Office of Academic Affairs
2019-2020 Pi Kappa Lambda Inductees
Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Reagan Casteel began her formal composition study at Interlochen Arts Camp and Interlochen Arts Academy with the mentorship of Rob Deemer and Cynthia Van Maanen. While at Eastman, she has studied with David Liptak, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. Her works have been read by the Eastman Wind Orchestra, the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, and the Eastman Chorale. Her reach has expanded outside of Rochester over the course of her collegiate career, including the publication of her marimba solo “Raindrops”, and a commission from the MTSU Clarinet Choir, which was premiered at the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest in 2019 (“Cattywampus”).
In addition to composition, Reagan has classical training in piano performance and has studied with Elinor Freer for the past four years, during which time she has often performed her own work and served as an accompanist for voice students.
Reagan is also incredibly passionate about conducting and has conducted many of her own works under the tutelage of Edo Frenkel, Rayvon Moore, and Mark Powell. Her passion for music direction extends to her intended field of musical theatre. Reagan has music directed four productions with the UR student organization ROC Players, as well as “Gone Missing” with the UR International Theatre Program, and an independent production of her original song cycle, “Full Circle.” She has also held internships in theatre during the summers and has worked as a freelance pops orchestrator for artists such as Leslie Odom Jr. and Renée Elise Goldsberry.
Reagan will graduate this May with her Bachelor of Music in Composition. This fall Reagan plans to move to New York City to work in theatre and continue composing. She is currently producing a month-long “virtual senior recital” to showcase music she has written and is passionate about.
Adrienne Hyde is a musician passionate about honoring and understanding the traditions of all kinds of music. In May of 2020 she will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Alan Harris. In addition, Adrienne studied baroque cello, viola da gamba, and continuo with Christel Thielmann and Paul O’Dette for all 4 years of her degree at Eastman. She performs frequently on many different instruments; the modern cello, the baroque cello, a 5-string baroque piccolo cello, bass and treble viola da gamba, and the organ.
As a modern cellist, Adrienne has achieved success in solo and chamber competitions in both her home of northern Virginia and Rochester. While at Eastman, Adrienne received the Glenn and Frances Harris Cello Prize, and was a frequent participant in chamber and solo masterclasses with esteemed visiting artists. She performs often with the Ginastera Quartet, which has achieved great success in presenting outreach programs across Rochester during their 3 years as an ensemble.
As a baroque cellist and gambist, Adrienne frequently appears with Eastman Collegium Musicum, and the Eastman Viol Consort. Adrienne was a founding member of Innominatum, a period chamber ensemble presenting concerts in upstate New York as Pegasus and NY State Baroque young artists. She has also performed in the Boston Early Music Festival Fringe Series, and Amherst Early Music workshops. Recent research projects have culminated in her contribution to instruction in early improvisation, folk music, and historical cello playing.
This fall Adrienne will begin a Master’s degree on full scholarship in Historical Performance at the Juilliard School. As one of their first dual degree students, she will study baroque cello with Phoebe Carrai and viola da gamba with Sarah Cunningham.
Jenna Kent is a student of Michael Wayne and Kenneth Grant. She will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance, a Performer’s Certificate, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She was selected as the 2019 Undergraduate Presser Scholar.
Jenna appeared frequently with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra during their 2018-19 season, primarily playing E♭ clarinet. She is currently an Associate Musician with the Columbus Symphony in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio and was principal clarinetist on a Columbus Symphony concert featuring internationally acclaimed tenor Andrea Bocelli.
At Eastman, Jenna is a member of Harmonie, a wind octet led by Dr. Mark Scatterday. She was principal clarinetist on the world premiere of Dana Wilson’s “Front Burner” with the Eastman Wind Ensemble in February 2020 and was part of the Wind Ensemble’s May 2019 Severance Hall tour. Jenna has spent summers studying at the Chautauqua Institution and at Eastern Music Festival. This fall she will be returning to Eastman to pursue a Master of Music in Performance and Literature.
Kaitlyn Chase Knudsvig
Katie is the daughter of two professional musicians and music has always played a major role in her life. After growing up in Hof, Germany and Fargo, North Dakota, she started her collegiate career at Eastman.
While advancing her classical skills under the guidance of Federico Agostini and Juliana Athayde, she also discovered her passions for folk and jazz music. Some of her academic highlights include independent studies with Dariusz Terefenko, Christopher Azzara, and Dave Rivello, and she has put on recitals of traditional tunes and arrangements of Brazilian music, bebop, as well as her own compositions. Katie is also one of the founding members of the alternative folk band, Copper Hill, which has gone on a northeast tour and released a full-length album and two singles in their two years of existence. She also appears with a number of other bands in and around Rochester, ranging from bluegrass and singer-songwriter, to folk and chamber jazz. She has performed with the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, Eastman Philharmonia, Eastman Studio Orchestra, was a soloist with the Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, and has also performed in a number of classical and jazz degree recitals and student projects. She can be found on eight different albums and singles on major streaming platforms and is currently working on a collection of compositions for string quartet, rhythm section and soprano saxophone, to be debuted in the fall.
James McCarthy is a dual degree student studying Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music and Audio Music Engineering from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Rochester.
Originally from Pleasantville, NY, James has studied under Lorraine Nubar at the Juilliard School Pre-College and under Jonathan Retzlaff at the Eastman School of Music. Having a love of both opera and musical
theater from a young age, he has had the pleasure in performing, before his collegiate studies, Billy Bigelow in Carousel, Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, and Emile DeBecque in South Pacific. His roles with the Eastman Opera Theatre include Private Willis in Iolanthe, Mercurio in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Masetto and Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Maestro in Prima la musica e poi le parole, and the title roles in Der Schauschpieldirektor and Sweeney Todd.
Throughout his time at Eastman, James has received several accolades and opportunities based on his performances. He received the Jury Award as well as the Ornest Award during his Freshman and Junior year, respectively, for outstanding jury performance among the vocal program. He has had the pleasure of being the bass soloist for the Eastman Repertory Singer’s performance of Bruckner’s Requiem in D minor and performing in Hila Plitmann’s 2019 masterclass.
In addition to his studies at Eastman, James has made it his priority to help develop and enrich student life. He is currently the President of Eastman Programming and Involvement Council (EPIC), an organization dedicated to strengthening and bringing together the Eastman community through on and off campus events. James has been a board member for this council for four years.
Nozomi Murayama will graduate with a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology this May. She is a student of Mikhail Kopelman. She has also been invited to Psi Chi, the International Psychology Honors Society for Psychology majors who have demonstrated academic excellence at the University of Rochester.
Nozomi began her violin studies when she was seven years old and was a finalist in the Osaka International Music Competition in 2011 and the Ikaruga Music Competition in 2015. She has a passion for orchestra, serving as concertmaster with the Eastman Philharmonia and Chautauqua Music School Festival Orchestra. She participated in Bowdoin International Music Festival in 2017, and Chautauqua Music Festival in 2019 and has performed in masterclasses for Donald Weilerstein and Nurit Pacht.
Following graduation, Nozomi will pursue a Master of Music in Violin Performance at the New England Conservatory in the studio of Nicholas Kitchen.
Alexandria Ott will graduate with a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Renée Jolles. She has had the opportunity to serve as rotating principal of the Eastman Philharmonia and Eastman School Symphony Orchestra. In the past, she has served as a section leader for the festival orchestras at the National Orchestral Institute, Chautauqua Music School Festival, and Masterworks Festival.
A passionate chamber musician, Alexandria has been a winner of the Eastman Honors Chamber Music Competition and has also participated in the Eastman Intensive Chamber Music program. Last summer, she was one of sixteen fellows selected to take part in the prestigious String Quartet Seminar at Music Academy of the West. There she worked intensively with the world-renowned Takacs Quartet and performed several concerts and masterclasses with her student group, the Hoffmann Quartet.
A champion of historical performance, she has also been a member of Eastman’s baroque chamber orchestra, Collegium Musicum, and is graduating with a Certificate in Performance Practice. As a soloist, Alexandria has won a number of competitions including the Cordancia Concerto Competition (2016), Rochester Philharmonic League’s Ruth and Sidney Salzman Prize for Strings (2016) and Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition (2015). She has also competed with chamber ensembles and won the Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music Youth competition with her honors string quartet through the Eastman Community Music School in 2016. Alexandria has performed in solo masterclasses for Jorja Fleezanis, Ida Kavafian, Jennifer Ross, Jennifer Koh, Almita Vamos, Meiko Kanno and Rachel Barton Pine. In chamber groups, she has performed for the Takacs Quartet, Shanghai Quartet, James Dunham, and the Ying Quartet.
After graduation, she will continue her education at the University of Michigan where she will be pursuing her Master of Music under the tutelage of Aaron Berofsky.
Natalie Pang will graduate with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Music Theory from the Eastman School of Music this May. While at Eastman, she has studied piano with Alexander Kobrin and Rebecca Penneys.
Natalie began studying piano at 4 years old with Tina Kakabadze at the McGill Conservatory of Music in Montreal, Canada. She has had success at numerous competitions including First Prizes at the National Finals of the Canadian Music Competition and the Crescendo International Music Competition and was recipient of the McGill Conservatory’s Vera Black Scholarship. Natalie has performed in Canada and the United States, including appearances at Weill Recital Hall in New York, orchestral and solo performances around Montreal, and several Pro-Series Concerts for the Isle La Motte Preservation Trust in Vermont. As a participant of the Ambassador Series of the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival, she performed in venues in Florida and was featured on the NPR classical music station WUSF 89.7.
Last summer, she also attended the Academy of Orford Musique and was a semifinalist in the Orford Award. Natalie has performed in numerous masterclasses for artists such as James Giles, Jerome Lowenthal, Marina Lomazov, Alan Chow, Christopher Harding, and Norman Krieger. During her studies at Eastman, Natalie’s interests in theory led her to add a Music Theory major and pursue research in the fields of topic theory and music semiology. She completed her senior thesis, advised by Jonathan Dunsby, on semiological analyses of Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze inspired by Roland Barthes. She also attended the Summer Bootcamp in Musicology and Music Theory at Queens College CUNY with other undergraduate and graduate music theory students from around the US, participating in seminars and writing workshops led by William Rothstein, Emily Wilbourne and Karen Henson.
This fall Natalie will be continuing at Eastman with a dual degree program: an Master of Music in Piano Performance and an Master of Arts in Music Theory Pedagogy.
Lyric mezzo-soprano and New Jersey native, Alexis Peart is a student at the Eastman School of Music where she pursues Bachelor of Music degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education in the studio of Katherine Ciesinski. This season with Eastman Opera Theatre Alexis appears as Der Trommler in Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Bessie in Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny-Songspiel, and Mrs. Lovett (cover) in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. She joins baroque ensemble Collegium Musicum as Léonore in Andre Campra’s Le Carnaval de Venise and Cupid in John Blow’s Venus and Adonis. Alexis is a 2020 Studio Artist with Wolf Trap Opera.
Recent operatic credits include the title role in Handel’s Giulio Cesare with Chicago Summer Opera, Maman in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges with Eastman Opera Theatre, Mercédès and Carmen (cover) in Bizet’s Carmen Suites with the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, Alma March and Meg (cover) in Mark Adamo’s Little Women with Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, and Leila in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
Alexis was the 2019 Links Scholarship Recipient, in addition to receiving the 2019 Ornest Award for vocal excellence. She was a finalist in the 2020 Friends of Eastman Opera Competition and was the alto soloist in J.S. Bach’s Cantatas No. 102 “Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben,” No. 48 “Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen,” and No. 79 “Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild” with the Eastman Bach Cantata Series, and in Handel’s Messiah with Eastman’s “Messiah Sing.”
Gaia Saetermoe Howard
Gaia Saetermoe-Howard will graduate with a BM in Oboe Performance from the Eastman School of Music and a BA in Archaeology, Technology, and Historical Structures from the University of Rochester this Spring 2020. Gaia studied with Professor of Oboe, Mr. Richard Killmer, during her time at Eastman. As an avid student of history and archaeology, she also studied baroque oboe with Prof. Geoffrey Burgess. In her senior year, Gaia completed her archaeology thesis, Building Materials and Defensive Architecture of the 16th-Century Portuguese Sea-Borne Empire: Architectural Impacts of Primitive Accumulation and Emerging Colonialism, under the supervision of Professor Renato Perucchio.
Gaia performed with numerous ensembles including Eastman Philharmonia, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Musica Nova, OSSIA, Collegium Musicum, and Eastman Harmonie. In her sophomore year, Gaia’s woodwind quintet, Wavelength, was awarded Chamber Music Honors. Alongside oboe colleague Alex Lynch, Gaia was also invited to perform Roberto Sierra’s Poema y Danza with the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra and was invited to perform Handel’s Concerto Grosso Op. 3 No. 3 with Collegium Musicum. Deeply important to Gaia, she co-founded the organization Beyond Consent, which empowers the voices of survivors of sexual misconduct at Eastman through activism and engagement.
Gaia has performed with professional orchestras such as the Syracuse Symphoria and California Philharmonic, and actively performs on both modern and baroque oboe throughout the Rochester area. In the summers, she has served as the oboe coach at the Wildwood Institute of Music, has participated in the Juilliard at Piccola Accademia festival in Tuscany, Italy, as well as the American Bach Soloists Academy in San Francisco, California.
Continuing to bridge disciplinary gaps between history and performance, Gaia will pursue a Master of Music in Historical Performance at the Juilliard School in Fall 2020.
Alden Wright is a recent graduate from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied organ with Nathan Laube. He is a native of Salisbury, North Carolina, where he studied organ with Phillip Burgess and piano with Diane Freeman. At Eastman, Alden’s teachers have also included Edoardo Bellotti, William Porter, Stephen Kennedy, and Peter DuBois.
Alden was awarded first place in the 2019 Arthur Poister Competition in Organ Playing, the 2014 Columbia, SC AGO Young Organist Competition, and the 2016 University of North Carolina School of the Arts Organ Competition, as well as second place in the Washington, DC AGO Franciscan Monastery Scholarship Competition in 2015. Alden has performed in many student and solo recitals throughout the country and has participated in masterclasses with Bine Bryndorf, Scott Dettra, Ulrich Spang-Hanssen, Todd Wilson, Jonathan Dim-mock, and others. Alden was a recipient of the Robert and Ann Stigall Scholarship, sponsored by the Charlotte Chapter of the American Guild of Organists from 2013-2015, and was awarded the Pogorzelski-Yankee Memorial Scholarship for undergraduate studies. As a passionate church musician, Alden enjoys developing his knowledge of liturgical music through programs such as the Royal School of Church Music’s Carolina Course, hosted at Duke University, where he served as Organ Scholar in the summer of 2019.
Previously, Alden served as organist at Milford Hills United Methodist Church in Salisbury from 2015-2016 and as an intern at Christ Church – Episcopal in Rochester under the Roy E. VanDelinder Fellowship from 2016-2018. He has also been a member of the Schola Cantorum of Christ Church since 2016. Alden now serves as Assistant Organist to Director of Music Peter DuBois at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester. Following his studies at Eastman, Alden will serve as Organ Scholar at Truro Cathedral in Truro, England under Director of Music Christopher Gray for the 2020-21 academic year.
Chinese-Canadian composer Haotian Yu will graduate with a Bachelor of Music in Composition from Eastman as a Lois S. Rogers full-tuition merit scholar and the recipient of the Wayne Brewster, Anthony and Carolyn Donato, Bernard Rogers and Louis Lane departmental prizes in composition. He has served as President, Treasurer, and PR Director for Eastman’s student-run new music organization, OSSIA New Music.
His work engages with ritual, materiality, and gesturality through the culturally specific framework of ancient Chinese aesthetics; ideas of antiquity and “imaginary reconstruction”—as meeting points of relic, memory, scholarship, and imagination—are central to his compositional thought. Recent and upcoming works have been commissioned for/by such musicians/ensembles as: AIR Contemporary Music Collective, Continuum Contemporary Music / HATCH Ensemble, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, Divertimento Ensemble, OSSIA New Music, Rolston String Quartet / Soundstreams, and the [Switch~ Ensemble]. He is the recipient of three SOCAN Foundation Young Composer Awards, including the Serge Garant 1st prize. Important mentors include Brian Cherney, Steven Gellman, Robert Morris, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Oliver Schneller, and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. He has also participated in lessons and masterclasses with Sivan Cohen Elias, Katharina Rosenberger, Kate Soper, and Rolf Wallin, among others.
He is Co-Artistic Director of the Beijing-based AIR contemporary music collective, a newly founded ensemble dedicated to presenting commissioned work for classical Chinese instruments.
Elizabeth Crecca has been praised for her “distinctive voice” at the piano (The Chautauquan Daily). She has performed at the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, American Bach Soloists Academy, Chautauqua Music Festival, and Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival. She has won top prizes in competitions including MTNA and the Chautauqua Piano Competition, and has performed in masterclasses for Robert Levin, Leon Fleisher, Malcolm Bilson, Alexander Gavrylyuk, Jeremy Denk, Ursula Oppens, and Martin Katz. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Music Theory from the University of Michigan, a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory, and is a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature (Piano) at Eastman. Her teachers have included Natalya Antonova, Logan Skelton, Yoshikazu Nagai, and Theresa Bogard.
At Eastman, Elizabeth teaches in the Applied Piano program, and has been nominated for the TA Prize for Excellence in Teaching. She helped launch a masterclass series for students in the program. Her students have won the University of Rochester Concerto Competition, played with the University of Rochester Chamber Orchestra, and have been invited to perform at the Graduation Ceremony.
Elizabeth is passionate about historical performance, earning a Baroque Emphasis from the San Francisco Conservatory for her studies in harpsichord and performance practice. She is particularly fascinated with recordings of the early twentieth century. Her lecture recital will focus on the performance implications of Béla Bartók’s ethnomusicological field recordings and the composer’s performances of his own works.
Chloe de Souza
Indian pianist Chloe de Souza is an accomplished musician with the unique gift of connecting with audiences as both a pianist and singer. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Music in 2018 at the Oberlin Conservatory, majoring in Piano and Vocal Performance under the tutelage of Cliburn gold medalist Stanislav Ioudenitch and voice professor Marlene Rosen. She is graduating with a Master of Music in Performance and Literature (Piano) as a recipient of the Cecile Staub Genhart Scholarship at the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Marina Lomazov and Boris Slutsky.
De Souza is a versatile performer, with numerous appearances in India, Paris, Oberlin, Cleveland and Florida in solo recitals and charity events to her credit. Recent performances include recitals for the Chapel Hill Piano Salon Concert Series and at the 2019 Southeastern Piano Festival, where she also served on the young jury for the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition. De Souza has toured India, giving recitals and masterclasses, including a recital of sacred vocal music at the 2015 Monte Music Festival in Goa. She has been a frequent performer at the Con Brio Piano Festival in Mumbai, India since 2014. Her earlier accomplishments include having completed her L.T.C.L. (Licentiate of the Trinity College of Music, London) diploma at the age of 17. She was the first-place winner of the 2012 Con Brio All-India Piano Competition, and a prize-winner at the 2011 MusiQuest All-India Piano Competition. De Souza has had the privilege of working with renowned musicians including Peter Frankl, Stephen Kovacevich, Tamas Vasary, and Marc Neikrug. She has developed an interest in educating young musicians, most notably as the piano teacher for Oberlin Conservatory’s Autistic Scholarship Program since its inception. De Souza continues to take her musical endeavors beyond the concert hall, through salon concerts and outreach performances in retirement homes, churches, and schools.
Born and raised on the Canadian prairies, Danielle Guina is graduating with a Master of Music in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music at the Eastman School of Music under the direction of Dr. Jean Barr. Active in vocal and instrumental areas, she currently holds a Graduate Assistantship in Piano Accompanying at Eastman. Prior to her time at Eastman, she studied Piano and Vocal Performance as a double major at Brandon University where she was awarded the Gold Medal for the Bachelor of Music Degree.
Performing in concerts and festivals internationally, Danielle has appeared at Songfest, duo526 Sonata Seminar, the FCMF National Music Festival, and the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival. Along the way, she has received numerous awards, including the Brooks Smith Fellowship in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music, the Ruth and Arno Drucker Scholarship, and the Saskatchewan Arts Board Prince Edward Arts Scholarship. Danielle has been privileged to work with renowned pianists Lydia Brown, Margo Garrett, Graham Johnson, Timothy Long, Kevin Murphy, and Alan Smith. She has also participated in masterclasses with Andrew Harley, Hila Plitmann, Alexandra Nguyen, Gordon Gerrard, Murray McLachlan, Andrei Pisarev, Douglas Finch, Futaba Niekawa, Colin Carr, Cecilia String Quartet, and Krisztina Szabó. This fall Danielle will begin professional development studies in Winnipeg, MB with Drs. Laura Loewen and Judy Kehler-Siebert at the University of Manitoba.
Stephen Johnson is a third-year Ph.D. student and Sproull Fellow in Musicology. He received his B.M. in Music Education and M.A. in Musicology from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. An advisee of Lisa Jakelski, his dissertation will focus on revolutionary opera in North Korea and probe the many ways it contributed to, and was influenced by, juche ideology in the 1970s. Stephen has presented his research at the New York Conference on Asian Studies and the national conferences of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the American Musicological society.
Outside of his research, Stephen is also an active public musicologist. He created the educational web series “The Listener’s Guide” on YouTube, which won the Jacobs School’s Project Jumpstart Innovation Competition in 2016 and was a finalist in the campus-wide Clapp IDEA Competition in the same year. He has also worked with the Dallas Opera to produce the series “Opera in Brief” that uses humor to summarize well-known operas in an effort to reach broader audiences. Most recently, he has begun work as a part-time classical announcer on Classical 91.5 in Rochester. He also will be teaching a course this summer through Summer@Eastman entitled “How to Listen to a Symphony.”
Daniel Kuehler, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, has just finished his coursework for his Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature (Piano) at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Natalya Antonova. Though he had been playing piano since age 5, Daniel started college as a Biology Major in Pre-Med with hopes to become a physician. After just two inspiring lessons with his teacher Alla Voskoboynikova, he felt called to pursue music as his vocation. Since saying ‘yes’ to music, Daniel has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Russia, Vienna, Portugal, China, as well as at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and Powell Symphony Hall.
As a teacher, Daniel hopes to inspire and care for his students in the same way his teachers have done for him. This year Daniel was a winner of Eastman’s TA Prize for Teaching Excellence for his applied piano instruction.
Daniel’s vision for the future of classical music constitutes making music directly applicable to people’s lives through community engagement. As an Arts Leadership Program Certificate candidate, Daniel has served the Rochester community as an intern at the Hochstein School and at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2017, Daniel co-founded the UMSL Summer Keyboard Camp, an annual piano/organ/harpsichord festival in St. Louis which attracts members of the community of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. During this COVID-19 era, Daniel regularly records performances for Strong Memorial Hospital as a member of Eastman Performing Arts Medicine and for the Episcopal Senior Life Community.
Georgia Mills is pursuing a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting in the studio of Professor Brad Lubman. She holds a Master of Arts in Music Leadership from Eastman (2019) and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from New York University (2017).
Georgia is an Assistant Conductor of Musica Nova at Eastman under the direction of Brad Lubman and frequently conducts with Eastman’s student-run OSSIA New Music. She looks forward to joining the OSSIA Board of Directors as Vice President in Fall 2020. In 2017, Georgia pursued a conducting fellowship at the Conductors Institute at Bard College under Harold Farberman, was an Apprentice Conductor for the New York Youth Symphony under Joshua Gersen from 2016 to 2017, and was a conducting fellow at the Westminster Conducting Institute in 2013.
As a pianist, Georgia has performed with members of Musica Nova, Eastman Percussion Ensemble, OSSIA New Music, Empire Film & Media Ensemble, Nief Norf, Ensemble Signal, Bang on a Can, Khorikos, NYU Percussion Ensemble, and NYU Contemporary Music Ensemble. Georgia has been a participant in notable music summer festivals such as Bang on a Can Summer Festival, Nief Norf Summer Festival, NYU Pulsing & Shaking Festival, NYU Piano Institute, and Interlochen Arts Camp. During her performance studies, Georgia has participated in master classes with notable pianists including Helénè Tysman, Simone Dinnerstein, Eteri Andjaparidze, Seymour Bernstein, and Marilyn Nonken.
Lauren Rudzinskas is the part time professor of trombone and euphonium at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania and the general manager of the International Women’s Brass Conference. She completed coursework for a Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature (Trombone) with a minor in Pedagogy and an Advanced Certificate in College Teaching at the Eastman School of Music. Lauren was recently a finalist for the Assistant Professor of Trombone and Euphonium position at the University of Denver and Visiting Assistant Professor of Trombone at the Crane School of Music. She also founded the Virtual Trombone Workshop.
Lauren received the Jack L. Frank Award for Excellence in Teaching and multiple grants including the 2016 Frank Faculty Development Research Grant. She has published articles, written books, and released a CD. Lauren was scheduled to give multiple conference presentations, masterclasses, and tour Japan this summer. At Eastman, Lauren earned a Performer’s Certificate, was nominated for an Artist Diploma, and earned a MM in Trombone Performance. She held multiple assistantships and was a finalist for Eastman’s Teaching Assistant and Lecture Recital prizes. She earned her bachelor’s degree in jazz performance from Youngstown State University.
Lauren’s performance credits include playing with Monarch Brass’ Holiday Brass and the Diva Jazz Orchestra in the Cleveland Playhouse production of Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life. She is the principal trombonist in the Rochester Women’s Philharmonic and a substitute musician for Symphoria. She has also premiered and commissioned numerous works and is sponsored by music software company, Blackbinder.
Israeli violinist Barak Schossberger is currently pursuing his Doctoral degree at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Professor Renée Jolles. He received his Master’s degree from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Masao Kawasaki and Laurie Smukler, and his Bachelor’s degree from the Jerusalem Academy of Music, studying with Michael Gaisler. He was part of the violin faculty at the Jerusalem Conservatory “Hassadna” and is currently teaching secondary violin at the Eastman School of Music.
Extremely interested in music theory and its applications for performers, Barak declared a minor in Performance and Analysis. His lecture-recital, advised by William Marvin and Independent Study, advised by Jonathan Dunsby, both criticized the widespread use of music analysis for prescribing performances as well as exploring ways in which analytical tools, especially those drawn from Schenkerian theory, could be used for enhancing performers’ individual expression and making available new performance possibilities. His research also includes extending Schenkerian theory beyond its original purview of tonal music, examining the potential of Schenkerian devices for analyzing string quartets by Shostakovich (a work he presented in music theory student-conferences in the US and Canada) and Penderecki. Insights originated in these research paths greatly enrich his music-making and teaching.
Canadian soprano McKenzie Warriner is graduating from Eastman this May with a Master of Music in Performance & Literature (Voice) and an Arts Leadership Certificate. McKenzie completed her Bachelor of Music at the University of Manitoba, earning the University Gold Medal for the highest graduating GPA in the music faculty, and she holds associate diplomas in both vocal and piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music. McKenzie earned second place at the 2018 Canadian National Music Festival, and she recently won the SMFA’s Gordon C. Wallis Opera Competition, granting her debuts with the Regina and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras in future seasons.
Under the tutelage of Kathryn Cowdrick, McKenzie has enjoyed collaborating with musicians in a wide range of repertoire. She appeared in Eastman Opera Theatre’s productions of The Impresario and L’Enfant et les sortilèges, and she was cast in Sweeney Todd in April 2020. McKenzie also loved exploring early music through performances with Collegium Musicum, the Rochester Early Music Festival, and the Eastman Bach Cantata Series. With her diverse range of interests, McKenzie could be found around Rochester working as an administrative intern for Pegasus Early Music, a choral section leader at Christ Church Pittsford, and as a consultant at the Eastman Writing Center.
After graduation, McKenzie hopes to pursue a career specializing in new music, a genre she is especially passionate about after premiering several works by living composers.
Since 1994, William Weinert has served as Professor of Conducting and Director of Choral Activities at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, where he conducts the Eastman Chorale and the Eastman-Rochester Chorus and supervises the masters and doctoral programs in choral conducting. He has conducted throughout Europe, United States, and the Far East, and has served throughout the country as a clinician and an adjudicator, as well as giving numerous conducting master classes in North America, Europe and Asia. Ensembles under Weinert’s direction have performed at conferences of the American Choral Directors’ Association, National Collegiate Choral Organization, and Music Educators’ National Conference, and he has conducted master classes and honor choruses for these organizations as well.
Weinert is also founder and music director of Voices, Rochester’s only professional chamber chorus. This ensemble has performed repertoire from the Baroque period to contemporary compositions to critical acclaim since 2007. Voices has performed both Bach Passions and the Mass in B-minor, as well as two complete cycles of all the Bach motets.
The graduate programs in conducting at Eastman have repeatedly been ranked by US News and World Report as the finest in the country. A small number of students are admitted to these degree programs, and they are given significant podium experience with regular Eastman ensembles. In recent years Eastman choral conducting students have won first place in the ACDA national student conducting competitions in both the graduate and undergraduate divisions, and Eastman doctoral graduates in choral conducting have won the Julius Herford Prize, the American Choral Directors Association annual award for the best doctoral research project in choral conducting.
Weinert holds the A. B. in history and B.Mus. in music education from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music; the M.M. in conducting from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and both the M.M. in music history and D.M.A. in conducting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied with Robert Fountain, and then taught for five years as Fountain’s assistant. He has previously served on the faculties of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (1982-84), University of Wisconsin-Madison (1984-89), and the University of Southern Mississippi (1989-94), and has served for three summers as guest professor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany.