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Student & Alumni Successes

September/October 2015

Jesse Blumberg (BM '01) is artistic director of Five Boroughs Music Festival (5BMF), a chamber music series in NYC that aims to apply a broad definition to the genre, presenting early music, "ink-still-wet" new music, and the occasional non-classical chamber program.

Janai Brugger (MM '09) was recognized in the October issue of Opera News as one of the magazine's "25 Rising Stars". The soprano's voice is described as having a "rapturously beautiful, blooming sound that has already won her raves."

Seth Mease Carico (MM '07) is in his third year with the Deutsche Oper Berlin. This season he will be performing Leporello in Don Giovanni, Biterolf in Tannhäuser, Dulcamara in L'Elisir d'amore, Sacristan in Tosca and Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte. He recently sang, in concert, the role of Klingsor in Parsifal with the Berlin Philharmonic.

Nicholas Davis (MM '14) won the Kaprálová Society Prize for the best interpretation of a Kaprálová song and was additionally awarded 3rd place at the 13th annual Montreal Czech and Slovak International Voice Competition. Other SMTD participants in the competition were Mysti Hawkins Byrnes (MM' 16), Jonathan Harris (DMA '17), Sandra Periord (MM '16), Marina Hogue (BM '15), and Kelley Kimball (BM '09). SMTD Prof. Timothy Cheek was the USA pianist for the competition.

Martha Guth (DMA '16) is co-founder and administrator of the Casement Fund Song Series, a trust established to provide a home for both poetry and classical music through Art Song performance. She recently performed the songs of Rudi Stephan in Hannover, Germany and will be starring in Chelsea (NY) Opera's production of Glory Denied by Tom Cipullo, and at the Baltimore Lieder Weekend performing late works of Schumann and Fauré.

Jonas Hacker (MM '13) is in his third year of study at the Academy of Vocal Arts and will be performing Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. This past summer he was an Apprentice Artist with the Glimmerglass Opera.

Robert Wesley Mason (BM '09) performed the roles of Billy Bigelow in Carousel with the Utah Festival of Opera and Musical Theater and Ping in Turandot with the Nashville Opera.

Amy Petrongelli (DMA '16) traveled to South America as a member of the contemporary music ensemble, Khemia. The group was invited to be the ensemble-in-residence at the National University of Argentina in Cordoba, Argentina and at the National Conservatory of Colombia in Bogota, Colombia. While visiting both universities the members of the ensemble taught master classes, gave guest lectures, held readings of student compositions, and premiered several works by American and Argentinean composers.

Alexandria Strother (BM '16) won the non-finalist Talent Award with her performance of "Je veux vivre" from Gounod's Romeo and Juliet at the Miss Michigan Scholarship Pageant in June. She has served as "Miss Washtenaw County" for the 2014-15 academic year.

Rehanna Thelwell (MM '16) has advanced from the Arizona Region to the next stage of the Metropolitan Opera competitionin Los Angeles. She is also the 2015-16 winner of the Anna Chapekis Award for Graduate Students.

Ian Williams (BMA '15) is employed at Indiana-based vocal production company Heartland Sings!. He will be employed as both a full-time vocal artist and to help creatively steer the company toward producing revenue to support their expansion within the Midwest region.


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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower