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Students from the Bienen School’s voice and opera program gave their traditionally strong showing at this year’s National Association of Teachers of Singing’s classical voice competition. Those receiving awards included freshman Alyssa Giannetti (first place), freshman Caitlin Finnie (second place), freshman Hannah Greene (third place), and freshman Kaileigh Riess (honorable mention) in division 3; senior Harrah Friedlander (second place) in division 5; and second-year master’s students Rachel Sparrow (first place) and Angela Harrington (third place) in division 7. All of the winners were students of Pamela Hinchman.
Members of the Bienen School trumpet studio took second place at the 2013 National Trumpet Competition, held at George Mason University in March. The ensemble was made up of seniors Matt Baker, Anthony DiMauro, and Zack Thomas; juniors Matt Barker and Ansel Norris; first-year master’s student Billy Gerlach; and second-year master’s students Chris Larios and Stuart Stephenson. The ensemble performed Giuseppe Verdi’s La Forza del Destino, arranged by Barker.
Kimberly Lansinger Ankney (music education), a doctoral candidate, presented papers at American Educational Research Association conferences in San Francisco and Vancouver, and at the biennial conference for the National Association for Music Education in St. Louis. Her article “Alternative representations for music composition” appeared in the January 2012 edition of Visions of Research in Music Education. Another article, “Preservice teachers’ visions of music teaching and learning,” is under review for publication in Advances in Music Education Research.
Yoshiko Arahata (piano), a master’s student of Alan Chow, was the winner of the 2012 Pauline Lindsay Award, a $5,000 prize presented in a competition of first-year Bienen graduate students. She also received Northwestern’s Alvia S. and Helen Cottongim VanKirk Graduate Endowed Scholarship. Yoshiko was a semifinalist in both the 2012 New York Concert Artists and Associates International Piano Concerto Competition and the 2012 International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition.
Julie Bannerman (music education), a doctoral candidate, received a graduate research grant last June to support a historical research project titled "Unity through music: Music Education, Latin America, and US cultural policy, 1939-1946." In July, she presented her paper, “Good Neighbors: Latin America and US Music Education,” at the 30th International Society for Music Education World Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Clara Christian (piano pedagogy), a doctoral student of Marcia Bosits, performed as part of the Jaani Kirik Concert Series in St. Petersburg, Russia, last July. Clara also presented at the 2012 Music Teachers National Association’s national conference in New York City.
Donna Gallo (music education), a doctoral student, presented papers over the past year at the International Society for Music Education’s conference in Thessaloniki, Greece; at the American Orff-Schulwerk Association’s conference in St. Louis; at the Suncoast Music Education Research Symposium in Tampa; and at the 4th International Symposium on Assessment in Music Education in Taipei, Taiwan. Her article, “Technological tools for understanding and creating music,” was published in the journal Reverberations.
Daniel Healy (music education), a doctoral student, presented papers over the past year at Suncoast Music Education Research Symposium in Tampa and at the International Society for Improvised Music in Wayne, New Jersey.
Russell Houston (cello), a freshman student of Hans Jørgen Jensen, won first prize in the string division of the prestigious Sorantin International Young Artists Competition in San Angelo, Texas, despite being five years younger than the next oldest competitor. His competition repertoire included a movement from Kodály’s cello sonata and Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo.
Sara Jones (music education), a doctoral candidate, presented “A Comparative Case Study of Elective Participation in Two Contrasting Collegiate Vocal Ensembles” at the Suncoast Music Education Research Symposium in Tampa last February. Sara was appointed assistant director of the North Shore New Horizons Band in June 2012.
Sherry Kim (piano), a junior student of Alan Chow, was the winner of the 2012 Jerome and Elaine Nerenburg Foundation Scholarship for the Musicians Club of Women, for which she received $10,000. She also won a Union League Civic & Arts Foundation Scholarship, first place in the young adult piano division of the 2012 Illinois State Music Teachers Association competition, and third prize in the east central division of the 2013 Music Teachers National Association competition. Sherry has garnered a great deal of attention through her YouTube channel, where she streams videos presenting her solo piano arrangements of songs from popular video games. The channel has over 30,000 subscribers, and her videos have been viewed almost 11 million times.
Danny Lai (viola), a senior dual-degree student in economics and viola performance working under the supervision of Roland Vamos, was a winner in the college and post-graduate division of the 2012 Union League Classical Music Competition.
Igor Lipinski (piano), a doctoral student of Alan Chow, was a soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra last July. In the fall, he was the featured pianist in the Chicago premiere of 33 Variations, a play based on Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. He was a guest artist at the Paderewski Festival in Pasa Robles, California, and at the Kosciuszko Foundation Celebration at Northeastern Illinois University. In January, Lipinski was a soloist for the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra’s New Year’s Day concert in Hyannis, Massachusetts, and a guest artist for the St. Petersburg (Florida) College Piano Series. He was recently a guest artist for the University of South Florida’s Steinway Concert Series, and for a performance at the Polish Consulate in Chicago.
Nasim Niknafs (music education), a doctoral student, co-authored an article, “‛You got to know us’: Music education in urban environments,” in the journal Vision of Research in Music Education. Another article, “Free improvisation: What it is, and why we should apply it in our music classrooms,” is under review for publication in General Music Today. Naknifs also presented her paper “Illinois K-8 general music teachers’ use of improvisation in their classrooms: A mixed methods approach” at the International Society for Music Education in Thessaloniki, Greece, last July.
Julia Shaw (music education), a doctoral student, published an article, “The skin that we sing: Culturally responsive choral music education,” in a 2012 edition of Music Educators Journal. She presented papers at the University of Hawaii in 2012 and at the Illinois Music Educators Association Conference in Peoria, Illinois, in 2013.
Thomas Snydacker (saxophone), a doctoral student of Timothy McAllister, traveled to Miami last fall, where he played two concerts with the renowned New World Symphony. He was featured on tenor saxophone with the orchestra, playing Steven Mackey’s Lost and Found on a program that also included cellist Yo-Yo Ma performing Schumann’s Cello Concerto. Snydacker was a finalist in the First International Saxophone Symposium and Competition.
Ryan Townsend Strand (voice and opera), a master’s student of Theresa Brancaccio, has released his debut album, Mending Split Seconds. The album pairs the work of 20th century English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams with contemporary American musician Skyler Butenshon. The project began with a successful 45-day Kickstater campaign, which raised the production funds from backers around the world.
Elisa Sutherland (voice and opera), a master’s student of Theresa Brancaccio, received an Encouragement Award at the Minnesota district regionals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions last November.
Jason Thompson (music education), a doctoral student, presented a paper he co-authored with music education professor Maud Hickey, titled “Un/locking doors of musical freedom for incarcerated youth,” at the Research in Music Education Conference in Exeter, United Kingdom. He also presented at the 2012 Music Educators National Conference in St. Louis.
Alison Wahl (voice and opera), a doctoral student, and Katherine Werbiansky (voice and opera), a master’s student, both won Encouragement Awards from the district-level competition of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Both are students of Pamela Hinchman.
Bethany Wiese (tuba), a doctoral student of Rex Martin, was the winner of the prestigious 23rd International Competition “Città di Porcia,” a quadrennial event for tuba held in Porcia, Italy. Beth bested 40 competitors, culminating in a final round where she and the other two finalists played concertos with a full orchestra. This is the first time that a European solo competition has been won by a brass player from Northwestern. She also participated in the National Repertory Orchestra Festival in Breckenridge, Colorado, last summer, and she performed with the Lexington (Kentucky) Philharmonic Orchestra. She was also a winner in Chicago’s 2012 Union League Classical Music Competition in the college and post-graduate division. Beth plays with the New World Symphony and is an associate member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra.
Joanna Wu (flute), a junior student of Walfrid Kujala and John Thorne, and a piano student of Alan Chow, won third place in the 2012 National Flute Association's Young Artist Competition, held last August in Las Vegas.
Albert Yan (violin), a senior double major in political science and violin performance and a student of Blair Milton, received an undergraduate research grant from Northwestern’s Office of Undergraduate Research for his work on “Internationally Funded NGOs in Israel and the 2011 NGO Funding Transparency Law.”
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