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School of Music Alumni

The School of Music's excellence in training is best exemplified by the accomplishments of its alumni. Former students of the School have distinguished themselves around the world through solo, chamber music and orchestral performances.

2014 Alumni Roundup

Below is a selection of School of Music alumni happenings in 2014. If you have alumni news, contact Jonas Silver, Alumni Director (... and high school guitar alum).

John Ellis' MOBROJohn Ellis '92 released the album "MOBRO" which was listed as one of the 25 Best Jazz albums of 2014 by Wondering Sound. "Heavy on the brass instruments and armed with four different vocalists, this large ensemble switches between wildly theatrical effusiveness, heartbreaking sadness and drifting passages of contemplative reverie."


Stefan de Leval JezierskiStefan Jezierski '72 recently gave a recital and master class in Watson Hall on the campus of UNCSA. Stefan plays third horn with the Berlin Philharmonic, which recently toured the United States performing in Carnegie Hall and at the Park Avenue Armory with two performances of Peter Sellar's staging of Bach's "St. Matthew Passion."

Craig Hanemann '97 was awarded a grant through the United Arts Council of Raleigh, to fund a recording of this piano quartet piece that was recorded in January.

Sons of SerendipKendall Ramseur '09 is the cellist and vocalist for Sons of Serendip, who performed in "America's Got Talent" in August 2014. The group released its first CD in September 2014.

Bess McCrary '02 was selected to be an Artist-in-Residence by the Serenbe Community and Chat Hills Music in May of 2015. Bess will also be releasing her second full-length album as a Singer-Songwriter in Spring 2015, with a tour following.

DAWNLeo Hurley '11 did musical direction for DAWN, featured in the Emerging Artist Theatre festival. The play included several UNCSA alumni from the various art schools.

Jennifer Lazarz '14 was reviewed in Opera News for her performance as Berta in Rossini's Barber of Seville. "Jennifer Lazarz's harried, sneezy Berta was a delight, and she seized her moment alone on stage to zing home her aria with authority."

Emily RiedelEmily Riedel '10 was featured in Millennial magazine in August 2014, for her role in the reality TV show "Bering Sea Gold," and her use of the gold dredging money to help pay for her to study opera in Vienna.

A sampling of where our music alumni landed in the "real world"

Alumni Where are they now Area of Study
René Barbera First Prize Winner in Placido Domingo Opera at 2011 Operalia Competition in Moscow Voice
Lynn Bernhardt Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Percussion
Gwendolyn Bradley Metropolitan Opera Voice
Ida Bieler Founder and Artistic Director of the International String Festival Baden Wuerttemberg; UNCSA faculty Violin
Richard Buckley Chicago Lyric Opera Conducting
Marian Buswell Phoenix Symphony Orchestra Oboe
Javier Calderon University of Wisconsin at Madison Guitar
John Cheek Metropolitan Opera Voice
James Crawford Concertmaster, Grand Rapids (Mich.) Symphony Violin
Patricia Dixon Wake Forest University Guitar
Shayne Doty Vice President - The Asia Society Organ
Randall Ellis New York Chamber Symphony Oboe
Jerry Folsom Los Angeles Philharmonic, retired Horn
Kenneth Frazelle Award-winning Composer, Winston-Salem, N.C. Faculty at UNCSA Composition
Robert Franz Music Director - Boise Philharmonic and Assoc. Conductor - Houston Symphony Oboe (BM)
Conducting (MM)
Margo Garrett The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory Piano
Joseph Genualdi Chicago Chamber Musicians Violin
Laurence Glazener Principal Double Bass, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Double Bass
Neal Goren Conductor, Gotham Chamber Opera Conducting
Dawn Hannay New York Philharmonic Viola
Mark Hill New York Chamber Symphony Oboe
Stefan Jezierski Berlin Philharmonic Horn
Ulla Miilmann Jorgensen Principal Flute, Danish Radio Symphony Flute
Thomas Kikta Duquesne University Guitar
Lisa Kim Violin, New York Philharmonic Violin
Frank Koonce Arizona State University Guitar
Esther Lamneck New York University Clarinet
Derrick Lawrence Bass-Baritone, National winner, Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions Voice
Charles Lazarus Minnesota Orchestra Trumpet
James Lyon Pennsylvania State University Violin
Karl Mailand Army Band Trumpet
Daniel McKelway Assistant Principal and E-flat clarinet, Cleveland Orchestra Clarinet
Jon Metzger Freelance Jazz Vibist, Elon College Percussion
Michael Morgan Conductor, Queensland Conservatory, Australia Conducting
Elizabeth Myers Film and commercial composer, conductor and songwriter Composition
Mark Niehaus Principal Trumpet, Milwaukee Symphony Trumpet
Robert Oppelt Principal Double Bass, National Symphony Double Bass
Danny Phipps U.S. Air Force Band Bassoon
Ruth Rendleman Montclair State College Piano
Robby Robinson Thouvenel String Quartet Cello
Sharon Robinson Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio Cello
Jennifer Ross Principal Second Violin, Pittsburgh Symphony Violin
Gary Simpson Baritone, Metropolitan Opera Voice
Renee Siebert Flute, New York Philharmonic (retired) Flute
Margaret Tate Cello, San Francisco Symphony Cello
Kirk Trevor Conductor, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and Missouri Symphony Conductor
Sandy Yamamoto Violin, Miro String Quartet and University of Texas at Austin Violin
Sarah Brough Violin, Pittsburgh Symphony Violin
Daniel DeVany Vice President and FM General Manager of WETA, Washington DC's classical music radio station Guitar
John Mangan Vice President and Dean of the Curtis Institute of Music Guitar
José Ochoa Executive Director of ChiArts, Chicago's High School for the Arts Flute
Ben Robinette Saxophone, First Prize Winner, 2011 Rosen-Shaffel Young Artists Competition Saxophone
Tichina Vaughn Mezzo-Soprano, Metropolitan and Stuttgart operas Voice
Jennifer Welch-Babidge Soprano, Metropolitan Opera Voice


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