Percussion faculty members Fernando Meza and Peter Kogan were part of the Minnesota Orchestra’s historic tour to Cuba (May 13-17). In addition to performances with the Minnesota Orchestra in Cuba’s National Theater as part of the international Cubadisco Festival in Havana, they offered master classes at the Escuela Nacional de Arte, and coached during a side-by-side rehearsal with young musicians from the Amadeo Roldán Youth Orchestra. Meza also sat in with Cuban band Septeto Habanero to play bongó, while Kogan had the opportunity to jam along on drumset with Orquesta Aragón. Photo: Meza and Kogan pose for a picture at Revolution Square in Havana.Many School of Music faculty and alumni also traveled to Cuba on this significant tour.
Colleen Bertsch (PhD, musicology/ethnomusicology, student of Matthew Rahaim and Gabriela Currie) received a Fulbright Grant to conduct ethnographic fieldwork in the Transylvania region of Romania. Through participant observation, video recordings, and interviews, she will gather information on Transylvanian folk violinists and the role of musical ornaments in identity performance. Bertsch received a BM in music performance from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) in 1997, a BM in music education from the U of M in 1999, and a MA in ethnomusicology from the U of M in 2012.
G. Phillip Shoultz, III (DMA, choral, student of Kathy Saltzman Romey and Matthew Mehaffey) was announced as VocalEssence's new full-time associate conductor. The position begins in July. Watch a video announcement or read more about his position on VocalEssence's website.
This June, the U of M School of Music mourns the two-year anniversary of "Minnesota's Matriarch of Jazz," Jeanne Arland Peterson. Memorial gifts from over a hundred friends, family, and fans of Jeanne helped established a new scholarship for talented jazz students at the U of M. Ryan Christianson, a music education and trombone performance major, is the 2015-2016 recipient of this prestigious award. On May 1, Ryan met Patty Peterson (one of Jeanne's children) and the two of them, accompanied by a U of M jazz combo, performed a song in the lobby at Northrop as part of the College of Liberal Arts Bright Lights celebration.
Matthew Bribitzer-Stull's (music theory) book, Understanding the Leitmotif: From Wagner to Hollywood Film Music will be published in July 2015 on Cambridge University Press. "In eloquent prose, Dr. Bribitzer-Stull offers a fascinating interpretation of the structural and expressive roles of the leitmotif in Wagnerian opera and Hollywood film music. His attractive semiotic theory of associative meaning yields fundamental insights into how musical motives enhance meaning in intermedial contexts." – Robert S. Hatten, University of Texas, Austin
Kathy Saltzman Romey (choral) was honored by the Minnesota Chorale with a video celebrating her 20 years as artistic director.