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Alumni & Student News, 2014 – Present

IMPORTANT! This page includes news updates for 2014–2016. To submit information about yourself, please send us an email to with the subject line “Alumni Update for Webpage.” We would be happy to hear from you!

Several alumni from the Department of Music were featured in an article in the winter 2014 edition of California Magazine: singer Jennifer Ashworth (’96), composer Trevor Weston (PhD ’97), studio singer Ayana Haviv (’98), Benjamin Park (’02), and Clarissa Lyons (’06). —MKuzma

Musicology graduate students Nell Cloutier, Amalya Lehmann, and Danielle Simon presented papers at the first international conference on opera in Bologna, Italy in June 2015. —MA Smart

Brian Tang, a graduate of our program, placed second in The Queen Fabiola competition, the most prestigious competition of all. Congratulations to Brian. Brian is now an associate carillonist at Berkeley. Two Berkeley students passed the professional examination of The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America: Andrew Lampinen (2014) and Thomas Le (2015). Both have also recently joined our professional staff, joining long-time players David Hunsberger, John Agraz, Richard Strauss, and Wesley Arai.  (2016 carillon news) —JDavis (2015)

Eliane Aberdam PhD, 1998
2016: Professor of Music at the University of Rhode Island since 2001 where she teaches composition, theory, orchestration, ear-training, counterpoint, music analysis, electronic music, and basic musicianship to graduates and undergraduates. She composes for chamber ensembles, orchestras, electronic media, and voice. She is currently on a sabbatical in Grenoble, France (2015-16), where she studying sound synthesis by simulation of physical models at the ACROE center.

Rebekah Ahrendt, PhD 2011, History and Literature
Is currently Assistant Professor, Department of Music, Yale University, and announces the publication with Palgrave Macmillan of Music and Diplomacy from the Early Modern Era to the Present, coedited with Mark Ferraguto and Damien Mahiet. The volume’s twelve essays, drawn from two conferences Rebekah organized in 2013, explore the interactions of music and diplomatic relations from a wide variety of disciplinary orientations. Beyond her work at Yale, Rebekah continues to concertize on the viola da gamba. In June 2014, she had the pleasure of seeing two of her worlds collide when she performed John Dowland’s music with The Schoole of Night (Berlin) at the Leipzig Wave-Gotik Treffen, one of the world’s largest festivals for gothic music. The program will be repeated at the 2015 Utrecht Early Music Festival.

Aizel Agustino, B.A. 2010, Psychology, Minor in Music
2016: Current M.A. student at SDSU in the field of Speech-Language Pathology. During rare moments of spare time, I cover songs or play originals and post them on YouTube.

Marie Anchordoguy, BA 1978, Music
Professor of Japan Studies at the University of Washington. My research is on the political, social, and legal environment of business in Japan.

Jeanne S. Bamberger, MA, 1951, Music Theory
Retired from MIT in 2003 and is currently living in Berkeley. For the last 3 years she has been Adjunct Professor in the UC Berkeley Music Department teaching Music Cognition. She has a new book out:  Discovering the Musical Mind, Oxford University Press.  It is a collection of some of her previous articles, re-edited and re-organized by “themes.”

Mason Bates, PhD 2008, Composition
Made some news with his “Beethoven and Bates,” at the San Francisco Symphony this year. SF Chronicle critic Joshua Kosman includes him in his 2014 top 10 list: “Mason Bates at the San Francisco Symphony: Michael Tilson Thomas conducted three of the Bay Area composer’s innovative works — The B-Sides”(Jan. 8-11), Liquid Interface (Jan. 15-18) and “Alternative Energy” (Sept. 10-13) — and made each of them sound fresher and more dynamic than the last. Read about Mason Bates’ musical experimentation at SF Chronicle and Mercury News.

Frank Bliss, ’70, BA 1970, Music
He is still in Berkeley working as a State Farm agent. He plays violin/viola three days a week (at least).  His home page even has him playing the State Farm jingle!

Rebecca Marina Bodenheimer, PhD 2010, Ethnomusicology
Her book, Geographies of Cubanidad, Place, Race, and Musical Performance in Contemporary Cuba was published by University Press of Mississippi, 2015. It is a study of how notions of place and race inform the identities and performances of musicians in contemporary Cuba. Her work has appeared in Black Music Research Journal, Musical Quarterly, Ethnomusicology, and Latin American Music Review

Nancy Briggs, B.A. 1971
2016: Mentor: Andrew Imbrie. Studied piano with Bernard Abramowitch, harpsichord with Alan Curtis. Sang with Phillip Brett’s Repertory Chorus. 1972: diploma from Royal Conservatorium Den Hague (cost: $30). Back to Bay area: jazz piano; and SF Conservatory of Music Instructor. 1980: MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media at Mills College’s Center for Contemporary Music; with thesis Improvisions, intermedia performance piece (with UCB’s Robin May, oboe; Sharon (O’Connor) Coreris, cello, more); cross studies with Olly Wilson. 1986: PhD at UCSD with dissertation Creative Improvisation: A Musical Dialogue; self-recorded duets and interviews with leading improvisor-composers like Pauline Oliveros, William O. Smith and James Newton (Creative Improvisation Archive, digitized at UCSD Music Library in 2011). 1986-1988: Assistant Professor of Music, Bard College. Two world premieres in 1987: Calandria for 60-piece orchestra (New York); and Monstrum, a jazz opera in collaboration with artist Deloss McGraw and writer Barton Thurber in San Diego (Center City Arts Association formed and kicked off a new summer theater series at City College Theater). Back at Bard, new F/T position dissolved into 4 P/T positions. I moved to Los Angeles to exploit my 300 song catalog. I signed with two publishers, but didn’t ‘hit pay dirt’. Played jazz professionally; worked in TV, film, and recording studios (Universal, Disney); and served as adjunct faculty at colleges California State Polytechnic University Pomona and Citrus College. 1999: released critically-acclaimed CD Dreamdance ( of original songs in jazz trio format, in collaboration with Grammy award winning bassist Mike Elizondo, at Catalina’s Bar and Grill in Hollywood. It aired internationally earning licensing residuals for my ASCAP publishing company.  2000: moved to Roseville: taught at Sierra College and Creative Arts and Music Center. 2011: premiered Improvisaria at UCSD’s Sonic Diasporas Festival in Conrad Prebys Recital Hall (with UCSD faculty bassists Mark Dresser and Bertram Turetzky). After many declined applications for professorships, and observing contingent faculty hiring trends (now averaging 75%), I sought state work, for health and retirement benefits. Since 2013, I live and work for the state of California in Sonoma, playing solo and with a quartet on occasion. Contact information:, or on Facebook. I’m a member of the Benjamin Ide Wheeler Society.

Karen Chen, BA 2012 Integrative Biology, Music Minor
Currently working as the Americorps VISTA Development & Marketing Director at A Reason To Survive, a nonprofit organization that provides free art classes for youth facing adversity in San Diego. In addition to my AmeriCorps role, I volunteer as an assistant for the music classes to teach music to children who otherwise may not have access to music classes!

Brian Christian, BA 2002 Music; Master of Music with a focus on composition; Peabody Institute, 2008
2015: Currently adjunct faculty in piano at College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Missouri. Married to Clara Christian, assistant professor in piano, College of the Ozarks. Father of two boys, Jesse and Cedric, aged 4 and 1. He is also active as a composer, performing own works. Works can be heard at

Tom Cluster, BA 1970, Music, concentration: musicology
2015: Milestones: Charter member of San Francisco Symphony Chorus.  Now retired and a member of Don Kendrick’s Sacramento Choral Society.

Patti (Patricia) Cobb BA 1980, Music, concentration: theory, early music
2015: Enjoys playing piano in Scottish, English & contra dance bands, including StringFire! They are about to release their first album, including three of her original tunes. She is also in two rock bands and teaches piano.

Malcolm Cole, BA 1958, Music
2015: Malcolm and his wife Susan flew to Munich in July for the Bavarian State Opera’s world premiere of “Hiob,” by the Austrian-American composer Eric Zeisl (1905–59). Now a Professor Emeritus of Musicology (UCLA), Malcolm helped recover Zeisl’s powerful artistic response to persecution, flight, and displacement.

Miren Edelstein, BA 2011, Psychology major, Music minor
2015: Is currently a 4th year PhD candidate in UCSD’s psychology program studying auditory perception and music cognition.

Sivan Eldar, current graduate student in composition
2015: One of four composers taking part in the Berkeley Symphony’s Under Construction series, gained inspiration for her work from a Fulbright fellowship to Prague. Read more about her work at SF Gate. During her year in Paris as a Ladd Fellow, Sivan had the opportunity to work with the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra and the International Ensemble Modern Academy at IRCAM. She also collaborated with Spitfire Dance Company on an evening-length work for six clarinets, which premiered in Oslo, and composed two new choral works for the Terezin Music Foundation, which premiered at Boston’s Symphony Hall. In 2016, she will return to France to pursue advanced training at IRCAM and to begin work on her chamber opera at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.

Stefano Flavoni, BA 2015
Stefano is currently a graduate student at the prestigious University of Michigan School of Theater, Music, and Dance, studying under Kenneth Kiesler, and has previously studied with many notable conductors and pedagogues, including David Milnes, Marika Kuzma, Paul Vermel, Victoria Bond, Ed Cumming, Robert Calonico, Donald Portnoy, and Maurice Peress. He was the 2015 recipient of the Eisner Prize, awarded for conducting, the highest honor in the arts at UC Berkeley. He has conducted the Berlin Sinfonietta, Berkeley Summer Symphony, UC Berkeley Opera Ensemble, and the Berkeley Chamber Orchestra, and makes frequent guest conductor appearances in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Stephen Gamboa-Diaz, BA 2008
2016: Graduating at the end of May with an Artist Diploma in Harpsichord from the Yale School of Music.

Susan K. de Ghizé (née Kim), BA 1996, Music
Recently received tenure and promotion at the University of Texas at Brownsville, where she is now an Associate Professor of Music Theory.

Barbara Bell Gruver, BA 1966, Music
Continues to enjoy performing music and doing a little teaching.  Her two piano students are women, each about 80 years young, and she’s delighted to see their progress which comes from their love of music and readiness to learn. She is a pianist and part of the Mason-Dixon Trio, which also includes a flutist and clarinetist. In addition to music written or arranged for this combination, they play soprano arias that have a clarinet obbligato, with the flutist taking the soprano part.  Schubert’s “Shepherd on the Rock” is a beautiful example. She is also participating in Music Matinees, a monthly meeting by Baltimore-area piano teachers, where we perform for each other, usually something new each month. I have enjoyed performing music by Brahms, Gershwin, Bolcom and Bartók recently and have just discovered the pleasure of the piano music of American composer Amy Beach.  With monthly performance goals, it is fun to review or learn new music, and the jitters of performance have gone, at least for performing for this select group of supportive friends. Good music making to all!

Janet Guggenheim, BA 1960, Music
Pianist of The Florestan Trio  (Carol Sindell, violin, Hamilton Cheifetz, cello) affiliated with Portland State University.  A longtime piano collaborator for Itzhak Perlman, she resides in Portland, Oregon and Marin County.

Bryan Higgins, BA 1975, Music and Mathematics
2015: Plays horn with various Bay Area groups (mostly opera) and has a business reorchestrating popular operas and renting them out to smaller companies and schools. His reductions have had hundreds of productions on six continents.

Bryan Huang, BA 2007 Music, BS 2007 EECS
2016: Shortly after graduation, Bryan began working at Google in their Mountain View location. In 2009, he relocated to their New York office so that he could begin his studies in music production & audio engineering at the Institute of Audio Research (IAR). After working at Google for a few years on various online ads products, in 2013, he moved over to the YouTube Music team to work on technical solutions for Music Publishing needs. This turned out to be a great way to combine both his tech and music backgrounds! Missing playing music, in early 2015, he joined the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps (LGBAC) symphonic band, playing alto sax. If you’re in the New York area, check out our website for concert info!

Omar Khan, current music major
2015: Has a new album “Berkeley Blues” garnered some attention from Daily Cal: Cara Cerino writes that it “sounds like a faded, crinkled Polaroid of Downtown Berkeley. The songs flood your mind with nostalgia, down to the antiquated recording processes. A UC Berkeley music major, Khan takes painstaking effort to create the music he gives away on his Bandcamp website. Influenced by wispy, weepy anti-stars, titans of literature and everyday occurrences, Khan synthesizes genre-bending indie pop that sounds like your most inspired diary entry.” Read the full interview.

Sasha Kudler, undergraduate soprano
2015: Traveled to Hong Kong to perform for a highly successful university fund-raising event this past September.

Joyce Kwon, BA 2009, Music, concentration improvisation & composition
2015: Completed MM at Manhattan School of Music. In third year of running her popular blog JAZZ TOILET. Getting ready to release music from new indie-electronic band Jack and Amy.

Catherine Less, 1975, BA, Music
2015: Is living happily in San Rafael, and working in San Francisco as a VP with Baker Street Advisors LLC.  She drives to Berkeley weekly (since 2002) to rehearse and perform with the UC Alumni Chorus and invites all you singers out there to check out the group’s web site at UC Alumni Chorus and consider joining! The next concert is Sunday April 17th at 3 pm in Hertz Hall.  She is also very proud to serve as treasurer of the board of directors of Bread and Roses Presents, a Bay Area non-profit dedicated to uplifting the human spirit by providing free, live, quality entertainment to people who live in institutions or are otherwise isolated from society.  Visit the website at to learn more about this wonderful organization and get involved as a volunteer performer, volunteer host, event volunteer, or as a donor.

Emma Lundberg, BA 2013 with high honors, English, minor in Music
Now works at San Francisco Performances in the development department, and in my free time I serve as a volunteer violin teacher through CoachArt. I also enjoy attending UCB Music Department concerts, especially for Eco Ensemble and UCBSO.

Clarissa Lyons, BA 2006, Music
2015: Has been selected to participate in a Carnegie Hall workshop in January 2015 with Warren Jones. Additionally, she has been selected as a Young Artist for the Caramoor Festival, and will be covering the role of Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites.  She also has scheduled a recital at the National Opera Center in New York for April 25th. The recital will be live streamed!

Alana Mailes, BA 2012, Music and Italian Studies
Is a first-year PhD student in Historical Musicology at Harvard and is hoping to start getting involved in the Boston early music scene as a singer.

Harold Mann, BA Music 1988, concentration in composition
For the last 23 years, he’s been running a technology consulting firm that he owns with his brother Alex Mann (Cal class of ’90) and still occasionally plays the piano, and he makes short films mostly about his kids. A few years after Cal he recorded 2 albums of piano music which still have a following on YouTube many years later. Someone actually transcribed many of the songs, such a painstaking process! He still goes back to Cal regularly, mostly to recruit new Cal alumni to his company.

Ellen Markus, BA 1975, Music
2015: Followed by: MM, Vocal Music Performance, Eastman School of Music; 1977 DMA, Vocal Music Performance, Eastman School of Music, 1982 MA, Speech Pathology, University of NC, Greensboro; 1990. Recently retired from University of NC Healthcare where she had been a speech pathologist/voice therapist and singing voice therapist for the last 23 years; she continues to teach singing privately.

Nanette McGuiness, PhD, 1990 History and Literature
2016:  A soprano, she has a new CD, her third on Centaur Records, Surviving: Women’s Words, with the new music chamber group Ensemble for These Times (E4TT).  Nanette’s recent performance highlights include Elisa in Handel’s Tolomeo and concerts of Handel, Carissimi, and Caldara (with The Handel Opera Project), as well as Mahler’s Fourth Symphony and orchestral songs by Ravel, Duparc, and Berlioz. With E4TT, which she’s co-director of, she was sponsored by the U.S. State Department for a tour in Hungary last season as part of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days and will be performing Krakow this summer. E4TT received 275 entries in its first annual Call for Scores this season, has commissioned composers that include Laura Schwendinger (PhD, UC Berkeley, Music, 1993), Elena Ruehr, and Jared Redmond, among others, and has performed the West Coast premieres of works by Holocaust-era composers Lajos Delej, Sandor Vandor, Gyorgy Justus, and Edwin Geist. The group’s next premieres concert is June 11 at Trinity Chamber Concerts in Berkeley, with commissioned works by Emma Logan, Judith Shatin, and Martha Stoddard.  Nanette  teaches private voice lessons at her studio in Berkeley.”

Clair L Newman, A.B. 1975
2016: Thanks to all the fellow Cal alums with a degree in Music! At a way to go for the heart over the wallet!

Kirsten Paige (History and Literature PhD Candidate Year 4)
2016: Was awarded the John L. Simpson Memorial Research Fellowship in Comparative and International Studies for 2015-16 from UC Berkeley’s Institute of International Studies (ISS).

Stephanie Pan, BA 1999, Music and Applied Mathematics
2016: A singer and multi-instrumentalist, performer, composer and maker based in The Hague, specializing in experimental music, new music, and experimental theater. Stephanie performs extensively throughout Europe and the US, and has presented solo and collaborative work in venues and festivals as varied as Club Transmediale Festival Berlin, Young Vic Theatre London, LaMaMa Theater NYC, Amsterdamse Stadsschouwburg, Incubate Festival, dOCUMENTA, IDFA, and Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. She has created and performed work with a wide variety of groups/collaborators including Belarus Free Theatre, Rosa Ensemble, filmmaker Jeanette Groenendaal, and duo partner Stelios Manousakis. In 2014, she and Stelios founded and created the new initiative, Modern Body Festival, in The Hague. Stephanie holds a Masters in Theatre from DasArts (AHK), BA from UC Berkeley in Music and Applied Mathematics, and First Phase Diploma, with distinction, in Classical Singing from The Royal Conservatory, The Hague. Stephanie Pan website

Daniel Phillips, BA 1990, Music
Designs synthesizers at Korg, lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Jean. A recent highlight: sound design for Peter Gabriel’s Back To Front tour.

Mark Popeney, BA, 2004, Music and Political Science
2016: Assistant Professor of Music at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, MA, where he serves as Chair of the Performing Arts Department. He followed his degree at Cal with an Masters in Music Composition at UCLA and a DMA in Composition at USC. Mark is an active composer, performer, and producer.

Cheryl Pyle – B.A. 1976 UCB Music 
2016: The former Berkeley music student and now living in New York city, Cheryl Pyle, jazz flutist, continues to compose and perform music with several groups, playing jazz , experimental and progressive music. She has just been interviewed for the new book Freedom of Expression – Women in Jazz by Chris Becker ( available on Amazon), 2015 . She can be heard in March 2016 at the Lady got chops festival celebrating women in jazz with the group Musique Femmes Libres and in April with the Beyond Group. She is recording for the international jazz group Kazhargan world’s newest cd – Destinations, as well as several other new recordings. For more information on her music and updates go to: Cheryl Pyle

Amadeus Regucera, PhD student (composition)
The fall of 2015 has been incredibly busy and wonderful for me professionally and artistically. I have had the pleasure of having attended the premieres of two new pieces. If only after you then me which was premiered by Duo Cortona at the Resonant Bodies Festival in New York in September and repeated at the SONiC Festival (also in New York) in October, a piece whose “instrumental savagery,” was noted by Alex Ross in this month’s New Yorker Magazine. Additionally, I attended the premiere of OPHELIA. Her heart is a clock by Ensemble Linea at the Festival Musica in Strasbourg, France. For it, I was awarded a prize and a commission to write a new piece for the 2016 edition of the festival. This upcoming trip to Cuba sponsored by the American Composers Forum included a new version of a piece called Inexpressible which will be premiered by the New York-based ensemble Third Sound. Finally, for the upcoming year, I was also chosen by the Chicago-based ensemble Fonema Consort to write a new piece for bass flute and electronics for a solo series concert co-produced by Access Contemporary Music, a non-profit organization based out of Chicago.

David Ross, BA, 1995, Music Composition
2016: David has been teaching, writing and performing in a variety of settings since graduating from CAL. As a singer-songwriter, David has released several albums of original music and his songs and compositions have been played throughout the United States, as well as internationally, in Canada, Mexico, Russia, France, Australia, and Israel. Over the years, David has served as Music, Drama and Cultural Arts Director for several summer camps, youth groups, and other non-profit institutions. Currently, David is the owner of his own piano studio ( He works with students of all ages and walks of life, with a strong focus on technology and creativity. David co-founded the NE Denver Music Teachers Society, helping to galvanize other teachers for the purpose of providing exceptional service to the community. David is married with 2 children.

Pierre Smith, BA 1977, Music (Composition/Conducting)
2016: Just returned from a Christmas tour of Australia with El Vez, The Mexican Elvis, with whom he plays guitar. He continues to tour with various artists including Rufus Wainwright, Phranc Folksinger and other singer/songwriters. He also continues to write and record music in his studio, Fountains Of Rome Sonic Topiary in Los Angeles.

Henry Spiller (PhD, ethnomusicology, 2001)
2016: Was promoted to full professor at UC Davis this year. He is completing his fourth year as department chair, where he has overseen the design and construction of the Ann E. Pitzer Center—a new recital hall with rehearsal studios and practice rooms that will open in fall 2016. University of Hawai`i Press published his latest book, Javaphillia: American Love Affairs with Javanese Music and Dance, in February 2015. He is looking forward to a sabbatical next year to work on his next book, Bamboo Murmurs: Music, History, and Place in Bandung, Indonesia, which will explore a recent revival of music for bamboo instruments in West Java, Indonesia.

Samuel S. Stanley, BA 1975, Music (Violin)
2016: Continues to play in the Grosse Pointe Symphony Orchestra, second violin, with  five concerts this past year. In recent concerts they have performed such works as the Smetana Moldau, and the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #3. He also recently played in a very small orchestra accompanying a local choral group, where he was the only second violin, which was nerve wracking but went well. He plays regularly in a string quartet/quintet and studies with Marguerite Deslippe, who is an extremely fine 1st violin with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He recently returned to Morrison Hall just to look around and says “It really took me back!” More recently, with the quintet/quartet, they recently performed Dvorak American Quintet, Op. 97, and their next performances are working up the Vaughn Williams Phantasy Quintet and the Beethoven Op. 29. He also has two more Grosse Pointe Symphony Orchestra concerts this spring, and continues to study with Marguerite Deslippe, and is working on Mozart Duo KV423.

Tom Swafford, PhD, 2002, Music composition
2016: Has been a freelance musician, composer and arranger in New York City since 2007. He is also the in-house musician at the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park during the summers. His ensemble String Power released its debut album in September. Tom Swafford debut album, “String Power”

Summer Swee-Singh, BA 2010, Legal Studies, Music Minor
Is currently a performing pianist, music arranger, and composer for film/multimedia. After returning this July from a year abroad in Eastern Europe, she scored her first commercial (for BearExtender Edge) and also released her first albums on iTunes in 2014. She was invited to perform at TEDxUCSD2013 with fellow Cal alum Miren Edelstein (violinist) and again, this time as a solo pianist, at TEDxCambridgeUniversity2014. She also is currently the Music Director and Composer for a play with music titled Sweets & Spices (written by Cal alum Carmen Bordas O’Connor). You can follow her work through her social media links at

Brian Tang, a graduate of our program, placed second in The Queen Fabiola competition, the most prestigious competition of all. Congratulations to Brian. Brian is now an associate carillonist at Berkeley. Two Berkeley students passed the professional examination of The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America: Andrew Lampinen (2014) and Thomas Le (2015). Both have also recently joined our professional staff, joining long-time players David Hunsberger, John Agraz, Richard Strauss, and Wesley Arai.  (2016 carillon news)  —JDavis (2015)

Reynold Tharp, PhD 2003, Music composition
Was promoted to associate professor of composition-theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  His new piano trio was commissioned and premiered by Earplay in 2014.

Mosa Tsay, BA, 2014 Music, College of Letters and Science; BS Society & Environment, Natural Resources
2016: Is the business manager for Celli@Berkeley |; Elden String Quartet |

Ludwig Tuman, MA 1976, Music composition
He is the composer for the Choral Tales Project, presenting folk tales from around the world, portrayed in music and dance, celebrating the diversity and oneness of humankind;

Brian Wang, BA Business Administration 2012, Music Minor
Is an an accountant by day, musician by night! Currently, he’s working on his YouTube channel, which features arrangements of various genres (pop, dance, and a cappella) and has garnered over 1,000,000+ views. His most recent video is a recap of 20 of the hottest songs this year (2014), all in one 4-minute a cappella medley. Watch his Top Songs of 2014 – A Cappella Medley/Mashup on YouTube and Top Songs of 2015 – A cappella medley/mashup.

Jay Williams, BA, 1972, Music
2016: 20 years ago I sold my flute to buy my first motorcycle, which was a good trade. My desire to make music persisted however, so 10 years ago I began playing French Horn. Horn was always the sound that inspired me in ways that flute never did. I learned that I have no physical gift for playing the horn, and it really is as challenging as it seems, but I love it enough to tolerate the frustration. I play in two community orchestras and enjoy chamber music with friends here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Wesley Woo, B.A. 2010, Music
2016: Is a bandleader, vocalist, and guitarist for Oakland based Motown Soul Funk band Trace Repeat, and SF based Indie Rock, Wesley Woo Band. Wesley released a debut album in 2014, and two additional records in 2016. He is currently performing locally around the Bay Area, and on tour all around the West Coast! Tour dates and music at or

Joyce Chia-Yin Wu, BA 2004, Music Education
Finds it rewarding to teach piano and cello at different music institutes in Orange County (Southern California). She is also a church pianist for the choir and worship team, and plays cello with the National Taiwan University chamber ensemble to bring Taiwanese and American music to audiences with different cultural backgrounds.



Robert O. Beahrs, Ethnomusicology, Post-Soviet Tuvan Throat-Singing (Xöömei)
and the Circulation of “Nomadic” Sensibility

Emily Frey, History and Literature, Russian Opera in the Age of Psychological Prose

Jonathan Lee, History and Literature, Virtue Rewarded: Handel’s Oratorios and the Culture of Sentiment

Jason Levis, Composition, Plum Blossom / Warm Gentle Wind / Shimmering Stillness
for Bass Trombone and Ensemble

Daniel VanHassel, Composition, Distill for orchestra and electric guitar



Ravi Kittappa
Jonathan Kulpa
Ursula Kwong-Brown
Hong-June Park
Kendra Van Nyhuis
Jiselle Warner



Erin Alford
Abraham Aragundi
Nate Ben-Horin
Antonio Castillo
Hoh Chen
John Davie
Lauren Eales
Eunice Fong
Rachael Frank
Gabriela Gerson
Hannah Glass
Katherine Gray
Dylan Greengard
William Guo
Andrea Gutierrez
Brianna Hobrock-Shackelford
Jackie Hwang
Aldo Jimenez
Alexis Kang
Christopher James King
Tammy Lian
Lap Ian Lou
Andrea Mich
Martha Montoya
Timothy Nickell
Xavier Perrone
Valerie Isaree Pooudomsak
Jacob Richards
Vanessa Sanchez
Young Kwang (Lucas) Schwyter
Samuel Smetana
Jeremy Su
Hanna Tashjian
Tritia Timmins
Jeremiah Trujillo
Mosa Tsay
Lauren Washburn
Keith Watts
Charles Wright
Ashley Wu
Matthew Yao
Wing Yan Yeung



Commencement Speakers: Remarks to the Graduating Class
Katherine Gray, B.A. 2014
Emily Frey, Ph.D. 2014

Music Department Honors
Jackie Hwang
Original composition: Alchemy

Mosa Tsay
Silence: Within Performance and Within the Performer
Rock: A Composition based on the
Transcription of Sine Wave Dissonance for Acoustic Ensemble

Distinction in General Scholarship*
Jackie Hwang
Tammy Lian

High Distinction in General Scholarship
Lauren Eales

Highest Distinction in General Scholarship
Nate Ben-Horin
Jacob Richards
Jeremiah Trujillo

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructors
Jonathan Kulpa
Tiffany Ng
Rachana Vajjhala

Nicholas C. Christofilos, Jr. Memorial Prize
Beezer de Martelly
Rafael Valle
Rachel Vandagriff

The Nicola DeLorenzo Prize in Music Composition
Lily Chen
Andrew Ly
Amadeus Regucera

The Eisner Prizes in Music
Eric Delgado
Melody Huang
Amadeus Regucera
Jeremiah Trujillo
Dan VanHassel

Bernece B. Lyon Memorial Prize
Jacob Richards
Christopher Youmans

The David & Diana Menn Memorial Prize in the Performing Arts
Tammy Lian

George Ladd Prix de Paris
Sivan Eldar

Mary Nuñes Souza Prize
Adrian Rendon
Mosa Tsay

The Austin F. Williams Prize in Piano Performance
Nate Ben-Horin

Departmental Citation and Matthew William Fisher Memorial Award in Music
Jeremiah Trujillo




Leon Chisholm
History and Literature
Keyboard Playing and the Mechanization of Polyphony
in Italian Music circa 1600

Rama Gottfried

Jessica Herdman
History and Literature
Musical Affective Economies and the Wars of Religion in Lyon

Jose Neglia
“The Sound of Here and Now”: Cultural Production, Revivalism,
and Amateurism in the Tokyo Garage Rock Scene 

Michael Nicholas
Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra 

Olga Panteleeva
History and Literature
Formation of Russian Musicology from Sacchetti to Asafyev, 1885–1931

Matthew Schumaker
As I ride the late night freeways

Anicia Timberlake
History and Literature
The Politics and Practice of Children’s Music Education
in the German Democratic Republic, 1949–1976

Rachana Vajjhala
History and Literature
The Politics of Belle Époque Ballet

Rachel Vandagriff
History and Literature
The History and Impact of the Fromm Music Foundation, 1952–1983


Christina Azahar
Edward Jacobson
Matthew Sandahl
Saraswathi Shukla


Landon Bain
Nathan Chamberlain
Matthew Clark
Nicholas Maxwell Cotter
Joshua David Daranciang
Colin Deas
Eric Delgado
Samuel Edelman
Joseph Escobar
Arianne Ferare
Stefano Flavoni
Tevye Friedlander
Anna Golombek
Ross Greer
Yvonne Heredia
Ching-Ya Esther Huang
Tyler Kimball
Angela Lee
Ziming Li
Felicia Lin
Bryan Lira
Duncan McAdama
Janelle Nice
Ryan Petigura
Ivan Phillips
Zachary Viet Pine
Lucian Pixley
Marissa Policzer
Bryanna Nicole Reed
Ben Reich
Adrian Rendon
Isabel Smith
Christina Swindlehurst Chan
Hong Wong
Christopher Youmans
Sheridan Zahl

Honors and Prizes 2015

Eric Delgado, B.A. 2015
Anicia Timberlake, Ph.D. 2015

Music DepartmentHonors
Landon Bain James MacMillan, Postmodernism, and the Middlebrow 

Nathan Chamberlain
Composition: Mise en Abyme

Nicholas Maxwell Cotter
Music and the Law in the United States: At the Crossroads of Compositions and Copyrights

Eric Delgado
Composition: Amid the Shadows for string quartet

Ivan Phillips
Dream World Movements I, II,and III 

Distinction in General Scholarship
Ching-Ya Esther Huang
Bryan Lira

High Distinction in General Scholarship
Nathan Chamberlain
Eric Delgado

OutstandingGraduate Student Instructors
Eleanor Cloutier
Amadeus Regucera
Matthew Schumaker

Nicholas C. Christofilos, Jr. Memorial Prize
Margaret Jones

The Eisner Prizes inMusic
Nathan Chamberlain
Stefano Flavoni
Ziming Li
Christina Swindlehurst Chan
Christopher Youmans

Bernece B. Lyon Memorial Prize
Charlotte Nugent

The David & Diana Menn Memorial Prize in the PerformingArts
Adrian Rendon

George Ladd Prix de Paris
Lily Chen

Mary Nuñes Souza Prize
Elizabeth Lin
Christopher Youmans

The Nicola DeLorenzo Prize inMusic Composition
Amadeus Regucera
Lily Chen