Music

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

March 2018

  • Music majors Melanie Lim, class of 2021, and Chloe Easterling, class of 2020, participated in the South Texas District Auditions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. The students performed art songs and arias before a panel of judges and received written critiques. The event was held at The University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Belton, Texas on March 24. Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Dana Zenobi served as an adjudicator and concluded her term as Secretary of the South Texas NATS chapter.





  • Professor of Music and Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts Michael Cooper channeled the percussionist skeleton in his academic closet to publish a review of The Cambridge Companion to Percussion (ed. Russell Hartenberger; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016) in Performance Practice Review 22 (2017): 1-5.





  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Dana Zenobi appeared as both a performer and a presenter at the second annual Music by Women Festival, held at Mississippi University for Women March 13.  Zenobi and University of Texas at Austin trombonist Megan Boutin performed “Love While You May,” a recently-composed song cycle for soprano and trombone by Southwestern alumna Ashley H. Kraft ’14. Zenobi also performed “Petite rêve,” a four-song cycle by Los Angeles based composer Genevieve Vincent.  She presented a lecture recital titled “À deux voix: Romantic Duets for Women’s Voices” along with former Southwestern faculty member Dr. Agnes Vojtko and pianist Dr. Michael Bunchman (University of Southern Mississippi). The lecture recital presented works by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Cécile Chaminade, and sister composers Maria Malibran and Pauline Viardot with the intent of situating this vocal literature more firmly within the canon.





February 2018

  • Part-time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis’ composition “Cochineal” for SATB chorus and electronic dance track enjoyed its world première performance Feb. 10, 2018, with Inversion Ensemble. Inglis’ son, Walter Torres, a PhD oceanography student at Duke, created the electronic dance track. Inversion Ensemble performed “Cochineal” Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at Wesleyan at Estrella and Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, at Westminster Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall. “Cochineal” combines earthy and electronic sound to set to music the ancient Andean recipe for dyeing alpaca wool with cochineal, an insect full of carminic acid that feeds on prickly pear cactus. The recipe depicts the synthesis of insects, alpaca wool, minerals, water, fire, sun, time, and a couple of unusual ingredients to create colorful beauty. Using Andean harmonies and scales, the music captures the grandeur of the Andes mountains and the artisanal tradition of hand-crafting colorful yarn from local natural ingredients. The electronic track features compelling dance rhythms produced from original sound design and processing with software instruments Serum, Alchemy, Sylenth, and Massive among others. “Cochineal” is the first musical collaboration between Adrienne Inglis and Walter Torres.





  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Dana Zenobi performed as the featured artist for LOLA (Local Opera Local Artists) Austin’s quarterly concert series on Feb. 15. Her program, “A Valentine to Female Composers,” introduced Austin-area music lovers to art songs by female composers, including Alma Mahler, Fanny Mendelssohn, Lori Laitman, Libby Larsen, and two sets of sister composers, Lili and Nadia Boulanger and Pauline Viardot and Maria Malibran.  She also performed a newly-composed song cycle by Canadian-born composer Genevieve Vincent, who is currently based in Los Angeles, Calif.





  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari conducted the Austin Civic Orchestra’s 4th concert of the season, An American in Paris, which featured music written by Gershwin, Larsen, Barber, and Popper, on Feb. 3. Featured were local soloists Toby Blumenthal and Southwestern student Isabel Tweraser, class of 2019 and winner of the 2017 Southwestern Concerto Contest. This concert is a part of the larger ‛17–‛18 season theme, Made in America, for which Ferrari and the ACO are committed to performing music written by American composers.





January 2018

  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello ’99 was the guest vocalist in Austin Chamber Ensemble’s “Berlin Bernstein Birthdays and More” featuring works by Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, and Claude Debussy. Altobello performed alongside pianists Marti Ahern and Stephen Burnaman. Performances were Jan. 26–27, inaugurating Huston-Tillotson University’s “all Steinway school.”





  • Part-time Assistant Professor of Applied Music Li Kuang recently attended the Big XII Trombone Conference held Jan. 1214 at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. The Big XII Trombone Conference is an annual trombone event that attracts professional trombone players, college trombone professors, trombone students and trombone enthusiasts across the country. Kuang served as a faculty member in this conference. He also presented a solo performance and adjudicated the final rounds of both the “Yamaha Tenor Trombone Solo Competition” and the “Big XII Bass Trombone Solo Competition.” The renowned bass trombonist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Mr. Charlie Vernon was also among the invited guest artists to this conference.





December 2017

  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari conducted the Austin Civic Orchestra’s 3rd concert of the season, Austin Home-Grown, which featured music written by local composers Donald Grantham and Dan Welcher on Dec. 10. Both composers were on hand to help rehearse and conduct their works So Long As Days Shall Be and Prairie Light. This concert is part of a larger season theme, Made in America, to which Ferrari and the ACO are committed to performing only music written by American composers throughout its 2017-18 season.





  • Isabel Tweraser , class of 2019, won the 2017 Southwestern Concerto contest. She will be perform “Hungarian Rhapsody” by David Popper with the Austin Civic Orchestra on Feb. 3, 2018.





  • Part-time Assistant Professor of Music Hai Zheng Olefsky was featured as a soloist with the Austin Youth Symphony Orchestra to perform ” Prayer” by Ernest Bloch at the Austin Youth Orchestra Winter Concert on Dec. 3.





November 2017

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Dana Zenobi was competitively selected from the Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) to perform on the 2017 Texoma Regional Conference Artist Series. Her lecture recital “Songs of the Boulanger Sisters: Stylistic Analysis Through a Gender Lens” presented historical context and stylistic analysis of art songs by sister composers Nadia and Lili Boulanger, with the intent of situating this literature more firmly within the canon of French melodie. Current Music Education major Tabitha Thiemens ’19 also attended the conference, which was held at Texas A&M University - Commerce, Nov. 9–11. Thiemens performed as part of the student auditions, which involved over 500 college students from the region.  She attended master classes, artist series performances, and a recital by nationally renowned soprano Elizabeth Baldwin.





  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Dana Zenobi presented a lecture recital on the art songs of sister composers Nadia and Lili Boulanger at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas. She performed along with pianist Jeanne Sasaki on Oct. 26.





  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari was invited to conduct a New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) all-county concert in the Saratoga, NY, area. Ferrari rehearsed and conducted approximately 80 high school musicians over the course of three days, all culminating in a festival concert on Oct. 21.





August 2017

  • Professor of Music Kiyoshi Tamagawa was a featured artist and one of three guest presenters at the Oregon Music Teachers’ Association annual conference in Lincoln City, Ore, July 14–16, 2017. He presented two sessions, “Basics of Contrapuntal Playing on the Keyboard” and “Echoes from the East: Debussy and the Javanese Gamelan,” taught a master class on the keyboard music of J.S. Bach, and performed a solo recital of music by Bach, Debussy and Schumann.





July 2017

  • Part-time Assistant Professor of Applied Music Li Kuang was invited to hold a four-day guest artist residency at both Yantai University’s College of Fine Arts and Jilin College of Fine Arts in China May 30–June 10, 2017. During the time of these residencies, Kuang taught masterclasses, gave private lessons, conducted clinics and presented solo recitals at both schools. In addition, Kuang was invited to teach a masterclass at Sichuan Conservatory of Music in Chengdu, China, on May 23. His residencies received great success and his trip to China helped create connections between Chinese music schools and Southwestern University. Kuang has already received several additional invitations from major conservatories for guest artist residencies and has set engagements with some of them for the summer of 2018.





June 2017

  • Professor of Music and Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts Michael Cooper published a chapter titled “Faust’s Schubert: Schubert’s _Faust_” in Goethe’s “Faust” in Music: Music in Goethe’s “Faust,” ed. Lorraine Byrne Bodley (New York: Boydell, 2017). The first study to discuss the complete corpus of Schubert’s settings from Faust as a group in their dramatic and historical context, the chapter argues that Schubert, treating Part I of Goethe’s tragedy just four years after its publication in Vienna, was the first composer not only to appreciate the significance of Goethe’s recasting the traditional Faust narrative as a wager rather than a pact (and hence a venture in which humanity could outsmart or otherwise overcome the cosmic forces of Good and Evil that operate in the foreground of the drama), but also to understand that the true driving force of the drama is not Faust himself, but Gretchen. In so doing Schubert musically iterated “the woman question” that was gaining increasing prominence in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century European cultural spheres, grappled astutely with a theme of Goethe’s drama even as much of the literary world was viewing it with incomprehension or outright hostility, and pioneered interpretive trends that have since assumed almost dogmatic status.





  • Part-time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis’ composition “Letters to Faith” made its world premiere June 3 at Austin’s new choral collective Inversion Ensemble. The eight-voice a cappella choral work sets to music two letters written by Inglis’ grandparents to their daughter, Faith Inglis, while she was a student at Pomona College. Faith’s parents wrote these letters to comfort and encourage her after a poor showing on an exam, but unwittingly revealed amusing and poignant family characteristics.





  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari performed (conducted) three concert programs with the Austin Civic Orchestra (ACO) over the past four months. The March 25 concert, “Texas Rising Stars,” featured concerto winners from the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas-Austin in addition to William Grant Still’s Afro-American Symphony. On May 13, the ACO hosted the Texas Guitar Quartet in a performance of Rodrigo’s Concierto Andaluz for Four Guitars. Also on the program was Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony. June 9–10 marked the 40th annual Zilker Park pops concerts. This year featured music by the Beatles and an eclectic array of music chosen by ACO audiences throughout the 2016–17 season.