Diana Burgess (B.M., Strings and Harp, 2015) launched a solo career with the release of her debut album, You Run. The album contains 12 songs, all performed by Burgess, and is available on all music platforms. The title track was recently featured on NPR Music's All Songs Considered. Photo by Marshall Tidrick
In 2019, Dr. Marisa Ishikawa (M.M., Strings and Harp, 2017) became the second violinist of the Carpe Diem String Quartet, an internationally recognized string quartet based in Columbus, Ohio. On May 15, the quartet will be releasing An American Story, a project presented by PNC Arts Alive. The project is an interactive multimedia experience, with music composed and performed by Carpe Diem and animation created by Janet Antich. Ishikawa’s story follows her grandfather, the son of two Austrian immigrants, and will be available for viewing on-demand following its premiere. Photo by Janet Antich
Clifton Croomes becomes assistant director of bands at Louisiana State University
In 2020, Clifton Croomes (B.M., Music and Human Learning/Music Education, 2001) was appointed assistant director of bands at Louisiana State University. In 2019, Croomes was also appointed as music director and principal conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Baton Rouge. Photo by Angele Rosendahl
F. Mack Wood completes first year as associate director of bands at Illinois State University
F. Mack Wood (B.M., Music and Human Learning/Music Education, 2005) is completing his first year as the associate director of Bands and director of the Big Red Marching Machine at Illinois State University. Photo by Dr. Rachel E. Wood
Artina McCain (D.M.A., Piano, 2011) discusses new work and pandemic performances in a recent interview by the University of Memphis.
Kendra Friar (M.M., Music Education, 1999) was recently named Elementary Music Educator of the Year by the Oregon Music Educators Association for her Oregon teaching career, scholarship focusing on elementary general music and service to the profession. Friar has also published the first article in the three-part series, Scott Joplin: A Guide for Music Educators. The series is a collection of articles that provides K-12 teachers with an asset-based representation of Scott Joplin's life, artistic contributions and cultural impact. This will be the largest number of pages dedicated to Scott Joplin in any NAfME journal. Photo by Julie Metz
Oladotun Ayobade (Ph.D., Theatre, 2016) has recently accepted a new position at Northwestern University where he will become an assistant professor with a joint appointment in Performance Studies and African American Studies. Dr. Ayobade was previously an assistant professor of Africana Studies at Brown University.
Ariel René Jackson (M.F.A., Studio Art, 2019) and Michael J. Love (M.F.A., Theatre, 2020) were awarded the 2021 $15,000 Tito’s Prize. The award, sponsored by Tito’s Homemade Vodka and organized by non-profit Big Medium, was presented to these Autin-based artists for their project “Descendance.” The film features a performance by Love and an original score by jazz musician Joseph C. Dyson Jr.
Jonathan and Joel Nesvadba co-produce album with Moby
Jonathan Nesvadba (B.A., Music, 2005) is releasing an album next month with electronic musical icon Moby. The album, Reprise, features orchestral versions of the singer’s best-known hits. Nesvadba co-produced the album, contributing sound engineering and backup vocals along with his twin brother, Joel (B.M., Music Studies, 2004). Work on the album started at the beginning of 2020 with recording sessions at the legendary EastWest Studios in Hollywood; the orchestra was tracked at East Connection Music Recording in Budapest, Hungary. After widespread lockdowns in March 2020, however, Nesvadba said the group tracked featured musicians in various home studios in Los Angeles.
Helen Sung (B.M., Applied Music, 1993; M.M., Music Studies, 1995) was recently named a 2021 Guggenheim fellow in music composition. The College of Fine Arts honored Sung with the E. William Doty Distinguished Young Alumna Award in 2017 for her prolific work as a jazz pianist.
Jonas Criscoe (B.F.A., Studio Art, 2006) has work featured in Art in Isolation, an exhibition hosted by The Macy Art Gallery at Columbia University.
Jacob Schnitzer (B.M., Music Studies, 2016) collaborated with composer Thomas B. Yee (M.M., Music, 2017) to create the Holocaust Remembrance opera documentary film, Remembrance and Ritual: Reflections on Eva and the Angel of Death. The film is based on the opera Eva and the Angel of Death by composer Yee and librettist Aiden K. Feltkamp and contextualizes the story of Eva Mozes Kor, a survivor of Josef Mengele’s twin studies in Auschwitz. Photo by Hannah Rose Photography
riel Sturchio (M.F.A., Studio Art, 2018) was shortlisted for the 2020 ICP / GOST First Photo Book Award, alongside their sibling Bianca. The ICP / GOST First Photo Book Award was created to promote and support the work of unpublished photographers through the production of a first photo book by the ICP / GOST imprint. Sturchio's photo book, Chasing Light, is part of a project between Sturchio and their twin sibling, Bianca, where they utilize photography to delve into complications of their non-normative identities and health-related challenges.
Courtney Sale (M.F.A., Theatre, 2012) was recently featured in the HowlRound discussion, "Moving the Field Forward Faster at American Regional Theatres," dealing with the future of theatre and its inner workings since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gay Gaddis (B.F.A., Studio Art, 1977) will be featured at a free upcoming virtual art event addressing the impact arts and culture make on the overall business world. Texas Cultural Trust will host The Art of Business and Business of the Arts: A Conversation with Gay Gaddis on Wednesday, April 14 at 11 a.m.
Christine Boone (M.M., Theory, 2006; Ph. D., 2011) is now an associate professor of music at the University of North Carolina Asheville, where she recently received tenure and a university teaching award.
Andrew Hinderaker named as showrunner, executive producer for Showtime adaptation of "Let the Right One In"
Andrew Hinderaker (M.F.A., Playwriting, 2013) will serve as showrunner and executive-producer to Let the Right One In, a high-stakes drama based on the 2004 Swedish novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist.
Deanna Miesch (B.F.A., Studio Art, 1991) recently opened Lydia Street Gallery, a contemporary fine art gallery located in the East End IBIZ District in Austin. Miesch brings her unique understanding and appreciation of art and artists from her decades of work in the field of Art Therapy and her own art practices to the exhibition’s focus on mid- and late-career artists from Austin and afar. Lydia Street will focus on artists currently living in Austin or who have lived in Austin and have strong ties to the community. Image courtesy of Deanna Miesch
Justin Badgerow (M.M., Piano, 2001) recently released his debut solo piano album, Reminiscences of Brazil, with Divine Art Records. The album is available from all streaming sites, Amazon and at divineartrecords.com. Photo by Sam Interrante
Troy Armstrong selected as escape room game designer
Troy Armstrong (M.M., Composition, 2016) was selected as a game designer for The Escape Game. In this role, Armstrong will create puzzles and challenges for various escape rooms and write the music and sound effects for new products. His most recent work can be heard in the soundtrack and sound effects for The Escape Game’s recently opened in-person game, The Depths.