Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

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.

May 2017

  • Part-time Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello ’99 was the featured guest performer for Austin Bridal Magazine’s 30th Anniversary Gala on Apr. 13 in Austin, Texas.

  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari has been awarded second place for the 2016 American Prize Competition in orchestral conducting (community orchestra). The American Prize competitions are national awards adjudicated through submission of recorded performances. Ferrari submitted video recordings of her performances of Beethoven’s 2nd Symphony, the Shostakovich 5th Symphony, and the Marquez Danzon No. 2, all performed with the Austin Civic Orchestra.

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Dana Zenobi was invited to present a lecture titled “Practical Uses for Technology in the Solo Voice Studio” at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, Texas on Apr. 19.

  • Part-time Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello ’99 judged the Spring 2017 Choir Competition for The Texas Charter School Academic and Athletic League (TCSAAL). TCSAAL works to aid the individual growth of Texas’ charter school students through academic and athletic competition, promotion of teamwork and a healthy lifestyle, and the constant pursuit for academic excellence.

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Dana Zenobi represented Southwestern University as a judge at the South Texas Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) auditions, held at Texas State University on Apr. 8. Zenobi was re-elected as an officer and will serve a second two-year term as Secretary of the South Texas NATS Chapter.

April 2017

  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari performed (conducted) three concerts with the Austin Civic Orchestra (ACO) over the past six months. One on Oct. 29, another on Dec. 10, and the final on Feb. 4. The Feb. 4 concert, titled “Spotlight on Southwestern,” was presented in the Alma Thomas Theater and featured an all-Southwestern tribute. Professor of Music Kenny Sheppard lead the Southwestern Chorale in a collaborative performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, featuring Associate Professor of Music Bruce Cain and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Dana Zenobi as soloists. The ACO also performed Professor of Music Michael Cooper’s edition of Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony, and Associate Professor of Music Jason Hoogerhyde’s composition, Lament. Also featured were nine Southwestern alumni, including Gus Sterneman ’06 who is the ACO’s assistant conductor.

March 2017

  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis recently participated as a flutist, singer, and featured composer in the inaugural concert of Inversion Ensemble, a choral collaborative dedicated to the presentation of new choral works. The Feb. 25 concert in Austin included Inglis’ compositions “In Heaven and on Earth” for chorus, flute and clàrsach, and “On the Mystery of the Incarnation” for chorus and strings.

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Dana Zenobi traveled to Mississippi University for Women and presented a lecture recital, “Songs of the Boulanger Sisters,” at the inaugural Music by Women Festival, March 3–4. Dr. Chuck Dillard, area coordinator for collaborative piano at Portland State University, collaborated on the performance portion of the lecture recital.

February 2017

  • Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Katherine Altobello ’99 performs the role of “Fairy” in Verdi’s brilliant comedic opera Falstaff with the San Diego Opera, directed by Olivier Tambosi and conducted by Daniele Callegari.  Performances take place at the San Diego Civic Theatre February 18, 21, 24, and 26.  The San Diego Opera is ranked among the top 10 opera companies in the United States. For more information visit

  • Professor of Music Lois Ferrari is a finalist in the 2016 American Prize Competition in Community Orchestra Conducting. The American Prize competitions are national awards judged via submission of recorded video performances. Ferrari’s video entry was of the Shostakovich 5th Symphony and the Marquez Danzon No. 2, both with the Austin Civic Orchestra.