author of a 2016 article exploring seventh-chord voice-leading transformations, published in Music Theory Online.

Sam has presented at national and international conferences including the Society for Music Theory (2018), 9th European Music Analysis Conference (2017), Music Theory Midwest (2019), and Music Theory Society of New York State (2017). His research interests include formal function and aesthetics in Mahler’s late symphonies, issues of pitch structure in 20th-century French music, Theodor Adorno’s philosophies of musical modernism, and pedagogical approaches to form. Sam has been editorial assistant with Music Theory Online since 2016 and is a current co-editor of Intégral.


Corey Silberstein

As a collaborative pianist, Corey Silberstein has performed in France, Germany, and widely throughout the United States. He has held fellowships in instrumental accompanying at the Music Academy of the West and the Aspen Music Festival. Also passionate about art song, Corey performed with mezzo-soprano Deniz Uzun (Opera Zurich) in the 2015 Das Lied competition in Berlin, and was 2nd prize winner in the 2018 Jesse Kneisel Lieder Competition. 

Corey’s teachers have included John O’Conor, Jean-Louis Haguenauer, and James Goldsworthy; and he has performed in masterclasses with André Watts and Joseph Kalichstein. He received a Master’s degree in Solo Piano from Indiana University, where he held the position of associate instructor of piano. Corey is nearing completion of his doctorate at the Eastman School of Music, where he is a teaching assistant in the studio of Dr. Jean Barr.

Corey will also graduate from Eastman with a second Master’s degree in Music Theory Pedagogy, reflecting a long-standing interest in the interplay of musicology, music theory, and performance. As an undergraduate at Swarthmore College, Corey worked with renowned Chopin scholar Barbara Milewski on an independent study comparing the Polish composer’s complete waltzes and mazurkas, examining stylistic overlap in those two genres. More recently, Corey has had the privilege of exploring the output of Claude Debussy, a favorite composer, in courses taught by Eastman professors Holly Watkins and Matthew Brown. His doctoral lecture recital on the Debussy Violin Sonata explored resonances of Spanish idioms in the composer’s mature works.


Caroline Sonett

Dr. Caroline Sonett has performed on the stages of several of the world’s great concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher (David Geffen) Hall, and the Kennedy Center, and enjoys an active career as a performer, educator and higher education administrator. She currently serves as Director of Graduate Advising and Services at the Eastman School of Music and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Flute at the University of Buffalo.

Caroline has previously been featured on the McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase, and is a dedicated chamber musician, performing internationally with her flute/viola/harp ensemble, Trio Alexander. Caroline has been featured as soloist with both the Miami Chamber Orchestra and the Columbia University Orchestra, performing Mozart’s Flute Concerto, K. 313. She has performed with Slee Sinfonietta, the Bronx Opera Company, Symphony Orchestra of the Americas, Eastman Philharmonia, the Columbia University Orchestra, and the New York Youth Symphony. Additionally, Caroline spent two years engaged with the New York Philharmonic’s subsidiary program “Very Young Composers,” playing alongside members of the New York Philharmonic.

Caroline has held chamber music fellowships at the Talis Festival and Academy in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, the Norfolk Music Festival Chamber Music Session and New Music Workshop (2015), and at the Atlantic Music Festival (2013). A passionate educator, she has served as adjunct Woodwinds Instructor at Alfred University, as a teaching assistant at Eastman, and instructor at the Kanack School. Caroline has given masterclasses and held residencies at Gettysburg College, Kent State University, Alfred University, and Eastman Community Music School.

Caroline completed her Doctor of Musical Arts and Masters of Music in Flute Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music as a student of Bonita Boyd, holding a specialization in Arts Administration in conjunction with the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Columbia University. Previous teachers have included Nicholas Duchamp, Jeanne Baxtresser, Soo-Kyung Park, and Carla Auld.


Ivan Tan

Ivan Tan is a PhD candidate in Music Theory and Sproull Fellow at the Eastman School of Music, and Visiting Lecturer in Music at Brown University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music (with honors) and Applied Mathematics from Brown, and a Master of Music in Piano Performance from SUNY Purchase.

Ivan’s dissertation research focuses on keyboard performance in 1970s progressive rock, addressing issues of virtuosity, textural interaction, and groove perception. His research on popular music and music cognition has been presented at regional, national, and international conferences, and has been published in Music Perception and Psychology of Music.

At Eastman, Ivan has taught a large portion of the undergraduate theory core curriculum, and also served as the Music Cognition Lab Manager for the 2016-2017 academic year. He enjoyed performing the entire Close to the Edge album with the Yes tribute band “Going for the One” at the 2017 Rochester Fringe Festival (while also sitting in on part of the subsequent Dark Side of the Moon set), and continues to maintain a semi-active performing career as a collaborative pianist/keyboardist when not preoccupied with taking care of his cats (Bärenreiter and Henle).



Michael Burritt

Having performed on four continents and more than forty states, Michael Burritt is one of his generation’s leading percussionists. He is in frequent demand performing concert tours and master classes throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Canada. Mr. Burritt has been soloist with the United States Air Force Band, Dallas Wind Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Nexus, Third Coast Percussion, Ju Percussion Group (Taiwan), Percussion Art Quartet (Germany) and the Amores Percussion Group (Spain). Mr. Burritt has three solo as well as numerous chamber recordings. In 2018, he recorded his Home Trilogy with the world renowned percussion group Nexus and is soon to release a new recording of solo and chamber works by Alejandro Viñao with the Grammy Award winning Third Coast Percussion. In 2006, he recorded the Joseph Schwantner Percussion Concerto with the Calgary Wind Ensemble on the Albany label.

He has been a featured artist at nine Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. In 1992, he presented his New York solo debut in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, and in 1998, performed his London debut in the Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall. Mr. Burritt has extensive chamber and orchestral experience and has performed with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, The Chicago Symphony, Nexus, Third Coast Percussion, and The Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra.

Mr. Burritt is also active as a composer, with three concertos to his credit as well as numerous solo and chamber works for marimba and percussion. His works for solo marimba have become standard repertoire for the instrument and are frequently required repertoire on international competitions. Commissions include The World Marimba Competition in Stuttgart, Germany, the Paris International Marimba Competition, Nexus, and the Paris Percussion Group. Mr. Burritt is published with Keyboard Percussion Publications, C. Alan, Masters Music, and Innovative Percussion. He is also an artist/clinician and product design/consultant for Malletech, where he has developed his own line of marimba mallets and the MJB Signature Marimba. He is an artist/educational clinician with the Zildjian Company and Evans Drum Heads and Yamaha Drums. Mr. Burritt is the President-Elect of Percussive Arts Society, was a member of the Board of Directors from 1996-2008, a contributing editor for Percussive Notes Magazine from 1991-2006 and was chairman of the PAS Keyboard Committee from 2004–2010.

Michael Burritt is currently Professor of Percussion and head of the Winds, Brass, and Percussion department at the Eastman School of Music where he is only the third person in the history of the school to hold this position. Prior to his appointment at Eastman Mr. Burritt was Professor of Percussion at Northwestern University from 1995-2008 where he developed a program of international distinction. Mr. Burritt received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees, as well as the prestigious Performers Certificate from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.