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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
University of Miami Frost School of Music 1996 Distinguished Alumnus Sam Pilafian, B.M. ’72 is a tuba artist, arranger, composer, recording producer and educator versatile in both classical and jazz realms. He has recorded and performed with symphony and jazz orchestras, and with such artists as Lionel Hampton and Pink Floyd. Pilafian is a member of the large brass ensemble Summit Brass, and a founding member of the renowned Empire Brass Quintet. He is recipient of a 2009 Emmy Award for best instructional/educational video.
After earning his Bachelor of Music degree at the Frost School of Music, Nicolas Repetto, B.M.'03, performed throughout the world, including the Luzerne Music Festival, Les Rasse, Switzerland, the Dante Alighieri society, Rome, Italy, and in the Caribbean and South America. He moved to Los Angeles where he is pursuing his dream of scoring television shows, films, video games, and other multimedia.
James Suter, bass, majored in Studio Music and Jazz Instrumental Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he was a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the inaugural Stamps Jazz Quintet, Class of 2013. Originally from Hollywood, Florida, James Suter has performed professionally throughout South Florida for nearly a decade.
Stephen Szabadi, trombone, majored in Studio Music and Jazz Instrumental Performance 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 studied trombone privately with Dante Luciani and performed in the Frost Concert Jazz Band and the Frost R&B Ensemble. He also studied pharmacology and history while at the University of Miami.
Barmey Ung is a Cambodian-American composer, guitarist, and mixed-media artist, currently on faculty at the New Music School in Chicago. His collected influences have molded his creative work into a “truly unique,” (Jordan Brandes, Lumino Magazine) and constantly evolving expression. His experiences have been integral in the development of his work, for which he received the 2012 Illinois Arts Council Grant and the 2012 Chicago Community Arts Program grant.
Arianne Urban, violin, 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. Urban has participated in coaching sessions with string musicians from The Cleveland Orchestra and violinist and composer Mark O’Connor. Upon graduation, Urban continued her musical studies as a M.M. scholarship student at DePaul University in Chicago.
Andres Vera, B.M. '10, cellist, is a member of Cello Street Quartet, a group of all classically trained musicians who blend a classical music tradition with modern pop tunes. Veras is also a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory. He has been a member of the Miami Symphony Orchestra for six years.
University of Miami Frost School of Music 1991 Distinguished Alumna Connie Weldon, B.M. ’53 is known as the first professional female tubist in the United States. A former professor and Dean of The University of Miami Frost School of Music, she has performed with the North Carolina Symphony, the Boston Pops, the Concertgebouw Orchestra (Netherlands), and the Miami Philharmonic. Weldon is highly celebrated as a performer and pedagogue, and is recipient of numerous honors and awards.
Aurora Wells, M.M. ‘99, bass, has performed with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, the Palm Beach Pops, Ellington's Jazz Club, Southwest Florida Symphony and The Naples Players. Wells has enjoyed numerous engagements as musical director and conductor with theatre organizations in the Caribbean and Southwest Florida, where she calls home.
Matthew White, MM '06, D.M.A. '11, trumpeter and composer, is currently serving as Assistant Professor of Trumpet and Coordinator of Jazz Ensembles at Coastal Carolina University.
Ryoji Yamaguchi is a versatile performer, arranger, and composer in various styles of music. Ryoji holds his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Miami Frost School of Music studying Classical Guitar performance, and won second prize at the Miami International Guitar Competition in 2004.
Christopher Young, cello, majored in Instrumental Performance at the Frost School of Music where he was a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and a member of the Stamps String Quintet, Class of 2014. Upon graduating from the University of Miami Frost School of Music, Christopher Young was awarded a scholarship to pursue a Master of Music degree at the University of Michigan.
Frost School of Music 1998 Distinguished Alumnus Paul Martin Zonn, B.M. ’59 was heralded as an innovator both in composition and clarinet performance. He appeared on stage as clarinet soloist at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood and Ravinia, and with many different styles of musical artists that include the Lenox String Quartet, country legend Vince Gill, the Miami Philharmonic, and the New Orleans Eagle Band. Zonn’s music is published and he can be heard as clarinetist and/or conductor on several record labels.