Faculty News

Amy ChavasseColleen ConwayMichael HopkinsMark MadamaMarilyn MasonJohn Neville-AndrewsRamon SatyendraCynthia Westphal


From top: Amy Chavasse; Colleen Conway; Michael Hopkins; Mark Madama; Marilyn Mason; John Neville-Andrews; Ramon Satyendra; Cynthia Westphal

Steven Ball (carillon) has recorded the first quarter of the complete organ works of René Louis Becker on the composer’s original instrument at Detroit’s Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, where Ball holds Beck’s former position as Cathedral Organist. On behalf of the SMTD, he recently presented a talk on the first-ever class in bell founding and tuning at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago and, in Bloomfield Hills, MI, at the joint meeting of the World Carillon Federation and the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America.  The latter was held as part of the 75th anniversary of the Baird Carillon and U-M as the nation’s oldest and largest school for the study of the carillon and campanology.


Andrew Bishop (jazz & improvisation studies) recently performed at multiple venues in New York with Gerald Cleaver’s Uncle June. His trio Bishop/Cleaver/Flood performed in New York and Ann Arbor and was the ensemble-in-residence at the Wichita Jazz Festival. He also performed as a member of the Hot Club of Detroit at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, Nighttown in Cleveland, Dazzle in Denver, the San Francisco Django Festival, the Aspen Jazz Festival, and Canada’s Oakville Jazz Festival. He was featured with Chris Lightcap’s Big Mouth in NYC and with Lucian Ban’s Enesco (Re)Imagined in Chicago. Bishop was the director of the first Mpulse Jazz Program and gave master classes at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the Escola Superior de Música e Artes do Espectáculo in Porto, Portugal, where he also performed in the Porto Jazz Festival.


William Bolcom (composition emeritus) and Joan Morris recently performed at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Mohawk Trail Concerts in Massachusetts [where they’ve performed annually since the late 1970s], Midtown Jazz at Midday series at St. Peter’s Church in New York, and several venues in and around Ann Arbor. In October, Bolcom was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. This fall two of his operas were performed: A View from the Bridge at Indiana University and A Wedding at Oberlin College.


Chad Burrow (clarinet) spent the summer teaching master classes, adjudicating an International Clarinet Quartet Competition and playing recitals at the fourth International Clarinet Festival in Taipei, Taiwan. In addition, he taught and performed as a guest professor at the Thy Chamber Music Festival in Denmark, directed the clarinet institute for MPulse and performed a featured recital at the International Clarinet Association's Clarinet Fest in Los Angeles. The fall has brought recitals and master classes at the University of Colorado, the University of Akron and Oakland University, performances at Francis Marion University and Michigan State University and performances with the Brightmusic Society of Oklahoma and Peak Performances in Denver, CO.


Christi-Anne Castro (musicology) authored a book, Musical Renderings of the Philippine Nation, published by Oxford University Press. A book launch at the University of the Philippines in Manila coincided with an international conference, "The Impact of Music in Shaping Southeast Asian Societies," where Castro delivered a paper on music of the Philippine-American War thanks to a grant from the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Copies of the book were donated to the school’s musicology graduate students, who otherwise couldn’t have afforded it, through a grant from the Center for World Performance Studies. Castro also served on the program committee for the national Society for Ethnomusicology conference and has been named to the editorial board of the journal Asian Music


Amy Chavasse (dance) and her dance company, ChavasseDance&Performance, presented the Ann Arbor premiere of Hunger for the Longing (a biased history of seduction) at the Duderstadt Video Studio on November 11–12. In July 2011, the company traveled to Italy for a residency and performances at Teatro Saschall in Florence and Teatro Traetta in Bitonto in the region of Puglia. Chavasse was joined by musician/composers and U-M professors Stephen Rush and Jeremy Edwards, and a group of New York-based dance artists, including several U-M dance alumni. This project is supported by a 2009 OVPR grant from U-M and

Teatro Publicco Pugliese for the Italian prima assoluta.


Timothy Cheek (voice) was a guest vocal coach at Opera Nuova, Edmonton, Canada, where he helped prepare Rusalka in Czech. He taught and performed at the Summit Art Song Festival in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and worked at the University of Notre Dame’s Summer Scholars program for high school voice students. He spent August in the Czech Republic researching his next book on Rusalka and finishing his piano/voice transcription of a recently discovered orchestral song by Vítězslava Kaprálová. Cheek returned to Prague in October to perform with singer Stephen Morscheck (MM ’85, DMA ’89) for many dignitaries, including Madeleine Albright, Czech president Václav Klaus and his predecessor Václav Havel. The event celebrated U.S.-Czech relations and the rededication of the newly renamed (Woodrow) Wilson Train Station. 


Colleen Conway (music education) has recently been appointed editor-in-chief of the journal Arts Education Policy Review. Presentations this fall included two papers for the Society for Music Teacher Education in September, a guest lecture at Temple University in Philadelphia in October and a residency at Christopher Newport University in Newport Beach, VA in November. Conway will be the keynote research session presenter for the Ohio Music Educators in February. She has served on the planning committee for the Michigan Music Conference this year as well as on the editorial board of the Journal of Music Teacher Education.


Kate Fitzpatrick (music education) has recently published an article on urban music teaching in the Journal of Research in Music Education and had an article on cultural diversity accepted for publication in Music Educators Journal. This fall, Fitzpatrick presented a paper entitled "Blogging Through the Music Student Teaching Experience" at the Society for Music Teacher Education conference in Greensboro, NC. This winter, in addition to continuing her work on her Oxford University Press book on urban music teaching and working as a clinician/conductor/adjudicator with area band programs, she will serve as chair-elect for the Social Sciences special research interest group at the biennial conference of the National Association for Music Education. 


Joan Raeburn Holland (harp) was a featured speaker and master class clinician at the American String Teacher’s Association (ASTA) convention in Kansas City, MO last spring. She gave a class and a master class on audition preparation at the American Harp Society Institute in Denton, TX in June. In May and August, Holland performed as soloist with the Debussy Dances, with the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, and with the Lexington Bach Festival Orchestra in September.  In October, she was the featured soloist with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra performing Rodrigo's harp arrangement of Concerto de Aranjuez.


Michael Hopkins (music education) authored a feature article in the August 2011 American String Teacher journal. He presented at the Leading Music Education conference in Ontario, Canada, and the Society for Music Teacher Education conference in North Carolina. He was a clinician at the Birch Bay String Workshop in Ferndale, WA , and the Grosse Pointe Schools Summer Music Festival. Hopkins organized the September Bass Bash festival for middle and high school students with Professors Diana Gannett and Robert Hurst. He was recently appointed as youth orchestra director for the Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts.


Fritz Kaenzig (tuba) continues to perform frequently with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, most recently for concerts this fall with dynamic new music director Gustavo Dudamel in Los Angeles and San Francisco in which Kaenzig played second tuba on Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique.  He also collaborated with his former student, Carol Jantsch, as second tubist with the Philadelphia Orchestra on their final concert of the season last May. 


James Kibbie (organ) joined colleagues from U-M and the Ann Arbor Chapter of the American Guild of Organists in conducting a weeklong Pipe Organ Encounter for high school organists at U-M in June. His recent performances included an all-Bach recital for the Ann Arbor Summer Festival in July and a performance for First Methodist Church in Ann Arbor in November. As curator of the Frieze Memorial Organ in Hill Auditorium, Kibbie is collaborating with University Organ Technician Jerroll Adams to plan and conduct an extensive mechanical restoration of the organ.


Nancy Ambrose King (oboe) performed recitals in Seoul, Korea, and Beijing, China and presented master classes at the Seoul Conservatory, Seoul National University, and at Beijing Central Conservatory, where she was a featured guest artist at the Beijing International Oboe Festival. She recorded four concerti with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, as well as performed and taught at the Sarasota Music Festival, the Puerto Rico Oboe Festival, and U-M’s Mpulse Oboe Institute. Other performances include the premiere of Stacey J. Berk’s “Flight” for solo oboe and wind ensemble at the University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point; a concerto appearance with the Livonia Symphony and recitals at Brigham Young University and Arkansas State University. 


Christopher James Lees (conducting) was awarded the 2011 James Conlon Conducting Prize by the Aspen Music Festival and School after participating in the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen this past summer. This award carries with it an immediate re-invitation to the Festival next summer. This year, Lees debuts with the Portland Symphony Orchestra and will spend several weeks in 2012 as assistant/cover conductor for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.


Mark Madama (musical theatre) spent the summer of 2011 in his 23rd season as a resident director of the Music Theatre of Wichita. This season he directed professional productions of The Music Man and Sunset Boulevard with current U-M students Jordan Barrow and Adrian Baidoo and former U-M student Chris Peluso.  Following these productions, he directed Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella at Kansas City Starlight. In between productions, he taught workshops in Los Angeles, San Diego, Kansas City and Wichita.


Marilyn Mason (organ) was awarded the SMTD’s annual Harold Haugh Award for excellence in studio teaching for 2010–2011 after being nominated by her department and selected by the School's Executive Committee. Her acceptance of the award came in the form of a lecture, which took place at the 51st Conference on Organ Music, of which Mason was director. The lecture featured four of her former students including Andrew Meagher (’10) who performed the premiere of Jerry Bilik’s “Prelude and Fugue,” a work based on Michigan songs and commissioned by Mason. Last summer Mason taught at the Pipe Organ Encounter in Ann Arbor and played a concert on the Marilyn Mason Organ in BAM Hall on June 19.


Annette Masson (theatre & drama) organized and chaired the National Society of Arts and Letters Musical Theatre Competition for its mid-Michigan chapter. U-M student Ashley Park won first place ($500). The competition took place in October at the Walgreen Drama Center on U-M's North Campus. Park will go on to represent the Michigan Chapter in the National Finals in El Paso, TX, in May. Twenty-two students from U-M  and Oakland University participated, performing five-minute presentations of theatrical song and dialog excerpts. Other U-M winners were Daniel Berryman (Second Prize $300), Samantha Massell (Third Prize $200) and Honorable Mentions Robert Ariza ($100) and Alexandra Fragaso ($100).


Christian Matjias (dance) recently performed Le Sacre du Printemps with Ilya Blinov in Ann Arbor; Urbana, IL and Richmond, VA. In June, he presented a lecture-recital at Jane Austen's House Museum in Hampshire, England, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of Sense and Sensibility. He performed a program on the museum’s 1803 Clementi piano that featured music from Jane Austen’s personal collection. Matjias was also invited to present conference papers at Boston University and The Center for Hellenic Studies in Athens, Greece, and for the College Music Society and the Congress on Research in Dance. 


Marie McCarthy (music education) presented a public lecture entitled “Arts Education and Social Transformation” at Trinity College, Dublin, and served as external program evaluator at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University. She was a member of the International Assessment Board of the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences. In June, she presented a paper at the Chattanooga Symposium on the History of Music Education, and, in California, researched the history of music education in the Mission churches. She continues to serve as liaison between the Music Education Research Council and the Special Research Interest Groups of the National Association for Music Education.


Theodore Morrison (voice/conducting, 1987-2005) marks his first collaboration with The Santa Fe Opera with the commission of his first opera, Oscar. A respected composer of vocal works, as well as numerous pieces for chamber ensemble and orchestra, his music has been performed throughout North America, Europe, Asia and New Zealand. Now a highly regarded composer, he began writing music at the age of forty-two, more than two decades after he was well established as a conductor and teacher. As a member of the faculty of the University of Michigan’s School of Music from 1987 to 2005, he served as both director of choirs and director of graduate studies in conducting.


John Neville-Andrews (theatre & drama) became the co-artistic director of The American Shakespeare Collective (TASC). The mid-Michigan company was formed out of a perceived desire for high quality Shakespeare production, as well as to recognize the works of world-renowned classical authors. The plays are to be presented with a pioneering approach to the texts, employing bold concepts and diversified interpretations. Members of TASC include directors, actors, authors and artisans nationwide: Tommy Gomez (actor/director, co-artistic director), Robert Benedetti (author/director), David Ivers (co-artistic director, Utah Shakespeare Festival), Tim Ocel (director), Mary Daly (actor) and others. TASC is currently working on an innovative six-person Othello.


Mbala D. Nkanga (theatre & drama) led a group of fifteen undergraduate students in a trip to Gabon (Central Africa) as part of the Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates (GIEU) program. For one month, the students lived with host families, stayed in remote villages, visited with the Baka people and enjoyed traditional Gabonese music and dances. For the month of July, thanks to funding from the African Studies Center and the Provost's Office, Nkanga was involved in complementary field research for his book project on the Mvett performance and memory among the Fang people in Oyem (Gabon).


Stephen Rush (dance and performing arts technology) played the John Cage Prepared Piano Sonatas at Ann Arbor’s Edgefest and performed on electronics and mandolin in New York and in Italy with Professor Amy Chavasse. He also gave vocal performances in India, where he brought a new group of students to study music, dance and yoga. His new (vinyl) record Naked Dance! was released this fall and features Jeremy Edwards (drums) and jazz faculty member Andrew Bishop. Dutch carilloneur Frans Haagen premiered “Kampen Portret,” commissioned from Rush to celebrate the rebuilding of a seventeenth-century carillon. Rush’s long-awaited Tango Symphony was premiered by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin in April on their first concert following a season-long strike.


Ramon Satyendra (music theory) received the Merten M. Hasse Prize in Mathematics, which was conferred in August in the Lexington, KY meeting of the Mathematical Association of America.  The award is given in recognition of the article, "Musical Actions of Dihedral Groups" (American Mathematical Monthly, June/July 2009), which Satyendra co-authored with Alissa S. Crans of Loyola Marymount University and Thomas M. Fiore of the University of Michigan-Dearborn.


Stephen West (voice) recently sang the baritone solo in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Dearborn Symphony, appeared with the Ann Arbor Symphony as narrator in Verdi's Rigoletto, presented a solo recital with Martin Katz in Britton Recital Hall and appeared with colleagues from the Michigan Chamber Players in "Ghetto Songs" by U-M composition professor Paul Schoenfield at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. He also adjudicated the Classical Singer magazine vocal competition and taught in the MPulse summer music program at SMTD. The La Scala Opera production of Alban Berg's Lulu, in which he starred, was awarded the 2010 Italian Association of Music Critics prize for "Best Production of the Year."


Cynthia Kortman Westphal (musical theatre) was music director and conductor for the National Tour of a new musical, A Christmas Story, based on the classic 1983 film. She took over from original music director and U-M alum, Ian Eisendrath. The show, which made stops in five cities including Detroit (the Fisher Theatre, Nov. 15–27) and Chicago (Chicago Theatre, Dec. 14–30), features a witty and sentimental score composed by two U-M musical theatre department graduates, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. In addition, the production included a remarkable number of other alumni, including cast members Alex Puette, Nick Gaswirth and Leslie Henstock; dance captain Sean McKnight; assistant dance captain Mara Newbery and music intern Chris Ranney.