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What Can You Do with a Meadows Music Degree?

Latest Updates on Meadows Music Alumni Successes

In 2016 and 2017, the college ranking website College Factual named SMU #1 in the country for “Top Graduate Pay” for its music alumni, ahead of Harvard, Boston College, Princeton, Yale and a long list of other blue ribbon schools.

Hundreds of Meadows music alumni enjoy success in the arts. The list below reflects career moves or changes that some alumni have had within the last year:

Singer Michelle Alexander (M.M. ’14) won second place in the 2017 London Wagner Society Singing Competition, plus the Audience Prize; the President’s Award, which entitles her to a master class with opera legend Dame Gwyneth Jones; and a Bursaries award to attend the Bayreuth Festival in Bayreuth, Germany.

Olga Amelkina-Vera (M.M. Composition ’17), won first place in the 2017-18 The American Prize in Composition/Instrumental Chamber Music, Student Division, for her Submerged Worlds and third place in the Opera/Theater/Film/Dance division for her micro opera, All that Glitters.

Guido Arcella-Diez (B.M. Composition and B.M. Performance/Violin ’14), now attending the M.M. Scoring for Film, Television and Video Games program, Berklee College of Music/Valencia, Spain campus; freelance video game and media composer. Game titles include: Reign of Blades, Scrapped, Identity, Pandemonium, and Inua (Winner: First Place | Intel Game Awards at GDC 2016)

Myles Blakemore (B.M. Performance/Trombone ’15), second trombone, Symphony in C (Collingswood, N.J.)

Jorge Caldelari (Artist Certificate ’08; M.M. Performance/Violin ’10), with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra and the Reise String Quartet

John Campione (B.M. Performance/Voice; B.M. Music Education ’10), actor, singer, musician; touring with School of Rock the Musical (national tour); toured with Bridges of Madison County (national tour)

Brandon Carson (B.M. Composition ’16), percussion instructor, Prince of Peace Christian School (Carrollton, Texas)

Cézanne Quartet, Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence at SMU, second place Senior Division, 2015 Coltman Chamber Music Competition; semi-finalists, 2017 Plowman Chamber Music Competition

Daniel Chan (M.M. Composition ’07), Los Angeles-based composer currently writing music for television shows Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and The Flash. Other recent scores include Penelope in the Treehouse, Hurricane, Sidekick and Monster in a House.

Shannon Conboy (B.M. Music Education, B.M. Performance/Voice ’16), music teacher, Norma Dorsey Elementary School (Garland, Texas)

Sara Corry (B.M. Composition ’10), staff arranger for the US Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” Washington, D.C.

Nathan Courtright (M.M. Composition ’13), accepted for doctoral studies at University of Pennsylvania

Hannah Cruse (B.M. Performance/Oboe, B.M. Performance/Organ ’17), organist, Northridge Presbyterian Church (Dallas)

Jordan DeRouen (M.M. Performance/Organ ’16), senior organist, Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church (Plano, Texas)

Ian Derrer (B.M. ’96), General Director and CEO, The Dallas Opera

Ordabek Duissen (M.M. Performance/Violin ’07), violin I, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

James Eakin II: (M.M. Composition ’03), composer, numerous film and concert credits; based in Los Angeles

Matt Ernst (M.M. Performance/Trumpet ’06, M.M. Instrumental Conducting ’07), principal trumpet, Milwaukee Symphony

Lindsay Forrister (B.A. Music ’16), associate art director, Core Publishing (Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Miami)

Michael Galbraith (B.M. Performance/Horn and B.A. History ’88) has played French Horn for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic since 1996 and serves as a Philharmonic board member. Galbraith recently became director of The Road to One Million economic development project for the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

Katrina Galka (B.M. Performance/Voice ’11) sang with the Dallas Opera for OPERA America

Crystal Gerrard (M.M. Music Education ’15), completed a Ph.D. at The Ohio State University and has accepted a position as assistant professor of music education at the the University of North Texas, beginning fall 2018

Richard Gray (M.M. Performance/Organ ’17), winner, Hymn-Playing category, 2016 Hall Pipe Organ Competition in San Antonio, Texas

Jonathan Gregoire (Artist Diploma/Organ ’17), one of three winners, 2016-17 SMU Meadows General Concerto Competition

Kimberly Grigsby (B.M. Performance/Piano ’91), Broadway musical director, supervisor, conductor, arranger and musician

Brittany Harrington-Smith (M.M. Performance/Bassoon ’13, Performer’s Diploma ’15), Breaking Winds Quartet named official Fox Artists

Kyle Hartman (B.M. Composition ’16), accepted to M.M. Film Composition program, Seattle Film Institute

Ben Hauser (M.M. Performance/Trumpet ’16), US Navy Band Washington, D.C. Concert/Ceremonial Band

Derek Hawkes (B.M. Performance/Trombone, B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies '14), second/assistant principal trombone, Nashville Symphony

Daniel Hawkins (B.M. Performance/French Horn ’15), utility horn, San Francisco Symphony

Sarah Israel Whitling (B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies ’15), manager of special projects for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Abby Hawthorne (B.M. Performance/Oboe '18) was accepted to the 2018 Sarasota Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute and the Festival at Round Top; she will attend Sarasota. She was also admitted to the Eastman School of Music for graduate studies and received a Sledge-Benedict National Fellowship through Alpha Chi, which awarded her $4,000 toward graduate school.

Eun Chong Ju (M.M. Performance/Violin ’10), violin, Chicago Civic Orchestra

Kelli Kader (B.M. Music Therapy ’15), Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital (Houston)

Charles Karanja (B.A. Music ’13, M.M. Performance/Voice ’16) sang with the Dallas Opera for OPERA America

Na Hung Kim (Artist Certificate ’10), faculty at Dongguk University and Sunhwa Arts School in Korea

Paul Kroeger (B.M. Performance/Voice ’13), tenor, Thuringer Opernstudio, Weimar, Germany; soloist, Landestheater Coburg, Coburg, Germany

Garrett Law (M.M. Performance/French Horn ’17), third horn, Las Colinas Symphony (Irving, Texas)

Jennie Lee (B.M. Performance/Voice ’16), awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Germany

Abigail Potts Lesser (B.M. Performance/Violin ’13), violin and viola teacher, Park Cities School of Music; private music instructor, Richardson ISD; first violin section, Tulsa Symphony

Lauren Manza (B.A. Music Therapy ’15), teacher, Cornerstone Achievement Center (Dallas)

Eldred Marshall (M.M. Performance/Piano ’11, M.M. Performance/Organ ’12, M.M. Performance/Instrumental Conducting ’13), graduating this year with a D.M.A. Piano, University of North Texas

Artina (Hunter) McCain (B.M. Performance/Piano ’03), assistant professor of piano, University of Memphis

Audra Methvin (Performer’s Diploma ’15) sang with the Dallas Opera for OPERA America

Lynda O'Connor (Artist Certificate/Violin ’10), violin, Camerata Ireland chamber orchestra (Bangor, Ireland)

Obi Okechukwu (B.B. Music Education ’16), teen music leader, St. Patrick Catholic Church (Dallas)

Inah Park (Performer’s Diploma/Organ ’17), first prize winner, 2017 Hall Pipe Organ Competition in San Antonio, Texas

Jun Soo Park (Performer’s Diploma/Violin ’16, M.M. Performance/Violin ’18), violin, Dallas Opera Orchestra

Ross Patterson (M.M. Music Education ’15) was named 2018 Teacher of the Year at Burnett Junior High School in Wylie ISD, where he director of bands and lead teacher for school’s wind ensemble, concert band and jazz band

Violina Petrova (B.M. Performance/Violin ’09), violin, Aalborg Symfoniorkester (Aalborg, Denmark)

Brandie Phillips (M.M. Performance/Violin ’10), first violin section, Dallas Opera Orchestra

Jessica Pinkham (M.M. Performance/French Horn ’16), second horn, Dayton Philharmonic

Jason Platt (M.M. Composition, M.M. Theory of Pedagogy ’15), accepted for doctoral studies, Arizona State University

Melissa Priller (B.M. Performance/Violin ’16), violin, Dallas String Quartet

Jordan Pyle (M.M. Performance/Oboe '19) was accepted into the 2018 National Repertory Orchestra summer symphony program. She will perform in a section with other oboe students from such prestigious schools as Yale and Juilliard.

Jay Reed (B.M. Composition ’16), accepted to graduate film music studies, New York University

Uriah Rinzel (M.M. Theory Pedagogy, M.M. Composition ’15), accepted for doctoral studies, Texas Christian University

Tim Roy (B.M. Composition ’09), D.M.A. candidate, Rice University

Maura Sheffler (B.A. Music ’11, M.A./M.B.A. ’13), deputy director, programs and marketing, TACA (Dallas)

Aleksandr Snytkin (Artist Certificate/Violin ’07), violin I & II, Dallas Symphony

Samarth Srinivasan (B.M. Composition ’16), accepted to M.M. Scoring for Film, Television and Video Games program at Berklee College of Music/Valencia, Spain campus

Joe Tomkins (B.M. Music Education ’08) was named 2018 McKinney ISD Secondary Education Teacher of the Year. Tomkins is director of choirs at McKinney Boyd High School. During his time as an SMU music student, he was named the Meadows Young Music Educator of the Year award in 2012.

Paul Torrisi (B.M. Performance/Trumpet ’15), third trumpet, Grand Rapids Symphony

Will Trice (B.A. Music ’01), Tony-winning Broadway producer, Jeffrey Richards Associates

Santiago Cañon Valencia (Performer’s Diploma/Cello ’15), first prize, 2016 Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition in Morelia, Mexico; former major prize winner at Christchurch National Concerto Competition, Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition and Pablo Casals International Cello Competition

Florence Wang (B.M. Performance/Violin ’12, Performer’s Diploma ’14), violin, Dallas Opera Orchestra

Justin Weisenborn (B.M. Performance/Trumpet ’11), trumpet, USAF Heritage of America Band at Langley AFB

Scott Wise (B.M. Composition ’99, B.M. Performance/French Horn ’99, M.M. Composition ’01), staff composer-arranger, USAF Band of the Pacific-Asia

Morgan Wood (B.M. Music Therapy ’16), music therapist, My Possibilities (Plano, Texas)

Yu Ting Su (B.M. Music Therapy ’15), music therapist, Taitung Christian Hospital (Taitung City, Taiwan)

Read more about the Division of Music at SMU Meadows School of the Arts.

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