The College of Arts and Architecture

Alumni Spotlight

Jacob Womack

Jacob Womack (’09 M.M. Piano Pedagogy and Performance) recently graduated from West Virginia University with a D.M.A. degree in piano performance. He now serves as Director of Music at the School of Harmony in Beaver, West Virginia, where...

Christian Baldini in concert hall

Christian Baldini (M.M. '05-orchestral conducting) has been invited to serve as the cover conductor for Michael Tilson Thomas with the San Francisco Symphony, and he will make his debut with the symphony in December of this year.

After...

Kelly Detwiler and the Altoona Lion

Congratulations to Kelly A. Detwiler (B.S.-Music Education '90) who was named the 2014 Outstanding Music Education Alumni Award winner.

Detwiler serves as director of orchestras at Altoona Area High School and Altoona Area Junior High...

Mary Katerman

Mary Katerman (’12 B.M.E.) has been chosen as a Fulbright Scholar for the year 2014. She will travel to Malaysia where she will teach English as a second language to students aged 11-17.

Founded by Senator J. William Fulbright in...

John carpenter

John Carpenter (B.A. '14) recently performed in the world premiere of South Pole, an opera by Miroslav Srnka which was commissioned by the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Germany.

The world premiere was conducted by General...

Brian Fronzaglia

Brian Fronzaglia (B.S. '02) has been named music department chair at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri. He also serves the school as the percussion professor and director of athletic bands.

Brian holds a master...

matthew bramucci headshot

Dr. Matthew Bramucci (B.S. '00, trombone) has been appointed as Director of School Improvement Processes for the School District of Cheltenham Township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

Matt holds a master’s degree in music...

Brian Winnie

Brian J. Winnie (B.S. ’04) has been named as the Director of Choral Activities at Southwestern College in Winfield, KS. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting degree in February, 2014 from the University of Washington...

Jeff Puhala
Congratulations to Jeffrey Puhala ('00 M.M. saxophone) who received his Doctor of Education degree in curriculum...
fouad Fakhouri

Fouad Fakhouri (M.M.-Composition/Theory '97, M.M.-Orchestral Conducting '01) has received an honorary “Doctor of Humane Letters” degree from Methodist University (North Carolina). As part of that honor, he delivered the fall...

maria Arrua

Maria Arrua ('13 M.M. violin) has been invited to participate in Project Inclusion for the summer 2014 season of the Grant Park Orchestra (Chicago, IL).

Project Inclusion is a partnership with the Chicago Sinfonietta that aims to...

Elisa Matthews

Elisa Matthews (MM Pedagogy and Performance '00) has been nominated for a Barrymore Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical for her work playing the role of Lily Craven in Philadelphia's Arden Theatre production of The...

Alex Meixner

The performance career of Alex Meixner (M.M. '01) began at age 6 with his two sisters and father in an ethnic folk ensemble. From these early experiences to headlining appearances at music festivals throughout the United States, and concert...

Zachary Cairns

Zachary Cairns ('00 B.S., '03 M.A.) received first prize in a contest sponsored by the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) for his composition titled Two Pieces for Baritone Saxophone and Percussion. The award comes with financial...

Larry Doran

Larry Doran (’90 B.S.) is the recipient of the 2012 Penn State Outstanding Alumni Music Educator Award.

Larry has been the Director of Bands of the Midlothian High School (TX) for thirteen years. He is also adjunct professor of...

BJ Hickey

Robert Hickey (’01 B.S. Music Education, ‘15 M.M. Wind Conducting) has been named as a visiting assistant professor at Fairmont State University in Fairmont, WV. As Director of Bands, his responsibilities include conducting the...

Aaron Tindall

Aaron Tindall (B.M. '06) released his second solo CD in January 2014, titled "This is My House." The CD, containing all premieres, has received two Global Music Awards for "instrumental soloist" and "...

Stephanie Fort

Stephanie Fort ('03 M.M. voice pedagogy and performance) will present a session titled "Motivational interviewing as a tool to facilitate behavioral change in voice patients” at the fall conference of the Pan American Vocology...

Julia Wolcott

Soprano Julia Wolcott (B.M. '13) was named as a finalist in the National Opera Association's "Caroline and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition" held in January at the National Opera Center in New York City. Julia was one of...

Caroline Harris Steiger

Caroline Harris Steiger (’12 M.M.-horn) has been hired as a tenure-track assistant professor at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. She will begin work in fall 2016.

Caroline grew up in southeast Michigan and earned a bachelor...

Louima Lilite

Louima Lilite ( '02 M.M. voice performance and pedagogy) has received the 2016 “Distinguished Teaching Award” from Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU).  The highest honor for OBU faculty members, this award is presented to a...

Eric Sanders

Eric Sanders (B.S. ‘95, percussion) has served on the faculty of the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media (AIMM) since 2009. A percussion student named Jason Barnes enrolled at the school in 2013, functioning without a right forearm...

Brittany Mohney

Brittany Mohney (’13 B.M.E.) graduated in May, 2015 from the National Institute for Infant & Child Medical Music Therapy at Florida State University.

She is now employed by Tallahassee Memorial Health Care Hospital. In this...

Annie Burridge

Annie Burridge ('00 B.M.) has been name managing director of Opera Philadelphia. In this new position, she joins the artistic planning team and assumes responsibility for implementing the company’s business plan.

Equipped with...

Eric Hahn with the Nittany Lion

Eric Hahn ('05 B.S., '10 M.M. band/wind ensemble conducting, '13 M.A. theory) has been named a quarterfinalist for the "2017 Music Educator of the Year" award presented by the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. The...

santiago osorio

Santiago Osorio ('15 MM-orchestral conducting) has been named as a Fulbright Scholar for 2016. From Highland Park, IL, Osorio's Fulbright Study/Research Award is contingent upon a successful audition and acceptance into a German music...

Amanda Jones

Amanda Jones (’13 B.M.E.-voice) was recognized with the 2016 “ETHOS Excellence Award” for her extraordinary efforts as a middle school music teacher by the Success Academy. Success Academy Charter Schools, Inc. is the largest...

Ivan Hodge headshot

Ivan Hodge (B.M. ’98) was a featured violinist on the PBS special, ‘A Capitol Fourth,’ performing with recent American Idol winner, Phillip Phillips.

He is an...

William E. Thomas

William Thomas ('74 M.F.A.) has done extensive research on the music of the African-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, leading to American premieres of the composer's opera Dreamlovers, A Piano Quintet, and Nonet. Other...

Valerie Little

Valerie M. Little (B.M. ‘04) is a regular substitute violist with the Minnesota Orchestra, and also plays in the Minnesota Opera Orchestra and the Mill City String Quartet. The Mill City String Quartet recently received Prairie Lakes...

Alanna Ropchock

As an organist, Alanna Ropchock (B.A./M.A. '09) performed often for religious services and festivals. This fueled her curiosity concerning liturgical­­ music history and, from that interest, Josquin des Prez’s Missa Pange...

chris brown holding a trombone

Christopher Brown ('12 M.M.-trombone) will make his Carnegie Hall debut in May 2016 as a member of the Seminole Trombone Quartet. The recital will feature a world premiere of a quartet written by New York-based composer Sheila Silver, and we...

Norm Sands

Norm Sands (’85 B.S. Music Education) was awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award – Elementary” at the annual “H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards” held in Austin, Texas on May 3, 2015. The award includes a $...

fouad fakhouri

Fouad Fakhouri (M.M.-Composition/Theory '97, M.M.-Orchestral Conducting '01) has served as music director and conductor of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra since 2004. To honor his final concert with the orchestra, the Cumberland...

Bryan Proksch

Congratulations to Bryan Proksch ('02 M.A. Musicology) on the recent publication of his book titled Reviving Haydn: New Appreciations in the Twentieth Century by University of Rochester Press.

Bryan Proksch is assistant...

alison geesey

Alison Geesey (IUG-music education and theory, '14) is the 2016 recipient of an award sponsored...

joshua horsch

Joshua Horsch ('09 M.M.-orchestral conducting) has accepted an appointment at Pensacola Opera (FL) for the 2016-17 season. He will serve as music director/conductor of "Glory Denied" as well as for the Artist in Residence program....

justin fyala

Justin Fyala (’07 B.S.-voice) has been appointed as the executive director of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, D.C. For the past five years, he served as general manager of Windy City Performing Arts, the umbrella organization of the...

Dan Shevock

Daniel Shevock ('15 Ph.D. music education), has been elected as the national chair-elect for the National Association for Music Education’s Creativity Special Research Interest Group (SRIG).  He will serve as SRIG chair-elect for...

Kevin Tutt

Kevin Tutt (B.S. '93, M.M. Conducting '99, Ph.D. '02) has been promoted from Associate Professor to Full Professor at Grand Valley State University (Allendale, Michigan). He serves the university as the assistant chair of the...

Joe Skillen holding a tuba

Joseph Skillen ('93 M.M-tuba/euphonium) has been recognized as a recipient of the Lousiana State University (LSU) Distinguished Faculty Award. The award recognizes faculty campus-wide who show sustained records of accomplishment in research,...

Andrew Loftus

Andrew Loftus ('97 B.S.) serves as assistant principal of Hunters Woods Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences in Reston, VA. He was the elementary music teacher at the same Fairfax County school prior to his move to administration....

Aaron Magaro

Congratulations to Aaron Magaro (BME '11), who has been named the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Young Music Educator Award by the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA). Aaron was honored during the PMEA Awards Breakfast on...

Danielle Gaudry

Danielle Gaudry ('09 M.M. conducting) received her D.M.A. degree in wind conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2013, and has accepted the post as Director of Bands at California State University - East...

Ian Saunders

Congratulations to Ian Saunders ('09 B.M., '12 M.M.-double bass), who is the recipient of a Cincinnati Conservatory of Music/Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CCM/CSO) diversity fellowship position. This program allows musicians from...

Peter Graff

Congratulations to Peter Graff ('13 M.A.-musicology), who has been awarded an Alvin H. Johnson AMS...

Laura Amoriello

Laura Amoriello (M.M. Piano Performance and Pedagogy ’02) will join the faculty of Ithaca College in Fall 2015 as an assistant professor. From 2004-2015, she served as an adjunct assistant professor at Westminster Choir College of Rider...

Larry Doran

The Symphonic Band of Midlothian High School (TX), conducted by Larry Doran (’90 B.S.), has been  accepted as a performing ensemble at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago in December 2014.

Larry...

kevin tutt

Kevin Tutt (B.S. '93, M.M. Wind Conducting '99, Ph.D. '02) has been promoted to...

Faith McNitt

H. Faith McNitt (’60 M.Ed., ’71, D.Ed.) graduated cum laude from Susquehanna University in 1941 with double majors in music education and voice. She began her career as a music teacher in the Peters Township schools the following year...

Annie Burridge

Annie Burridge ('00 B.M.-voice) has been named as general director of Austin Opera (TX), joining that organization after more than nine years with Opera Philadelphia. She began her new duties in Texas in November, 2016.

With degrees in...

Scott Sheehan

Congratulations to Scott Sheehan ('12 M.M.E.) who has been elected to serve as president-elect of the NAfME Eastern Division. He will begin his term in July,2013, and succeed to the presidency in 2015.

Scott is in his sixteenth year of...

Matthew Swope

Matthew B. Swope has received the School of Music's 2013-2014 Outstanding Alumni Music Educator Award. This award recognizes alumni who are making a positive difference in the lives of their students through music education, and to allow...

james villani

Congratulations to James Villani ('84 B.S., B.M.) whose recorded work with the Manassas Symphony Orchestra (MSO) has won the 2015 American Prize in Orchestral Performance by a Community Orchestra. The award honors the MSO for its live...

Justin W. Lewis

Second Lieutenant Justin W. Lewis ('10 M.M.) serves as flight commander and associate conductor of the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band in Langley, Virginia. He received his commission as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force...

Brad Townsend

Brad Townsend (’84 B.S., ’91 D.Ed.) has been appointed Director of Bands at the University of Pittsburgh. His job responsibilities will include directing the Varsity Marching Band, conducting the Symphonic Band, and leading the pep...

Chris Madden

Christopher Madden ('11 B.M.-piano, M.A. theory/history) has joined the Baylor University School of Music as a one-year Lecturer in Piano. He teaches class piano and applied piano for secondary students. He is currently a D.M.A. candidate in...

Benjamin Firer

Congratulations to Benjamin Firer ('15 M.M.-Orchestral Conducting), whose recorded work with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra has been awarded third place (youth orchestra division) by the American Prize. The organization sponsors a...

christian baldini

Christian Baldini (M.M. '05-orchestral conducting) has released a CD with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and soprano Emma Watts. Titled "Mozart: Arias and Overtures," the CD was named "Recording of the Month" by BBC...

Nathan Reed

Nathan Reed (B.S. ’07) currently serves as the director of Christian Education and Curriculum at McLean Bible Church (MBC), a multi-campus megachurch in the Washington D.C. metro area.  In this position, Nate is in charge all of the...

Jeff Kunkel

Jeffrey Kunkel (B.S.’82, D.Ed.’95) has released a CD titled Meu Coração Brasileiro, an album of original music blending the traditions of bossa nova, samba, jazz, and Música Popular Brasileira (MPB), an updated...

Alex Meixner

Alex Meixner ('01 M.M.-trumpet) is currently appearing in a national commerical for Hormel...

Albert Frantz

Pianist Albert Frantz (’98 B.M.) has released a CD of the piano works of Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-188) on the Gramola Vienna label. Specific information regarding the CD can be found...

meghan carey

Congratulations to cellist Meghan Carey ('09 B.M.) who has joined the music faculty of Austin Peay State University (Clarksville, TN) as assistant professor of low strings.

Originally from Lewisburg, PA, Meghan was previously an...

Michael Schutz

Michael Schutz ('02 B.M.A.-percussion, B.S. Computer Sicence) is an associate professor of music cognition/percussion at McMaster University in Ontario, CN. The founding director of the University’s MAPLE Lab (Music Acoustics,...

Diana Shull
Diana Shull (’15 PPC-cello) recently completed a concert tour to China as a member of the German Film Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Christiane Silber. The tour included performances in ten cities in China, including a...
Emily Karosas and Amanda Gunderson

Pianist Amanda Horn Gunderson ('06 B.M., '06 M.A., '08 M.M. piano performance) and violinist Emily Karosas ('13 B.M., '15 M.M. violin performance) have joined together with cellist Andrew Rammon to create a new chamber music...

Dennis Malfatti

Dennis Malfatti (’98 M.M. choral conducting) conducted the New England Symphonic Ensemble and a massed choir made up of selected choirs from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana at Carnegie Hall in June 2016. The program included...

Carlos feliciano

Congratulations to Carlos Feliciano ('14 M.M. Voice Performance) who was selected to participate as tenor soloist for the mass led by Pope Francis at the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington D.C. on September 23, 2015. This, the...

Lauren Kooistra

Lauren Kooistra (Ph.D. '13) has accepted an appointment at the Penn State Institute of Arts and Humanities as assistant director. The post-doc position, awarded by the College of Arts and Architecture, will begin in fall 2013.

The...

joseph kauffman, violin

Joseph Kauffman (B.M. '08) recently returned from a 40-day tour with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and a 15-day tour to Russia with the Philadelphia Virtuosi. He is currently a violin faculty member at the Nelly Berman School of Music...

Chanell Crichlow

Chanell Crichlow (M.M. tuba '10) and her ensemble, Pitchblak Brass Band, were featured in the February 2014 issue of Downbeat Magazine in an article titled "Getting Deep and Breaking Rules" by Jennifer ODell. The article discusses a...

Lin He, violin

Violinist Lin He (M.M. '00) performed at Carnegie Hall on November 22, 2014, playing a full program of the music of Dinos Constantinides with Margaret O’Connell, mezzo-soprano; Robert DiLutis, clarinet; and Michael Gurt, piano. The...

Alex E. Hill

Alex E. Hill ('97 M.M.-Conducting) conducted the world premiere of his original choral motet Notas mihi fecisti vias vitae at a principal Mass in the Papal Basilica of St. Peter in Rome on...

Greg Hutchison

Gregory Hutchison ('02 B.S.) has received the 2013 Citation of Excellence Award (District 7) from the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA). He is the band director at Lower Dauphin Middle School in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania where...

Philip and Kimberly Doucette

Kimberly Burkhard Doucette (B.S., B.M. '01) is the Artistic Director of the Wilmington Children's Chorus, and Philip Doucette (M.M.'99) serves as Manager of Operations and Associate Director. Together, they have developed a community...

Erik Jester

Erik Jester ('05 B.M., 08' M.M. trombone performance, '08 M.M. conducting) joined the faculty at California State University - San  Bernardino as Director of Bands in 2011. He conducts the Symphonic  Band, Chamber Winds, and...

Beth Guerriero

Elizabeth M. Guerriero (Ph.D.-Music Education ‘11) has been hired as director of education for the Harmony Program in New York City, a nonprofit El Sistema-inspired music program that serves the city’s boroughs. As director of...

Kris Laird

Kris Laird ('97 B.S.) has been named a 2013 Citation of Excellence Award recipient by the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) for his work with the Hollidaysburg Area Junior High School band program.

His Hollidaysburg...

Michael Hanley

Michael Hanley ('13 MM-pedagogy and performance) participated in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Intern Program during summer 2016. The program was housed at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro during the month...

Doug Orzolek

Douglas Orzolek (M.Ed. '93), associate professor and director of graduate programs in music education at the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN), received the 2014-15 Minnesota Music Education Association (MMEA) Hall of Fame Award during...