Music Alumni Accolades 


NOTE: The Department of Music would like to keep this list current. If you are a Southwestern Music Department alum and would like to be included on this list, update your listing, or have news of other alumni, please e-mail Dr. Kiyoshi Tamagawa at: While the Department realizes that Southwestern music alumni have achieved distinction in many areas, this listing concentrates on those who have successfully pursued careers or graduate study in music or music-related fields.

  • Briana Garcia (12) Master’s program in Percussion Performance, University of Houston
  • Andrea ‘Andie’ Loer (11) Graduate studies in Choral Conducting, Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Brian Miller (11) Graduate studies in Choral Conducting, Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Natalie Phillips-Perkoff (11) Cello and orchestra sectional instructor, Tomball ISD; private cello teacher; member, Houston Civic Symphony. Working toward teacher certification as orchestra director
  • Andrea Plybon (11) Assistant for Accreditation and Research, National Association of Schools of Music, Reston, VA
  • Brooke Lyssy (10) Graduate studies in Musicology, Columbia University
  • Stephanie (Rizvi) Stewart (10) Graduate studies in Musicology, Texas Tech University
  • Zachary Zeman (10) Fulbright Scholar, Germany—now Assistant Choir Director, Randall HS, Amarillo
  • Bradley Acree (09) Assistant Choir Director, Arnold Middle School, Cypress/Fairbanks ISD
  • Megan McCarty (09) Master of Music in Musicology, Boston University; study abroad in Leipzig, Germany; entering doctoral program in Musicology at Duke University
  • Erin McHugh (09) Master of Music in Vocal Performance, Royal College of Music, London
  • Natalie Moore (09) Master of Science in Arts Administration, Boston University; currently Development Associate, The University of Texas Butler School of Music
  • Michelle (Perrin) Blair (09) Master of Music in Conducting, University of Texas/Arlington. Now in doctoral program at University of Houston
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    Philip Smith (09) Minister of Music, First Presbyterian Church, Georgetown, TX

  • Alicia Jumonville (08) Choir director, Palo Alto Middle School, Killeen, TX. 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year, Killeen ISD
  • James Jumonville (08) Assistant Choir Director, Rancier Middle School, Killeen, and Liberty Hill Middle School
  • Meredith Orf (08) Studio piano instructor, Austin, TX
  • Rachel (Barnes) Smith (08)  Choral Director, Fry Intermediate School,

    Texas City ISD

  • Javier Honorato Jara Espinoza (08) Graduate studies in Music and Human Learning, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Dolores Noel (08) Head Choir Director, Goodson Middle School, Cypress/Fairbanks ISD
  • Emily Price (08) Middle school choir director, Alvin (TX) ISD
  • Stevie (Garza) Otto (07) Master of Music in Musicology, University of Iowa; Academic Advising Assistant, George Mason University
  • Travis Jeffords (07) Master of Music in Composition, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Walter ‘Gus’ Sterneman (07) Master of Music in Conducting and Musicology, Butler University; currently in the DMA program in Opera Conducting, University of Arizona
  • Katherine Wiggins (07) Master of Music in Vocal Performance, University of Miami. Now in Artist Diploma program at University of Miami
  • Aryn Michelle (Campbell) Calhoun (06) Certificate, Berklee College of Music, Songwriting and Music Synthesis


  • Aaron Carter-Cohn (06) Master of Music in Theory, Texas State University/San Marcos. Ph.D. program in Music Theory and Cognition, The Ohio State University, fall 2012. Fulbright Research Grant to Nigeria, spring-summer 2013
  • Kevin High (06) Master of Music in cello performance, University of Missouri; currently in Performer’s Certificate program at Montclair State University, NJ
  • Douglas Loomis (06) Studio piano instructor, Conroe, TX
  • David Smith (06) Master of Music in Vocal Performance, University of Houston; independent voice teacher in Houston
  • Megan (Arnold) Weinel (05) Choir director, Smith Middle School, Houston
  • Erin (Bales) Hanson (04) Master of Music in Vocal Performance, Texas State University; former member of Houston Grand Opera Chorus; Executive Assistant and Guild Liaison, Austin Lyric Opera. Leading first annual Voice Symposium at the National Music Festival in Chestertown, Maryland, summer 2013
  • Estee (Carel) Valendy (04) Seminary graduate, Texas Christian University; currently Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Saginaw, TX
  • Emily Harrison (04) Graduate studies in Ethnomusicology, University of Houston
  • Joshua Keltner (04) Master of Music in cello performance, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • Amanda Ortiz (04) Orchestra director, Southmore Intermediate School, Pasadena, TX
  • Catherine (Warlick) Justl (04) Graduate studies in Music and Human Learning, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Jennifer Marie (Henderson) Becker (03) Middle school music instructor, Surprise School District, Arizona.
  • Amy Louise (Werst) Cox (03) Taught Viola and Chamber Music at UT/Brownsville. Now in doctoral program in Music and Human Learning, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Matthew Brown (02) Master of Music in Conducting, Peabody Conservatory. Now Associate Conductor of Canton (OH) Symphony; also is co-founder and artistic director of the International Conductors’ Festival in Kiev, Ukraine.


  • John Branch (00) Freelance guitarist, Austin, TX; has his own band, The Other Lebowski
  • Yasu Suzuki (00) Completed graduate studies at University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Now a bass instructor at Amherst College and freelance musician
  • Cristina Gonzalez (00) Orchestra director, Economides HS, Edinburg, TX
  • Katherine Altobello (99) Master of Music in vocal performance, Indiana University. Professional singer and musical theater performer—has appeared with New York City Ballet, Austin Lyric Opera, San Diego Opera and Tulsa Opera
  • Weston Hurt (99) Graduate studies in vocal performance, Indiana University and summer apprentice artist at The Santa Fe Opera Company. Now under professional management, Columbia Artists. Has sung with the Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Wolf Trap Opera and at Carnegie Hall









  • Jed Ragsdale (98) Choral Director, Cypress/Fairbanks High School, Cypress, TX. His choirs have been selected to perform at the Texas Music Educators’ Association state convention
  • Jason Schayot (97) Associate Band Director, Berkner HS, Richardson, TX
  • Christopher Frerichs (97) MA in arts administration and MBA, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
  • Melissa (Melancon) Hartshorn (97) Completed graduate studies in vocal performance at University of Houston
  • Adrienne (Meza) Grove (97) Completed graduate studies in vocal performance at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
  • Christine Carlisle (97) Elementary music teacher in Spring Branch ISD, Houston, TX
  • Michelle (Mizell) Corazao (96) Graduate studies in Sacred Music, Southern Methodist University
  • Jo Ann (Elliott) Antinone (95) Head Choral Director, Bell HS, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD
  • Claire Smith (95) Graduate studies at Boston Conservatory. Now a freelance musician in New York; has appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live and The View television shows
  • Robert Phillips (94) Head Choral Director, Clear Springs HS, League City, TX
  • Jason Geistweidt (93) Ph.D., Queen’s University, Belfast, Ireland in music composition; currently freelance composer based in Chicago
  • Michelle (Weselman) Willey (93) Head Choral Director, Tomball JHS, Tomball, TX
  • Susan Busch-Eisenhower (92) Junior High Choral Director, Georgetown, TX
  • Catherine (Degnan) Lysinger (91) Master’s and Doctorate in Piano Performance, University of Houston; Senior Lecturer in Piano and Piano Pedagogy and Director of Piano Preparatory Department, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University
  • Michael Lysinger (89) Director of the Choral program, J.J. Pearce High School, Richardson, TX
  • Marc Erck (89) Minister of Music, University United Methodist Church, Austin; Chorus Master, Austin Lyric Opera
  • Scott Carrell (87) Associate Professor of Music, Harding University, Searcy, AR
  • Don McAvoy (87) Minister of Music, First United Methodist Church, Kerrville, TX
  • Sam Smith (85) completed MS in stage direction for opera at Indiana University, Bloomington. Director of Resource Development for Indianapolis Opera
  • Dr. Ann Stutes (84) Dean, School of Fine Arts, Wayland Baptist University, Plainview, TX
  • Michael Alexander (82) Completed DMA at the University of Houston; past President of Orchestra Division, Texas Music Educators’ Association; currently Music Education faculty member, Baylor University
  • Dr. Rebecca Burkhardt (81), Orchestra Director, University of Northern Iowa
  • Andre Garcia (81) Choral Director and Chair of Music Department, New Mexico Highlands University
  • Charlotte (Reed) Moellering (80) Orchestra director (retired), Blalack Middle School, Carrollton, TX. Master’s degree, University of North Texas
  • Beverly (Brown) Harrison (75) Orchestra Director (retired), Hill Country MS, Eanes ISD, Austin, TX. Studio string instructor, Georgetown, TX
  • Kathy Lincoln (74) completed MA in Violin Pedagogy at Texas Women’s University, and Master of Music in violin performance at Florida State University. Performer in various professional orchestras in Florida
  • Susan Youens (68) Musicology faculty, Notre Dame University, South Bend, IN; leading authority on the music of Franz Schubert