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Monday, August 1, 2016

Faculty News: Adriana Zabala to Star in "Sister Carrie" Premiere; Wendy Zaro-Mullins Performs at Crooner's Lounge and Supper Club

Adriana Zabala (voice) will play the title role in the upcoming world premiere of Robert Aldridge and Herschel Garfein's opera, Sister Carrie. Zabala and baritone Keith Phares recently joined the composer and librettist for a preview performance and discussion, moderated by Opera America, with members of the press, the opera community, and the general public at Steinway Hall in New York City. Florentine Opera Company in Milwaukee commissioned the work from the Grammy winning composer and librettist. The world premiere takes place on October 7, 2016. Read an article on the upcoming premiere in BroadwayWorld.com.

Wendy Zaro-Mullins (voice) and Lori Dokken, pianist, will perform together at the Dunsmore Room in a celebration of song featuring classic tunes from Gershwin to Jefferson Airplane, and more. The performance will take place on August 31 at 7:30 pm at the Crooner's Lounge and Supper Club in Minneapolis.

Alumni News: Britta Bauer Starts Super Band at St. Francis Middle School

Britta Bauer's (BM, 2013, music education, student of Laura Sindberg) work at St. Francis Middle School, MN has been featured in the St. Francis Courier (page 8). Following her work in the U of M School of Music's Band Project, Bauer formed Super Band, an after-school venture in which students "increase their creative capacity and individual agency," composing, improvising, and learning music by ear. Bauer is currently a music teacher at St. Francis Middle School. 

Student News: Lara Akal's Carnegie Hall Debut

Lara Akal (BA, voice, student of Adriana Zabala) recently made her Carnegie Hall debut on July 12. Her debut was a result of winning a Twitter contest run by Broadway actress (and Eagan, MN native) Laura Osnes and Paramount Pictures in a promotional event for the film Florence Foster Jenkins. Akal sang “Part of Your World” from Disney’s The Little Mermaid and was interviewed and filmed by several theater publications and media. She aspires to live and perform in New York City and is grateful to have had her own Carnegie moment to cross off her bucket list. Akal is featured on Playbill.comBroadwayWorld.comTheaterMania.com, and Playbill Video.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Faculty News: Alexander Braginsky's Master Classes in China; Adriana Zabala Performs in "The Marriage of Figaro"

Alexander Braginsky (piano) recently returned from China where he gave master classes at the Cadenza Festival in Watertown, located at the foothills of the Great Wall. He is traveling to the Summit Music Festival in Purchase, NY for five seminars on piano performance and interpretation.

Adriana Zabala (voice) played the role of Cherubino in Angels and Demons Entertainment's production of The Marriage of Figaro in July at the James J. Hill House. The Twin Cities Opera Guild sponsored this production. Twin Cities Arts Reader said, "Another standout performance among this astonishing cast was Adriana Zabala as the hormone-crazed pubescent Cherubino. Zabala brought a delightful and always-welcome stage presence to the proceedings, managing to bring different colors and layers to each moment she was onstage." The production also starred School of Music alumna Karin Wolverton(voice, student of Jean del Santo) as Countess Almaviva.

Alumni News: Anna Hersey's New Book and Grant; Sophie Christian's New Teaching Position

Anna Hersey's (MA, 2009, musicology, student of Kelley Harness; MM, 2007, voice, student of Lawrence Weller) book Scandinavian Song: A Guide to Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish Repertoire and Diction is now available from Rowman & Littlefield. Hersey is the new editor-in-chief of VOICEPrints​, the peer-reviewed journal of the New York Singing Teachers Association, as well as editor for video lectures, performances, and lecture-recitals for College Music Symposium. She was the recent recipient of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association's Interdisciplinary Grant, as well as performance grants from Sons of Norway and the American Scandinavian Foundation.

Sophie Christian (DMA, 2011, piano, student of Lydia Artymiw) has accepted a piano teaching position at Clark College in Vancouver, WA beginning August 2016.

Monday, July 18, 2016

U of M School of Music Names New Director of Marching and Athletic Bands

Minnesota native Elizabeth (Betsy) Kerns McCann has been named Assistant Director of Bands/Director of Marching and Athletic Bands at the University of Minnesota. McCann is the first female director of a marching band in the Big Ten Conference. McCann started with the U of M Marching Band in 2013 as Assistant Director. Director of Bands Emily Threinen shares, “We are thrilled to have Betsy McCann as Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Marching and Athletic Bands at the University of Minnesota. She has led the U of M Marching Band to new heights and we’re excited for the future of the Pride of Minnesota under her leadership.” Read more

Faculty News: Dean Billmeyer's German Tour; Guerino Mazzola's New Book & Committee Membership; Fernando Meza in Residence with YOA

Dean Billmeyer (organ) completed a three-city, five-recital tour of Germany last week, performing in Freiberg (Saxony) June 29 and 30, Leipzig July 6 and 7, and Delbrück (Paderborn) July 10. Billmeyer’s concerts included recitals on noteworthy organs in Freiberg (Silbermann Organs of 1714 at the Cathedral and 1735 at the Petrikirche), and in Leipzig (1904 Sauer organ at the Michaeliskirche). Billmeyer was interviewed in Freiberg for an article in the Freie Presse, it appears in German here.

Guerino Mazzola (creative studies & media) has been invited to be a program committee member of the Second International Workshop on Language, Music and Computing at Saint-Petersburg State University in Russia (April, 17-19, 2017). Mazzola will also publish a new book with Aracne Editrice, to be published in the spring, titled Musical Gestures and Homotopy Theory. 

Fernando Meza (percussion) was in residence as percussion/timpani faculty for the YOA-Orchestra of the Americas in Tallinn, Estonia, for two weeks, in preparation of YOA's Baltic tour through Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Poland. While in Estonia, Meza performed in Rapla, with flute artist Oksana Sinkova and later traveled to Helsinki to visit the Sibelius Academy. Earlier in June, Meza performed and recorded Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5 with the Minnesota Orchestra under conductor Osmo Vänskä.