Phil Acimovic was born and raised in New England. He currently studies composition at UC Davis with Pablo Ortiz. His music is calm but messy, organized but flexible, energetic but not dramatic. He has composed works for percussion, string quartet, reed quintet, and orchestra. In addition to writing concert works, he was involved in the Lake Tahoe Sonification Project, creating a sonic environment from Lake Tahoe weather data.
Addie Camsuzou is a composer and violinist from the central coast of California. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music theory/composition from Sacramento State University, where she studied composition with Dr. Stephen Blumberg, and violin with Ian Swensen and Anna Presler. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in music composition.
Josiah Tayag Catalan is a Filipino-American who was born in New York City and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He holds a degree from Sacramento State, School of Music in Music Theory and Composition, where he studied with Stephen Blumberg and Leo Eylar and violin with Anna Presler and Ian Swensen. In 2012, he was chosen to represent the music department by composing a piece for the annual One World Initiative campaign, in which selected students and faculty engage, lead, and raise awareness in the community around a central global issue.
Composer and Chinese flutist Yu-Hsin Chang is currently a Ph.D. candidate in music composition and theory at UC Davis. She received her previous degrees (MFA, BFA) from Taiwan. Her works include solo, chamber, and orchestral pieces for both Western and Chinese music instruments, and have been performed by soprano Tony Arnold, the Empyrean Ensemble, the Daedalus Quartet, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Chai Found Music Workshop, and the Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra.
Samuel Clark-McHale (b. 1992) is an American composer currently residing in Davis, CA. His works have been performed by, among others, Ensemble Signal, Quartetto Indaco, and the Illinois Modern Ensemble at venues and festivals including June in Buffalo and the highSCORE New Music Festival. His piece metallic cocaine bebop for Pierrot ensemble was a 2015 ASCAP Morton Gould Award Finalist.
Jonathan Favero is a graduate student in Music Composition and Theory at the University of California, Davis, and a Mellon Public Scholars Fellow. His compositions often have an ontological impetus, such as his second String Quartet, which contemplates violence as a seemingly inherent trait of human nature. His research interests include music in social movements, spirituality in music, and arts education in the U.S. criminal and juvenile justice systems. Additionally, Jonathan serves as Co-President of the UC Davis Music Department Graduate Student Association.
Born and raised in central Illinois, Daniel Godsil (b. 1982) is a composer of chamber, orchestral, vocal, electronic, and film music, currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Composition and Theory at the University of California, Davis. He holds an MFA in Music Composition from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he studied with John Fitz Rogers, John Mallia, and Jonathan Bailey Holland. He also holds a BM in Music Composition from Webster University.
Fang-Wei Luo is a Taiwanese composer who holds his master’s degree in music from Taipei National University of the Arts and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in music composition at UC Davis. Fang-Wei is the recipient of numerous awards and commissions, and his pieces have been performed in many cities in Asia and North America. His music focuses on the balance between the simplicity of musical materials, intricacy of acoustic atmosphere, and implications of the composer’s innermost feelings, depicting the solitude, dreams, and suffering of disadvantaged minorities. In recent years, he has placed emphasis on writing pieces for specific political issues or unjust treatments, particularly Taiwan’s independence and arduous situation, which are entangled with his belief in music writing.
Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Aida Shirazi is a Ph.D. student in composition and works with Pablo Ortiz. Shirazi’s music is described as “well-made” and “affecting” by The New Yorker.
She holds her B.A. in classical piano from Tehran University of Art (Iran), and her B.M. in music composition and theory from Bilkent University (Turkey). She studied santoor (traditional Iranian dulcimer) with Parissa Khosravi Samani.
A Sacramento native, Ryan Suleiman was born to Lebanese and American parents. His music aims to explore new worlds both sonically and expressively, incorporating “impressionistic textures and large melodic gestures” (SF Classical Voice), resonant sonorities, and lively rhythms. Ryan is deeply inspired by the wonder of natural world and the tremendous beauty and complexity of everyday life.
Alex Van Gils (b. 1987) is a composer and bassist whose music is influenced by his love of classical music and jazz, and especially by his practice and study of Tibetan Buddhism under Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.
Sarah Wald was born in Chicago. She attended Columbia University in the City of New York for her bachelor’s degree in music with a focus in composition. While at Columbia, Sarah studied composition with Tristan Murail and Arthur Kampela, as well as with Robert Lombardo in Chicago. She also studied flute with Sue Ann Kahn. Sarah then studied with Conrad Susa and David Garner at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for her master’s degree in composition. For her master’s thesis, she composed and produced Elegy for a Lady: a Music Drama in One Act.
Hannah Adamy graduated in 2013 with a BA in Music from The College of New Jersey and in 2015 with an MA in Performance Studies from Texas A&M University. Her master’s thesis “Diva Performativity: Female Body and Voice through Euro-Classical Vocal Pedagogy” considers the image of the opera diva as it relates to the process of operatic vocal training.
Esther DeLozier is a PhD student in ethnomusicology. Her combined love of music and travel led to this profession, in which she works to capture the essence of a performance. Born in Venezuela, DeLozier holds degrees in audio recording from the Indiana University School of Music and in ethnomusicology, communication and film from North Carolina State University. She has been a Recording Editor and an Assistant Producer with Telarc Records, and for several years managed the Audio Department for TNT Latin America, a division of Time Warner.
Gillian Irwin has been a student of ethnomusicology at UC Davis since Fall 2014. Before coming to Davis, she studied music and English at Muhlenberg College (Allentown, PA) and served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. At Davis, Gillian specializes in Indonesian music with interests in educational and cultural policy, national identity formation, and the relationship of the region to the nation of Indonesia.
Sarah Messbauer has been a graduate student at UC Davis since the fall of 2011. She graduated from Muhlenberg College in the spring of 2011, receiving a Bachelor’s degree with honors in anthropology and music. While at Muhlenberg, she received the Louise M. Cafouros Award for distinguished scholarship in the field of anthropology, as well as the Class of 1969 Award for Promising Work in the Field of Music.
David A. Roby was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. He started studying piano at age 5, and has since become a professional recording multi-instrumentalist. He is self-taught on mandolin, tenor banjo, fiddle, trumpet, guitar, bass, accordion, tin whistle, and bodhrán. David Roby is a member of the recording project Dance the Bridge with long-time friend Damon Gentry. Dance the Bridge has recorded two EPs and one full-length LP, which is also available at iTunes.
Davin Rosenberg grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and is a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at University of California, Davis. His research focuses on flamenco in the Americas wherein he explores musicking in the social (re)creation of space and sense of place; groove and performance temporalities; intersensory modalities, and transnational musicocultural flows and interrelationships.
Melita Anastasia Denny is a student in the UC Davis Ph.D. program in musicology. She earned a bachelor’s of science degree in viola da gamba performance from Indiana University Jacob’s School of Music, graduating with distinction in 2009. During her studies at IU, she also did additional work in music history with research interests centering on the history of music theory and imitative counterpoint in Renaissance sacred polyphony.
Andressa Gonçalves Vidigal is a Ph.D. student in musicology at the University of California, Davis. She is Brazilian and grew up in the city of Maringá, Paraná. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Universidade Estadual de Maringá and a master’s en route from University of California, Davis. Her current studies are funded by the Brazilian agency CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel); from whom she received the esteemed Doutorado Pleno (Full Doctoral) Scholarship.
Jonathan Minnick is currently a second-year Musicology Ph.D. student at UC Davis. Minnick graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with honors and distinction in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Music in trombone performance. At UNC, he performed in many ensembles across the campus while also focusing on musicological studies, leading to an honors thesis exploring Richard Strauss’s Alpine Symphony. Here Minnick analyzes the historical origins, cultural influences, and extensive tone painting of a turning-point work in the composer’s career.
Jonathan Spatola-Knoll is a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Davis, where he pursues degrees in musicology and conducting. Originally from Olympia, Washington, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Whitman College in 2011, where he first became interested in synthesizing research and performance. At Whitman he organized premiere performances of two works by the Swedish composer Elfrida Andrée (1841–1929), and his edition of her String Quartet in D Minor has been accepted for publication by Hildegard Publishing Company. Other research interests include performance practice and interpretation of Lieder, American opera, orientalism and representation, and music in 19th-century Russia.
B.M. Performance (flute), UC Santa BarbaraM.A. Musicology, Pennsylvania State University
Claire Thompson is a doctoral candidate in musicology at UC Davis. She has a B.M. in performance (flute) from UC Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in musicology from Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests include music aesthetics and the cultural and political aspects of opera and operetta. Her dissertation explores the creation, dissemination, and reception of nineteenth-century Italian operas based on the works of Sir Walter Scott. She is a recipient of the Hubert H. and Barbara P.
Jeremiah Trujillo is an active soloist, collaborative pianist, and historical musicologist. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2014 Eisner Prize for Music, awarded at the University of California, Berkeley. He was a finalist in the 2013 Carmel Music Society piano competition, held at Sunset Center in Carmel, CA. At the 2013 San Francisco Young Pianists Competition, he received a special prize for the interpretation of a nineteenth-century Romantic work.
Serena Yang is a doctoral candidate in musicology at the University of California, Davis. Her research interests include twentieth- and twenty-first-century music, interdisciplinary studies, cultural studies, and Asian music. Yang holds a bachelor’s degree in violin from National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan, and a master’s degree in music history from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (under the supervision of bruce d. mcclung).