Faculty & Staff

  • We are amazed at how supportive these young people are of each other’s individuality, creativity, and expression.

    – Parent of a Young Musicians Program student

Faculty member working with student

 

The faculty and staff of The Walden School are trained in performance, composition, conducting, theory and pedagogy, among other fields, and participate in one or more of the School’s programs each year. Below are listed recent members of the faculty & staff.

Erica Ball
Megan Grace Beugger
Meade Bernard
Seth Brenzel
Eliza Brown
Alex Christie
Joshua Clampitt
Kittie Cooper
Derek David
Nicholas DeMaison
Renée Favand-See
Michael Gilbertson
Ann Goehe
Terry L. Greene II
Rebekah Griffin Greene
Dana Jessen
Juliet Kaplan
Alysoun Kegel
William Kelly
Josie Kovash
Gabriel Kyne
Marguerite Ladd

Wesley Levers
Sky Macklay
Caroline Mallonée
Tony Makarome
Emil Margolis
Ted Moore
Noah Mlotek
Ian Munro
Osnat Netzer
Loretta Notareschi
Danielle Kerani Oberdier
Susanna Payne-Passmore
Sam Pluta
A. Nirvaan Ranganathan
Sara Riddington
Sarah Riskind
Montana Rogers
Moshe Shulman
D. J. Sparr
Jake Tejada
Peter Thompson
Evan Williams

 

The Walden School Faculty and Staff

 

Erica Ball

Hailed by music critic Kyle Gann as a “precociously interesting composer”, Erica Ball’s works have been heard across the country in Chicago, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Her music has been performed by numerous ensembles including the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Colorado Quartet, the Arneis Quartet, pianist Blair McMillen, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and the American Symphony Orchestra. She has participated as a composer in the Deer Valley Music Festival, where her string quartet w(e)aving was premiered by the Arneis Quartet, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival, where she studied with composer Derek Bermel through the generosity of a Subito Grant from the American Composers Forum’s Philadelphia chapter. Erica holds a BA in Music from Bard College, where she studied with Keith Fitch, Kyle Gann, and Joan Tower. She is currently pursuing a PhD in composition as a Benjamin Franklin Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studies with Jay Reise, James Primosch, and Anna Weesner. In addition to her work as a composer, Erica remains active as a violinist, pianist, and music educator, with a special interest in bringing contemporary music to new audiences. ericajball.com

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Megan Grace Beugger


Megan Grace Beugger (b. Arlington heights, IL USA, 1987) is currently a PhD candidate in music composition at the SUNY University at Buffalo, where she is a Presidential Fellow.   She is interested in finding situations that highlight the physicality of making sound, and the physical nature of the performers’ bodies themself, often creating art that sits on the borderline between music, dance, visual art, and performance art.   Her music has been performed at June in Buffalo, Qubit Noise Festival in NYC, the Munich Philharmonic Gasteig new music series, Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, SICPP in Boston, and in this years MATA festival in New York.  She has worked with musicians such as the JACK quartet, Lucas Fels, Dal Niente, Ensemble SurPlus, Katinka Kleijn, and dancer/choreographer Melanie Aceto.  She has taken lessons and presented her music in master classes with composers including Jo Kondo, Chaya Czernowin, Steven Takasugi, Amnon Wolman, Kaija Saariaho, Rand Steiger, Lei Liang, Oliver Knussen, Augusta Read Thomas, John Harbison, and Pauline Oliveros.   In 2010, she graduated cum laude from Northwestern University with departmental honors.  Her principal teachers have been Robert Ian Winstin, Aaron Travers, Aaron Cassidy, Lee Hyla, Chris Mercer, Marcos Balter, Jay Alan Yim, and she is currently studying with David Felder.
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Meade Bernard

As a boy, Meade Bernard went on a whimsical little romp down a hill to a creek, where he found a spotted salamander and named it Charles. They became fast friends – inseparable really – until Charles flew the coop two days later through a crack in the back door in a sly but devastating act of betrayal. More recently, Meade graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory with degrees in music composition and English, focusing on electroacoustic composition and Modern Culture and Media. In his creative work he often finds himself in cahoots with filmmakers, choreographers, and theater directors, with a focus on immersive “events” designed around a particular venue/space. In recent years he’s occasionally swapped sides in these collaborations, working as a video editor and occasional director for creative and commercial film/video projects. Meade has received awards and recognition from ASCAP, NFAA, Oberlin, and, strangely, the Internet Advertising Awards. In the coming year, Meade is excited to be composing and sound-designing for a new feature film from Tribeca Film Festival award-winning director Kivu Ruhorahoza, the first-ever Rwandan filmmaker to have an international film release. He’ll also be working on several short films, an album of recent music, and he’s thinking about taking up the accordion or learning to play squash, perhaps both.  meadebernard.com

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Seth Brenzel

Seth Brenzel, Executive Director, has been associated with The Walden School for 30 years. He was fortunate to be a student at Walden for six magical summers (1985-1990), and since 1994, has served the School as a staff member, faculty member, board member, Director of Operations, and as the Associate Director from 1996 to 2003, when he became the School’s Executive Director. Since 1995, he has sung with the Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and is currently a professional member of that ensemble. He studies voice with Ruth Rainero.

Seth serves on the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Friends School, and in the past, he has served on the boards of The Walden School, Swarthmore College, and Earplay, a San Francisco new music ensemble. Seth received his B.A., with degrees in Music and Political Science, from Swarthmore College, where he served as President of the College’s Alumni Association. He re-ceived an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, with a focus in non-profit management and marketing; he has also served on the Haas School’s Development Council. He is a 2012 graduate of Leadership San Francisco, where he now serves as an alumni advisor.

Prior to becoming Walden’s first full-time Executive Director, Seth worked part-time for Walden during the year and held positions as a senior consultant at Deloitte Consulting, in marketing and public relations at the San Francisco Symphony, and most recently led both the marketing and the enterprise sales teams for an internet software company, now part of Adobe. When not at Walden, Seth lives in San Francisco with his partner, Malcolm Gaines, and their daughter, Cora.

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Eliza Brown

Eliza Brown writes music for both the concert stage and for interdisciplinary projects incorporating film, architecture, theater, music technology and visual art. Eliza’s music, described as “delicate, haunting, [and] introspective” by Symphony Magazine, has won national awards and been commissioned by artists such as the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Wild & Wulliman and dancer/choreographer Shawn Bible. Her musical activities also include playing the cello and viola da gamba and teaching aural skills at Northwestern University, where she is currently pursuing a doctorate in composition. elizabrown.net

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Alex Christie

Alex Christie is a San Francisco Bay Area composer, performer, and improviser of acoustic and electronic music. His work is the hybridization of hyper-intellectualized contemporary music theory and a childish obsession with explosive sound and bright, flashing lights. Alex holds a BM from the Oberlin Conservatory in Composition and TIMARA (Technology In Music And Related Arts) and an MFA from Mills College in Electronic Music and Recording Media. He frequently collaborates with choreographers and dancers and has been commissioned by Cleveland-based dance company GroundWorks Dancetheater and Seattle-based choreographer K.T. Niehoff. Alex performs as a laptopist in several veins of music, ranging from experimental improvisatory noise to electronic dance and also performs free jazz and freely improvised music as a saxophonist. He recently released an album of solo electronic music entitled “In The Blink” on Khalija records and currently teaches composition, electronic music, and music theory at Santa Clara University. alexchristie.org/

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Joshua Clampitt

Joshua Clampitt is a composer, flutist, singer, and conductor living in Bloomington, Indiana where he is pursuing a bachelors degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of music. At IU Joshua studies composition with Don Freund, P.Q. Phan, and Claude Baker, and conducting with Dominic DiOrio. His music has been performed at Indiana University, Butler University, and Ball State University, and by various ensembles in the Indiana area. Also studying performance, Joshua is active as a concert flutist, with a specialty in contemporary music. An avid performer, Joshua currently sings as a member of the Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and can also be heard with the Indiana University Opera & Ballet Theater, and Oratorio Chorus.

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Kittie Cooper

Kittie Cooper hails from Bainbridge Island, Washington. She will be a sophomore at Northwestern  University Bienen School of Music, where she studies classical guitar performance and music  education. During the school year, she volunteers as a guitar teacher for a student organization called  AMASE (Academy of Music and Arts for Special Education), which works to teach children with  autism about music. When she’s not doing music-related things, she enjoys reading, going for walks,  and cooking. And although it has nothing to do with why her name is Kittie, she does in fact love cats a great deal and has two of them at home.

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Derek David

Derek has been commissioned by the Juventas New Music Ensemble, Sonica Quartet, King David Trio, the Musical Diplomacy Symphony Orchestra (now The Sounding Board), BYCE (Boston Young Composer’s Ensemble) and a variety of solo artists. Mr. David has also had his works performed by the Boston New Music Initiative, the Debussy trio, and has received readings from the SFCM Orchestra and New Music Ensemble, as well as the NEC Philharmonia.

His “String Quartet No.1” has gone on to win the international EAMA (European American Musical Alliance) prize in December of 2011 as well as the Morton Gould ASCAP Award. The String Quartet was praised by the Boston New Music Intelligencer as a “daring work… that left [them] wanting to hear more.” As a teacher, Derek has been teaching keyboard harmony at The New England Conservatory of Music from 2010 to the present. He has also held an interim faculty position at the Boston Conservatory in the fall semester of 2014 where he taught theory, musicianship, and keyboard harmony. Mr. David has also been awarded a teaching fellowship at Harvard University for the 2015 spring semester and will be teaching in conjunction in their ‘music for non-majors’ class. He currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts where he is completing his Doctor of Music degree in composition at the New England Conservatory of Music in the studio of Michael Gandolfi. For more information, please visit www.derekdavid.com

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Nicholas DeMaison

Nicholas DeMaison is a New York-based conductor and composer. His performances, including dozens of premieres of new instrumental, operatic and choral works, have been described as “consistently invigorating” (New York Times), “spine tingling” (Feast of Music) and “enchanted” (Seen and Heard International). Nicholas is currently the Director of the Rensselaer Orchestra and Concert Choir at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, where he is also helping to establish an undergraduate degree in music. His work has been performed by the New York Philharmonic, Iktus Percussion, and Florilegium Chamber Choir, among others, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, Time Out Chicago and Chicago Magazine. He has additionally worked on the music staff with multi-media production group Giants Are Small, Live from Lincoln Center, and PBS. Nicholas holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the University of California, San Diego.

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Renée Favand-See

For composer and soprano Renée Favand-See, the voice is a primary expressive medium in both writing and performing. Recent projects include Gathered Whole for Wet Ink Ensemble and Lonesome Songs for soprano Alissa Rose. Her music has been premiered by Sequitur, Lucy Shelton and eighth blackbird, Del Sol String Quartet, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Opera Index, mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn and American Opera Projects, among others. She has collaborated with the Group Motion Dance Company in Philadelphia and Trip Dance Theatre in Los Angeles, as well as with video artist Christine Sciulli. Renée’s honors include a grant from the American Music Center, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Bearns Prize from Columbia University. She earned her B.M. and M.M. degrees in composition from the Eastman and Yale Schools of Music. Renée currently lives in Portland, Oregon. reneefavand.com

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Michael Gilbertson

Michael Gilbertson, a native of Dubuque, Iowa, studied composition with Samuel Adler, John Corigliano, and Christopher Rouse at The Juilliard School, and at the Yale School of Music with Aaron Jay Kernis, Martin Bresnick, Ezra Laderman and Christopher Theofanidis. Gilbertson’s works have been programmed by ensembles including The Washington National Opera, The Juilliard Orchestra, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Symphony in C, the New England Philharmonic, the Yale Philharmonia, the Cedar Rapids Symphony, the Dubuque Symphony, the Michigan Philharmonic, the Flint Symphony, the Rockford Symphony, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, Musica Sacra, and Aspen Contemporary Ensemble.

Gilbertson’s music has earned five Morton Gould Awards from ASCAP, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the 2007-08 Palmer-Dixon Prize, awarded by the Juilliard composition faculty for the best student work of the year. Gilbertson’s music can be heard in the 2006 documentary Rehearsing a Dream, which received an Academy Award nomination for best documentary. Gilbertson’s published music includes choral works with Boosey & Hawkes and G. Schirmer, and orchestral works with Theodore Presser.

Gilbertson is currently collaborating with playwright Caroline McGraw on an opera commissioned by the Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative which will be premiered at the Kennedy Center in November, 2013. In 2009, Michael founded an annual music festival which brings six Juilliard musicians to Dubuque, Iowa for concerts and educational outreach. The festival is a fundraiser for the Northeast Iowa School of Music, where Michael has taught courses in composition and music history during their summer session since 2008. michaelgilbertson.net

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Ann Goehe

Ann Goehe is a Registered Nurse who has worked for a school district in the greater Atlanta metro area for the last 13 years. She currently travels between several schools for which she has direct child care responsibilities. During her tenure with the school district she has also been a nurse consultant in the school health program coordinating the activities of nurses in 33 schools.

For 15 years prior she worked as a pediatric nurse in at Children’s Health Care of Atlanta Pediatric Hospital in the pediatric cardiac intensive care as well as the general pediatrics floor. Working as a Camp Nurse is not new to Ann. She has been a camp nurse at a Girl Scout Camp and horse camp in previous summers. She is currently a certified instructor of American Heart CPR and first aid and American Red Cross CPR and first aid.

Ann holds a bachelor of science in Nursing from Georgia State University. She is married and lives in Atlanta with her husband and two rescue dogs, Tammy and Baxter. Her oldest child, John, has just moved to Long Island New York and a new job. Her youngest child, Emma, is working full time job at a veterinarian’s office in Atlanta.

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Terry L. Greene II

 A New York native, trombonist, improviser, drummer, arranger, and composer Terry L. Greene II recieved his Doctorate in Musical Arts from StonyBrook University in 2008. After his studies at Stony Brook under trombonists Ray Anderson and Michael Powell, he then went on to perform with The Roots, Macy Grey, David Murray, Oliver Lake, Elliot Sharp, and several other notable creative artists. You can hear Terry on Oliver Lake’s latest big band album titled “Wheels” and Elliot Sharp’s latest Aggregat album called “Quintet”. Terry has a wide range of experiences in musical genres including New Music, Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Brazillian and Columbian music, Gospel, Orchestral and chamber ensembles, Funk, Hard Rock and Free Improvisation.
Terry also has also built up classrom experience from teaching at Stony Brook University, Suffolk Community College, and Clara Barton High school. Terry is excited to be on Walden faculty for the summer of 2014 with his composer/bassist wife Rebekah Griffin Greene, and their almost-two-year-old son Kayden Greene.

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Rebekah Griffin Greene

Rebekah Griffin Greene is an award-winning bassist, composer, pianist, cellist, poet, and singer who holds bachelors and masters degrees in bass performance, composition, and music education from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, as well as a doctorate in bass performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. After recovering from a serious wrist injury and winning the Alice Nelson Music Competition in 1995 on the bass, she orchestrated her own bass and piano piece for the San Luis Obispo Symphony, launching her career as a composer and bass soloist. Now active in New York City as a freelance jazz, solo, chamber, and orchestral musician, she has performed her own works, as well as traditional recital repertoire, in such places as Hong Kong, Quebec, New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Her composition teachers include Morten Lauridsen and Frank Ticheli, and her bass teachers include Paul Ellison, Joseph Carver and Kurt Muroki. Having taught classroom music in both Los Angeles Unified and New York City Schools, she is currently teaching private and group bass at the Lucy Moses School and the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts. She lives in Queens, New York City, with her trombonist husband, Dr. Terry Greene II, her son, Kayden, and many instruments. rebekahgriffingreene.com

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Dana Jessen

Dana Jessen is a bassoonist, improviser, composer and educator recently based in San Francisco. She is co-founder of the EAR Duo and has performed with the Lucky Dragons, Amsterdam Contemporary Ensemble, Callithumpian Consort, Harvard Group for New Music, Mobtown Modern, Bik Bent Braam Ensemble, Calefax Quintet, Braam/de Joode/Vatcher Trio and the Het Ensemble. As a composer, Dana’s music utilizes everything from graphic notation to electroacoustic environments and has been performed by ensembles throughout the United States and Europe. She is the founder and artistic director of the New Music Bassoon Fund, an organization dedicated to expanding the current bassoon repertoire through commissioning projects. Through this organization, she has recently invited thirty bassoonists from all over the world to participate in the project’s first commission, an hour-long composition for seven amplified bassoons by composer Michael Gordon. Dana has been artist in residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Amsterdam’s STEIM, De Lindenberg Productiehuis, and the Omi International Arts Center. Her recordings as a bassoonist and improviser can be heard on RIOJA, Evil Rabbit and the New World record labels. Dana holds a M.M. in Bassoon Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music and a M.M. in Improvisation from the Artez Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in the Netherlands. She lived in Amsterdam for three years as the recipient of a 2008-2009 J. William Fulbright Fellowship and a 2009-2011 HSP Huygens Fellowship where she researched contemporary and improvised music. danajessen.com

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Juliet Kaplan

Juliet Kaplan is a composer passionate about multidisciplinary collaborations. She has created work with many wonderful choreographers, playwrights/directors, multimedia artists, and musicians. She has received awards from the Women’s Electroacoustic Listening Room Project, the Longitude Commissioning Project Award, and the John Hedrick Memorial Award. Her music has been performed throughout the U.S., in the Czech Republic, and on Kansas Public Radio.

Her educational background includes composition studies at the Longy School of Music, where she received her M.M., and at Bennington College where she received her B.A. Julie is also an actor with the Transactors Improv Company, the longest running improv group in the south.

In addition to her involvement in the arts, Julie has also enjoyed a decade-long career in publishing. For the last 8 years she managed the production of several monthly scientific journals with The Sheridan Press, including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Journal of Public Health. She currently resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with her husband and two children, where she works as a freelance composer/sound designer and actor.
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Alysoun Kegel

Alysoun Kegel is thrilled to join the Walden School faculty. She will be coming to us from Carnegie Mellon University, where she will have just completed her second MM in Conducting under Maestro Robert Page. At CMU, she works as assistant conductor of the Repertory Chorus, the Concert Choir, and the Baroque Ensemble. She has also worked as an assistant conductor for Opera Theater Pittsburgh.

Kegel began singing as an 8-yr-old treble in the St. Luke’s Girls Choir of Evanston, Illinois, under the direction of Richard Webster. She recalls the experience as “certainly transformative, often transcendent. It kindled my passion for musical performance, and showed me that music has the power to nourish a child emotionally, cognitively, even spiritually.” Kegel is an accomplished conductor, music teacher and soprano. While on the faculty of Phillips Exeter Academy, she conducted the Women’s Chorus and the Glee Club, taught a performance master class, and gave private vocal instruction. Kegel was also assistant conductor of the Concord Chorus and directed the choral program at the Phillips Exeter Summer School. In 2002, as musical director of Whim N’ Rhythm, Yale University’s elite women’s ensemble, she conducted performances in Japan, South Korea, Italy, France and the United Kingdom.

Kegel served as Artistic Director of the PALS Children’s Chorus in Brookline, MA from 2007-2011. As AD of PALS, Kegel prepared children to sing under the batons of Sir Colin Davis, Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos, David Hoose, and Bernard Haitink. She has led workshops on movement and choral singing throughout the Northeast.

In her work as a singer, Kegel cites the influence of conductors Simon Carrington and Robert Lehman. She was a charter member of the Yale Schola Cantorum, a 24-voice ensemble specializing in early and contemporary music. Kegel maintains a career as a recitalist, and has worked in the Boston area as staff soprano at Trinity Church in Copley Square and at Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill. Kegel graduated from Yale with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and English, and received her first Masters in Music from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge.

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Gabriel Kyne

Gabriel Kyne is a composer and vocalist whose music draws on both contemporary techniques and his participation in and study of various folk music traditions. His vocal music has been performed in San Francisco, Kansas City, Denmark, Québec City, and various towns in New England by Village Harmony, Untempered Harmony, Serre l’Écoute, and Livingstones Kabinet. After spending a year studying with Jim Mobberley at UMKC, he began pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Music Composition at the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara, where he studied counterpoint with Joel Feigin and composition with Leslie Hogan and Jeremy Haladyna. While attending UC Santa Barbara, he was the recipient of a Corwin Chair Award in Vocal Composition. While in Kansas City, he founded and directed Untempered Harmony, a choir whose repertoire includes traditional polyphonic music from Croatia, Bulgaria, the Caucaus Republic of Georgia, the US, as well as works by living American composers. Last summer, he spent three weeks in Lenjeri village in northwestern Georgia, studying traditional Svan music with 80-year-old songmaster Islam Pilpani and his son, Vakho Pilpani.
After Walden, Gabriel will begin rehearsals with Marshfield, Vermont-based Northern Harmony before joining them to tour Southeastern US, New England, France, Switzerland, Germany, the UK, and Holland. After the tour is over, he is planning to walk from Barcelona to Rome, performing and trading songs during the four-month journey. Gabriel is an alumnus of The Walden School.

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William Kelly

William Kelly was born and raised in Santa Clara, California. He attended Santa Clara University as a double major in Musical Composition and Modernist English Literature. There he studied composition and improvisation with Professors Pam Quist, Patricia Plude and Alex Christie. His compositional aesthetic is influenced in part by his love for 20th century music as well as an intellectual approach to finding his own voice. He has had his work performed in countless composition forums as well as his senior composition recital, in which he also played a piece by Henry Cowell and an improvisation for prepared piano and saxophone. He plays several different instruments including the double bass, piano, guitar and drums. His life-long vocations include teaching and musical composition, and promoting art in the community. Upon graduating high school, William achieved the rank of Eagle Scout which is one of his most proud accomplishments. He enjoys hiking, camping and nature, and uses the skills and experiences he gained in the Boy Scouts on a daily basis.

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Josie Kovash

Josie Kovash was completely enchanted and transformed through spending four summers as a Walden student and is now delighted to return 15 years later as a member of the Walden staff. Since last in Dublin, she has wandered the country in search of meaningful vocation and sense of place, finally returning to her native Colorado Plateau and settling, seemingly by accident as many do, into the strange little desert community of Moab, Utah. There, she has run the gamut of local non-profit work, from conservation advocacy to environmental education, community gardening to community theater. Most recently, she splits her time between producing events with fellow film fest gypsies at Sundance, Telluride, and San Francisco, and working for wilderness education programming at the southwest branch of the Colorado Outward Bound School. When not wearing one of her many work hats, she can be found scrambling around on sandstone, exploring deep canyon rivers, playing and singing in a garage band with her parents, and collaborating on a variety of local art and music projects.

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Marguerite Ladd

Marguerite Ladd, Director of Operations, received a bachelor of music degree in composition from New England Conservatory of Music and a masters degree in music theory and composition with concentration in scoring for film and multimedia at New York University. She has studied with Ira Newborn, Deniz Hughes, Michael Gandolfi, and Lee Hyla, and has worked closely with Mark Snow, John Malia, and Malcolm Peyton. Marguerite’s music has been performed by the Hudson River String Quartet, New England Conservatory’s Honors String Quartet, Philharmonic Orchestra and Chamber Singers, among other contemporary ensembles. She was awarded a full scholarship to attend the 2009 ASCAP Foundation Film Scoring Workshop in Memory of Buddy Baker. She worked for PBS in Boston composing music for several different kinds of media publications that focus on education. She has scored many short films and commercials including films for L.A. directors Celeste Ward and Kelly Donovan. She currently works for composer Tan Dun. margueriteladd.com

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Wesley Levers

Wesley Levers is a Boston-born composer currently living in Evanston, Illinois. He has studied at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, and at Walden, and has taken private lessons from Rodney Lister, Jay Alan Yim, Martin Amlin, Justin Casinghino, and Tobias Broström, among others. He has written chamber music, electronic music, and music for theatre and dance. Wesley has received recognition and commissions from ASCAP, the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music and the Walden School, and New England Conservatory Preparatory School. He currently studies at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. In his free time, he likes to listen to loud sounds.

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Sky Macklay

The music of New York-based composer and oboist Sky Macklay explores bold contrasts, theatrical elements, and the visceral physicality of sound production and perception. Her works have been performed by ensembles such as ICE, Yarn/Wire, Firebird Ensemble, Hexnut, The University of Memphis Contemporary Chamber Players, the Luther College Concert Band, Luna Nova, and PRIZM ensemble. Her piece Dissolving Bands, an abstract orchestral reflection on the American Revolutionary War, was commissioned and premiered by the Lexington (MA) Symphony to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the town of Lexington. Dissolving Bands was the winner of the 2013 Leo Kaplan award from ASCAP and a CAP grant from New Music USA. She has also received commissions from The Walden School Faculty Commissioning Project and from Saint John Lutheran Church (MN). Her multi-movement work for jazz ensemble, Mestiza, was showcased at the 2010 Midwest Black History Conference. Lake Dublin, her piece for clarinet, piano, and water bowls, was a winner in the 2011 Iowa Composers Forum Spring Festival composition contest. The International Alliance for Women in Music recently honored her piece Before There Was Backspace There Was No Going Back, a musical and poetic tribute to Kurt Vonnegut for amplified electric typewriter and ensemble. As an active new music oboist and improviser, Sky plays with the Ghost Ensemble collective and performs her own and other composers’ ambitious oboe repertoire. Sky has toured the United States and Japan as a wind ensemble and orchestral oboist and draws upon this background as a composer of ensemble music.

Sky graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa where she studied composition with Brooke Joyce and earned her master’s degree in composition from The University of Memphis where she studied with Kamran Ince. Sky is currently pursuing her doctoral studies at Columbia University. An enthusiastic proponent of creative music education, Sky teaches at the Preparatory Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College. skymacklay.com

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Tony Makarome

Bassist Tony Makarome received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor of music degree in composition from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has studied with distinguished artists and teachers such as Robert Spano, Daniel Lewis, Miroslav Vitous, Herb Pomeroy, George Crumb, and Robert Freedman. As a bassist, he has performed with Louis Bellson, Greg Fishman, Bert Ligon, Danilo Perez, The Diamonds, and Tony Bennett, among others. He has also appeared with key figures in the Asian jazz scene such as Jeremy Monteiro, Michael Veerapan, Lewis Pragasam, and Greg Lyons. Highlights from his work as an orchestra conductor include the USA premiere of Procaccini’s opera La Prima Notte and several successful seasons as assistant conductor of the Columbia Lyric Opera. In 2001, his children’s opera, Faybulous, premiered at the Pawley’s Island Music Festival in South Carolina. His arrangement of William Grant Still’s The Black Man Dances for symphonic band will be published by WGS Music (Arkansas). Dr. Makarome has been a successful teacher of solfège, ear-training and music theory. He is a lecturer on jazz studies and popular culture at Singapore’s National Institute of Education. In May 2003, he was appointed Musical Director/Resident Conductor of the NUS Wind Symphony. He continues to perform as a bassist. Tony has been a member of The Walden School Young Musicians Program faculty since 2009.

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Caroline Mallonée

Caroline Mallonée, Academic Dean, Director, Composers Forums & Director, Creative Musicians Retreat has been on the faculty of The Walden School since 1998. Her work has been performed in New York City at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Merkin Hall, Bargemusic, Tenri Cultural Center, Town Hall and Tonic, as well as at the Tribeca New Music Festival, Long Leaf Opera Festival, Carlsbad Music Festival, Bennington Chamber Music Conference, Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, 21st Century Schizoid Music, on the New Music New Haven series and at Boston’s Jordan Hall.  Her music has been performed in the U.S., the Netherlands, Wales, England, Iceland, Japan, Italy and Mexico, and has been broadcast several times over National Public Radio on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” Several of her choral pieces, including The Carolers At My Door, are published by Boosey & Hawkes.  Carrie holds degrees from Harvard University, The Yale School of Music and Duke University, and she was a Fulbright scholar to the Netherlands in 2004.  carolinemallonee.com

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Emil Margolis

Emil Margolis is a composer with interests in composing both electronic and acoustic music. His music has been performed around the United States by groups such as the Ensemble for Contemporary Music at UCSB, Hexnut, the Ludovico Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, the Young Artists String Quartet, and the Walden School Players. His teachers have included Joel Feigin, Curtis Roads, Salvatore Spina, and Andy Vores. He recently completed an M.M. degree in music composition from the Boston Conservatory, and currently lives in San Francisco. emilmargolis.com

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Noah Mlotek

Noah Mlotek has worked in academic publishing for the last two years as an editorial assistant at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington, D.C. He also sings professionally in the Washington area. Noah graduated from Oberlin College in 2008 with a major in classics. During the year, Noah stays involved with Walden in various ways; last February he joined with D. J. Sparr in moderating a Baltimore Alumni Composers Forum, and he is currently at work on the design and layout of a forthcoming Jazz Musicianship textbook by Walden legend Bill Stevens. Noah was delighted to return to the staff of the Young Musicians Program during the summer of 2011.

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Ted Moore

Ted Moore is an active composer, sound designer, and educator living in Minneapolis. He has had numerous pieces performed across the United States and has been commissioned by the Minneapolis Cedar Avenue Cultural Center, the ensemble Smoking With Baby, and Savage Umbrella Theater Company. Sound design credits include numerous projects with Nautilus Music-Theater (St. Paul, MN) and most recently Savage Umbrella Theater Company’s original production of Care Enough. Before recently relocating to the Twin Cities, Ted studied music at Luther College (Decorah, IA) and Truman State University (Kirksville, MO), and taught at The Walden School’s Young Musicians Program, Dorian Summer Music Camps (Decorah, IA), Truman State University, Handmade Music Minneapolis, and Experimental College (Minneapolis, MN). Currently, Ted is Director of Public Relations for RenegadeEnsemble. tedmooremusic.com

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Ian Munro

Ian Munro is a composer originally from Harleysville, Pennsylvania. He is currently living in Brooklyn and works regularly with The Sweat Lodge, a group of composer-performers who hold monthly concerts and music events. He also helps run Performers Forum, a presentation organization dedicated to providing a platform for creative performers to present and discuss their music. He is currently earning his M.M. at Brooklyn College, studying composition and electronic music and working with Doug Geers, Morton Subotnick and Tania León. In 2010, he graduated from University of the Arts with a B.M. in composition and studied with Andrea Clearfield (former Walden Festival Week moderator). Ian has been on the faculty of the Young Musicians Program since 2010 and attended the Teacher Training Institute for three years. He enjoys playing piano, accordion, highland bagpipe and Hammond organ as well as building homemade electronic music devices. ianmunrobot.com.

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Osnat Netzer

Israeli born Osnat Netzer is a composer, pianist and educator living in Boston. She was born in Haifa and studied piano and composition at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Osnat obtained a master’s in theory and composition at Mannes College of Music in New York, and a doctorate in composition at New England Conservatory. In 2009-10 she lived in Berlin through a fellowship from the Frank Huntington Beebe Foundation and there completed her opera The Wondrous Woman Within, an adaptation of the play by Hanoch Levin. The first scene of this opera was performed by New York City Opera and received rave reviews from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Her works have been performed at the Tanglewood Music Center, June in Buffalo and the Bowdoin Music Festival and at many venues in Europe, Israel and South Korea. Osnat is also active as a pianist in classical and contemporary concert music, as well as improvisatory folk, klezmer, and jazz-influenced works. After five years teaching at New England Conservatory as an adjunct professor, Osnat joined the Harvard faculty in fall 2013. osnatnetzer.com

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Loretta Notareschi

Loretta K. Notareschi explores the passionate, irreverent, and transcendent in her many compositions for chamber ensemble, large ensemble, and chorus. Born in Canton, Ohio and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma, she has received awards and honors from the IronWorks Percussion Duo, the Colorado State Music Teachers Association, the Sacred and Profane Chamber Chorus, the American Composers Forum, Ensemble Eleven, and the GALA Choruses. Her music has been performed in Manchester, England; in New York City at Symphony Space and the Paul Recital Hall in Lincoln Center; and in other cities across the U.S., including Denver, where she makes her home. Her music is published by Disegni Music (ASCAP), Friedrich Hofmeister of Leipzig, and Bachovich. Notareschi is an assistant professor of music at Regis University and a faculty member of The Walden School. She is also a member of ASCAP and the Amercian Composers Forum. She holds a Masters and PhD in composition from the University of California at Berkeley, a Bachelor of Music in composition from the University of Southern California, and the General Diploma from the Zoltàn Kodàly Pedagogical Institute of Music in Kecskemèt, Hungary, where she was a Fulbright Scholar. Her primary teachers in composition have been Morten Lauridsen, Erica Muhl, Rick Lesemann, Cindy Cox, and Jorge Liderman. lorettanotareschi.com

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Danielle Kerani Oberdier

Danielle Kerani is a NYC-based entrepreneur with a big heart and passion for life. A former Walden student of four years, Danielle’s soul lies within the world of music, between singing, songwriting and dabbling on the piano and cello. Danielle is also a proud alumnus of Stuyvesant High School, Juilliard Pre-College and most recently, Northwestern University. Whether it be fashion, finance or social media management, Danielle loves to start up new projects and embark on unique adventures. Find her on a long run in Central Park, wandering the hidden parts of cities and seeking out interesting conversations.

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Susanna Payne-Passmore

Susanna Payne-Passmore is a composer living in Portland, Oregon. She seeks to inspire her listeners by exploring unusual sonorities and strange tonal schemes, awakening them to unexplored worlds. Her initiatives have included The Something Society, an experimental multimedia duo creating sound on the edge of popular taste, and the NEW Ensemble, a chamber quintet dedicated to premiering student works. A 2012 graduate of the New College of Florida, Susanna designed her own major in Music Composition and completed an undergraduate thesis on musical form and meaning. She used multiple modalities, including psychology, philosophy, and musicology, to explore the process of how intangible oscillations in the air become moving works of art. She continues to ponder this question with every new work. Following her graduation, Susanna traveled the Republic of Georgia as a Fulbright for a year, teaching English and studying one of the oldest known traditions of vocal polyphony. Her experience culminated in an original composition of the Gurian mode premiered at the 1st Batumi Contemporary Classical Music Festival. Since returning, she has won the Mary Bussman Emerging Female Composer award with her piece “Shine” and attended the 2014 Walden Creative Musician’s Retreat. She has studied with composers Anne Neikirk and Benjamin C. S. Boyle.

In her spare time she enjoys sipping fine tea, playing with cats, devouring books, and plotting novels she will never actually write.
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Sam Pluta

Known internationally for his laptop performances with groups like Rocket Science, Wet Ink Ensemble, and The Peter Evans Quintet, New York City-based composer/improviser Sam Pluta, Academic Dean and Director of Electronic Music, is one of the most compelling electronics performers of his generation. As a composer, he has been commissioned and premiered by Mivos Quartet, Yarn/Wire, ICE, Timetable Percussion, RIOT Trio, So Percussion, Dave Eggar, and Prism Saxophone Quartet and has performed internationally as a laptop soloist and chamber musician, with appearances at the Donaueschingen Festival, the Moers Festival, Bimhaus, Porgy and Bess, and the Vortex, amongst other international venues and festivals. A devoted pedagogue, he directs the Electronic Music Studio at Manhattan School of Music and is Academic Dean and Director of Electronic Music at the Walden School. Sam’s music is released on quiet design and Carrier Records, a label he runs with Jeff Snyder and David Franzson, and his performances can also be found on More Is More, Tzadik, and hat[now]ART. Sam holds a Doctorate in Music Composition from Columbia University. sampluta.com

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A. Nirvaan Ranganathan

Aditya Nirvaan Ranganathan is a Violinist, composer, producer, and student at Swarthmore College, where he is double majoring in Music and Physics. Nirvaan hails from, in equal parts, New York City and Mumbai. He picked up the violin at the age of 4, and currently studies violin with Ms. Barbara Sonies, and music theory and composition with Gerald Levinson.

Nirvaan spent 3 summers at the The Walden School’s Young Musicians Program, and has performed with the International Honour Orchestra, Bombay Chamber Orchestra, and Swarthmore College Orchestra. You are most likely to find him meticulously editing Ableton music projects, watching soccer, or enjoying the company of friends and family.

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Sara Riddington

Sara Riddington is a registered nurse at Northfield Mount Hermon, a college preparatory boarding school in Massachusetts, where she provides triage and inpatient care to a population of 650 students. Previously, she was both an ICU and ER nurse in an urban hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts. She is CPR and ACLS certified. Sara graduated summa cum laude in three degrees: a Bachelor of Science in nursing (2010), Masters of Social Work (2001), and a Bachelor of Arts in comparative literature (1996), in which she also completed a music minor, studying vocal performance under soprano Paulina Stark.  Sara and her husband met singing in college and live, with their two children, at the Bement school in Deerfield, Massachusetts.  They are dorm parents to 8th and 9th grade students from predominantly international backgrounds, a population they have happily served for almost a decade. The Riddingtons are overjoyed to be joining Walden in the summer of 2015.

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Sarah Riskind

Sarah Riskind is a choral conductor, composer, singer, and teacher, and received her Master of Music in Choral Conducting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012. There she studied with Beverly Taylor, conducted the 30-voice Women’s Chorus, and co-directed the 50-voice Masters Singers. In 2009, Sarah received a B.A. in Music, magna cum laude, from Williams College, earning highest honors for a senior thesis in composition, and conducting college, community, and children’s choirs. She has served as the soprano section leader for St. Christopher Catholic Parish in Verona, Wisconsin, and has sung with Boston’s Convivium Musicum, Seraphim Singers, Spectrum Singers, Schola Nocturna, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, as well as with the University of Wisconsin Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers. She is currently Choir Director at the First Parish Church of Berlin, MA, and will soon be the Middle and Upper School Music Teacher at the German International School of Boston. As time allows, she also plays fiddle in contra dance bands. In the last three years at Walden, Sarah has enjoyed leadership roles with the Treble Singers, Women’s Chorus, and Chamber Singers as well as being a staff member. sarahriskind.com

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Montana Rogers

Montana Rogers graduated from Wheaton College (MA) in 2014 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, with a double major in creative writing and music, magna cum laude. She studied composition with Delvyn Case and has had compositions performed by The Aurea Ensemble, Aaron Larget-Caplan (as part of his New Lullaby Project), and Wheaton College’s Great Woods Chamber Orchestra. She spent one memorable summer (2009) as a student at Walden and is excited to be working at Walden as a staff member this summer. She is from New Hampshire.

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Moshe Shulman

Russian-born Israeli composer, violinist, bandoneon and accordion player, Moshe Shulman (b. 1978) holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in composition from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and the PhD degree in composition from the NY State University at Buffalo, studying with Mark Kopytman, David Felder and Johannes Schollhorn through the years. His music was performed in Israel, Canada, United States, Russia and Europe with various ensembles such as Norrbotten NEO and Juventas New Music Ensemble, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Arditti Quartet. As a professional musician, Moshe composed and performed at theatrical productions, have had commissions from ensembles such as Meridian Brass Quintet and other artistic organizations such as Buffalo Art Gallery.
In summer 2009, Moshe won 3rd prize for “Construction 3” at the Jurgenson Contemporary Music International Competition in Moscow. In 2011, he received “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Award” for accomplishments as a graduate student at the State University of NY at Buffalo. In addition to these, Moshe received UB College Fellowship and a Department of Music Assistantship (USA), Keren Sharet, America-Israel – Scholarship (Israel), Dean’s Scholarship for excellence in composition (Israel), Acum Scholarship for excellence in composition (Israel).
Moshe is a performer of classical music, Argentine tango, klezmer, and Gypsy music as well as a tango dancer. Recently, Shulman led the Baires Klezmer Orchestra in Buenos Aires, Argentina and formed Buffalo Tango Orkestra with his return to US. In addition, Moshe performed on bandoneon in Toronto, Boston and Balitimore tango festival, collaboration with world tango famous artist such as Ariel Ardit.
In spring 2014, a leading proponent soprano of experimental new works, Anne Harley, recorded and released a CD with Moshe’s new song cycle setting texts from the Song of Songs in the original Hebrew. Currently he is on the Music Faculty at the University at Buffalo and composer in residence with Commonwealth Lyric Theater in Boston, MA. www.mosheshulman.com

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D. J. Sparr

An accomplished composer, D. J. Sparr has caught the attention of critics with his eclectic style, described as “pop-Romantic. iridescent and wondrous” (Mercury News) and “suits the boundary erasing spirit of today’s new-music world” (New York Times). D. J. recently completed his tenure as the 2011-2014 Young American Composer-in-Residence with the California Symphony. Recent premieres have been by the Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera’s HGOco, eighth blackbird, the Dayton Philharmonic, Richmond Symphony, and Amsterdam’s Hexnut Ensemble. Sparr was awarded the $10,000 grand prize in the orchestra category of the BMG/Williams College National Young Composers Competition and has received awards and recognition from BMI, the American Music Center, George Washington University, the League of Composers/ISCM, and New Music USA. D.J. holds degrees in music composition from Eastman School of Music (BM) and University of Michigan (MM, DMA). He currently lives in the Wild West with his wife, Kimberly and their two dogs Lloyd and Nannette. www.djsparr.com

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Jake Tejada

Jake Tejada is a student at the University of Southern California studying trumpet with Professor Boyde Hood at the Thornton School of Music. He was extremely involved in music throughout high school and was a student at The Walden School’s Young Musician Program for 6 summers. Jake started his musical career at the age of 6 studying piano. He later studied with Ms. Lena Schuman at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Jake’s primary instrument is the trumpet and he started studying with Jay Rizzetto in January of his junior year of high school. Jake has performed with the globally recognized Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, based in Berkeley, for the 2012-2013 season as a rotating principal, as well as with Pepe Aguilar, a musical icon in Mexico. In his free time, Jake likes to spend time with his family, listen to music, dance, and go for scenic drives.

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Peter Thompson

Peter Thompson is a composer, conductor, trombonist, pianist, and singer. He graduated from Yale College in 2013 with a B.A. in Music, before fleeing across the country to work with Walden in San Francisco. While at Yale, he ferociously bounced between pursuits, from manning a late-night electroshock research boat, to working with a Peruvian gay men’s health clinic, to spending unmentionable hours crafting six-foot cardboard sculptures of his own head, only to land exactly where he thought he would, making music. Peter sang with the Yale Glee Club as a baritone, and studied conducting with Dr. Jeffrey Douma, under whose mentorship he assistant conducted the YGC for their 2012-13 season. In addition to the YGC, he music-directed a production of the Broadway musical Urinetown, and formed and conducted a chamber chorus for a senior conducting recital. An alumnus of the Young Musicians Program, Peter’s compositions have won honors from ASCAP, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, and The Walden School for his compositions. Besides his musical life, Peter is an avid visual artist and writer. He plans to spend the next ten years of his life trying to make this life in the arts thing work, with some combination of playing, writing, improvising, drawing, vagabonding, inquiring, collaborating, often failing, occasionally succeeding, and working for The Walden School. He was going to end by saying he likes puns, but typed prunes instead, which seem like altogether a healthier and more genuine interest.

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Evan Williams

Evan Williams is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he has studied with Michael Fiday and Mara Helmuth. He also holds degrees from Bowling Green State University and Lawrence University, where he studied with Asha Srinivasan, Joanne Metcalf, Christopher Dietz, Mikel Kuehn, and Marilyn Shrude.

Williams’ music has been performed across the country and internationally by members of Fifth House Ensemble, the Verb Ballets, and at festivals such as Fresh Inc, SEAMUS, and the Electroacoustic Barn Dance. He has been commissioned by the LU Symphony Orchestra, the V3NTO Brass Trio, and the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra. He has received awards from the National Federation of Music Clubs, ASCAP Plus, a Fellowship from the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts, and others. He is currently a teaching assistant for electronic music at CCM.

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Past Faculty and Staff

Adam Albrecht
Ben Aldridge
Jim Altieri
Anne Deane Berman
Whit Bernard
Madeline Bersamina
Christianne Bessières Lane
Marshall Bessières
Tamar Bloch
Amy Bolaños
June Bonacich
Ethan Borshansky
Cynthia Brackbill Harkum
Sara Brown
Tom Brustman
Liz Bucko
Ann Callaway
Thomas Carr
Nansi Carroll
Alan Chan
Mitchell Clark
Jeffrey Cohen
Sarah Cornog
Stephen Coxe
Robert Crites
Shawn Crouch
Carol Thomas Downing
Amy Dinsmore
David Drucker
Anouk Erni
Paul Ettlinger
Bradley Evans
Hali Fieldman
Stacy Garrop
Kathryn Grisbacher
Susan Hahs
Steven Hankle
Dawn Denham Haynes
George Halsell
Jason Haney
Jeffrey Hebden
Lynn Taylor Hebden
Thomas Hecht
Erika Homann
Joyce Jopkins
Brooke Joyce
Rachel Israel
Bonnie Jacobowitz
Nancy Tsuyuki Jerome
Beatrice Jindra
Michael Johanson
Ben Kamen
Laura Keeler
Seth Knopp

Elyse Kolodin
Thomas Kraines
Kary Kramer
Leland Kusmer
Damon Lee
Teresa LeVelle
Amy Logsdon
Lois London
Tom Lopez
Amelia Lukas
Ted Masur
Jed McGiffin
Rob McLean
Laura Mehiel
Jenna Melissas
Sally Mitchell
Jonathan Miller
Gary Monheit
Pedja Muzijevic
Paul Nauert
Aurora Nealand
Georgann Nedwell
Alex Ness
Tierney O’Brien
Francois Oeshkin
Nnenna Ogwo
Denise Ondishko
Jefferson Packer
Robert Paterson
Molly Pindell
Patricia Plude
Carol Prochazka
Erin Quist
Pamela Layman Quist
Judith Pannill Raiford
Ruth Rainero
Brendon Randall-Myers
Lance Reddick
Brian Rogan
Julia Swift Saul
Danielle Schindler Cheung
Robin Seto
Daniel Shaud
Noelle Shipman
Hamilton Sims
Bill Stevens
Garth Sunderland
D.J. Sparr
Zoltan Szabo
Andrew Thams
Jennifer Turner
Leo Wanenchak
Marie Claire Whiteford
Cody Wright
John Yankee