School of Music alumna wins Grammy Award

An alumna of the School of Music at UNCSA has won a Grammy Award as part of an ensemble that won best choral performance. The 65th annual Grammy Awards were announced Sunday, Feb. 5.

Alumna Joanna Gates (B.M. ’04), is a member of The Crossing choir, which won a Grammy Award for the album “Born” conducted by Donald Nally and featuring music by Edie Hill and Michael Gilberston.  Gates, who studied voice, has previously won two Grammy Awards with The Crossing, in 2018 and 2019. 

The Crossing choir

The Crossing won a 2023 Grammy for the album "Born." / Photo: John C. Hawthorne

Additionally, voice alumnus Chase Taylor (B.M. ’07) sang the role of Nash in “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” by Terence Blanchard, which won the Grammy for best opera recording. (The performances of the opera at the Metropolitan Opera in 2021 were co-directed and choreographed by alumna Camille A. Brown with costume design by alumnus Paul Tazewell).

Several other alumni from the School of Music at the UNCSA were nominated for 2023 Grammy Awards (see previous press release).  

About the School of Music

The School of Music at UNCSA combines intensive individual study under artist-faculty with a variety of performance opportunities, presenting more than 200 recitals, concerts and opera productions each year, including collaborations with other UNCSA arts schools and a guest artist series. In addition to its undergraduate and graduate programs, it houses one of the nation’s only four-year residential arts high school programs. The School of Music is also home to the renowned A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute, a tuition-free, graduate-level professional training ground for exceptional young vocalists..

UNCSA School of Music alumni have gone on to perform with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Nero String Quartet, Giannini Brass, Camel City Jazz Orchestra, and Metropolitan and Chicago Lyric operas, among others.

Prominent alumni of the School of Music include: violist Richard O'Neill, who won the 2021 Grammy Award for best classical instrumental solo and is a member of the renowned Takács Quartet; acclaimed tenor René Barbera; Broadway veteran T. Oliver Reid; Lachezar Kostov, associate principal cello in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Broadway music director Mary-Mitchell Campbell; New York Philharmonic violinist Lisa Kim; violinist and Beyoncé collaborator Jessica McJunkins; Elizabeth Sobol, president & CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center; jsaxophonist Eddie Barbash who performed in the house band for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”; and the Dan River Girls (Fiona Burdette, cello; Ellie Burdette, double bass and voice; and Jessie Burdette, viola).

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February 06, 2023