Music

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

September 2018

  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello was a featured mezzo-soprano soloist and ensemble member with the Texas Bach Festival under the direction of Barry Williamson and collaborative pianists Rick Rowley and Andrew Brownell. Featured works included J. S. Bach’s motets, “Jesu, Meine Freude” (BWV 227), “Singet dem Herrn ein Neues Lied” (BWV 225), Brahms’s “Liebeslieder Walzer, Op. 52,” and Vaughan Williams’s “Serenade to Music.”





  • Associate Professor of Music Jason Hoogerhyde’s work “Ebullient Echoes” was chosen as part of the 52 Weeks of Flute Project, spearheaded by Chicago-based flutist Robin Meiksins. Meiksins prepared the composition in consultation with Hoogerhyde and presented it on the Project’s YouTube channel. The performance may be viewed here.





August 2018

  • Part-Time Assistant Professor of Music Alisha Gabriel is celebrating the release of two more nonfiction children’s books titled The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Triggers Reform and Escaping an Animal Attack, both published by The Child’s World.





June 2018

  • Part-time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis’ composition “El sol” for SATB chorus, harp, and Venezuelan cuatro enjoyed its world première performance June 2, 2018, in Austin, Texas, with Inversion Ensemble and harpist Shana Norton. “El sol” (The Sun), sets Sonnet XXXIII by Luis Martín de la Plaza to a Venezuelan joropo for SATB chorus, harp, and cuatro. Luis Martín de la Plaza (1577–1625) grew up in the small southern Spanish town of Antequera. A gifted poet as well as a priest, he wrote this Petrarchan sonnet in classical style. The octave (the first eight lines) presents a violent thunderstorm with dark clouds that hide the sun, fierce winds that fight with the sea, waves that batter the rocky coastline, and hail that blankets the fields. The sestet (the final six lines) turns the narrative to the sun’s breaking through the clouds, calming the sea, hushing the wind and thunder, painting the clouds gold, and adorning the fields with fragrant flowers. One is left to wonder whose eyes are so beautiful as to make the sun’s dawn envy their colors. The sonnet’s rhythmic and vivid imagery lends itself to a Venezuelan joropo, a creole dance and musical style derived from Spanish, African, and indigenous sources. The SATB choral parts indulge in some cross rhythms and playful polyphony over a typical joropo rhythm on the harp and Venezuelan cuatro.





May 2018

  • Music and Computer Science double-major Isabel Tweraser, class of 2019, has been awarded a $1,200 ACM-W scholarship to help her travel to Kyoto, Japan, to present her peer-reviewed conference paper “Querying Across Time to Interactively Evolve Animations” at the upcoming Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference. The paper was co-authored with Lauren Gillespie, class of 2019, and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum. ACM is the Association for Computing Machinery, and ACM-W scholarships are specifically aimed at helping female students attend research conferences in hopes of encouraging them to pursue further research opportunities in the future.





  • Caleb Martin ’17, a Music Education major and former student of Part-time Instructor of Applied Music Anna Carney, has been accepted to the Buffet Crampon Summer Clarinet Academy in Jacksonville, Fla. This is an honor offered to only 20 clarinetists across North America. Caleb will have the opportunity to work closely with internationally acclaimed artist faculty, including Philippe Cuper, Pierre Génisson, Alides Rodriguez, Victoria Luperi, and Inn-Hyuck Cho. There will be a hands-on seminar on instrument maintenance and adjustment as well as several lectures given by the artist faculty. Caleb is currently teaching music in the Georgetown public schools and also serves as assistant principal clarinet in the Austin Civic Orchestra, conducted by Professor of Music Lois Ferrari.





  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari  conducted the Austin Civic Orchestra (ACO) in their 5th concert of the season, Texas Rising Stars, in Bates Recital Hall at the University of Texas Butler School of Music on March 25, 2018. In addition to showcasing the winners of UT’s string concerto contest, the ACO also performed Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” ballet suite for 13 instruments and Pulitzer Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon’s “Blue Cathedral.” This concert was performed as part of the larger 2017–2018 season theme, Made in America, for which Ferrari and the ACO are committed to performing music written by American composers.





  • Assistant Professor of Music Hai Zheng Olefskywill be honored by Austin Mayor Steve Adler and the Austin City Council with a special proclamation on Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall for her contribution to the community as the Artistic Director for the Young Musicians Festival Competition at the Asian American Cultural Center for the past 18 years. She will also perform at the Austin City Council Chamber on that day. The performance will be aired live on ATXN.





April 2018

  • Part-time Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello ’99 performed the mezzo-soprano solos of Mack Wilberg’s “Requiem” with St. Edward’s University Masterworks Singers and Orchestra, under the baton of Dr. Morris Stevens. This was the Texas premiere of the work, performed on March 4 and 8, 2018, at St. Edward’s University Ballroom and St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Austin.





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.