Elena Alamilla, B.M. ’73, cellist, was appointed Assistant Principal of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic after graduation. Since returning to the United States Alamilla has performed with many local orchestras, including Naples Philharmonic, Miami Symphony and Symphony of the Americas.
Sally K. Albrecht, M.M. '79, is the Director of School Choral & Classroom Publications for Alfred Music Publishing Co., Inc., a position she has held for 22 years. She currently has over 325 popular choral publications in print and over 50 larger works, including musicals, songbooks, and cantatas.
Award-winning violinist Daniel Andai has been named the new dean of music at Miami’s New World School of the Arts. After earning his high school diploma at New World School of the Arts, Andai received a bachelor of music degree from the Lynn University Conservatory of Music, a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a doctorate from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music.
Dean W. Anderson, B.M. '72 is a percussionist with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, Cantata Singers Orchestra, Boston Music Viva, and the Boston Lyric Opera. He is also a professor at Berklee College of Music.
Dan Andrews, alto saxophone, majored in Studio Music and Jazz Instrumental Performance at the Frost School of Music where he was a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the inaugural Stamps Jazz Quintet, 2013.Dan Andrews was named an “Outstanding Soloist” at the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival (2010), and also the “Jazz Soloist” winner in DownBeat magazine’s 34th Annual Student Music Awards in the Undergraduate Outstanding College Performances category (2011). The Stamps Jazz Quintet was also chosen by DownBeat as the Jazz Group winner in the same year and category.
Cuban-born conductor and Frost School of Music 2008 Distinguished Alumna Lucy Arner, B.M. '86, brings to the podium a special affinity for Italian and French opera, having worked in some of the world’s greatest opera houses. She received the Henry C. Clark Conductor Award during her 2011 Florida Grand Opera debut of The Tales of Hoffmann. An accomplished pianist, she was a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s music staff, specializing in Italian repertory. Arner is on the faculty of Mannes College of Music.
Steve Bailey, B.M. '85, bassist and educator, named Frost School of Music 2014 Distinguished Alumnus, is famous for his pioneering work with the six string fretless bass. He currently serves as chair of the bass department at Berklee College of Music. A master of styles, Bailey has recorded and toured with such diverse artists as Dizzy Gillespie and Lynyrd Skynard. Bailey has released three solo albums, several educational books and videos, and he performs as the Bass Extremes project with bassist Victor Wooten.
Rattanai Bampenyuo, a native of Thailand, completed both his Masters and Doctoral Degrees at the Frost School of Music at University of Miami. He is currently on faculty at the College of Music, Mahidol University, in Thailand.
David Bebe, D.M.A. '09, cellist, is a faculty member at the College of Saint Rose where he serves as the director of the Saint Rose String Program, conductor of the Saint Rose Orchestra, and cello Instructor. He has served on faculties of Indiana University String Academy and the String Academy of Wisconsin.
Susan Moyer Bergeron D.M.A. ’09 , cellist, has been a member of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra since 2006. She performed as a member of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra for 10 years. An active chamber musician, Bergeron has performed extensively in South Florida. She is a founding member of the Dalbergi Trio and has played for 12 summers with Chamber Music Palm Beach.
David Bergman, B.M. ’94, attended the University of Miami for photojournalism and Berklee College of Music for music production. He is currently the tour photographer for Bon Jovi . His travels with the world-famous rock group produced two coffee table books, including a 208-page photo book entitled WORK. His portfolio is filled with top celebrity, corporate, and music industry clients, as well as thirteen covers for Sports Illustrated. He has photographed six U.S. Presidents, including the world-famous panoramic image at President Obama’s first inauguration. His images have been published in Rolling Stone, Time, Newsweek, People, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today and The New York Times. He also spent eight years as a Miami Herald staff photographer.
Ken Berry, B.M. '85 recently composed the theme and background music for the first season of Jerry Seinfeld’s Marriage Ref. He has written music for such television programs as Behind the Music, Survivor, Temptation Island, Joe Millionaire, Big Brother, My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé and Trading Spouses. He has won three BMI Awards for his work with Dave Vanacore Productions, and this spring he will be awarded two more for the theme for Undercover Boss and additional music for Out of the Wild.
Lindsey Blair, BM '80, MM '93 has worked as guitarist on the Don Francisco Presenta TV show on Univision for the past 9 years. He previously played with Gloria Estefan, Jon Secada, Maynard Ferguson, 2 Live Crew, Bobby Caldwell, Word of Mouth, Cheyenne, Raul Midon, Aurturo Sandoval, LeeAnn Womack, Les Hooper, Ed Calle, and Jeff Berlin. Blair majored in studio music and jazz.
Federico Bonacossa holds degrees from the Conservatorio Statale Pierluigi da Palestrina in Cagliari, Italy, the Peabody Conservatory and recently earned his D.M.A. in Guitar Performance at the Frost School of Music where he also studied composition. He is an active composer and arranger and a member of the Miami Guitar Trio.
Cuban American soprano Elizabeth Caballero, B.M. ’99, recipient of the Frost School of Music 2013 Distinguished Alumna award, has performed in many of the great opera houses of North America. Her national opera and concert engagements include performing at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Florentine Opera, Madison Opera, Pacific Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, and Florida Orchestra. She performed Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème for the Metropolitan Opera after garnering attention in the role at New York City Opera. She returned to The Met as Frasquita in their new production of Carmen as part of The Met: Live in HD series.
Teresa Nicole Cabezas (Nodal), B.S. 2005, is a pediatrician in Southern Florida specializing in obesity. She earned her bachelor degree in biology at the University of Miami, her doctor of medicine at Florida State University. and served her residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, she is married to Edward Nodal, a senior paralegal.
Bonita A. Caputo, B.Ed ’68, M.Ed ’71, worked as a Media Specialist with Miami-Dade Co. Public Schools from 1968 until her retirement in 1996. As a UM student, she was President of Tau Beta Sigma, later serving as Secretary of the Band of the Hour Alumni Association. An active donor to the UM community, she still resides in the Miami area.
Samantha Castagna, B.M. '94 , B.A. '13, is currently Corporate Service Manager at Jersey Cares, a Newark-based organization offering volunteer, youth service, and leadership opportunities. She has been affiliated as National Member at AmeriCorps State, Corporate Service Coordinator at Jersey Cares AmeriCorps VISTA, and Resource Development/Volunteer Management and Communications VISTA at Shiloh Community Development Corporation. She credits the Band of the Hour and Tau Beta Sigma Gamma Epsilon for helping her find her passion for philanthropy and volunteerism, ultimately leading to a fulfilling career.
Alan Chan, B.M. ’01, a Los Angeles-based composer and alumnus of the University of Miami Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music, was selected as the recipient of The ASCAP Foundation’s George Duke Commissioning Prize. The $10,000 prize, created to honor the legacy of musician George Duke, means that Chan will write a new work for the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra (SJO) ensemble for their upcoming 2016-17 season. Chan’s submission was selected by the SJO’s Music Advisory Board out of a pool of national submissions ranging from leading jazz veterans to young composers. Chan completed his undergraduate work in Music Theory and Composition at the Frost School. Expanding on his classical background, Chan then began composing for jazz big band-style orchestras under the mentorship of Grammy Award nominee Gary Lindsay in Miami, and later for Shelly Berg (now Dean of the Frost School) and Vince Mendoza in Los Angeles. Berg and Mendoza are Grammy Award nominee and winner, respectively. Chan’s music has been recognized by the American Composers Forum, New Music USA, and The Ucross Foundation, among others. In 2011, he founded the Alan Chan Jazz Orchestra, which is comprised of top studio and jazz musicians from the Los Angeles area.
Charles Mason, B.M. '77, is associate professor and chair of the Department of Theory and Composition at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, where he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2009. He has received many awards for his compositions including the American Composers Orchestra “Playing it Unsafe” prize, the 2005 Rome Prize, the Premi Internacional de Composició Musical Ciutat de Tarragona Orchestra Music prize, and a National Endowment of the Arts Individual Artist Award.
Vicente Chavarria, B.A. '09, M.M. '11, specializes in Latin American Baroque and Spanish Renaissance music, which he studied as a conductor and musicologist. At UM, he received a grant from the Center for Latin American Studies for summer research in Puebla, Mexico on composer José Lazo Valero. He has worked with the Mexican musicologist Aurelio Tello and presented his research at conferences at the University of California-Santa Barbara and CENIDIM in Mexico City. Currently, he is pursuing a DMA degree in Early Music Performance at USC where he serves as a TA and assists with the Baroque Sinfonia.
Huifang Chen, M.M. ’05, violin, enjoys a dual career as a performer and educator. After receiving her B.M. from Curtis Institute and her M.M. degree from the Frost School of Music, she was named Director of Orchestra at Florida International University. She is currently serving on the violin faculty of the new World School of the Arts and, conductor of the Greater Miami Youth Symphony which performed in Carnegie Hall under her baton. She is also Concertmaster of the Ars Flores Symphony and a member of the Florida Grand Opera Orchestra.
Andrew Claassen, B.M. '07, M.M. '09, has interests in American music and contemporary popular music. His inquisitiveness in these topics led to an exploration of songs written in response to the terrorists attack on September 11, 2001. The result of this study was his thesis, “After the Fall: Musical Responses to 9/11.” Andrew is the head of the Music Program at Cape Coral High School, where he teaches choir and guitar; he aspires to earning a doctorate in music education.
Lewis Cleale, B.M. ’89, named University of Miami School of Music 2002 Distinguished Alumnus, is one of the most gifted musical actors on the stage today. Broadway audiences applauded his performance in The Book of Mormon, Spamalot, and Swinging on a Star, among many others. He won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor as Giorgio in a regional production of Passion. Cleale’s voice can be heard as Cliff the Troll in Disney’s motion picture hit Frozen, and on an impressive collection of recordings and cast albums.
Dave Clemmons, B.M. ‘88, was named Frost School of Music 2007 Distinguished Alumnus. He is an award-winning music supervisor, producer, casting director, and vocal director. He began his career as a Broadway performer, later serving as music and vocal director/supervisor for the Broadway production of The Civil War, and national tours of Jekyll & Hyde and The Civil War. Clemmons is founder/owner of Dave Clemmons Casting, and producer/partner with StylesFour Productions, a Tony-Award winning theatrical production firm.
Mark Colby, B.M. '72, M.M. '75 formerly with Maynard Ferguson, Bob James, Frank Sinatra, and Jaco Pastorius, has solo recordings on Columbia, Hallway, and Origin Records. He has toured Europe, Japan, Canada, Central America, China, and all 50 U.S. states. He has been associate professor of jazz saxophone at DePaul University since 1983 and Elmhurst College since 1998, a Selmer saxophone clinician since 1987, and a Vandoren Reeds clinician since 2000.
Victor Colmenares, violin, majored in Instrumental Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where was a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps String Quintet, Class of 2014. Colmenares was offered a teaching assistant position by University of Oklahoma, where he is pursuing a Master’s of Music degree.
Sylvia Constantinidis, M.M. '93 and '08, is artistic director at Omorfia Contemporary Music Ensemble and Secco Southeast Contemporary Chamber Orchestra. She is a pianist, conductor, writer, music educator and composer. Throughout her career she has performed and conducted in Ukraine, England, Norway, Canada, Venezuela, Germany and Spain. She was elected new member of the Officers Council for the National Advisory Board of the National Association of Composers of the USA in December 2011 and has received numerous awards. Most recently, the American Society of Composers award for concert music in 2010 and 2009.
After receiving his D.M.A. degree from the Frost School of Music, Tomas Cotik, violin, became involved in six commercial CD recording projects. His latest Schubert duo album with pianist Tao Lin was nominated as "Recording of the Year 2013" by MusicWeb International's Albert Lam, and newest recording Piazzolla: Tango Nuevo, was released internationally in November by Naxos to excellent reviews.
Claire Courchene, B.M. ’07, multi-instrumentalist, recently played on three seasons of American Idol (cello and trombone), and appeared with P. Diddy on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Courchene recorded the solo cello song “Eclipse” for the Twilight Breaking Dawn movie.
Wells Cunningham, B.M. ‘96, cellist, is the first cellist to win the University Miami’s concerto competition. Currently he serves as faculty at the Frost School of Music Young Musicans’ Camp. Upon graduation from Frost in 1996, he was invited to tour Europe as principal cellist and soloist with a nationally assembled orchestra. While in France, he performed the Elgar Cello Concerto.
Frost School of Music’s 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Douglas J. Cuomo, B.M. ’83 has written extensively for concert and theatrical stages, television and film. He has created some of the most distinctive theme music for television today, scoring the Peabody Award-winning NBC drama Homicide: Life on the Street for seven seasons, and the distinctive Sex & The City theme music, making him a three-time winner of the BMI Television Music Award.
Carolyn Dachinger, M.M. '11, is a board certified music therapist with experience working with a variety of populations, including adults with mental illness and substance use disorders, children and adults with developmental and/or neurological disorders and older adults in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. She is currently working as a music therapist at Whole Steps Creative Arts Center in Miami Dade County. She was previously a music therapist at Master Musicians, Inc., a company that provides individual and group music therapy sessions to clients. She has volunteered for Covenant Hospice and interned at Florida State Hospital. While at the Frost School of Music, Dachinger was a graduate teaching assistant. She majored in music education.
Misha Dacić, B.M. '07, recently recorded an album titled Liszt: Piano Music for a Dutch record label. Listeners have said “this is one of the finest and most important recordings of Liszt's music ever made,” and “the engineering of this CD is absolutely first-rate.”
Steve Danyew, B.M. '06 was recently named the winner in the Brighton, MI Bands 75th Anniversary Wind Ensemble Fanfare Composition Competition for a fanfare based on his extended work Flash Back. The full version of Flash Black earned 3rd prize in the international wind ensemble composition contest held by Wegmans/Penfield Wind Ensemble in spring 2010. Daynew is currently busy composing new choral and wind ensemble music. He received his Master’s degree at the Eastman School of Music in May 2010 where he currently serves as editor for the website, Polyphonic On Campus. He majored in music composition at the Frost School of Music.
Nicholas D’Angiolillo, B.M. '08, received his bachelor’s of music degree in Music Business and Entertainment Industries from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, where he was awarded a Stamps Endowed Music Scholarship. D’Angiolillo is the Licensing Representative at Naxos of America, Inc., a leading classical music label with over 360,000 recorded music tracks that are licensed and streamed around the world.
University of Miami School of Music 1995 Distinguished Alumnus Dominique-René de Lerma, B.M. '52, is a highly accomplished oboist, educator, American musicologist, and professor of music history. His pioneering work in the field includes founding the former Black Music Center at Indiana University and serving as director of the Center for Black Music Research in Chicago. De Lerma is considered the world’s foremost authority on black classical composers.
Lauren Denney Wright, D.M.A. '10, is the Director of Wind Ensemble Activities at Berry College in Georgia. While teaching in the metro Atlanta, Ga., area, Denney Wright taught an active private studio consisting of more than 45 students. She also taught master classes throughout the metro Atlanta area. From 1999-2000, she performed studio work in Nashville, Tenn., for the movie "Ancient Evil" and background music for a live radio reading of "The Secret Garden."
Amanda Diaz, viola, majored in Instrumental Performance at the Frost School of Music where she was a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps String Quintet, Class of 2014. Upon graduation, Diaz accepted a scholarship to pursue a Master of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Jennifer Doyle, M.M. ’09, Ph.D ’12, is a visiting assistant professor of music education at the University of Maryland School of Music where she teaches courses in instrumental music education and supervises student teachers. Her research areas include urban music education, music teacher education, culturally relevant teaching, affective assessment, and social justice through music education.
Judy Drucker, B.M. ‘48, University of Miami Frost School of Music 1986 Distinguished Alumna, established the Concert Association of Florida as one of the state’s most formidable artistic presenting organizations. As founder of the “Great Artist” series, Drucker presented a host of internationally eminent orchestras, classical musicians, and dance companies in South Florida. The impressaria made it her mission to enrich the South Florida community and its youth with world-class musical performances and master classes.
John Easterlin, B.M. ’84, was named the 2015 University of Miami Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music Distinguished Alumnus. Easterlin was honored during his Festival Miami concert, “What a Character! The Many Faces of John Easterlin.” He is one of international opera’s most compelling performers. He makes regular appearances with America’s leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and more. He performs at top festivals, including Ravinia, Tanglewood, Spoleto USA, and Saito Kinen Festival in Japan.He has worked with famous conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Andrew Davis, Antonio Pappano, James Conlon, Valery Gergiev, and Dennis Russell Davies, and eminent stage directors like Diane Paulus, Richard Jones, Phelim McDermott, Francesca Zambello, and Robert Wilson. Most recently, he performed Andres in Wozzeck at Covent Garden, Monostatos in Julie Taymor’s The Magic Flute at the Met, Nick the Bartender in Fanciulla del West with the Indianapolis Opera, Shuisky in Boris Godunov in Madrid, and Lenia for the North American premiere of Cavalli’s Eliogabalo with the Gotham Chamber Opera. He has also created numerous new roles, including talk show host Larry King in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole, The Neurologist in Michael Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, directed by Bill T. Jones, and Andy Warhol for Philip Glass’ The Perfect American, released on DVD on the Opus Arte label.
University of Miami School of Music 1993 Distinguished Alumnus Bruce Ferden, B.M. ’71, was an internationally recognized conductor and musical director, leading orchestras throughout the United States, Europe and Africa. His engagements took him from The Metropolitan Opera to the Netherlands Opera, Pittsburgh Symphony and Kiel (Germany) Symphony. He was music director for the Spokane Symphony and the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, and general music director of symphony and opera for the city of Aachen in Germany.
Erika A. Fernandez, B.M. ’07, was a member of The Band of the Hour from 2004-06 and served as drum drum major in 2006. After graduating with her degree in Music Education, she held the position of Director of Bands at Westminster Christian School as well as Barbara Goleman Senior High School. She is Sergeant, Clarinet, and Alto Saxophone player of the National Guard-13th Army Band. Some notable recognitions include Soldier Leader of the Cycle-Basic Training, Ft.Jackson, SC; Soldier of the Year-Florida National Guard State Runner-up; and Honor Graduate-Armed Forces School of Music. She is currently pursuing a second Bachelor’s degree in the field of Computer Science from Florida Atlantic University.
Jeremy Fox, D.M.A. '00, was recently selected to present a clinic at the 2012 International Jazz Education Network Conference in Kentucky, where he will present a clinic on Vocal Jazz Arranging to the members of the organization. Fox was also selected to be the Guest Conductor for the 2012 California All-State Vocal Jazz Group, which represents a group of 16 of the finest high school jazz singers in the state.
is an organist and conductor who has interests in choral music. His curiosity about Franz Liszt’s oratorio, Christus, eventually led to his research at the British Library and the Goethe-Schiller Archiv. He presented his findings at the 2005 national convention of the America Choral Directors Association, and his dissertation “Christus by Franz Liszt,” was later published as Christus: Oratorium nach Texten aus der Heiligen Schrift und der katholischen Liturgieand by Bärenreiter Verlag in English and German. David was the recipient of the Theodore Presser Award, along with additional grants from the University of Miami, which funded his research in England and Germany. His published articles appear in the Choral Journal, the Newsletter of the American Liszt Society, and the American Organist. David currently lives in Coral Gables, FL where he is continuing his career in sacred music.
University of Miami Frost School of Music 1990 Distinguished Alumnus Gary D. Fry, B.M. '76 is an Emmy Award-winning composer, arranger, producer, and music educator. has a 19-year affiliation with the Chicago Symphony with more than 100 commissions during that span. He is also an artistic consultant and arranger for the Dallas Symphony and Chorus. He has composed works for major symphony, pops, and philharmonic orchestras, as well as radio and television commercials. His extensive background in choral music has led to several commissions from academic and professional vocal ensembles around the country. Fry is former faculty of the University of Miami Frost School of Music.
Kenneth Fuchs, B.M. ’79, Frost School of Music 2000 Distinguished Alumnus, is an acclaimed composer of music for orchestra, band, chorus, and various chamber ensembles. The London Symphony Orchestra has recorded four discs of Fuchs’s music for which he was nominated for three GRAMMY Awards. Fuchs has received numerous commissions, achieving significant recognition. His music has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Fuchs currently serves as Professor of Composition at the University of Connecticut.
Marie-Elaine Gagnon, D.M.A. '06, cellist, is an assistant professor of cello at the University of South Dakota, where she has played in the Rawlins Piano Trio since 2009. The Rawlins Piano Trio has distinguished itself as a leading American chamber music ensemble. Since its founding in 1987, it has given performances throughout the United States and abroad.
David F. Garr, M.B.A. ’88, B.M.’94, participated in marching band both at The University of Miami and at Ohio State University where he earned his BSBA in Marketing. He went on to work in Marketing and Market Research, and is currently Executive in Business and Sales Operations of the Presidio Corporation, an IT/VAR networking integrator, providing products and services to support enterprise and carrier-grade networks. Previously, he worked at Wellfleet Communications/Bay Networks/Nortel.
Ashley Garritston, D.M.A. '10, has served as principal cellist of the Chicago Civic Orchestra and is currently principal cello of the Miami Symphony where she performed the South Florida premiere of the Mark O’Connor Double Concerto with another Frost School graduate, Daniel Andai. She also serves as Artistic Director of the Monteverdi Festival of the Arts in Tuscany, Italy and is adjunct professor of Cello at Broward College in Davie, Florida. "Garritson plays with burnished tone and deep sensitivity." -The Miami Herald
Beth Gibbs, D.M.A. '10, in choral conducting, is assistant professor of music and director of choral studies at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL.
Jon Gilutin, B.M. '79, has released his first solo effort, When the Heart Speaks, including many solo piano pieces, instrumentals, and songs with guest vocalists. As a songwriter, he won a Grammy award for his song “New Attitude” from the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack and has had many other songs recorded by great artists. He has also written music for countless national television commercials.
Andrea Green, B.M. '75 is a playwright, composer, lyricist, director and music therapist. She is nationally known for her work creating Broadway style musicals for children that entertain but also are vehicles for teaching tolerance. Her work is being performed on professional stages across the country as well as in educational settings. For 30 years, Andrea has partnered children from Germantown Friends School, with youngsters from the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy, using her musicals to encourage communication, understanding and friendship.
Sara Duncan Grimes, M.M. '08, is assistant orchestra director at Walton High School in Marietta, Georgia. She has previously taught at Barber Middle School in Cobb County, Georgia and West Laboratory Elementary in Miami. While at the Frost School of Music, Grimes was a graduate teaching assistant and taught undergraduate string techniques. She majored in music education at the Frost School.
Gerhard Guter, B.M. '97, is a member of Vocalogy: Distilled. He has scored six short films, one of his orchestral film scores was featured at the Orpheum Theater for the 2004 Ovation Awards. His work has been aired on The History Channel and he has written music for the online gaming phenomenon World of Warcraft. He has taught commercial music and jazz courses as an adjunct instructor for California State University Long Beach & Cuesta, Riverside, Cypress, Fullerton Community Colleges in California.
T. Geoffrey Hale, B.M. '69, M.M. '70 is presently principal bassoon of the Miami Symphony Orchestra (MISO) and the Miami City Ballet Orchestra. As an educator, he has been Bassoon instructor at the New World School of the Arts in Miami for the past 11 years. He has taught privately for the past 43 years aiding his students to achieve scholarships at UM Frost School of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory, Julliard School of Music, New England Conservatory, and Florida State University. For the past 30 years, Hale has also been a member of, among others, the South Florida Symphony, Florida Chamber Orchestra, Miami Philharmonic, Miami Beach Symphony, and the Miami Chamber Orchestra.
Tara Hanish, M.M. ’04, cellist, is currently on faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory School and the Fairmount Center for the Arts. Hanish has been a member of the Akron Symphony Orchestra since she moved to Cleveland in 2004. She performs often with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic and Suburban Symphony.
Joshua Henry, B.M. ’06, earned his second Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for his performance as "Flick" in his return to Broadway this spring in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Violet opposite Sutton Foster. The role also earned him nominations for Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards.
Nick Hetko, piano, majored in Music Engineering Technology at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he was a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps Jazz Quintet, Class of 2013. He won second place in the prestigious Jacksonville Jazz Festival Piano Competition in May 2013 and was part of the final four in the Nottingham Jazz Piano Competition in 2012. Hetko was the pianist for the Gibson/Baldwin 2010 Grammy Jazz Ensemble and received a DownBeat student award as outstanding soloist. He also received a Young Jazz Composer award for his composition Snowflakes from the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP).
In a career spanning 40 years, University of Miami School of Music 1992 Distinguished Alumnus Thomas Hilbish, B.M. ’41 established himself as one of America's leading conductors of choral music, widely recognized for fostering and interpreting 20th century choral repertoire. His extensive repertoire included virtually the entire choral and oratorio literature. He served as on the faculty of The University of Michigan, founding their Chamber Choir, and was also an accomplished orchestral conductor.
is interested in American music, contemporary composers, and music and gender. She presented papers of her research on Johanna Beyer at the South Central Graduate Music Consortium and the Regional Conference of the Southern Chapter of the College Music Society. The culmination of her research was her master’s thesis, “‘An Enduring Cycle’: Revaluing the Life and Music of Johanna Beyer.” Presently, Kelly is pursuing doctoral studies in musicology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Maria Halloway, D.M.A. '03, was invited by the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts to participate as a collaborative pianist for YoungArts Week. She was invited to participate again in 2012, which was held at the New World Symphony venue in Miami Beach. In the summer of 2011, Holloway taught piano classes at the Greater Miami Youth Symphony summer camp. She performed Rachmaninoff second piano concerto with the El Salvador National Symphony Orchestra. Her piano playing was featured in the soundtrack of the documentary film "Portraits of the Malecon," which was shown at the MiamiDoc Film Festival.
John Holt, B.M ’81, M.M. ’85, John Holt is associate professor of trumpet and chair of the Division of Instrumental Studies at the University of North Texas. Holt is also principal trumpet with the Dallas Opera Orchestra, a position he has held since 1989. Holt has appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout the United States and has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous works since 2003. Trumpet Panoply, released in April 2011, is Holt’s seventh solo album recording with Crystal Records.
Bruce Hornsby, B.M. ’77, University of Miami Frost School of Music 1989 Distinguished Alumnus, is a thirteen-time Grammy Award nominee and three-time winner who has sold over 11 million records worldwide. The American singer and keyboardist is renowned for his live performances, having played on over 100 recordings, and collaborated with a veritable who’s who of artists in the music industry. Hornsby endowed the Creative American Music Program at the Frost School of Music.
Sam Howard, B.M. '03, lives in Portland, Oregon where he is very active playing sessions and shows on upright and electric bass and vocals. He has toured the world with Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rhythm Road program, and is currently touring with folk singer Ruth Moody (The Ruth Moody Band), The Tony Furtado Band, and the Nathaniel Talbot Quartet. He has released two instrumental solo albums with the Sam Howard Band, and is currently working on an album of original country songs to be released soon. Howard is a member of Americana chamber-pop band National Flower and plays with the electrifying guitarist Scott Pemberton.
Laurence Kaptain, M.M. '75 was named Dean of CU Denver’s College of Arts & Media in August 2014. He most recently served as the founding director of creative initiatives in the Office of Research and Economic Development at Louisiana State University, and prior to that was Dean of the College of Music and Dramatic Arts. Prior to joining LSU, Kaptain was the dean of the Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University in Kentucky. Prior to his appointment at Shenandoah, he was director of the Schwob School of Music in Georgia and vice-provost at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Bruce Kiesling, D.M.A. ‘06, recently conducted the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles for 14,000 at the Hollywood Bowl, as they accompanied international Latin superstar, Juanes featuring his own arrangements for Juanes' hit songs. Kiesling also prepared the top YOLA orchestra for a joint performance and open rehearsal with Simon Rattle. He continues his side career as a film composer including the recently completed feature film "Desperate Acts of Magic" and the upcoming "Desires of the Heart," now shooting in India. Kiesling is Music Director of the Tulare County Symphony in California's central Valley, which has twice featured Frost School of Music faculty member, Richard Todd. Kiesling majored in instrumental conducting at the Frost School of Music.
Carey Kleiman, B.M. '73, M.M. '75, is currently an adjunct professor of music business and clarinet at Broward College. He previously taught at Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, and the University of Hawaii, and has performed with the Miami Philharmonic, the Honolulu Symphony, and the Ft. Lauderdale Symphony and on many recording dates in South Florida and Hawaii. In earlier years he performed with, and produced for numerous artists including Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Boyz to Men, Tony Bennett, Woody Herman, and The Bee Gees, to name a few. He also served as a music supervisor and contractor for syndicated television shows. In the 1980s he formed his own music production company and served as the music and entertainment director for the Diplomat Hotel. He later formed CK Entertainment, specializing in corporate & meeting entertainment.
Michael Kovins, B.M. '70, Frost School of Music’s 2006 Distinguished Alumnus award, is a University of Miami Frost School of Music graduate with a degree in business and music. He is best known as founding member and President/CEO of Korg USA. He oversaw the production of the Korg M1, the industry’s largest selling workstation, and he grew Korg to become one of the country’s largest suppliers of electronic musical instruments to retailers and major artists. Kovins was renowned as one of the leading and most impassioned voices in music retailing and music education.
Rodney Lancaster, D.M.A. '09, is the jazz trombone soloist in the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra in New York City. He is instructor of music at La Salle Academy, New York City. During his career he has played with numerous artists, including backing Ella Fitzgerald at the very start of his career. Lancaster has performed with the Illinois Jacquet Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson & Big Bop Nouveau, the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Betty Carter, the Manhattan Symphony Jazz Orchestra, David Berger and the Sultans of Swing, the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and The New Jersey Pops, to name a few.
David LeBlanc, M.A. '11 one of the first graduates from the Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment Industries Program at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, is the assistant to the Rhythm Road program in the tour department of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. The Rhythm Road is a program that sends American music groups on international tours to promote cross cultural exchange through music.
Larry Leiby, B.M. ’65, has been a construction lawyer, author, mediator, arbitrator and law professor at Florida International University College of Law. His current concentration is in construction mediation and arbitration. He founded the Florida Bar Construction Law Committee in 1976, was awarded the lifetime achievement award from the Florida Bar Construction Law Committee in 2009, and was elected a Fellow in the College of Commercial Arbitrators in 2010. In addition, he authored the annually published Florida Construction Law Manual. He continues to play tuba in a polka group as an enjoyable part of his life.
University of Miami School of Music 1994 Distinguished Alumna Dawnn Lewis, B.M. ’82 is a triple-threat performer who has more than a hundred theater, film, and television credits.She is best known for her television role as Jaleesa in the hit television sitcom A Different World, for which she also penned the theme music. Lewis is also a music composer and recording artist, a Grammy Award-winning singer, and a multiple ASCAP and BMI Award-winning songwriter.
April M. Liberty, B.M. '09, is the conductor of the Young Musicians' Junior and Intermediate Orchestras within the Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ Community Arts Program where she is a violin and viola instructor. Liberty teaches violin to children in grades 3-5 at Florida Youth Orchestra's S.T.E.P.S group at Hialeah Gardens Elementary School and gives private after-school violin classes at Carrollton. She also instructs a group of students at West Lab Elementary School. When not teaching in schools, Liberty runs a private studio where she teached more than 30 violin and viola students throughout South Florida.
Tomasz Liebig, M.M. ’95, D.M.A. ’98, is concertmaster of the Bruckner Orchestra in Linz, Austria, and concertizes extensively in Europe as a soloist and chamber musician. He was second violinist of the Bergonzi String Quartet after receiving his DMA from the Frost School of Music.
Kacey Link, M.M. '09, was the recipient of a Graduate Research Grant from the Center for Latin American Studies, which allowed her to pursue research on Argentinean tango music. She has traveled numerous times to Argentina and throughout the United States to ascertain contemporary performance practices of touring internationally-acclaimed Argentine tango artists/ensembles such as Nestor Marconi Trio, Sonia Possetti Sextet, Pablo Ziegler and Bajofondo.
Sandra Lopez, B.M. ’96, Frost School of Music’s 2010 Distinguished Alumna, has captivated audiences around the world with her critically acclaimed performances in a wide variety of roles. She has appeared at opera houses and in-concert performances from North America to Europe, including the Metropolitan Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera på Skäret, and many others, and has toured in concert with Andrea Bocelli. Lopez is the recipient of numerous vocal competition awards and grants.
Lora is a member of the Brasil Guitar Duo, a 2006 winner of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, hailed by Classical Guitar magazine for their "maturity of musicianship and technical virtuosity." The duo’s innovative programming features a seamless blend of traditional and Brazilian works, resulting in a full global touring schedule and a growing catalogue of critically acclaimed recordings.
Aaron Ludwig, D.M.A '11, cellist, is a member of the New World Symphony. He has performed solo, chamber and orchestral music throughout the United States and Europe.
Frost School of Music 2003 Distinguished Alumna Carmen Lundy, B.M. ’80 is a jazz vocalist, composer and actress celebrated throughout the world for her vocal artistry and jazz innovation. She has fourteen album releases featuring a host of legendary jazz artists. Her catalog of over 100 songs makes Lundy one of the few jazz vocalists in history to accomplish such a distinction. Lundy is Resident Clinician and guest artist in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Before enrolling at the Frost School, Mei Mei Luo, M.M. ’07, held positions in the Philadelphia Concerto soloists and the Philadelphia Orchestra under Ricardo Muti. She served as assistant concertmaster and concertmaster of the Florida Philharmonic. After receiving her M.M. degree from Frost, she won positions with the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival, the concertmaster post of the Miami Chamber Symphony, and has performed as associate concertmaster of the Florida Grand Opera. She is currently first violinist of the Delray String Quartet.
Cristian Măcelaru, B.M. '03, was named associate conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra in December 2012. His new title is a step up from the assistant conductor position he held for a year. Măcelaru will continue to conduct special non-subscription performances, and cover concerts for new Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, as well as many of the Orchestra’s guest conductors. Additionally, he will now conduct his own subscription week.
Budd Malchus, BM ’59, MM ’60, is a career Band Director who has had many of his concert band and clarinet choir arrangements performed throughout the U.S. He worked with the Pelham City Schools and Randolph County Schools in Georgia, followed by a 30-year tenure with the Olmsted City Schools in Ohio. He was a member of the Cleveland Instrumental Contest Association, the Ohio Music Education Association, and an elected member of the American School Bandmasters Association. He also served on the Executive Board of the North Olmsted Education Assoc. Malchus relocated to Tucson, Arizona, working as a Band Director in the Amphi City Schools before retiring from teaching. He continues to perform with the community music ensembles Arizona Symphonic Winds, Tucson Concert Band, Old Pueblo Brass Band, Tucson Clarinet Quartet, the Bouncing Czechs, and The Desert Aire Clarinet Quartet, which he also directs.
Cinthia M. Manzano, B.S. ’91, J.D. ’94, B.M. ’94, has been an attorney since 1994. She is currently attorney and partner at Frascona, Joiner, Goodman & Greenstein, P.C. in Boulder, Colorado. She practices Construction Defect Litigation, Construction Litigation, Association Law, Real Estate Litigation, Commercial & Civil Litigation, Property Management and Special Needs Education Law. She presents various programs, workshops and seminars for real estate professionals. She also taught Business Law at Front Range Community College in Colorado.
Marvis Martin, B.M., ’77, named University of Miami Frost School of Music 1987 Distinguished Alumna is an African-American operatic soprano best known for her concert performances and recitals, including her renditions of Joseph Canteloube's Chants d'Auvergne, and of Bess in Bobby McFerrin's touring concert version of Porgy and Bess. A gifted and versatile artist, Martin has performed with The Metropolitan Opera, Netherlands Opera, and as a song recitalist, concert singer, and orchestral performer.
Frost School of Music’s 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Joel McNeely, B.M. ’82, is an award-winning composer, producer and conductor who works with many of Hollywood’s most influential producers and directors today. His extensive repertoire of major motion picture and television scores include A Million Ways To Die in the West and American Dad. McNeely has conducted the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, as well as produced and arranged songs for such artists as Carly Simon and Linda Ronstadt.
Johanna Meier, 1956-1958, received the first ever University of Miami School of Music Distinguished Alumni award in 1984. Recognized as one of the foremost Wagnerian sopranos of her era, Meier had a major international career as a fourteen-year member of the Metropolitan Opera. She performed with most of the major symphony orchestras in the United States and abroad, and founded the Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Institute in South Dakota. She received the 2014 National Opera Association Lifetime Achievement Award.
Raquel M. Montalvo, M.M. '82, Ph.D. '91, has been teaching at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico for 30 years. She is an Associate Professor of Music and Music Education, Chair of the Graduate Music Education Program. She is the Music Minister at Centro Cristiano de Restauracion Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.
Dennis Charles Morris, B.S. ’72, is a retired computer scientist who worked for over 34 years at the U.S. Defense Communications Agency & Defense Information Systems Agency. He was a network engineer on a number global communications networks including Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), Defense Data Networks (DDN), Automatic Voice Network (AUTOVON), and Automatic Digital Network (AUTODIN). He currently resides in Sunset Beach, NC.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Federico graduated from the Frost School of Music with his Bachelor’s in Music in 2007. In 2011, Federico became the first student to earn a Master’s Degree in classical guitar performance from Florida International University, where he studied with Rafael Padrón. His most recent performances include solo recitals, appearances with the Miami Guitar Trio, the FIU Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Symphony.
Arianna Neikrug, B.M. '15, has been named as a finalist in the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. Arianna is a Miami-based jazz/pop/R&B vocalist originally from Los Angeles. While at the Frost School of Music, Arianna sang lead soprano in the Downbeat award winning ensembles “Extensions” and “JV1" under the direction of Dr. Kate Reid, with whom she studied privately. In March 2015, “Extensions” placed first in the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, where Arianna received an outstanding soloist award. Only 22 years old, Arianna has already made her mark in the jazz world and has shared the stage with various artists including Al Jarreau, Steve Miller, Alice Cooper, Kenny Burrell, Neil Young, Mindy Abair, James Moody, George Benson, Karrin Allyson, Gretchen Parlato, and Roseanna Vitro. She has also had the privilege of performing at Dazzle Jazz Club in Denver and at Catalina Bar and Grill, LA's hottest jazz club, twice in the last year. Arianna dedicates much of her time to performing here in Miami. Prior to her entrance into the Frost School of music, Arianna attended the Academy of Music at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, where she pursued her interests in jazz voice and musical theater. She sang lead soprano in the award-winning Hamilton Vocal Jazz Ensemble for three years and has been studying voice and piano privately outside of school for years. Arianna was selected as the first soprano for the 2010 Grammy Vocal Jazz Ensemble, was a finalist in the 2010 Zeta Rho Foundation Talent Hunt, and received an Honorable Mention award for popular voice from the Young Arts Association.
Nessyah Buder, M.M. ’13 studied musicology, ethnomusicology, and saxophone at the University of Miami. She was the 2012 recipient of the Presser Music Award, which funded her research in Melbourne, Australia, on her master’s thesis. Currently she is pursuing her doctorate in saxophone performance at Shenandoah Conservatory, where she remains active in the musicological community.
Nightingale Ngo, M.A. '02, M.M. '09, authored a thesis “From the Baroque to the Classical: The Organ Works and Contributions of W.F. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, J.C. Bach, and J. Krebs,” that is indicative of her interests in Western European music, particularly organ music. She is also an organist and handbell choir director at a local church and a piano teacher of numerous private students.
Alan Nguyen attended the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami where he completed his Masters in guitar performance. Alan was the first prize recipient of the 2007 FCCAA Student Artist Competition at Stetson University, and 2007 SCF Concerto Competition. He has been featured as a solo artist for the Sarasota Guitar Society’s Mini Recital Series and the Miami International Guitar Festival Showcase Concert Series.
Mario Ortiz, B.M. '93, M.M. '95, has been nominated for a Latin Grammy in the category of Best Salsa Album of the Year for "Mario Ortiz All Star Band Tributo 45 Aniversario," dedicated in tribute to his late father who was a revered bandleader and arranger in Puerto Rico.
Sarah Pachter (Freudenberger), B.M. 2006, is a Cantorial Associate at Congregation B’nai Israel in Boca Raton. She met her husband Peter Freudenberger in the Band of the Hour, when she was a Hurricanette dancer and he played trombone. They have two small daughters, Aria and Ada.
Jim Papoulis, M.M. ’82, was named Frost School of Music 2004 Distinguished Alumnus. He composes, orchestrates, and conducts music for dance, film, symphonies, quartets, pop bands, gospel, and choirs. His award-winning compositions combine contemporary sounds with musical traditions from around the globe. He has worked with such diverse artists and ensembles as Tokyo String Quartet, Aretha Franklin, Maroon 5, and the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. Papoulis is co-founder of The Foundation for Small Voices music project.
Chung Park, D.M.A. ‘08, is the new Director of Orchestral Activities at Appalachian State University where he is the administrative head and conductor of four orchestras. This past year Park worked with many fine soloists including the Marcus Roberts Trio, violinist Yosuke Kawasaki and the Waitiki 7.
Kelly A. Parkes, Ph.D. '06 assistant professor of teaching and learning in the School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, received the university's 2010 XCaliber Award for excellence as an individual involved in teaching with technology.