Eastern Michigan University

College of Arts and Sciences

Music & Dance

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Fall 2015

Professor Barbara Selinger, Dance,  was designated the Teacher of the Year for VSA in 2015 at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival in Kalamazoo, as well as one of their 2015 Dance Clinicians.

Dr. Joel Schoenhals, Professor of Piano, taught in China as a foreign expert at Central China Normal University in Wuhan and a guest professor at Nanchang University in Nanchang.  In 2015-2016, he will complete performing the cycle of Beethoven’s 32 sonatas.

Dr. Mary K. Schneider, Director of Bands recently returned from a conducting engagement in Oberwesel and Weisbaden, Germany. Dr. Schneider was invited to conduct the All-Europe Honors Band of the U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools held at the famous Kurhaus Concert Hall in Wiesbaden. She will guest conduct the 2016 Ohio All-State Band in Cincinnati, OH and has been invited to conduct the Michigan All-State Band in 2017.

Professor Kristin Reynolds, Oboe, performs with Toledo Symphony (including solo appearances with recording artist Amy Grant), Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, and the Ann Arbor Symphony. She contributed to a reference book: Tuning for Wind Instruments – A Roadmap to Successful Intonation ; performed at the International Double Reed Convention, Arizona State University; and lectured at a music educators’ clinic in Minneapolis, MN.

Professor of Voice, Dr. Robert Peavler, co-presented at the College Music Society International Conference The Gender Gap in Francis Poulenc's Mélodies (Helsinki, Finland) and at the College Music Society Great Lakes Regional Conference. He has also published two CD’s:  From the Heartland and  The Mélodies of Francis Poulenc: A Study Guide

Vocal majors, Clarice Weiseman and Dominique Williams were hired as part of the Pittsfield Opera Theatre Troupe for 2015-16.

Vocalist Rebecca Myers was accepted into the Up North Opera Institute for Summer 2015.

Allegra Lilly, former student of Professor Ruth Myers-Brown, Harp, now serves as principal harp with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Professor Kathryn King, Dance, will be directing the 6th Annual Brighton Dance Festival, a week-long dance event bringing together students and faculty from universities, companies and dance studios throughout Michigan. Since 2010, the festival has donated $25,000 to the Brighton Center for the Performing Arts and has given away over $10,000 in scholarships through the BDF Internship Program for college students.

In Summer 2015, Professor Sandra Jackson, Clarinet, performed and taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp for her 21st season. During the festival, she will perform as soloist in the Mendelssohn Concertpiece No. 2 joined by Doug Spaniol, Bassoon Professor at Butler University, with the Intermediate Orchestra, conducted by Scott Laird. This year she also performed as with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra; was featured guest artist at Saginaw Valley State University Clarinet Day; and performed on the CD They Were Mysterious Guests- Chamber Music of Zae Munn on Navona Records, featuring Grammy Award winner Tim McAllister, Saxophone, with the disk released April 2015.

Professor Jennifer Fisher, Piano, is presenting a session at the National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy in August (Chicago); is presenting at the International Conference on Music Learning Theory in August (Chicago); and recently completed an internship at University of Buffalo, then joined the faculty of the Gordon Institute for Music Learning.

Since graduating from Eastern Michigan University with his MM in Piano Performance, Mitchell Giambalvo has gone on to receive his Doctorate at Florida State University in 2014 under the guidance of Dr. Read Gainsford.  Dr. Giambalvo is currently pursuing a second MM in Accompanying, studying with Dr. Timothy Hoekman.  During the Summer of 2015, Giambalvo will be returning for his second season to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp where he is a member of the piano faculty.

Vocal major Kyndall Isham was accepted into the Castleton Music Festival for Summer 2015.

Conducting alumnus Carlos Andr é Botero was Assistant Conductor and Cover for Maestro Andrés Orozco-Estrado with the Houston Symphony in May 2015 and served as co-host of Musically Speaking with the orchestra.


Winter 2015

Dr. Willard Zirk, Music Theory and Literature, completed a composition for trombone choir, commissioned by two senior music students, Matthew Nienow and Johnathan Bower, in honor of their trombone teacher, Dr. Donald Babcock.  Guessing Game , is based on letters (notes) from Dr. Donald Babcock's name, D B A B C.  He has also been granted 100% release time for the Fall 2015 semester to complete a three-movement woodwind quintet commissioned by the Eastern Winds, EMU faculty wind quintet. It will include music from 1914 to 1917 - the World War I era, including the first movement, American Music 1914 , which was performed in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Pease Auditorium in 2015.

Graduating Senior Andrew Novak will attend the University of Kansas to pursue a Masters Degree in Clarinet Performance.

Dr. Diane Winder, Department Head and Cello, participated in a panel presentation at the national American String Teachers Conference in St. Lake City, UT and at NASM (on 21st Century Careers in Music: Realities, Opportunities, and Implications). She also performed at the Detroit Institute of Arts with the new EMU early music ensemble Salutaris; was awarded Administrator of the Year by Michigan ASTA; and adjudicated the Potter Cello Competition sponsored by Psarianos.

Music Therapy Professor, Dr. Jody Stark, is the Director of Music Therapy Clinical Services for MSU's Community Music School - Detroit, which was the recipient of $10,000 funding from the PNC Foundation. The services are provided by Dr. Stark and a dance-movement therapy colleague. She was also was a featured speaker at the MSU Science Festival Detroit Day in April.

Nathan Noeyack has been accepted to begin graduate studies in bassoon performance at Butler University.

Professor Philip Simmons, Dance, will be the featured guest artist in June for Dance Lansing Dance Festival, teaching a Fosse master class. He is also slated to teach a musical theatre master class in August at Dance in the Mitten Dance Festival and will be the emcee at the annual showcase at the Riverside Arts Festival  Chatauqua at the Riverside in October.

Dr. Heather Shouldice, Music Education, co-authored a research article entitled Male and Female Photographic Representation in 50 Years of Music Educators Journal published in the January 2015 issue of The Journal of Research in Music Education . She authored a chapter entitled Helping Students Develop Music Literacy in the new book Musicianship-Focused Curriculum and Assessment released by GIA Publications. Dr. Shouldice also presented three sessions at the New Hampshire Music Educators Spring Conference in April and was accepted to present at the Biennial Colloquium for Instrumental Music Teacher Educators in May. She is the current GIML president-elect.

Dr. MeeAe Nam, Voice, has developed a reputation as an important scholar of rare French song literature of Théodore Gouvy and her first CD Songs of Gouvy was released on September 2014 on Toccata Classics, London. Dr. Nam has recently made her Carnegie Hall debut performing as soloist in Vaughan William's Dona Nobis Pacem and Mozart's Coronation Mass receiving rave reviews including "Standouts were the soprano MeeAe Nam, whose voice was the epitome of Mozartean elegance and lyricism….Soprano Nam made the most of her repeated half-step implorations, turning to a more confident peaceful assertion by the end" (New York Concert Review). Dr. Nam is currently giving a series of master classes to major pre-conservatory school of the Arts students in South Korea.

Music Therapy Students Peter Hamann, Shannon Barnes, Renae Murphy, and Cassie Reyna assisted MTC Center and CMS Detroit Clients performing at the VSA Festival in 2015.

Dr. Penelope Fischer, Flute, will receive the 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the National Flute Association at the NFA's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. celebrating her contributions to the Association and the larger flute community over more than 40 years. Dr. Fischer will be featured on a program of her design at the national convention August 2015. Also performing on the program is Professor of Flute, Dr. Julie Stone.

Dr. Howard Cass along with Professor Joanna McNamara, Dance, have been booked to perform again next year (2016) in Zankel Hall with the Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. This concert promises original music for a new film by Professor McNamara. Their previous work For Diego is enjoying immense success and will be shown in May 2015 at a dance film festival in Korea.

Chamber Music Professor Dr. Howard Cass appeared as composer and pianist at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall with the Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. His new Jazz Suite (#4) for trumpet, viola, piano, and bass will be premiered, as well as a new extended arrangement of Amazing Grace , featuring full chamber orchestra and vocal soloists. These compositions will be recorded at New York's renowned Avatar Recording Studio, with Cass as pianist and producer. Additionally this disk includes 9 more of his works for electric violins with synthesizer and bass. Finally his Jazz Suite CD and song arrangements CD will both soon be released by Keuka Classical soon, with his electric violins CD will released the following year in 2016. Next , Cass has been commissioned by Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival 2015 to compose a work for string quartet.

Clarinetist Sara DeDona was selected to participate as one of four collegiate clarinetists for the USAF Collegiate Symposium held in Washington DC in 2015.

Katelyn LaPrairie, clarinet, performed with the Ypsilanti Community Orchestra and the Redford Civic Symphony Orchestra this year.


Fall 2014

Several EMU musicians participated in the Kappa Kappa Psi North Central District Intercollegiate Band including: Sara DeDona, clarinet; Kyle Thompson, bassoon; and Jeffrey Seltzer, percussion.

At the 2014 National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Michigan Chapter Student Auditions , the following students received:
Carlos Builes, graduate student - 1st place in Advanced Men
Rebecca Myers, sophomore - 1st place in 2nd year College Women
Jennifer O'Neal - 1st place in Upper Division- Mature Beginner
Kelsey Tate, freshmen - 1st place in Lower Division-Mature Beginner
Dominique Williams, senior - 3rd place in 4th year College Men

The EMU Emerald Flutes were selected to perform at the National Flute Association Convention in Chicago in 2014 where they premiered a work by film composer Christopher Caliendo.

The EMU Oboe and Bassoon Studios performed at the International Double Reed Convention in Oxford, Ohio.

Dr. Michael Burkhardt’s volume Read 'n Ring - Rote to Chords to Reading the Grand Staff with reproducible materials and music arranged by Professor Burkhardt - was published by The American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, Inc.

Dr. Donald Babcock, Trombone, is Principal Trombonist of the Ann Arbor Symphony and Instructor of Trombone at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

At the 2014 Kalamazoo Bach Festival Young Vocalists Competition, Christopher Zavac received Third place in the College Division.

Matt Van Hamm, trombone, Katie Farmer, voice, and Katelyn LaPrairie, clarinet, will be counselors at the Interlochen Arts Camp.


Winter 2014


Watch Video: Detroit Symphony Orchestra to perform June 27

Reshaping for our future

Music graduate wins prestigious U.S. State Department's Fulbright Scholarship


Dance students' video featured during performance by professor at Carnegie Hall

"Dance in the Mitten" Workshop at EMU May 2-3


EMU Voice Major Wins at Kalamazoo Bach Festival Society Competition

EMU Dance Major Shines at East Central American Dance Festival

"Dance in the Mitten" Workshop at EMU May 2-3

Reserve tickets for the U.S. Air Force Band Concert on April 9!

Special piano performances to celebrate Steinway Week March 14-21

NEW CMA "Young Music Makers" class offered for Winter 2014


EMU Music Dept. Alum Receives "Teachers Who Care" Award


Graduate Student Earns Spot on EMU Delegation to Wuhan University, China

Fall 2013


EMU Community Music Academy Relaunches! Classes Start Oct. 8th

Protect Your Hearing Every Day (for Student Musicians)


Marching On: Senior Drum Major Leads EMU Marching Band for Third Year

Eastern Michigan Students, Staff to Celebrate Arrival of Eight new Steinway Pianos

ATTENTION Vocalists: Command Performance Voice Workshop Comes to EMU September 28!

2013 Music Therapy Program Newsletter

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Soundcard Information

Summer 2013

EMU Director of Bands to be inducted into American Bandmasters Association

The Department of Music & Dance is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 214 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.4344 • Faculty Resources